Hunan Glazed...

This dish is dedicated to my grandfather Yeh Yeh, who came from Hunan, where spicy dishes rule. He made his own sambal with chiles he grew in his Dayton, Ohio garden. As a kid I would try to outdo him in the how-hot-can-you-take-it eating department – let’s just say that I did my very best. This great eggplant medley touches all the Hunanese flavor bases – it’s savory, sweet and tart as well as spicy and satisfies non-meat eaters and carnivores equally.

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Pumpkin Muffins

Sometimes, you just want a muffin. I remember growing up on Long Island, I would beg my mom to take me to the neighborhood deli so I could get a “fat free” muffin the size of my head. What? They were “healthy”! Suuure. Well, I now know better (and you do too!) so I created this truly healthy recipe for any kind of muffin or cupcake craving. I suggest making a big batch of them, storing them in the freezer, and then thawing as needed. Just take them out the night before you plan on eating ’em. If you have the time, cut your muffin in half, butter it up, and toast it on a skillet.

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Simple Croissants

Croissants may well be the most recognizable French pastry. I definitely couldn’t write a book on French baking and not include them. I did, however, want to see if it is possible to bake a croissant at home that is both delicious, and yet uses an easier, quicker method than the traditional one. What I have come up with is like a rough puff pastry with added yeast, which results in a wonderful homemade croissant. It is also a very useful dough to have in your repertoire—it can be used to make all kinds of Danish pastries as well as the wonderful Kouign Amann.

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