If you’ve been following Smitten Kitchen outside
this url recently, you might have noticed that a terrible, dangerous thing has happened: I revisited the epic, consummate even, chocolate chip cookies
from David Leite
via The New York Times
, mostly because I was tired of looking at the unpalatably blueberry-ish photo of them atop the 2008 post, and eight years later, in basically the rom-com of cookie sagas, realized the thing I wanted most in a chocolate chip cookie was was there the whole time.
Last week, because we are edgy, rebellious and pretty much the dictionary definition of renegades, we broke the law. We decided we’d had enough of having an outdoor space and no fire-breathing apparatus to exercise our American-given right to burn food on in the summer months and brought home the tiniest, safest and most docile grill
ever manufactured, basically the fluffy kitten of the barbecue landscape. As I figure we’re going to be asked to remove it any moment now, all of my previous summer goals have be redirected to the following: enjoying every second of it while it lasts. We are going to grill everything
. I am halfway to fulfilling my fantasy of setting all my food on fire
If you needed another reason to add to the list of why you’d probably never want to be cornered at a party with me, I should tell you I’m more than a normal level of fascinated by the intersection of tomatoes and cucumbers in salads around the world. And I want to talk about it.
One of the primary pieces of advice my grandmother imparted on me — besides the fact that she thought I should be a writer, an absurd idea I promptly ignored — was that one should always leave the house looking the best they can. I realize this might sound a little old-fashioned and possibly even oppressive — I Exist As More Than A Decorative Object, thankyouverymuch
— but I took it to heart nonetheless because I know she didn’t mean high heels and rollers, but mostly that looking more with it than you might actually feel sometimes can trick you too.
Me and this salad go way back. In 2007
— you know, back in the days when I imagine that all of our conversations might have gone “What should we do today?” “Oh, I don’t know, anything we want
.” — I had this salad at the then new-ish Spotted Pig
in the West Village and attempted to recreate it. It didn’t go well and because I was as mature then as I am now, I had a tantrum and didn’t get back to it until 2009, at which point I made a roasted carrot dish with a bit of cumin and topped it with avocado slices that had been tossed with some lemon and everyone was happy
. However, in 2011, Jean-Georges Vongerichten published a book of his homecooking favorites
including this salad, which is also on the menu at ABC Kitchen
and in 2012, April Bloomfield included the recipe in her first cookbook
and I’ve thought it might be nice to circle back to these more complexly spiced and textured versions.
The rules of cookie math, whether or not you have underlings
dictating them to you, are as follows:
- Cookies with butter > cookies without butter
- Cookies with vanilla bean > cookies with vanilla extract
- Larger cookies > smaller cookies
- Cookies with fewer words in the title > cookies with more (see: chocolate, butter, Oreos)
- Cookies with rainbow sprinkles > cookies with chocolate sprinkles and also all other things, ever
Several years ago, a harebrained idea to make a wedding cake for friends led to me sharing a picture of the cake layers stacked up in my freezer
, ready for their big debut. You’d think people would comment on the cake, right? Nope. More like: “You have an empty freezer. You have an empty freezer. How?” “I didn’t know it was possible to empty a freezer.” And I was all “People have full freezers? We just use it for vodka and ice cube trays.” Oh Deb of 2008. Come see your circa-2016 freezer
and witness the havoc 8 years and 2 kids
have wreaked on it.
I know what most people think of crêpes — they’re difficult, they require planning ahead, they’re fussy (coughFrench
), they rip easily, the first one always goes in the trash — but I respectfully disagree, especially about that last bit (it goes in the nearest mouth). In fact, I think think that a great big stack of crêpes and a few easy fixings are the best thing that can happen to brunch. Hear me out:
It’s been two months since I told you I was California dreaming and I fear it hasn’t passed. I thought maybe I just longed for warmer weather, but spring has more or less arrived and I no less crave avocados that don’t require a week of hovering to capture their narrow window of edibility. I thought maybe I just needed a vacation, but we took a short one and I still found myself looking at photos from a certain large music festival in the Coachella Valley and thinking it looked kind of fun. (WHO AM I.) And last month, I went down a date shake rabbit hole and I haven’t come out since. At least these we can easily make at home.
As a person who at least two to three nights a week doesn’t understand why we plan menus and grocery lists when we could just be eating an egg on toast, scrambled
or soft-cooked and smashed
, I, too, would expect this site to have more frittata recipes than it does. (It has one
. Sorry.) But I don’t make them much at all because they always feel like a lot of work for something that’s essentially a baked omelet with none of the 2-minute butter-drenched speed of a French one. (We’re also on an omelet kick.)