Just a little something I whipped up for teachers’ appreciation week at my son’s school…Let me know what you think!

Pastry chef Roy Shvartzapel layers roasted fresh apricots atop basil custard to make a gorgeous tart. The tender crust is extraordinary: Combining hard-boiled egg yolk and potato starch, it’s based on a classic dough that he learned from Paris pastry genius Pierre Hermé.

Alas, after a couple of years in storage under the stove top cabinet and a few more months stored in a moving box, I FINALLY got around to using the pizza stone…and I can definitely vouch that it made for an honestly good pizza crust. Thus, from this day forward it shall be with pizza stone!

I cannot begin to tell you how much I adore A Country Cook’s Kitchen cookbook!  The author has done a tremendous job putting together timeless, rustic recipes from making artisanal breads, farm-house-style cheeses, preserving vegetables, curing meats, churning your own butter and soft cheese, baking cakes, pastries and biscuits…not too mention the page-turning arrays of heirloom, artisanal and organic food photography.  I am not a sponsor of this cookbook, nor any of the others I might have mentioned or will mention in the future–to make that clear, but my rule of thumb is, if I find something worth sharing…word of mouth is truly the key to do so.  Pay it forward, right?

Onward, one of the culinary skills I am trying to hone into is bread making, thus, whenever I post something on Instagram with regards to making bread, I immediately title it Bread-Making 101 because I am at the novice stage of baking.  You can only imagine the excitement I feel after peaking through the lit oven door and watching the development of the dough as it swells and rise before my eyes!  It was beyond exhilarating…