Our Class For Aim Healthy U!

We're so exicted to announce our new class with Aim Healthy U! It's all about SHORTCUT COOKING. We've partnered with the folks at Clean Eating Magazine and at Vegetarian Times and we promise to get you in and out of the kitchen faster while cooking delicious, clean meals. Click this link for the course. And put in the discount code of MARK50 to get fifty dollars off the enrollment fee. We'll be with you every step of the way: in the videos as well as in Q & As online. We can't wait to meet you! Let's get cooking.

OUR CRAFTSY CLASSES

 

Bruce's first knitting class! It's all about a combination technique for purling in Continental knitting that will get you knitting faster than you can believe. Here's a coupon to take the class at less than $15. You can't beat that!  


We're so proud of our pressure-cooker class, one of the most popular classes on craftsy. To get a 50% discount on the cost of the class, click here. Bruce works with a stovetop cooker; Mark, with an electric one. Along the way, they make incredible meals: glorious chicken soup, a crazy-cheesy casserole (in 5 minutes!), an Italian-inspired stew, and even (yes) cheesecake.

To get a discount on Bruce's Craftsy cooking class, click here. And you'll learn how to be a better cook in 7 simple lessons. He covers the differences between low temperature and high temperature roasting, stove top and oven braising, as well as pan frying, sauteeing and making amazing pan sauces. The recipes along the way include a Southwestern Braised Brisket and Skillet Rib Eye Steaks with a buttery chipotle tomato sauce.

THE GREAT BIG PRESSURE COOKER BOOK

Our newest. 500 recipes. Every one, for calibrated for both stovetop and electric machines. Multiple sell-outs on QVC. Lots of recipes, lots of fun.

Get it from

amazon

Barnes and Noble

or independent booksellers.

Turbo Blender Dessert Revolution!

You bought that high-RPM, high-horsepower blender for more than smoothies. You just didn't know it. We're about to revolutionize the way you make brownies, chocolate pudding, quick breads, pancakes, waffles, even layer cakes--most of the time without dirtying another bowl and sometimes (when it comes to custards and such) without ever turning on the oven or the stove. Click on the pic to join our revolution!

 

Vegetarian Dinner Parties WINNER OF THE 2015 IACP PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD!

Join us as we explore the culinary possibilities of vegetables without any health or ethical claims. (Although if you're a vegetarian, we've got your back! Over half the recipes are vegan, to boot.) Go ahead. You want to throw a dinner party. And you want to see these recipes. They're some of the best we've ever crafted.

Barnes & Noble

amazon

Oblong Books in Millerton, NY (one of our local stores)

Book Loft in Great Barrington, MA (another local store)

Join Us!

We want to cook for you! And it can happen. Please join us at one of these fun events.

We're leading a hands-on curry class at the Hillsdale General Store on Saturday, 11/4. Click here for more information. 

And get this. We've recorded a full class on shortcut cooking for Aim Healthy U! You can cook along with us. We're there to answer questions. We've got a zillion shortcut tips. I mean, you need this. Here's a link to get you registered in the class! Use the DISCOUNT CODE BRUCE50 to take fifty bucks off the price of the class.

THE GREAT AMERICAN SLOW COOKER BOOK

Do you know why you're not using your slow cooker enough? Because up to two-thirds of the recipes in any given book aren't written for your model size! But we took care of that. With over 500 recipes, we've written a book that sizes out every one for almost every size of machine. And it's not just math. We've done the testing and worked out the ratios. You gotta see it to believe it.

amazon

barnes and noble

or independent booksellers.

Our Whole Grains Book

We move whole grains to the center of the plate! Experience whole grains, not as nutritional wonders, but as culinary superstars. Click on one of the links below to buy the book:

amazon.com

barnes&noble

independent booksellers

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    A FULL LIST OF THE RECIPES ON THIS SITE

    Here are the poems that go with my podcast, LYRIC LIFE. There are links to hear them on various platforms below. Or you can just click this player and listen to the podcasts here. The link at the top for "more episodes" will take you through the complete list. But scroll down to see more.

