smitten kitchen

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the perfect margarita

This week many of us are coming up on the anniversary of all sorts of things we had little idea would define the year ahead. I remember saying things like “these masks are really expensive but they’re all that’s available, should I buy them?” (yes, Deb, and also some flour) and “they can’t cancel school, can they?” and “we can still plan a summer vacation...

marbled cheesecake hamantaschen

It’s almost too on-the-nose that I tried to make hamantaschen cookies that look like carrara marble and actually made cookies that evoke cow hides. Is the universe trying to tell me something about my kitchen hopes and dreams? Don’t worry, I’ve chosen to not read into this at all. Read more »

rigatoni alla vodka

If you ever need evidence that I do not shy away from embarrassing myself here, look no further than one of the earliest posts on this site, where I tell the story of inviting a guy I’d recently begun dating over for dinner. I’d watched Rachel Ray’s 30-Minute Meals that morning, equally hungered by her making one of my favorite pastas, penne alla vodka,...

baked feta with tomatoes and chickpeas

Listen, this will surprise nobody at all, but I am not trendy. I am deeply uncool and I prefer it this way. It puts expectations right where they belong — low; no, lower, please. But I am not immune to TikTok. I, um, love TikTok, it’s my favorite time suck. Through it, I’ve learned so much about even more ways I can be uncool. Side parts! Laugh-cry...

plush confetti cupcakes

Nobody needs my dedication to butter, milk, buttermilk, cream, crème fraîche, sour cream, or eggs clarified here; we all know I get a little twitchy when the fridge is low on any. These vegan cupcakes are not an abnegation of anything, but a celebration, as they should be. What has surprised me the most since I happened on the first vegan cake recipe...

parmesan oven risotto

I’ve always struggled with risotto, the classic Northern Italian rice dish that gets creamy from slow cooking in broth. Even when I’ve accepted the work involved — most recipes tell you to separately have a pot of warm broth and to ladle it in, stirring, for the better part of an hour — the flavor, which often tastes odd to me when I used non-homemade...

lemon and lime mintade

Last week was a Lot. I ventured into it buzzing with adorably ambitious New Year’s intentions to, like, get things done, and spent most of it glued to a screen, furious and frustrated. As I mentioned in this morning’s newsletter, I’ve often felt that January is a blur and this one is particularly so. Armed insurrections are not a subject I know how...

baked brie with balsamic red onions

Despite my deep affection for cheese, to the point that one of my favorite things to do on a New York City weekend is to dip into Murray’s and treat us to something crumbly or aged or rich and runny, I don’t love cheese plates. It feels really good to get this off my chest. At first, it was just a budget issue; I still feel the sticker shock from the...

small-batch eggnog

Despite it not coming naturally to me, a person with a framed ketubah on her bedroom wall, I love Christmas with abandon — the lights, the windows, the big tree, baking all formats of gingerbread, making snowflakes, singing Santa Baby off-key while my kids cover their ears and beg me to stop. My family is used to going along with my December whims and...

gingerbread yule log

Because I’m a restless cook, never interested in making things I already know how to, a couple years ago I challenged myself to turn my favorite gingerbread cake into a roulade. Or, yes, a Yule log.* Five bottles of molasses, two jars of ground ginger, a gallon of heavy cream, several frantic pleas to friends that I had too much Yule log in my apartment...

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