Emma and Guthrie, who loves all food.

Emma and Guthrie, a 160-pound, three-year-old Leonberger, who lives to eat.

Catherine Ettlinger


Bruce Kapson


When Bruce and I got married in our early forties (both for the first time), we’d both pretty much been there/done that. Bruce is an art dealer, and had traveled and dated for decades. I am a magazine editor (worked at Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar,  Marie Claire, Mademoiselle, and eventually became the Editor-in-Chief of Elle)—and my life was a lot like Carrie Bradshaw’s, with less sex and more skiing. I still work full-time, making magazines, newsletters, web sites, and annual reports, for consumer-product companies, but from home, in my pajamas. Two of my favorite things about living in Los Angeles are: 1) never having to wear pantyhose, ever and 2) never ruining your Manolos because there’s no rain and no walking—you actually have to be careful not to slip on carpeting in a new pair since their soles never even get scored!

As soon as Emma arrived, neither of us wanted to leave her for a second (who knew?), so we started having our friends over instead of going out—Sunday brunches, dinners, client cocktails, champagne-and-chocolate dessert parties, girls’ lunches, holiday meals, and kids’ birthdays and sleepovers.  I was thrilled to have a great kitchen and someone to help with clean-up —you don’t want to know how it feels to look over a sea of glasses and dirty plates in your small New York City apartment, alone, at midnight when you have to go to work the next morning.

You can learn a few more things about us—10 to be exact—in the post about accepting The Honest Scrap Award.

The recipes on this site have all been part of the partying, and have been “filtered” by our family and friends. They come from a variety of sources, though you’ll soon see who our favorite cooks are, and it won’t be long before you figure out that I really only make chocolate desserts (the richer, the better). When someone requests a recipe, I consider the occasion a success. Once I started sending friends my recipes they’d usually, but not always, reciprocate with theirs. I divide cooks into two categories–recipe hoarders or recipe sharers.  Eventually, from the latter, I started getting email trails where friends had been exchanging recipes with their friends. Which is what I hope you’ll do here: Please comment on anything you make from my repertoire, and send your favorite recipes, too. Your recipes will mingle with mine, pretty much just as you sent them (not formatted like mine), and will be marked in the title, RR*…*Reader Recipe. I am the editor (some things never change), and I filter recipes so the site conveys my sensibility about food, but what makes this site different, and I hope special, is that it is OUR site, yours as well as mine. These are not just my recipes that I find or create; yours are equally important. This is your community, our community. Welcome!



  1. Catherine,
    I LOVE it -we’re off to Rome tomorrow so no chance for me to send you any recipes now and then we’re only home for 2 days before we head off to AZ for 3 weeks BUT I WILL DO SO and loved seeing one of mine in your recipes – there willl be more for sure. Great idea and best of luck. Love the photos and the stories – how about adding Emma’s doggie treats?

  2. Great idea! I will post Emma’s doggie cookies–and also how to make Guthrie’s birthday cake under Kids.

  3. Catherine thanks for sending me the link to your site. I think it’s really fun and can’t wait to try some of your families favorite recipes.

    I am going to send you a recipe for an amazing Apple Cake from NY Times that always gets rave reviews.

  4. Catherine it’s only 10:45 in the morning and my stomach is growling after reading your website. Can’t wait to try your recipe for guac (so that’s what I’ve been doing wrong all these years, adding tomatoes!). I’m printing out, as we speak, your fallen-chocolate-cake recipe, as the one I copied by hand from you years ago is in tatters. Congrats again on your blog, and for sharing the secrets of the one of the Westside’s best hostesses.

  5. At last, a friend’s website that I can GENUINELY say is terrific! I’ve eaten a couple of these things, and look forward to browbeating Laurie into making some of the others. (I do do the clean-up.) Great job.

  6. Yum! Can’t wait to dive into some of these dishes. Thank you, Catherine!

  7. As someone who has spent many a year, make that many a decade, trying to explain to Robert Masello that boiling water requires turning on the fire underneath the pot, I welcome your site as a place where he will, possibly, learn that ordering poached salmon from Marmalade isn’t usually considered cooking. Best of luck, your site looks and I’m sure, tastes, delicious.

  8. Catherine,
    BRAVA – not surprisingly, you have given birth to a gem of a blog! I will peruse often and contribute too… contribution #1 – lemon zest and toasted almonds are my stand-by to make just about any veggie into a “suitable for dinner party” creation!

  9. Cathy,
    Your blog is wonderful…and inspiring and fun. When I finally get back to California, we’re not going out. I’m inviting myself over for dinner!

  10. Debbi, you’re invited! Any time!

  11. Catherine, I came across your site accidentally and I love the things you do. Would you please send me the link so I can find my way here again?

  12. I love the name of your blog. Lots of connotations in that title. Look forward to dropping back.

  13. Catherine, I’ve missed getting the links to new additions on Facebook and I finally logged on to see what’s new–I was very excited to see your reports of our First Unconfidential Cookoff. I would love to send you the recipe for my mother’s potato kugel, since Passover is coming up–or do you prefer to keep the blog completely secular? Love, Susan

    • Oh, yes, please send the kugel recipe. We’re very big on ALL holidays! xo

  14. When my girlfriend Phyllis and I plan our next BBQ we are going to skip the crab cakes, dips, steaks, veggies and hash browns and instead make it an all chocolate affair. You are so fortunate to have Bruce around to clean up.

    • I’m all for all-chocolate, but I look forward to your steaks (and those crab cakes!) all year long.

  15. Thank you very much for sending me the link. I think I may be spending regular time here =)

  16. Im not sure how I stumbled across your blog. But I am so glad I did! I LOVE IT! I’m a beginning cook – so I dont have a repertoire yet. But I promise to contribute as I develop!

  17. I used to be a recipe hoarder, but boy has that changed. Now the whole world knows my secrets. 🙂

  18. I ADORE your blog and it never fails to lift my spirits and my appetite. It’s as much fun to read, especially since I know the people and pet, as it is to make the recipes. Thanks for the gifts: one of your time and talent, and one of all the magnificent and unique recipes – and I just can’t wait for more to come.

  19. I can relate to you on a lot of levels. I am really glad that I discovered your food blog.

  20. Hello Catherine! Do you remember me, New York, zero issue of Marie Claire US? I happened to see your name in connection with the new magazine about nurses. So I would love to hear from you
    Very best
    Katie Breen

  21. Cathy, you might not recognize my name but hopefully you remember me as Wendy Lionheart. I love your writing, recipes and food photos. My daughter is a chef in Chicago and will also appreciate this. I hope life is good for you and your cute family.

  22. I know this isn’t the place for questions but if its possible I would like like to buy some mini cakes for a friend. I like in ny and she lives and cali how do I go by doing this??please email me lavishtata@gmail.com

  23. I am in need of the Elf donut recipe ASAP please for my grandchildren made with Cheerios. Thank you so much!!!!!!

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