Home Cooking with Kate McDermott by Kate McDermott [pdf, epub] 1682682412

Home Cooking with Kate McDermott

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  • Title: Home Cooking with Kate McDermott
  • Autor: Kate McDermott
  • Publisher (Publication Date): Countryman Press; 1 edition (October 16, 2018)
  • Language: English





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A division of W. W. Norton & Company

Independent Publishers Since 1923



For my grandmother, Vesta, my mother, Louise, and my daughter, Sara.



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CHAPTER ONESimple Breakfasts to Start the Day


CHAPTER THREEShort and Sweet Treats











You can do this. You can make any and every recipe in this book. They are not anything remotely resembling haute cuisine, haute couture, or haute anything. There are plenty of wonderful and inspiring recipe collections at the bookstore to help you with that. If you are looking for quick, satisfying recipes, for mainly one-dish meals, to please even the pickiest of eaters, then you’ve come to the right place. These are my family recipes that, even as an empty-nester, I continue to make. Now, it is my joy to share them with you.

Home cooked, home baked, homegrown, homemade. The love of tasty food, made from scratch, is one we all share, but facing a complicated multi-step recipe at the end of the day, no matter how delicious it promises to be, can be overwhelming. With a resigned sigh, we place the recipe book back on the shelf, promising ourselves that we will make it another day when we have more time. During the busy years of raising my family and working more than full time to pay the bills, I looked forward to times when I could spend hours creating in the kitchen, but truthfully days like that didn’t come often. Instead of giving up, I turned to easy and tasty recipes that I could put on the table quickly, just like my grandmother and mom did. I learned that recipes, such as soups, stews, and dips, are easy to double and freeze for extra-busy days. Setting a container to defrost in the fridge the night before means we can get a homemade meal on the table F-A-S-T.

As for kitchen gear and ingredients? Nothing fancy is required here either. Your essential pieces of equipment are a frying pan, soup pot with lid, baking dish, measuring cups and spoons, cutting board, sharp knife, mixing bowl, big spoon, and spatula. A food processor is nice, but certainly not required. I learned to cook without one. Ingredients and seasonings are ones that you will find at most every grocery store. I use salted butter, whole or 2% milk, large or extra large eggs, extra virgin olive oil, and granulated sugar. Standard and metric measurements are given for each recipe, too.

I always suggest making a new recipe one time as written before changing it up, especially if you are a newbie to cooking and baking. That being said, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that I have had some very good results putting in a bit less than a full cup of carrots, a few extra chopped onions, or a heaping instead of flat teaspoon of seasoning. If you like the results, then make a note in the margin for the next time so these recipes will become yours.

As we cook through these pages together, let the walls between our kitchens disappear, and as we share the table with our family and friends, let our bowls be filled with love.

Now let’s begin.



Greg’s Granola, page 30



Simple Breakfasts to Start the Day



Chapter One


“Every morning is a different painting.”

Scrambled Eggs with Curry, Avocado, and Goat Cheese

Greens, Garlic, and Eggs

Duncan’s Breakfast Hash

Coddled Eggs with Herbs

Baked Up Bacon

One-Bowl Oats with Egg, Avocado, and Salsa

Easy No-Cook Chilly Oats

Greg’s Granola

Dutch Baked Baby

Sunday Brunch Banana Pancakes

Stuffed French Toast

Maple Almond Surprise Muffins

Berry Good Coffee Cake

Pie Cottage Scones








I pull myself out of a warm bed and my feet find the slippers I set there the night before. It’s not quite light and I pad out to the living room to see what kind of sky awaits; cloudy and gray with mist and rain, or the promise of a sunrise that shoots in my east-facing windows in breathtaking shades of magenta and gold. Every morning is a different painting. If the coals in the wood stove have held overnight, a few dry sticks are all that is needed to rekindle the flame. The crackling of wood, a familiar melody to me, breaks the stillness.

Into the kitchen now to set the kettle on the stove, I hear the click of my sweet dog’s nails on the wood floor. While I prepare her food, she performs a joyful morning dance. My cat rubs up against my legs and seems to wonder what all the commotion is about. I pull out the electric grinder, which came from a church rummage sale for fifty cents, and grind my beans. More than the mug full of hot brew that will warm my hands, I love the smell of fresh-ground coffee. Like the first morning chimes of a clock, I hear the voices of the neighborhood children as they wait for the school bus just outside my fence. I remember the daily bustle of making sure my two children, Sara and Duncan, were dressed, fed, and readied to catch it, too.

