Smitten Kitchen turned 10 this week – 10!
I can track a large chunk of my cooking-and-blogging life to recipes from Deb. Reading back through her archives, I think I picked up on her blog in late 2008 or early 2009. I certainly remember being excited when she visited the Pioneer Woman ranch. She has persuaded me to peel chickpeas; to make my own ricotta; and held my virtual hand when I made swiss meringue buttercream for the first time.
In 2012 I ordered the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, and eagerly ordered tickets for the Abergavenny Food Festival to hear her talk. Sadly, nausea from my pregnancy with E kept me at home the whole of that weekend (oh, and weeks and weeks either side). Her recipes have formed the foundation of countless family dinners, celebration cakes, brunches, breakfasts and everything in between. When E turned one, Smitten Kitchen was the first place I turned to plan the cake. Her first birthday cake was the same as Jacob’s in the end – a big and little monkey cake.
Amongst thousands of American food blogs, what makes Deb stand out is a clear voice, at once friendly and authoritative. She takes you by the hand through the recipe, describing all the little twists and turns, the cul-de-sacs visited along the way, the substitutions that worked, and those that didn’t. Along with her photos, always taken against the same bit of kitchen counter, and documenting every step of the process, you feel you can really trust a Smitten Kitchen recipe. And as a US blog that also lists ingredients in grams, they are also really approachable for a British baker.
So, thank-you Deb for ten years of blogging. May you continue for many more.
Some favourite Smitten Kitchen recipes:
- Heavenly chocolate cake roll – a gluten-free saviour
- Monkey cake – a simple and delicious birthday cake
- Pasta with sausage, tomato and favas – or how to get vegetables into your pasta with sausage
- Homesick Texan carnitas
- Roasted tomato soup with grilled cheese
- Apple caramels
- Baked chicken meatballs
- Aubergines with crushed chickpeas – Plenty More
- Carrot salad – A Change of Appetite
- Homemade Merguez – from Small Victories, via Smitten Kitchen
- Lasagne – adapted from the Small Victories recipe on Lottie + Doof – but with added meat…
- Smitten Kitchen’s Mom’s Apple Cake
- Almond and raisin tea loaf – Like a Strawberry Milk
For our MacMillan Coffee Morning at work:
- Anna Jones’s Amazing Lemon Cannelini Cake – A Modern Way to Cook – pictured above. Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and properly light and delicious (not vegan though).
- Nigella Lawson’s Malteser Cake – Feast
- David Lebovitz Coconut macaroons, dipped in dark chocolate – Room for Dessert
Without a recipe:
- Courtesy of my Mother-in-Law, who took on catering and nursery duties for a couple of nights while DH was out of town: meatballs and spaghetti; and roast chicken and veg.
- Baked fish, mashed potatoes, peas and broccoli
- Jenny Rosenstrach knows that family dinner at the table is important; but so is eating in front of the TV
- Jeremy Lee’s lentil soup is for cold autumn days; Roald Dahl Green Pea Soup is for warm end-of-summer ones.
- An end-of-summer door-stopping vegetable bake from Rachael Roddy
- Some cakes for autumn: Smitten Kitchen’s Mom’s Apple Cake; Almond and Raisin Tea Cake from Like a Strawberry Milk;