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Favorite Recipes Made in 2013

Posted: December 31st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Everyday | Comments Off

It feels like it was a year of some good cooking at my house. I bought at least 25 cookbooks and probably cooked from 12? There were some gems this year and here are those that I can recall, in no particular order.

Sambal Chicken Skewers from Bon Appétit Magazine, July 2013: The Grilling Issue 

Bigoli in Salsa from Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook (of Sorts) by Russell Norman

Braised Scallops, Pancetta, and Peas from  Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook (of Sorts) by Russell Norman

Bucatini fra Diavolo from Franny’s: Simple Seasonal Italian by Andrew Feinberg and Francine Stephens and Melissa Clark

Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa (Salsa de tomatillo y chipotle)  from  Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales: Flavors from the Griddles, Pots, and Street-Side Kitchens of Mexico by Roberto Santibañez and J. J. Goode

Chickpeas with Stewed Tomatoes  from  Canal House Cooking, Volume 7: La Dolce Vita by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton

Chicken Roasted Over Potatoes and Lemon  from  Canal House Cooks Every Day by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer

Vegetarian adaption of Pozole Verde: Hominy and Meat Soup with Green Herbs from A Cook’s Tour of Mexico by Nancy Zaslavsky

Alice Medrich’s Best Cocoa Brownies 

Flaky Pie Dough  from  Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery & Cafe Cookbook: Favorite Breads, Pastries, Sweets & Savories by Leslie Mackie and Andrew Cleary

Tom’s Tasty Tomato Soup from  The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle: 125 of Our Favorite Recipes by Tom Douglas and Shelley Lance

Moroccan Chickpea and Carrot Salad from 101Cookbooks

Zucchini Bread from The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins

Whole-Grain Waffles  from  The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution by Alice Waters



Posted: December 8th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Everyday | Comments Off

Had the family over yesterday for brunch to celebrate my sister in law’s birthday. It was a great exercise in excess and lots of prep the night before.

Here’s what we had:

  • Baked french toast (
  • Freshly baked cinnamon rolls (
  • Breakfast strata with portobellos, pecorino toscano, and roasted onions (from Macrina Bakery & Cafe Cookbook)
  • Carrot and broccoli terrine (
  • Salad of frisee, fennel, and celery (White Salad from Lark: Cooking Against the Grain)
  • Turkey breakfast sausage
  • Non-alcohol fresh juice cocktail of apple, celery, fennel, ginger juice with a float of beet juice

My sister made the cinnamon rolls, which were light and buttery and absolutely divine. It was a good menu, not too brunch cliche, a bit on the excessive side with three bready items, but it was a celebration, so more bread please! The baked french toast and breakfast strata were great prepare ahead items that went into the oven about an hour before breakfast.

The juice cocktail was something I’d like to do more of  – what I was looking for was something refreshing and non-alcoholic, but exciting to look at and sip. I kept the apple juice and beet juice separate and mixed the celery, fennel stalks (left over from the salad), and ginger. I was hoping for a very light, pale, pale green base with a striking float of beet juice. I started with a mixture of apple juice with the celery mixture, some lemon San Pellegrino soda to brighten it up, and about of tablespoon of the beet juice right on top. The beet juice did exactly what I hoped it would — just floated right on top. The green wasn’t as pale as I had hoped, but it tasted dang good.

I’m finding more and more that what is lacking in cookbooks and food blogging/writing are menus or ways to combine items to round out a meal. While I like to think I know how to combine items into a satisfying and well composed meal, I’m not so sure that I do. In eating and cooking and life in general, I’ve been thinking about this a lot — how do I compose and combine and edit for  balance.