Sun above the horizon now, the prism in the window puts a show of rainbow colors on the wall. Another log goes on the fire. I bring my nose closer to the rim of my mug, and inhale the memories of family breakfasts and sweet times.



Scrambled Eggs with Curry, Avocado, and Goat Cheese


I can’t remember the first time I was inspired to add curry powder, avocado, and goat cheese to my breakfast eggs, but I’ve been making them this way for so long that they have become one of the signature breakfasts in my kitchen. They are really good served with slices of baked bacon (see Baked Up Bacon, page 24), hot buttered toast, and fresh squeezed orange juice.




2 to 3 large eggs

Pinch of salt

½ teaspoon curry powder

¼ ripe avocado per person

1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 g) goat cheese or cream cheese

A teaspoon-size pat of butter



1.Crack the eggs into a bowl and fork beat until blended. Add salt and curry powder, and fork beat again. Don’t worry if the curry powder doesn’t mix in completely. Set aside.

2.Chop or slice avocado into pieces, and break up cheese into smaller pieces, and set aside.

3.Turn heat to medium low and heat skillet. Add a pat of butter. When butter has melted, turn the heat up to medium, and add eggs.

4.Stir with a large spoon, scraping up the egg curds from the bottom and sides. When the eggs are almost set, turn off the heat and fold in the avocado and cheese.



Greens, Garlic, and Eggs


When an unexpected friend comes over, this is a quick and easy meal. At Pie Cottage, I make it for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes supper. In the Pacific Northwest, the climate allows me to grow garden greens nearly year round and I get a wonderful feeling when walking out the kitchen door to pick a fresh basketful. All of us have busy lives, so please don’t worry if you aren’t growing your own greens. When you shop for them at your farmers’ market or in the grocery produce section, look for the perkiest ones.




1 large bunch chard, kale, or collard greens, or a mixture of all

2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil

4 to 8 cloves garlic, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped small (optional)

8 large eggs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper Balsamic vinegar

Marinated red peppers (optional)



1.Remove the leaves from the tough ribs of the chard, kale, and/or collard greens, and chop or tear into small- to medium-size pieces.

2.Heat the oil over medium heat in a large lidded skillet. If you don’t have a lid, a tightly fitted piece of foil will do just fine.

3.Sauté the garlic and optional onion for a minute or two. Be careful not to burn the garlic.

4.Add the greens and stir them around to coat with the oil. Cover the pan and let cook for about 2 minutes to wilt a bit.

5.Make eight small hollows in the greens with the back of a spoon. Carefully break an egg into each hollow.

6.Pour in a few tablespoons of water. Cover the pan. Turn up the heat to medium high and let the eggs steam for 2 to 3 minutes.

7.Lift the lid and see if the eggs are done. The whites should be set. If the yolks seem too loose, put the lid back on and cook for another minute.

8.Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle some balsamic vinegar over the top, and add a few optional red peppers.



Note My favorite peppers are Mama Lil’s Pickled Mildly Spicy Peppers with Garlic in Oil.





Truck Stop Café



Like many families, we liked to play “restaurant” at home. Our one-table establishment had a toy semi-truck centerpiece, with the words “Truck Stop Café” neatly printed on the side of its trailer. My son, Duncan, was the café’s proprietor, waiter, and, with a little help from me, chef du jour. When the café was open, Monsieur Duncan, the smiling maître d’, greeted and seated us. The café was known best for its breakfasts, and our young water listed off the daily specials. “Bacon, oatmeal, pancakes, scones, cocoa, juice . . . and how would you like your eggs today?”

Once we had agreed on our family-style order, we put on aprons and became the cooks. We squeezed fresh orange juice, cracked eggs, cooked up bacon, and, if time allowed, baked muffins or a coffee cake. Then we sat down to enjoy one of the real home-cooked meals for which the café was known. Full and satisfied, we pushed our chairs back from the table. Monsieur Duncan thanked us for coming and bid us adieu. Of course, we asked him to please give our compliments to the chef. The café has been closed for years, but someday I hope very much that it might reopen—this time run by my future grandchildren.



Duncan’s Breakfast Hash, page 18



Duncan’s Breakfast Hash


My son’s delicious breakfast hash has quite a following among our family and friends. When he’s home, it’s not unusual for him to hand me a bowl first thing in the morning along with a mug of coffee. He uses two skillets, one for the onions and one for the potatoes, so that both can be done about the same time, and then mixed together with the bacon and sausage. If you only have one skillet, work in stages, and mix everything together at the end. This recipe makes a bunch, so you’ll have plenty of leftovers to reheat for lunch or dinner.




