October, 2008 Archive

Friday, October 17, 2008

pumpkin swirl brownies

pumpkin swirl brownies

When I first saw this recipe on the homepage of marthastewart.com last month, my first thought was “ooh, how perfectly fall!” but then a second later, “wait, this can’t be right.” I mean, chocolate and pumpkin together? I have to admit, it sounds off to me.

everything starts with buttermelting chocolate with butter

In my overly-analytical head, pumpkin goes with nutmeg and cinnamon and ground ginger and pecans and bourbon and cream cheese and gingersnaps; chocolate, however, goes with a whole different slew of things, like scraped vanilla beans and walnuts or mint or peanut butter or cream cheese and maybe occasionally some chipotle powder. They’re different, you see, different, different, different.

making brownie batteradding the pumpkin layer

And then? Then I said “my god, Deb, you’re such a square!” and I made them anyway. Because seriously, can one possibly have too many recipes for brownies? There’s no way. I worry too much about these things. Every single person who tried them, loved them and in a way, they’re the quintessential fall indulgence.

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

cranberry-walnut chicken salad

cranberry-walnut chicken salad

I often read comments and emails from people who talk about liking or wanting to make a dish but they can’t “because my significant other doesn’t like [insert ingredient]!” I have to admit, I am often perplexed. If they want to eat it, why don’t they just make it anyway?

But then I look at my own cooking repertoire, and I get it. It’s enough of a pain to make one dish some nights after a long day of work, but to make one only one of you wants to eat? There’s no logic in it. So, I shy away from Things Alex Thinks He Doesn’t Like, such as coconut (sigh), tofu (sigh) and well, this.

deb's chicken salad

Continued after the jump »

Monday, October 13, 2008

molly’s apple tarte tatin

molly's apple tarte tatin

[Guest post by Molly] You remember Molly, right? This summer, she shared her secrets for awesome, dry-rubbed ribs. (I still dream about them, I really do.) Well, Molly also makes a killer apple tarte tatin, one of my favorite desserts and she was kind enough to come over to my apartment last week and demonstrate–you wouldn’t believe how amazing it smelled. Here she tells you how she did it, in her own words. Thanks Molly!

peeling the applescoring the apples

The beginning of apple season this year found me in Highlands, North Carolina. The Forest Service had just finished a new hiking trail, the trailhead just steps away from my parents’ cabin. Dad, Sophie the doggie and I hiked along the trail until it opened up into a rolling field with rows of huge old McIntosh apple trees–the remnants of an old farm, it seemed, with some abandoned garden flowers still blooming, even. The apple trees were long untended–even overgrown in places with blackberry brambles–but still sagging with delicious fruit. We stopped and filled our backpacks. If there’s anything my Dad loves more than food in general, it’s free food, so he was thrilled.

dicing the butterrolling out lid/base

Back at the cabin, I made a baked apple dessert and 2 quarts of applesauce. It was the end of a weekend of epic feasting, largely thanks to the efforts of Smitten AKA the Best Houseguest Ever. [Ed note: Aww.] So the thought of a Tarte Tatin, my favorite apple dessert, seemed gluttonous, as it contains more than two sticks of butter. I would have to save it for another time.

Continued after the jump »

Friday, October 10, 2008

meatballs and spaghetti

spaghetti and meatballs "I'll have more wine!" browned meatball

[Guest photography by Elizabeth Bick] A few weeks ago, over a couple bottles glasses of wine, my friend Liz, a photographer, and I got to discussing the photography in the smittenkitchen, and she said she was dying to come in and take some pictures of me at “work” one day. We started fantasizing about doing a 1950s Mad Men-style shoot, rollers in the hair, a frilly but perfectly tailored apron and classic home cooking. In reality, the rollers and the silly apron didn’t quite happen, but Liz came over earlier this week (and then our other friends, a couple hours later for dinner) and we had a blast. So please welcome here today our very first smittenkitchen guest photographer, Elizabeth Bick. I suspect you’ll be as wowed by her photos as I am. [Oh, and in case you're wondering, I do cook everyday in full lip gloss and an apron coordinated with my potholders. I can't believe you even had to ask!]

parsley

Living in New York City, a place where you barely have to walk 10 blocks to find shaved black truffles over artisanal french fries or a fois-stuffed date by a chef with their name on that door, the one a few doors down and several products in the frozen food aisle, I couldn’t honestly give a damn about making futsy food like that at home. By the time I climb my 51 stairs to my apartment in two-inch heels with three heavy bags and, a dripping umbrella and a box of books our house guest has forwarded here, all I am thinking about is the kind of meal that will cancel it all out, and that meal involves not a single ingredient cooked sous-vide.

pot rack and spices eggs mmmmeat!

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

my family’s noodle kugel

mom's noodle kugel

[Guest post by Deb's mom!] Last year, I briefly told you the story of how my mother jokes that she married my father for his family’s noodle kugel recipe. But then, as if just to be cruel, I tried my own spin on it with cream cheese and dried cherries. Was it delicious? Oh, heck yeah. Are you long overdue to get a taste of the real deal? Most certainly so. Please welcome my mother herself here today in her first-ever guest post, finally sharing with you the noodle kugel recipe you are owed.

extra-wide egg noodles

Growing up in a German family, I had many noodle puddings. Shortly after becoming engaged to my now-husband, we were at a family buffet party, where everything was homemade and beautifully displayed. It was at their party that I first encountered the noodle pudding. I thought this was the best food I had ever tasted.

getting the batter fluffy

Continued after the jump »


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