Sure, sure, "C" is for Cookie. But so is "S." December 21


Just a quickie, squeezed in-between long retail shifts, delightful social engagements, and walking two dogs – twice a day – while Sheila’s scampering around Scandinavia. These are basic, butter Spritz cookies (cue the Sven-Ole arguments whether they’re originally Swedish or Norwegian or Danish) that sub out some of the butter for a healthy(?) glug of egg nog. Dust with a little […]

Kikuza Squash, rescued from Week 21's swap box. October 10

Swap-Box Hero: Roasted Pumpkin Butter

Five pounds? According to John Oliver—in an epic rant against all things pumpkin-flavored—that’s how much pumpkin the average American eats each year. Maybe so. Nevertheless, there were three lovely little Kikuzas and a Queensland Blue in the swap box at the end of last week’s pick-up. So I grabbed a couple. Five pounds. I’m doing my […]

Blistered September 29

Swap-Box Hero: Riches-to-Rags Edition

Ropa vieja. Old clothes. And sure, a stew of shredded flank steak jumbled with strips of poblano peppers does look a bit like tattered rags. But my more romantic etymological theory is that this dish’s name derives from the ease and comfort of a favorite shirt. That’s right, the one Marie Kondo gave you permission to keep—even though […]

Ketchup September 16

Ketchup for What?

For fries. For burgers. For schnitzel. For brats. And, yes, for dogs. Three test batches and a couple dozen spoonfuls later, I’m ready to stop tinkering and send Curry Ketchup to the cloud for safe-keeping. I’m going to want to refer to this recipe again. Curry Ketchup So good it made me violate the Chicago Dog rule. Also […]

Pan #5 is perfect for 2. August 25

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold

You could blame Brooks Robinson and George Brett, but mostly you should blame a slap-hitting, drag-bunting, slick-fielding, former Atlanta Braves farmhand named Terry Muck. Terry played short and sometimes second on the Aurora SealMasters, a men’s fast-pitch team from my hometown that won a bunch of National (and World) Championships when I was a kid. Sounds corny, I suppose, but they […]

Behold, the pre-smashed Blackberry Smash. August 18

3-2-1 Blackberry Simple Syrup

Back from vacation, I spent a steamy half hour this morning gleaning the last scruffy blackberries from the bramble out back. They surprised me again this year, putting out roughly 10 quarts over the past month. I’d feared their production would be way down after the construction crew next door bashed in the fence to which my […]

I'm pulling nearly a quart a day off my vines this past week. July 31

Blackberry Galette for Two

Galette is the fool’s pie. Which is not to confuse it with a fool. Or a crumble. Or a buckle. Or a betty. Or a cobbler. It’s just a scruffy, free-form, beautifully lazy way to have fruit and crust with minimal fuss. Simple, Summer-Fruit Galette I used blackberries, since my canes are berserk this season. […]

Blueberries' natural pectin make them a natural for simple, small-batch preserving. July 15

Blubarb Jam: A Sweet and Slippery Slope

If you’re new to making fruit preserves, blueberries are the perfect gateway. Widely available, rich in their own pectin, and relatively inexpensive, blues are a small-batch-friendly fruit. And with no hulling and no pitting, your prep is pretty much limited to a quick rinse and a scan for stray stems and bum berries. Lovely when sugared […]

But peaches and ginger and mushrooms and basil? You betcha. July 12

Another One-Pan Wonder

You may have noticed I have a thing for stews—particularly, chicken stews—one-pot (mostly), unfussy (definitely) dishes that are simple to assemble, easily scale up or down, take advantage of seasonal produce, and taste as good leftover as they do on Night One. There was the Riesling-fueled, Alsatian riff on Coq au Vin; the Mexican corn-and-poblano take; the Southern-influenced, peach-tomato-okra jumble; and, […]

Super-tasty, super-spreadable squishy squash will last in your fridge for a month. June 29

Squishy Squash: Spreadable Summer

Decades before Farm-to-Table was a nationwide THING, Madison’s L’Etoile (est. 1976), was championing small, local growers, constructing seasonal menus, and pushing vegetable-centric cooking beyond lentil cakes and baba ghanoush. A summer-squash compendium on the kitchn last week reminded me of a meal I’d had at L’Etoile close to 30 years ago—a meal that kicked off with a warm loaf of crusty bread and […]


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