6 slices bacon

1 pound (450 g) ground sausage

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons (30 ml) for cooking

1 to 2 onions, chopped

8 big red potatoes, unpeeled and chopped in ½-inch (1-cm) dice

1 entire head of garlic, peeled and chopped small

1 teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 scallions, whites and greens, thinly sliced

1 ripe avocado, sliced

1 handful cilantro, chopped

Hot sauce or salsa of choice



Shake the Garlic Here’s an easy way to remove the skins from an entire head of garlic quickly and easily. You’ll need two medium-size metal bowls. Break apart the garlic cloves and place them in one of the bowls. Place the other bowl on top. Hold the rims of the bowls together securely with both hands, and shake vigorously for a full minute. It will sound like a loud percussion section. Lift the top bowl off and you’ll see that most of the skins have loosened and fallen off the individual cloves. If any skins remain, just put the lid back on and shake again. If you like, play some lively music and dance around the kitchen while shaking the bowls.




1.Cook the bacon in a large cast-iron skillet slowly over medium-low heat. Turn the bacon occasionally so that it browns evenly. Remove from pan and set aside. When cool enough to handle, cut or crumble into smaller, bite-size pieces.

2.Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook over medium heat. Flip the sausage over and continue cooking until the meat browns. Remove from pan and set aside.

3.Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Remove from pan and set aside.

4.In another skillet, heat ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil over high heat. Cover the bottom of the pan with the potatoes and cook. Flip the potatoes with a spatula every few minutes.

5.Add the garlic about 15 minutes into cooking the potatoes. If you add it earlier, it may burn. Keep cooking the potatoes, adding more oil as needed, until they have reduced in size by about half and are crispy and golden brown on the bottom.

6.Mix the onions, salt, and pepper into the potatoes, and stir to mix well.

7.Add the bacon and sausage to the potatoes and stir. Cook a few more minutes to heat through. Add sliced scallions just before serving.

8.Serve topped with eggs cooked to order, sliced avocado, cilantro, and hot sauce or salsa.



Coddled Eggs with Herbs, page 22



Coddled Eggs with Herbs


Why oh why did I think I no longer needed my mom’s vintage egg coddlers? Her classic white porcelain pieces were painted with colorful fruit, berries, and flowers, and would have been perfect for this recipe. I truly hope that whoever has them now is using them, and that they aren’t hidden away on the top shelf of a kitchen cupboard, or retired to an attic. Since I didn’t keep them, individual-size heatproof glass bowls, or half-pint canning jars, will work fine with this recipe, though not quite as charming a way to brighten up the breakfast table. These eggs can be easily flavored with different herbs. Rosemary leaves are one of my favorites, but oregano, marjoram, summer savory, thyme, chopped parsley, or chives are all good. It only takes a few tiny leaves to infuse flavor through the eggs. Serve with a piece of buttered toast for dipping into the yolk.





½ teaspoon heavy cream in each bowl

1 to 2 large eggs per person

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

A few leaves of fresh or dried herbs of your choice



1.Place individual-size, heatproof glass bowls in a lidded metal skillet or braising pan. Fill skillet or pan with enough water to come up to about ¾ of the way on the side of the bowls. Before heating the water, remove the bowls from the pan. Bring the water to a gentle boil over medium heat. If you cover the pan it will boil faster.

2.Grease the individual bowls liberally with butter and add ½ teaspoon heavy cream to each bowl.

3.Break 1 to 2 eggs in each bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with 2 or 3 leaves of an herb of your choice.

4.Turn off the heat and carefully return the egg-filled bowls to the pan, cover with lid, turn the heat back up, and cook for about 4 minutes. The glass bowls will sound like they are doing a little tap dance. The whites should be set and the yolks still runny.

5.Turn off the heat, and carefully remove the hot bowls from the pan with a slotted spoon, spatula, or tongs. Serve with slices of hot buttered toast.



For a meat and cheese version, add to each serving:


1 spoonful finely chopped cooked ham or bacon

1 small spoonful finely chopped chives or scallions, greens thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small spoonful grated cheddar cheese or other cheese of your choice



1.Mix together the ham or bacon and chives or scallions.

2.Place half in the buttered bowl.

3.Add the cream and break the egg on top.

4.Sprinkle the remaining ham or bacon and chives, a little salt and pepper, and cheese on top.

5.Cook as above.



Note If you use a real coddler like my mom’s, it may take double the time for the egg to cook since the porcelain will need to heat up.



