Cook Spotlight

boulangere

By • May 16, 2011 • 115 Comments

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One anticipates elegant simplicity from a cook with a French name that translates to an essential aspect of quotidian life: "baker." And, like the starter of a great loaf of bread, boulangere has a knack for consistently producing delicious and delightful boulangerie: Put Some Spring in Your Bread; Cream Scones, Sweet or Savory; Power Bread ... there you have it.

Nevertheless, this Montana-based culinary veteran (a chef and caterer -- she's a pro) is no stranger to the worlds of savory and unleavened. In fact, twisting a classic or two has led her to some real home-cooked brilliance (and her winningest recipes): her Cappuccino Cheesecake, a salute to coffee and the vintage dessert, is divine, unexpectedly nuanced and subtle. Her Winter Spring Summer Fall Chicken Mousse reinterprets sophisticated French technique for, literally, year-round cooking.

Perhaps most of all, we love boulangere's narrative recipe-naming style: obviously, the simple recipe of egg, tomato, herbs, and cream that she entered in this week's contest for Your Best Dirt Cheap Dinner should be called Use the Good China Eggs, Homage to Richard Olney. Then there's My Sister's Famous (well we love it) Tartar Sauce -- nothing like a little honesty and a teaser that makes you want to give the dish a shot. We do and have yet to be disappointed!

See boulangere's profile page and fan her here.

Read her profile Q&A below:

  • What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
    Lima beans - my mother terrorized us with them. They were like eating cooked chalk.

  • What do you cook when home alone?
    I could eat pasta every night, but I'll also put anything I can get my hands on into or on top of bread

  • Your most treasured kitchen possession:
    A good sharp knife

  • Your ideal meal:
    One eaten with a good book and without a cat on the table

  • Something you'd like a chance to eat or cook:
    I'd love to learn to roll sushi

  • The number of bottles of wine you own:
    Usually 3 at a time

  • The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is:
    6

  • Kitchen pet peeve:
    I'm working on being generally less peeved. It's a work in progress.

  • Your favorite cookbook:
    With spring on the horizon, I'm spending time with The Herbal Kitchen by Jerry Traunfeld, very smart, gentle guy with an exquisite palate.

 

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Comments (115)

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

boulangere, you only joined us about 3 months ago--is that right?--but I remember thinking when you posted your first recipe, that woman is a FORCE. That you're also fun, funny and generous has been to the greater good for all of us in this amazing community. It's so nice to see you in the spotlight, and I only wish I were close enough geographically to consider coming to one of your classes...I'd be there in a heartbeat.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

If I were closer, you'd be my optometrist in a heartbeat, and hardlikearmor would be my veterinarian. Yes, I joined recently, but had kept an eye on this amazing site for a few months before signing on. You are SO kind and emblematic of all that is kind and generous about food52. Thank you so much. And if you can't have fun with food and laugh at yourself, well, . . . . .

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

And thank heaven I'd had my roots recently done.

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I wish I lived in Montana I would be in your class, but food 52 is the next best thing you liberally dispense knowledge and bolster our confidence. Thank you.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I wish you lived in Montana, too! That way we could cook together. If one day there is a Pulitzer Prize for websites and if I were a betting woman, my money would be on food52. What it does for all of us is nearly unquantifiable.

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

A day in the kitchen with you would be such a learning experience.
I agree Food 52 is the best. Its such a tremendous outlet for those just starting to dabble in the culinary arts and the experienced cook/chef. I'm with you if they handed out pulitzers I would vote for food52.

Johnart

over 3 years ago RIPNGUITAR

Your knowledge, taste and flare for the art of cooking are impeccable. It's awesome to watch you in the kitchen. I'm inspired by your wisdom, enthusiasm and determination. As a Teacher, You fill me with the desire to succeed. The Knowledge and the skills you instilled into me, My mind reels at the possibilities. I thank You.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

As you are all a constant source of inspiration and admiration to me.

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over 3 years ago lmayb6

Thank you for being such an inspiration. It is an honor to be in your class and learn from you on a daily basis, congrats on a much deserving spotlight.:)

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much. It is I who is blessed to teach you.

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over 3 years ago Waverly

Love seeing you at work decorating what I know has to be a delicious cake - so nice to see you in the spotlight!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, thank you!

Monkeys

over 3 years ago monkeymom

boulangere, you've blown me away with some of your foodpickle answers. I've learned so much through them! Thanks so much for taking all the time to share your knowledge!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You're making me blush! Thank you so much!