    Sunday
    Feb072016

    Lyric Life Episode 18: Sharon Olds, "Adolescence"

    Powerful stuff, as always with Olds' poetry. She's got an uncompromising vision, even when, as here, she turns playful, even adolescent. Man, I envy those words--but am so glad she's able to put them out there and make them sing. Here's the poem:

    When I think of my adolescence, I think
    of the bathroom of those seedy hotels
    in San Francisco, where my boyfriend took me.
    I had never seen bathrooms like that--
    no curtains, no towels, no mirror, just
    a sink green with grime and a toilet
    yellow and black--like something in a science experiment,
    growing the plague in bowls.
    Sex was still a crime, then,
    I'd sign out of my college dorm
    to a false destination, sign into
    the flophouse under a false name,
    go down the hall to the one bathroom
    and lock myself in. And I could not learn to get that
    diaphragm in, I'd decorate it
    like a cake, with glistening spermicide,
    and lean down, and it would leap from my fingers
    and sail into a corner, to land
    in a concave depression like a rat's nest,
    I'd bend and pluck it out and wash it
    and wash it down to that fragile dome,
    I'd frost it again till it was shimmering
    and bend it into its little arc and it would
    fly through the air, rim humming
    like Saturn's ring, I would bow down and crawl to retrieve it.
    When I think of being nineteen
    that's what I see, that delicate disc
    floating through the air and descending, I see myself
    kneeling and reaching, reaching for my life.

    If you'd like to buy a collection of her poems with this one in it, click here.

    To hear the podcast, either go to the media player at the top of the page under my name, "Mark"; or click the link at the bottom of this page to open a small media player in your browser.

    Of course, I'd be thrilled if you'd subscribe to my podcast on iTunes. Thanks. It's here.


    Sharon Olds, "Adolescence"

    Sunday
    Jan312016

    Lyric Life, Episode 17: Adam Zagajewski, "Try To Praise The Mutilated World"

    Great poem, eh? But even more meaningful to me because of how it stood inside my emotional space during a very frightening week. True, real, and painful. But as the poet says, "You must praise the mutilated world."

    Because of copyright issues, it's impossible to print the poem here. However, you can find it here on the Poetry Foundation website. Or you can find it here on The New Yorker site.

    As to the podcast itself, please find it at the top of the section under my name, "Mark," in the media player. There's a drop-down menu in the center of the player that lets you select the episode you want. Or click the link at the bottom of this page to open up a small player right in your browser.

    Adam Zagajewski, "Try To Praise The Mutilated World"

    Sunday
    Jan242016

    Lyric Life, Episode 16: Matthew Olzmann, "Mountain Dew Commercial Disguised as a Love Poem"

    I hope you liked the poem on this podcast as much as I did. It's terrific work, honest and very real. And it feels like a relationship: the little things, the constant uneasy alliance, the slow dissolve into the love we're told is supposed to happen right up front. As I said, terrific.

    Because of copyright issues, I'm not posting the poem here but you can find it at Rattle Magazine through this link.

    And if you want to know about Olzmann, here's his website. He's a careful, sly poet--and I'm sure his work will return to this podcast soon.

    If you haven't heard the podcast episode itself, look in the media player at the top of the entries under my name, "Mark"--or press the link just below to open up the podcast in your browser.

     

    Matthew Olzmann, "Mountain Dew Commercial Disguised as a Love Poem"

    Tuesday
    Jan122016

    Dear Internet: I am not doing it wrong!

    You've seen these memes, right? The ones that say you're doing food wrong? You're not eating sushi right! (The exclamation point is mandatory.) You're not making a pie crust right! You're not making guacamole right! (Okay, if you're putting frickin' peas in it, you AREN'T doing it right--but still. . . .)

    Is this some leftover strain of Puritanism in American culture? Haven't we been vaccinated against it? Or must people who write about, work with, or hawk better cooking and better recipes approach the subject as if they've just sucked on a lemon. The only thing worse than the bobble-headed boys and girls who smile their way through casseroles on TV are the ones who insist on seventeen steps to roast a chicken. Seriously? To roast a chicken?"

