I was first introduced to quark in Germany. This fresh cheese is a tasty part of a good, old-fashioned breakfast. But it can be found in many other countries from Northern Europe to the Middle East.

It’s similar to the French fromage blanc or the Spanish queso fresco. This fresh cheese with a little honey and maybe a few roasted hazelnuts is one of my all time favorite desserts.

Homemade quark will be served as part of dessert for the December supper club.

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Curds separating from the whey in the process of making quark

Curds separating from the whey in the process of making quark

The quark emerges from the cheesecloth

Straining through the cheesecloth to remove the whey

December 5 Dinner with Daniel: cocido

Probably one of those meals that came about from using what ever was available, “cocido de garbanzos” or “cocido madrileño” (garbanzo bean stew) is a classic of Spanish cuisine. The recipe flies in the face of a commonly accepted standard of French cuisine by
including pork, beef, and chicken in the same stock. Nevertheless, it is my favorite.

This dinner on Saturday, December 5, 2015 will feature cocido de garbanzos along with a few traditional and not so traditional tapas.


Escalivada con pulpo (fire roasted veggies and octopus)
Sardine torrija
Charcuterie plate
Wild mushroom croquetas
Fideo soup
Cocido de garbanzos
Quince and pomegranate with quark mousse

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This classic Spanish garbanzo bean stew begins with a stock made from pork, beef, and chicken

“cocido de garbanzos” or “cocido madrileño” (garbanzo bean stew) is a Spanish classic that begins with a stock made from pork, beef, and chicken

saffron harvest


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I was pretty excited to come home and see one of my saffron crocuses blooming last week! These flowers were a gift from a friend, Mary Dyer, who then lived in Charlottesville. She gave these flower bulbs to me–a Spaniard … Continue reading

sweet and savory citrus cooking class


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November Dinner with Daniel

There’s no one way to use or enjoy an ingredient. And in the same way, a meal can take on many different formats. Many different styles and approaches, but all bring people together and create conversation. At a minimum, you have a great meal; ideally, you make new friends and have an evening to remember. I have been able to put together some great dinners (if I do say so myself), and no two have been alike.

With this in mind, I’m taking the November dinner in a new direction. We will all prepare the meal together. So, if you would like to share a little cooking time and a meal, come join us!


citrus and kalamata salad
carrot vichyssoise
monkfish stew
pork loin with oranges

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a few more photos from the Brazilian dinner


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Here are a few more photos from one of our guests at the Brazilian dinner on Saturday, October 10, 2015. Thanks, Eve! Continue reading

a little samba music, some beans and rice…


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Thanks to Keyla Nogueira Cook for bringing a little Brazil to Pittsburgh! Continue reading

October 10 Dinner with Daniel features Brazilian menu

Keyla Nogueira Cook

São Paulo native Keyla Nogueira Cook will prepare the Brazilian classic feijoada at the next Dinner with Daniel on Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette calls her “a newsmaker you should know” for her work to preserve and promote Latino heritage and culture. For the next Dinner with Daniel on October 10, Keyla Nogueira Cook will visit my kitchen so we can cook for you. The menu features feijoada, a classic of Brazilian cuisine. Eric Ripert has said that what paella is to Spain, feijoada is to Brazil: a traditional dish that has come to represent a whole country. Now that the weather’s turning a little cooler, Keyla’s going to bring a little Brazil to Pittsburgh. Join us!

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Saturday, October 10, 2015
6:30 p.m.


bobó de camarão
feijoada (family style) rice, greens, farofa, oranges


Daniel explains, “What’s a supper club?

new season, new flavors

How was your Labor Day?

We’re going to kick off a new season of Dinner with Daniel in October with South American flavor. I’ll be cooking with a Brazilian guest chef to prepare feijoada, a favorite traditional Brazilian dish.

Drop me a line if you’re interested. We’re in the process of scheduling a date in October. Stay tuned!

home and garden


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These photos capture my garden in summer, a busy season of new discoveries, new questions, and new rewards. Continue reading