a last-minute date night in
plus four recipe demos
Monday, February 13, 2023
Dream job. This frosting looks so good. What if we made our own paprika? [TikTok] (Because this was me five minutes earlier.)
Let’s unpack sardines [Taste]
Meringue is having a moment [NYTimes, unlocked]
Last night, shortly before that thing where football players got the audience warmed up for the Rihanna show, I got a “table is available” notification text for Tuesday at the place I wanted to go the most, which was such a longshot when I set it weeks ago, I completely forgot I had. And then I turned it down! While I know that Valentine’s Day experiences at restaurants can often be overwrought and terrible — tables covered in rose petals and goopy special menus — not *all* are like this and I had high hopes for this one. [I’ll tell you about it if I ever get there, and only if it’s worth it.] But yet, it actually sounded better to stay home, where we can cook so well for less and have a much more relaxed meal. I think we’ll make french fries, my actual love language, and maybe a steak. Either a perfect kale salad to go with it, or a class steak salad. Or maybe pasta? And dessert has to be impeccable, luxe and petite. Below, a few favorites I cannot choose between, none of which require any more advanced planning than a grocery run. I can’t wait.
Four new recipe demos
iceberg wedge with blue cheese: reel | tiktok | recipe
my favorite brownies: reel | tiktok | recipe
everyday meatballs: reel | tiktok | recipe
best hot fudge sauce: reel | tiktok | recipe
Smitten Kitchen Keepers, my third cookbook, has been out for 11 wonderful weeks and I love to see everything that you’re cooking from it. While the majority of the book tour is behind us, I’ll be in Columbus, Ohio in March, and I’ll be sprinkling in a few other events throughout the spring. You can keep up to date with all of the details on this page.
roberta’s roasted garlic caesar salad
Nothing breaks up a rich meal like a crisp, green, and complex salad, and this one is particularly epic. A few tweaks -- roasted garlic, pecorino, and spicy candied walnuts -- make this our Special Occasion Caesar. We're worth it
kale salad with pecorino and walnuts
Cut into thin threads and tossed with vinegar-soaked golden raisins, sharp cheese, toasted walnuts and crispy breadcrumbs, we could eat a mile of this kale salad.
rigatoni alla vodka
Penne alla vodka was the first meal I ever cooked for my husband, but I make it so differently these days -- more flavorful, quicker, and because kids make you totally square (sure, Deb), less vodka. This updated recipe uses my favorite pasta shape and is a cinch; we should definitely make it for dinner this week.
linguine with clams
A forever favorite, we’re going to beam summer to our February table with this classic feels-fancy, tastes-special but is not, in fact, much work at all meal.
easiest french fries
The best french fries I make at home are also the easiest, thanks to this method which requires no peeling, soaking, twice-frying, deep-fry thermometer or even temperature monitoring. It also uses a fraction of the oil of the classic kind. It really, really loves us.
baked brie with garlic butter mushrooms
I'm making the argument that we should get to eat baked brie for dinner, at least at times when even the simple meals should feel special. Here the brie is nestled in a pan of the best roasted mushrooms, ever and everything is swooped and scooped onto toasty bread. Repeat as needed.
skirt steak salad with arugula and blue cheese
Steak salads are a weekend favorite of ours because they check so many boxes -- a little luxurious, lots of greens, and a bright vinaigrette makes them anything but sleepy. Add a crusty baguette and some wine and wonder why you don't do this more often.
luxe butterscotch pudding
A caramelized, rich, and luxurious upgrade to butterscotch pudding, delightful in small portions, with or without a puddle of salted caramel on top.
chocolate puddle cakes
Two perfectly-sized molten chocolate cakes that take under 15 minutes to both mix and bake, are flourless, mixed in one bowl, and use ingredients you probably have around are, almost without question, the very most perfect dessert for a small, cozy celebration.
A three-ingredient, perfectly cozy, gorgeously-hued cocktail that's become my absolute favorite. It's a cousin to the Negroni, but it uses bourbon or rye instead of gin for a slightly more mellow effect.
shop my favorites
Ever wonder where I get my cutting boards, paring knives, offset spatulas and more than you see when I cook? I've created a page on Smitten Kitchen with links to some of my favorite kitchen items, the ones I'm asked about the most. For each item, I've attempted to provide a range of shopping links so we're not just focusing on one giant retailer.
See you next week!