    What, you started the chicken breast side up in the roaster? You used a rack? You didn't use a rack? When you put butter under the skin, you didn't use Irish butter? Where are my pearls? I must clutch them. To riff off Crystal Allen in The Women, "You put a cold chicken in a hot oven--what's to keep it from getting cooked?" Or to put it in Yoda-speak: "Fuck me a breaking give."

    Why must everything get coated in insecurity? And why must everyone play off that insecurity? Whatever happened to grace? Yes, Elaine, you were right all along: you can have a little grace.

    Take sushi. No, eat sushi but take all the ridiculous articles about how you're not ordering it right. Here's one. Here's another. My God, man, you're going to put it in your mouth like that? You'll offend Chef-San!

    Mind you, these screeds are from people who walk into a Japanese restaurant in this country (Hibachi and sushi! Together at last!) and then order a groaning platter of sliced fish. A platter with maki and sashimi and sushi together. AS IT NEVER WOULD BE IN JAPAN. Also with a little pile of wasabi. AS IT NEVER WOULD BE IN JAPAN. But nonetheless, these are the people who worry if I'm dipping my rice or my fish in the soy sauce. (Spoiler alert: I am.) How we enjoy sushi in this country is as American as the Model T. This is not how the Japanese eat sushi (in fifteen minutes or less for five billion yen or more). This is how we do it. Settle down.

    I'm not here to diss sushi. I love it. No, I miss it. Not the Japanese fetishized version. The American version. I live in rural New England where the fish is always PCB-laced. Also, fried. When I go to a city, I often scope out the sushi restaurants. But I'm not kidding myself that I'm somehow eating it the way the Japanese would. I'm having dinner.

    If you want to know more about authenticity, read Trevor Corson's book, The Story of Sushi. Read everything Trevor Corson writes. But read this book now.

    Or how about this little gem? You want to know how to make the perfect soft-boiled egg? You sous-vide it for 45 minutes at 140F, peel it, pour off the crap inside, cool it, then poach it in "not quite simmering" water (despite the fact that the pan in the shot is indeed simmering). So let me get this straight: I start making a soft-boiled egg when I get up and it's ready in time for lunch?

    Have people lost their minds? Has our culture become so drunk on its own insecurities that we have to turn everything into unwarranted professionalism? Is there no room for the true amateurs? I don't mean the posers and the fakers (we've ghost-written some of their cookbooks) but the people who do it for the sheer love of doing it. The people who make dinner. The people who enjoy food. You know: me. An amateur. I didn't go to chef school. I taught myself to cook. After twenty-six cookbooks, I taught myself to cook real well. But I'm in it for the food. You?

    Want to see how the professionalism has gotten out of hand? Look at the photographs on blogs. What the hell? It's a blog and you're using a two-grand SLR, crazy-good lighting, and prop styling. The shot took you all day. Did you eat what's there? Or did you just shoot it to catch Ruth Reichl's attention? (Another spoiler alert: she's not at Gourmet anymore.)

    You're supposed to be doing this because you love it. Please calm down. Please show your love. Please don't show the insecurities. We're all insecure. Life is batshit nuts. Let's have dinner.

    Because food is enjoyable. Don't fetishize it. We're not doing it wrong. Except for the part about telling people we're doing it wrong.

    Sunday
    Jan102016

    Lyric Life, Episode 15: Wallace Stevens, "The Snowman"

    It's hard to talk about a poem like this. Hard because I've lived with it so long. If you'd like to hear my thoughts, click on the media player up top. The podcast for this particular poem is in the drop-down menu at center top of the player.

    If you'd like a copy of Stevens' work, click here.

    Wallace Stevens, "The Snowman"

     

    One must have a mind of winter 
    To regard the frost and the boughs 
    Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; 

    And have been cold a long time 
    To behold the junipers shagged with ice, 
    The spruces rough in the distant glitter 

    Of the January sun; and not to think 
    Of any misery in the sound of the wind, 
    In the sound of a few leaves, 

    Which is the sound of the land 
    Full of the same wind 
    That is blowing in the same bare place 

    For the listener, who listens in the snow, 
    And, nothing himself, beholds 
    Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.