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Jake had a lot of happy brothers when this Croissant Bread Pudding came out of the oven. He had been wanting to make this recipe all week, but with the hour-and-a-half baking time, we couldn’t seem to pull it off for dessert. We finally got to it for brunch, since it’s just croissants baked in a sweet custard. The flavor was reminiscent of my family’s sweet, vanilla-y kugel recipe, although the texture of this, baked in a water bath, was smoother and creamier.

The recipe is deceptively easy, until you get to that bain marie. I had nothing in this house other than a half sheet pan for the water bath, and it’s not like the…


This was the first real clunker…although it was chiefly due to a less-than-ripe banana. Ben scavenged the ingredients by himself at the farmer’s market, and I knew as soon as I saw green-tipped bananas come out of the bag that the result wasn’t going to be particularly scrumptious. I had planned to try to find the ripest ‘nanner on the underside of the bunch, but while I was still dicing the mango, Ben snatched probably the greenest one from the top, peeled it and dropped it into the blender, which already had all the other ingredients in it. So we whipped it up, knowing it wasn’t going to be particularly delish.

The smoothie was nice and…


What a simple, fresh salad. Jake loved learning how easy it is to work with avocados, from peeling and pitting them to dicing the creamy flesh. The key, of course, is finding perfectly ripe avocados…our first try at Citarella yielded bright green baseballs, which we wisely left at the store.

The salad is bright and lemony, with a nice textural contrast between the crunchy endive and the creamy avocados. Unfortunately, instead of serving this as a salad course, we ate it alongside lamb chops and grilled veggies. As I got into the lamb, I found the avocado way too rich. I would stick to this dish as a salad course, with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Ben,…


Part of the fun of making these recipes out here in East Hampton is that we get to use authentic local ingredients. And by authentic, I mean Eli’s Health Bread, as called for in the recipe…and smoked salmon hand-sliced by Eli Zabar himself! Ben and his minions hit the Amagansett Farmers Market (a/k/a Eli’s East) on foot to shop for these Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches, and introduced themselves to Eli, who keeps himself busy most of the summer at this great outpost at the top of our street. As the boys were trying to calculate how much salmon they’d need, Eli overheard the conversation and asked the boys what they were going to be making….


Parmesan & Thyme Crackers

Talk about high reward for no work!

These are simply savory shortbread cookies, and the six ingredients pack a really flavorful punch. My only issue was that the dough was a bit too crumbly to be able to roll into a log—twice. I’m always hesitant to add water to shortbread dough and sacrifice some of the crumbliness, but I had to scoop the bits back into the mixer twice and I ended up adding close to a tablespoon of ice-cold H2O to get the dough to even remotely stick together. Once I managed to get it into a log, though, all I had to do was refrigerate, slice and bake. Doesn’t get much easier

With their rich, cheesy, herbacious…


Growing up with a dad who makes legendary Bloodys, this was going to have to be some Bloody Mary to even hold a candle. And happily, it did!

Ina’s got you puréing celery and grating an onion to add texture, body and complexity to the base, and there’s lots of lemon, too. I even used the Sacramento tomato juice she calls for rather than V8 (the gold can of juice always reminds me of the bar at my Dad’s beach house), and I must say it makes a much fresher tasting, less salty cocktail. I love to keep a pitcher of homemade Bloody Mary mix in the fridge and add vodka when I’m ready to drink,…


What a crowd pleaser! We served this with capellini tossed with a buttered-down version of the same lemon-butter sauce and the gang really enjoyed this easy dinner. Of course with the original recipe serving four, we tripled it so we would feed the hungry troops and we’d have leftovers for lunch. It took us a little over an hour to cook all that chicken, and with the increased frying time and sauce reduction time, we estimate it would take about 22 minutes to cook the original quantity of the recipe.

I had two chefs in the kitchen today, and they worked well both together and individually. First, they pounded the chicken breasts down to about 1/4″…