Tag Archives: Cooking


6th June 2011

‘Tis the season for campfires! As you all know, I’m not a huge sweets-eater, but you can’t go wrong with a S’more. Everyone loves the slightly burnt marshmallow, crunchy graham crackers and Hershey’s milk chocolate. Yum!

Here are some of my favorite takes to the traditional recipe/idea:

Easy S'mores Cookies from Dear Lillie

Peanut butter S'mores turnovers from Recipe Girl

S'mores Kit from Fancy That

S'mores cake in a jar from How Sweet It Is

Peanut butter and chocolate cookie S'mores from Thoughtfully Simple

Brunch Party

27th February 2011

For the past year I’ve been collecting photos of great brunch parties. There are so many clever ideas out there. This weekend we had a brunch-theme event for one of our store openings – it was a great success. Makes me want to try it at home!

French Toast Kebabs from Good Food

Pancake Stacks from Design*Sponge


Cinnamon Rolls on a Stick from Zoe Bakes

Individual Frittatas from Sweet Paul

Bacon and Egg Crepes from Young, Married and Chic

Nutella filled donut holes from Cream Puffs in Venice

Dreaming of Bouchon

12th December 2010

I just downloaded a bunch of photos and was so excited to find this image of my amazing dinner at Bouchon in Las Vegas. Thomas Keller is a genius. If you’ve never visited one of his restaurants before, plan a trip. He is famous for a lot of things, particularly chicken. One of his simple recipes is below to try at home – enjoy!

My Favorite Roast Chicken, Thomas Keller


One 2- to 3-pound farm-raised chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced thyme (optional)
Unsalted butter
Dijon mustard


Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.

Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. Trussing is not difficult, and if you roast chicken often, it’s a good technique to feel comfortable with. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird.

Now, salt the chicken—I like to rain the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it’s cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.

Place the chicken in a sauté pan or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. I leave it alone—I don’t baste it, I don’t add butter; you can if you wish, but I feel this creates steam, which I don’t want. Roast it until it’s done, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.

Remove the twine. Separate the middle wing joint and eat that immediately. Remove the legs and thighs. I like to take off the backbone and eat one of the oysters, the two succulent morsels of meat embedded here, and give the other to the person I’m cooking with. But I take the chicken butt for myself. I could never understand why my brothers always fought over that triangular tip—until one day I got the crispy, juicy fat myself. These are the cook’s rewards. Cut the breast down the middle and serve it on the bone, with one wing joint still attached to each. The preparation is not meant to be superelegant. Slather the meat with fresh butter. Serve with mustard on the side and, if you wish, a simple green salad. You’ll start using a knife and fork, but finish with your fingers, because it’s so good.

Cookbook Collection

12th October 2010

My mother has been collecting cookbooks most of her adult life. Recently, I’ve picked up the same obsession. I can’t stop buying them. Here’s my current wish-list…


Urban Pantry: Tips and Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable and Seasonal Kitchen



DIY Delicious: Recipes and Ideas for Simple Food from Scratch



The Country Cooking of France



Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented






Alice Waters: In the Green Kitchen


Paula Deen’s Cream Cheese Tarts

22nd September 2010

A few weeks ago I caught an old episode of Paula Deen on the Food Network. I’m always so amazed by how she makes everything look so simple. This episode was no different. Mix together six simple ingredients and you’ve got one of the most fabulous desserts I’ve ever had!

Cream Cheese Tarts


2 eight-ounce packages of cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
12 vanilla wafers
1 twelve-ounce container of cherry pie filling

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a paper cupcake liner in each cup of muffin pan. Beat cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Lay a vanilla wafer, flat side down, in each muffin cup. Spoon cream cheese mixture over wafers. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow tarts to cool completely. Serve with cherry filling on top, or pie filling of your choice.

Note: I read a lot of online reviews before I tried this recipe. Most reviews suggested using a little less sugar and adding some lemon juice or zest. I also cooked down some sour cherries instead of using canned pie filling. The final result was fabulous – and SO easy.