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Recipes from Smitten Kitchen blog.....what are your favorites??

Hi. Every few months I get really inspired and tell myself that I am going to try at least one new recipe a week. I managed to do this for a few months after the new year and then it fizzled out. So, I would like to try again, with Smitten Kitchen as my jumping off point. I love reading her blog, but have NEVER tried a recipe!! So, can anyone point me to their tried and true recipes from her? Otherwise I might just have to pick at random. Thanks!!

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  1. The most recent mac and cheese is great! I made the newest pasta sauce last night and I loved it. I am blanking on about a million others.

    The best part of Smitten Kitchen is that all the recipes are HER tried and true dishes...If you like the ingredients, you will likely like the recipe.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Becca Porter

      SK adapts recipes from her fav cooks & cookbooks, food magazines and various food articles while also sharing family recipes and some of her own originals she's worked through. Her first self-titled cookbook is coming out soon and I'll be very interested in what her original inspirations are plus I recently noted SK has begun a blog within a blog about baby food prep and kid-friendly fare.

      One of my fav SK recipes is this candy: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/11/pep...

      and this MS adapted pumpkin swirl brownies:

      http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/10/pum...

    2. Love the Blueberry Crumb Bars and the Bondie recipe. But any of her recipes are great!

      1. I first found this in Gourmet, but since she posted in on her site, I'll include it here: walnut cake. It's fantastic. I don't add the jam or whipped cream.
        http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/02/wal...

        3 Replies
        1. re: emily

          Oh! I LOVED this, and I did use the jam and whipped cream.... Thanks for reminding me.

          1. re: Becca Porter

            The walnut cake works really nicely with toasted, chopped hazelnuts too. A peach or apricot topping is my fav and I have yet to use the whipped cream.

          2. re: emily

            wow, that looks really good and really easy. that's what i like.
            i also like the feature she has where just above the recipe is listed what recipes were on the site one, two, or three years ago. that's a good reminder of how many different and interesting recipes she has.

          3. Everything I've tried from her blog has turned out well. Here are a few personal favorites:

            Potato Pancakes, even better: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/12/pot...

            Sweet Corn Spoonbread: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/11/swe...

            Jacked-Up Banana Bread: http://smittenkitchen.com/2006/11/spe...

            Chili and Biscuits: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/09/bee... (I will admit, I left out the carrots

            )

            Vanilla Roasted Pears: http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/12/van...

            1 Reply
            1. re: ForFoodsSake

              Deb's Vanilla Roasted Pears adaptation is in my rotation at least once a week. It's such a delicious way to enjoy Bosc pears especially.

            2. I love the Chicken and Dumplings recipe: http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/12/chi...

              Pumpkin Bread Pudding is awesome, too: http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/10/pum...

              1. I LOVE her Southwestern Pulled Brisket! I don't do mine in a crockpot, but rather a 3 hr braise in the oven and let it sit overnight and then pull it. But served up on corn tortillas with avocado and shredded cabbage and raw onion - man, it's really good stuff.

                http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/01/sou...

                1 Reply
                1. re: lynnlato

                  This is good to know that I can do it in the oven, Lynn, thenks. What temp do you use in the oven?

                2. I like the mushroom bourginon, the slow roasted tomatoes and the infinitely adaptable blondies best. oh and the raspberry whole wheat scones. and the peanut butter brownies. and the cabbage and lime salad with roasted peanuts.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: magiesmom

                    I forgot about the mushroom bourguignon! I've made it several times and feel that it tastes as hearty and savory as one could wish--a terrific vegetarian option.

                    1. re: magiesmom

                      Another vote for the cabbage and lime salad with roasted peanuts. I like the concept of her mango slaw as well although I fiddled with her seasonings a bit.

                      Other favorites:
                      - Braised romano beans
                      - Napa cabbage salad in buttermilk dressing -- easy winner
                      - Moroccan spaghetti squash
                      - Escarole Orzo and Meatball soup
                      - Crisp rosemary flatbread

                      She's a big baker and I have a ton of her baked goods recipes in my To Try file, but I am not a big baker and so they wait...

                    2. A few of my favorites from this most wonderful blog:

                      http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/01/roa...

                      http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/01/mus...

                      http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/11/oni...

                      http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/05/cre...

                      http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/01/van...

                      1. http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/02/big...

                        great with ALL kinds of fruit. just did it with peaches and blueberry. excellent.

                        http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/03/the...

                        amazing.

                        http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/04/lim...

                        endlessly adaptable and krazee easy.

                        1. I absolutely loved (and so did DH) her Shaved Asparagus Pizza. Here: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/05/sha... . We do it when the asparagus is in season in the spring and it's wonderful.