Baked Up Bacon


This is a foolproof way to cook up bacon. Instead of cooking in a pan on the stovetop where greasy spatters can be the rule, I bake it in the oven while I continue making the rest of breakfast, lunch, or supper. If you line your sheet pan with foil, cleanup is a snap. Bake extra slices for adding to sandwiches, baked potatoes, or for sprinkling on top of soups and salads.




8 slices bacon



1.Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

2.Cover a sheet pan with foil. If you don’t have a sheet pan, use a skillet with or without the foil.

3.Lay the slices of bacon on top of the foil, or directly on the pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the fat is mostly rendered out and the edges of the bacon are brown and crispy.

4.Drain on paper towels and serve.



Note I use thickly sliced bacon. If you are using thinly sliced bacon, it will take less time to bake.



One-Bowl Oats with Egg, Avocado, and Salsa


When I first asked for an egg to top my bowl of oats at a breakfast buffet, the cook looked in amazement as I then topped it off with slices of avocado, a spoonful of chopped red onions, and a liberal dousing of hot sauce. When I returned the next time and made the same request, he smiled and told me that he had tried my combination and was now a convert.




1 cup (236 ml) water

½ cup (70 g) whole rolled oats

Pinch of salt

1 to 2 large eggs

¼ avocado, sliced

Chopped red onion

Salsa or hot sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper



1.Place water, oats, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes until the oats have absorbed the water. Place in an individual serving bowl.

2.Cook up eggs however you like and place on top of the oats.

3.Add avocado slices, onion, and salsa or hot sauce.

4.Season with salt and pepper to taste.



An Easy Way to Cook Perfect Eggs When cooking eggs in the frying pan, I find it frustrating that the bottoms get cooked before the tops are done, or that sometimes the yolks break when I flip them over. Many years ago on a road trip, I stopped in for breakfast at a small rural café and ordered eggs cooked medium. I watched as the cook cracked my eggs into a hot greased pan, and after a minute added a little hot water, and placed a cover on top. When the cover came off, there were two perfectly cooked eggs—not too runny, not too hard, but with just the right amount of yellow yolk ooze. You may already know about cooking eggs this way, but it was new to me. Since then, I’ve shared this easy technique with many who have enjoyed what they call “perfect eggs” at my table.



Easy No-Cook Chilly Oats


I love hot cooked oatmeal and, since I don’t want to relegate my breakfast oats to the shelf during the summer, I eat them uncooked. I can promise you that this is one of the easiest, quickest, and tastiest breakfasts ever. If you aren’t fond of raw oats, summer or not, simply cook them up as in One-Bowl Oats with Egg, Avocado, and Salsa (see page 26) and add the other ingredients listed here. Either way, oats are a great way to start the day.




Plain yogurt

Whole rolled oats, uncooked

Walnuts, pecans, or other nuts of your choice

Frozen or fresh fruit, cut into bite-size pieces

Pure grade A or B maple syrup

Hulled hemp seed hearts or other toppings you like (optional)



1.Put a few soup spoonfuls of yogurt in a bowl.

2.Sprinkle on top a handful of oats, some nuts, fruit, and finish off with a drizzle of maple syrup.

3.Add an optional sprinkling of hemp hearts or other toppings of your choice.





My First Cookbooks



My first cookbook, Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls, was a gift from my mom when I was six years old. I spent hours poring over the photos and recipes, with names like Chili Concoction, Eggs in a Frame, and Three Men in a Boat. I was so proud the first time I made a meal all by myself, with a little knife supervision from Mom, of course. Those were the days when grocery stores and gas stations gave out green and blue chip stamps. My brother and I filled stamp books, dreaming about what we would choose to “buy” with them from the catalog. Mom was always fair about giving us turns to pick, and when it was mine I chose what I considered to be my first grown-up cookbook—the red-and-white–checkered Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. I still have both cookbooks, along with the copy of The Joy of Cooking she gave to me on my eighteenth birthday. Both my mom and grandmother called that one “Rombauer” after the author, and I do, too. My copy of Rombauer sits on the shelf right next to my mom’s World War II edition. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook joined the lineup in my mid-20s when I first married.



Greg’s Granola


Granola has been on my breakfast table since the 1960s when we had to make our own. It’s all grown up now and gone mainstream with many great options to choose from at the store, but I still like to make it. One of my favorites is this version by Chef Greg Atkinson, who lives on Bainbridge Island. Greg says the keys to success are using real maple syrup and having good, sturdy baking sheets. I like to serve it in bowls topped with yogurt, berries, or slices from a perfectly ripe peach. This recipe makes about 5 cups and can easily be doubled.