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over 3 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Great to 'learn' more about you, boulangere!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you very much.

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over 3 years ago Daphne

Such fun getting to know you here, boulangere! can't wait to try your recipes when we get our kitchen put back together! Thank you for all your clever contributions!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much - and how is your kitchen coming along?

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over 3 years ago Daphne

It's coming along... all the suggestions from the replies on foodpickle have been so helpful. Our twenty somethings have weighed in from a distance too. " Mom, keep it simple, all you need is fire" and " Lets look at flea markets for old cupboards, cabinets and hardware, instead of ordering all the manufactured new stuff" Meanwhile, we put down some plywood on top of the subfloor, pulled in a pastry table to the center of the room to sit around and we're happy campers using the outside barbeque, rain or shine!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Necessity is . . . . sounds very intimate. I love the all you need is fire!

Me

over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I'm so happy to see you spotlighted here!! I love your recipes and always look forward to seeing what you're cooking each week. Keep 'em coming!!!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You are so very kind!

Lorigoldsby

over 3 years ago lorigoldsby

Congrats on the spotlight article! Very well deserved. You are an inspiration to all of us food52 readers. I love your food pickle contributions almost as much as your yummy recipes...but I really appreciate the encouragement and enthusiasm you provide. Keep it coming!!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Food52 inspires us all.

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over 3 years ago lapadia

@lorigoldsby - just want to mention that I love that profile photo with your new BF Martha! :)

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Definitely one for the scrapbook - its cover!

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over 3 years ago Brokenfoodie

Well Deserved my friend! What's the best about you? Your sense of humor radiates throughout your kitchen and creations. Congratulations!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'll be seeing you this afternoon, missy.

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over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

YAY Boulangere! Such a well deserved spotlight. Wishing I were in Montana or the PNW too, for a meet-up feed-up ... lacking that I certainly do love your recipes, headnotes, comments, Pickles, and everything!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, thank you! Speaking of pickles, those onions of your are freaking amazing.

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over 3 years ago ChefMommy

Congrats!! This is amazing!!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm certainly amazed.

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over 3 years ago betteirene

Forgot this part. . .sorry. Congratulations! Woohoo!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Too much!

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over 3 years ago betteirene

Me too, me too!. . .and there's more of us around the Sound: Syronai, lapadia, ChefDaddy, Abra Bennett, hardlikearmour is nearby (Portland)--Yes, let's do something!.

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over 3 years ago lapadia

If the time is right for me, I'm up for it!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

How great is that!

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over 3 years ago cookinginvictoria

Yay, boulangere! So happy to see you in the spotlight. It is so well-deserved. You are such a great and generous presence on food52. I love your wise and witty responses on food pickle. And your imaginative and delicious-sounding recipes always make me hungry. I would so love to take one of your cooking classes. I'm not sure if I could swing it, but it would be so great if a PNW meet-up could be arranged. (Did I see Seattle mentioned below?) How awesome it would be to meet some of the talented and wonderful food52 cooks who live in this neck of the woods (figuratively speaking!). Please keep me posted on the plans!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Ditto!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

It's a promise!

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over 3 years ago kmartinelli

Great, much deserved spotlight! Your recipes are always an inspiration.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You are very kind.

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over 3 years ago thirschfeld

It is so wonderful to see you in the spotlight and so great of you to share your wonderful recipes with all of us. It is a wonderful community and we are lucky to have you as part of it.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

thirschfeld, you have no idea what your affirmation means. I am the fortunate one to be among you. I and the 3 cats milling around the keyboard, expecting dinner.

Me

over 3 years ago wssmom

Woohoo!! So much fun! Top to bottom, boulangere ROCKS! Great spotlight!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Let's raise a glass!

Buddhacat

over 3 years ago SKK

Boulangere, what class are you teaching? I want to register!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You live in Seattle, right? Well, I'm thinking we need to arrange a meetup this fall (September?) and cook together. Are you in?

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Alternatively, come to Montana, stay in my house, and we'll cook together.

Buddhacat

over 3 years ago SKK

Would love to come stay with you and learn from, prep for, cook with you! And I live in Seattle. And would come to a meet-up. Whoopee - having it all. Yes, I live in Seattle with family in northern Idaho and Montana.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh we are so on! Seattle, yes! Where in Montana and Idaho do you have family? I'm sensing some seriously great food and friends and stories here.

