Braised-Lamb-Shank-parchmen

These are the big ticket recommendations from last year (and the year before, with several additions) because, well, the best equipment, like fundamental technique, doesn’t change. I always advise buying fewer items of high quality. Hope everyone had a happy and festive thanksgiving! My go-to pot is the 7-quart Dutch Oven . It’s what I bought my beloved Dad long ago; now, sadly, I have two of them. My other favorite is the braiser, the everyday pot in which you can cook just about anything. (Here’s one of the videos we did, where I use this pot to make an easy cassoulet.) I’m also partial to the smaller “ovens”—the 3.5-quart version is perfect if you cook for only one or two people. For stainless-steel cookware, All-Clad is the best. Here are their saucepans, plus a big sauté Read On »

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The ever popular Tool Bundle. It features our most popular kitchen items. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

I regret I’m not the sort to come out with a new brand of, say, Cheerios because the gluten-free, whole wheat Cheerios are old. I will soon recommend the same pans as last year, because good things last. That, ultimately, is why I care about the products I and Mac make. I love all of them. They’re good and they last. In keeping with Cyber Monday, and happily at that, we’re discounting all kitchen tools for this day. All of them are my favorites; why make anything else?. (Also, I just saw the movie Spotlight and it’s every bit as extraordinary as people are saying; go see it; but remember that a good wood spoon will last longer). And always remember during this stress-filled season, it will all work out in the end. So don’t stress. Read On »

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Cranberry-Sauce

I’m reposting this Cranberry Sauce and Gravy from scratch from November 21, 2012, because they’re every bit as good now as it was then: My dad made this cranberry sauce when my daughter was very young. He was mystified, as I recall, having never cooked cranberries before, always used the kind with can-ribs, sliceable. That his granddaughter loved it made it very special to him. He continued to make it. His granddaughter is no longer four but rather seventeen and she will be making it this year (and so did I, because I wanted to share it in this post and think of my dad while it cooked). It’s really simple, can be done today or the day of (or several days ahead, next year). Just throw everything in the pot, bring it to a simmer, Read On »

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Turkey-Dressing2

I’m in the Miami airport, Cleveland bound, having been a part of the amazing Miami Book Fair to promote my new collection of novellas, In Short Measures, love stories. Met some hero fiction writers, such as Elizabeth McCracken, whose “Thunderstruck” is one of the best short stories I’ve read in years. Also Mary Gaitskill, who scares the shit out of me, Rick Moody, who does not, Mary Karr, on whom I crush, and new writer friends Les Standiford, John Dufresne, and Cindi Chinelly. What a great fair, thanks to Mitchell Kaplan and Books & Books. Reposting the following for those looking for a delicious and simple Thanksgiving dressing: The nice thing about blogging as opposed to newspapering is that I don’t feel the obligation to always come up with a new way of roasting turkey Read On »

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Braise-roasted-Turkey

I received the following email today from my beloved cousin Ryan, husband to the smarter-than-he-is Tesse, father of a toddler with another on the way, and they’ve just moved into their first house: Michael, I am undertaking my first thanksgiving and have responsibility for all the cooking.  I am starting to think I am a bit over my head and was hoping you could help me get things under control.  I’m not even sure where to start?  Other than turkey. Ryan Dear Ryan, First, make a list of everything you’d like to serve, write it all down on a piece of paper, then make a plan for cooking it. (The last thing you want to be doing is entering a grocery store the day before Thanksgiving. You’re smarter than that.) Have plenty of onions and carrots Read On »

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