Butterscotch Bourbon Ice Cream Pie (and Giveaway!)

Posted by on Mar 19, 2015 in *Some Kitchen Stuff*, Desserts | 35 Comments



icecreampie_giveaway



Hello world… SKS is officially 4 years old!

4 years of blogging. 246 published recipes. 4 years of recipe triumphs and fails, some disasters so epic that pans (whole pans) have been ruined and tossed into the trash (that would be me), at least one occasion of REPEATEDLY buying the wrong ingredient for one single recipe (that was Nicole, it was either self-rising flour or cake flour and it was ridiculous). 4 years of dragging whole cakes, loaves, bars, cookies and pies into the office (some office, any office) to pawn off on anyone who would take them. At least a handful of nights with one of us standing at the counter at 9 o’clock at night, covered in flour. 4 years of blog calendars and feverishly sent emails, cookbook trading, way too much sampling of Eat Boutique goodies, cookies, cookies, cookies, salad, cakes, cookies, “When was the last time we made cookies? Should we make cookies”



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And ice cream. So much ice cream. Of all the experiments and trends and food-related crazes that have swam up and past us over the last 4 years, homemade ice cream has stuck the hardest. Other blogs have kale. We have ice cream.

So it seems only fitting to celebrate with a recipe for outrageously festive Butterscotch Bourbon Ice Cream Pie with Graham Cracker Crust (a Melissa Clark recipe! We’re branching out!) (Jeni’s is still the best but it came out pretty great!) AND the chance to gift one of our readers a Build Your Own Sundae Kit from Jeni’s (our favorite ice cream, did I make that obvious to you?).

The lucky SKS reader/winner will receive a festive kit that contains:

  • THE MILKIEST CHOCOLATE IN THE WORLD
    Luscious milk chocolate with superior creaminess mixed with Ohio wildflower honey and grass-grazed Ohio milk. Refined and just sweet enough, like a bar of fine Swiss milk chocolate.
  • SALTY CARAMEL ICE CREAM
    A perfect balance of salty and sweet: sugar caramelized by hand, blended with sea salt and grass-grazed Ohio milk. Initial notes of burnt sugar give way to mouthwatering saltiness.
  • NDALI ESTATE VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM
    Voluptuous vanilla ice cream. Rich and full-flavored, with notes of jasmine and honey. Made with Direct- and Fair-Trade-Certified African vanilla beans reserved exclusively for Jeni’s by Ndali Estate in Uganda.
  • EXTRA-BITTER HOT FUDGE SAUCE
    Very thick, extra-bitter, intensely flavorful chocolate sauce. Served warm and drizzled over a favorite ice cream.
  • SALTY GRAHAM GRAVEL
    Sweet, crumbled graham crackers baked with butter and a heavy pinch of sea salt.
  • CHOCOLATE BLACKOUT GRAVEL
    Rich, little buttery baked nuggets of cocoa. Airy, sweet, and salty, with deep, rich cocoa flavor.

I’ve made all three of those flavors from Jeni’s amazing cookbooks and can attest that they are perfect in every respect and that you will swoon over them, especially since SOMEONE ELSE MADE THEM. I think we can all attest that delicious things taste better when someone else makes them, right?

How to Enter: Leave a comment and tell us what kind of recipes are you loving right now. 

Dates: Thursday, March 19 to Thursday, March 26, 2015 (contest ends at 12:01am EST on March 27, 2015)

Selecting a Winner:  Winner will be selected on Friday March 27, 2015 using random.org, a random generator. The winner will be notified by email and will have until Tuesday to respond. If the winner doesn’t respond to the winning notification email, another winner will be chosen.

Boring/Horrible Disclaimers: You must be 18+ to enter. We will only be shipping within the continental United States.  SKS reserves the right to disallow comment submissions for the following reasons:

  • Any rude or obscene comments will not be approved. (But I will laugh at them silently before deleting them.)
  • All spam comments will not be approved. (Again, some of these make me laugh. But they will not be approved.)
  • No purchase is necessary to enter. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. I’m not even sure what you would purchase to win, honestly. Wait, was someone going to send me money to increase their chances? Maybe I should rethink this disclaimer…



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Butterscotch Bourbon Ice Cream Pie

Source: Melissa Clark for The New York Times | Makes: 1 9″ Pie | Print Recipe

Ingredients

2 Cups of heavy cream
1 Cup of whole milk
1 Cup of sugar, divided
⅛ Teaspoon of fine sea salt
6 Large egg yolks
1 Tablespoon of bourbon

Directions

1. In a medium pot over medium heat, melt 1/2 cup sugar with 3 tablespoons water, swirling pan frequently, until sugar turns reddish brown in color.

2. Add cream, milk, 1/2 cup of sugar and salt to caramel until sugar completely dissolves and cream mixture is completely smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk yolks. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about a third of the hot cream into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream.

4. Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).

5. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.Stir 1 tablespoon bourbon into base. Cool mixture to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

6. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve directly from the machine for soft serve, or store in freezer until needed.

 

Chicago

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in *Some Kitchen Stuff* | 3 Comments



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6 and a half years ago Mike and I packed up our life in Philadelphia and made the move to Chicago, a city we knew very little about. We moved here for design jobs and didn’t know a single person in the entire state (probably the entire midwest actually). Next week we say goodbye to Chicago as we move back to the Philly area. We’re excited to be back on the east coast, close to family and old friends, and back where our roots are, but we owe a lot to Chicago and it’s hard to say goodbye.

Mike and I spent the majority of our time together as a couple in Chicago, we got engaged here, planned our wedding, spent the first 2 years of our marriage here and got our dog Lola here. We jumped around to a lot of different design jobs and met incredible people along the way. Judi and I met at one of those design jobs and started SKS on our lunch breaks. After 4 years of working at different design jobs, Mike and I went on our own and are now working for ourselves, and while we work way too many nights and weekends, it’s incredibly rewarding and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Chicago has given us amazing friendships and great work opportunities and we’re forever indebted to the city for that.

