Cook’s Illustrated

Cook’s Illustrated challenge: Salt-Baked Potatoes

Baked on a bed of salt. “If someone told me they were a baked-potato aficionado, I’d turn tail,” I told Mark while making this recipe. “It’s like saying, ‘Hi, I’m the most boring person you’ll meet today.’” So now you know where I stand on baked potatoes. It’s not that I don’t like baked potatoes. […]


Cook’s Illustrated challenge: Recognition!

 Big-time national recognition! Woot! Guess who got a shout out from AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN? Me! Or actually, Sie macht. GO ME! Click here to read the post. Sie macht was recognized in the weekly Blogger Spotlight at America’s Test Kitchen’s The Feed. I knew Chris Kimball couldn’t stay away. To be honest, I wasn’t very […]

Cook’s Illustrated challenge: Potato Gnocchi

My favorite topping for gnocchi — freshly grated Parm. I don’t have too many notes to share on CI’s gnocchi recipe, which I think means it was successful. Technique: The potatoes for this recipe are pressed through a ricer. This makes the dumplings extra light and fluffy. Gnocchi win! I will, however, confess to liking […]

Cook’s Illustrated challenge: Grilled Beef Satay

Beef satay skewers in their marinated glory. Meat on a stick. OK, Cook’s Illustrated. I’m listening. The article reads, “American restaurants have sapped the magic from this Thai street-food favorite with flavorless meat that’s either mushy or overcooked.” Magic meat on a stick? We’ll see about that. Following are my notes on the experience: Technique: […]

Cook’s Illustrated challenge: French-Style Pot-Roasted Pork

Carved and ready for consumption. This is the saddest story you’ll ever read about a pork loin roast. Behold the deets: The clock: It took me about an hour to prep all the ingredients, and then the roast spent another hour or so in the oven. Love that hands-off time! The technique: The roast is […]

Cook’s Illustrated challenge: Lentil Salad

A vegetarian main course: lentil salad. This recipe promises creamy but firm lentils. It piqued my interest, because somehow I always manage to mushify these quick-cooking legumes. Maybe this recipe will change my luck, I thought! It didn’t. Sigh. I ended with a bowl of tasty, yet overcooked, lentils. Following are my notes on the […]

Cook’s Illustrated challenge: Vegetable Lasagna

The bright green basil pops against the red tomato sauce. I decided to make the Vegetable Lasagna pretty early in the challenge because it looked to be the most involved recipe in this issue of Cook’s Illustrated and I wanted to get it out of the way. It was extremely fussy, but it was quite […]

Let’s pause for a minute

Grandma VH made one of her special cakes for Paul! Photo by MVH. Oh my goodness, I’m still recovering from the weekend. It was amazing, but action packed. On Saturday, MVH and I witnessed the marriage of a dear friend. Saturday also was the first time someone else put Paul to bed. (Babysitters, Mom, Dad, […]

Cook’s Illustrated challenge: Other roast chicken recipes

I thought you might be interested in some other Cook’s Illustrated roast chicken recipes beyond the dish covered in this post. I’ve been a subscriber since 2005, and I thumbed through my back issues for other CI takes on chicken. Here’s what I found (the quotes are the subheadlines for each recipe story): Clockwise from […]

Cook’s Illustrated challenge: Weeknight Roast Chicken

The bird in question. “Why is the kitchen filled with smoke?” I had just returned home from a bike ride. MVH was watching Paul and minding the Weeknight Roast Chicken, as dictated by Cook’s Illustrated. And the lower level of the house was honest-to-goodness hazy. “It’s the chicken,” MVH said. “Or more accurately, we’ve reached […]

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