Monthly Archives: January 2011

Panko-Crusted Salmon with French Lentils

There are over twenty cookbooks on my kitchen shelf, the collection squeezed between a small, black, plastic bookend on one end, and the beige kitchen wall on the other end.  From the kitchen, you can see the various spines, with a variety of colors, types, and themes.  There are books on baking and grilling.  There are books devoted only to Italian and Greek cooking.  And there are books from restaurants encountered along the way.

My collection, in other words, has a nice variation.  Except in one respect.  On the wall side, wedged between my Cooking Light Desserts and Justin Wilson’s Cajun Cookbook, sits seven books, each spine beginning with the words “Barefoot Contessa.”

Ina Garten is, in other words, my go to chef.  So with my New Year’s Resolution to make more main courses, I naturally Continue reading


Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Growing up, we used to devour this stuff.  I can remember my younger brother popping two slices into the toaster, waiting for that mechanical “pop,” and then throwing a slab of butter between the warm slices as he placed them on his plate.  After which, he put two more slices into the toaster.

This past Thanksgiving, I showed my youngest brother how to make scrambled eggs.  Saturday night we went to the Kroger, picked up a pan, a whisk, a dozen eggs, and a DVD from the Red Box.  After a quick tutorial, we settled down on his dorm couch to scrambled eggs, raisin bread, and The Girl Who Played with Fire.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

My mind must have wandered to that night.  That, combined with my love of bread-baking, inspired me Continue reading

Gingerbread Pancakes

Gingerbread pancakes are the perfect treat on a cold Winter weekend morning, when there’s nothing better than curling up on the couch, drinking your hot coffee, and folding over sections of the Sunday paper.

Caitlin and I grated some fresh ginger for these pancakes.  For a little extra touch, you can add some Confectioners’ sugar and top with a piece of pickled ginger.

And if you do decide to brave the cold, well at least Continue reading

Vegetable Fried Rice

For the new cooking year, one of my goals is to make more dinners.

I’ve become very comfortable with side dishes, breakfasts, appetizers, and dessert, but sometimes I lack the motivation to make a full-fledged entrée.  When I first started cooking, I didn’t think I’d ever use the word “comfortable”  to describe how I felt in the kitchen.  But now that certain cooking styles and methods Continue reading

Granola Bars

Ever since his clementine clafoutis, I’ve taken Mark Bittman’s suggestions for specific recipes with a whole heaping tablespoon of salt.

But when it comes to general ideas and cooking methods, he’s often spot-on.  These homemade granola bars were a wonderful idea, and best of all, easily adapted to your own tastes and preferences.  The original recipe called for apricots, which was a definite no-go for me.  But sticking Continue reading