We’re excited for what’s next though. We bought a house, we’re moving to the suburbs, and I turn 30 next month, it’s all very strange and I officially feel like a grown up. We’re ready for some peace and quiet though and anxious to get the next chapter started.

Top food/drink places we’ll miss in Chicago:

1. Rangoli Indian Food
We eat here at least once a week, it’s by far my favorite food in Chicago. It the best food I’ve ever eaten actually.

2. Jeni’s Ice Cream
Free samples of the best ice cream on earth.

3. Alliance Bakery and La Colombe
La Colombe coffee mixed with an almond croissant from Alliance bakery is a delicious breakfast.

4. Mana Food Bar
Mana is a tiny vegetarian restaurant with delicious food and cocktails.

5. Violet Hour
When we want a classy cocktail I like to sit at the bar at Violet Hour and watch them make it. It’s dark and quiet inside, and the bartenders know what they’re doing.

6. The Aberdeen Tap
The Aberdeen Tap is our neighborhood spot. We’ve had many going away parties there (including our own next week), many late night dinners, afternoon drinks on the patio, and brainstorming sessions. And their fried mac & cheese squares and hushpuppies are going to be missed.


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Winner, Winner, Burrata Salad Dinner

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in *Some Kitchen Stuff*, Entrees, Salads, Side Dishes | 2 Comments



Heirloom Tomato, Chorizo and Burrata Salad



Destiny and Keevah never really met, formally. There were no real introductions, no mention of last names or what they each did for a living, at the time. They ended up in the same small circle at the home of their mutual friend Maris who had decided, on a whim, to throw an informal brunch for everyone she knew. The only thing she had said as she glanced from side to side at her friends was, “My two most unusually named friends, under one roof!”

Destiny and Keevah had both smiled sheepishly and sipped their coffee before they fell into separate conversations.

In the corner of the room, unseen, the same Destiny and Keevah stood. They were ten years older and surveyed the brunch scene, and their younger selves, with bemused horror. “God, look at my hair,” Keevah said. She reached a hand up to touch her own natural curls, now unruly but still far, far improved from the days when she would forcibly iron her hair into flat, shiny submission. “Why am I talking to Brad Saunders? Ugh, I hated that guy.”

“She’s serving that burrata salad. I remember how impressed I was about that. Burrata at brunch.” Destiny, now largely pregnant, rested a hand on her kicking belly and stared at the back of her younger self. “Is that really how I look from behind?”

“You’re fine.” Keevah scowled at her younger self who, at that moment, batted Brad Saunders on the arm and laughed. “I wish we’d been friends at this party,” she said. She’d shuffled home miserably after the party, Keevah remembered,  exhausted by the chitchat and the forced splendor of Maris’ home in the South Loop, depressed about her own crumbling apartment, stung by an offhand comment from Maris about the state of her love life. Or lack thereof.

“Me too.” Destiny arched her back and winced. “Look at poor Maris. Trying so hard to have a good time.” They both glanced over at the friend who had introduced them or, really, just off-handedly put them together in the same room. She was wearing pearls but was barefoot because that had seemed very elegant, to be in pearls but barefoot. She could not really pull off the look though, when so many people nearly stepped on her naked feet. 

How could Maris have known that this was the first of many times that the two women would be thrown into the same awkward party or social situation? That they would eventually come to seek each other out. That they would catch each other’s eye when someone said something just too ridiculous to go unnoticed. That they would then meet up for a drink, just the two of them, and end up, as it happened, talking about Maris, who they were both struggling to still be friends with, or find things in common with.

More trips to the bar, stops at the bookstore, coffee after coffee after coffee, lounging movie nights, late night texts after one of them had broken up with a guy or was starting to see a guy or when each of them had met the guy. Keevah at Destiny’s mother’s funeral; there was a moment when she could feel Destiny start to go beside her and Keevah reached out and grabbed her arm and Destiny did not cry, which was what she wanted- she was trying to be strong for her brother. Destiny running up the steps at city hall in her black pants and boots when Keevah called in the middle of work on a Tuesday to tell her she was getting married and could she get there quick, as Keevah had changed her mind at the last second about wanting a witness. All the little moments in between; countless, endless, stacked up like gold coins between them. 

They watched the scene before them and their singular, struggling selves and then Keevah snagged two glasses of mimosa from the side table and handed one to Destiny. “Just a sip for you, Mama,” Keevah said and she raised her glass. Destiny looked at her expectantly. “To Maris. Who did her job.”

Destiny grinned and raised a glass to toast their hostess. “Who did her job.”



Heirloom Tomato, Chorizo and Burrata Salad



Thank you so much for helping us celebrate our three years of SKS this week! All of your warm and lovely comments were deeply appreciated. And, uh, wow- I got a lot of good name ideas so thank you for that too. The full list is below. I think it’s safe to say that we, as a group, wish we were living in a romance novel.

And now… drumroll please for our two winners! The numbers picked, by Random.Org were comments 31 and 3; congratulations to Allison Day and Melanie!

We will email you today to discuss which foodie package you would like to receive in the mail from us. Our most sincere thanks to everyone who participated.



Heirloom Tomato, Chorizo and Burrata Salad



Here were your character names, in the order received. I should be good for the next three years with these. Or ten years.

