Coco Morante

Coco is a recipe developer for The Kitchn. For more recipes, visit her blog, Lefty Spoon. A self-taught cook and classically-trained soprano, she writes and sings in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her husband and their beagle.
This Warming, Protein-Packed Soup Is My Weeknight Lifesaver
This pared-down red lentil soup is the one I make most often, and it never fails to please.
Nov 21, 2023
How To Carve a Pumpkin
Follow these steps and you'll end up with a classic jack-o'-lantern with little cleanup.
Oct 4, 2023
Stovetop Thanksgiving Stuffing
You may be used to cooking stuffing in the oven, but did you know it can be made on the stovetop too? Don’t bother with the prepackaged stuff (i.e. those iconic red boxes) if you can help it, though. Homemade stuffing made with crusty, artisan bread and fresh herbs and vegetables is so, so good. The best part about stovetop stuffing? You’ll save precious oven space, which you’ll need for that turkey, sweet potato casserole, and green beans casserole.
Nov 3, 2022
Did You Know You Can Eat Pumpkin Leaves?
When it comes to gardening, I have more of a knack for killing plants than producing any kind of successful harvest. As such, it has befallen my husband to take full charge of tending to our summer garden, and his most treasured plant is this enormous, enthusiastic pumpkin vine. Its produce will be of the Halloween carving variety, not so great for eating. Luckily, I’ve still got some plans for its smaller, younger leaves, which as it turns out, are edible and popular in many cuisines.
Sep 2, 2022
Recipe: Stovetop Brussels Sprouts Hash with Crispy Sage and Walnuts
Sliced into thin ribbons and sautéed with butter, onions, and pancetta, these deluxe Brussels sprouts get dressed up even further with a topping of butter-browned walnuts and crispy fried sage. Yes, please! So much holiday flavor in one little vegetable dish. This recipe has changed the way I think about Brussels sprouts — I’ll never steam them again! You can slice the sprouts yourself, or buy them pre-shredded (I know Trader Joe’s carries them this way.
May 17, 2022
Recipe: Braised Fennel & Shallots
Braising sounds fancy, doesn’t it? This classic, refined cooking method promises a combination of caramelized flavor and long-cooked tenderness, nudged along by gentle heat and a solicitous chef. To braise vegetables gives them their proper due, and it’s the perfect treatment for all kinds of spring produce — especially wedges of sweet fennel. Fennel and shallots are perfect braising partners.
May 17, 2022
4 Wire & Metal Organizers for the Rustic Kitchen
I love the vintage, homey look of wire and antiqued metals. I’m not talking about foodservice-style chrome wire shelving (though that’s great for a utilitarian look, and I have a little unit in my dining room that’s currently holding an impressive array of pans and appliances). Today, I’m talking about the farmhouse-y , oxidized metal wall grids, egg baskets, shelves and racks that instantly give a lived-in feel to any kitchen.
May 12, 2022
This Free Online Knife Skills Class Will Teach You Everything You Need To Know
Before watching Brendan McDermott’s series of knife skills lessons, I thought I knew my way around a chef’s knife. You guys, I was wrong. In under two hours, this mini class taught me more about slicing and dicing than decades of trial-and-error experience in my home kitchen. Watch it right now and you’ll see exactly what I mean. Oh and best of all? It’s completely free. Brendan McDermott has cred to spare when it comes to culinary instruction.
May 5, 2022
5 Books That Fueled My Childhood Love for Food
I spent the better part of my formative years with my nose in a book, and in my case, many of them had some relation to food or cooking. My mother was the book buyer for my parents’ toy store (yes, I grew up in a toy store!), and she had a knack for picking out the best titles to spark my imagination. Here are five of my childhood favorites, all of which may inspire little ones to get curious in the kitchen!
Sep 30, 2020
Why You Shouldn’t Use Glass Cutting Boards
Tempered glass may seem like a great material option for a cutting board — it’s sturdy, treated for thermal shock, and easy to sanitize in the dishwasher or sink. However, there are good reasons why I’ll never go glass when it comes to my cutting surface. Allow me to explain. Wooden cutting boards may take a little bit more maintenance and care than the tempered glass variety, but they’re way more gentle on your knives.
Jul 17, 2020
Recipe: Vegan Strawberry Orange Julius
You guys, you are in for a treat today! Just for you, I’ve plucked the beloved Orange Julius straight out of my childhood memories, veganized it, and added strawberries for a summery twist. I’m super pleased with this version, and I think you’ll love it too. I was first introduced to the Orange Julius by Jeanette, a.k.a. the best babysitter of all time.
Feb 5, 2020
Recipe: Greek Chicken Salad
Salty, briny feta and olives, and crunchy, lemony croutons are delightful little flavor bombs, making every forkful of this Greek-style salad a pleasure to eat. It’s one of those salads that works well as a one-dish meal — a great lunch or dinner that comes together in just a few minutes. While you could make this recipe even faster by using store-bought croutons, they are so simple and inexpensive to make at home. Furthermore, you can flavor them any way you want.
