Not Without Salt » Snack “Where would we be without salt?” - James Beard Fri, 03 Jul 2015 16:07:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fresh Raspberry Scones Fri, 19 Jun 2015 18:33:59 +0000 Read more »]]> Fresh Raspberry Scones // Not Without Salt

It seems fitting that the first thing I would bake in our new house would be these scones. It’s a recipe that has hung on the inside of the cupboard door at our old house – a place where I keep all our frequent recipes for easy access – and soon it will find a spot in the new cupboards.

I seek comfort in a place that feels new; almost like we are on vacation. In a shaky attempt to make us feel at home I reach for a recipe that we know, that we crave, and that reminds us that we not just hanging out here for awhile.

In fact more than any other house we have lived in this house is our home. This is the sort of house we can imagine raising teenagers in. It’s the sort of place I can see myself living in with just Gabe, as our kids go off on their own grand adventures. And as far off as this seems I can even imagine seeing the little feet of our grand children bounding down the hallway and into the kitchen where they lured in by the smell, most likely, of scones.

We are settling in, unpacking boxes, finding places for our things and finding new rhythms. It feels like a fresh start. A chance for me to throw away the things I feel as if I could have done better in the old home; more laundry, organized my cabinets, make a mess on the floor with my kids and not be concerned about the mess in the process – and start again. Establishing a sense of what this place is; our home. It’s comfort, ease, imperfect and inspiring. At least that’s what I hope it will be once the boxes are all out of my sight, I stop worrying about all the sand getting tracked all over the house, and I can look at the space and think about something other than all of the things we still need (a couch!!).

Fresh Raspberry Scones // Not Without Salt Fresh Raspberry Scones // Not Without Salt Fresh Raspberry Scones // Not Without Salt

Isn’t that always the case though? We have grand ideas for what we want reality to be and then reality actually shows up in its clunky, awkward ways.

Like our first meal in the new home. I set out to make gyros – a new family favorite. I fumbled around the kitchen trying to find my loaf pan and where did I put the pita? Why the hell did I buy non-fat yogurt when I meant to buy whole milk yogurt? Should the spices go in that drawer or the cupboard above? Soon enough the kitchen smelled of toasted spice and fresh mint and things started to feel right.

“Hummus!” I shouted at Gabe. “I really want hummus but I haven’t unpacked the Vitamix.”

Determined I tore through a couple of still packed boxes until I found it. Somehow the lid ended up in another box so a plate had to stand in. Feeling a bit of satisfaction I reached into our pantry (we have a pantry!) to grab a can of chickpeas which reminded me that I had not yet seen the can opener.

Gabe saw my frustration and grabbed the can. He could tell that this was about much more than hummus. It was me trying to find our home but was constantly reminded of how unsettled we really are.

Determined, he ripped into that can of chickpeas with his leatherman and handed me a jagged edge can that could have easily maimed me with one wrong move. The chickpeas, one by one, landed into the lidless Vitamix and then whirred into delicious hummus; tart, spicy and heavy on tahini – just how I like it.

Even these scones; they are not real lookers. They flattened in the oven and are perhaps a bit burnt on the bottom but their imperfection didn’t matter as we plucked fresh raspberries in our newly acquired garden and brought a plate of our misshapen scones down with us to the beach. We ate them in between crab hunting sessions and squishing soft sand between our toes. We shared them with new neighbors as I bit my tongue trying to fight the urge to apologize for their appearance.

Reality isn’t perfect but beauty abounds if we have the eyes to see it. This is our new reality in all its imperfect glory. I want to strive to see the joy in the mundane, find its beauty amid the mess and care more about loving the people who walk through its doors than the house itself.

This is our new home. We will laugh here, cry here, grow here and share countless meals here. It will be beautiful, messy and imperfect. Just as a home should be.

Fresh Raspberry Scones // Not Without Salt

Fresh Raspberry Scones

adapted from Date Night In

This recipe has been made no fewer than a hundred times in our house. These shortcakes are our scones, the cobbler on top of our baked fruit, and sometimes, with the addition of herbs or cheese, savory biscuits to accompany dinner.