Bryony
Margo
Ewan
Leonidas
Humperdinck
Fiona
Violet
Paige
Giana
Meghan
Natalie
Cole
Benjamin
Jacob
Aaron
Patrick
Kevin
Gabriel
Destiny*
Maris*
Sameer
Gertrude (Trudie)
Natalia
Tallon
Evan
Logan
Kramer
Trudie
Allegra
Darius
Computer (for a dog)
Marshall
Elsa
Amelia
Ignatious (Iggy)
Vanda
Earlene and Earl (twins)
Eleanor and Leanore (twins)
Jeanette and Antoinette (twins)
Violet
Clementine
Shiloh
Tillie
Morty
Lenny
Benny
Bruno
Oscar
Adeline
Ritner
Zola Summers
Axel de Luna
Gidget
Sebastian
Morgan
Lincoln
Baloney Raymond (ha!)
Walter
Hadley
Zero
Bryne
Gray
Viola
Anders (Workaholics fan?)
Zabele
Kiefer
Margot
Teagan
Cole
Bronwyn (perfect for that Lord of the Rings fan-fiction I’ve been meaning to write…)
Elle
Millard
Atticus
Abe
Aurora
James
Ogee Eckard (your own name IS amazing)
Pearl
Claire
Anton
Marco
Lilian
Vivian
Laurel
Reese Luisi (I’m Italian, so I liked the full name)
Gwendolyn
Theodore
Dale
Jaylene
Marcus
Eleanor
Lena
Dima
Jude
Kaylan
Margo
Logon
Archie
Keevah*
Aidan
Lola
Oscar
Beatrice
Mona
Wallace
Vivian
Sinclair
Gertrude
Bunny
Samara
Me’lani
Evelynn
Enzo
Vadim
Ariel
Khairun
Sophia
Gabriel
Reginald
Walter
Veronica
Pickle (!)
Ginger
Armando
Latham
Jasper
Griffin
Chandler
Sailor
Sadie
Maisie
Baxter
Madeleine
Bartholomew
Zeke
Anastasia
Elisa
Elijah
Desiree
Jacqueline



Heirloom Tomato, Chorizo and Burrata Salad



And now, ladies and gentlemen, your salad… specifically, your Heirloom Tomato, Chorizo and Burrata Salad which, frankly, is almost too beautiful to eat. Let us just stare at it and behold its wonder and be thankful that cheese exists. Especially burrata which is like mozzarella but magic. If burrata is ever on a menu, you say “We will have all of the burrata you have.” End of lesson.

Heirloom Tomato, Chorizo and Burrata Salad

Source: ChantelleGrady | Makes: | Print Recipe

Ingredients

400 grams of heirloom tomatoes, halved
Olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
6 Slice of chorizo, sliced diagonally
1 Tablespoon of capers, rinsed
1 Ball of Burrata cheese

To serve

2-3 Slices of fresh baguette
Olive oil
1 Garlic clove, halved
Balsamic vinegar
Fresh basil leaves
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 265°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2. Place halved tomatoes on baking tray, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Turn tomatoes so cut side is facing up and roast for 30 minutes. Transfer smaller tomatoes into a bowl to cool while the larger tomatoes roast for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and add to bowl.

3. In a frying pan, grill the chorizo on each side for 1 minute until golden. Transfer to paper towel to drain. To hot pan, add capers and fry for 30 seconds until slightly golden. Transfer to paper towel with chorizo.

4. On a baking sheet, place the baguette slices. Drizzle both sides with olive oil and grill until golden. Remove and rub one side with the cut garlic.

5. To serve, place the tomatoes, chorizo and capers together on a plate. Top with the burrata, drizzle with oil and balsamic to taste. Scatter with basil leaves and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with grilled baguette.

 

We’re 3! Win Free Stuff!

Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in *Some Kitchen Stuff* | 54 Comments



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Some Kitchen Stories is three years old this week!

GIVEAWAY

We want to celebrate by giving you free stuff. This year, we’re doing something a little different. We’re going to offer three SURPRISE prize packages. Comment below to enter for a chance to win one of them! We’re giving away two, one from me and one from Nicole.

Each package will be filled with fun stuff that fits the theme (stuff you’ll actually want, we promise) with locally sourced products from our homes (Chicago and Maine) and one delicious baked good, baked personally by us as a thank you to you. Think of it as a delicious care package from a stranger who loves food and food gadgets as much as you do.

You could win one of these babies:

Brunch Party

A loaf of delicious cake-bread (banana! chocolate banana! zucchini! lemon poppyseed!)

An assortment of items that will be perfect for your next fancy breakfast party.

Dessert Party

Cookies or Bars (winner’s choice)

Fun stuff for your dessert table! Could be syrups for sundaes, cute parfait glasses, zippy serving ware.

Midnight Snack

A candy or savory treat, just for you, baked by us.

And yet more candy and savory treats. Treats of all kind! Perfect for hiding away and snacking on in the dark when all of your loved ones are asleep.

Dates: Thursday, March 20 to Thursday, March 27, 2014 (contest ends 12am ET on the 28th)

How to Enter: Just leave a comment below with a character name (I always need more character names).

Selecting a Winner:  Winners (2) will be selected on Friday March 28, 2014 using random.org, a random generator. The winner will be notified by email and will have until Monday to respond. If the winner doesn’t respond to the winning notification email, another winner will be chosen.

Boring/Horrible Disclaimers: You must be 18+ to enter. We will only be shipping within the continental United States.  SKS reserves the right to disallow comment submissions for the following reasons:

  • Any rude or obscene comments will not be approved. (But I will laugh at them silently before deleting them.)
  • All spam comments will not be approved. (Again, some of these make me laugh. But they will not be approved.)
  • No purchase is necessary to enter. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. I’m not even sure what you would purchase to win, honestly. Wait, was someone going to send me money to increase their chances? Maybe I should rethink this disclaimer… (aw, happy three year anniversary to you, snarky contest disclaimers!)

So what are you waiting for? Go win free stuff!!!

