Archive for November 2010


The holiday season, kicked off this past week with Thanksgiving, is as good a time as any to discuss family dinners—the ubiquitous, but often unrecognized tradition that doesn’t exactly necessitate that a big old turkey be placed in the center of the table in order for people to gather around it.

Laurie David’s new cookbook, The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time, sheds new light on the importance of family meals—of turning off cell phones, computers, and televisions, slowing down, and feasting on good food and conversation. (If you replace …

Giveaway: Giving Back With Baking For GoodThough we both spent the holidays with our extended families, we were curious about what any quarter-lifers stuck in New York would up to this Thanksgiving. We thought the answer would be cooking with friends, in their small kitchens, perhaps with a budget-friendly bird like Cara’s boyfriend Alex’s Roast Chicken in the oven. But an overwhelming number of people we talked to were choosing to volunteer instead, and we think that’s pretty great.

Last year around Thanksgiving, we featured a post on Phoebe’s experience cooking at a shelter on the Upper West Side. Though the occasion didn’t actually coincide with a real holiday, we recognize that part of the spirit of Thanksgiving is giving back. And that’s what this giveaway is all about.

Though admittedly Thursday found us both soaking up much needed family time and sucking in way too many portions of stuffing this past Thursday, we do still want to express our thanks to you for sticking with us for these last few years. As it so happens, Thanksgiving also brings us near to the 2-year anniversary of BGSK.

We wanted to give back to you in the best way we know possible, with cookies. But in the true spirit of Thanksgiving, we are doing so by partnering again with our friends at Baking For Good. Emily Dubner has made a business out of baking and sending tins of treats for charity. In September 2009, she started Baking For Good, a gifting site for sweet treats that donates 15% of every purchase to a cause of the customer’s choosing.

Today, we are giving away a gift box of her delicious Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. The winner will not only get whoopie pies, though. Whoever wins will also get to pick the charity that Baking For Good will donate the 15% to. What’s more, we’ll be giving 50 cents for every comment placed below to the winner’s charity of choice from the BFG website.

To enter the Baking For Good Giveaway That Gives Back, you must:

  • Be a subscriber to our newsletter. (we’ll check!!)
  • Become a fan on Facebook. (We recently moved to a new page. Make sure you join this one for all the latest news!)
  • Leave a comment below and tell us about a food-related community organization, charity, or nonprofit that’s important to you, OR something that you are thankful for this year.
  • (Optional) Tweet about this contest @BGSK and receive an extra entry!
We’ll announce the randomly selected winner next week!

Good luck :)

From our kitchen, albeit small, to yours,

Cara & Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOKS

and

Emily Dubner, Founder, Baking For Good

**Emily has also offered a $10 discount to BGSK readers valid until the end of 2010. Enter BGSK10 at checkout to receive this very sweet deal!**

Recipe Flash: Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by on Wednesday Nov 24th, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving, readers, one day early!

In the last week or two, we’ve written about Thanksgiving pretty intensely. We shared Cara’s Mom’s Apple Pie, Alex’s Roasted Chicken (which, we pointed out, would make a fine substitute for a turkey if you’re only hosting a few people), Portobello Mushrooms with Parmesan-Herb Stuffing, and Garlic-Rosemary Mashed Potatoes.


FAVORITE THANKSGIVING DESSERTS: Chocolate Mousse with Gingerbread Cream; Pound Cake; Apple Walnut Cake; Praline Pumpkin Pie; Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Bread; Pear Almond Tart

The desserts on our Thanksgiving table are assorted and not always that traditional. We make them in abundance. Though Thanksgiving attendance has ranged from twelve to thirty over the years, we like to make sure that there’s at least one dessert for every two to three people–way, way too many.

There’s the Frozen Chocolate Marquise with Mocha Cream, essentially a log of cold chocolate mousse. It’s rich, refreshing, and irresistible. My …

How To: Know Your Winter Squash

Posted by on Thursday Nov 18th, 2010

At the farmers’ markets, gourds and winter squashes abound come October—suddenly and a little bit terrifyingly. They roll off the tables, weigh down our baskets, poke holes in our shopping bags, and shrivel the skin on our hands (see Butternut Squash for more on this). As if that weren’t dynamic enough, winter squash come in a bazillion varieties, so many as to make lesser cooks run for the hills, where the vegetable identification is easy.

EVENT: Sunday Night Dinner
VENUE: Cara’s Apartment, Prospect Heights
PARTY SIZE: 2
OCCASION: Homey Supper
MENU: Greek-Style Roasted Chicken with Potatoes

During our interview with Ina Garten about her new book, How Easy Is That?, I mentioned how Alex and I rarely had leftovers when he roasted me a chicken (we were talking about how to cook for two most simply, and Ina had suggested roasting a whole chicken early in the week and then repurposing the leftovers). All talk of practicality and leftovers ceased immediately. Ina laughed and said, “I’d say you have a good boyfriend if he makes you roasted chicken.”


OTHER THANKSGIVING-Y SIDES: Pumpkin-Leek Stuffing with Turkey Sausage; Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes; Farro and Cauliflower Salad with Currants; Portobello Mushrooms with Parmesan-Herb Stuffing; Green Beans with Spiced Nuts and Apple Cider Vinaigrette; Brussels Sprouts with Apples, Pistachios, and Creme Fraiche

At my Thanksgiving table,which is really my mom’s, we don’t serve mashed potatoes ordinarily, though they snuck onto the menu one year. We have baked sweet potatoes, and then we have cauliflower puree, which, though it may look like mashed potatoes, tastes like sweet, buttery cauliflower. Still, despite never having attended anyone else’s Thanksgiving in …