January, 2008 Archive

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

crunchy baked pork chops

breaded pork chop

I don’t know what has happened to me since we were on vacation in Aruba (what feels like a hundred years ago), but I seem fixated on one food, and one food only: Meat. Yeah, I hardly know me either. How could this have happened? The former vegetarian? The person who considers meat a side dish, and nothing else? She who could live by quiche alone? This road I’m walking down scares me. How long until I start craving Bistro Burgers? Gnawing on the bones of demolished lamb chops, then vacuuming them of their marrow? I’ve always seen carnivorous cravings as a slippery slope.

fresh bread crumbs

But the truth is a little more earnest: I’ve been striving for more balance in my meals. I’m considering meals that have an element from all food groups in it; what this means is that I’m trying to pair pasta and other carbs with not just vegetables, but something with protein, in hope that it will keep us satiated longer.

Continued after the jump »

Monday, January 7, 2008

lemon bars

lemon bars

January is always the time of year when most of us get caught up in the winter produce doldrums, fueled by the dearth of flavorful fruit and the overabundance of hard, starchy vegetables. But I find if I set my mind on citrus, I can carefully sidestep most bouts of Farmers Market Mourning. There are few things teeming with more promise of a sunnier tomorrow than sour-sweet piercing members of the rutaceae family, and I’ve got an archive full of margarita cookies, lemon bundts, orange chocolate chunks, grapefruit loaves and key lime tartlets that should assure you that you need not feel that you are missing out just because the peaches and berries have gone into hibernation.

scrubbedlemon zest

But I haven’t had a lemon bar in there before now, despite repeated requests and, heck, even pleading for one by various people inside my computer. You’d think it is because I’m stubborn but it actually that my bar (ha) for lemon bars has been set very high by my mother, who has an award-winning recipe somewhere in her files. Upon request, she sent it to me a couple years ago, but when they didn’t come out the way I had remembered, her response was “oh, I must have sent you the wrong one.” Tell me, if you had a recipe for lemon bars that you had won you a cooking contest, why would you have a second version in your box that wasn’t as good? Perhaps if you ask her, you’ll get further than I did.

lemon macroemptied lemon halves

Continued after the jump »

Friday, January 4, 2008


goulash over egg noodles

If you’re like most people at the tail end of this frigid first week of January, you’re likely torn between wanting to “do good” for yourself by cooking healthy foods with your eye on the long-off prize of bathing suit season (no matter how improbable it seems as your fingertips numb after spending only half a block exposed) and wanting to “hibernate” with indulgent food that sticks to your ribs, promising to keep you warm and padded until spring comes, and sadly thereafter.


Fortunately, not every meal picks sides. And since I know you didn’t believe that we only ate a cucumber salad for dinner a few nights ago, it is clearly time to tell you about that evening’s other Austro-Hungarian dispatch: goulash.

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, January 3, 2008

viennese cucumber salad

viennese cucumber salad

My first day back to work after New Years started with my laptop flat lining, having to clean the office pantry microwave after my oatmeal blew up in it, finding myself completely and frantically over my head in a new bit of work I personally requested the week before and a wind-tunneled trip to the new Apple store to gaze at the shiny brightness. In short, I had hoped to be gently eased into 2008, but since that wasn’t in the cards for me, I ended it with a dinner of French Toast. What? Tell me that you’re not jealous.

But you know what else I did, you know, in my maple syrup haze? I completed one half of one of my smittenkitchen new years resolutions! See that over there in the sidebar? Yup, that would be a cooking or kitchen Tip of the Day from little old me. (Hat tip to problogdesign.com for spelling this method out so clearly!) I’ve got a few kinks to work out–like an RSS feed for that category, as I’ve realized these aren’t working–but as I populate the archives, you should start seeing bits of information I’ve picked up over the years spit out to you in bytes. Comments are open, so if you find my Buttermilk Recipe, for example, to be totally off its rocker, feel free to tell me so. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

96 favorites

Happy New Year!

I had no idea how busy I’d been in 2007–and this is just a subset of what was cooked in the Smitten Kitchen this past year! Dare we top this in 2008?

icebox cakeAsparagus, Artichoke and Shiitake Risottosweet and spicy candied nutsgrapefruit yogurt cakecream cheese swirl browniesSalad Lyonnaiseenglish muffinsworld peace cookiesbaked tomato saucefresh pastahoisin pork ribletsfor beaming, bewitching breadsChocolate Chip MeringuesSour Cream Bran MuffinsSoft PretzelsRich Buttermilk WafflesLighter-Than-Air Chocolate Layer CakeSkillet Irish Soda BreadRussian Black BreadChicken Empanada with Chorizo and OlivesGreen Onion SlawMargarita CookiesBlack Bean Confetti SaladGnocchiMixed Berry PavlovaZucchini CarpaccioStrawberry Rhubarb CrumbleCherry Coconut Frozen YogurtCellophane Noodle Salad With Roast PorksevenBaked Eggs with Spinach and MushroomsRaspberry-Topped Lemon MuffinsPickled Garlicky Red PeppersPineapple Upside-Down CakeDorie Greenspan’s Corniest Corn MuffinsStrawberry Chiffon Shortcake Continued after the jump »