 

 

Just a Little Note…

Posted by on Jan 25, 2014 in *Some Kitchen Stuff* | 3 Comments

As we prepare our latest recipe adventure, we just wanted to say hi! And… we’ve had a little work done. What do you think? Nicole and Mike have worked their magic on the site, isn’t it lovely? If you’d like to connect with us, the icons are at the top, if you want to search posts by category, scroll down the bottom. And enjoy Nicole’s beautiful photos in between.

See you next week with recipes. Food, food and more food. Food for days.

xo

Judi and Nicole

Winner!

Posted by on Mar 23, 2013 in *Some Kitchen Stuff* | One Comment







Lynna! She’s won the Enamel Spoons and the Market Bag from West Elm!

We sincerely wish we could buy all of you all of these things- thank you for your lovely comments about our 2nd year! Happy Weekend!

– Judi and Nicole

2 Years! Giveaway!

Posted by on Mar 18, 2013 in *Some Kitchen Stuff* | 54 Comments

 







Some Kitchen Stories is officially 2 years old! So much has changed in two years. New apartments (both), new city (me), new hubby (Nicole), new puppy (Nicole)- lots of adventures in between… and stories… and baked goods…. mostly baked goods…. so many baked goods….

Of course, what fun is a party without PRESENTS! And as is our wont (I should use that word more often. Note to self) we want to give those presents to YOU. Because without you, we’d be talking to ourselves about cake once a week. Thank you for reading and commenting and chatting with us and letting us get to know you (and your blogs!)

Introducing the 2 Years! Giveaway!  Nicole has thoughtfully curated a list of desirable kitchen items and a lucky reader will win the item of her choice! Enter by commenting with your top TWO picks and we’ll choose a winner at random on Friday to win those two things!







1. Apron, Anthropologie

2. Butter Dish, Anthropologie 

3. Pitcher, Anthropologie

4. Enamel Spoons, West Elm

5. Market Bag, West Elm

6. Honey Pot, West Elm

7. Rolling Pin, West Elm

Dates: Monday, March 18 to Friday, March 22, 2013 (contest ends 12am EST on the 23nd)

How to Enter: Just leave a comment with your two items of choice!

Selecting a Winner:  Winner will be selected on Saturday March 23 using random.org, a random generator. The winner will be notified by email and will have until Monday to respond. If the winner doesn’t respond to the winning notification email, another winner will be chosen.

Boring/Horrible Disclaimers: You must be 18+ to enter. We will only be shipping within the continental United States.  SKS reserves the right to disallow comment submissions for the following reasons:

  • Any rude or obscene comments will not be approved. (But I will laugh at them silently before deleting them.)
  • All spam comments will not be approved. (Again, some of these make me laugh. But they will not be approved.)
  • No purchase is necessary to enter. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. I’m not even sure what you would purchase to win, honestly. Wait, was someone going to send me money to increase their chances? Maybe I should rethink this disclaimer…

SKS Book Club: The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs

Posted by on Feb 8, 2013 in *Some Kitchen Stuff*, Book Club | 2 Comments







“When the challah dough is smooth and glossy, I set it aside to proof and move on to the tzimmers, cutting the parsnips into coins and the sweet potatoes into paper-thin medallions. Rachel calls to me from the dining room as I finish slicing the parsnip and chopping up the dried pears, and I wipe my hands on my apron, a red-and-white-striped smock I bought at Anthropologie a few years ago. Adam used to joke that it makes me look like a 1950s housewife. I was never sure whether he meant that as a compliment or an insult.”

Welcome to our first book club meeting! Isn’t this fun? Isn’t this great?

Nicole and I have discussed what kind of content would be right for us here- reviewing products doesn’t really make sense for this space, not really. And we didn’t want to be flooded with ads (it’s so pretty, the site! So pretty!) But when we were approached to review a novel about food, well, my heart skipped a beat. Books! Food! Perfect!







“Rather than wearing a pair of matronly wool slacks and a shirt with a mustard stain on it, I am now wearing a pair of skinny black pants, flats and a silky jade tunic. I also managed to whip up and scarf down a small fines herbes omelet, since I wasn’t sure if tonight’s date would involve food and, as always, am perpetually afraid of missing a meal.”

The book is The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs and it’s a light, effortless read. It’s fun and engaging, about a young woman struggling to find her own way by hosting a series of (slightly illegal) underground supper clubs in DC. It’s the perfect book for your emergency beach vacation this winter (there’s a blizzard hitting Maine right now, you guys) but I’m going to be perfectly honest- you will probably appreciate more than the average person.







“I tell them lots of things- about food, about my bubbe, about me- and, to my surprise, they actually pay attention. They hang on my every word and ask intelligent questions and make thought-provoking points of their own. And I realize, hey, these are people who get it, people who love to eat and talk about food and culture as much as I do.”

It didn’t occur to me until I picked up this book that we (as in lovers of food, food blogs, cooking shows, food magazines, restaurants, cooking, baking and all that is involved therein. Hi.) are a thing now. An audience. I’ve picked up tons of novels over the years that spoke purely and clearly to fashionistas, for example, and I always yawned through the paragraphs describing the heroine’s shoe closet. I’m sure not everyone would be so excited to read about Hannah Sugarman’s deft handling of a four course meal or a description of honey ice cream “with crunchy chunks of honeycombe toffee.” But you’ll get it. You’ll nod and smile and feel that wink of recognition, the same feeling you get when you meet someone at a party and know from the first few minutes that you’ve stumbled upon someone you know, someone kindred in spirit. I know you will.







Devils on Horseback (Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Honey Laced Mascarpone)

Source: The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs by Dana Bate | Makes 12 Dates | Print Recipe

INGREDIENTS

2 Tablespoons of mascarpone cheese
3/4 Teaspoon of honey
1/4 Teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
12 Medjool dates
6 Slices of applewood smoked bacon

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a small bowl, mix together the mascarpone, honey, and lemon juice. Using a small knife, cut a slit down one side of each of the date to remove the pot. Stuff each date with 1/2 teaspoon of the mascarpone mixture, filling the cavity. Close up the date.

