kateq's Profile

From: annapolis, md usa

Joined: February 14th, 2010


Latest review:

April 7th, 2017

Chile-Rubbed Spatchcock Chicken with Avocado Ranch Dressing from Dinner: Changing the Game

This recipe calls for a simple spice rub, a brief marinating time and then roasting a spatchcocked chicken. I'm no fan of dark meat so I used a pair of split chicken breasts. Otherwise I followed the instructions.... read more >


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kateq's Reviews


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381 recipes reviewed. Showing 1 to 50Sort by: Book Title | Date | Rating | Recipe Title

Website: About.com food

www.about.com/food
 

22nd February 2013 (edited: 22nd February 2013)

Blueberry Cornmeal Loaf Cake

This very simple and easy to put together quick bread is just lovely. It has a great crumb, is pretty to look at and tastes great. I skipped the cinnamon and sprinkled the top with sanding sugar which gives the loaf a pretty sparkly look; I use low fat plain yogurt and a hit of vanilla. Rather that greasing the pan, I line it with parchment. I found it unnecessary to coat the berries in flour; instead, I add them at the last straight from the freezer. In fact, I skip the sort-of fussy instructions and go to the tried-and-true method: mix the dry, mix the wet, mix the two together, fold in fruit and bake.

useful (1)  


Ad Hoc at Home

By Thomas Keller
Artisan - 2009

Having made the Peperonata Rustica (208), this was a snap to make -- though I did not brine the chicken, which would have added 12 hours of prep time to an otherwise simple dish. I used a lovely locally raised organic chicken and followed the instructions until the end, deciding to finish the dish on top of the stove instead of heating the oven on a very hot day. The chicken was moist and tender and the flavors of the sausage and peperonata blended beautifully. We'll have this again.

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I have been using Keller's method for roasting chicken (Bouchon) for a long time and so it was a natural to try it with the root vegetables. I did, however, omit some of the oil and most of the butter and trim excess fat from the chicken. I think that had I not done this, I would, like reviewer Andrew, have been unhappy with the fat which would have soaked into the vegetables.

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16th July 2010

Horseradish Cream

So good and so rich -- happily, a little goes a long way. There's some magic to the way the sherry vinegar combines with the cream to make a sauce that is so much better than one made with sour cream or creme fraiche. We use this with roast beef sandwiches and with smoked trout.

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I first made this in school, and have since made it several times at home--always with wonderful results. It's a lot of salt and it leaves a lot of egg yolks behind (hollandaise? shortbread?), but the fish is so tender and moist and really easy to remove from the crust. I have omitted the orange and varied the herbs -- it's always good.

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16th July 2010

Iceberg Lettuce Slices

Let's get one comment out of the way first: this is not a salad you can make tonight--not unless you have oven roasted tomatoes (5 -6 hours prep) on hand and garlic aioli with which to make the blue cheese dressing and brioche for croutons. That being said, once you assemble the components, this is a knockout salad. It can singlehandedly make iceberg lettuce popular again. Making the lardons as directed is a revelation. They were delicious and just the right texture for the salad. The roasted tomatoes are great in this and the lightness of the croutons is just right as well. The dressing was a huge hit, described as "the best blue cheese dressing ever."

useful (1)  


16th July 2010 (edited: 8th January 2013)

Blue Cheese Dressing

This is a truly superior dressing. It is simple to make but requires time--time to make the garlic oil (p. 266) which you need, cooled, to make the garlic aioli (p. 333) which you need to make the dressing. But like other Keller recipes I've made, once you have all the parts, you assemble them to make a greater whole. The garlic mayo/buttermilk combo is excellent and the herb combo is just right. We used Maytag Blue and it was fine---a wonderful dressing for the Iceberg Lettuce Salad (p. 150) and for lots of other salads as well.

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16th July 2010

Baked Beets

Keller's method is, as usual, superb, but also as is frequently the case, there is way too much added fat. I find a mere drizzle of oil and NO butter to be sufficient for excellent results. Like the other reviewers, I think the paper towel tip is brilliant.

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We just finished our second of these gratins and every last bit got eaten. I think the bed of softened onions is such a brilliant idea. So far, I have made this without eggplant, using our own plum-tomato sized heirlooms, thyme from our garden, and zucchini and onions and garlic from local farms. The first time, I made it exactly as directed; the second time I sliced the veg thinner and cooked it for less time with really the same delicious result. It's a good sized gratin, yet we had only a small amount of leftovers which were actually even tastier the second day, so Chef Keller is right on that score as well.

useful (1)  


16th July 2010

Peperonata Rustica

I almost followed the instructions---I roasted my peppers on the outdoor grill and had a green pepper or two in the mix. Otherwise, I was faithful to the text and with very happy results. These made a marvelous side at a dinner of grilled lamb and were used as a component of the delicious Pan-Roasted Chicken with Sweet Sausage and Peppers (p. 20).

