Sometimes in life you come across something that inspires you to do, not just be. It makes you want to get up, take action and enjoy the process. I’ve always loved food, and the recipe bookmarks on my laptop could probably span the globe, but it wasn’t until I came across Smitten Kitchen that I was inspired to merge my two great loves—food and writing—and start this food blog. Smitten Kitchen showed me that a) great food, I mean, really great food, can come out of my kitchen looking and tasting fabulous, and b) food blogs are a wonderful source of ideas and community for home cooks.
Smitten Kitchen’s Deb made me wholeheartedly believe that I can be a great cook and can serve dishes that will impress anyone, and that cooking never has to be boring. I assure you that one visit to her site and you’ll be hooked, too. Deb ventures into all areas of cuisine so there’s never lack of selection (especially her dessert/baking collection, which is breathtaking). I can always trust that SK’s recipes will turn out perfectly; Deb is dedicated to the art of cooking and baking. Meticulous and a little obsessive (in a good way!) she refines recipes into masterpieces and there’s no room for second-guessing.
“Fearless cooking from a tiny kitchen in New York City.”
Take these Perfect Blueberry Muffins, for instance. I’ve tried a lot of blueberry muffin recipes and I have to say hands down, these are the best. They’re so good they’re gone within hours in my house. They are also the first thing my son and I ever made together (awww!). I only make one adjustment, which is to use half whole-wheat flour, just to make them a little on the healthier side (I do this for all my baking), but as is, the recipe is unbeatable.
I also appreciate the fact that Deb doesn’t use obscure, high-brow ingredients. She can turn cauliflower into a star, like in this Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart recipe. I like this as a decadent vegetarian dinner served alongside a simple salad, and my husband and I will each eat half a tart in one sitting, it’s that good. The mixture of Dijon, sour cream, Gruyere, parmesan, cauliflower, and onions will haunt you, and then will continue to haunt everyone you’ve raved to about this dish. This would also make a great appetizer for a dinner party.
Deb openly discusses her hits and misses, and her writing is delightful to read, as well. There’s a distinct feel to her blog that can only be attributed to being rooted in New York City. It’s the same type of romanticism that grabs me when I think of Paris. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer and my imagination tends to run away, like my belief in the power of Dijon. It’s the supercondiment. This Roast Chicken with Dijon Sauce is a testament to that. You know when you’ve had a really bad day and you’re seconds away from tears at any given moment? Well, put this on the dinner table and ta-da, the day has transformed into a spectacular night. Now that’s inspirational.
All photos via SmittenKitchen.com