Cut each bacon slide in half, so that you end up with 12 slices about 4-5 inches long. If the bacon is very, very fatty, trim away some of the excess fat. Wrap each date with a slice of bacon, securing the bacon in place with a toothpick. Place dates on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5-6 minutes. Turn dates over and continue baking for another 5-6 minutes, until the bacon is crisp. Drain on paper towels and let cool for about 5 minutes. Serve.

Some Kitchen Stories received two (2) free advanced copies of The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs from the author’s press agent. The recipe and excerpts are property of the publisher. However all opinions, thoughts, feelings, impressions are strictly our own. 

Eat Boutique Giveaway! Cocktail Heaven

Posted by on Nov 28, 2012 in *Some Kitchen Stuff*, Drinks | 40 Comments







“So, okay, what’s this?”

“That? That’s, um…” she picked up the jar and squinted, not because the label was hard to read but because all the noshing had made her vision blurry. “Peanut Cocoa Butter.” 

“Oh man. That’s amazing.” Her husband handed her a spoon and they dug in. And it was amazing. 

But then Tara blinked and, for the first time in about an hour, really looked around her. She and her husband were sitting cross-legged on the floor, surrounded by crinkly wrappers, open jars and lids, dirty spoons and fallen crisps everywhere. “Oh. Oh no.”

“Huh?” Jim blinked too. His eyes were glazed over and there were crumbs all over his chin. “What?”

“Jim!” Tara looked at the gift basket on the floor. “We ate everything! ALL THE THINGS.”

“Mmmm.” He reached for the jar of peanut cocoa butter again but she smacked his hand. “What?! Oh.” Realization dawned. He nudged the now-empty basket on the floor and wiped the crumbs off his chin. “Oh. Well. I guess we’ll just have to buy your boss something else, huh?”







So many things happening in this post right now!

First, a recipe. It’s officially holiday cocktail party time! And everyone knows that the best winter cocktails come with a dose of warmth- either from piping hot tea and brandy or, in this case, coffee and bourbon. And whipped cream. Clearly.

As an aside, when I first saw this recipe and got to the amaro ingredient, I had to look it up. And when I looked it up, I laughed because amaro is the same as Fernet. And that will make my mom laugh because the only person I know who orders Fernet is my Aunt Anna and according to my mother, only someone with a constitution like my Aunt Anna (with her bone-crushing hugs, her penchant for walking barefoot and collecting rocks and feeding grown men, like my father, until they cry) would order it as a stand-alone drink. Apparently, my Aunt Anna is more hipster and legit than most people I know.







Caffè Di Alpi

Source: foodandwine.com | Makes 1 drink | Print Recipe

INGREDIENTS

1 Teaspoon of honey
3 Ounces of hot brewed coffee (you know what would go great with/in place of hot brewed coffee? Coffee Syrup. Hmmm. Where could we find that, I wonder?)
1 and 1/2 ounces of bourbon
1 Large dollop of Alps Whipped Cream (see below)
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

1. Put the honey in a warmed mug.

2. Add the hot coffee and the bourbon and stir.

3. Top with Alps Whipped Cream and garnish with the grated nutmeg.

Alps Whipped Cream

INGREDIENTS

3/4 Ounce of amaro (more info)
4 Ounces of heavy cream

DIRECTIONS

1. In a small bowl, beat the heavy cream until thickened.

2. Add amaro and beat until firm.







And now… win free, awesome stuff in our Eat Boutique Giveaway!

Our love for Eat Boutique is well-documented, I think. And if it’s not, it should be. I can’t remember who first directed us to Maggie and her fantastic business but one look at the Breakfast Gift Box and I was good and hooked.  “Seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes for food fans.” Filled with “the best small batch foods by boutique food makers.” Did you swoon? Are you swooning?

What if I told you New Englanders that the Eat Boutique Holiday Market is coming on December 9th? And Joy the Baker will be there? And Aran Goyoaga? And I need to stop listing everyone or I may cry a little. I’m very emotional today apparently.

Will you swoon if we give you one of these delightful gift boxes? Because we’re going to do just that. What better way to kick off the gift season than… with gifts!

SKS Winter Giveaway

Grand Prize:

One (1) Cocktails Gift Box from Eat Boutique:

It’s always cocktail hour when you send this gift box, and it’s always made from scratch. A single bottle of Scrappy’s Bitters is at the ready for any mixed drink. Morris Kitchen’s Ginger, Preserved Lemon or Apple Syrup (our choice) will brighten every cocktail or soda concoction. Dave’s Coffee Syrup is perfect for White Russians (and all sorts of baked goods). Quince & Apple Grenadine is ready for your Shirley Temple. Rim each drink with Didi Davis Foods Citrus Sugar Collection and nibble on Treat Bake Shop Pecans. We even included Haute Papier letter-pressed coasters and a little whisk to make serving and mixing easy.

It’s a perfect addition to your holiday cocktail bar and a stellar gift for the drink-lovers in your life (is there such a thing as regifting if you first won it on a blog?) so enter today!

Dates: November 28 to December 5, 2012 (contest ends 12am EST on the 5th)

How to Enter: Just write a comment on this post and give us a character name we could use in one of our future stories (we could always use more fun character names and when we use it, we’ll let you know!)  One comment per person please.

Selecting a Winner:  Winner will be selected on Thursday, December 6 using random.org, a random generator. The winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond. If the winner doesn’t respond to the winning notification email, another winner will be chosen.