Buddhacat

over 3 years ago SKK

I have family in White Bird, ID and Helena MT - also had a place on Big Mountain. Defintely stories and sources of seasonal great food. A lot of history. Many moons ago (like that term better than years) would haul peaches over the LoLo and sell them in Missouia right off the truck.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Oh man, I want to come too, even though I don't live even remotely close by!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Aw, me too! I'm definitely not close, but the PNW is as close to me as anywhere else...

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over 3 years ago BlueKaleRoad

Congratulations, boulangere! And I live in Seattle, too, so would love to join a meet up and cook.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

We've got some serious planning to do.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

LOVE your photo, BlueKaleRoad!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm giving a lot of open to the public one-day classes in August, and I would LOVE for any food52ers who want to come to Montana to come and stay with me, and help me teach some very fun classes. I'll be working on them this weekend and will post them to anyone interested. Leave your interest here, and we'll be talking. Tease, tease: I'm very close to Yellowstone Park. Field trips can be arranged.

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over 3 years ago phyllis

I love reading your recipes. Congratulations, boulangere.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

So envy you that stove. Where in NJ are your? My family lived for a few years in Hopewell, near Princeton. Thank you so much!

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over 3 years ago phyllis

It's a fabulous stove!!! I live in Westfield, NJ. It's about 45 minutes from the Hopewell/Princeton area. I love your homework assignment for your students. I've not been successful trying to teach people how to build a taste palate (just friends and family). Does it work for your students?

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh my gosh, you should have been in the room when we were discussing/voting this afternoon! I won't tell you (all) which recipe we ultimately voted for, though they were all encouraged to cast their own votes based strictly on discussion of the flavor profiles of each. This is such fun!

I have a nephew in Seattle who I suspect would love to have us all invade their kitchen and cook for them this fall. Cannot wait, my friends!

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over 3 years ago sarah k.

It's about time! A person with so much knowledge, accompanied by a large dollop of grace, boulangere is certainly someone I wish to emulate. Also, I kinda wish she were my BFF.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, if only we could BFF others here! Sarah k. you are always such a darling hoot. Seriously, though, I use the site as a teaching tool. My students' homework assignment over the weekend was to (a) establish food52 user names, and (b) read both recipes in the finals this week. Today we discussed both recipes based on what I hoped was a sense of palate developed to where they could read a recipe and build a taste palate in their minds - come on, we're in Montana, people; this was such a challenge. And then each one had to post a comment based on that evaluation and be prepared to defend their votes in class. We posted a group vote, and then each posted their own votes. Tomorrow in class we're preparing the EP recipe I signed up to test, and I can guarantee you that most will never have tasted calamari in any form. OMG, I love this site!

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Would love to take your class! So many great recipes, so many great foodpickle answers, so many great comments! Glad to see you in the spotlight.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Let me know when you're in the neighborhood!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

healthierkitchen, just read your profile. OMG, love the "excellent question." I feel that way myself often. And smelt! I lived in Minnesota for 4 of the coldest/hottest years of my life during graduate school (but left with the bonus of a husband), and you just haven't experienced abundance until you've experienced smelt. Do you agree?

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Haha, oh I love Minnesota. My best friend and I once dissected smelt as a birthday party activity when we were little in Minnesota. And then ate some!

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Just bought four sardines to experiment with today so I guess I'm coming around from that experience!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Yay, boulangere. So nice to see you in the spotlight! It has been wonderful to get to know you better.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much for your sweet voicemail. I'm glad you came out on the fresh side of graduation season, and I look forward to talking next weekend.

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over 3 years ago pauljoseph

Congratulations on the spotlight boulangere!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much pauljoseph. Making your semolina cakes tomorrow.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

What is so wonderful about food52 is that we're all community cooks, home cooks, all feeding someone besides ourselves, all facing challenges of many sorts, and here is this warm, generous, friendly, un-snooty, generous, humorous (remember the how to burn bread video? and the fireballs of peas! I about fell out of my chair reading that one), deeply wise, and have I mentioned generous? community. It is an online community like no other. It's also the only online community I belong to, and that is because for me at least, it satisfies and pleases on so many levels. Amanda and Merrill and their staff of resident geniuses have created a wonderful thing here. I wish there were a way to somehow quantify the collective wisdom and experience shared here (what do you say, Peter? maybe dust off an algorithm or two and see what falls out). I can't even think of an analogy of what it might fill, or sink, or lift. I am so lucky to have found you all. You're my favorite friends I've not yet met. But I am determined to arrange a meetup sometime this fall in the PNW for those of us in the general (ok, very general) area. Thank you profoundly for your generous kindnesses and sharing of wisdom.