The trick here is not to overwork the dough. It’s a very crumbly mass once it comes out of the bowl, but that’s why the finished texture is so light and tender. Don’t knead the dough together, but rather press it until it just holds.

This dough can be made by hand, in a food processor, as it is written, or in a stand mixer.



2 cups / 270 g all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (optional)

1⁄2 cup / 115 g unsalted butter, diced into 1⁄2-inch cubes, chilled

1 cup / 240 ml plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, divided

1 - 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

3 tablespoons Turbinado or granulated sugar

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, granulated sugar, and vanilla bean seeds, if using. Pulse a few times to combine and break up any clumps.

Add the butter, scattering it over the flour. Pulse 15 times to break up the butter. The mixture will look sandy, with some larger pieces of butter throughout.

Pour 1 cup / 240 ml cream over the dough and pulse an additional 20 times. Add the raspberries and pulse just a couple more times to combine. The dough will look crumbly and dry.

Dump the dough onto an unfloured work surface and use the palm of your hand to work the dough just until it holds together. You don’t want to overwork the dough, as this can make it tough. Gather the dough together into a 6- to 8-inch round (for making wedge-shaped scones) or a rectangle (for cutting out round biscuits).

Use a brush or your fingers to spread the remaining 2 tablespoons cream in an even layer on top. Sprinkle the extra sugar, if using, on top of the cream. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the dough into the desired shapes and then place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until deep golden along the edges.

Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

These are best served the day they are baked. Unbaked dough can be wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month.

Note: Often I make these by hand and simply grate the chilled butter into the dry ingredients with a cheese grater. From there I toss the butter and dry ingredients together, breaking up any large clumps with my hands, and then stir in the cream.

For extra flaky layers, give this dough 1 or 2 turns as you do in the Quick Puff Pastry recipe (page 19).

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Sweet & Spicy Peanuts Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:07:18 +0000 Read more »]]> IMG_6619

I’m always late to the holiday game on the blog. While others have been posting pumpkin recipes since August and give you recipes for a dozen ways with turkey I’m still putting the finishing touches on the menu for our actual Thanksgiving. Yes, like tomorrow.

I can now say that this Turkey Roulade is happening again. Along with the Pumpkin and White Bean Gratin (you can find the recipe here) and the Winter White Salad from my book (don’t forget about the pre-order bonus). The salad is a fresh mix of raw apple, leeks, fennel, and celeriac and then is topped with pomegranate, olive oil and lemon juice. It is the sort of thing needed when the rest of the table is covered with cream and cheese (not that I have a problem with that).

Sweet & Spicy Peanuts // Not Without Salt Sweet & Spicy Peanuts // Not Without Salt Sweet & Spicy Peanuts // Not Without Salt

Luckily, however, there is still time for these peanuts because every big meal needs a little something to start it off. These little somethings are addictingly sweet and with enough spice that it fills your mouth with a soft warmth that builds over time. The heat comes from Tabasco so there is a subtle vinegar bite as well. Fresh thyme reinforces their savory side just until the warmth of freshly grated nutmeg urges them back to the sweet side.

While I may not be here in time to tell you all about impossibly smooth mashed potatoes, or gush about my cranberry relish, I do think I’m just in time for these peanuts to grace your holiday table. Or maybe I’m in time for next year. Oh well, Happy Thanksgiving!

Sweet & Spicy Peanuts // Not Without Salt

*This post was sponsored by TABASCO but these peanuts are all mine.

Sweet & Spicy Peanuts

Makes 2 cups

4 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 tablespoons tabasco

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

2 cups raw peanuts


Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then set aside.

Combine the butter, sugar, tabasco, thyme, salt, and nutmeg in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil stirring well. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes or until the mixture is slightly thickened.

Turn off the heat and stir in the peanuts until evenly coated.

Pour the peanuts on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes (watch closely), until fragrant and golden. Let cool on the tray.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

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Creme Fraiche Doughnuts + Vermont Creamery Giveaway Sun, 16 Nov 2014 19:26:00 +0000 Read more »]]> Creme Fraiche Doughnuts // Not Without Salt

Before we can begin to talk about doughnuts I have to tell you all something: It’s 1/2 cup flour.

