November 4, 2012 – November 10, 2012

DIY Aquavit

Aquavit is a Scandinavian spirit that dates back to the 1500s. Much like gin, it's a neutral spirit flavored with botanicals—only caraway seed is the primary flavoring instead of juniper berries. Use aquavit instead of vodka in a cocktail recipe to add a bold and savory kick. More

Cranberry Bubbler

The combination of cranberry simple syrup and fresh grapefruit juice makes this a festive morning cocktail. A splash of gin and a simple salt solution to bring out the flavors really makes this drink something special. More

Hot Buttered Chai

As with any variation on hot buttered rum, this drink is about execution. Using a simple batter made of creamed butter and brown sugar makes sure you get the flavor of the butter without the dreaded oil slick on the top of your cocktail. More

Smitten Kitchen's Fingerlings Vinaigrette with Sieved Eggs and Pickled Celery

While potato salad is often thought of as a summertime picnic side dish, fall is the perfect time to dip into a comforting bowl of potatoes. The Fingerlings Vinaigrette in Deb Perelman's The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, for example, would make an ideal side dish for any fall dinner. The eggs add richness and a fun fluffy texture, the vinaigrette is boldly mustard-foward, and the pickled celery slices contribute crunch and tang to the creamy and subtly earthy potatoes. More

Salted Chocolate Pecan Pie

This pie ups the ante in the pecan pie game. It's full of a rich caramel custard and chock-full of pecans, with a healthy dose of chocolate to send it over the edge. With just a tiny hit of salt to balance out the sweet richness of the filling, this pie will be the one they talk about long after Thanksgiving. More

Michael Ruhlman's Warm Arugula Salad with Bacon and Poached Eggs

The Lyonnaise Salad is a classic combination featuring aggressively flavored greens (frisee is traditional), crisp-tender bacon, a vinaigrette made from the bacon fat, plenty of black pepper, and a soft poached egg. As salads go, it sounds pretty decadent—and delicious. This version from Michael Ruhlman's fantastic recent cookbook Ruhlman's Twenty uses peppery arugula for the greens. More

Crispy Deep-Fried Chicken Livers

A quick flash in hot oil not only renders a crispy shell around the organ meat, but the livers are cooked just enough to yield a tender, slightly pink, creamy interior. Dipped in hot sauce, these crunchy and earthy livers are like a more flavorful and exciting version of chicken nuggets. More

Smitten Kitchen's Honey and Harissa Farro Salad

It's hard to get through fall without encountering more than a few roasted vegetable salads. They're earthy, filling, and entirely seasonal. In The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, Deb Perelman writes about a few such salads, but the one that drew my eye was her Honey and Harissa Farro Salad. I'm a big harissa fan, and the idea of tempering its spiciness with honey sounded like a perfect dressing base. But what the title of the recipes leaves out is that over half of this salad is made up of roasted batons of carrots and parsnips-two of my favorite fall staples. And if you're lucky enough to live in a place with choices in your carrots, go for a rainbow of colors for a vibrant fall meal. More

Soda Bread with Port-Soaked Raisins

If you're looking for a quick bread to go with your afternoon tea, or your morning fry up, look no further than the humble soda bread. Raisins or currants are an expected addition, but soaking the raisins in port before adding them to the dry ingredients gives them an extra boozy sweetness that really livens up this simple bread. More

'Smitten Kitchen's Mushroom Bourguignon

Those who have followed Deb Perelman's blog Smitten Kitchen for any length of time have learned that she works wonders with vegetables (and also butter). Her past life as a food-loving vegetarian shows in each of her recipes. Her Mushroom Bourguignon is a perfect example. Meaty portobellos (or creminis) and pearl onions are browned a la chuck roast, then added to a rich tomato and wine gravy. More