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Spring always seems to be a time of transition. We move from hibernation and stasis into expansiveness and rapid-fire change. At least, that's always how it seems to work in my own life. I enjoy the hunkering down of winter. It gives me time to take stock, do some planning, and pull out the sewing machine for a creative burst or two.

It's hard to believe 4 months have passed since our last post! Rest assured, Megan and I are alive, well, and not on permanent vacation. In fact, we've been hard at work on--wait for it--the next edition of the book! Since it's just the two of us right now (with help from a few willing testers and sharp readers) this website has fallen into disrepair.

This week I've been on something of a media fast, as much as one can be these days. I know it must seem irresponsible of me. It must appear that I have thrown up my hands; that I have buried my head in the sand; that I have stuck my fingers in my ears and chanted "nah-nah-nah-nah-nah." But I stand by it. Staying away from the drama of politics right now is keeping me relatively zen.

This one's kind of a no-brainer: adding chocolate to chess pie filling is absolutely delicious. Rarely does a dessert with such a down-home rep as chess pie feel elegant and refined. For whatever reason, this pie effortlessly conjures up those adjectives with its satisfying texture, which reminds us of a pleasantly-dense chocolate pudding or chocolate custard.

Thanksgiving is over a month away. Chill out, y'all.

There’s a lot of fuss in the food and wine community about flavor pairings, and even a “science” to it, if you feel like you need a scientific reason for something to taste good. Those of us who love cooking for the sake of cooking and eating because we need to do it anyway so it might as well taste good, the amount of attention given to flavor pairings can seem a little silly.

One of the aspects of cooking that I like the best is the challenge of using everything. Much is made of chefs who turn radish tops into elegant appetizers or make pickles out of chard stems. But really, any chef worth her salt is always looking for ways to prevent food waste. Any food that comes in the door was paid for. Any food that is thrown away is like throwing cash into the garbage.

I'll be the first to admit to having mixed feelings about late summer. On the one hand, hot weather is my nemesis. Anything above 90 degrees turns me into a wilted lettuce leaf. On the other hand, late summer is a glorious time of long days, superb golden light, and ripe, ripe tomatoes and peaches.


Our love affair with Oregon berries continues!


Joy of Cooking App for iPad and iPhone

After three years of collaborative effort with our friends at Culinate and Scribner, it is our pleasure to introduce the Joy of Cooking for iPad and iPhone! Please check out this full-featured, digital version of the 2006 edition. In addition to the recipes and indispensable reference information our readers know and love, the app has many features that are brand new to JOY:

  • Built-in recipe timers (you can have multiple timers going simultaneously)
  • Search for and filter recipes by key word, ingredient, cuisine, season, technique, diet, and more
  • Create shopping lists from within the app
  • Convert any recipe to metric automatically
  • Give voice commands or have recipe steps spoken to you
  • Create menus in the app
  • Share recipes from within the app
  • Color photography

Truly a JOY for the 21st century! Download by directing your browser to Don't forget to review the app!