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16th July 2010

Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

These are very good, but not better than oven roasted cherry tomatoes which take less than half the time, do not require peeling, and are sweeter. Perhaps if I made these in the middle of winter, when plum tomatoes are the best to be had, I would have had a different reaction, but for all that time roasting, the plum tomatoes were just very good--not magnificent and not really living up to all that effort.

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This is a wonderful salad/side. I loved the dressing, tho I did strain the gastrique to get rid of the pepper grinds (and make one diner happy). I also used a very good sherry vinegar in place of the Banyuls (none on hand). The green bean/potato combination is excellent and the dressing is terrific. We have also used the dressing on roasted beets with happy results.

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30th July 2010

Romano Beans with Mint

I halved the recipe, but used less than a quarter of the butter -- the full amount would have been way over the top. I used vegetable stock (homemade), beans from the farm market and mint from the garden -- heaven! Leftovers were great added to salad.

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7th August 2010

Caramelized Sea Scallops

I halved this recipe, but otherwise followed it to a tee. I used lovely huge divers scallops. I was careful to make sure the clarified butter was hot enough (shimmering). Mine were done at about three minutes for the first side, and less for the second. We had these with some spinach from the farm and a salsa of mango, pineapple and onion. I don't know that I would have ever thought of brining the scallops, but it's a brilliant touch. I would note, though, that like many of Keller's recipes, it assumes the home cook has a restaurant style larder. Not everyone has clarified butter on hand...

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7th August 2010

Garlic Confit and Oil

I too used the off-and-on method in lieu of a diffuser (have one somewhere--couldn't find it) I first made the oil for aioli (for the iceberg lettuce salad) but have become addicted. The oil is delicious; the garlic is heaven and has so many uses. It can be spread on bread; rubbed on meat or fish . One of my favorite uses is to spread it on pizza dough before adding cheese, etc.

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7th August 2010

Mayonnaise/Aioli

I made this in the blender once and with the Bamix once--both times it was super. I really am not sure that I can see(or taste) a difference in the two methods. It's really wonderful in the bleu cheese dressing. It's a decadent delight spread on a brioche roll for a hamburger.

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8th August 2010

Shortbread Cookies

I am giving this a four star rating because I think it is a little more complicated than necessary and because I think the addition of an egg yolk makes an incredible difference in the end result. I rolled this out and baked it on a silpat and then cut it with fluted square cookie cutters while still warm. I had almost no waste (just some nice bits for a cook's treat) and this obviated the extra tray and the extra cooling period. This is also wonderful with the addition of some citrus rind and/or almond extract.

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8th August 2010

Braised Beef Short Ribs

The sauce is fabulous; the meat is fabulous. All my criticisms seem like nitpicking in light of the great flavor achieved. But here goes anyway: my experience is that it's very hard to find the short ribs all in one piece--certainly not at most markets (not even Whole Foods) and even the independent butcher is unlikely to have it on hand. Second, the whole deal with the cheesecloth seems absurd to me--I have no problem with bits of herbs sticking to my meat. Similarly, the parchment lid is a bit much for a recipe designed for home cooks. But the bottom line is terrific---really tender meat, succulent sauce, well worth the effort. I would add that in the heat of summer, this can be done in part in a slow cooker instead of the oven. And it makes sense to make a fairly large batch as it freezes beautifully and the meat is lovely as is or on the Catalan stew.

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8th August 2010

Catalan Beef Stew

Again, a wonderful result but using techniques usually found in restaurants. Having made the braised short ribs, I had only to prep the veg and then put the dish together. But this is a somewhat fussy prep for the home cook. The result, however, is quite wonderful, very bright and complex flavors which do not overwhelm the very good, winey ribs. I would also note that the excess sauce can easily be frozen in an ice cube tray and, once frozen, tucked into a ziplock bag and saved for future use.

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13th August 2010

Soffritto

Like so many of the recipes in this book, this one takes a long time, which can be frustrating when one wants to make the pepperonata and see that this several hour process is a preliminary to that recipe. That being said, the technique here yields a lovely result. Finely dicing the onion and grating the tomatoes really makes for an incredible texture; the long, slow cooking renders a mixture of a few ingredients into a marvelously complex dish/condiment.

