September 23, 2014
September seems always to be a time of change and contradiction, not quite fall, not quite summer.
Warm and sunny days are often juxtaposed with cool and ever quickly-arriving evenings. This change is evidenced in my kitchen as well. I find myself reaching for recipes that feature more squash, potatoes, beets and other root vegetables. All of my dishes seem to be touched with these ingredients lately.
June 24, 2014
Now that summer fruits are in season, if you are at all like me, you are clamoring to enjoy them any way you can.
Fruit consumption goes way up for us this time of year. We try to cram as much delicious fruit into each meal at breakfast, lunch and dinner, with fruit for snacks in between. In years past, I’ve always felt a little guilty about all the fruit we consume. It’s just so simple, so fresh and so incredibly delicious that I get a little lazy on the rest of the food options available to us.
April 29, 2014
It’s hard to argue that few things are not improved by the addition of browned butter.
Over the course of the past few years, browned butter has pretty much taken over the world of baking. The thinking goes that any recipe that calls for butter can definitely be improved by the addition of butter that’s been melted, and milk solids that have been browned and caramelized. In my view, it’s pretty sound thinking. The alchemy that occurs when browning butter is nothing short of magical.
Browned butter adds a salty complexity to baked goods and leaves the uninitiated wondering just what makes that cookie or that banana bread they’ve just devoured more amazing than anything they’ve ever had before.
March 25, 2014
Spring is just around the corner. Can you feel it? Warmer, longer days, and daffodils and crocuses peeking through the soil all give me hope that winter day’s are almost at end.
Often, when I feel anxious for the beginning of a new season, the best way I find to welcome it into being is to begin doing so in my kitchen and, of course, by extension, onto my plate.
A light, colorful salad is the epitome of spring, particularly if it includes small micro-greens, shoots and starts. Packed with nutrients, delicious to eat and beautiful to look at, micro-greens should be in everyone’s salad at one point or another. More readily available than they’ve ever been, they are perfect additions to smoothies, stir-fry, sandwiches or on fresh roasted fish as a garnish with berries.
February 18, 2014
When I was growing up, my mother often served eggs for dinner. The idea that we could have what was usually a breakfast food for dinner was a fun and unique thing for us. For my mother, it was a great way to get a nutritious dinner on the table fast.
We had our fair share of waffles and pancakes for dinner, too, but for some reason, I remember the egg dishes the most. Most frequently, we had eggs in omelets, scrambled or my personal favorite, pan-fried in toad in the hole.
December 17, 2013
If the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has just about overwhelmed you and the thought of making one more treat or wrapping one more gift is more than you can bear, I hear you.
Every year, with the best intentions, I set out to make and bake an ambitious list of treats and goodies. Every year, I fail miserably to accomplish even a fraction of what I intend. Life, work, holiday merry making and all the other responsibilities just simply get in the way.
I’ve made peace with doing less over the years, and as my children have gotten older I’ve realized that really the most important thing is just to make a priority of enjoying the season. Spending time together in the kitchen is a great way for us to do that.
November 26, 2013
Serve up a strata the morning after a holiday feast
One of the most wonderful by-products of the Thanksgiving meal, in my mind, is the abundance of leftover turkey.
If you haven’t completely exhausted yourself in the kitchen on the day of, there are a plethora of recipes to be found online and in magazines that will help you turn the humble bird into another spectacular meal.
October 22, 2013
In my mind, there is nothing quite as representative or symbolic of fall than baked apple desserts. Caramelized in sugar, sprinkled with cardamom and cinnamon or stewed in compotes on pancakes, or eaten unadorned from a bowl, warm and tart and sweet, I think you get the idea.
Beautifully versatile, apples beg to be included in not only the sweet, but they are also perfect companions to the savory. They are best simply roasted in a pan with onions, and sausages, drizzled with maple syrup or slipped into crispy, melty cheese sandwiches. Serve along side roasted tomato soup and you really cannot go wrong.
August 27, 2013
Elizabeth Backus’ cooking career began when her father issued her a challenge: “I bet you can’t make a lemon meringue pie.”
Backus, then 12, rose to the occasion. For five consecutive days, she worked on the pie after school, trying to get it right. Finally, on the fifth day, she succeeded.
“When I did it, my dad said, ‘Honey, you finally got it,’” Backus said, and a passion for baking was born.
August 20, 2013
There are few foods that epitomize summer more than ice cream. Lazy afternoon days soaking up the rarefied Pacific Northwest sun are just somehow made better, more poignant with a bowl or cone of meltingly creamy ice cream at hand.
The plethora of summer fruits available in markets right now are just begging to be included in virtually everything we eat. In salads, on the grill brushed with olive oil, in desserts and in this case, specifically in ice cream.
August is the perfect month to dive into some homemade ice cream if you haven’t had the chance yet. Gone are the days when in order to make ice cream you needed a bulky, hand-crank-and-rock-salt contraption. Gone even are the days when you need an ice cream maker of any kind. Easy no-churn ice cream recipes abound and the beauty of them lies in their versatility.