Boring/Horrible Disclaimers: You must be 18+ to enter. We will only be shipping within the continental United States.  SKS reserves the right to disallow comment submissions for the following reasons:

  • Any rude or obscene comments will not be approved. (But I will laugh at them silently before deleting them.)
  • All spam comments will not be approved. (Again, some of these make me laugh. But they will not be approved.)
      No purchase is necessary to enter. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. I’m not even sure what you would purchase to win, honestly. Wait, was someone going to send me money to increase their chances? Maybe I should rethink this disclaimer…

Maple Ice Cream and Waffle Sammies (Giveaway!)

Posted by on Oct 26, 2012 in *Some Kitchen Stuff*, Desserts | 5 Comments







Our Halloween stories continue….

The setting was perfect. It was a dark and stormy night. The branches were thrashing against the window pane. The wind howled. Inside Cora’s room, every light had been extinguished. Every light, in fact, had gone out through the whole house and down the block as well. Cora slept on, unaware that her Princess Penelope Night Light had gone out with all the others. 

Of all the Night Monsters, Crink was the most terrifying to look at. He had a long snout and whiskers that protruded from all over. He was round and stout, with big claws that dragged along the ground. When he would pull himself out from under the bed, his claws would often drag whatever toys out that had been hiding with him. 

He was on schedule. (He checked his watch, the one on his back leg.) He was particularly foul smelling. (The child’s mother had made brussel sprouts for dinner and most of Cora’s had been stashed under her bed after she’d retreated to her room.) He was in a terrible mood. (He hated brussel sprouts even more than Cora. These had been cooked in maple syrup and they stuck to his burlap shorts like burrs.)

Three, two, one. Out from under the bed, he slunk, his claws scraping the floor beneath him. He rose slowly and everything was as it should be. The light from the moon shone behind him, ready to reveal his hideousness to the child, ready for her terrified screams and…

The child was not in her bed. Crink’s terrible expression dropped in confusion. The bed was empty. Where had she gone? 

He stood, his arms still raised, puzzled, and did not see Cora rising behind him in the light. She had a fierce expression of her own and a book the size of a brick in her hands. He didn’t see her swing, only heard the thud and then all the lights truly went out.







I have been waiting for this moment for so long. 

After a long, sticky summer of making ice cream from this lovely and remarkable book, I finally found a way to get Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams onto Some Kitchen Stories: I just needed Nicole to get married. And then I could give it to her as a wedding gift, along with an ice cream maker. Cue evil laugh. Cue secret agenda masquerading as love and generosity.

So devious. So CRAFTY. But seriously, if it would’ve sealed the deal further, I would’ve sent her a cow. A grass-fed cow. Happy Wedding, Nicole! When you’re back from your honeymoon (and um, moving) and even though you live in Chicago and it’s probably, likely, already starting to feel like there’s more than one nip in the air, can you please PLEASE make ice cream as soon as humanly possible? But no, I resisted. I stayed mum.







And when she finally DID want to make ice cream, oh man, I was ready. I WAS READY. Why, what a coincidence, Nicole. I happen to have a number of recipes ear-marked for just an occasion ho ho! Specifically, I had three recipes that I had already made and was planning to serve at Thanksgiving this year, because I am an ice-cream-making machine and no one is safe: Vanilla (which, despite its simplicity is so ridiculously good, I can barely sit still as I write this, imagining a scoop of it sitting prettily on top of my friend’s apple pies), Pumpkin 5 Spice (the test batch is, at this moment, sitting in my freezer, another bizarre coincidence, how did that happen oh well) and the third was perhaps one of my favorites in the whole, entire book: Maple with Salty Buttered Pecans.







I’m a big fan of maple-flavored treats and a lover of Fall flavors, in general, so perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised by the depth of flavor in this particular recipe. But it is shockingly good. Lacking Grade B syrup (how can I have so much trouble being so close to Vermont? And other questions), I added a drop or two of maple extract to boost the maple-ness and the result was a flavor that was almost cool, like peppermint. The salty, buttered pecans are dangerous. In the ice cream, they’re essential, if life is to have any kind of meaning or reason.

I started fantasizing about dropping a scoop of Maple Ice Cream on a warm, homemade waffle. I’d eat it, Nigella-style, in the dark of night in my own kitchen. I’d serve it for brunch for people I find particularly attractive and charming and who were nice to me and buy me presents on my birthday. I’d make it on a Wednesday night when things were quiet and I was feeling moody, knowing that the ice cream would drip, drip, drip into the crevices of the warm waffle and my sadness would drip away with it. Because this, my dear, sweet, wonderful friends, this is happiness, pure and simple.

Make it please, as soon as you can.







Oh, one more thing. The wonderful people behind Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams have given us A FREE COPY of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home to give away to you, our readers!

To enter the giveaway, click here. There are 2 ways to enter- the more ways you enter, the better your chance of winning. Good luck!

[Update: Contest is now closed. We have a winner! Thank you for entering, everyone!]







Maple Ice Cream with Salty Buttered Pecans and Waffle Sammies

1 Quart of Maple Ice Cream with Salty Buttered Pecans, from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home or store-bought

6 Servings of Homemade Waffles (Recipe Below)

Homemade Waffles

Need: Waffle Iron | Makes 6 Servings | Source: allrecipes | Print Recipe

Ingredients

2 Eggs
2 Cups of all-purpose flour
1 and 3/4 Cups of milk
1/2 Cup of vegetable oil
1 TBsp of white sugar
4 Teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon of salt
1/2 Teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions

1. Preheat waffle iron.

2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until fluffy.

3. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth.

4. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray.

5. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Let cool slightly.

6. Using a cookie cutter, cut waffles into sandwich-sized rounds.

7. Scoop Maple Ice Cream between two waffle rounds.

8. Eat with many napkins. They will be very drippy and delicious. You won’t be sorry.

SKS: A Wedding Story

Posted by on Jun 28, 2012 in *Some Kitchen Stuff*, Desserts | 2 Comments

Where to begin?