                          1. not really her own recipe, but I made zuni roast chicken with bread salad and that was amaaaaaaaaazing!!!!

                            1. Never liked that blog - I much prefer Orangette.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: momskitchen

                                Different strokes, I guess. While I have nothing against Orangette I was just never able to get into her blog all that much.

                                1. re: Mattkn

                                  Agreed. Never got into Orangette. Now, Smitten is fantastic.

                                  I like her Banana Bread, Kale & White Bean soup, Chicken Tacos (from Bittman's recipe, but her entry comes up first in google), Slow Roasted Tomatoes (delish!!!) and many more.

                                  Her photography and prose is so delightful. And the comments are so helpful for any questions you may have in a recipe and she responds to comments when she can.

                                  I will definitely be checking out her book.

                                  1. re: Snorkelvik

                                    Are we related? All of those things are wonderful and her pictures are some of the best out there. Her blueberry crumb bars are so damn delicious...with a spot of lemon zest. Yum.

                                    I did have a fail though--the maple nutmeg pie. It turned out a curdled mess. I still love the thought of it, but it was so horrid I can't bring myself to try it again.

                                    1. re: Mattkn

                                      i made the crumb bars with peaches about 2 weeks ago, and today with nectarines. i use 1/2 brown sugar where she calls for all white. they are great and so easy.

                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                        That's a great idea.. I have a basket full of peaches in the fridge right now...

                              2. For baked goods I love, love, love these:

                                Austrian Raspberry Shortbread Bars : http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/12/aus...

                                The bars are really easy to make if you have a food processor with a grating blade.

                                I also really like these Jalapeno Cheddar Scones: http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/10/jal...

                                1. What a good idea for a thread! I've been following Smitten Kitchen for a couple of years now; I love the writing style (Deb is funny!) and the recipe choices and instructions are always interesting and detailed, respectively. The photographs are great, too. For some reason it is her baking recipes that inspire me--must be those luscious photos of chocolate. Go to the site below (Best Cocoa Brownies) and I defy you not to grab a box of cocoa and start baking! I've made the recipe several times, and never failed to receive a request for it. And it only takes one bowl! Tastes like you've been painstakingly melting expensive chocolate bars, but it's only cocoa! Deb prefers Valhrona; I use Callebaut, but she notes that people have reported good results using supermarket brands like Hersheys cocoa. And Dutched or non-Dutched--both work. Which is good because I always get them mixed up.

                                  http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/01/bes...

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Goblin

                                    Just had to pop in to say oh, try Pernigotti for those brownies! Oh, my my.

                                    1. re: Vetter

                                      Thank you, Vetter--I'd never known about Pernigotti cocoa but I am now educating myself, and looking for it in shops. It's readily available on the web. I'll try local first! Sounds like great stuff--"lightly Dutch processed" means it is very versatile--and I'm looking forward to using it!

                                      To show how forgiving the Cocoa Brownies recipe is--the other day I accidentally left my oven on at 425 instead of the specified 325. Usually mine take about 35 minutes to set, but they started smelling like they were done in about 20 minutes. I quickly checked them, shouted "yikes!" and pulled them out just when the toothpick was coming out clean. The corners were a bit crustier than usual but the squares were still perfectly edible, just a bit more "cakey" than usual. I served them with ice-cream and got compliments.

                                  2. I do love the photography on the SK site but I also have to admit that I find it surprising that so many people credit her for the recipes she makes when the majority seem to be "adaptations" (often tough to find the difference) of someone else's recipe.

                                    Of the 23 links posted above, 74% were adapted recipes.

                                    I give SK huge credit for amassing such a following. Clearly, something she's doing is working really, really well. I don't really follow blogs but I'd be curious to hear if this is a standard formula....home cook makes other people's recipes, posts their experience and gains credibility as more than a cook, is actually given credit for the recipes. I'm not sure how I'd feel if I developed a recipe and SK "adapted it" and then became more well known for it than I was. I know they say no publicity is bad publicity but somehow this still bugs me....

                                    I'd love to hear from folks who follow this blog. Knowing that the majority of the recipes are not her own, what draws you to the blog vs the websites and cookbooks of the folks who originally developed the recipes? Perhaps it's convenience, tried and true recipes that appeal, all in one place?

                                    24 Replies
                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                      I like her blog, and I don't mind bloggers who mostly use non-original recipes. It's still nice to have good recipes curated by somebody and demonstrated. That said, it bothers me a lot when she says "adapted", even though the recipe she uses hardly has any differences (if any) from the original. It is also too bad that the majority of her readers don't seem to realize that very few of her recipes are her own and refer to things like "SmittenKitchen's chocolate cake", "SmittenKitchen's peanut butter cookies", etc. I'm very curious what her cookbook will look like, considering I don't think she has enough original recipes over the history of her entier blog to fill a book.

