About Cocoa and Lavender

Cocoa and Lavender
Cocoa and Lavender debuted in February 2010 and continues to bring stories and recipes to you each week. The recipes range from simple to complex, but not one is unmanageable in any home kitchen. As often as I can, I simplify the steps to make it even easier for you. I truly hope you enjoy reading, and that you will take the plunge and make a few things!

A couple of things - when I refer to salt, I use either kosher or sea salt. If you are using iodized table salt, you might need to increase the amount to get any bang for your buck. If I forget to say so, black pepper always refers to freshly ground, and olive oil to extra virgin, unless noted otherwise. If you are a vegetarian or don't eat what it is I have prepared, make substitutions to turn the recipe into your own. If you aren't sure what to do, ask in the comments or send me an email at cocoaandlavender@gmail.com

As always, your comments mean the world to me - if you have a moment, let me know what you think! 

All content and images are protected by copyright, and cannot be used without permission. 

David Scott Allen
Originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I have also lived in Upstate New York, and Southern Maine; my current home is Tucson, Arizona, in the beautiful Sonoran Desert. I love to travel - whether instate, across the United States or around the globe - and eating local foods in regional styles as I travel is de rigueur.

My love of food goes back to my childhood and my mother's amazing cooking. I was very fortunate to grow up in a home where good food - truly great food - was an everyday experience, though never taken for granted. I remember my mother subscribing to Gourmet Magazine in the 70s and we would sit down together and decide what sounded good - something "we" would like to try.  Mom taught all four of us boys how to cook - and cook well.  For at least three of us, we are the cooks in the family, and I don't think the wives mind giving up the kitchen. It's a win-win situation!

By education, I am a musician – a classical bassist who once played in a a professional symphony orchestra.  My love of food (thanks, Mom!) combined with my frugal musician's budget was a great way to learn how to cook well once I was on my own - and to continue eating like I did at home.

I am of the firm belief that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures.  Thank you for reading and for giving me the opportunity to share some of these foods with you.  

I am also a regular contributor to the Provence WineZine, an online guide to the best Proven├žal wines by Susan Manfull. On the first Saturday of each month, I pair a dish I have made with a wine from Provence, post the recipe on Cocoa & Lavender, and the wine pairing information on the Provence WineZine: Wine with Food Pairings. If you like good wines, this is a great site to use as a reference.