All Posts By Mallory Viscardi

Mallory Viscardi is a country girl at heart. She grew up in her grandmother's kitchen and in her mother's bookshelves. There are few things in life she loves more than a good cup of coffee, a well-written cookbook and -- above all else -- a delicious meal. She's an enthusiastic home-cook, a haver of small adventures and does all her own stunts.

Classic, Everyday Ingredients Get Taken to New Levels in the Home Cooked Cookbook

by in Books, May 13th, 2016

Asado Potatoes from Home CookedAnya Fernald’s new cookbook, Home Cooked, is here to rescue any home cook looking for new inspiration for classic, familiar ingredients. Fernald’s rustic and sustainable approach to putting food on the table for her family shines through with recipes that are light on extra work but vibrant and full of delightful flavors. Whether you’re looking for something simple like buttery roast Asado Potatoes (pictured above, recipe below for you to savor at home), something sweet like a jam tartlet, or something hearty like a pork and beef ragu, Home Cooked has you covered. Fernald’s recipes are decidedly Italian at the root and agricultural at heart, which is to say they’re as easy to devour as they are practical, and they’re built on ingredients you already know and love.

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One-Pot Wonder: Easy Pizza for Two

by in Books, March 4th, 2016

Easy Pizza for TwoWe’re close to turning the corner from winter to spring, and there’s no better kitchen tool to get you through the last dregs of the cold days and long nights than a Dutch oven. We fell in love with Hillary Davis’ book Le French Oven to keep our kitchens cozy and our winter plates full of stick-to-your-bones dishes.

Davis takes the Dutch oven (or “the French oven,” as she calls it) and helps it reach its full potential as a kitchen workhorse. The book features savory and hearty soup and stew recipes, of course, but also dishes you might not associate with a Dutch oven, including the droolworthy Easy Pizza for Two pictured above. “When we think of Dutch/French ovens, we think of stews or soups. But they are superb at baking. I make bread and pizza in mine on a regular basis,” Davis told us. Read on below to get the recipe for this pizza.

Hear from Davis below as she shares her do’s and don’ts for cooking with a Dutch oven, and find out what she enjoys cooking most in her own Dutch ovens.

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For the Love of Salty Sweets: Rich Chocolate Brownies with Sea Salt

by in Books, February 11th, 2016

Heather Baird of Sprinkle Bakes is back and more delicious than ever with her sophomore cookbook, Sea Salt Sweet. Sea Salt Sweet strikes the perfect balance between the art and the science of pastry and baking with fun, accessible recipes that tickle both your sweet cravings and your salty ones.

We checked in with Baird to get her top do’s and don’ts for using salt. Hear what she has to say below, and read on for some of her favorite salty-sweet flavor combinations. And those brownies up there? Those are Baird’s Double Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownies with Maldon Flake. Check out the recipe for these beauties below.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Edible Holiday Gifts, According to Food Gift Love’s Maggie Battista

by in Books, Holidays, December 14th, 2015

Peanut Butter BallsWith the holiday season in full swing, chances are good you’re making your list and checking it twice — and trying to figure out what to give all the important people in your life. From hostess gifts to something for your children’s teacher or your friends from book club, one thing rings true: Everyone loves a delicious holiday treat. Maggie Battista’s new book, Food Gift Love, has you covered on all edible gift fronts.

If the idea of making edible gifts is daunting for you, Food Gift Love is the book to guide you through the holiday season. (It’s also a wonderful gift if you’re not inclined to make edible gifts yourself, but you have friends who enjoy that sort of holiday cooking and baking.) The recipes are elegant and sophisticated without being fussy or difficult to produce. Each one comes together wonderfully easily, and the helpful gift-packaging advice will leave you looking like a holiday rock star with minimal effort. Battista shared her top do’s and don’ts for holiday season edible-gift making with us:

Do:

  • Host a food-gift-making party. Turn a holiday get-together into a marmalade-making session or chocolate-dipping feast. Attendees can contribute food and gift-wrap supplies. Share the expense, the work, the bounty and the holiday spirit!
  • Put a label on it. Be sure to put the name and date prepared (and, if you like, a date by which to consume it) so your recipient knows exactly how long she or he has to enjoy the edible treat this holiday season.
  • Regifting gift-wrap is OK. Save old but clean gift-wrap and reuse it for new gifts. Making use of old ribbon and paper multiplies your holiday gift decor options and lengthens their lives before they’re recycled.

