Discover more from the smitten kitchen digest
the wanderlust issue
plus: three easy dinners for right now
Monday, August 21, 2023
This week, I’m sharing a write-up of everything we did and everywhere we went in Italy on vacation. It was hard to choose a single favorite thing on our trip, so I decided not to. I loved the small pasta portions, how few restaurants balked at the request for a table for 9, seeming to understand that some of best meal are at big shared tables; the appreciation of the spritz, the perfect lower-alcohol afternoon drink; the pistachios, hazelnuts, and sour cherries in the unquestioned daily gelato, and the coffee culture (standing up, always in a proper cup). I should really cringe more than I have about the amount of times I said things like "Wow, the pasta really is better here!" but... it's true.
Somewhat buried in the archives are write-ups to other family vacations we’ve taken over the years, and I thought it might be nice to draw attention to them today, should you be planning a future trip to one of these places, or are just feeling some wanderlust at your desk. I’ve also updated my list of favorite places to eat in New York City because as a New Yorker, I’m contractually obligated to have strong opinions on the best slice of pizza and the best bagel, and as a parent, the best scoop of ice cream.
Below, links to all of the above and a few easy dinner suggestions for this week.
The Smitten Kitchen Classroom Wishlist Project 2023 is live! In the US, a tremendous number of teachers don’t get the funding they need to set their classrooms up for success. Most will end up paying out of their own pockets to buy educational materials, which is all wrong, especially when the first paycheck of the year might not come until October. I’ve asked teachers to send me their wishlists in hopes that we can help clear as many as possible, as we did last summer. Help out if you feel you’re able — you will unquestionably make a teacher’s (and their students) day! [Project information. Direct link to spreadsheet.]
I’ve written three cookbooks and I’m a tiny bit biased, but I think you’d love them all. I’m thrilled that this warmer weather means you might be able to cook some of my late-summer favorites from my most recent cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Keepers, such as: zucchini cornbread and tomato butter, clam chowder with bacon croutons, cucumber salad with garlicky dill yogurt, zucchini and pesto lasagna, crispy chili garlic butter shrimp, and raspberry crostata, big crumb pie bars, and salt and pepper limeades. Were you looking for a list of all the recipes in each of my cookbooks? I added these a new, separate page and hope it makes it easier for you to find everything you want to cook.
I've given a long-overdue refresh to my New York favorites page, Deb's New York. These are the places I love the most and many where I've eaten for decades. It's not exhaustive; restaurants we've loved but been less often might not be up there yet. But I hope this helps you find a few new favorites when you visit. Happy feasting!
We just spent two weeks in Italy and, as promised, I've written up everywhere we went and everything we did on our vacation. Pour yourself a spritz and dive in!
Feta, tomatoes, garlic, and chickpeas roast in olive oil until the tomatoes blister and soften, the feta becomes creamy, and the whole mixture is a dream to scoop onto flatbread. It's almost endlessly tweakable. Dinner should always be this easy.
A complex marinade from simple ingredients to slather on steak, chicken or tofu skewers and broil or grill.
The greenest potato salad in the world is a cinch to make, mayo-free and full of texture from parcooked green beans, wide flakes of parmesan and toasted pignoli. It makes everyone happy.
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. I recently added several new favorites I’ve bought in the last year. 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!