When Nicole mentioned where she and Mike would be getting married and said, “I’m from the country,” I assumed she meant “country” like all of us urban girls mean “country.” Meaning, you know, the suburbs with a lot more grass.







Uh, no. Nicole is from the country. I didn’t know, in fact, that there was so much country.  It didn’t really hit me until I turned off Dirt Road A onto Dirt Road B and was tossed and jostled around in my rent-a-Mazda as it chugged and coughed over the pebble-filled road. I wondered if this wasn’t all some kind of terrible mistake.

Not the wedding. Just my choice of off-road vehicle.







But suddenly the trees parted and there it was- the wedding.







The barn. Big and stately and, you know, barn-like. It was very barn. It was tres barn as the French kids would say.







Nicole and Mike are those people.







 

























Those people who seem to have just arrived on this earth out of nowhere, just popped right there out of the sky with more talent and style than the rest of us and who are also so calm and self-possessed about it all, so effortlessly cool about it all, that you start to wonder if there’s actually something wrong with you since you didn’t think, ever, once, that making a hanging decoration out of an old flour sack is a great idea for a wedding.







What? Oh that? That’s just me being effortlessly talented and cool, it’s nothing, don’t worry about it. Here, have some cheese.







And this flag. That we made. You can wave it when they announce we’re husband and wife! Before you drown in all the adorable. 







This wedding reminded me, in many ways, of my friend Sarah’s wedding last year. Both held tented receptions in their parents’ backyards. Both were filled with homemade touches. Both were built with the bride and groom’s bare hands, from the ground up, along with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins with trucks and wheelbarrows, friends, neighbors.



















Both were simple and small. Both times I found myself overwhelmed.







They built that dance floor.













They baked. They baked. 

Nicole and family baked some SKS classic treats for the occasion, including these and these.







People are amazing.







People are amazing.







Love is great. And people are amazing.







Check out more photos of the wedding on Facebook.

Guess What?

Posted by on Mar 23, 2012 in *Some Kitchen Stuff* | 2 Comments







We have picked our winner (at random, using Rafflecopter). Congratulations to Meg! Here was her comment on her favorite recipe find of the year:

“my favorite recipe of the year are these lovely little flatbreads from smitten kitchen – super easy and completely addictive. thanks for the giveaway, and happy anniversary!”

Wonderful Meg has won the New England Basket from Eat Boutique!  The basket includes:

– Slightly sweet, totally crunchy granola from Cow & Crumb (Cambridge, Mass.)
– A caramel sauce made from goat’s milk from Fat Toad Farm (Brookfield, Vermont)
– Lark (Essex, Mass.) whole wheat oat cookies with cranberries and bittersweet chocolate
– A cherrywood smoked sea salt for finishing soups, roasts and veggies from Salt Traders (Ipswich, Mass.)
– One of the best maple syrups from Sweet Brook Farm (Williamstown, Mass.)

Thank you to everyone who entered! Yay for presents! Made of food! Yay to another year of kitchen stories!

Molten Chocolate Cake and a Surprise

Posted by on Feb 14, 2012 in *Some Kitchen Stuff*, Desserts | 4 Comments







The Proposal- Part 3

Everett stepped forward and gave her a kiss. Violet stared. “You made an appointment with me?”

“Yup.” He grinned. “You look great.”

She lifted a hand to her hair and frowned. “You did that? You paid for me at the salon?”

“Yup again.”

“And the flowers?”

“Yup.”

She looked out into the office, still a no-man’s land. “Did you fire everyone too? Where is everyone?”

“I sent them out to lunch. On me.”

She continued staring. “You did?’

Everett scratched at his jaw. “I mean, I sent them to the sandwich place. It wasn’t a five-star meal or anything.” He leaned back against the desk. His expression was patient, expectant.

Stumped, Violet dropped her bag on the floor. “But why? What’s going on?”

“I’m proposing to you.”

Now, she goggled at him. “Here?” She looked around at her little office, unrecognizable in the forest of flowers it had become. “At work? In my office?”

Everett nodded, yet to move from his perch at the edge of her desk. “I know it’s not on the list you gave me.” She flushed but he didn’t look angry, just amused. “I’d always planned to do it here. You spend sixty hours a week here,” he explained. He nudged a picture of them on the desk and then caught her eye. “I’m not complaining,” he said quickly. “You love your job. I love how much you love it. It brings you a lot of pride and that makes me proud of you. But you do spend most of your time here,” he continued. “I wanted it to be here.”

She was frozen in place now, watching him, hearing him. He took a step forward and dropped his hands to her wrists. Her pulse was wild. “I wanted you to one day be sitting at your desk, at the end of a long and really hard day, and remember that this is where I asked you to be my whole life.” When he lifted his hands, hers were changed. A ring was there where there wasn’t one before. She gazed down at it, at home suddenly on her finger, and then up into his eyes. He grinned. “Will you marry me, Vi?”







Happy Valentine’s Day, muffins!

I was talking to a foodie friend of mine about how a person really knows when they’re a good cook. There are, after all, differently skill levels and interests when it comes to cooking and baking, with training and repetition and intuition all involved to a varying degree. Is it the moment you realize you’ve memorized your favorite cookie recipe and can now do it with one hand tied behind your back? Or when you improvise a tried-and-true dish with mind-blowing results? Or maybe it’s just that you followed your passion- you can follow a recipe to the letter, crack an egg properly and your wild-eyed devotion to tracking every one of Ina Garten’s precious movements has all your friends wondering, slightly, about your sanity. (Not that that’s me or anything.)