                                      1. re: betterbeheaven

                                        Regarding the question of the new SK cookbook (coming out next year) and the proportion of original recipes vs. adapted ones--here is what Deb wrote on her site, in answer to readers' questions about it.

                                        "What can you tell us about it? 80 to 100 recipes, lots of photos, stories and lots of cooking tips. The book will be 85 to 90 percent new material — my ideas, my recipes — and 10 to 15 percent favorites from the site that will be retested, reworked and streamlined for modern times. The recipes will have measurement in cups and spoons, and also weights in ounces and grams."

                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                        Breadcrumbs, It doesn't bother me at all that she adapts other recipes, especially since she is completely upfront about it.

                                        The reason I go to her site rather than sort through a pile of cookbooks is: 1) it is web-based and easily searched; as much as I love cookbooks, it is very efficient to get what I'm looking for on-line; 2) she provides tips on what to do (or not) to improve the flavors or process of the dish she is describing; 3) recipes are tried and true as you mentioned--she doesn't put up ones that were bad except for on her "disasters" section; and 4) she provides a level of detail and photos that suits me.

                                        She is also amusing to read which makes it more fun.

                                        1. re: jlhinwa

                                          I appreciate the same things about her blog. A lot of the success of recipes is in finding someone whose taste preferences you agree with. I've had cookbooks where the recipes were never pleasing because I found the finished food kind of boring or always slightly off what I would have wanted.

                                          For savory recipes with European or Americana roots, what she considers an improvement works for me. I also appreciate that she talks about how long a recipe takes in a real home kitchen. She devises shortcuts where she can, and tells her reader about them -- unlike Chow newsletter recipes for instance, where the estimates always assume you've already done all the prep -- hey, I don't have a prep cook! This isn't always the case, but she's also explicit when she takes on a crazy all-day project.

                                          I don't like her recipes as much when she delves into food with Asian roots, I get the impression she's not as experienced with the range and nuance of flavors here and I find her recipes (Thai chicken legs, mango slaw) lack nuance and depth.

                                          But once you guage your tastes against hers, you can do quite well.

                                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                          She does not say they are her own, I think if her as my "tryer and tweaker"

                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            I like it because she's very honest about what works and what doesn't in a recipe. It takes out a step of having to make something for the first time, and then adjust on a second attempt a lot of times for me. Plus, as a more novice cook, I find her pictures helpful and her description of the cooking process very easy to follow.

                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                              Very interesting and thoughtful question, Breadcrumbs, about "what draws you to the blog [e.g., Smitten Kitchen] vs. the websites and cookbooks of the folks who originally developed the recipes"?

                                              The first thing that comes to my mind is that it is a bit like following the Chowhound reviews of recipes on the various Cookbooks of the Month that I read with such interest. I love seeing what a cook has to say that I have come to trust over the several months and years of reading their CH reviews --and when I have made the recipe as reviewed I am invariably glad for any adaptations they have listed. Not to mention that I might not have even tried it without the "plug."

                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                Do you remember Home Ec class? Food blogs like Deb's @ SK remind me of modern day home ec class. Teacher researches recipes, demonstrates the recipes, passes out the recipes, students prepare the recipe, everyone tastes the recipes and everyone learns from the recipe lesson. Food blogs are journals with a specific purpose and readership. Food lessons. Deb's particularly good at food photographing and approaching the recipe with such curiosity and fun it's hard not to be attracted to her choices. She's a natural teacher.

                                                Her cookbook on the other hand, should be original recipes, family favorites, tips she's learned along her food journey, etc. We'll see :)

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  I do remember home ec class!

                                                  This is a very good analogy.

                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    My home ec teacher was a bossy, disgruntled woman we referred to as "Sarge," who made us scrub old cookie sheets 'til they shined. Nevertheless, this is a good analogy.

                                                    Like many here have said, a good blog can act as your tester and taster, and point you in the direction of recipes you'd never have made otherwise. Making recipes from blogs such as Smitten Kitchen, which are upfront about their sources, often introduces me to cookbooks in the first place.

                                                    1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                      As I'm reading your home ec teacher description the hair on the back of my neck is going up...you described my Algebra I teacher to a tee...still have nightmare about her...but thankfully my home ec teachers were always Doris Day types.

                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                        Shame to spend algebra class scrubbing cookie sheets. :P

                                                        1. re: melpy

                                                          Yeah, the woman couldn't be bribed with baked goods! If only...

                                                  2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                    For me, the in-process and end-result photos are helpful (and beautiful). I like to see what the result of a recipe should look like. I also like to see how someone else followed the instructions, if any tweaks were helpful, and if it worked/tasted good/was worth the effort. I don't have the energy to cook a lot of new recipes on a regular basis, and when I do, I often choose those from a cookbook that show at least 1 photo of the end-result. Maybe if certain household members were more adventurous eaters I'd be more inclined to try more new recipes more often, but alas, that is not the case in my household. I also enjoy her writing style.

                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                      I followed her for quite awhile. Her photography is fantastic. Her writing style is gentle, disarming and inviting. I appreciate her cooking aesthetic to a certain extent and she's culled a pretty nice collection of recipes.

                                                      I've lost interest lately for a few reasons. Her ever-growing concentration on sweets doesn't suit me and I don't care to have a large baking repertoire. She lives in a climate that's entirely different than mine; I don't want to read posts about how to cook local tomatoes when there are none to be found near me and it's too hot to even consider turning on the stove. And I agree with betterbeheaven's ascertainment that the recipes SK offers are hardly adapted.

                                                      The only recipe I've ever used from her blog verbatim is the one for pita bread and I did have great success with it. But in general, I'm an experienced-enough cook that recipes aren't a necessity.

                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                        I'll give her credit - she's very, very good at self promotion. The reason why I don't like her blog is she's always bragging about the free trips and things she gets (for example, check out her latest post: http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/09/pea... ) Her photography is very good. I'd rather have great inspired recipes. My case in point http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/06/med... - I guess I don't need a recipe for a bowl of chopped up vegetables with a vinaigrette on them. But they are nice photos.

                                                        I think SK is very often the *first* food blog people get started reading, and then they move on.

                                                        1. re: momskitchen

                                                          There is a FTC mandate that requires bloggers to disclose freebies/ gifts.

                                                          I agree that it's boring to read about. :)

                                                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                            The FTC mandate requires bloggers to report that they were givng something for free to review and who gave it to them.....her all expenses paid trip to New Orleans for "recipe consulting" didn't require any kind of disclosure.

                                                            1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                              I just skip things I don't want to read. no biggie.

                                                              1. re: magiesmom

                                                                Me too - that's why I skip the entire blog LOL!

                                                          2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                            i don't use recipes much, except for baking. my anecdotal and personal experience on-line is that most food bloggers are cooking other people's recipes, and many you will find over and over. sk has wonderful photography, and her sweets tastes seem to run similarly to my own. i've been happy with the confections i've tried from her site and have tweaked them on my end as well.

                                                            i have about zero interest in her book though. i get books by chefs, not home cooks.

                                                            oh, and i don't "follow" her blog. just include it in my search when i'm party planning.

                                                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                              I love books by home cooks, since I am one. I will check out her book and see what's in it before I decide whether I want it.

                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                Are we related. :)

                                                              2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                She never claimed to be using all original recipes; her blog's original raison d'etre was that she cooked in a tiny NYC kitchen, using relatively few gadgets, and shared recipes for things that could be made with readily available ingredients. She takes advantage of seasonal ingredients but isn't slavish to any real agenda. She's utterly lacking in pretense, is encouraging, self-effacing, and funny.

                                                                For me, originality in recipes isn't that important. I want them to work and taste good. In fact, I was a tad disappointed to learn that most of the recipes in her book won't be from the blog because I much prefer cooking from books than from the computer and was looking forward to having all those recipes in a book I could sit and leaf through.

                                                                I've followed her for years, and I've had good success with most of the recipes I've tried (not that many in the scheme of things). And, yes, convenience is a factor. If I'm looking for a recipe, I always check her blog (and am so glad it's now on EYB). Ultimately, it's just another tool. And I enjoy her cheerful voice and enthusiasm.

                                                              3. I love the SK blog--it is my absolute favorite and I check it regularly. I will be glad when her cookbook is done so she can be more regular in her updates.

                                                                Here's one favorite: a bleu cheese and red potato tart http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/06/blu...

                                                                Pickled grapes--it sounded odd and intruguing so I tried it and it is a hit for parties, etc. http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/04/pic...

                                                                1. The cappuccino cheesecake is to die for...quite literally. I made it for Easter a few years ago and everyone loved it, but it lasted for a long time because it's huge and you can only eat a small slice at a time. It was a bit of work, but worth it because it's such a showstopper.

                                                                  1. Light Whole wheat bread
                                                                    slow-roased tomatoes
                                                                    chana masala

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: IndyGirl

                                                                      i've heard good things about the chana masala. i will have to try that and force my meat loving husband to give it a try. the mushroom bourguinon (sp.) also looks wonderful, but will take some convincing for my husband and kids. i, on the other hand, would willingly eat mushrooms with every meal. also, goat cheese.

                                                                      1. re: saintp

                                                                        I often serve the bourguinon to carnivores with very good result.

                                                                        1. re: saintp

                                                                          I actually put the mushroom bourguinion into my recipe software but have yet to make it. I need o find healthier noodles for serving (egg noodles have way too much cholesterol).

                                                                          1. re: IndyGirl

                                                                            You can get "No Yolks" noodles that taste dandy but are much healthier.

                                                                            1. re: happybaker

                                                                              It is wonderful over any grain, I especially like it over barley.

                                                                          2. re: saintp

                                                                            saintp, all her indian dishes are great, especially if you have comfort food on the brain.

                                                                        2. Big crumb coffee cake, I've done both rhubarb and frozen cranberries.

                                                                          Peach creme fraiche pie

                                                                          Blueberry boy bait

                                                                          Foolproof tart crust

                                                                          1. The one Smitten Kitchen recipe I've tried is Shakshuka (though I omitted the feta, based on comments from others). It was good.

                                                                            http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/04/sha...

                                                                            1. The blueberry boy bait is a hit and true to it's name. I had a kitchen full of post-work bike messengers the other day-- it dissapeared in minutes.

                                                                              Also I love this super basic tomato sauce. I can't imagine anything easier. It's so simple that I would have never come up with it on my own (I always want to add more... flaw) http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/01/tom...

                                                                              These are just two of my favs I love smitten kitchen in general. I like that her recipies are fresh and simple and I enjoy the way she writes. I try something new from there pretty often.

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Foodapotamus

                                                                                Here's my favorite basic red sauce...I think it's even easier than the SK version:

                                                                                http://www.marthastewart.com/353410/b...

                                                                                1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                  But the butter makes it! I love that sauce and have made it many times this summer with fresh tomatoes.

                                                                                2. re: Foodapotamus

                                                                                  I just tried 2 of the recommended recipes here....the tomato sauce with butter and onions and the quick zucchini saute. they were both wonderful, but i think the sauce wins out. i doubled the recipe because i like my pasta saucy, so that was 10 TBS. of butter!! but it was such a bright, lovely flavor. my husband said it reminded him of a pizza sauce he's had in chicago, which made me think that it would be really tasty on pizza.

                                                                                  1. re: Foodapotamus

                                                                                    I agree with you on both the blueberry boy bait and the tomato sauce. I also adore the baked tomato sauce...making it again tonight.

                                                                                  2. My very favorite recipe from SK is the zucchini/ricotta galette. I use puff pastry for the crust and it makes an excellent yet easy week night dinner with a side salad.

                                                                                    Also, her classic brownies are excellent, most and chewy another easy dish.

                                                                                    I am not a follower of her blog per se, but if I am looking for a standout dessert, I'll check her site. I know there are literally thousands of other places to go also, but her site usually offers great feedback of people who have tried the dish she adapts from other places. So, I feel like she has tested the recipe out on her site and if it gets raves, then it will get good reviews from my friends and family members without me doing a trial run first on my end. It's a win - win situation. :)

                                                                                    1. Quick zucchini saute. Make it all the time in the summer.One of my FAVORITE veg recipes in general.

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: shaebones

                                                                                        I agree completely about that quick zucchini saute. We've made it many times. It's so simple but seems to really transform the zucchini.

                                                                                        http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/08/my-...

                                                                                        1. re: karykat

                                                                                          I happen to have a couple of zucchini to use.... I'm gonna try this, thanks!

                                                                                          1. re: karykat

                                                                                            That recipe is one of my favs as well!

                                                                                            And it's even tasty at midnight, cold from the fridge. (Not that I would do that...)

                                                                                            1. re: happybaker

                                                                                              I agree about having it cold. Strange but true. I usually make some extra to have with lunch the next day.

                                                                                              1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I'll have to try that. Trouble is...there is never any leftover!

                                                                                          2. http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/05/ras...

                                                                                            I made this recipe for breakfast. My version includes heating a cup of raspberry jam on the stove and pouring it over the cooled cake. Let the jam firm up and slice. Between the dotted fresh fruit and the homemade jam, the kick of berry is elevated. The cake by itself left me wanting a dollop of Greek yogurt or some lemon curd to dress it up a bit. But for a morning cake that's on the table in 30 mins, this one's a keeper. Super easy..and any fresh fruit would work.

                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                              This recipe had somehow escaped my notice. thanks, HillJ, and for the jam idea. Creme fraiche might be nice , too, hmmm.

                                                                                              1. re: magiesmom

                                                                                                Creme fraiche might be nice , too, hmmm

                                                                                                Absolutely :)

                                                                                              2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                i never have buttermilk around and made this with yogurt. yup. very good.

                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                  HillJ and magiesmom --

                                                                                                  You might like the strawberry summer cake on her blog, too (adapted from Martha Stewart). I made both the raspberry and the strawberry cakes over the summer. Perfect for tea or, as you suggest, breakfast. I think I used buttermilk in the strawberry cake, too, and some oats.

                                                                                                  1. re: peppermint_sky

                                                                                                    thanks peppermint, I appreciate the suggestion!

                                                                                                    1. re: peppermint_sky

                                                                                                      Peppermint sky -

                                                                                                      I confess, I did not like her raspberry buttermilk cake. It felt like a different version of a cake I make called "Blueberry Boy Bait" and the boy bait won! : )

                                                                                                      That said, I do REALLY like her strawberry summer cake. Fast, tasty and yet still special, I made it multiple times last summer and can't wait to make it again!

                                                                                                      1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                        happybaker,

                                                                                                        I make the boy bait too, and that's a favorite for sure. Last summer I probably made it seven times, or more even! The raspberry buttermilk cake was a lovely dessert for a light summer luncheon. I found it more petite than the boy bait, if that makes sense.

                                                                                                        I have baked five summery desserts on sk's site, and all tempt most tasters to take a second slice/bar. I make the aforementioned boy bait, raspberry buttermilk cake (which I actually discovered via chowhound on a best of epicurious thread that I reposted below), strawberry summer cake, blueberry crumb bars and peach shortbread bars. I like to mix blackberries and raspberries in the buttermilk cake.

                                                                                                        This is the thread with soooo many wonderful ideas from epicurious (and I notice that sk does take a lot of recipes from that site, too).

                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/379665

                                                                                                        1. re: peppermint_sky

                                                                                                          Regarding the strawberry cake, it is indeed smaller than the boy bait, so that makes sense! But as I just cut off hunks and give them to my neighbors, size ii not a problem.

                                                                                                          I also like that she shares what tools she uses. I now have a german v-slicer that I use to make her zucchini/almond saute and I love it!

                                                                                                  2. I love her blog. It's one of only two blogs that I check in with regularly, and usually the first place I go if I have an ingredient I want to use and not sure what to do with it (I like that she indexes by ingredients, so I can just click on raspberries and get a whole list.)

                                                                                                    I love the raspberry buttermilk cake, blueberry boy bait, everyday chocolate cake (which I have since adapted into innumerable other everyday cakes - it's just a great basic recipe), the spring salad with new potatoes (also have adapted innumerable ways)...I know there are tons more, but those are the first that come to mind. I'm dying to try the homemade goldfish crackers this weekend, actually, as my mixer was on loan to a friend and I've only just now gotten it back, along with the homemade graham crackers.

                                                                                                    I don't mind that her recipes are adapted from others - I'm with posters above in that I think of her as my tester. More importantly for me, they tend to be infinitely adaptable recipes. Like Dorie Greenspan's "Bonne Idee" in AMFT, I like the suggestions of other ways to tweak or try the recipes, since I generally don't follow recipes to a T anyway. Her writing style is very accessible as well, which makes it a fun read even if it's a recipe that doesn't interest me.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: thursday

                                                                                                      I agree completely.. she has one of the only blogs that I check on a regular basis. I also don't mind that the recipes are from elsewhere.. she's pretty upfront about that, and she talks about what worked and what didn't. I love her index by fruit or veg.. I often check it if I have a glut of something I want to use up. I find it approachable and clear..
                                                                                                      I have actually bought a number of cookbooks based on her use of them in SK.. namely the Baked cookbooks!
                                                                                                      I would say she has the one site that both my mother and I check almost every day!

                                                                                                    2. I remember these --
                                                                                                      http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/12/cre...
                                                                                                      will do them again this winter. She snuck them in *after* Christmas last year, we liked them a lot.

                                                                                                      1. I recently made the Artichoke-Olive Crostini and it was very good.

                                                                                                        http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/04/art...

                                                                                                        Another favorite is the Balsamic Glazed Sweet & Sour Cippoline...delicious.

                                                                                                        http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/09/bal...

                                                                                                        1. Another hearty nod to the Mushroom Bourguignon.

                                                                                                          I also really like the oatmeal pancakes, spiced brownies, world peace cookies, and her chickpea salad with roasted red peppers.

                                                                                                          1. crispy chewy chocolate chip cookies
                                                                                                            http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/03/cri...

                                                                                                            For some reason these always come out better when I've made the dough the day before.

                                                                                                            1. I have quite a few I've tried again and again and love.
                                                                                                              I just made her hazlenut plum tart, but I had to double the amount of custard to fill the tart shell. It was a big hit at the picnic.
                                                                                                              I love her bretzel (pretzel) rolls, could eat the whole batch.
                                                                                                              Braised short ribs are fantastic and my go-to short rib recipe.
                                                                                                              Braided lemon bread. Also works great with all sorts of different fruit fillings... or nutella.
                                                                                                              Blueberry boy bait.
                                                                                                              Tomato and Sausage risotto. Great way to sneak in a lot of good-for-you spinach.

                                                                                                              Those are off the top of my head, but they are very good, and work time and again!

                                                                                                              1. the peach shortbread is incredible. i've also made it with nectarines, plums and a plum/peach combo.

                                                                                                                1. Her stuffed cabbage recipe is very good. It brought back alot of memories for a bunch of people who really loved it. I have made several other recipes that were good, but did not blow me away.
                                                                                                                  I like the blog although I am stunned by the endless stream of comments saying how great the recipe sounds and looks, without knowing if anyone ever made the dish. Less repetitive worthless praise and more experience would be appreciated.

                                                                                                                  1. I just made her asparagus pizza. (Okay, I used her recipe and notes as a guide). Fantastic!

                                                                                                                    And I think that's one of the things I really like about Smitten - she tells you where she has gotten her recipes from, what she has changed, what she wished she had changed - and others dive in. It's a really helpful resource!

                                                                                                                    1. I haven't tried these, but want to because they're so cute. If you find yourself with a lot of extra time...
                                                                                                                      http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/10/app...

                                                                                                                      1. Just found this post on SK recipes - I too follow her blog and have tried a few:
                                                                                                                        beef barley soup - easy delish but I had to "tweak" her recipe by using beef stock in place of water - the soup lacked depth of flavour but is fantastic with the stock.
                                                                                                                        Mom's apple cake - looked so good but was a colossal failure. I must have done something wrong because it gets wonderful reviews.
                                                                                                                        tomato sauce - so easy and so good.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: Vancouvermiggies

                                                                                                                          Just want to say that years and years ago (2007 or before?) people right here on our very own chowhound raved and raved and turned me on to that tomato-butter-onion sauce, which comes to us courtesy of Marcella Hazan's book Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. So, go chowhound! :)

                                                                                                                        2. Hands down, the recipe I make most often from smitten kitchen's archives are her buttermilk blue cheese drop biscuits: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/04/blu.... I don't even use blue cheese, I sub cheddar and a mix of whatever else I have on hand -- this often turns out to be half cheddar, half ricotta.

                                                                                                                          I also make the "best cocoa brownies" regularly since I tend to have cocoa on hand for quick treats more than good quality chocolate... and it's easier to measure out cocoa powder than melting chocolate on the stove.

                                                                                                                          Strawberry shortcakes. Zucchini fritters. Basic pizza crust. Tomato sauce with onion and butter. Red wine chocolate cake. Lemon yogurt anything cake. Cauliflower gratin. Silky cauliflower soup. All the cookies (especially the key lime meltaways, the russian tea cakes, brown butter brown sugar shorties, and the oatmeal, chocolate, pecan oatmeal cookies

                                                                                                                          )

                                                                                                                          Basically, I love everything I've ever made from her blog. It is my go-to for most items. I love the blog layout, the photography, the writing... and the recipes!

                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: calmossimo

                                                                                                                            Just discovered this thread, thanks for all the input. I am going to try out everyone's recommendations and report back.

                                                                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                              I love her cauliflower soup. very satisfying in winter and could not be easier, or cheaper, to make.
                                                                                                                              http://smittenkitchen.com/2006/09/the...

                                                                                                                              The tuna salad (recipe is on the same page) and caesar salad recipes (on the same page above) are also both so so delicious.

                                                                                                                              i also like her black bean soup http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/01/bla...

                                                                                                                              i use all four of the recipes pretty regularly.

                                                                                                                            2. re: calmossimo

                                                                                                                              That silky cauliflower soup recipe looked kind of blah to me but I decided to try it based on the positive comments on this thread. I made it this afternoon to use up a cauliflower that was sitting in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. What a delicious soup! And easy, quick and cheap to boot.

                                                                                                                              1. re: calmossimo

                                                                                                                                Thanks so much for the tip on the red wine chocolate cake. I used it as a reference to see if the amount of cocoa in http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2012/0... seemed like it was too much. On way to the kitchen now! Glad to know the proportions seems about right.

                                                                                                                              2. I make this recipe.... http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/01/bit... every Christmas with the David & Harry pears that I receive. Oh dear lord, this is fabulous & I serve it with lightly whipped cream. The last time I made it I finally got the butter browned correctly and what a difference! I'm also going to try doing it in the individual bundt pan that I have for take home gifts. YUM!

                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: nojunk

                                                                                                                                  nojunk, have you ever tried SK's version of the pear bread (bundt). That one is my favorite and with pears a plenty right now soon to be on my brunch table. http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/12/pea...

                                                                                                                                  1. re: nojunk

                                                                                                                                    Yes, I make the chocolate and pear cake for Thanksgiving. It is a wonderful recipe!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                      I made the apple sharlotka (sp?) the other day using pears instead and it was fantastic. Chock full of pears, so it's basically a healthy breakfast...right?? ;)

                                                                                                                                    2. re: nojunk

                                                                                                                                      Oooh, that looks fabulous.

                                                                                                                                    3. Porch Swings
                                                                                                                                      Lebanese Stuffed Eggplant
                                                                                                                                      Mushroom Strudel
                                                                                                                                      Peach Butter
                                                                                                                                      Blueberry Boy Bait
                                                                                                                                      Caesar-style Stuffed Eggs
                                                                                                                                      Dijon-braised Brussels Sprouts
                                                                                                                                      Vietnamese Noodle Salad w/Roast Pork

                                                                                                                                      1. Just made her version of matzo brittle - http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/04/cho...

                                                                                                                                        It's fantastic, easy, and totally addictive. I'm taking all that's left after hours of snacking to the office because it's too dangerous to have around.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: artemis

                                                                                                                                          they don't call it matzo crack for nothing.

                                                                                                                                        2. My absolute favorite is the recipe for *Blueberry Crumb Bars*! Runner up is the ever-customizable recipe for *Blondies* (my favorite personal version of the blondies is to use macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips, toasted coconut, and a tiny bit of coconut extract)! Interestingly, another commenter also listed these two recipes.

                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: keeshond

                                                                                                                                            The blondie recipe is right from Mark Bittman who deserves credit for it ( Deb does give it),. He is often dissed but this recipe is a winner.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: magiesmom

                                                                                                                                              Yes, I also use that blondie recipe a lot. Handy in case I have forgotten to take the butter out to soften for baking.
                                                                                                                                              Keeshond.. the blueberry crumb bars are also a favorite for me..

                                                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                the blondies are da bomb. i make them almost once a week because they come together so quickly and the ratios are easy to remember, so i don't have to look the recipe up every time.

                                                                                                                                                i always use 1/2 brown sugar to 1/2 white.

                                                                                                                                                today i added chocolate chips and crushed gingersnap cookies. wowee good.

                                                                                                                                          2. The current SK blog entry announces Deb's cookbook release, avenues to pre order it and a recipe for french toast ahead of the October roll out. I love the photograph on the cover!

                                                                                                                                            1. Just made her homemade Oreos yesterday, again. Pretty easy, and delicious.

                                                                                                                                              1. I'm quite fond of the brine she came up with for pickled carrots. I use it as is for pickling green beans and as a starting point for pickling all sorts of vegetables. H is using a variation right now to pickle the first cucumbers of the summer. He cut way back on the sugar and added some coriander seed and a chile de arbol.

                                                                                                                                                http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/01/pic...

                                                                                                                                                1. I have many favorites, but one that I prepare often is Deb's Roasted Buttermilk Chicken. Simple with few ingredients, the most difficult part of this recipe is waiting the 24 hours for the marinade to do its magic.

                                                                                                                                                  1. the Peanut-Butter Chocolate cake. I made it and almost killed myself & family due to deliciousness. I hope to never eat it again--I remember it even more rich than it was.

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                      Oh yeah, this is a great recipe. I love it SO much!!

                                                                                                                                                    2. Artichoke olive crostini are amazing and easy and vegan to boot.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                        Those look so good! I am planning to try them!

                                                                                                                                                      2. So excited to have found this thread! I have known about SK for a while but never took the plunge. Made three of her recipes already and so, so pleased.

                                                                                                                                                        The smashed chickpea salad is amazing - addictive, healthy, and incredibly delicious. I've had it in a pita with veggies, on crackers, and tmw trying it on rice for a nutritious lunch!

                                                                                                                                                        1. I recently found myself with a few slightly overripe pears and, after a google search, made her Roasted Pear and Dark Chocolate scones. I tossed them in the freezer and pulled a couple out a few Sundays later and popped them in the oven. Those few minutes of work very nearly resulted in a marriage proposal... to say they were a hit would be an understatement.

                                                                                                                                                          1. This recipe for grapefruit yogurt pound cake is excellent: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/0...

                                                                                                                                                            1. I haven't made a lot of her recipes, but each one I have enjoyed. I've made the broccoli fritters, the asparagus and goat cheese pasta, and the breaded pork chops. The only thing I didn't like about the pork chops were they turned out too salty, but I think my chops were pre-brined, so that would explain why. I would skip the brining step next time.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Just made Smitten Kitchen "Jacked Up Banana Bread." BEST EVER. Also love her Huevos Rancheros and Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad, both of which I make often.