4 cups (560 g) whole rolled oats

½ cup (120 ml) vegetable oil

½ cup (120 ml) honey

½ cup (120 ml) grade A or B maple syrup

2 tablespoons (30 ml) water

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1½ teaspoons kosher salt



1.Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Pile the oats into a large mixing bowl.

2.In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine oil, honey, maple syrup, water, vanilla extract, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to prevent it from boiling over. Pour the syrup over the oats and stir until the mixture is well combined.

3.Spread the granola onto a cookie sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Stir the granola, but don’t break up the clumps entirely.

4.Return the granola to the oven and turn it off. Allow the granola to cool in the oven. This ensures that the cereal will be dry enough to keep. Transfer the cooled granola to an airtight container. Properly dried and cooled before it’s packed, homemade granola can stay fresh for two weeks and frozen for up to three months.



Note This can also be made in a slow cooker. Set on low, and stir every 15 minutes or so. Then spread on a sheet pan as above to finish drying out.



Dutch Baked Baby


You might think of this dish as a giant popover. Even on a busy morning, it’s quite easy to make. I bake the baby in a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron fry pan that my mom gave to me forty years ago. This recipe can also be made with gluten-free flour, almond milk, and a non-dairy butter substitute.




2 tablespoons (30 ml) melted butter, plus more for greasing the pan

½ cup (73 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

½ cup (125 ml) milk



Powdered sugar

Lemon juice

Grade A or B maple syrup





1.Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Butter the bottom and sides of a large cast-iron or other heavy frying pan and set aside.

2.Sift the flour with salt and set aside.

3.Crack the eggs into a medium-size bowl and fork beat until well blended.

4.Add the sifted flour to the eggs two tablespoons at a time, fork beating after each addition until smooth.

5.Add the milk in two additions, mixing lightly with the fork after each.

6.Add the 2 tablespoons melted butter, and mix lightly once again.

7.Pour the batter into the greased frying pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. It will poof up.

8.Sprinkle with powdered sugar and an optional squeeze of lemon juice, or serve with warm maple syrup and butter, or jam of choice on top or on the side.

9.Cut pieces with knife or pie server.



Sunday Brunch Banana Pancakes


In every home in which I have lived since my early twenties, I have made these pancakes. My mom and grandmother loved them, my kids loved them, and so have friends, boyfriends, and wuzbands. A couple of hints before you start: You’ll need two medium-size bowls—one for the wet ingredients, one for the dry—plus a little bowl in which to mash the ripe bananas. To keep the already cooked pancakes warm until you are ready to serve, preheat your oven to 200°F (about 95°C), and set the serving platter on a rack inside. Place the first batch of cooked pancakes onto the platter, and add to it as you bake each successive batch. When you’ve used up all the batter and the pancakes are cooked, put on your oven mitts, remove the platter from the oven, and set it on top of a hot pad at the table. Then take off your apron, join the table, and enjoy breakfast.




2 cups (500 ml) milk

¼ cup (60 ml) butter, melted, or safflower oil

2 large eggs

2 cups (292 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder

¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 to 2 ripe bananas, mashed

Extra butter or oil for cooking



Grade A or B maple syrup




1.Add the milk, butter or oil, and eggs into a medium-size mixing bowl, and fork beat or whisk lightly.

2.In another medium-size bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.

3.In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.

4.Add the flour to the egg-and-milk mixture, and stir lightly just until the flour looks damp. Don’t overmix.

5.Add the banana and stir lightly to mix.

6.Set an ovenproof platter or dish inside the oven and preheat the oven to 200°F (about 95°C) to keep the pancakes warm.

7.Set a griddle or frying pan over medium heat, and melt a pat of butter or heat some oil in the pan. You’ll know if the pan is ready if you sprinkle a few drops of cold water onto the hot pan and they sizzle and dance around.

8.Take ¼ cup of batter and pour it onto the hot pan or griddle. Quickly fill the pan with additional ¼ cups of batter, leaving some space between each addition.

9.Bake on the griddle until the top of the pancake is full of bubbles. Don’t be tempted to turn the pancake until you see them. Flip the pancake with a spatula and cook the other side until golden. It’s okay to lift it up a bit to take a peek. Place the cooked pancakes in the warm oven.

10.Add more butter or oil to the pan, add more pancake batter and cook as before.

11.When all are cooked, remove from oven, and serve with maple syrup and butter.



How to Tell if Baking Powder Is Fresh Baking powder doesn’t last forever, so if you haven’t used it for a while, do this simple test to make sure it is still active. In a small bowl, place 1 teaspoon baking powder. Pour over ½ cup (120 ml) of boiling water. If you see vigorous bubbling, it’s active. If you see none or just a few bubbles, toss it out and head to the store for a new can of aluminum-free baking powder. With a sharpie, mark on the lid the date you opened it.



