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Alice Waters

Forget Pie. You’ll Want to Make These Thanksgiving Alternatives from Violet Cakes Bakery

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This may sound like sacrilege, but on Thanksgiving I don’t do pie. That doesn’t mean we don’t have pie; a fantastic local farm kitchen fills that need, but I don’t bake pies. Ever. While I do terrific fillings, the alchemy that results in a tender, flaky crust has always eluded me. Instead, I prefer to tempt guests to save a little room with a dessert they don’t expect. To dazzle them, this year I’m turning to The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak (Ten Speed Press; September 29, 2015). One of the things I love about Ptak’s recipes is her emphasis on flavor over appearance and her judicious use of refined sugar and flour. Like everyone else, my family includes…

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Dana Cowin calls on top chefs for help in Mastering My Mistakes

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Some years ago, when I edited the food pages of a daily newspaper, we asked readers to tell us about their worst mistakes in the kitchen. One woman recalled making her first chicken soup. When the steaming, fragrant soup was ready, all that remained was straining the broth. She picked up the hot pot, carefully poured the contents into a colander in the sink that she had prepared beforehand, and watched the golden broth as it flowed. . . down the drain. She had forgotten to put a bowl under the colander. Oops. Kitchen mistakes. We’ve all made them. And we all live through them somehow, even if survival entails a quick drive to the local pizza place. Or a…

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