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13th August 2010

Buttermilk Biscuits

These really are excellent biscuits. The combo of cake and ap flour makes me think of real Southern recipes which use that nice soft southern flour. The directions are straightforward, clear. One tip from me: resist the tendency to turn your cutter while it is in the dough--this mashes the layers together and retards rising while baking. I tried some with the addition of some chopped fresh rosemary--very nice!

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13th August 2010

Pan-Roasted Duck Breasts

This is a perfect recipe. The duck is delicious, juicy, tender. And it's actually an easy recipe. I let mine sit in the fridge about 8 hours. After resting, the breasts sliced beautifully. We went with 125 degrees for the "rosy medium-rare" and it was greatly enjoyed by all.

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23rd April 2013

Wild Cod en Persillade

Thomas Keller does it again! This very simple preparation of cod results in the best tasting cod dish I've had. I did exactly as told, but for using some garlic-infusted oil I had on hand. The final result: perfectly done fish with a lovely crust and a delicate flavor. And, unlike most Keller dishes: one pan, two little custard cups for the coating, a pastry brush--simple prep, simple clean up. Super dish!!

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The America's Test Kitchen Cookbook

By Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Boston Common Press - 2001

This is recipe alone is worth the price of the book. It's not a simple cake, nor is it inexpensive. But when you want an elegant dessert with a beautiful presentation and fabulous flavor, this is it. I think that it is imperative to read the entire recipe and do all the mise en place before you begin any actual mixing, etc. I also know that baking the cake on a silpat makes the whole process of baking and rolling the cake much, much easier. I did not use the micro wave or the food processor for the ganache, finding it simpler to warm the cream on the stove and pour it over the chocolate -- fewer things to clean and simpler all around. This cake is also wonderful with other fillings such as a thick puree of mango or apricot. I've also added mint (infusing the cream in the filling and the ganache with fresh mint leaves).

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American Grown

By Michelle Obama
Crown - 2012

The corn stock is absolutely ethereal and worth every bit of the work. The corn soup, strained, infused with thyme and just slightly thickened is terrific. I did not bother with the seared corn--we had the soup with some grilled veg and loved it. I have also used the corn stock as a base for other soups. It's really a lovely thing.

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America's Best Lost Recipes: 121 Heirloom Recipes Too Good to Forget

By The Editors of Cook's Country Magazine
Cook's Illustrated - 2007

4th March 2014

Hungarian Sweet Rolls

These pastries resemble croissants, but are so different. They are crunchy but very light. They are best on the day they are made: half the dough can be wrapped and frozen for use later. When it's time for the second batch, move the frozen dough to the fridge and let it thaw there overnight.

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Amy's Bread, Revised and Updated: Artisan-style breads, sandwiches, pizzas, and more from New York City's favorite bakery

By Amy Scherber, Toy Kim Dupree, Aimee Herring
Wiley - 2010

These are excellent rolls. This recipe is very flexible--I have made this with various seeds and soakers and always been extremely pleased with the results. I do use instant yeast, which eliminates the need to feed and and proof in the first step. You can also freeze these rolls and then warm them, wrapped in foil, after thawing.

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This is a good bread, though do NOT use as much salt as is listed--one tablespoon is plenty--and this from a salt lover. As with other breads, I have done all the initial kneading in my stand mixer and had lovely results. Also I use instant yeast which shortens/simplifies the first step. I use King Arthur flour -- if you use a softer flour, you might want to think about using bread flour.

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I LOVE this bread. And it's so simple--no preferment, it's ready in a couple of hours. It keeps--either wrapped for a day or a two or well wrapped in the freezer. It slices beautifully; it's good toasted, in sandwiches, with honey or jam, along side a salad or a bowl of soup. I find my semolina flour in an Italian deli/grocery or in the ethnic aisle (Middle Eastern section) of a supermarket.

It's fun to play with the seeds--natural and/or black sesame seeds to make it pretty.

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Website: Ann Mah

annmah.net
 

20th July 2016

Ratatouillaise

A brilliant fusion of bolognese and ratatouille--and just as the farmers' market is brimming with all the vegetables. It's basically a two pot dish, with a good bit of chopping. I use a big dutch oven (which can go from stove top to oven) to saute the onions and garlic and beef. I use a good-sized saute pan for the eggplant and zucchini, cooked one by one and added to the other pot. It all ends up in the oven for a fairly long time but the result is really spectacular. It's great over couscous or pasta or rice; it makes a great topping for crostini and would certainly be good atop a pizza or rolled in a tortilla.