Stuffed French Toast


Duncan made the shift to attending the local high school after being homeschooled, so when he wasn’t catching the big yellow bus, I switched hats and became the mom taxi before starting my own workday. On those early mornings, I made a lot of French toast. This version, with a delicious soft cheese filling, definitely fills the belly of growing teenagers with voracious appetites. Once you’ve done this recipe a few times, you’ll find it takes about 10 minutes from fridge to plate for the stuffed version, and 5 if unstuffed.




2 large eggs

¾ cup (185 ml) milk

A pinch of salt

2 tablespoons granulated sugar or grade A or B maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ to ½ teaspoon cinnamon

8 slices bread (2 for each serving)



8 ounces (225 g) goat cheese, cream cheese, or ricotta cheese

1 tablespoon grade A or B maple syrup

½ teaspoon vanilla extract




Grade A or B maple syrup



1.Fork beat the eggs. Add the milk, salt, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, and mix again until well blended. Pour into a large casserole dish.

2.For the filling, place the cheese in a stand mixer or a bowl if using a hand-beater. Mix gradually, increasing the speed so that the cheese is softer (especially in the case of the goat or cream cheese). Add the maple syrup and vanilla and mix well again. Set aside.

3.Place two pieces of bread into the egg mixture. Let sit for thirty seconds or so, and then turn over to coat the other side. Repeat with additional bread slices. While the pieces of bread are soaking, melt butter in a wide skillet. Mine is 12 inches (30 cm) wide, so I can place four slices in at once.

4.Place the soaked bread in the skillet and cook over medium heat until the bottom of the bread is a golden brown. Flip over both slices of bread.

5.While the second side is cooking in the skillet, spread the cheese mixture on top of half the slices. For example, if you have four slices in the pan, you will cover only two with the spread.

6.When the bottom of the slices are golden brown, take a spatula, and carefully lift each cheese-topped slice onto a plate. Place the second piece on top to stuff the French toast.

7.Serve with butter and maple syrup.



With Fresh Fruit


Sauté peach or other fruit slices in butter. Place between two layers of bread for a stuffed fruit variation or place the fruit on top of one slice for an open-face version.



With Jam


Spread with your favorite jam and sprinkle on some nuts.





For a sweet and savory version, crumble up crisp bacon or slices of sausage and place between the cooked slices with or without the filling. Syrup is optional.





For plain French toast, leave the filling out completely.





A Strong Intuition



We were deep into the building of our post-and-beam home; walls were up, roof was finished, sub-flooring was down with insulation underneath, and the rough plumbing was in. On a Saturday afternoon, Duncan and his dad headed into town to go to the grocery store and do a few other errands. I stayed home to stoke the wood stove, stir the soup, and read a book, but after a while I had a funny feeling that I needed to go up the hill to check on our new house. I put on my coat and shoes, and headed out the door. As I started up the hill, I heard a rushing and whooshing noise. The closer I got, the louder it got. I opened the sliding doors and saw 3 to 4 inches of water covering the entire floor. I had no idea where the turn-off valve to the well was and was petrified that much of our hard work would have to be re-done.

I went back outside and sent out a silent message as strongly as I could that I needed my boys to drop everything and come back home right away. Like a radio beacon, I kept putting out the message, “Come Home Now. Come Home Now.” About 10 minutes later, I heard the sound of our truck coming up the drive. I cried out, “The house is flooding!” My husband and son got right out of the car and we all ran up the hill. The water valve into the house had failed. My husband turned off the water and then cut a few holes in the new sub-flooring to let the water drain. After we all calmed down, he told me that he had gotten a very strong intuition that he needed to come home right away. Even though he had a grocery cart full of supplies, he left it in the aisle, walked out of the store, got into the truck with our son, and they headed home.

The next day, he installed a stronger valve and showed me where and how to turn off the water so this little drama would never happen again. The floor and insulation over time dried out and were saved, and none of us ever doubted that the power of intuition had a great deal to do with it all.



Berry Good Coffee Cake, page 42



Maple Almond Surprise Muffins


A family favorite with an almond batter surprise tucked inside. Be sure to grease the top of the muffin tin, too.




