Brown Butter


Brown butter! It’s the flavor that rules fall for me. I recently played around with brown butter quite a bit for the Tampa Bay Times. It’s my latest cover story for the Taste section with recipes for cookies, a salad, cake, and the best pork chops.

Besides stocking up on a lot of butter and infusing my kitchen with that nutty fragrance of browning butter, I called up J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats and The Food Lab for this story. He was great and easy to talk to, and he mentioned a brown butter hollandaise I can’t get out of my head.

Check out the full story, photos, and recipes.

Spiced Pepita Brittle

Spiced Pepita Brittle

It hits sooner and sooner every year: pumpkin.

Pumpkin pancake mix. Pumpkin beer. Pumpkin everything. I picked up a bag of pumpkin spice pumpkin seeds at Trader Joe’s during the early pumpkin wave this season, and I have to admit: they were really good.

If you just can’t get enough pumpkin in your life, you’re in luck. Sara of Cake Over Steak is throwing a #VirtualPumpkinParty today with a ton of food bloggers contributing recipes featuring the squash du jour. It’s a seriously great round up of all things pumpkin, both savory and sweet.

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at brittle for some time (there’s a never-ending recipe to-do list around here!) and a pepita brittle with a few warm spices seemed like a fun way to go. I love green little pepitas aka pumpkin seeds, and this is a brilliant way to eat them. Also, breaking brittle is a super fun thing to do in the kitchen. Continue reading  continue reading



I woke up on a recent Saturday morning, and Danny was gone. It didn’t take long to find him. He was in the backyard: working, building, husband-ing. Since we moved in to our house this summer, he’s been mowing, sawing, fixing lights, adding lights, painting. We’d talked a bit about adding a garden now that we had the space, but hadn’t really set a date for starting this project. Well, I hadn’t. By the time I rolled out of bed around 8:30, he’d already been to Home Depot, his car riding low under the tremendous weight of dirt, compost and wood piled high in the trunk.

With a Sunset magazine how-to as his guide, he built me a raised garden bed. He even stained the wood a pretty red. So I changed out of my pjs and helped him fill it with dirt. Ahem, soil.

danny car

garden bed

To start: radishes, beets, and burgundy beans (purple green beans). We heard radishes were great for first-time gardeners, and I’m here to tell you that is truly excellent advice. I planted those little seeds on Saturday morning, an endeavor that began a little dramatically with a garden snake sighting and a downpour as soon as I finished planting. After I’d already watered the seeds. Maybe all that rain gave them a jump-start because by Monday morning, the radishes made themselves known. By Monday evening, I saw tiny green sprouts. And this morning? Oh man, the radishes were full little bunches, a pretty exciting result to see within a week. The beets sprouted this morning—a spectacular flash of fuschia in the dark soil. I think we officially have a garden! A beginner’s garden. Continue reading  continue reading