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Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking

By Anthony Bourdain
Bloomsbury USA - 2004

15th December 2013

Mushroom Soup

Like AJ, I think this is a great soup. So simple to make yet really complex in flavor. Unlike AJ, I do like sherry in this soup (I used a really nice, really dry Manzanilla) and added it at the table. I used white pepper. I used the immersion blender right in the pot. Delicious! To dress it up, it can be strained.

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The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution

By Alice Waters
Clarkson Potter - 2007

14th April 2012 (edited: 11th January 2013)

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

This cake is wonderful. I actually had my doubts that the fresh cranberries and orange juice might not work and that the cake would be too soft to stand up to the fruit and caramel. It works beautifully and it looks gorgeous. The little bit of extra work (separating the eggs and making the meringue) results in such a lovely texture. And really it's not that much work--I think it took me about 20 minutes to make the caramel, cook the fruit, make the batter and get the cake into the oven. I cheated just a bit and did pour the batter over the fruit while it was still quite warm, but to no ill effect. I took the cake in its pan (I used a heavy nonstick cake pan) to a dinner party and turned it out onto a platter when I got there. It travelled well and looked so pretty. Everyone loved it--and even the dessert avoiders came back for more.

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My friend served this to me for lunch today. She had used rosemary instead of sage and pureed the final product, so the soup was a smooth and pretty pale orange with flecks of green from the rosemary. It was absolutely delicious!

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2nd March 2015

Chocolate Cake

What a great cake! Great flavor, very moist, slices like a dream. We frosted it with chocolate cream cheese icing and loved it.

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2nd March 2015

Coleslaw

The dullest coleslaw ever.

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Backroad Bistros, Farmhouse Fare

By Jane Sigal
Broadway - 1994

This was so much better than I thought it would be (not that I thought it would be bad). I used panko and parmesan and followed the recipe but for the amount of olive oil. I used only a scant tablespoon for sauteing the vegetables, and a bare two tablespoons for the sauce. The mixture seemed a bit wet but once baked, the texture was lovely. It was very good served hot and also good as a leftover served at room temperature. The big surprise was how fabulous the sauce was--and so simple. On the other hand, we are in the height of tomato season and the ones I used were practically right off the vine, so it would be hard to make anything but great sauce. I am making a nice big pot of the sauce to put into freezer containers and tuck away for when tomato season is over.

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Baked Elements: The Importance of Being Baked in 10 Favorite Ingredients

By Matt Lewis, Renato Poliafito, Tina Rupp
Stewart, Tabori and Chang - 2012

6th September 2012 (edited: 11th January 2013)

Honey Banana Poppy Seed Bread

So easy to throw together and quite delicious. The poppy seeds add a lovely crunch; the honey adds a subtle richness to this very moist bread.

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"Like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup living in a soft banana world" or so says one young man who can't get enough of this bread. Of course, Reese's are smooth, not crunchy and that is how I bake this--creamy peanut butter and no added peanuts. Also because I think the recipe is a bit too sweet, I use bittersweet chocolate. I also find it much simpler (and clean-up much easier) to line the loaf pan with parchment rather than buttering and flouring the pan.

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7th February 2013 (edited: 7th February 2013)

Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins

Some of my tasters would give this five stars, but I find it too close to cake to rate it a five star muffin. It is very good though, and very rich. And the sprinkle of sanding sugar on the top makes the muffins look very sparkly, very festive. I followed the recipe precisely and had some left-over cheese filling.

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Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented

By Matt Lewis, Renato Poliafito, Tina Rupp
Stewart, Tabori & Chang - 2010

This is very easy to put together, smells wonderful as it bakes, looks great--really dark and chocolate-y looking. I made two changes: rather than buttering and flouring the pan, I lined it with parchment slings which worked perfectly. And rather than making the spread to go on the bread, I mixed equal amounts of peanut butter and cream cheese with brown sugar and used it as a filling for the loaf. The result was a dense, slightly dry loaf, made moist with the filling.

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Baking with Julia Savor the Joys of Baking with America's Best Bakers

By Dorie Greenspan
William Morrow Cookbooks - 1996

15th August 2012

Brioche Dough

This is purported to be Julia's favorite recipe--it's certainly one of mine. The dough that results from this is rich and supple and beautiful and a pleasure to work with and, if you follow the instructions, foolproof. I've doubled it with no problems (though my stand mixer does get very hot during the long beating period), made brioche loaves, tetes of all sizes, and the magnificent sticky buns (reviewed separately), all with great results. There are other brioche recipes which work well and taste delicious, but none compares to this. When calories and fat grams are not being counted, this is the recipe.

