The Art of Cooking

Here is a sketch of me cooking at my stove, drawn by my daughter Rebecca. On the left page are some notes about the Baby Bella Sauté. I’m making latkes in one of my favorite pans, a 14-inch Calphalon One that comes out when there is a lot of frying or sautéing to be done. I am happy to say that both of my kids (well hardly that, Rebecca is 24 and Steven is 21) have become good cooks and have mastered recipes from DxD.

The Spice of Life

This image came in the other day from Florence Sumaray—one of the lucky people who attended the Launch Party and received a bottle of AURAS Spice Mix. Here’s one of the many uses for this versatile blend—sprinkled on popcorn, it adds a kick. The AURAS Spice mix came about as an attempt to create a less-salty and more sophisticated alternative to McCormick’s Season-All, and to balance the flavors of salty, peppery, floral and spicy. It’s a mix of salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, paprika, chili powder and lemon peel, along with a bit of cumin, allspice and cayenne pepper. The AURAS Spice Mix is great on meats and fish, and adds a zing to vegetable sautés. It mates really well with brown sugar to create salty-sweet rubs for chicken or pork.

People have found lots of other uses for the Mix. Add a 1/4 cup to a bottle of ketchup and create a new flavor sensation. Use it as a topping for deviled eggs, or mix it with sour cream to have with latkes. What other good ideas will you discover using the Mix? We would love to hear about all of them.

It’s pretty easy to make the AURAS Spice Mix yourself (as well as the Savory Spice Blend featured on the same page) but we were wondering if it might be good enough to sell as a product all by itself. Sure, there’s no mystery to the recipe, but it is nice to have it ready-to-go. Is this a product that’s good enough for Prime Time? I know it’s great with Prime beef.

DxD Gets Media-Savvy With a Jingle

Everything is more memorable with a jingle attached to it. That was the thinking behind Rebecca Sugar’s idea for this short song. Yes, she is the daughter of DxD author Rob Sugar, but she has also written songs for Adventure Time, the popular animated series on Cartoon Network, where she is also a writer and storyboard artist. Try to keep this one out of your head.



DxD Launch Party Draws 200 Hungry Fans

Last night’s Delicious by Design launch party was a resounding success. Held at the studios of AURAS Design, the party was also a celebration of the company’s 30th anniversary. Two hundred friends, colleagues and clients crowded into the space, sampling recipes from the book and renewing old acquaintances.

Marty Ittner, a former AURAS designer wrote, “I’m in absolute awe. What an undertaking! The party, the food, the signage, the details, the crowd of admirers, the BOOK! All of it amazing, jaw dropping, wonderful.” She also sent along the pictures you see here.

Nine DxD recipes were prepared for the event, including two that are on this website but not in the book. The favorite just might have been our newest recipe—also our first dessert: Maui Wowie cookies, a salt-topped chocolate-chip macadamia nut confection.

Other dishes included bite-sized Fried Chicken nuggets based on the Pan-Fried Chicken recipe, De-Boned Herbed Turkey Breast, Un-ribbed Roast Beef, Not-Mac-and-Cheeses, Mom’s Chopped Liver and sides of Simplest Sweet Potatoes, Cole Slaw and Stuffin’ Muffins. It was like a little mini-Thanksgiving meal.

The party was, in part, an opportunity for AURAS Design to give a gift to the many people who have supported the firm throughout the years, and show off its space, a 1927 Mason’s Hall that was renovated 12 years ago to be the studio’s home.

Every party-goer was invited to take home a copy of the book in a stylish DxD grocery bag, along with a bottle of AURAS Spice Mix.

One person asked, “How did you convince a caterer to make all of these recipes?” The answer was simple. ALL of the food was prepared by Rob Sugar and his co-conspirator, Helen Rea. “Making 60 lbs of food for 200 people will make preparing a Thanksgiving dinner for 16 easy as pie—pecan in this case,” along with a cider-brined applewood grill-roasted turkey from local purveyor Maple Lawn Farms.

DxD Books Are Here!

We’ve finally received the beautiful hardcover edition of Delicious By Design and couldn’t be happier with the printing or the product. Since we are designers, we are getting a thrill from the two aqueous coatings on the dust jacket and the spot gloss varnish throughout the interior. The images pop off the page and the book is a delight to graze. Just be prepared to be hungry, even if you’ve just eaten.