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Smitten Kitchen

The Best Cooking Blog

I love my cookbooks, I really do.  I feel like a cheat but the truth is that I often turn to the Internet for answers to food-related questions as well as for inspiration.  Smitten Kitchen is where I go first.

Smitten Kitchen is one of the top ten most popular American food blogs.  I fully admit to having an I-wish-I-was-her crush on Deb Perelman, the owner of Smitten Kitchen. Deb Perelman is a home cook turning out great recipes in a tiny New York apartment.  She creates recipes but she also adapts them from other cookbooks and restaurants, always with full credit.  In a friendly voice, she writes about cooking, her life and her family but without the over-familiarity found in some other blogs.   Her persona clearly contributes to the success of this blog (and very successful cookbook).

And of course, the food.  Nine times of out ten, Deb Perelman writes about food that I would like to eat, and therefore am more likely to cook.  

Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms, adapted from Gourmet.com, are a must try.  With copious amounts of garlic and butter and a hit of fresh herbs, lemon and capers, these mushrooms are baked in the oven rather than sautéed.  Less mess and a sauce that begs to be sopped up with fresh baguette.  

Overnight Cinnamon Swirl Buns are one of the best cinnamon rolls I have ever tasted (if I do say so myself).  The dough is from an Alton Brown recipe, so the recipe was easy to follow.  The rolls were tender and sweet, and I successfully reduced the sugar in the filling.    

Blue Sky Bran Muffins are Deb Perelman’s version of a popular muffin from the Blue Sky Bakery in Brooklyn.  I don’t normally eat muffins, particularly for breakfast, but I have made an exception for these.  Low sugar, high fibre and packed with berries, these can be justified as a healthy choice.

Other favourites include Charred Cauliflower Quesadillas, Chicken Milanese and Pancetta, White Bean and Swiss Chard Pot Pies.  The Fake Shack burgers (modeled after the famous Shake Shack) are next on my list.

You don’t have to follow the recipes exactly -in fact you shouldn’t.  The recipes often need salt, spice or acid for my taste.  Mom’s Apple Cake was a failure and I should have seen it coming.  My Apricot Breakfast Crisp has never been made with apricots and my Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake is often made with lemon.  But I don’t feel guilty making substitutions given that these recipes are often adaptations themselves.  

Food blogs are an example of what’s great about the Internet.  New ideas, constantly updated.  An online community with shared interests and expertise.  Instant feedback loop.  Check out Smitten Kitchen, it’s one of my favourites. www.smittenkitchen.com