I haven’t gotten to that place yet- that place of symphony and grace where you can open up your cabinets, roll up your sleeves and whip up something in a matter of minutes that would make Jacques Pepin weep. But this recipe makes me feel like I can do that. It has a short list of ingredients, everything that’s usually within arm’s reach anyway, and the techniques are a touch on the sophisticated side, just enough to make you feel a bit more like the artist you wish you were.  Make this and, suddenly, you’re no longer Sandra Lee. You’re Nigella Lawson.

It’s both rich and light, delicately textured at the ends and gooey at the center. The better the chocolate, the sharper the taste. If you had a romantic evening planned and were coming up short on dessert, this chocolate cake is perfect. Restaurant quality. Awe inspiring. Love inducing. Makes you want to add French murmurs to everything you say. Le sighe.







Molten Chocolate Cake

Adapted from The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater | 4 Servings| Time: 30 to 45 minutes | Print Recipe

Ingredients

7 Ounces of dark, fine-quality chocolate
½ Cup of superfine sugar
3 Large eggs
5 TBsps of butter, room temperature
2 Heaped TBsps of Nutella (or any chocolate hazelnut spread)

Prepare

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly butter 4 ramekins or oven-proof cups.

2. Prepare a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Break up chocolate into rough pieces and place in bowl, letting it melt without stirring. Gently push down any big pieces to the bottom of the bowl to let them melt too.

3. Pour the sugar into your food mixer or bowl.

4. Separate the yolks from your eggs. Add yolks to the sugar and beat until thick and creamy.

5. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until airy and almost stiff.

6. Stir the butter into the chocolate and leave to melt, then gently stir in the Nutella.

7. Fold the chocolate mixture into the bowl of eggs and sugar.

8. Carefully, fold the egg whites into the mixture with a metal spoon. Do not overmix. Make sure there are no drifts of egg white.

9. Scoop into four buttered dishes and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, till risen. The tops should be cracked and the insides slightly wobbly. Nigel says that if you open one too early, just pop it back into the oven until properly cooked.

And now, our surprise. Valentine’s Day cards!







Remember when we were in elementary school and we gave each other cards? Everyone got cards. Those little paper cards with Minnie Mouse or Betty Boop on them. (Transformers for the boys.) I choo-choo-choose you.

Nicole and I have decided to bring them back today.







We’re sending them to the food bloggers who inspire us. They diligently type out their recipes, try and test them, photograph the living daylights out of them and then pour their heart and soul into posts, week after week- they keep us reaching for pots and pans and old spatulas and yank us out of our ruts. We wouldn’t be here without them. We heart them. Yes, we do.







So, if you want, play along! Download all three cards and start sending them! (Just right click on the card you want and Save.) Instead of cubbies, use Twitter and Facebook. Drop them here and there, everywhere. Spread a little love today.

And don’t be surprised if we send you one. We heart you too.

Meet My New Novel: The Witches Sib

Posted by on Nov 29, 2011 in *Some Kitchen Stuff* | 3 Comments







This is a big day for me.

That’s my book! Up there! I wrote that! (Proclaimed in Will Ferrel- Elf voice.)

I was home on Long Island in December 2009 when I took my dog for a walk near my parent’s house. It was cold and getting dark. I walked up the street, daydreaming, as always, and came upon this house:







And suddenly, I could see it. A woman with long, dark, curly hair who walks up the street with suitcase in hand, a yellow dog at her side. A witch arriving home. She’d been gone a long, long time.

Some stories, you sweat over- you wring it out from pure nothing, a few drops of water from an old towel. Others pop into your life fully formed. This one was both. It started out as a story about witches, about a sprawling, magical family who all live together, a Kennedy-esque compound of quirky homes, a little mischief, a bunch of spells, a romance, an evil curse. And then it turned into something else entirely. It became a story about my siblings and why I love them. And about what it takes for a teenage girl to grow up in the best way possible.  Most of all, it became a story about loss in all its forms and love in all its disguises. It consumed my heart for two years and now it’s done. It’s here.

You’ve all been so nice. Many of you are writers yourselves so I know you feel a little of my terror here- I’m an unknown without a publisher or an agent, facing a pretty big world that already holds an awful lot of unread books. I worked so hard to write a story I could be proud of, that I myself would want to read.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I made this. Would you like to read it? 

Click here for a free download of the first 50 pages.

About The Witches Sib

Meredith Gallagher, third child and second daughter of the Gallagher line, returns home after years of exile when her sister’s husband, and Meredith’s own childhood best friend, abruptly dies.

Once home, she discovers that her family has fully turned their backs on their mother’s magic and now an ancient curse threatens to destroy them all. As the silent evil seeps onto the family land, no one is unaffected- old rivalries resurface, secrets are revealed, love is tested and power is unearthed in the unlikeliest of places.

If the Gallaghers are to survive, they must face their fears and become who they were always meant to be.

Volume 1 of the Family Magic Trilogy | 505 pages| Adult Contemporary Fiction

Copyright 2011

Buy the Book $17.49 (30% off) | eBook (Nook, iPad, iPhone) $6.99 | Kindle $6.99

We Have a Winner!

Posted by on Oct 14, 2011 in *Some Kitchen Stuff* | No Comments








Thank you to everyone who participated in our first-ever giveaway! The random generator has spoken and it has spoken the number “19” which means our winner is… Amanda! Come on dooooowwwwwnnnnn!!!! Amanda is the winner of a year subscription to Saveur, a copy of Best Food Writing of 2011 and the lovely bowl from Anthropologie so she can stage her own delicious treats. Thank you to everyone for submitting names!

Amanda gave us the names Olwyn, which is sexy and Lord-of-the-Ringsy which I think we all know is super redundant, and also Binklesworth because I think she hates me. Does this mean I now have to write about a butler in Middle Earth?

 

 

 

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