Monthly Archives: September 2009

Cooking with Amanda: date one

When I first told my friend Amanda I was thinking of starting this blog, she responded with cheerleader-levels of excitement and encouragement, and, quite the cook herself, she asked if she might guest-post from time to time. I told her I was totally envisioning Amanda and Jill’s team-cooking night, and a few weeks ago, Amanda came over and we cooked and ate and drank for about four hours straight. It was divine. Our menu was as follows:

Chopped Caprese Salad
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Ravioli with Pan-roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Citrus-scented Olive Oil Bundt Cake

Amanda had a bag of plump little sun-dried tomato jewels that she’d bought at a farmer’s market while visiting her family in Ohio, so we used them as a jumping-off point for the rest of the meal. Amanda found the ravioli recipe at 101 Cookbooks, I found the bundt cake recipe in Enlightened Cakes, and I had a wealth of garden-fresh tomatoes for the caprese salad. Read on a for a photo-journey through our cooking night, and then check out the recipes in the separate links below! Continue reading


Chopped Caprese Salad

Part of my team-cooking adventure…
Continue reading

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Ravioli

Part of my team-cooking adventure…
Continue reading

Citrus-Scented Olive Oil Bundt Cake

Part of my team-cooking adventure…
Source: Enlightened Cakes
Serves: 16

whole cake Continue reading

Cupcake Friday

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
Cake from Smitten Kitchen, Icing from Enlightened Cakes
Makes 18 scrumptious cupcakes


So I’m thinking I need to start a Friday cupcake theme on this here blog. I’m sure it would be catchier if I were doing something alliterative, like Fruit-filling Fridays, or Wiener schnitzel Wednesdays, but I think Cupcake Fridays will work. After all, Fridays are fantastic, and cupcakes are equally so. And also, Wiener schnitzel is disgusting and you will never find a recipe for it on this blog at all, let in alone in weekly incarnations.

And, okay, I need to add a disclaimer, because as delightful as I find cupcakes to be, I don’t bake them all that often. So Cupcake Friday will not appear every Friday, but I will do my damndest to have a Cookie Friday then to tide you over. Because cookies are also fantastic, and I make them a lot. Continue reading

Mixed Berry Tart

Mixed Berry Tart
From: Baking: From My Home to Yours
Serves: 6 – 8

Well, friends, here it is: I make disasters, so you don’t have to.

Since I’ve always loved to bake and I’ve always been pretty good at it, sometimes my baking hubris gets the better of me. Even if I’m tackling something I’ve never tried before, I’m fairly certain it’s going to turn out well, because of my magic baking touch. Or ability to follow directions to a degree of compulsion, or history of success, or reliable compliments, or what have you. Essentially, I could stand to be taken down a peg or two. Occasionally.

Enter pastry cream! Here to remind Jill that baking is an act of chemistry and that she is no scientist. Continue reading

Risotto Primavera Soup

Source: Enlightened Soups
Serves 4 – 6


While Terwilliger and I were on our honeymoon up the coast of California, I had a risotto and portobello mushroom dish for lunch that was just divine. I’ve never attempted to make risotto before, always figuring it was too complicated and ripe with failure potential. But after having that lunch risotto (which I tried to save for leftovers but ended up throwing away…sad), I wanted to attempt my own. I bought some Arborio rice and then came across this recipe, which seemed like an easy way to give this creamy rice dish a try without actually making straight-up risotto (which I haven’t done yet). Continue reading