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Making Holiday Magic from Scratch: Home Baking with Yvette van Boven

by in Books, Holidays, December 1st, 2015

Chocolate Fudge with Melted MarshmallowsAny new cookbook from Yvette van Boven feels like an early holiday present to home cooks everywhere, and her newest book, Home Baked, is absolutely no exception. Home Baked is exactly what you’ve come to love and expect from van Boven: vibrant and lovely, with mouthwatering recipes that read like a daydream spilling across the pages of someone’s beloved kitchen journal. The recipes are diverse, ranging from kitchen staples (like Lemon Curd and Sourdough Starter) to fully assembled baked goods (like the Chocolate Fudge with Melted Marshmallows, recipe below for you to try at home). There are showstopping birthday cakes and cookies and baked bars and even treats for your favorite furry friends. Taking it beyond recipes, van Boven has filled Home Baked with wonderful stories, beautiful images of Ireland, and tips and tricks for making sure even your leftover bread and cake scraps don’t go to waste.

When it comes to avoiding the stress of crunch time in her holiday baking routine, van Boven’s trick is simple: “I’m quite a planner,” she told FN Dish. “I make lists. Good thing is that I work from home. I can make bread and leave it to proof while I work on something else on the computer at the same time. But I do plan ahead. I hate surprises at the last minute, and I like to sit down with my family and friends once they’re here, without stress.”

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Chatting with Alice Waters: Here’s How to Stock Your Pantry for Easy Meals

by in Books, November 10th, 2015

Chatting with Alice Waters: Here's How to Stock Your Pantry for Easy MealsWhen it comes to stocking your home pantry like a professional chef, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better adviser than Alice Waters. Her new book, aptly titled My Pantry, is an eloquent exploration of what Waters keeps on hand in her kitchen all the time. It explores how to make several staple ingredients, like vanilla extract, candied citrus peel and ricotta cheese. It also gives recipes that utilize items from a well-stocked pantry, like superfood granola or Chocolate Nut Bark (recipe below for you to enjoy at home).

My Pantry blends Waters’ lovely writing with her highly craveable food and speaks to how a home pantry can evolve its staple items over time. “My travels to Morocco, Australia and Mexico have influenced what I keep on hand, especially spices,” Waters told FN Dish. “My pantry has also changed through my thinking about the importance of school lunch nutrition — whole grains, fruits and vegetables first.” You can find more about her work improving youth nutrition through better food resources for schools with her Edible Schoolyard Project.

What does Waters say every home cook needs to keep in a well-stocked pantry? The list is surprisingly simple. “You must always have olive oil, vinegar, garlic and spices,” she said. “Plus brown rice, farro pasta and preserved tomatoes.” According to Waters, a good home cook keeps 10 to 15 items on hand at all times, and with My Pantry you’ll find yourself making delicious meals from your pantry shelves multiple times a week. How does Waters choose what to make when she’s cooking from her pantry? “I pick whatever looks inspiring to me or what works with what I have on hand. You can make a delicious simple meal with only three or four ingredients.”

You can order your own copy of My Pantry here.

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6 Tips for Better Pasta That Everyone Should Know, Plus Fall’s Best Gnocchi

by in Books, Recipes, October 29th, 2015

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and SageThe potential for that box of pasta sitting on your pantry shelf is almost limitless, as The Four Seasons of Pasta is here to prove. Written by mother-daughter team Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Sara Jenkins, this book stretches the classic standby ingredient into new and delightfully flavorful seasonal meals. Think Pasta alla Carbonara for spring, Spaghetti with SunBurst Tomatoes for summer, a hearty Ragu Bolognese for winter, or the Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage for autumn (recipe below for you to try at home).

