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Charm City Cook: Kitchen Essentials
8 months ago

Charm City Cook: Kitchen Essentials

Some things are more important than others when it comes to cooking tools and equipment: knives, cutting boards and pots for starters. Take knives for example…when I was starting out, …
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Charm City Cook: Happy Snacking!

Take two friends and add a love of food and exquisite taste and you get Kinderhook Snacks. Marie Stratton and Katie Horn take snacking seriously and Baltimore absolutely should be thanking these creative, …
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Charm City Cook: Spring is Here — Get Cooking!

peonies

Spring. It gives you a feeling of hopefulness, no? Me, I’m hopeful for asparagus. And peas. And oh yeah, rhubarb! (And tulips, peonies, hydrangeas…)

This post is a super simple one: a few of my favorite spring recipes. If you make these once, they will be in the rotation. Promise.

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Asparagus Gruyere Tart from Martha Stewart Read More

Charm City Cook: White Chicken Chili with a Kick

By  •  Culture

white-chicken-chili

Recently, when my friend Lisa had me over for dinner and said we were having Cooks Illustrated’s White Chicken Chili, I was excited. Lisa is a very good cook (and amazing baker!) and I knew it would be fantastic. And, it was SO GOOD. I cleaned the bowl and wanted more, but I was polite. Thankfully, Lisa sent me home with some leftovers and about two weeks later, I made some for myself. I turned down the ‘heat’ a little bit, but other than that, I followed the recipe.

I’ve written before about Cooks Illustrated. I have an online membership (just $35 per year) and I use it all the time. I used to be intimidated by the magazine, but then I just dove in and it’s amazing. I’ve learned about different cuts of meat, how to grill, the best knives and more. What I love best about cooking is that you can keep learning as you go – whether it’s about cooking techniques, tools or ingredients. Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen are excellent sources for all these things. Read More

Charm City Cook: Risotto is Your Friend

I’d always been told that making risotto is a bear. All that stirring, stirring, stirring. Blah, blah, blah. How do you know when it’s done??  But thanks to the wonderful folks at America’s Test Kitchen, I’ve found that it’s not that hard. Risotto actually is your friend. Read More

Charm City Cook: Oh For the Love of Figs

By  •  Links

Figs…

They always seemed a little too exotic for me. Too fancy pants. I didn’t grow up eating things like figs – we were more of a steak and potatoes kind of family. But the older and wiser (yep, I said wiser…) I get, the more I want to try new things. So, when I discovered fig paste, I was intrigued. It was on a cheese plate at The Wine Market with Manchego cheese, honey, toasted baguette slices with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. It was the best flavor combo, so simple and perfect! I was in love. Soon I was buying fresh figs at Trader Joe’s. I found a recipe for fig paste online and made a pint of the sweet and savory goodness, shared it with some friends and it was a hit, so I thought I had to make it again. But this time, I went a little crazy. I filled many, many  jars…and this time, PRESERVED it! (Feeling so domestic, hon.) Read More

Charm City Cook: A Faux Farmer When it Comes to Losing Chickens

By  •  Lifeline

Amy with chickens Dottie and Millie

Loss is a part of having pets. If you’ve ever lost a pet, you know. It’s brutal. Even with chickens. Over the course of about a week, a predator killed all three of my new backyard chickens. They were two months old and had personalities, names and favorite snacks. As I found each one dead over the course of week or so, I became more and more discouraged. I kept thinking, this is nature. Farmers deal with this stuff all the time. Still, I stood over that little coop and cried. Read More

Charm City Cook: Soft Crabs…Not to be Missed (or Feared!)

By  •  Culture
Soft crabs. To me, they are not called soft shells. This is Baltimore…

You pretty much either love ’em or hate ’em. I used to be completely wigged out by them. I think that having a job cleaning them at a seafood shop might have scarred me a bit. (Thanks, Billy.) My mom has loved them forever. Me, I’ve got texture issues – biting into a soft, yet crunchy LEG of a crab?

Um, no. (Then, fast-forward two years…) Read More

Charm City Cook: Put an Egg on It

By  •  Culture
I’m sure you’ve heard of the Portlandia bit “Put a bird on it!” where spazzy crafters decide that everything’s better with a bird on it. Etsy gone wild. The food version of that is “put an egg on it!” It seems to be the ultimate food porn of the moment. There are even Pinterest boards dedicated to it. I love this one.
I made an amazing asparagus gruyere tart this weekend and shared some with my neighbors. They added a fried egg on top when they had it for dinner. Great idea, guys! Fresh eggs are the best, best, best. That’s why I got my girls. (Thank you, again,Joan!)  I get two to three fresh eggs everyday, so now I’m putting eggs on all kinds of stuff – pizza, chili, salad, pasta and more!  Read More

Charm City Cook: The Last Days of Local Strawberries and Rhubarb

By  •  Culture

Oh, say it ain’t so…This just may be the last week or two of local strawberries and rhubarb at the farmers market. I highly recommend getting the rhubarb from Gardeners Gourmet (the folks with the lovely salad greens, herbs, cabbage and radishes…) and the strawberries from the“pea man” Thomas McCarthy of Woodside Greenhouse. (And be sure to get some peas from Mr. McCarthy. They are the best and don’t last long!)

While I can still get strawberries and rhubarb, I’m making this! My chickens will be happy – they love strawberry hulls more than anything… Read More

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