I almost never tear recipes out of magazines, but leafing through Saveur on the 8 a.m.  Houston to Cleveland flight, this recipe caught me because I’d been wanting a soft, comfort-food, James-friendly dinner roll, the kind of Parker House roll that’s slightly sweet and yeasty and soft as a pillow. Turns out this recipe comes from thefreshloaf.com, which says that the recipe is adapted from Great Country Breads of the World. There really are no new recipes, only adaptations of adaptations. What I don’t like about any of these recipes is the enormous volume of flour measured in cups.  I did the Saveur recipe exactly and the dough was very stiff—how could I know if this was the way it was supposed to be since flour by volume is so variable.  But the flavor was Read On »

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This granola smelled so good when it was baking it actually drew Donna out of bed early on a weekend morning—she’s a winter bear and not easily extracted from within the comforter.  So I had to post, even though I’ve already posted on granola.  This uses the same technique of creating a sweet fruity sauce to toss with the oats and nuts, which I love.  Instead of strawberries and banana I used crisp sweet apples (next time I’ll see how using Granny Smiths work), pureed in a blender skin and all.  By chance, as I was avoiding getting to work by poking around in favorite blogs this morning, and I came across David Lebovitz’s granola, which uses apple sauce (from a Nigella Lawson recipe); David notes that any fruit puree will work.  So, the notion Read On »

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I normally don’t brine chicken.  I roast a chicken about once a week and it’s a step I just don’t think about since salting the bird before I roast it works perfectly fine.  Also, I don’t like the skin of a brined and roasted bird—it’s too thin and dehydrated.  But on Sunday, I had the time and was curious to find out if, as I’ve read and repeated, meat that has been brined is heavier (and therefore potentially juicier) than non-brined meat.  I also had fresh herbs left over from the dumplings in the previous post.  While I always use a rosemary brine for fried chicken, I was curious to find out if the more delicate tarragon flavor would come through in the flesh of the bird.  So I made a brine using my standard, Read On »

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I lead my too-stupid-to-cook post with Donna’s roast chicken photo (a spur of the moment shot while I finished the meal) because roast chicken is the iconic home meal.  It’s delicious, satisfying, economical, and easy. But why I love roast chicken is that it keeps on giving if you’ll let it.  I almost always throw the carcass into a 2 quart sauce pan and cover it with water for stock (here’s my oven method for making stock).  One carcass will give you a quart of great stock. If I also have plenty of leftover chicken, I’ll make chicken and dumplings, especially in the winter (basically an inverted chicken pot pie!).  When you’ve got this delicious stock, it’s impossible to wind up with anything other than fabulous.  Two hearty meals from one little chicken. The dumplings Read On »

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Say you didn’t listen to me.  Say you disregarded my warning and made stock anyway. Or say you just like to cook and want to put the leftover chicken to use in a really cool way. I love chicken pot pies.  I grew up eating frozen ones and all I remember is the nasty peas and the fact that chicken pot pie for dinner meant mom and dad were going out for the evening (my dad was a classic ad man, creative director, and even resembled Jon Hamm as much as my mom resembled January Jones—still does in fact!).  Suburban sixties. But now I know how fabulous a chicken pot pie can be if you do it yourself.  And you don’t have to add peas if you don’t want.  I make a buttery crust (3-2-1 Read On »

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