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15th August 2012 (edited: 15th August 2012)

Pecan Sticky Buns

These are the best sticky buns there are. I make them at Christmas and made them today for Julia Child's 100th Birthday. I don't make them more often because they are insanely rich. They start with a very rich brioche dough to which is added considerably more butter. I stray from the recipe only in that I don't put chopped nuts in the filling; instead I put raisins along with the cinnamon sugar. The instructions are excellent. The only addition I would make is to say that if you have dental floss (unflavored) you can use that, by making a sort of noose and pulling it tight, to slice the rolled and filled dough. If you are trying to rush the last steps, the dental floss will smoothly cut the roll even if it is not chilled for the prescribed time.

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14th February 2017

White Loaves

This is excellent white bread. When I want perfect toast this is it. This is also wonderful for a classic French toast, or my newest craze, French toast muffins. This recipe also can be adapted to make cinnamon raisin bread--fabulous toast.

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Baking: From My Home to Yours

By Dorie Greenspan
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - 2006

15th March 2013 (edited: 15th March 2013)

My Favorite Pecan Pie

I have made this twice now, the first time as written and the second time without the chocolate and I much prefer it without the chocolate. Again, I use the Pie and Pastry Bible's Cream Cheese Pastry for the crust, but follow the baking instructions and find them to work very well. Te addition of the espresso powder is brilliant--not obvious at all in the final product but does add a depth of flavor that is terrific. This is really quite a simple pecan pie, requiring less prep than most, yet it is very very good.

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This has become my standard lemon curd/cream. I think it is absolutely marvelous. The first time I made it, it seemed a bit fussy. I came to the recipe again and made it with ease. It can be a bit tedious in the stirring to temp phase, but other than that, it comes together beautifully. I pour the hot creme into the blender jar and let it cool a bit. Then whizz it with the butter and strain it into a wide pyrex dish, cover with plastic film and refrigerate--the wide bottomed 2 quart measuring cup, pre-chilled, really speeds up the cooling process. It's ready to be piped into pie shells within a couple of hours. I use an unsweetened tart dough and mini tart pans and serve the tarts with a bit of whipped cream and some fresh fruit.

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15th February 2014

Chocolate Biscotti

Really good and really easy. I had a yield of 16 generous-size biscotti. I found the baking times to be a bit long, but that's easy to adjust.

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Balaboosta

By Einat Admony
Artisan - 2013

14th January 2016

Baharat

As I was putting this together and realizing how much it made, I was really hoping I'd like it. Well, happily, I love it. I made it as an ingredient in Sinaya, a dish I was looking forward to trying. I am reviewing Sinaya separately, but suffice it to say that the spiced meat and onion filling was absolutely delicious. I made the spice mix exactly as written, but for the optional dried lemon rind. I ground the seeds and peppercorns, grated the nutmeg. Even without cooking anything my kitchen was quite fragrant. Interestingly, while there is some heat, this is not a searingly hot mix, so that you can enjoy the complexity without your lips burning or your mouth going numb. I think I'll use the whole jar well before the flavors start to fade.

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Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again

By Ina Garten
Clarkson Potter - 2006

5th September 2014

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

These are very good bars which I think benefit from the addition of oats to the peanut butter dough.

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The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

By Ina Garten, Martha Stewart
Clarkson Potter - 1999

19th September 2011

Grilled Lemon Chicken

Couldn't be simpler to do and it's absolutely delicious! I put my chicken and marinade in the fridge--came home six hours later, heated the stovetop grill and cooked the chicken--served with cappellini in a lemony sauce and a salad, it made a lovely meal. I think it will also be good served as Ms. Garten suggests with the dipping sauce. I will also try this as a part of a salad.

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22nd September 2011

Rosemary White Bean Soup

This is a very good, very basic sort of soup. I liked the method of sauteing the sliced onions and then later putting the whole mixture through the food mill--the soup is smooth without losing all texture and there is minimal effort involved. Similarly, the branch of rosemary--no fine chopping or mincing and all in one pot. My only criticism is that the soup is so basic--almost a blank canvas, awaiting some embellishment as in heat or spice or some sort of texture. Perhaps croutons or crostini or some sort of salsa or topping. It should be noted that this is a lot of soup--lots more than the six servings listed in the recipe.

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