October 2011 Archives

Giveaway: CakeSpy’s Virtual Book Tour Comes to SKC

We’re thrilled that our friend CakeSpy (i.e. Jessie Oleson) has brought us this beautiful, sweet-filled cookbook. To celebrate, we’re joining her virtual book tour. Stop by SKC today for a review and giveaway of the new CakeSpy Cookbook to see what treats are in store.

To Catch the Rest of Cakepsy’s Virtual Tour, check out these sites:

October 10—Cupcake Project
October 11—Bake It in a Cake!
October 12—Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
October 13—Dessert First
October 14—Cookie Madness
October 15—Bake and Destroy
October 16—Piece of Cake
October 17—Not Martha
October 20—Blondie and Brownie

October 22nd: BGSK at Broadway Panhandler!

If you’re in the greater New York City area this Saturday, come join us at Broadway Panhandler, at 3pm, for a demo of recipes from the book! We’ll be cooking up Pumpkin Cake with Chai Whipped Cream, Spicy Black Bean Dip, and Sweet Pea Crostini. We’d love to see you there!

Lemony Kale Salad

Earlier this summer, my mom introduced raw kale salad into her rotation of quick veggies to go alongside the requisite salmon with green sauce. The recipe was courtesy of my parents’ friend Monina who made it for a dinner party she hosted on Martha’s Vineyard, and was responsible for my dad actually requesting kale for dinner on the following night. My mom has made it in the double digits since.

It’s rare to find a green salad that can be dressed in advance and won’t get soggy (we usually turn to grains for this type of portability). But the raw, lemon-dressed kale tastes better the longer it sits, which makes it a perfect make-ahead dinner party side dish, or source of intentional leftovers for lunch the next day. When you first taste it, you might think that it’s too lemony–the proportions are a lot heavier on the acid than a regular salad dressing. But try it again after it sits for a little while and you’ll find that the whole flavor profile has mellowed, and the kale has become soft and tender.

Monina’s original recipe used pinenuts, but we’ve tried it with raw pecans, cashews, and slivered almonds, and each nut has added its own personality to the dish. Adding roasted mushrooms was my fall twist, but if you’re looking for simplicity, stick with just the kale, and have fun playing around with the combinations. As with any great dish from our mothers’ kitchens, this recipe is classic enough to be served as is, and versatile enough to welcome a few updates when creativity strikes, or resources are scarce.

From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,



Lemony Kale and Roasted Mushroom Salad with Pecans
Makes 6 servings

This recipe is great to make ahead, and it’s a perfect portable potluck contribution!

1 pound mixed wild mushrooms (cremini, shitake, portabello)
¼ cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne
2 cloves garlic, pushed through a press or finely minced
1 pound red Russian kale
½ cup pecans, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Clean the mushroom caps and trim the stems. Cut them into ½ inch pieces, place them in a large cast iron skillet or baking dish lined with foil, and toss them with a glug of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, redistributing halfway through the cooking process.

Remove the thick stalks from the kale leaves. On a cutting board, stack the leaves one on top of the other, and roll them up into a cigar (much like you would to julienne basil), and slice it into thin ribbons.

Add the mushrooms to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the lemon juice, oil, salt, cayenne, and garlic. Add the kale and half the pecans and toss until the leaves are well coated in the mushroom mixture. Let sit for an hour or so, tossing occasionally. Top with the remaining nuts, taste for seasoning, and serve.

Giveaway: Edgeware Knife Sharpener Winners!

Thanks to all of you who tuned in to our Prep School knife sharpening video! We chose three randomly selected winners to receive one of the three fabulous Edgeware products used in the video. They are…

Lauren Guerin: Pro Edge Elite

With winter getting closer I would love to know more about safe, easy ways to can, freeze, and store food.

Michelle: Diamond Pro

My husband LOVES onions–I could live my life without them–I would love any ideas on how to prep them without the tears–I swear, I start crying as soon as the knife hits the onion. Also, anything that makes dicing up potatoes faster–I don’t know if it’s my knife, or static or what, but when I cut through them, they end up stuck on the knife.

ShannonKelly1: Deluxe Edge Grip


Congrats to all the winners (make sure to email us your address!!). We’ll be doing another round of great prizes soon!

From our kitchen, albeit small, to yours,


Jordana’s Baked Spaghetti Squash with Tomato and Ricotta

MAG CLUB HALL OF FAME: Southwestern Artichoke Dip; Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad; Caprese Salad; Chocolate Bottomed Blondies

It’s no secret that Jordana is, er, the weak link of Mag Club cooking. It’s never cause for complaint though, since her contribution usually involves take-out sesame noodles from the restaurant on the ground floor of her building. It also often times means booze. The Jordana recipe we’ve featured in the past was homemade Sangria from this Cinco de Mayo gathering in the first year of Mag Club’s inception.

But there was one Mag Club, about a year ago I’d say, when Jordana served us an unprecedented homemade dish. And of the three years’ worth of dishes we’ve consumed, it was one of the more memorable. It was delicious, of course, but the dish sticks with me because a) it was cooked by Jordana, and b) it was spaghetti squash, something that, at the time, I had never cooked myself.

