Monthly Archives: February 2010

“Pork in Milk”

My aunt Patty was the first great home cook I ever knew. She would get up at 5am, run a few miles, come home, make a big pot of coffee, and start making the gooiest, butteriest challah french toast you’ve ever seen. (At holiday time, she made it with egg nog. And she always added a dash of vanilla, a… Read more »

Perfect Pizza Crust

Homemade Pizza Crust This recipe comes from Sullivan Street Bakery guru Jim Lahey, author of My Pizza and My Bread, the cookbook that I credit for a) upgrading my pizza life and b) upgrading my life in general. It’s that great. This recipe makes two balls of dough — enough for two separate thin crust pizzas. If you want a Whole… Read more »

Tricky Tricky

I thought this was pretty clever. My 3-year-old nephew is a fan of pasta but not so much of anything healthy that may accompany that pasta. So my brother gets him to eat chicken and other proteins by stuffing it inside his rigatoni, out of sight.

How to Have Family Dinner: Six Rules

kitchen in a kitchen

(illustration by Laurie Sandell) Rule 1: If you have a kid under 3, don’t bother. Tending to a toddler at the table — his milk spilling, his food dropping, his inability to articulate how multidimensional your marinara is — it all takes its toll on the rest of the diners’s satisfaction, especially the cook’s. You won’t be able to concentrate… Read more »

When The Spouse is Away…

…the other spouse will throw all dinner rules out the window. At least, that’s the experience in my house. For whatever reason, when my husband is on the road, our sacred mealtime routine doesn’t seem so sacred anymore. While my kids get take-out or a Trader Joe’s pizza from the freezer, I will get all Prousty with a mammoth bowl… Read more »

Grandma Catrino’s Biscotti

I never knew my grandmother (she died when my mom was 14), but my mother’s beautiful nieces (and fellow soulmates-in-cooking), Kay and Maryanne were nice enough to send me a bunch of Grandma Catrino’s recipes a few years back including the biscotti one above. This story alone would have been enough for the recipe to earn a time-honored place in… Read more »

No-Knead Bread

no-knead-bread

Last fall, after probably the 10th person in as many weeks asked me if I’d tried Jim Lahey’s no-knead homemade bread yet, I finally decided to give it a go. I had never made my own bread before — in my mind bakers were as different a species from cooks as chemists were –  which was probably why I had… Read more »

Bake a Note

These alphabet cookie cutters from Fox Run Craftsmen (an awesome baking resource) were as fun a rainy-day activity as you’d think they’d be. Though Abby got slightly impatient with the methodical work of it and soon resorted to the classic gingerbread mold, my 7-year-old went to sleep dreaming of all the possibilities. We used a favorite sugar-cookie-dough mix from Martha Stewart’s… Read more »

In Praise of Dansk

For a good part of my life, my mother made dinner using her three-quart mustard yellow Dansk enamelware frying pan. To her, no other cookware could compare. It browned meat beautifully, it was responsive to heating and cooling, it moved from stove top to oven easily. Even when its signature wooden handle fell off in the mid-80s and she couldn’t… Read more »

The Recipe Door

cabinet-recipes-3

When we bought our house in 2003, the kitchen was terrible (think avocado counters, not of the charming retro variety), This was exciting to me for one reason: In a few years, when we could maybe afford to renovate, we could create the perfect family kitchen from scratch. Of course, as anyone who has lived through a renovation can attest,… Read more »

Summer-in-the-Winter Birthday Party

beach cake 2

I am so jealous of parents who have kids with warm-weather birthdays. My girls were born in late fall and early winter which basically precludes any attempt at an easy breezy outdoor party (aka: One of those let-them-run-around-then-serve-cake-then-say-goodbye parties). So for Phoebe’s 8th this year, we all decided to ignore the weather and have a summer party anyway — inside… Read more »

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