Hello! A bit of news for you. My newest cookbook, Better From Scratch is officially out in the wide world! It’s a book full of great foods you can make at home, but perhaps haven’t thought of making yourself. On the savory side, there are oodles of fun recipes for projects that don’t take a ton of time to make, but taste amazing like homemade kimchi, sweet-fruity-hot Sriracha, sauerkraut, baked sour cream and onion potato chips, and bacon. You read right, homemade cured, smoked bacon! It’s legend- (wait for it) -dary! There’s also a slew of essential recipes to put the bling in your bartending, including homemade tonic syrup, top shelf margarita mixer, cosmopolitan blend, and even cocktail onions,and tons of snacks like marinated labne balls, seeded crackers, tea-smoked trout, and keffir lime leaf soy nuts to serve with those cocktails.
Of course there are recipes for sweet stuff– think homemade carrot cake energy bars, peanut caramel corn (aka Cracker Jack but with more peanuts), pates de fruit (posh French fruit gummies), and a method for making layered Ande’s candies-style chocolates that will improve your after dinner mint fix vastly. There’s also a slew of great jams and preserves just in time for canning season including a blue-ribbon marmalade, homemade membrillo to serve with aged Manchego, and a pear-ginger jam recipe that is one of the best reasons to get up in the morning. I’ve included the recipe below, in case you happen to have some pears that need a home, a breakfast routine that needs a kick in the patoot, or a reason to get out the canning stuff.
This is the first book I’ve written for Williams-Sonoma, and I’m proud as heck of having my name on the cover, especially since the very talented photographer Alice Gao did the photos. Frankly, the photos make me drool just as much as the recipes. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and give it a whirl. Speaking of whirling, if you happen to be in Portland, Oregon this coming weekend, I’ll be at the Williams Sonoma store at 338 NW 23rd Street doling out samples and signing copies of Better From Scratch from 1 to 3pm. Next Saturday, August 9th, I’ll be at the Williams Sonoma store at Washington Square from 1-4. Come by and say “hi”! Pear-Ginger Jam -From Better From Scratch (Weldon Owen, 2014) 3 pounds pears, such as Comice or Warren, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional) Have ready 5 sterilized jars and their lids. In a large nonreactive saucepan, gently toss together the pears, fresh ginger, sugar, lemon juice, and crystallized ginger, if using. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the jam is thick, about 10 minutes. Ladle the hot jam into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Wipe the rim of each jar clean with a moist paper towel and seal until finger tight. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month, or process by the boiling water bath method for 15 minutes. Remove from water bath, let cool, and test the seals. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.