The Anniversary Edition: 11 Years, 11 Recipes

by Terry B on November 8, 2017

Endive Salad with Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Eleven years ago this month, we started Blue Kitchen. We really had no idea exactly what we were doing or any clue we’d still be publishing it now. But our love of food—eating it, making it, thinking, talking and writing about it—has kept us going. Today, we launch into year 12 with a look back at the first 11 years, one recipe per.

2006/7 Besides being delicious in its own right, the Endive Salad with Blue Cheese and Walnuts pictured above always reminds me of one of my favorite little New York bistros, Lucien. Every time we serve this salad, guests end up vying for every last morsel.

Frangipane Pear and Cherry Cake

2008 With few exceptions, Marion is the baker in our family. Her Frangipane Pear and Cherry Cake, featuring pears, tart cherries and almond-based frangipane, gets even better the second day. The romantic-sounding term frangipane can be traced back to, first, a noble Roman family of the 11th century and then to the perfumier of Louis XIII of France.

Chicken with Lentils (Poulet aux Lentilles)

2009 Pleasantly peasanty, Chicken with Lentils (Poulet aux Lentilles) is simple bistro fare at its best. Chicken thighs are dry brined with a spice/herb/salt rub, then roasted atop the lentils and vegetables, spreading their juices and flavor throughout the dish.

Ricotta Pancakes with Sautéed Pears

2010 November issues of American food magazines are dedicated to Thanksgiving every year, with good reason. Home cooks pull out all the stops for one big Thursday dinner. But what about Friday morning and the inevitable weekend guests? Marion’s Ricotta Pancakes with Sautéed Pears pack their own wow power, sure to impress.

Beef and Pork Ragú

2011 A quick trip to New York—and a cold, blustery Sunday—inspired Marion to slow cook ground beef and chunks of pork with tomatoes, peppers, carrots, mushrooms and paprika to create this hearty, rustic Beef and Pork Ragú. For hours, it filled our then apartment with amazing cooking smells and anticipation.

French 75 cocktail

2012 So I’m noticing a French theme in my recipes over the years. And I own it—I love French cuisine in its many forms. But the French 75 cocktail, while named for a legendary World War I French field gun, is of cloudy origin. Maybe French, maybe British, maybe American—or all three. What is clear is that this delicious gin and champagne cocktail packs an impressive wallop.

Drop Biscuits and Vegetarian Red Eye Gravy

2013 Take it from a total non-vegetarian (me): these Drop Biscuits and Vegetarian Red Eye Gravy will please—and possibly fool—even the biggest carnivore. Adapted from The Southern Vegetarian Cookbook, the gravy gets its “meaty” umami-rich, sausage-like flavor and texture from mushrooms, herbs and spices.

Fish and Corn Chowder

2014 Marion’s hearty Fish and Corn Chowder, chock full of potatoes, corn, fish and bacon, gets a sweet note when corn stock stands in for fish stock. It’s inspired by time Marion spent in Nova Scotia—and by the ample cornfields of our current Midwestern life.

Marion's Chili

2015 Although cold weather is settling in, we don’t need that excuse to crave Marion’s weeknight-quick three-bean chili. Besides the usual suspects of chili ingredients—chili powder, cumin, ground beef or turkey, onion, tomato paste—this one adds coffee, red wine and soy sauce.

Chicken Thighs with Potatoes, Lemon and Capers

2016 This recipe for Chicken Thighs with Potatoes, Lemon and Capers didn’t start as a recipe. It was an “I have these ingredients and we need dinner” moment, so make it up. This is the kind of cooking I aspire to do well, and occasionally—as in with this savory dish, brightened by lemon juice and briny capers—achieve.

Mezcal Hibiscus Cocktail

2017 If you’ve been following us here lately at all, you know we’re gobsmacked by the world of inventive cocktails. Garnet and Smoke, a mezcal hibiscus cocktail, is an invention of mine as much inspired by our new old house in Pilsen, a predominantly Mexican neighborhood in Chicago, as it is by our many evenings spent at bars watching talented bartenders work their magic.

In compiling this roundup of 11 years, decisions were as much driven by what to leave out as by what to put in. Poring over the Blue Kitchen archives, Marion and I both saw so many recipes we’d forgotten we’d even cooked. If we’ve whetted your appetite here, we encourage you to spend some time in the archives yourself. And keep coming back. There’s more to come.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

John/Kitchen Riffs November 8, 2017 at 8:24 am

Congrats on 11 years! Quite an achievement. The whole blogging scene has changed a lot during that time, hasn’t it? I’ll have to go back through your archives and explore all the goodies you’ve made over the years. :-)

Maria November 8, 2017 at 1:03 pm

I have made and enjoyed so many of these recipes (and more!). Thank you for all the delicious memories!

Susie November 8, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Everything looks great! Thanks so much and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

Kate November 8, 2017 at 8:23 pm

Happy anniversary! I don’t comment often, but I really like your blog and all the recipes I’ve cooked from here have been great!

Barbara Fazio November 8, 2017 at 8:35 pm

The endive salad is still an impressive so easy “go to” recipe. Thanks for sharing so many tasty bites! Congrats on 11 years!

Lou Pupich November 8, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Congrats! Keep cooking and sharing the experience with us.

Jane Sueme November 8, 2017 at 10:33 pm

Congratulations to you and yum! What a lovely and mouth watering retrospective. I’ll be cooking most of these soon and thinking of you both. Happy 11th.

Dani H November 8, 2017 at 11:06 pm

What a wonderful accomplishment ~ Congratulations to you both!

Very few blogs (food or otherwise) manage to turn out such consistently excellent posts.

Thank you not only for the variety of delicious recipes but also for all of the background information and stories which accompany them.

I look forward to many more years and recipes to come.

Deborah Lyons Jacobs November 9, 2017 at 5:10 am

Congratulations. I have been following you for years And have made quite a few recipes. I look forward to the adventure of your posts.

Katrina November 12, 2017 at 9:48 am

Congratulations, Terry!

Terry B November 13, 2017 at 10:17 pm

Thanks, all, for the kind words!

Eeka November 17, 2017 at 8:35 pm

Love that chili!

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