One of my 2018 cooking resolutions was to cook at least 10 things this year that I never have before. Somewhere near the top of my list was short ribs. You can hardly eat at a restaurant now without seeing short rib in some form on the menu: braised, atop french fries as a poutine, in ravioli. The beef is sumptuous and versatile — and, it turns out, not complicated to make. Maybe because the restaurant dish tends to come with a higher price tag than other proteins, I assumed there was a lot of labor involved in breaking down short ribs and cooking them into the tender meat suitable for serving. There is some truth to this. But I promise: If you can make a stew, you can make short ribs.
"Why don't I make my own granola all the time?" is a thought I had recently, because these are the things I think about when I should be doing something more productive.
But really, why don't I?
Most of what I do in the kitchen is recreate really delicious things I’ve eaten somewhere else. Isn't that what home cooking is all about? The most recent example is a granola from Bandit Coffee Co. in St. Petersburg. One day when I was in for a latte, I ordered the granola for breakfast. It was sweet but also very savory, with warm spices and salt. They served it in a bowl with steamed milk, which was a total revelation. Granola on top of cold yogurt is usually my preferred method, and when I do eat it like cereal it’s with cold milk. But this cereal-oatmeal hybrid changed my granola perspective.
Risotto is a magical thing. The Italian dish is made up of some simple building blocks: rice, broth, cheese. Some butter, too, to ensure a creamy finish. But the truth is, it's not about all that dairy. The magic of risotto comes from slowly and attentively building flavor and broth into short-grain rice.
I made this for a vegan in my family recently, stopping the process before I added the cheese, and even I was surprised by how creamy and complete the dish still tasted.
The trick is to cook a particular type of rice, arborio, by adding a cup or so of broth at a time until the rice is cooked. That arborio is pretty crucial; it's the reason this recipe cooks the way it does. It's available in most grocery stores, so buy a bag and get to work on this dish.
It might be because I just recently realized how easy it is to make the dish (a spice-filled, usually soup-like meal from India) at home. The secret is coconut milk and lots of fun spices and from there it is a fast train to curry town.
My obsession with curries coincided nicely with two recent developments: I am slightly crazed this week pulling together the Tampa Bay Times' annual Top 50 Restaurants package, editing our food critic's words and salivating over all the straight gems on this year's list. AND, I tried out a new recipe delivery service called Sun Basket.
One of the recipes in the basket was this chicken curry, which was so easy to make and so that I made it again using my own recipe here.
Every year, I try to eat healthy after the caloric terror that is the holiday season, and every year my husband's January birthday comes around, and I go crazy making an elaborate layer cake.
Okay, so that last part is a relatively new tradition, but it's one that you can go ahead and mark on the calendar from here until eternity because I am officially obsessed. There is a reason so many food bloggers and Instagrammers go all in on the cake aesthetic: MAKING CAKE IS SO FUN.
This is the three-layered cake I made for the husband last night. Why three layers? Why the heck not! The first layer is this champagne cake from Molly Yeh plus some sprinkles I dumped in the batter; the second is a chocolate-hazelnut cake I came up with after consulting a bunch of similar recipes; and the top layer is a coconut cakealso from Yeh that I have made four times in the past 12 months because it is so freakin amazing and coconuty.
Hello everyone!!! It has been a while. And while today is a Monday that feels particularly Monday-ey, Oprah was on TV last night preaching about how a new! day! is on the horizon and it inspired me to get on here and share a yummy casserole with you.
I made this last night while watching the Golden Globes, which are like the Oscars but also give awards to TV shows and are usually much boozier and looser and fun. Most importantly, they feature a lot of celebrity, and if you know one thing about me, it is that I get very invested in celebrity culture. Shows like these make me giddy. And especially this one, which was all about female solidarity in the face of the recent #metoo movement. I yelled "YAYYYY" at the TV in an empty living room last night when Lady Bird won an award. (Have you seen Lady Bird yet?! Please go see Lady Bird ASAP.) It was an empowering evening.
My family doesn’t get into Christmas meal planning the same way we get into Thanksgiving preparations. But we do go nuts on Christmas Eve, assembling a smorgasbord of different indulgences and eating them throughout the evening.
There must be pigs in a blanket, mini hot dogs wrapped in Pillsbury biscuit dough, two things we never eat during the year but without which it would not be Christmas Eve. Also on the dining room table are chips with salsa and some sort of cheese dip, potato skins, meatballs or mini hot dogs simmering in a warm barbecue sauce, some sort of fruit or vegetable, a wheel of Brie melted with nuts and dried fruit, and loads of cookies.
Here are some suggestions for ways to make your Christmas Eve spread an all-out nosh fest.