Mary’s Memo – December 16th


Thanks to the Food Network and all the food websites on the internet, home cooks have expanded their horizon. When I’m working at the Bryan Chief it isn’t unusual for customers armed with recipes in hand or on their iPhone to ask where they can find an unfamiliar ingredient. These cooks, especially, will be excited about Everyday Thai Cooking (Tuttle Publishing; 2013, $24.95/hardback) by Katie Chen, a chef hailed as the “Asian Rachel Ray” by her many fans. The daughter of award-winning restaurateur Leeann Chin, Katie grew up in the kitchen. Now a respected food writer and television personality in her own right, the author is also mom to toddler twins who understands that home cooks are crunched for time as well as money, and with her easy-to-follow, tried-and-true recipes, it will become one of your favorites as well. In addition to essential tips, tools and techniques, Everyday Thai Cooking is filled with nearly one hundred recipes and gorgeous color photography highlighting every dish, so that even beginning cooks can take everyday ingredients and transform them into a sweet, sour, spicy and delicious meal to remember. From appetizers to desserts, each step-by-step recipe lists prep times (most within 30 minutes) and alternates for hard-to-find ingredients.

In One Souffle at a Time by Ann Willan with Amy Friedman (St. Martin’s Press; September 2013, $27.99/hardback) Willan writes about how a sturdy English girl from Yorkshire made it not only to the stove, but to France, and how she overcame her exceptionally closed male world of French cuisine to found and run her own school. Her story is warm and rich, funny and fragrant with smells of the country cooking of France. It’s full of creative culinary ferment of the 1970s, a decade when herbs came back to life and freshness took over, when the seeds of our modern day obsession with food and ingredients were sown. She also tells about food world greats including Julia Child, James Beard, Simone Beck, Craig Claiborne, Richard Olney and others who changed how the world eats and who made cooking fun. Tens of thousands of students have learned from Willan, not just at La Varenne, but through her large, ambitious Look & Cook book series and twenty-six PBS programs. One Souffle at a Time also includes fifty of her favorite recipes. On May 4, 2013, Anne Willan was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame for “body of work,” honoring her celebrated lifelong career as a chef, cooking teacher and author.
Everyday Thai Cooking and One Souflle at a Time are available at


If you need proof that washing your hands can help prevent the flu, here it is: The influenza virus can live on a person’s fingers for up to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the flu droplet, says a Swiss study. Although most person-to-person flu transmission tends to be airborne via respiratory droplets when people sneeze, cough or talk, you can also get the flu if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with contaminated fingers. The study illustrates the importance of good hand hygiene. Wash often with soap and water or a hand sanitizer.
Source: Duke Medicine HealthNews, December 2013.


Enjoy one savory and one sweet one. Bryan Chief shoppers gave a “thumbs up” to Glazed Carrots. Original recipe was made with 2 pounds of baby carrots but we replaced them with regular carrots cut in half inch pieces. Baby carrots are convenient but not as good tasting as the “real McCoy.”


• 2 pounds carrots, cut in half-inch pieces
• 2/3 cup water
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon butter
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Combine carrots, water, honey, butter and salt in a large skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until tender. Uncover and cook, stirring often, until the liquid is a syrupy glaze. Stir in lemon juice. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Recipe makes 8.5 cup servings.
Source: Adapted from recipe.

I replaced almond extract with pure orange extract in Crustless Cranberry Pie


• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 2 cups cranberries, washed and drained well
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
• 1/2 cup butter, melted
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1 teaspoon pure orange extract

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9-inch pie plate. Combine flour, sugar and salt. Stir in cranberries and walnuts and toss to coat. Stir in butter, eggs and orange extract. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm with a small scoop of ice cream. Recipe makes 8 servings.
Source: Adapted from recipe.

Download PDF

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *