I am a sucker for pumpkin spice (yep, I am one of those ladies who love pumpkin spice lattes and anything pumpkin flavored) so after seeing many posts and reviews about the pumpkin bread from Smitten Kitchen, I decided to make some of my own — and it did NOT disappoint. So delicious and yummy, and so easy to make. I will definitely make this throughout the fall and winter seasons and highly recommend that you all do the same, as well!
* 1 15-ounce can (1 3/4 cups) pumpkin puree
* 1/2 cup neutral cooking oil or melted butter
* 3 large eggs
* 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 3/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
* 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* Heaped 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
* Heaped 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
* Two pinches of ground cloves
* 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
I have not been into cooking recently — not sure what it is, but I just don’t feel like being in the kitchen and cooking. I have been tired from marathon training (and here I go with another marathon next month), the start and craze of school, and September life is just busy…..I guess I don’t even feel that into food these days — I just want to consume some calories and then be done. But that doesn’t stop me from buying new cookbooks. Here are my current three favorite new ones!
Cookbooks might be retro and outdated, but they are almost like coffee table books — just beautiful and easy to flip through.
Here is Ken with a guest blog post:
As much as I love Thanksgiving, I think I love Thanksgiving leftovers more. I don’t get the chance to cook much due to our schedules (nor do I get time to guest post on my wife’s blog), but the four day weekend allowed for some time to do both.
Every year, in addition to turkey, my family goes big on the poached salmon… and there are always tons of leftovers that we never know what to do with. It may be an Asian thing, but I get a weird sense of satisfaction from eating leftovers, and moreover, finding creative ways to make dishes from leftovers. With that, check out this post-Thanksgiving breakfast we enjoyed: salmon fritters with fried eggs:
Today we go behind the scenes with a TV chef (one of my favorite types of TV). Casey (aka, Casey2Cook) is a successful chef who won a season of Cooks vs. Cons! (BTW, that is my biggest nightmare — being quick and fast in the kitchen). Such an inspiration and I learned so much from the interview. Thanks so much, Casey! And FYI, her partner Steven is Natori’s E-Commerce Shipping manager!
Talented and beautiful, too! Thanks, Casey for this interview and inspiration for all of us.
How did you start cooking? What inspired you to become a chef?
Can’t believe it’s the beginning of October! Here is what I am currently loving.
1. Starboy by The Weekend and Daft Punk
I can’t help my tween music taste, but really, The Weekend and Daft Punk together is the best duo ever. Kinda like if Coldplay were to jam out with Justin Bieber. This song is everything. And helps me move.
My mother is multi-talented. In addition to being a great chef, she is also a flamenco dancer, champion knitter, embroider, biker, and nia participant. In the kitchen, she is known to experiment, and loves to buy random kitchen gadgets to try different cooking techniques. She owns a dehydrator, a Vitamix (who doesn’t?), more pots and pans than imaginable, and…..an air fryer…..yes, an air fryer. What *is* an air fryer? An air fryer fries your food without the grease and fat. Last night, we opened it and made potato chips (seemed like an easy recipe to try without too many steps or ingredients!)
A BIIIIIG machine…not NYC apartment friendly, but good for Oregon where there is a lot of space!
My mother is one of those people that always knows the bohemian cool, beautifully crafted, hip food products, way before anyone else. I am not saying she is a New Yorker fashionista (she is not), but she is very much in the know with all things West Coast cool and East Coast significant. When she visited us two weeks ago for Ken’s 40th birthday party, she gifted me a cookbook (she has more than 300 cookbooks at home — no joke) which is sooooooooo cool that I can’t stop reading it! Mark Bittman was a New York Times food columnist who created a book with a matrix of possibilities. It is unbelievable — everyone must have it for their kitchen! It also makes a perfect hostess gift for a friend. Take a look!
Kitchen matrix. How clever, imaginative, and smart.
Since it is the year of dumplings here at the Josie Girl Blog, here is another recipe for another scrumptious dumpling from Kenny Lao’s dumpling book. Enjoy!
I love my friends, and I love my friends’ friends! So it is no surprise that I now have a crush on chef / author / food expert / culinary entrepreneur, Kenny Lao, who I met through a mutual good friend, Lynn. I had the opportunity to interview Kenny, and hear more about his book Hey There, Dumpling! Take a look.
Confession: I was scared to buy this book as making dumplings seem a little “advanced” and “sophisticated,” But as soon as I opened the cookbook, I couldn’t put it down. Every page of the book was fascinating and interesting. RUN AND BUY IT. AND COOK THESE DUMPLINGS.
A true sign of a friend is when you receive a gift that shows that they are listening (which believe it or not, people don’t tend to do these days) to your stories. Several months ago, I nauseatingly bored my bestie to death with the fact that I had recently cleaned out the kitchen of our Pound Ridge home, and had thrown out 3 garbage bags worth of spices from 1985. So last weekend, when we visited Pound Ridge, I was astonished to find a huge present from my friend containing SPICES. To anyone else, this might seem like a whoa, cool, gift. But to me, it was beyond thoughtful, considerate, generous, and heartfelt. My friend listened, heard, and responded. Amazing. And let me tell you, these are not just any spices, they are the KING OF SPICES. (I don’t usually get excited by spices, but let me tell you, these are above and beyond any other type of spice!)
Boxes. Yes, they are just cardboard boxes but the contents are magic.
Here is a sample meal from my mother. And yes, she is a creative genius in the kitchen — she rarely looks at recipes and constantly uses her imagination to combine the freshest ingredients she finds. The key is organic and fresh veggies!
Tomato, Cucumber, Parsley, Anchovy salad. Fresh veggies from the CSA. True perfection.
Three essential (and colorful) kitchen tools: an oven mitt, a stool, and a lemon squeezer. Why not bring a little color and fun to your otherwise boring kitchen equipment?
Tools! Red, yellow, and green: skittles rainbow.
Autumn = squash season. I love eating butternut squash soup for lunch or dinner. Incredibly satisfying, comforting, hearty, and healthy. All the right ingredients that are guaranteed to make you feel good.
* 1 large butternut squash
* 3 small onions or 1.5 large onions (yellow or white)
* 1 lb. kale
* 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
* 1 twig of ginger
* 4 cups of chicken stock (homemade or store bought)
* Salt and pepper to taste
Simple ingredients that make a hearty and tasty soup.
Nothing says autumn more than Brussels sprouts (I always thought it was brussel sprouts without the third ‘s’ and not capitalized.. apparently not!) Incredibly nutritious, Brussels sprouts are full of vitamins and minerals, and have many health benefits such as lowering cholesterol, reducing inflammation, and aiding your digestive system. They are also delicious as a side dish, and leftovers are a perfect topping on a green salad the next day for lunch!
* 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* sea salt and pepper to taste
Brussels Sprouts. Tasty no matter which variety you choose!
* Trim the ends of the sprouts, and then halve them. If using larger Brussels sprouts, cut them in fourths.