And though you’ve likely been making pasta since you first learned to boil water, heed Nancy and Sara’s advice for a truly exceptional pasta dish:

1. Make sure your pasta water is abundant — 5 or 6 quarts for a standard 500-gram (about 1 pound) box of pasta.

2. Be sure you bring it to a rolling boil.

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Spice Up Your Sweet Tooth with Maple Sticky Buns

by in Books, September 24th, 2015

Maple Sticky BunsThe first telltale chill of the onset of autumn is swirling around in the air, and it’s time to think ahead to the joys of fall baking. Just in time for the cooler weather is Samantha Seneviratne’s The New Sugar and Spice. This book takes you on a tour of your spice cabinet like you’ve never experienced before, teasing out bold new flavors in the classic baked goods you already know and love, like the cinnamon-infused Maple Sticky Buns pictured above (recipe after the jump for you to try at home).

We asked Seneviratne to detail for us her top do’s and don’t’s for weaving new and exciting spices into baking recipes:

  • Do taste everything! Even if you don’t think you like a certain spice, give it a new look every now and then. You never know how a new preparation may change your perspective.
  • Don’t let your spices languish in the pantry for too long. Make sure they’re fresh before you use them.
  • Do grate nutmeg fresh. It’s much tastier than the preground spice. I like freshly ground cardamom best, too.
  • Don’t use imitation vanilla. Your cakes will thank you.
  • Do use a spice grinder with a removable basin. Washing the basin in between uses keeps flavors fresh and clean.
  • Don’t forget the salt! It’s one of the most-important spices in baking.

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Beat the Heat with Punch Bowls and Pitcher Drinks

by in Books, Drinks, August 8th, 2015

Punch Bowls and Pitcher DrinksAs the dog days of summer press down on us, it’s only natural to feel a little parched. There’s no better way to beat the heat than with an array of large-batch cocktails and drinks, and that’s exactly what Punch Bowls and Pitcher Drinks offers. The title, written by Jeanne Kelley and Sarah Tenaglia, pulls inspiration from fresh, seasonal fruits, plus herbs and spices. Classic cocktails are reimagined as new sips, like Julep-Tea Punch, Lychee Mojito Punch, Old-Fashioned Manhattan Punch and Mai Tai Punch. But we can’t get enough of the drinks from the Height of Summer section, especially the Peachy Moonshine, Spiked Spa Water and Watermelon-Tequila Punch (pictured above; recipe below for you to try at home).

Before you dip into any of the recipes, keep in mind these tips and tricks for working with fresh cocktail ingredients and various spirits:

  • The tartness of citrus fruit varies considerably from backyard tree fruit to purchased fruit from the farmers market or the grocery store. Hyper-fresh backyard citrus will have a more intense flavor.
  • Unless the recipe specifies, you do not need to peel the fruit or vegetables. In many cases the peel or rind of a fruit adds a note of necessary bitterness to counter the sweeter meat of the fruit, and also helps infuse the lunch with more aromatic flavors.
  • Brands of alcohol also vary considerably. In order to get the right balance, add the amount of liquor called for in the recipes (the smaller amount if a range is listed). If, after tasting, you want a more potent mix, add more liquor by the tablespoonful to taste.
  • Some folks really prefer sweet drinks. If a recipe calls for a flavored syrup or sugar, a little more can be stirred into the mix, but start with the recommended amount.

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Heading Off on Vacation? Don’t Forget to Pack These Food-Focused Books

by in Books, July 8th, 2015

The World on a PlateWhen summer heats up, there’s only one thing to do: pack your cooler, grab a good book and hit the beach. Even when we step out of the kitchen, our minds never wander far from delicious dishes, and we like our literature the way we like our pantry: overflowing with mouthwatering food. These are the books you’ll find in our beach bags this summer.

The World on a Plate by Mina Holland
If you’re looking for a book to double as an imaginary culinary vacation, The World on a Plate is the book for your beach bag. It won Best Culinary Travel Book in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, and it’s easy to see why. Holland’s writing is open and engaging, and she teases your appetite, one country’s specialty dishes at a time. The food dances to life through history and cultural context. Once you read it, you’ll never again be able to peruse your pantry without seeing the storied histories and secret lives of some of your favorite ingredients — right down to the cinnamon and sugar in your favorite cookies. It’s a culinary and historical tour of world cuisine that includes everything from the most-prevalent flavor profiles and pantry staples to each cuisine’s signature recipes. The World on a Plate is the perfect summer read for the soul that has a serious (and seriously hungry) case of wanderlust. Order your copy here.

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