Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Erin Sarah Insler

Erin Sarah Insler

PREP TIME: 6 years 6 months
COOK TIME: 41 weeks

For those familiar with the blog, the format of the recipes is straight-forward.  There are the introductory remarks, followed by the “What to Grab” and “How You Do It” sections. These sections are at once straight-forward, but also infinitely complex.  A recipe for apple pie, for instance, will have only so many ingredients, and those ingredients – apples, flour, butter, sugar, cinnamon, cloves – will vary only so slightly, if at all, from any other apple pie recipe.  But in the construction, the creation of that pie, there are an infinite number of combinations, variations, and subtleties, such that any given recipe may stand out from its predecessor.

So, too, of course with a child.  The basic format is a matter of biology, common to almost all living organisms.  And then again it isn’t.

On April 12, 2016, Caitlin and I welcomed Erin Continue reading


Garlic Free Pesto

Garlic can be — to put it mildly — a little strong.  There’s a reason that it’s used to ward off vampires.

And if you ask Caitlin, garlic seems to have a particular staying power with me.  I can come home around 9:00, some eight hours after having eaten lunch, and Caitlin will come up to me, and draw back, before demanding, “What did you eat that had garlic in it?”

To avoid those moments of recoil, Continue reading

Homemade Candied Ginger

When Caitlin is out of town, I find myself thinking of fun things to make for her, to welcome her back.  These are, more often than not, sweets.  This time, I wanted to do something different.

Early in our relationship, I had flown up to Washington, D.C. to spend the July 4th holiday with Caitlin.  We had gone to the National Mall for the concert, featuring Barry Manilow, Aretha Franklin, and a host of other performers.  We had gone to a Nationals game Continue reading

Almond and Sugar Powder

This powder can be found in many European cookies.  As a result, you may want to make it in a large batch.  It can easily be stored for up to one month in an airtight container at room Continue reading

Remembering what the Storm Washed Away

This is not a food post.  Just this once, I’ve decided to stray from the general theme of the blog.

This past Sunday marked the Fifth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall near the city of New Orleans.  A few days before the anniversary, I sat down at my computer, and wrote out my thoughts on the subject.  On a whim, I decided to submit the essay to several newspapers and magazines around the country.  This past Sunday, the essay appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer.  You can also read it in my alumni magazine.

I was so excited about its publication, that I wanted to share the article with my readers.  You can click here for a link to the article as it appeared in the Enquirer, or simply read it below. Continue reading

Hand-Dyed Eggs

One of the things I most admire about man, is his ability to create art – his penchant for creativity.  Art is, of course, a loose term, as anyone who has visited a modern gallery knows.  One man’s junk will always be another man’s treasure.  A piece of art will always be undervalued to one and overpriced to another.  But that’s not really the point, at least as I see it.

For me, the point is to discover what I consider to be art, to stumble upon a work and to declare it, by my fiat alone, some thing of genius.  In the world of architecture, I throw that label on Santiago Calatrava, whose sweeping shapes and arcs on the Milwaukee Art Museum take the viewer from one work of art into another.

In the world of literature, I favor From Paris to the Moon, a work of non-fiction that captures Continue reading

Tzatziki Sauce

This yogurt and cucumber sauce is a staple of Mediterranean cuisine.  It can be served with pita bread, as an appetizer, or accompany falafel or meat, as part of hearty meal.  To reduce the water content, tzatziki sauce is traditionally made with strained yogurt.  Fortunately, most grocery stores now sell Greek-style yogurt, which is already strained, meaning you can prepare homemade tzatziki sauce Continue reading