Butter or oil, to grease the muffin tins

¼ cup (60 ml) melted butter

2¼ cups (328 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, or 2¼ cups (355 g) gluten-free flour

2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1¼ cups (125 ml) milk

¼ cup (60 ml) grade A or B maple syrup

½ teaspoon vanilla extract or other flavor extract

1 large egg, beaten

1 pinch of freshly ground nutmeg



½ cup (120 ml) grade A or B maple syrup

½ cup (55 g) finely chopped almonds

6 tablespoons (54 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons (30 ml) melted butter



1.Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and grease a muffin tin with butter or oil.

2.Melt butter and set aside.

3.In a medium-size bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

4.In another medium-size bowl, mix together the milk, melted butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, egg, and nutmeg.

5.In a third medium-size bowl, mix together the maple syrup, almonds, flour, and melted butter for the filling and set aside.

6.Combine the dry mixture and wet mixture in one bowl and stir until just moist.

7.Spoon into a greased muffin tin in three layers: 1 tablespoon muffin batter, 1 tablespoon almond mixture, 1 tablespoon muffin batter.

8.Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.



Berry Good Coffee Cake


Blackberries abound in alleyways and roadsides on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. During the late summer, you will see pickers with purple-stained fingers along byways filling buckets and boxes with dark ripe fruit. It’s a tasty outing because you sample the berries as you pick. Blackberries freeze beautifully, too. This coffee cake is a wonderful way to enjoy the taste of summer all year long. One little tip from this longtime berry picker—blackberries have thorns, so be sure to wear a long-sleeve shirt and one that you won’t mind getting stained.




Butter and flour or parchment paper for greasing baking dish

1 cup (about 144 g) blackberries or other berries of your choice

¾ cup (150 g) plus 1⅓ cups (233 g) granulated sugar

2½ cups (363 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup (175 g) butter, softened

4 large eggs

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1½ cups (368 g) sour cream or plain yogurt



2 tablespoons (30 ml) heavy cream or half and half

1 cup (100 g) powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract



1.Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking dish and dust with flour, or line with a sheet of parchment paper.

2.Mix the blackberries and ¾ cup sugar together, and set aside.

3.In a medium-size bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix well with a fork or whisk.

4.In another medium-size bowl, cream the butter and ⅓ cup sugar for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. I use an electric hand beater.

5.Add the eggs one at a time into the creamed mixture, and mix lightly after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix again.

6.Stir in the sour cream or yogurt.

7.Add the dry ingredients and stir gently until just mixed.

8.Pour half the batter into the greased and floured cake pan.

9.Top evenly with the blackberry mixture.

10.Pour the remaining batter evenly over the top.

11.Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the coffee cake comes out clean with no streaks of batter. A few small crumbs are okay. The coffee cake may puff up a bit above the rim of the pan. Remove from oven and let cool.

12.Combine the cream, sugar, and vanilla for the glaze and drizzle on top.



Note This can also be made in a buttered and floured angel food tube cake pan. Pour a third of the batter into the tube cake pan, followed by half of the berry mixture. Repeat and top with the last third of the batter. Once cooled, run a sharp knife around the edge of the coffee cake, give it a sharp rap on the counter, invert it onto a serving plate, and drizzle with the glaze.



Pie Cottage Scones


Fresh-baked scones are wonderful for breakfast, elevenses, and any time you need a little pick-me-up with a spot of tea or cup of cocoa. Don’t worry about being too exact with the ingredients. If you are off a bit here or there, it’s okay. The recipe seems to work out fine every time.




4 cups (548 g) unbleached all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour mix

½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar

⅛ teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

1½ tablespoons aluminum-free baking powder

1 tablespoon poppy seeds, or zest of one orange or lemon (optional)

1 large egg

1¼ cups (280 g) sour cream or plain yogurt

½ cup (115 ml) melted butter or safflower oil

1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream, half and half, milk, or even milk mixed with some yogurt

½ to 1 teaspoon flavor extract of your choice (vanilla, almond, or orange)

2 teaspoons milk or half and half, for brushing

2 to 3 teaspoons granulated sugar, for sprinkling



1.Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).

2.In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients with a fork including the optional poppy seeds or citrus zest.

3.Make a well on top of the flour mixture and crack the egg on top. Add the sour cream and all the other liquid ingredients including flavor extract. With a fork, mix together quickly until everything has just come together but not as well mixed as cookie dough.

4.On a floured surface, form into two balls and pat each to the size of your hand. With a brush, paint on some milk, and sprinkle with sugar.

5.Cut each round into 6 or 8 wedges and place on a parchment-covered or lightly greased baking sheet.

6.Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. They should look golden brown on top and the kitchen will smell really good. Serve with jam and butter.



Cobb Salad, page 76



High Noon



Chapter Two


“When it was time to eat, we ran down to the water to wash the sand off so it wouldn’t get into our sandwiches.”

