Our brand-new Instant Pot Book

We've written THE Bible for every model of Instant Pot. Yep. Every. Model. Including the new Max machines. The recipes are written so that you can use whatever buttons you've got. They're written so about a third of them can be used with EITHER the pressure cooker or the slow cooker mode. They are 350 of them--including some of the most innovative "road map" recipes you've ever seen. And the book is priced to sell. Check. It. Out. Here. (Or by clicking the cover of the book for a link.)

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.



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. Click here.

We're so proud of our pressure-cooker class, one of the most popular classes on craftsy. 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.


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


Barnes and Noble

or independent booksellers.

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


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'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.


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.


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:



independent booksellers

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    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.


    Lyric Life, Episode 3: Kay Ryan, "The Niagara River"

    I'm such a fan of this poem, as I'm sure you can tell from the podcast--which you can listen to on the iTunes platform here--or click the link at the bottom of the page to have the feed open up in your browser.


    "The Niagara River"

    As though

    the river were

    a floor, we position

    our table and chairs

    upon it, eat, and

    have conversation.

    As it moves along,

    we notice--as

    calmly as though

    dining room paintings

    were being replaced--

    the changing scenes

    along the shore. We

    do know, we do

    know this is the

    Niagara River, but

    it is hard to remember

    what that means.



    I can't recommend Ryan's work enough. If you'd like a copy of the book from which this poem comes, click this link.


    Kay Ryan's "The Niagara River"


    Lyric Life, Episode 2: Emily Dickinson's Poem 1263

    It's the first poem on my own podcast. Check it out here to see the podcasts on the iTunes site or look below for a direct link to open the podcast in your browser.

    But for now, here's the poem:



    Tell all the truth but tell it slant --

    Success in Circuit lies

    Too bright for our infirm Delight

    The Truth's superb surprise

    As Lightning to the Children eased

    With explanation kind

    The Truth must dazzle gradually

    Or every man be blind --



    For more Dickinson poems, consider a copy of her complete works, available at this link.

    Dickinson's Poem 1263


    On Not Playing The Game

    A few weeks ago, we were enjoying a long, lovely dinner with a fellow food friend. After a couple of courses and a couple more glasses of wine, she launched into a story about a session at IACP earlier this year, the annual conference for food writers, chefs,  publicists, and just about everyone else in the our business. The presenters, two first-time authors, told the assembled room that every aspiring or published writer had to be on various social media outlets at least four hours a day, preferably more. It’s your job, the presenters urged.

    I beg to disagree. I’m a writer. My job is to write. Bruce is a chef. His job is to cook. Together, we craft books and food articles. And we have never played the game.

    Remember that kid in school who read a book while everyone else was out at the playground. Remember him? I’m waving at you.

    We haven’t been members of any professional organization in years. (Thus, we weren’t at that conference.) We don’t race off to restaurant openings. We get invited to all sorts of events—and never go. We rarely sit on panels. Mostly, I just can’t imagine why a room full of people would want to hear the sound of my voice.

    I try to tweet a few times a week—when I’m not under deadlines. Which is all the time. I check in on facebook a few times a day. But I don’t engage in long chats or endless strings of links.

    Listen, I’m friendly. Come over anytime! Except when I’m practicing my craft. That is, writing. That happens from about nine to four thirty. Every day of the week.

    Dancers dance. Actors act. Painters paint. And writers write. They don’t facebook. Or tweet. Or let me rephrase that more gently: they don’t park themselves on twitter all day. Instead, they work at their craft. If instead they’re tweeting like mad dogs and facebooking every hangnail, I’d like to suggest that their creative career is a passing fancy. Their true love lies elsewhere—specially, in this (postpostpost)modern world of connectivity where the pleasure centers in our brains are easily stimulated by recurrent likes and retweets. It’s a classic reward loop. But it’s not your craft.

    Yes, connecting is important. But too many mistake networking for the crft itself—and so become one-hit wonders. You know, like that actress in a hit movie who goes on all the talk shows, does every bit of publicity she can manage, and doesn’t have time to refresh her skills—and so becomes what’s-her-name by this time next year.

    When the economic downturn hit (I’m old enough to ask, which one?), Bruce and I made a conscious decision to put our heads down and work. We did not wring our hands (much). We did not despair (much). Instead, we wrote books. We wrote articles. We wrote things that were never published. We got heaps of rejections. But we worked harder, over and over and over again.

    That’s how concert pianists succeed: the same piece rehearsed and played over and over and over again. That’s how actors perfect their craft: audition after audition, followed by rehearsal after rehearsal. If you want to be a writer, write. There’s no other way to say it. That’s the passion of the craft. If you’re fortunate enough to get a book contract, write some more. If you’re looking for a way out of your current dilemmas, write. Or act. Or dance. Or paint. Or sing. Craft is the content of the business. Not twitter. Not facebook. And not glad-handing. The game isn’t the craft. Are Philip Roth or Lorrie Moore tweeting much these days? I thought not.


    Shut Up About The Turkey Already!

    Possible portrait of you, now.It’s that wonderful time of year when perfectly normal people go bat-shit insane. All because of one meal.

    Too bad. Thanksgiving is our one, true, national holiday. You don’t have to be part of any one religion. You don’t even have to be religious. You just have to be American: newly arrived, second generation, or DAR material.

