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Chestnut-ricotta dumplings with butter and sage

A week before Christmas we had spent a quiet (and slushy) afternoon at Dinosaur Barbecue, and then like we always do we walked over to Whole Foods in order to get some food to make for a relatively light dinner given that we had just eaten some wings and sliders. I’m not sure what came over me while we were shopping, but I saw that they had bags of fresh chestnuts and I decided then and there I’d make something with them for Christmas dinner. (I partially blame the addition of the Silver Spoon’s Tuscany cookbook for this inclination.) After doing a little research I decided that I could fold in chopped up chestnuts into my favorite ricotta dumpling recipe, and the only question remained was how to cook them. Read More

Garlic chicken/pollo al ajillo

Garlic chicken/pollo al ajillo

Over the years I’ve acquired many, many Spanish cookbooks but one of my eternal favorites was one I bought way back in the day on a whim at Crate and Barrel: Spanish Country Cooking. (Yes, I paid retail for it.) I’ve written about it here before in singing its praises for inspiring one of my favorite soups and a fantastic bass recipe fried in pancetta, but probably my favorite recipe to cook from it is a simple garlic chicken number that I’ve loved for years but never shared with you. Well, that stops today, because it’s too good not to enjoy, and when paired with a side salad you won’t feel like you’ve abandoned your resolve to eat a little lighter if you so choose. Read More

Confetti cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar.

Confetti cookies from Momofuku Milk Bar.

Happy 2017, my friends! My year started off inauspiciously with my phone suddenly not working, so I have to send it to LG to see if it’s salvageable. (At least my old Razr smartphone is functional so I’m not completely without a phone right now. Here’s hoping it can hang on until August when my upgrade is finally available.) The weather hasn’t helped much in that it’s been dreary and rainy for the past few days, and while I know we need the rain, it doesn’t help with the whole getting back in the swing of things all that much. Read More

Not pictured: the birthday cake crumb and the empanada meat mixture chilling out in the fridge.

I was all ready to wax philosophical on you all on how I like to plan for parties…but I’m in the midst of party planning and can’t do that just yet. Above is a glimpse of what I’ve been up to in our kitchen, and I can’t wait to share the details with you in the new year because that’s probably when I’ll finally have a chance to sit down and write in earnest. Read More

Lemon Confit from The Craft of Cooking

Lemon Confit from The Craft of Cooking

We’re not even at the major December holidays yet, and already I’m pretty exhausted. I blame this on the fact that we’ve been busy either going to hang out with friends or visiting family, and while it’s been fun…the introvert in me is definitely yearning for a battery recharge. Thankfully I’ve managed to get most of my holiday shopping done, with a few more gifts necessary to make it fully complete, but we have a lot of planning yet to do for our New Year’s Eve party (menu to finalize, shopping lists written, and cleaning to do!) and as a result I haven’t been this thankful to have multiple days off at the end of the year in ages. We’re scheduled to entertain my siblings-in-law this weekend, but I’m not sure if the weather will make us postpone those plans to another date or not yet. I hope they can come, but I also understand i they don’t want to deal with driving in crappy conditions to get here. Read More

Casarecce with bell pepper sauce

Casarecce with bell pepper sauce

One thing I’ve been dying to do once the tomatoes started coming in and really taste good was to walk over to the big Baltimore Farmer’s Market on a Sunday morning and get some heirlooms or other interesting-looking ones to take home. Unfortunately, either to us traveling or Michael going to the gym late, that didn’t happen until one of the last Sundays when tomatoes would be good, and even then we were walking in there at 11:57 when the market technically ended at noon. Thankfully I was still able to get some tomatoes along with some Kirby cucumbers and four fantastic orange peppers before all of the vendors were gone, and I was able to get a good deal on the peppers to boot: 2 for a buck. Read More

 

French Marble Two-Tier Server from C&B

French Marble Two-Tier Server from C&B

The notion of writing a gift guide this year feels kind of, well, superfluous given that everything that’s happened, but at the same time, I fully endorse finding items that give you and your loved ones joy, and I think that we need to arm ourselves with equipment that will help us cook great food in the next four years, and in my humble opinion, it totally calls for fabulous serveware too.

ThermoWorks ChefAlarm

ThermoWorks ChefAlarm

ThermoWorks ChefAlarm: Honestly, I can’t believe I haven’t sung the praises of this device sooner. I bought one of these a few years ago for Michael for Valentine’s Day, and it’s been worth its weight in gold and then some ever since. This is the same company that makes the ThermaPen–a product avid watchers of Good Eats would recognize easily–and Alton Brown likes to tweet about how great this thermometer is as well. (Full disclosure: he is NOT endorsed by them and therefore isn’t paid to sing ThermoWorks’ praises. He simply believes in their products that much.) This is the thermometer you can insert into a piece of meat, set the desired temperature accordingly, and then set an alarm for when it gets to that precise cooking time, thus saving you a metric ton of worry on whether something is cooked to the proper temperature, and it also comes with a timer because I find you can never have enough of those in a kitchen. Read More

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