Last year, Cara put together this guide to gourds, and it actually inspired me to stop being such a pansy about different kinds of squash. Butternuts always seemed more appealing than the other winter squash at the farmers’ market, even if it is by far the most annoying to cook. Since, I’ve tried my hand at nearly all of them.

Real spaghetti presents some issues for my gluten-free lifestyle, and unfortunately, Josh is getting a little sick of the fake stuff. So I recently started thinking about Jordana’s spaghetti squash—topped with tomato sauce and ricotta like real spaghetti—as my new solution to pasta cravings.

If it was easy enough for her to approach, then it also just might be the ultimate side dish for this site. I emailed her for the recipe, and received in return a rather hilarious interpretation, including gem-like tips “I put the damn thing in the oven with some holes poked in it,” and “watery spaghetti squash is nasty!!”

With Jordana’s guidance, to use a “pyrex glassy thingy” and other instructions, the squash turned out perfect, and just as good as a weeknight veggie meal alone as it was shared with our group of besties.

From my kitchen, taking cooking lessons from Jordana (yikes!!), to yours,



Jordana’s Baked Spaghetti Squash with Tomato and Ricotta
Makes 2 servings


1 large spaghetti squash
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup tomato sauce
½ cup ricotta

Preheat the oven 375°F.

Place the spaghetti squash on a baking sheet. Pierce it on all sides with a knife. Bake in the oven for about an hour, or until easily pieced with a knife.

Allow to cool enough to touch. Then cut the squash in half and spoon out the seeds and pulp. Using a fork, scrape out the spaghetti squash, separating the strands as you go. It should yield about 2-4 cups.

Place the spaghetti squash in a bundle of dish towels (or a kitchen towel), and squeeze out some of the moisture (as Jor says, no one likes soggy spaghetti!!). Place in a mixing bowl, then toss together with the salt and tomato sauce. Add half of the ricotta and gently toss until the ricotta is just slightly broken up but not totally incorporated. Pour the squash into a small casserole dish or oven-safe bowl, dot with the remaining ricotta, and bake under the broiler until browned on top, about 5 minutes.

Serve immediately, or allow to cool, pack up, and take to your next potluck. Reheat in the oven on site.

The 7 Best Sweets to Bake This Fall

Fall is in the air! It’s time for cable-knit sweaters, runny noses, and baking. How lovely. Fall may be the second best eating season on the East Coast, but it’s definitely the best time to bake. Great produce is still at the markets–and it’s there in bulk–but it’s not so hot that we dread turning on our ovens. Grab your apples, your pumpkins, your pears, and your raisins, and join us in the kitchen.

What do you like to bake in the fall? We’ll add it to our repertoire.

**The 7 Best Sweets to Bake This Fall**

1. Mom’s Famous Apple Pie.
This is the tart that Cara’s mom makes each and every year for Thanskgiving and which is gobbled down gratefully by friends and family. Go à la mode with vanilla or dulce de leche if you dare. Particularly great if you’ve come back from an apple picking expedition with more bushels of Granny Smiths than you could ever eat.

2. Fig and Walnut Cake.
Their season is fleeting but welcome for fig lovers hoping to put aside their Newtons for a change. This homey little cake is perfumed by fresh figs and given body and crisp by ground-up walnuts. Great for dessert, it’s honestly not too sweet for breakfast the morning after you make it (try toasting it).

3. Olive Oil-Maple Granola.
Maple makes us think of fall, a time when it’s no problem to keep the oven going to make a simple thing as homemade cereal. (Actually, before our buildings turn on the heat, the oven being on is a necessity.) This recipe uses olive oil to achieve a wholesome, fruity taste and a crunchy texture. Note: it’s not all that healthful, in terms of fat and sugar content.

4. Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze.
Richer than rich, this beloved apple cake is butter-based (many apple cakes use oil), and is topped with an easy caramel sauce that sinks down into the crumb, making it luscious and, well, rich. Serve small pieces, or, alternatively, cut the un-iced cake into squares and serve with the caramel sauce beside it. Provide toothpicks for dipping!

5. Walnut-Raisin No-Knead Bread.
Cool fall mornings calls for a little something extra. This harvest-y bread brings it, and biting into it is almost as sensual as other fall aesthetic favorites: leaves turning red, flannel shirts, and shortening days. The crust hides a bundle of raisins and walnuts–and is just delicious toasted until golden and spread with salted butter.

6. Pumpkin Pancakes.
Come October, pumpkin gets stirred into cheesecake, quickbreads, muffins, pies, and more–even if it comes from a can we could technically have opened at any time of year. In these pancakes, we use the go-to pumpkin foils, nutmeg and cinnamon. Those spices get a second moment in the sun, since they also get mixed into a sweet-salty honey butter, which is fantastic atop a stack of pumpkin pancakes.

7. Hot Raisin Quickbread.
It’s imperative that this quick-to-whip-up breakfast sweet is served hot straight from the oven. When it is, the top layer of cinnamon sugar crackles and bursts in your mouth, giving way to a raisin-studded, scone-like interior. Ideal for lazy autumn breakfasts or afternoon snacks, and a childhood favorite of ours.