Nut Butter Sandwich Reimagined Ten Ways

Kitchen Sink Nachos with Peppers, Beans, and Cheese

How to Cook a Pot of Pinto Beans for Refried Beans

Quick Quesadillas

Tasty Guacamole

Almost Hummus

Black Bean Dip

Vegetable Pancakes

Make-Ahead Layered Salad

Stuffed Pita

Teardrop Salad

Marinated Rice Salad with Tomato and Feta

Summer Black Bean, Corn, and Pepper Salad

Pear Salad with Stilton and Pecans

Cobb Salad

Salade Niçoise-ish

Rice Noodle, Tofu, and Snow Pea Salad

Miso Soup with Kimchi and Egg1





A Picnic Basket Full



When I was a little girl, summer time and weekends were for family picnics. My grandmother and mom would load toys, blanket, a lunch-filled picnic basket, and me and my big brother into our big-finned, baby blue Plymouth station wagon, and we set off for a day at the beach. My grandmother wore a big sunhat on her head but neither my brother nor I ever did. When our noses and shoulders got too red, they were painted white with the zinc oxide packed in my mom’s purse.

While my mom and grandmother kept watch, the two of us waded and splashed in the water. My brother, who was four years older and taller than me, could wade out farther. I wanted to join him but was told that if my feet started to float off the sand, I had to come back. We built sand castles, and buried each other in the sand. When it was time to eat, we ran down to the water to wash the sand off so it wouldn’t get into our sandwiches.

Our lunch was packed in a big wicker picnic hamper. It had a set of multicolor melmac dishes and cups, green napkins, and strong fabric ribbons, secured on the underside of the cover that held silverware in neat rows. There was plenty of room for sandwiches, potato salad, slaw, cookies, and the red Hawaiian punch that everyone served when we were kids. Not realizing what a treasure it was, I let the picnic hamper go in a garage sale after Mom passed away, along with lots of things that were stored in the garage. I didn’t let go of my treasure trove of memories, some of which were the meals shared from that picnic basket, with many of these easy lunchtime recipes that I still make today.



Make-Ahead Layered Salad, page 66



Nut Butter Sandwich Reimagined Ten Ways


I ate lots of peanut butter sandwiches when I was growing up. They were easy to pack for picnics and, at least once a week if not more, my mom sent me off to school with one in my lunch pail. First she spread a layer of butter on a slice of white bread, another layer of sugar-laced peanut butter, which was what was available in the 1950s, and topped it off with a final layer of grape jelly. As a grown-up, I began to play around with different ingredients to change up the PB&J of my youth. Here are a few ideas to whet your appetite. Mix and match until you find the perfect combination. Nut butter sandwiches are good grilled, too. Just spread softened butter on the outside of both slices of bread and grill until golden brown. Any nut butter may be substituted for peanut butter.


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Satisfying, mainly one-dish meals from the author of Art of the Pie

When she isn’t making pie, Kate McDermott has people to feed. From roasted chicken and veggies for Sunday supper to batches of hearty soup to reheat when there’s no time to cook, this practical cookbook focuses on staple recipes for people who aren’t looking for a part-time job in the kitchen. Using ingredients that can be found in any supermarket and techniques that every home cook needs, McDermott shares tasty and repeatable meals for friends and family. Her healthy, affordable, and delicious recipes include:

  • Pie Cottage Scones
  • How to Roast a Chicken
  • Snowy Day Lentil Soup
  • Tiny Chocolate Chippers

Like those in Art of the Pie, these recipes are accompanied by moving stories―from anecdotes of single motherhood to building a home in the foothills of the Olympic mountains. Andrew Scrivani’s stunning photographs appear throughout.

60 color photographs

About the Author

Kate McDermott,  James Beard Award–nominated author of Art of the Pie, teaches pie-making workshops across the United States. She has been featured in USA Today, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Real Simple, Saveur, and on NPR, among other outlets. She lives in her Pie Cottage in Port Angeles, Washington. More information about Art of the Pie® Workshops and Pie Camps® can be found at artofthepie.com.

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Received my book yesterday thinking I would just leave it out so I can browse through it. I sat and read and reread and loved the stories, encouragement, love and every little piece of her heart that Kate sends to all of her readers. You can do this, no matter what. Oh and then there are the beautiful photographs and recipes. Already made Stonesoup and plan to give planting garlic another try . Plenty of gardening tips also. I want to try them all. Thank you Kate for being such an inspiration and please dont hesitate to purchase this beautiful book.

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