Archive for November, 2009

Turkey is celebration food. And this weekend I had much to celebrate, including a new kitchen!  Beautiful granite countertops, stainless appliances, a gas range — and a dishwasher! — make this a wonderful place to cook a Thanksgiving meal.  And my 12-pound, free-range turkey from Whole Foods did not disappoint: the meat was flavorful and moist, the skin golden crisp.

I stuffed my bird with two whole lemons, garlic cloves, rosemary sprigs, green onion, and parsley.  For beneath the skin, I created a rub of sea salt, cracked pepper, sage, oregano, thyme and garlic.  And in an unusual twist, I took a page out of my mother’s cookbook and covered the bird in cheesecloth soaked in a butter, white wine, orange juice glaze.

The cloth kept the skin infused with flavor as I continued to moisten/baste it every 30 minutes or so. Parts of it did turn dark brown, and I was concerned about it burning, but it didn’t matter.  About 2 hours into the roasting, I removed the cloth and let the skin get crispy. The result was amazing.


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Strawberry and rhubarb season has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean we can’t reminisce about this Peanutbuttermilk favorite combination! This quick and easy dessert (Gourmet, April 2007) is a cross between a cobbler and a cake: The gooey, sweet and tart fruit mixture is topped with a buttery, moist vanilla cake. Scooped up warm and into your bowl, it’s perfect with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  Takes about 15 minutes to prep and 30 minutes to bake.

Even though the fresh rhubarb is long gone, you can usually find frozen rhubarb in your grocer’s freezer.  Strawberries are the easier ingredient to find (although a bit pricier in the off season), with most produce aisles stocking the fresh, red berries year-round. Fresh or frozen fruit, this cake is a crowd pleaser!


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It’s only early November, but I’m already dreaming of mom’s traditional Christmas morning breakfast: baked spinach and cheese soufflè.  This wonderfully delicate, cheesy egg dish is loaded with fresh chopped spinach leaves and sprinkled with coarse cracked black pepper. I love a generous slice — hot out of the oven — with a couple of crispy pieces of toast on the side and a hot, black cup of coffee. Delic!


I made the souffle recently for dinner and it was a fabulous meal and it reheats well. And although it’s not the healthiest recipe out there, it’s loaded with protein!

Baked Spinach and Cheese Soufflè

1 large container of 2% cottage cheese

6 large eggs

1/4 lb butter, cut in small cubes

1/2 lb velveta cheese cut into thumbnail size pieces (can also use cheddar)

1 lb bag spinach cut into ribbons

6 tablespoons flour

salt and pepper

(1) One at a time, mix the eggs with the cottage cheese in a large bowl. Then, add butter and cheese and combine.

(2) Stir in flour — two tablespoons at a time. Add the spinach and coat with cheese mixture.

(3) Pour the mix into a buttered 9×13 pan and bake for 1 hour or until knife comes out clean (325 glass / 350 metal).

*Soufflè can be made ahead of time and refrigerated before baking.

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