stuffedshells

ricotta & spinach stuffed shells and my dairy godmother

I’ve been making cheese for just a few years now, mostly playing with cheese that works with pasteurized, non-homogenized milk. This is the type we find in glass bottles at Whole Foods,  or from our local dairy, South Mountain Creamery. South Mountain delivers milk (as well as meat, eggs and cheese) and is a terrific choice for many households. Because I like to make fresh cheese, I convert South Mountain’s whole, cream top and even skim milk into cheeses, and make a lot of the butter we consume from their cream. But I’m getting spoiled. I’ve got a dairy godmother — I can’t reveal her identity because of ludicrous raw milk laws, DG occasionally leaves me a gift of dairy products from her lovely, well […]

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oatmeal cookies with blond chocolate

There was a time when every town had a little shop filled with kitchen goods. Now, replacing or buying kitchen tools often means a trip to the hardware store or a big box store. Or you can go to the other major retailers, but still, that’s where you get a new spatula.  If you want inspiration and ideas and a chance to be exposed to the very best kitchen accoutrements, you need a special kind of shop, where the owner knows cooking and food and cookbooks. Where there is an entire wall of shiny copper cookware. Sadly, those independent stores are starting to disappear. Do you have an independently owned kitchenware shop in your town? I feel so fortunate to be a hop, skip and a […]

napa cabbage

get your veggies. spring rolls

Anyone else tired of winter vegetables? I can’t look at another cauliflower and even my beloved brussels sprouts are getting the side eye. I miss my farmers’ foods. It must be March. Spring rolls to the rescue. Yesterday, late afternoon at my not-fancy neighborhood grocery store, everything looked limp. The chard was sad, the kale was picked over. Big bunched broccoli was piled high, as was its cousin cauliflower. Fresh but I see I am not alone in the over-cruciferication of my dinner table. Looking around, no one else had broccoli or cauliflower in their cart. I would have been happy with some bok choy but it was nowhere to be found. Of all the offerings, really, only the Napa cabbage looked appealing. Napa often […]

gloriousvegetablesofitaly

tomato soup weather

It’s been a long winter of soups. I don’t know about you, but I’m about at the end of my personal soup repertoire. When this last blast of polar vortex arrived, I needed help and I turned to Domenica Marchetti for her soup savvy. Domenica is the author of The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy, The Glorious Pastas of Italy and last year’s The Glorious Vegetables of Italy (all from Chronicle Books). Tomato soup conjurs up so many memories. For some, it’s the Campbell’s variety, sometimes made with milk.  We grow up and tomato soup gets a little more finesse.  Grilled cheese croutons on garlic laced satiny tomato broth.  Spirals of crema. Chiles as an undertone. Corn. Bacon. You recognize all those iterations, don’t you? […]

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eating my feelings. perfect roasted potatoes.

When things aren’t going my way, I’ve been known to sulk and mutter under my breath. I get into a snit and cook everything in sight and, yes, I eat my feelings. Mostly, I want potatoes. Preferably roasted potatoes. Crispy on the outside and creamy in the center. A little too salty with plenty of freshly ground pepper, too. I’m going to whine now. Then, I will tell you how to make perfect roasted potatoes. I won’t blame you if you just go straight to the bottom of this post and skip the whine. Some foods take planning and time, while others are whipped up in a snap. These potatoes fall in the first category. They cannot be rushed.  I’m okay with that. After all, […]

hazelnuts

brussels sprouts go nuts

Good heavens I love brussels sprouts. It always amazes me when someone says they don’t like them. Frank Bruni covers how our food tastes change in this smart piece from this week’s NYTimes Dining section and, naturally, sprouts make the list. But I don’t care what those naysayers say, I’m crazy about sprouts. I make this recipe all the time. And a stunning brussels sprout pie with feta and phyllo that’s perfect for vegetarians at Thanksgiving. Brussels are more than delicious. They are “powerhouses of nutrition” according to TreeHugger. Match them with hazelnuts. Add cheese. It’s a sprout party. Here’s how this recipe came to be. Last month I had a whirlwind, wonderful trip to New York. Of course, I had meetings at W. W. […]