Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies are not pretty, but boy are they delicious.  My younger son vociferously objected to the dried cranberries, so I made the cookies as directed up until adding the cranberries.  I scooped out half a dozen cookies without cranberries then put in the cranberries and finished the recipe as directed. Read more

Ina Garten

Ina Garten

I chose Ina Garten to teach me to cook because she seems genuinely happy to be in her kitchen, talking about how to make food.  I know this seems obvious for a person who makes their living developing recipes, writing cookbooks and filming a cooking show, but there is just something about Contessa Garten that draws me to her process in a way most every other person cooking on TV simply does not.

Contessa Garten loves bread, cheese, her cookies are always delicious and she hates cilantro.  I hate it as well, it tastes like soap.  I love it when she recommends using the “good” version of an ingredient. At first I was nervous it would be expensive and then I realized it was Best Foods (Hellman’s) mayonnaise and not something she got from William-Sonoma that costs twenty-two dollars an ounce.  She insists making our own chicken stock will raise our finished dishes to a whole new level.  That being said, I don’t get the sense she would refuse to eat a dish made with box o’stock.   Read more

My Version of Contessa Garten's Crunchy Noodle Salad

My Version of Contessa Garten’s Crunchy Noodle Salad

For reasons known only to the version of me from ten years ago, I changed this lovely crispy cold salad into a hot noodle dish. In all versions, I leave out the red bell peppers because I don’t care for bell peppers. Any dish I put bell peppers into always ends up mostly tasting like bell peppers. Also, Eddie Murphy had a comedy bit where he talked about wanting to have McDonald’s, but his mom made him eat a homemade burger with chunks of green pepper in it instead.

Anyway, I make this hot version about once a month and my family loves it. Make Contessa Garten’s original version if you’d like, I highly recommend it. It’s the recipe I made that convinced me that the Contessa’s recipes are worth risking my time and money on. Read more

Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts

Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts

I had to buy doughnut pans from Amazon because I couldn’t find them in the local shops or big box stores. The trend for cinnamon baked doughnuts has passed, so it makes perfect sense that I would now attempt them.

I am not what anyone would describe as trendy. Not because I eschew trends on principle, it’s more that I am not paying very close attention to what other people are doing. I have enough trouble keeping up with what I am supposed to be doing. Read more

Persistiny Recipe Challenge

Recipe Challenge

Why a recipe challenge? Well, I’m not much of a cook. I haven’t poisoned anyone, but neither have I wowed anyone. I am in charge of the feeding of the humans in my house and no one here has starved. But, I’d like to do better.

The internet is full of so many recipes. And they all look so good. But will they be worth the trouble of buying all the ingredients, nervously reading the recipe ten times then actually carving out enough time to attempt it?

I have never been able to convince myself that it’s worth all that trouble and risk.

But then, I made a recipe by Ina Garten, also known as The Barefoot Contessa. I’ve been tuning into her TV show for years and never made anything. I just enjoyed watching her sangfroid in the kitchen (sangfroid is french for cool, calm and collected especially under difficult circumstances).
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