Feb 3, 2020
Recipe: Pasta Salad with Roasted Peppers, Tuna & Oregano
If you’re going to a Memorial Day gathering, chances are it’s a potluck. This year, bring a pasta salad that will please adults and kids alike. With silky roasted red peppers, oil-packed tuna, and an herbaceous vinaigrette, this one’s got lots of Mediterranean flavor, and it comes together quickly with just a few ingredients from your pantry. Of all the herbs I planted in my garden a couple months ago, the oregano has really taken off like gangbusters.
Feb 3, 2020
Recipe: Stovetop Steam-Fried Green Beans and Mushrooms
Green beans have earned their spot as the obligatory Thanksgiving vegetable for good reason — they are delicious, kid-friendly, and easy to prepare. Whether steamed, roasted, or folded into a creamy casserole, chances are they’re on your holiday menu. Try a new method this year and steam-fry your green beans with shallots and mushrooms. Simple but unexpected, it’s a vegetable dish that will please even the pickiest of eaters.
Feb 3, 2020
Recipe: Chicken and Barley Soup
With grains, protein, and vegetables all in one pot, this soup is a complete meal unto itself! Ladled into bowls for a quick weeknight dinner, or stored in a thermos for a comforting hot lunch, it’s the perfect antidote to your winter cooking needs. It’s great to have some go-to recipes up your sleeve for using leftover, cooked chicken, and this soup is one of my favorites.
Feb 3, 2020
Recipe: Broiled Salmon with Spiced Butter
Broiled salmon is one of the all-time great weeknight meals — the effort-to-deliciousness ratio really can’t be beat! Topped with a pat of spiced butter and served on a bed of fluffy brown rice, this is my favorite way to serve up tender fillets of fish. There are plenty of ways to cook up a salmon fillet, but searing and broiling is my hands-down favorite method.
Feb 3, 2020
Recipe: Hawaiian Burgers with Grilled Pineapple
We’re a few weeks into grilling season, and that means it’s time to stretch beyond the basic burger and start getting creative with toppings. An unusual favorite of mine that’s perfect for summer? Grilled pineapple! Brushed with whiskey glaze and accompanied by sliced jalapeños, these burgers are a little steakhouse, a little Hawaiian vacation, and a lot delicious.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Shrimp Pasta with White Wine Sauce
I dare you not to twirl your fork into this simple pasta dish! Once your pasta pot is at a rolling boil, you’re about 10 minutes away from noodly bliss. Succulent shrimp and linguini are tossed with a super-quick tomato cream sauce — one that’s fragrant with aromatic garlic, shallots, and white wine. Seriously, what’s not to like?
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Lamb Meatballs with Lemon Sauce
Behold, a bright and sunny main dish that’s perfect for any spring celebration! These tender and flavorful meatballs, napped in a tangy, lemony sauce, are not only delicious, they’re appropriate for a Passover Seder, Easter dinner, or even just tonight’s main course. While Hanukkah and Thanksgiving only coincide once in a blue moon, Passover and Easter often overlap on the spring calendar.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Thanksgiving Stuffing Breakfast Strata
Happy Day-After-Thanksgiving! Or should I say, Leftovers-for-Breakfast Day? Some might go for a cold slice of pumpkin pie straight from the tin (you know who you are), but for me, it’s all about the savory sides. This post-Thanksgiving morning, give your stuffing a royal redux. Bake it into a breakfast strata, complete with crunchy toasted corners and sunny eggs cracked right on top. This is just about the easiest leftovers recipe you’re bound to come across.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Pear Tart with Walnut Crust
Fall is tart time for me, and I brought a few of my favorite autumn flavors to this dessert offering. It’s made with a rich walnutty tart crust, filled with creamy golden frangipane and topped with tender slices of spiced poached pears. And it holds a little gift for those of us baking for a diverse group: it just happens to be gluten-free. Don’t you love desserts that do it all? This tart has an element that may be unfamiliar: frangipane. What is it?
Jan 21, 2020
Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark
Cookie-baking season is in full swing, but I’m going the no-bake route this year! Instead of turning out sheets of sugar cookies, I’ve been melting chocolate into batch after batch of holiday bark — first with this White Chocolate Cheesecake Bark, then with this Elvis Bark, and now today’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark. This version is my favorite so far. White and dark chocolate get swirled together to form the base (so pretty!
Jan 21, 2020
Recipe: White Chocolate Cheesecake Bark
We’re officially into the holiday season, and if you’re doing a DIY gift exchange with your friends this year, you should definitely think about making a batch of chocolate bark. This sweet treat is quick and easy to whip up, and it makes a beautiful gift simply layered in a pretty container. For a change from my usual bark, this year I’m making this cherry cheesecake twist.