For many of you that makes absolutely no sense, for those who preordered the book and attempted to make the Gougeres, I am so sorry.

Yes, I forgot to include the flour amount in a recipe for the Holi-date PDF. This is why the book has a fabulous editor (hi, Kristen!). There’s a new, updated PDF. I’ll be sending the link out to those who have already signed up very shortly. If you haven’t preordered and have no idea what I’m talking about, check out this post. If you do preorder and download the PDF you’ll indeed have the amount of flour needed to make all the recipes! How novel.

Again, sorry about the mistake. But a real, hearty bear-hug thanks to all of you who have preordered. You put me at #3 in the Seasonal Cookbooks on Amazon for a brief moment and that moment made me sob on my computer. There’s still time to preorder! Remember, five bonus recipes (with photos!) if you do!!

Last time we talked about the book I told you about my nightmares of beige on beige. Guess what guys, no more nightmares! I have the book in my hands and it’s the stuff of dreams. Want to have a quick peak?

I’m going to assume you all said a resounding, YES!

Date Night In // Not Without Salt Date Night In // Not Without Salt Date Night In // Not Without Salt Date Night In // Not Without Salt Date Night In // Not Without Salt

I’m real happy with it. Like giddy, it hasn’t left my side, “is this real?!”, happy.

I’m also happy with doughnuts (I could host the Today show with a segue like that).

Vermont Creamery gave me the task of using crème fraîche in a recipe. This was a simple task for me since crème fraîche is a very regular member of my fridge family.

It wasn’t shortly after I got the assignment that my mind went to doughnuts because, well, my mind often goes to doughnuts (remember these?).

Creme Fraiche Doughnuts // Not Without Salt Creme Fraiche Doughnuts // Not Without Salt

The recipe was adapted from one I found on I went into this particular recipe expecting more of a cake doughnut but what came from the fryer was very much an old fashioned; craggy top, deep crevices, crisp dark golden exterior with a tender and sweet interior. To that I add a browned butter glaze that is sweet, nutty and a touch salty.

Have you browned butter before? If you’ve been here long you probably have because I’m a big fan (see also the brownies in my book). You melt the butter in a pan until the milk solids separate and caramelize on the bottom of the pan. The butter is sufficiently browned when you get a waft of a deep nuttiness and when you gently swirl the butter you can see the color change of the milk solids. If you simply used melted butter in this glaze the magic would be lost.

Creme Fraiche Doughnuts // Not Without Salt Creme Fraiche Doughnuts // Not Without Salt

To celebrate crème fraîche, Vermont Creamery is hosting a pretty fabulous giveaway. Check out their site to find out more, enter and click around on some of the other recipes from fellow bloggers, like this Kobocha, sage and crème fraîche pappardelle from Two Red Bowls.

*This post was sponsored by Vermont Creamery but the recipe, photos, and love of crème fraîche are all mine.


Crème Fraîche Doughnuts with Salted Browned Butter Glaze

adapted from


3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled briefly

1 cup/ 8 ounces crème fraîche


4 ounces/1 stick butter

3 cups powdered sugar

pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4-5 tablespoons warm milk

flake salt

For the doughnuts: Whisk the first 5 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in large bowl until very thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla. Gradually beat in butter; beat in crème fraîche in 2 additions. Gently fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions (dough will be slightly sticky). Cover; set aside 1 hour.

Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out the dough on lightly floured surface to 2/3-inch thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Arrange on floured sheets. Repeat with remaining dough in 2 more batches. Gather all dough scraps. Press out dough; cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used.

Using 1-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes.

Set wire racks over two baking sheets. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches. Heat oil to 365°F to 370°F. Fry doughnut holes in 2 batches until deep brown, turning once, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to wire racks. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to wire racks.

For the glaze: Add the butter to a small skillet set over medium heat. Bring the butter to a boil, watching it very closely. Swirl the skillet carefully, if you see golden bits at the bottom of the pan you are done browning the butter. It will smell nutty too. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Add the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract to a medium bowl. Slowly pour in the browned butter while whisking. Add enough milk to make a pourable glaze.

