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the broccoli roast

the broccoli roast

One of my probably most annoying insistences in the 15 years that I didn’t eat meat was that I suspected people didn’t really like it as much as they thought they did. Take bacon, no doubt the first thing that comes to mind when some leaf-horfing former vegetarian has the audacity to suggest that you could live without flesh. You love the way it’s smoky and salty and crispy and fatty, right? But how much of that has to do with the actual taste of pork belly, versus the way we’ve treated it to make it even more amazing? How much of Korean short ribs are about the unseemly delicious marinade, how much of Southern fried chicken is about that shattering crust, comprise mostly buttermilk, flour and grandma love? How much of barbecued ribs is about the gloriousness of the meat on the bone versus the long tenderizing, smoking and the sweet-salty-spicy stuff we mop or crust on top? [Sorry, I have to stop this paragraph right here so I can eat it.]

what you'll need
make a little rub

And while it pretty much only took me one pregnancy, the one where I craved burgers nonstop to understand that yes, there is perhaps more to meat than the sum of its seasonings and cooking methods, I still get more excited about vegetables being treated like big ol’ slabs of meat than I do about that what they’ve mimicked. Any restaurant should know how to cook a rib-eye medium-rare; but can they make broccoli steaks?

peel knobby stems

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to the broccoli roast | 25 comments to date | see more: Broccoli, Budget, Fall, Photo, Quick, Vegetarian


cannoli pound cake

cannoli pound cake

Why did I make this cake? Was it a birthday, a dinner party, or a pot-luck brunch? Was I testing recipes for a new cookbook or auditioning one that I fell for at a bookstore? Did I see this recipe online and found it irresistible? Was it a Friday treat to relieve the pressure of a long week? For someone who might never run out of “excuses” to make cake in this lifetime, you’d think I’d come up with something more exciting than the truth, which is that I could only find a big tub of ricotta at the store when I made ziti last time, and forced myself to find a clever way to use it up. Alas, I rather enjoy a challenge and so it’s cake o’clock again; rejoice!

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to cannoli pound cake | 139 comments to date | see more: Chocolate, Everyday Cakes, Fall, Photo


my old-school baked ziti

old-school baked ziti

The night before I went to the hospital to have this little nugget, in one last burst of frenetic nesting — a tornado of focused, effective energy I sorely miss in these early months — I decided to do something so practical, I’m still patting myself on the back for it: I made a big volume of lazy baked ziti and divide it into three dishes, two that went into the freezer. I have not been this productive or effective since.

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to my old-school baked ziti | 101 comments to date | see more: Freezer Friendly, Greens, Italian, Meat, Pasta, Photo


s’more cupcakes

s'more cupcakes

Is there anything more passé than cupcakes? It’s like 2006 up in here. Even the macaron parlors that were the “next cupcake” and the doughnut-croissant hybrids that were the “next macaron” are old news. And s’mores? My goodness, they’re so trodden, they halfway to becoming a potato chip flavor.

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to s’more cupcakes | 109 comments to date | see more: Celebration Cakes, Chocolate, Photo


broccoli cheddar soup

broccoli cheddar soup

For reasons I cannot — for once, I mean, good riddance — articulate, I spent half the summer, the half I was gestating this tiny moppet, with a nonstop craving for broccoli cheddar soup, something I’d never actually eaten before. I think a comment got it started and even though I can no longer find it, I’ll never forgive it. Sure, I had heard of the soup, but it always seemed to be in that category of foods it was better not to investigate. I mean, just consider all of the ways our lives have been ruined by finding how ridiculous brown butter and sea salt flakes are in crispy treats, or what happens when you make saltine crack into an ice cream sandwich, or butter in tomato sauce. I didn’t want to know why a cheddar cheese soup base was an obsession of so many people.

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to broccoli cheddar soup | 152 comments to date | see more: Broccoli, Fall, Freezer Friendly, Photo, Soup, Vegetarian


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