Jan 21, 2020
Recipe: Honey Apple Mini Bundt Cakelets
Today we’re gonna party like it’s 5775. That’s right folks, the lunar new year is right around the corner, and we’re ringing in Rosh Hashanah with an extra special dessert! These honey apple cakelets are great for any fall occasion, really, but they also happen to contain symbolic ingredients for a good and sweet Jewish New Year. On Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to eat a snack of apples dipped into honey.
Jan 21, 2020
Valentine’s Day Recipe: Almond Scones with Grand Marnier Glaze
Get your Valentine’s Day started on a sweet note: a batch of fluffy, heart-shaped scones is the ultimate breakfast treat. Whether served as breakfast-in-bed with a teapot for two, or tucked into a bag for an out-the-door treat, homemade baked goods are a sure-fire way to your sweetie’s heart. The glaze for these almond scones is flavored with Grand Marnier — what’s more romantic than dessert liqueur? — and then amped up with the zest of an entire orange.
Jan 21, 2020
Recipe: Quick Coconut Chicken Soup
At the tail-end of winter, I’m often tempted to buy out-of-season produce flown in from far-flung regions. This week I’m taking a big breath, putting the asparagus down, and giving rutabagas and potatoes a last hurrah. They’re the perfect additions to this Thai-inspired chicken soup, adding a hearty note that feels just right for the equinox. Simmered in a silky coconut broth, diced root vegetables take on heady aromas of ginger and lemongrass.
Nov 7, 2019
5 Thanksgiving Side Dishes to Make on the Stovetop (Not in the Oven)
Thanksgiving requires a lot of oven space, but these riffs on your favorite sides don't.
Sep 12, 2019
How To Clean Burnt-On Stains Off Enameled Cookware
Got a gross mess on your Le Creuset? All that's needed is one secret weapon you probably already have in your kitchen.
Jun 9, 2019
5 Nights of Easy Chicken Dinners
Leftovers can be a boon rather than a ball and chain. Here’s the thing — they just have to be basic enough so they can be repurposed and incorporated into completely different meals. Just think about those days after Thanksgiving, when you’ve got pounds of roasted turkey for turkey sandwiches, turkey noodle casserole, turkey enchiladas, turkey soup … you get the idea. As it turns out, that strategy works for plain-old chicken, too.
Jun 9, 2019
How To Decorate Napkins with a Potato Stamp
Even if you’re not the craftiest crafter in Craftland (I certainly am not), you can make a potato stamp. These sweet little napkins will add something special to your Valentine’s Day table without being too precious. I just love how they turned out! Inexpensive and easy to make, they’re more unique than any table linens you can buy in a store. Everyone I’ve talked to about this project has said something along the lines of, “Oh yeah, we did those in preschool!
Jun 8, 2019
How To Repair Small Cracks In a Butcher Block or Cutting Board
Small cracks in a wooden butcher block or cutting board aren’t just a cosmetic annoyance; they can also harbor bacteria, rendering your butcher block unsafe to use for food preparation. While major cracks and warps require professional repair, smaller hairline fractures can be repaired at home simply with just a few odds and ends from the hardware store. Here’s how to get your butcher block back into useable form!
Jun 8, 2019
How To Make a Kitchen Chalkboard
Renters, rejoice! There’s a fun way to give your kitchen a little chalkboard love without painting a wall, drilling holes, or spending a lot of money. A trip to the craft store will provide you with the tools for this fun, easy DIY chalkboard, perfect for scribbling grocery lists, menu plans, or notes to your housemates. When my husband and I first moved into our apartment, we discovered something unfortunate about the walls.
Jun 8, 2019
How To Make Ant Repellent Spray
When it’s cold and wet outside, be on the lookout: That’s the time when ants are on the march towards your kitchen, looking for warmer, sugar-stocked climes to hide out in for the winter. The solution? Make a bottle of this potent natural spray to use on your window and door frames, baseboards, and anywhere else the little critters tend to sneak into your home. There are plenty of ways to prevent ants from taking over indoors.
Jun 8, 2019
How To Line Kitchen Drawers & Shelves with Cheery Paper
Whether you own or rent your home, lining the shelves and cabinets is a great, low-commitment way to spruce up your kitchen. Con-Tact paper couldn’t be simpler to apply, and it comes in tons of colors and prints — you’re sure to find one that coordinates with your decor. Here, we’ll show you the easiest way to get a neat, professional-looking result, with no bubbles or wrinkles in sight.
Jun 8, 2019
How To Add Loops to Dishtowels for Hanging
Have you ever noticed that the nicest kitchen towels have a nifty little loop, perfect for hanging on a kitchen hook? It’s easy to add a loop to any towel yourself, making it that much more functional. Even better, this is a DIY you can knock out in all of a few minutes.
Jun 8, 2019
How To Clean a Wood Rolling Pin
When well cared for, a rolling pin can last for generations. My French-style model Like a nice wooden cutting board, the best wooden rolling pins are made of an untreated, well-sanded hardwood such as rock maple. They’re pretty indestructible — I’ve even gone a year or two without oiling my rolling pin, and it’s stayed in like-new condition.
Jun 8, 2019