I'm a big admirer of Thomas Keller and everything that he has created. He is so innovative and amazing so I think it's funny that one of his favorite desserts is a good old fashioned pineapple upside down cake. Of course, his version uses a fresh pineapple and dark rum but it's still a great classic dessert. You can also use almost any other kind of fruit in this recipe instead of pineapple. The recipe starts out with making what he calls a "pan schmear" - a combination of brown sugar and butter with other flavorings - that is spread on the bottom of the pan. The recipe will make more than you need, but it's difficult to make a small amount.
If you've ever tasted pesto in Italy you know that the pesto here in the United States just isn't the same. I received a lesson in how to make pesto from a real Italian grandmother last week and now I understand the difference and what makes it so. My friend Francesca makes the trip from her small town near the pesto-epicenter of Genoa, Italy to San Francisco once or twice a year - this time (lucky for us) she brought her mom and two-year old son Mattia.
Chicken Florentine Casserole Recipe