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Jenn
Once upon a time, I was a chef...
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Hi All, Just a quick note to let you know that my site may go down for a few days starting tonight while I migrate all of my content over to my new website. I'm looking forward to sharing it with you next week (lots of bells and whistles and much better search capabilities!) but in the meantime, print out any recipes you may need over the next week since I'm not exactly sure when I'll be back online. Thanks for your patience while I muddle through all the technical stuff. ~Jenn Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2012 at Once Upon A Chef
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All the signs of winter are here. Little hats and mittens are scattered around the mudroom, tissue boxes are on night tables, I'm wearing yoga pants and Uggs morning til night, and the poor dog hasn't had a real walk in days. On Wednesday, it was so cold and windy, all I could imagine for dinner was a bowl of hot soup. A trip to the store was out of the question, so a quick search of the kitchen led to a few cans of black beans and some vegetables just waiting to be transformed. Within thirty minutes, we had... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2012 at Once Upon A Chef
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This salad of oranges, grapefruits and juicy pomegranate seeds is the perfect antidote to all the overindulgence of the holidays. I made it for dessert for friends over the weekend and it made me so happy to watch everyone help themselves to seconds and thirds without feeling like they really shouldn't. With only three ingredients, it's easy to make. Let's begin with the pomegranate, which I know can be a little intimidating if you've never cracked into one. Pomegranates are full of glistening ruby-red seeds called arils, which are like little capsules of juice that burst in your mouth. The... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2012 at Once Upon A Chef
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I usually think of banana bread as something to eat for breakfast (or, let's be honest, something to cut a tiny slice from every time you walk through the kitchen) but this one is so decadent, you could really top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and call it dessert. Chocolate chips and cocoa powder give it deep chocolate flavor, and sour cream makes it rich, tender and ultra-moist. Before we get started, a few tips. Be sure to use very ripe, brown bananas for the best banana flavor. Also, note that the recipe calls for natural unsweetened... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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These Nutty Jam Thumbprints could win a cookie contest on looks alone, but they're just as delicious as they are pretty. The cookie is actually a Mexican Wedding Cake, also known as a Russian Tea Cake, Viennese Crescent or Snowball. Delicate, nutty and not-too-sweet, these cookies make the perfect shortbread-like base for a dollop of luscious fruit preserves. The recipe is adapted from Alice Medrich's award-winning cookie book Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy. The most tender wedding cookies are made with superfine sugar, so begin by pulsing the granulated sugar in a food processor until it is fine and powdery. Next,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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Latkes, or crisp onion-scented potato pancakes, are a traditional Jewish holiday dish. Go to any Hanukah party and you'll find an apron-clad Jewish mother or grandmother standing at the stove frying and doling them out – a tradition I loved and cherished until I became the poor mother who had to make them. Cooking short-order style, hot oil splattering all over the kitchen, children running underfoot – no thank you! Enter these oven-fried latkes. They're no healthier, mind you, but just as good, half the mess and so much easier. As a rule, I try not to share recipes here... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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These adorable little cookies are adapted from one of my most dog-eared cookbooks, How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson. Nigella calls them Snickerdoodles (the classic sugar cookies rolled in cinnamon-sugar) but since they taste and look so much like donut holes, my kids have renamed them Donut Hole cookies. I know they look plain, but I guarantee you can't eat just one. Before you bake them, note that the recipe calls for two whole tablespoons of cinnamon. I point that out only because I've started making them on several occasions thinking I had plenty of cinnamon but... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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Fettucine Bolognese – pasta in a meltingly tender and richly flavored meat sauce – is one of my favorite Sunday night family meals. The sauce simmers on the stove for several hours, making the house smell delicious and inviting, and the end result is a comforting yet elegant dish...I'd even serve it to company. I'll be honest, there are a lot of vegetables to chop in this recipe but the job is made simple with the help of a food processor. Thanks to the kind folks at Cuisinart, I’m giving one away to go along with the recipe. I have... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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Sweet, orange-scented and moist, Cranberry Nut Bread is perfect for the holidays. Tested recipe with step-by-step photos. Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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If you're a fan of Pecan Pie, you're going to love these Pecan Squares. A buttery shortbread crust and rich caramel-pecan topping make them truly over-the-top...the perfect hostess gift, treat for your co-workers or potluck dessert this time of year. Let's make them. Begin with the shortbread crust (which, by the way, is much easier than making a homemade pie crust). Combine the flour, cornstarch, confectioners sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until combined. Toss in the pieces of butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles course meal with pea-size clumps of butter... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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If you’ve never tried roasted green beans, you’re in for a treat. Unlike boiled beans – which are bland and squeaky when you bite into them – roasted green beans are tender, caramelized and full of flavor. Cranberries and walnuts dress them up and make them a perfect side dish for the holidays. Begin with a 2-pound bag of pre-trimmed and washed green beans from the supermarket. Toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar and slivers of garlic. Roast in a high heat oven for about 25 minutes until tender, browned in spots and just starting to shrivel. Add... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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One of my all-time favorite restaurants is the legendary Inn at Little Washington in Washington, VA. I’ve only been there a few times – once for my college graduation and a few milestone birthdays – but I’ve had the cookbook, The Inn at Little Washington: A Consuming Passion by Patrick O’Connell, on my coffee table for over a decade. It’s one of those gorgeous cookbooks full of stories and photos that you can just slip away into. Many of the recipes in the book are complex but this one is easy to make. O’Connell takes a classic Italian combination –... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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It rained, sleeted and snowed all day last Saturday, and I loved it every minute of it. The kids stayed in their pajamas and watched movies all day, my husband made a roaring fire (and filled our house with smoke, but that's another story) and I made a big pot of Potato Leek Soup. What better way to spend a blustery October day? Potato Leek Soup, or Potage Parmentier, is a French classic. It's one of the first dishes I learned to make in culinary school, right after a proper omelet, because it's an essential base soup in French cuisine.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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Sweet, tender and buttery with morsels of melted chocolate within – children (and let's not forget husbands) absolutely love these scones. They're wonderful served warm out of the oven, especially on a lazy weekend morning when you feel like spoiling everyone. The recipe is a variation on last week's traditional cream scones. The difference is that these are sweeter, chock full of chocolate and flavored with vanilla. They also disappear faster, at least at my house. Last week, I showed you the food processor method for scones. This week, I'm making them by hand. It's easy to do, and therapeutic... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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Perfect Cream Scones. *Tested Recipe* Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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All I can tell you about this salad is that I made half the recipe the other day to photograph it for Serious Eats and I ate the entire thing standing at my kitchen counter at 10:30 a.m. Definitely not my proudest moment but delicious nonetheless! Click on over to my column on Serious Eats for the recipe... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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Many thanks for all the kind words that flooded my inbox the other day. I saved each and every email, and if ever I'm having a bad day, I'm going to read them all over again! Now, on to this week's recipe, which I can't wait to share with you. Salmon fillets are quickly marinated in three of my favorite ingredients -- Thai sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and ginger -- and then broiled until caramelized on top. Main courses simply do not get any easier, more delicious or elegant than this. Begin by making the marinade. The only thing... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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Dear Readers, After two years of sending you only recipes, I wanted to reach out on a personal level to thank you, share my goals for this blog and ask for your help. When I tell people that I’m a food blogger, they often ask me why I do it. The simple answer is that I just love it. I’m passionate about teaching people how to cook, and blogging is a great way to do that (without having to speak in public, which completely terrifies me!). I also enjoy dreaming up new recipes. It's challenging and fun, and keeps me... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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I'll admit that my freezer is full of bags of frozen broccoli. It's easy, it's green and that's usually good enough for me. But if I'm in the mood for something more special, I'll roast fresh broccoli in olive oil and garlic until lightly golden, then finish it with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a squeeze of lemon. It's hardly any more work than microwaving frozen broccoli, yet so much more delicious. Begin by cutting the florets off the crown and tossing them with olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, sugar and lots of garlic. I prefer to do this in a bowl,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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Succulent oven roasted chicken, juicy red grapes, and crunchy cashews in a creamy curry dressing. Check it out on my column at Serious Eats! Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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When I was an au pair in France, my host mother loved to entertain. Her style was simple and elegant and she often finished a meal with rustic fruit desserts that highlighted the season’s bounty. This French apple cake, with chunks of sweet apples nestled in a tender, buttery rum cake, was one of her specialties. Of course she made it effortlessly, barely measuring a thing, much in the same way she'd tie a scarf perfectly without even trying. Unfortunately, I never mastered the scarf thing, but I did learn how to bake her delicious apple cake. Here goes... Begin... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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Sweet, cake-like and scented with cinnamon and nutmeg, these muffins taste remarkably like doughnuts. Kids love them because they’re deliciously plain, and adults love them because they're just plain delicious. Unlike doughnuts, they're baked not deep-fried. And if you need one more reason to try them, they're easy to make with ingredients you probably have on hand. To go along with the muffins, I’m giving away all the bakeware you need to make them. The set – which includes 2 standard muffin pans, 1 mini muffin pan, a cooling rack, measuring cups, measuring spoons, an ice-cream scoop, a spatula and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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Fall's just around the corner. How about a last hurrah summer salad? This one features fresh sweet corn, crisp red bell peppers and buttery-textured chickpeas in a honey-lime vinaigrette scented with cumin. It's a crowdpleaser, perfect for a backyard cook-out or picnic. Get the recipe on my column at Serious Eats! Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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Best Chocolate Chip Blondies. Tested Recipe with Step-by-Step Photos. Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef
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As promised, here’s the vegetable soup to go with last week’s Basil Walnut Pesto. It’s healthy and light, yet totally satisfying – perfect for a rainy day or cool summer night. I've served it two ways: as a meal unto itself with a warm baguette or as a side to gooey grilled cheese sandwiches. It's wonderfully quick and easy to make. Once your vegetables are chopped, the soup is done in 25 minutes. And if you don't feel like making your own pesto, you can use a good quality store-bought brand (I like the fresh pesto at Whole Foods called... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2011 at Once Upon A Chef