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Recent Reviews

Re:Cream Cheese & Wild Blueberry Pound Cake

I've subscribed to Fine Cooking since issue #4. There are recipes and even entire issues that have become go-to and favorites. This is one of them. I recently did a storage freezer inventory and found a chunk of cake that had been in there since last May! I brought it in and defrosted it in the fridge. It was nearly as delicious as when it was fresh baked. Of course, it had been wrapped and stored properly, but I was surprised at how well it held its moistness without getting mushy. My husband asked me to make a couple of them this month so we can store some for later. Easy, delicious, wonderful texture, not too sweet, and the cream cheese (I use low fat) both adds a bit of tang and reduces the overall fat. I use only local fresh blueberries, though we cannot get wild ones. I use the small and medium sizes, and heap the cup of berries a bit. I also add a few drops of lemon oil and a bit more of the zest to kick up the citrus. Also, it's really good with a very thin layer of lemon curd* on each slice before serving. *Issue 26, which took away my fear of attempting citrus curd. No fail when you follow the recipe and trust that the curdled mess you pour into the pan will become smooth, rich, and creamy as you stand and stir. Yum, beyond yum on absolutely any blueberry baked item. Highly recommended.

Posted: 02:27 am on May 9th 2017

Re:Apple Brown-Butter Jalousie

This and the berry jalousie are go-to desserts for me. Everyone except my husband is so impressed; hubby is too, but only in as much as he thinks my work in the kitchen is magic.I've made puff pastry, but now I just buy best quality rolled pre-made (not PF!) and use that. The only thing I've ever had an issue with is the tender pastry stretching too much going from the pastry board to the baking sheet. To combat that, I simply don't roll it quite to full size.In regards to questions about why Granny Smith apples are called for so often, the fact is that it is a variety widely available throughout the country many months of the year. It's not my favorite apple by any means, and I prefer a good Pippin or Winesap by a mile. I live in an apple growing area, so we have many options available through the late summer into early winter (Pippin, Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Winesap, Braeburn, and more). If what's on hand is a sweeter apple, I use less sugar. If Granny Smith is the only fresh baking apple, then I use that. In any case, calling for Granny Smith as a tart baking apple that keeps its shape is likely as I mentioned above: Everyone can get it.

Posted: 03:50 am on January 27th 2016

Re:Pizza Dough for the Grill

Every year I set myself 3-5 kitchen goals. This year, grilled pizza was on the list. I am a good baker, but thin crust on a grill grate scared me senseless. Last night, I made this dough and grilled up 2 pizzas. Wow. I was amazed at how easy it was to stretch and how quickly the dough set and rose (very slightly) on the hot grill. Delicious--Hubby and I each ate a whole one; can't do that with heavy pizzeria pizza!A couple of notes: I used 80% Italian 00 flour instead of 100% all purpose. The dough was actually a bit too soft, so I'll probably go to 2/3 to 1/3 next time. Also, I used parchment, flipped the dough onto the grill, and peeled the parchment off once the dough hit the grate. (I saw that trick mentioned in another recipe; worked like a charm.) Also, I wanted to make pizzas the same evening I made the dough. It was very nice, but I think it would be better with an overnight rest in the fridge. Finally, I was just a bit heavy handed with the toppings (particularly fresh chopped tomato), so the pizzas took a couple of minutes extra to finish.We will definitely have these again.

Posted: 01:17 am on September 22nd 2015

Re:Mixed-Berry Jalousie

Okay, let's me honest. As much as we love making the special dishes that WOW our friends and families, sometimes that means hours in the kitchen to create beautiful food.And then there are goodies like this. Whenever I make this, I get rave reviews and the "Oh, you must have slaved over the oven on this." Well, who am I to burst their food bubbles? Along with my own cheesecake, this and the Brown Butter version are summer (berry) and winter (apple or pear) go-to, "Ack! I need to make a company dessert!" items.I throw in whatever berries we have on hand, usually fresh because I tend to make this in season. This last time, I added a handful of fresh sweet cherries. Delicious and so easy.

Posted: 03:38 am on May 29th 2014

Re:Classic Lemon Curd

Simply put: There is no other citrus curd but this. Ever. Period.My story: I have always been intimidated by citrus curds. The straining (the waste), the lumps, the under-your-breath cursing no matter how carefully you cook it. Years went by and then my hubby walked up to me in a grocery store with a jar of lemon curd ($10 for 10 oz!) and his "I want this" smile. I told him that I'd make some instead.I knew I had to learn fast. Fortunately, I remembered seeing this and thinking I should try it some time. Sure enough, my very first try came out perfectly. I was proud, my hubby was absolutely thrilled. Now we almost always have a small container or two in the freezer for "emergencies." (Hint: Use a thin layer to hide a tiny crack or two on cheesecake.)I've taken to using approximately 3/4 cup of lemon juice and still get perfect results. As the article and others mention: Don't fret about the early curdled look and stir, stir, stir. Set a timer, but use your senses too.

Posted: 03:36 am on April 21st 2014

Re:Basic Roasted Cauliflower

We're not vegetarians, but love most--not all--veggies. We've been on a kick lately to re-try some we either hadn't like before for whatever reason or that we simply overlook. Our mothers destroyed cauliflower by boiling it to death and serving it as a bland, mushy mess. I knew roasting was supposed to give it a nutty, sweet flavor, so we tried this super easy roast. In a word, delicious. I've now pre-roasted florets and added them to curry as well. We're sold!

Posted: 07:00 pm on February 25th 2013