Could it be that the long, gray winter is finally coming to an end? This winter seemed especially dreary here in the Pacific Northwest, but our staff got through it by cooking and baking all season long.
Our store-wide obsession with Alison Roman’s Dining In continues. Over the last few months, we have made the Crispy Smashed Potato with Fried Onions and Parsley; Roasted Cauliflower and Dates (several of us made this many times!); Crispy Chickpeas and Lamb with Greens and Garlicky Yogurt; Whole-Wheat Pasta with Brown-Buttered Mushrooms, Buckwheat, and Egg Yolk; Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Garlic, Citrus, and Cilantro; Crispy Lentils with Olive Oil Fried Egg; Bacon-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Caraway’d Cabbage and Apples; Smashed Cucumbers and Scallions over Garlicky Yogurt; Savory Barley Porridge with Parmesan; Soy Slow Salmon with Citrus and Herb Salad (both Carrie & Dee Dee loved this dish!); Roasted Broccolini with Lemon & Crispy Parmesan; Eggs and Kale Fried in Chicken Fat; Baked Pasta with Artichokes, Greens & Too Much Cheese; Decidedly Not Sweet Granola; Kinda Sweet Granola with Coconut and Tumeric; Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Hot Honey Browned Butter; Spiced Black Lentil Salad with Tuna, Radishes, and Potatoes; and, it goes without saying, the Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread.
We also continue to love Dinner by Melissa Clark. Jen went on a Dinner cooking spree, making the Vietnamese Caramel Salmon, Curried Chickpeas with Eggplant, Spicy Pork and Black Bean Chili, Fusilli and Roasted Cauliflower with Capers, Sweet Potato Dahl, Black Bean and Roasted Poblano Quesadillas, and the Spiced Lamb Pie. Abby also made the Chili and Ginger Fried Tofu Salad.
Despite winter not being known as a produce-heavy season, we made a lot of vegetarian and vegetable-centric meals over the past few months. Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks continue to be great inspiration for vegetables dishes. Mira made Baby Spinach Salad with Dates & Almonds, Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion with Tahini & Za’atar, and Spicy Carrot Salad from Jerusalem, as well as the Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Rice Noodles and Green Couscous from Plenty. Abby and Lara both looked to Meera Sodha’s Fresh India (U.S. edition coming out this May!), making the Punjabi Potato Curry, the Sticky Mango Paneer Skewers, and Shredded Roti with Red Cabbage + Carrot. Amanda made the Roasted Fennel and Carrots with Harissa from A Boat, a Whale, and a Walrus (learn how to make your own harissa in our April 18th class!), and Mira made the Lemongrass, Peanut, and Herb Noodle Salad from A Modern Way to Eat and the Winter Squash and Leek Risotto from Six Seasons.
Winter is the time for comfort food, like Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, which is an absolute must for rainy days. Both Mira and Carrie made bolognese for Valentine’s Day – Mira the Orechiette Bolognese from Matt Jenning’s Homegrown and Carrie the Tagliatelli Bolognese from Flour + Water: Pasta. Dee Dee and Jen were both in the mood for salmon, with Dee Dee making the Warm Salmon, Mint, and Potato Salad from the relatively new book The Cottage Kitchen by Marte Marie Forsberg, and Jen making Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat‘s Slow Roasted Citrus Salmon. Carrie made the Baked Eggs with Yogurt and Chile from Plenty, Dee Dee tried out the Marmalade Chicken from Nigel Slater’s Eat, and Mira made Mom’s Pork and Cilantro Dumplings from Hey There Dumpling! Lastly, Dee Dee hosted a dinner party inspired by the Persian classic Food of Life by Najmieh Batmanglij, and made Eggplant & Pomegranate Spread; Pistachio & Pomegranate Meatballs; Apple & Lamb Koresh with Rosewater; Rice with Saffron, Fresh Herbs & Tahdig; and Yazdi Cupcakes with Cardamom & Orange Flower Water.
Of course, the winter would not be complete without a fair dose of baking. The Dining In shortbread was not our only foray into cookies this season. Carrie made Classic German Baking‘s Simple Sugar Cookies, and we had three different variations of chocolate chip cookies represented: Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies from Good To the Grain, Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Violet Bakery Cookbook, and My New Favorite Chocolate Cookies from Dorie’s Cookies. We all leaned hard into snacking cakes this winter. Carrie made the Banana Cardamom Cake from The Christmas Chronicles and the Parsnip, Date, and Hazelnut Cake with Meyer Lemon Glaze from Six Seasons, Mira made the Blueberry Cornmeal Cake (thank goodness for frozen berries!) and the Carrot and Apple Teacake from Huckleberry, and Jen made Small Victories‘s Afternoon Cake. Citrus cakes are a must in February and March, so Lara made the Lemon Poppyseed Cake from Sweet, Jen made the Lemon Drizzle Loaf from The Violet Bakery Cookbook several times, and Mira made the Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and the Orange Juice and Olive Oil Cake from the newly released Black Girl Baking. And to wrap up our winter baking, Dee Dee made the Raw Gingerbread Cookie Beauty Balls from The Wellness Project by Phoebe Lapine, Mira made the Best Blueberry Muffins from Smitten Kitchen Every Day, and Jen made the Sunken Chocolate Souffle from The Violet Bakery Cookbook, a perennial store favorite.
What did you cook and bake this winter? What are you looking forward to making this Spring? Let us know in the comments!