Spoon the glaze over the doughnuts while they are still just warm. Finish with flake salt.

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Chile Lime Shrimp with Roasted Poblano Cream Wed, 04 Sep 2013 21:28:41 +0000 Read more »]]> Chile Lime Shrimp with Roasted Poblano Cream // Not Without Salt

Chile Lime Shrimp with Roasted Poblano Cream // Not Without Salt

I want to tell you all about this recipe. I would like to sit down with you and urge you to get some shrimp marinating immediately because the sooner you do the quicker you’ll be to putting one of these tangy, slightly spicy shrimp into your mouth. I would also encourage heavy dipping into the smoky and rich sauce. But I’m running out of time so I’ll just have to trust the images will be enticing enough.

As it is I’m late to pick up my boy from his first day of all day school, lunch is still sitting on the table from three hours ago, dishes are in the sink (that’s nothing new) and the other two kids have been watching a movie for the last hour while I try and tackle my growing to do list. So, as I said, I wish I had more time to urge you to make this recipe. You’ll just have to trust me and get on it.

Chile Lime Shrimp with Roasted Poblano Cream // Not Without Salt

As a contributor for S.Pellegrino’s Practice the Art of Fine Food program I created this recipe and post along with many others that can be found on their Facebook page here.

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Pumpkin Graham Bread Sun, 04 Nov 2012 23:48:31 +0000 Read more »]]>

It seems we’ve begun a new tradition in our family. That is, if you consider two weeks of loaf cakes on Sunday a tradition. I certainly do and it’s one that I don’t intend to quit.

It’s these loaves that mix up in minutes, spend an hour in the oven (giving the right amount of time to sit with my coffee then cook up a few eggs to add more substance to our Sunday breakfast) and taste more complex than their recipe asks, that have us deeming it a new tradition.

There’s another, far more selfish reason for the Sunday loaf: It’s Monday when the cake is best and in a moment of settled quiet I enjoy another slice. With an overnight rest the flavor both richens and mellows and the texture settles into itself. With most cakes I’ve found this to be true. The second day cake is tender and springy. In this particular loaf the spices weave their way into the loaf and boost the pumpkin flavor while the texture relaxes and easily submits.

My Sunday slice is shared around the table with little fingers grabbing for crumbs and eager for seconds. Monday’s slice is savored slowly as the crisp sugary edges are eaten first, followed by the soft, spicy interior. Each bite is enjoyed in between pages of my book and sips of coffee. The kids have had their breakfast and are entertained with legos, coloring or Curious George while I sit on the couch with my pumpkin bread.

Around the table on Sunday I love the fluttering murmur of excitement around the still-warm loaf. I love the anticipation that builds when traditions are firmly established. But I also love having a bit of incentive to get out of bed early on a Monday morning and to start the week with a lovely loaf cake made the day before. Either way this tradition is destined to linger awhile.



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Pumpkin Graham Bread

Makes 1 loaf
This recipe pulls inspiration from a couple sources. From Grandma’s recipe box I decided to marry pumpkin with Graham flour as there are multiple versions of Graham bread scattered throughout. But since I was fresh out of “sour milk” I went with Elise’s recipe for pumpkin bread as the foundation.
Graham flour is essentially whole wheat flour with more texture. The parts of the wheat kernel are ground separately then joined together at the end of the milling process.
In order to ensure Sunday’s loaf leaves enough for Monday you may want to double this recipe to produce two loaves. You’ve been warned.

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup Graham flour (whole wheat flour could be substituted)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch white pepper (optional)
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup olive oil (or other neutral oil)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup water
¼ cup seeds/nuts (I used sliced almonds and sunflower seeds but you could use anything really)

Preheat your oven to 350*F and butter a loaf pan.
In a bowl combine the flours, salt, brown sugar, baking soda and spices with a whisk.
In another bowl mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, honey and water. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir to combine.
Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and top with seeds, nuts and a sprinkling of turbinado sugar (regular sugar is fine). Bake about 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Turn out of the pan and let cool on a wire rack.

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