A dry, crumbly cake when you've been anticipating a wedge of tender perfection is a very sad thing. It can take practice (and a good recipe!) to know exactly when you've reached cake nirvana and should take it out of the oven, but here are four little clues to help you out.
Perhaps one of the more interesting, creative and exciting things about being a cook is when one thing leads to another and before you know it, almost by accident, you have created something really delicious. Something out of nothing, or nearly nothing. It can begin with an idea, of course, a whispered question in the back of your head (I wonder if… ? Or how would it taste if…?)
Or sometimes it's that an unexpected ingredient has landed in your lap, which is exactly what happened to me yesterday when I ran next door to deliver something to my neighbor and she showed me the magical secret of her autumnal porch decoration.
Although it forms the foundation of so many meals, the humble onion rarely gets showcased front and center. The first time I cooked a whole, stuffed onion, I was a bit apprehensive; would it be too pungent, too odiferous, too much? In fact, it was succulent and sweet and made the perfect vessel for stuffing. I instantly imagined serving roasted stuffed onions at Thanksgiving or any cozy fall dinner.
This particular recipe was inspired by one of my favorite dishes, kale sautéed with onions and golden raisins, along with nutty, chewy wild rice.
One of my favorite go-to desserts in the colder months is shortbread. It's ridiculously simple to make, the kitchen is always stocked with the four necessary ingredients (flour, sugar, butter, salt!), and the end result presents beautifully.
However, shortbread need not always be sweet. Savory shortbread is an excellent, less expected pair with hearty fall soups and salads, or even as an elegant appetizer to nosh on over cocktails with friends.
I have so many good memories of soft pretzels: a cold afternoon my first time in New York, Red Sox games at Fenway Park a few years later, a fantastic restaurant in San Francisco that serves them as an appetizer with cheese dip. In fact, it was a recent visit to this restaurant that reminded me of my deep and abiding love for this salty, chewy, soft-centered bread — and how, once upon a time, I'd even made them myself.
Soft pretzels aren't that hard, really. They are made with a simple dough nearly identical to sandwich bread, and the only tricky part — a leap of faith — comes when you drop the pretzels in a vat of simmering water before baking. But that's why I'm here — to show you how. And also because I believe everyone should get to relive their best memories with a piping-hot soft pretzel every once in a while.
Every fall I seem to go on an all-out apple bender, putting them in everything and anything I can think of. I usually make it a good month or two until my excitement finally sputters out, and then I'm satisfied for another season. This batch of apple streusel muffins marks this year's kickoff using my favorite fall fruit, and what a delicious start it turned out to be.
Warning: This will fill your home with the most maddening, irresistible, and mouth-watering aromas imaginable. We're talking about whole heads of garlic roasted with olive oil until each individual clove is completely golden and butter-soft — perfect for spreading on a spare piece of baguette or mashing into a salad dressing. Perfect, really, for just about anything.
Let's be real here: people like cake pops because they look adorable and not because they taste better than, well, an actual slice of cake. Skip the tediously small baking and get on board with these cheater cake pops. Nobody will know the difference.
Making cakes for a crowd can be a little nerve-wracking. Without cutting into the cake and ruining its presentation, how can you make sure it tastes good before serving it? The Nibble Pan is a smart solution for that problem — it's a cake pan with a little silicone sidecar for baking a small amount of batter alongside the full cake.
October officially kicks off comfort food season (in my house at least), and these cheesy scalloped potatoes are a decadent way to welcome in the fall. Even if you are cooking for two, there is nothing better than having a pan of these to graze from, whether it's breakfast or dinner, throughout the week.