Me

over 3 years ago wssmom

...sniffling ...

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over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

What a great spotlight! Boulangere, congratulations! Thank you for sharing your knowledge, wit and cheerfulness with us! This community is lucky to have you. Just ordered The Herbal Kitchen from the library - can't wait to read it!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, it's lovely. I just know you'll enjoy it. Sometime check out his other one, The Herbfarm Cookbook. Thank you so much!

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over 3 years ago TiggyBee

boulangere, always awe-inspiring. I can't wait until that little gold trophy sidles up next to your name here.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I feel pretty lucky to have sidled up to all of you!

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over 3 years ago Sadassa_Ulna

Congratulations boulangere!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

So sweet you are. And thanks, I think I will post the caprese skewers. Soon.

Burnt_offering

over 3 years ago Burnt Offerings

Oh this is just awesome!! SO well deserved! I learn so much from you, and you always have such kind, supportive and inspirational words for everyone here.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I am just speechless. Thank you so much.

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over 3 years ago Bevi

Well deserved. You are so generous in your encouragement of other community cooks.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

We're ALL community cooks!

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over 3 years ago Bevi

Absolutely!

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over 3 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Brava Boulangere.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Grazie. I'm off to Italy this summer with the daughter. She's my food child (child! she's 22), so I know you can imagine where we'll be spending lots of time.

Lorigoldsby

over 3 years ago lorigoldsby

Be sure to get "the gourmet's guide to Italy" by Fred Plotkin....wonderful resource of great little restaurants. He doesn't list them unless he has actually eaten there

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks for the tip.

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over 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Congratulations! You are truly inspiring!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

So grateful to food52 so we can inspire each other.

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over 3 years ago Panfusine

BOULANGERE!! Congratulations on the spotlight... now let me go back & read the rest of the post... Congratulations again!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You are too funny. When you write your book, Neuroscience for Dummies, I want the first autographed copy.

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over 3 years ago Panfusine

dunno if I'll have any more stuff on Neuroscience, But if I ever write a book, You can rest assured, inside will be a BIG thank you to you for overcoming my irrational 'fear' of eggs!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh gosh, be afraid of global warming, not eggs!

Checker

over 3 years ago checker

Not sure which is better - her sweet comments or her fabulous recipes. A well-deserved spotlight.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Best of all are all these sweet people.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Such a great spotlight on a talented cook who is a simply wonderful part of this community!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Can't think of a better one!

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over 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You are a marvel!!! Congrats on the spotlight. You are a fount of knowledge with a quick wit and amazing ability to put together a tasty recipe. Well deserved.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

There's something in the food52 water that brings out the best in all of us.

Buddhacat

over 3 years ago SKK

Boulangere, this is spotlight is well deserved. Cheers to your humor, support and compassion for those of us non-pro cooks. Always learn from your pickle answers!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

And all of us from yours! Thank you so much.

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over 3 years ago Midge

Yes! An excellent choice for a spotlight. Your recipes are always so clever and fun to read. So glad you're a part of Food52.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, me too, Midge! Thank you.

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over 3 years ago lastnightsdinner

So great to see you in the spotlight - congrats!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much.

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over 3 years ago kdubu

Hats off for this choice! I have the honor to work with Boulangere in the kitchen and she constantly amazes. Her culinary knowledge is deep and her creativity boundless. Congratulations to a very deserving cook in the spotlight!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

As for you, missy, we've got 40 people to feed lunch to tomorrow, and it wouldn't be happening without your front-of-the-house graciousness.

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Three cheers for boulangere! She's a fabulous pickler, amazing recipe creator, and all-around lovely lady!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Hear, Hear! A really wonderful, well-deserved spotlight! Congratulations, boulangere!

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over 3 years ago Panfusine

hip hip hooray!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Congrats on the spotlight, shine on boulangere!

I read a quote (uknown) recently that for some reason reminded me of your presence here on Food52, it said....

"Gather the crumbs of happiness to make a loaf of contentment."

:)

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Lapadia, that is beautiful, and what we all do in some way every single day. HLA, I really want to meet you this summer. Gingerroot, your slant on food is always wonderful. Panfusine, if you'll get started on your book, I'll get started on mine. Thank you so much.