Pumpkin Cranberry Baked French Toast

Posted by    |  January 29, 2012  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes


Nothing moves my morning along like the aroma of pumpkin pie mingling with my morning coffee. This breakfast takes no time to whip up the night before- I often do it while dinner is baking or sautéing. I’ve shortened the prep time even further by grinding the mix of spices in a batch so I just have to add a teaspoon of it. It’s basically “pumpkin pie spice.” The next morning, I stagger bleary-eyed downstairs and throw it in the cold oven and move on to the business of the morning. By the time the lunches are made, breakfast is ready. Read more

Pumpkin Cranberry Baked Oatmeal

Posted by    |  January 29, 2012  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

You guessed it. This is an autumnal riff on Funky Monkey Baked Oatmeal. The cravings for pumpkin and cranberries begin with the first ruby maple leaf and don’t wane until the appearance of the first crocus. Read more

Deconstructed Thanksgiving Turkey

Posted by    |  November 15, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes


I was a twenty-something culinary ingénue living in San Francisco. My BFF- Kyle- in-laws and a few other guests were in town for Thanksgiving. I was absolutely tickled that I was going to make my turkey with a chef as talented as Kyle. I had my first fresh, expensive bird before me- a bird whose provenance was so esteemed that I couldn’t bear to treat it like just another bird. I wanted my guests to fall on the floor and start speaking in tongues when they tried their first bite.

I consulted my America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook, which extolled the virtues of spatchcocking the turkey. This involves cutting out the bird’s backbone and sort of butterflying the whole thing open. That seemed distinctive and sophisticated enough to make my statement of culinary prowess. I’d already brined the bird and had the herbed butter ready to go. Read more

Funky Monkey Baked Oatmeal

Posted by    |  October 3, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

My daughter returned from sleepaway camp this summer raving about the baked oatmeal she had at camp. Can’t say I’d ever had such a thing. Curious, I took advantage of a 16-hour road trip from Chicago to New York to peruse recipes. I was pretty psyched at the possibility of anything new and exciting entering the breakfast rotation. Read more

Clafoutis Rhymes with Babootie

Posted by    |  August 12, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Last summer, on a rare morning when I rose before the kids, I spied a bowl of leftover cherry clafoutis in the refrigerator. “Well now,” I thought to myself, “wouldn’t that taste nice with my morning coffee?”  Dusted with some cinnamon and powdered sugar, it did indeed start my day off right. Its custardy goodness was filling and satisfying. That morning, clafoutis morphed from dessert into a slightly decadent breakfast food. Read more

Mediterranean Grilled Octopus Salad

Posted by    |  June 28, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Nothing this delicious has ever before emerged from my kitchen. You should understand that before you read on.

This also happens to be the most kid-unfriendly dinner I have ever made. It is a tragic reality.  The chasm is as impossible as the obviously ill-fated passions of Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett. Read more

Black Bean and Cheese Tamales

Posted by    |  May 5, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Adapted from The Salpicon Cookbook, by Priscilla Satkoff with Vincent Satkoff

I just made these for the first time three days ago. I’d never even thought of making tamales before because I’d heard that they are difficult to make. However, a group of students wanted to make them for Cinco de Mayo and they didn’t care that I was teaching them how to make something I’d never made before. Go figure.

They were surprisingly easy. I also discovered that they are incredibly convenient. By the time I’d finished making them on Tuesday night, we’d already had dinner. So I tried one, declared it a success, and put them in the refrigerator. I’ve been putting these in the kids’ lunches all week. Fortunately, they have access to a microwave at school.

The black bean filling is simple and accessible to virtually all palettes. I can’t wait to play with more ingredients, however. I want them spicy and I want them with squash blossoms and cilantro and corn and… Read more

Empanadas de Picadillo Oaxaqueño

Posted by    |  May 5, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Adapted from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless

I’ll admit it.  When the class I’m teaching tonight asked me to make empanadas, I wasn’t even sure I’d ever eaten an empanada- much less made one.

These were surprisingly easy.  Better still, the filling is simple to make in large batches.  With some picadillo in the freezer, fresh, warm empanadas are easy to throw together as an appetizer or snack.

Empanadas are usually deep-fried but I prefer the lightness of the baked version.  You could always opt to deep fry if you’re feeling naughty. Read more

Black-eyed Peas with Collard Greens and Ham

Posted by    |  April 29, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

It happens to be fast, cheap and healthy, but that’s not why we love this dish.

I have an impulsive aversion to any recipe that is advertised as being “easy,” “cheap,” or “healthy.” Those are good things, but I often worry that the writer was more focused on easy or cheap than what I really care about- flavor. Back when I was learning to cook, the “quick and easy” staples of the supermarket checkout line magazines generally tasted “quick and easy.” And the “healthy”recipes? Let’s just say that applesauce will always be a dreadful substitute for fat.

This recipe is like that girl in high school who dressed in Salvation Army garb and looked fabulously chic. While she’s cheap (make your own judgement about whether or not she was easy) you can’t help but be fascinated by her. Read more

1,000 of my Favorite Recipes

Posted by    |  March 10, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Oh dammit to hell! Why? Oh why does God take away the little things I love the most? First it was Gourmet magazine. I still get a pang of heartbreak every time I think about the irreplaceable Gourmet and the brilliant Ruth Reichl. Like a stubborn 3-year-old, I refuse to make Bon Appetit recipes when searching epicurious.com. “I’m still a Gourmet girl, you bastards! You can’t just pass me off to Bon Appetit!” I want it back and still can’t believe it’s gone forever.

And now- late to the game, as usual- I just figured out that Mark Bittman’s New York Times column, The Minimalist is gone. I was searching for “pesto” in the Times this week when, predictably, Mark’s column popped up. Pesto happened to be mentioned in a retrospective for his farewell column of January 25, a period when I was still being pummeled by the fallout from the relo. I gasped audibly as I read, “TODAY marks the exit of The Minimalist from the pages of the Dining section, as a weekly column at least.” Alarmed at my exclamation, the kids all rushed to peer over my shoulder at my laptop screen, expecting to read an email that someone had died or see a disturbing photograph. Read more

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