    Most of us cook a turkey. Call it a chicken with a tendon problem. Apparently, it’s the locus of this mass hysteria. But not the cause. The disease has been induced by my kind. By American food writers.

    I can’t take it anymore. I’ve given up looking at newspapers, magazines, blogs, or even twitter feeds that mention Thanksgiving. (Yes, including some bits that Bruce and I wrote.) That turkey anxiety soon creeps into everything else. Please don’t tell me the secret to making the best stuffing ever. (It is not chestnut flour. I do not care what you think.) For the love of all that’s holy, don’t give me a list of the ten things I must do by Wednesday afternoon. I don’t want to know how to sous-vide Brussels sprouts. I’m not "going with dry sherry instead of wine." I'm not making pumpkin peanut butter chocolate chip bar cookies. (Ever.)

    Good grief, a turkey is the easiest thing to cook. You shove it in the oven. In fact, you can shove it in the oven frozen. (Bruce explains how here.) It roasts, you time it out, and you eat it. Ta. Frickin’. Da.

    I’ve got a hunch the real problem is how easy the thing is to make. It’s why so many of us food writers have to make it so complicated. I saw a turkey recipe the other day that had fourteen steps. Fourteen. Is that even possible? It involved starting two days in advance with a brine, then an air chill, then rubbing the bird with whatnot, roasting it upside down (?!?!) at one temperature, turning it over, dropping the oven temperature, increasing the temperature a little later on, then massaging some mess onto the skin, and OH MY GOD I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING THIS IS HOW YOU RUIN A PERFECTLY NICE HOLIDAY THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS I TOLD YOU TO GO WATCH THE PARADE AND STOP BOTHERING ME.

    You think it can't get worse? How about those annual articles that encourage us to practice? Practice. We’re still talking about sweet potatoes, right? And a green salad? Okay, it’s got persimmon wedges or pomegranate seeds or some such shit in it. But honestly, a salad. If you need to practice a salad, you need to back up and take a long look at your life. Seems to me you’ve overthought, overplanned, and overworked this thing. It’s a meal with friends and family. It’ll be over in an hour. You’ll be bloated. It’s not peace in Mali.

    If you want some great tips on how to make a perfect bird, check out this video. (I like this lady. She's insane. But in a good way.) Otherwise, read the instructions on the package. Have a glass of wine and mute the legions of food writers. Also, simplify your meal. Buy the rolls. Roast a turkey without brining it. If you’re focused on the food and not on your family, you’re doing it wrong.

    See, it was a real thing.Get out of the kitchen, sit down in the living room, and listen to your loved ones. Hear their stories. Yes, your great aunt has told you a million times she won the Miss Atomic Blast contest in 1956. Listen again. There will come a day when she won't be around. You'll miss that story. In fact, you'll tell it because you miss it. And her. You'll miss her.

    Embrace your loved ones' joys. Honor their pain. Be thankful for what you've got. Thanksgiving is the one thing we as a nation do together. Let’s not muck it up with another national excuse to feel inferior. If the turkey’s dry, there's gravy. If it's really dry, there's gravy and cranberry sauce. If the bird's not cooked through, put it back in the oven and pour another round of wine. If the pie burns, have a carton of ice cream on hand. Otherwise, take a deep breath and settle in. The food's not the point. You heard it first from a food writer.


    Traveling with Friends

    As you may know, I haven’t been a fan of social media. (For more on that, click here.) All this crowd-sourcing, this electronic interaction--it's a stage for narcissism. “Look at what I made.” “Look at what I ate.” “My life’s better than yours.” Or “my life’s worse.”

    I post on facebook, mostly because my publishers insist on it. I refuse pinterest. I can't fathom google+. And I don’t tweet much. I don’t want my experiences reduced to a hashtag. #bestdinnerofmylife. #sickofbeingsick. Or the ultimate insanity: #iloveyou.

    Then we went to Italy for two and a half weeks: Venice, Florence, and Siena. They say Stendhal passed out from all the cultural treasures. I’ve always accused him of daft drama. I hadn’t been in twenty-five years. I didn’t pass out. But I, too, changed.

    I’ve always fallen on the Gallic side of the France/Italy split. I like French culture, French food, and best of all, the French countryside, particularly down south in the Vaucluse. As a committed introvert, I like the way the French are often silent, rather than talkative. I like the way they don’t feel the need to smile at strangers. Heck, I even like Parisians. I love grammar. I love that it’s a national sport. And I’m not embarrassed to be wrong. I once had a French woman stick her finger in my mouth, not to provoke anything nefarious, but to help me pronounce “poivre” to her liking. She wanted to hold down my tongue. You gotta love that chutzpah. (Which is a word she couldn’t pronounce if she tried.)

    I've always found most Italians too brash, too loud: “too much of a muchness,” to quote Lewis Carroll. I quoted Julia Child regularly: “Anyone can make a plate of pasta but it takes a skilled chef to put out a fine, French meal.”

    Not any more. Maybe it’s because I lived in Manhattan for a decade and got fully bored with ennui. Maybe it’s because I grew up and learned to stand on my own two feet, mostly to brawl in conversation. Maybe it’s my current penchant for Italian wine. Something snapped—and I now find myself on the other side of the divide.

    Click to read more ...