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Recent Reviews

Re:Orange-Hazelnut Olive Oil Cookies

Not my all time favorite, but it's really easy to make and it is very different from normal "sweet" cookies so I would make it again. I would not change anything in this recipe. It's delicate and nice light finish to a meal or crumbled on top of vanilla custard/ice cream - maybe with some bittersweet chocolate chips. I did dip some of them in semi-sweet chocolate and that was interesting too. I did have to bake them just a couple of minutes extra. I took a test cookie out at 10 minutes and it wasn't completely cooked. You don't want to brown these - you cook them like shortbread, just until they are done.

Posted: 12:23 pm on November 12th 2009

Re:Buttermilk Cake with Spiced Vanilla Icing

This recipe turned out very well. I used 1/2 applesauce & half canola oil to reduce the fat a little bit and you could not tell the difference. I also used almost double the powdered ginger in the cake based on other reviews and it was great - it did not overpower anything else in the cake. The cake took a total of 1 hr 20 minutes to bake for me. My pan is a clay glazed bundt so it cooks a little different than the metal ones. I also used a long wooden kabob stick to test it so I got down pretty far in the cake and that worked worked out very well for determining the cooking time. It was very moist and you could not tell there was squash in it at all. The cake is good without the frosting, but the frosting really does make this cake excellent with the candied ginger so I wouldn't skip that. I used only half of the amount of frosting called for. I just put it on slowly and made sure to cover all of the cake using a spatula and it was fine.

Posted: 02:02 pm on March 21st 2009

Re:Wild Blueberry and Ricotta Pancakes

This recipe has A LOT of sugar and vanilla compared to similar recipes on the web. That said, I tested this 2x. The first time I used the full amount of sugar and vanilla. The amount of sugar requires you to cook these at a pretty low temp so the sugar doesn't burn before the pancakes are cooked through. I used a cast iron skillet on a low BTU burner turned to second low setting. It took quite a bit of time to cook up the full batch. So you need a strategy for keeping them warm. They tasted fine just plain or with a little butter. Adding syrup made them very sweet. I didn't even try the confectioners sugar. The second batch I made with 2T sugar and 1 1/2 Teaspoons vanilla and I substituted 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour for regular flour. You don't miss the sugar or vanilla at all if you are using butter and syrup. And the whole wheat also adds a little more body/texture that I preferred. It was a little less like a crepe batter and more like a pancake batter. I also added closer to 10 ounces of blueberries on the second batch because I felt like the first batch was light on berries. I think closer to 8 oz would be a good amount based on my experience with this recipe. If you have folks that don't like the berries, the batter is actually very good plain with some fruit butter instead of syrup. The second batch with less sugar was easier to manage cooking without burning. So if I had my choice, I'd lower the sugar and vanilla and make it easier to chat and cook with your guests or family. One last note, the recipe calls for small pancakes and you need to stick to that or they are tricky to turn without making a huge mess and they don't cook completely through without burning the edges. Because frozen berries keep the batter very cold at first, you will notice a change in the batter consistency as you finish cooking the end of the batter.

Posted: 10:16 am on March 15th 2009

Re:Double-Ginger Pound Cake with Brown Sugar Mascarpone Whipped Cream

The cake was wonderful. Fairly easy to prepare - I am not a regular baker so it's probably easier for others that bake more ofter. The flavor mix was excellent and not overpowering and the texture was very light. I did not like the mascarpone cream. It seemed way to sweet for the cake. The recipe makes about double what you need. I'm not sure what I would have used instead but the cake was worth making again. Not an average sort of flavor but very light and delicious on a fall or spring day.

Posted: 07:32 am on March 30th 2008

Re:Risotto with Peas & Porcini

I didn't have mint - but it was still excellent. My family did not like the balsamic - probably would be fine without that too since there isn't much. It was easy to make and re-heated well the next day.

Posted: 04:08 pm on January 21st 2008

Re:Goat Cheese, Pesto & Sun-Dried Tomato Terrine

Excellent, easy, colorful. You can make a half batch or put this in two containers for smaller gatherings.

Posted: 05:03 pm on December 30th 2007

Re:Seeded Crackers

I have never made crackers before and this was an excellent cracker - very similar to the ones that are $6 in Whole Foods Market. I used the leftover seeds from the Whole Foods crackers instead of mixing up more - (there are always plenty that drop off)and they worked well and didn't burn. The dough is stiff to roll out and takes a bit of pushing to get them thin enough but it was easier on the second batch since I knew what to expect. I also used a marble slab to keep the dough a bit colder and less sticky. I used a bit more water on the second batch when I put the salt and seeds onto the dough; then pressed the seeds into the dough lightly with my hands and that worked very well to keep them on when they were cool and didn't affect the texture. Also used gloves (latex or vinyl medical gloves) to keep the dough from sticking to my fingers throughout the process. They don't take long and they are so wonderful as gifts with goat cheese spread.

Posted: 09:11 am on December 30th 2007


Excellent recipe - easy and delicious. BUT such a shame that as a magazine subscriber I can't print out the recipe from on-line site for my own notebook without paying even more money to Taunton. Most magazines offer you a code with your subscription that gives you full access to the web-site. It's basically not worth getting the paper sent to me if I don't have full access to the web. Next year I'll just do the online subscription and read the current issues in the bookstore for free. The page in the current issue won't copy because it's reversed on a pink background.

Posted: 08:58 am on December 30th 2007