Monthly Archives: April 2011


It’s the very end of April, and it’s supposed to be spring, even here in Great Lakes territory. Last year at this time, my lilacs were sporting grape-colored buds; this year, they don’t even have leaves. This morning I shivered … Continue reading

Posted in baked goods, sides | 1 Comment

Sweet-salty-spicy nuts

I spent years (okay, maybe months) looking for a spiced nut recipe. I tried toasting the nuts in oil or butter and spices. Maybe I was doing something wrong, but the seasoning seemed to slide off those slick almonds, leaving … Continue reading

Posted in appetizers | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

More roasted veggies: butternut squash

Like so many American foodies, I grew up watching Julia Child on television. When my son was really young, our Saturday pre-dinner ritual was watching Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home. The affection these two master chefs had for each … Continue reading

Posted in sides, soups, veggies | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Not your grandma’s molasses cookies

I brought these cookies to my son’s piano recital several years ago. People would look at these humble brown circles doubtfully: What were they? Too light to be chocolate, too dark for peanut butter. But then an intrepid soul picked … Continue reading

Posted in baked goods, sweet stuff | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

New name, same ole blog.

Playing in the Kitchen has now become Rivertree Kitchen. Same blog, same posts, same author (me); just the name has changed. I’d been meaning to start a blog for over a year, since I started my editing website I … Continue reading

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The circle of life, chicken style.

Roast chicken is in every omnivore cook’s repertoire, and there are as many ways to prepare it as there are cooks. My version has evolved over the years. There are elements that I tweak every time I make it, and … Continue reading

Posted in main courses, meat, poultry,and fish | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Everybody into the oven! (the green bean version)

I’m on a roasted vegetable kick lately. It started with kale chips. My sister Jul (kindergarten teacher and amazing cook) mentioned that a parent had brought these chips to her class in an effort to teach the students that veggies … Continue reading

Posted in sides, veggies | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The wild side of soup

I love soup. Fond as I am of a good loaf of bread, I’ll take a bowl of soup over a sandwich any day. Soup is the perfect vehicle for those of us who cook without a net; it’s a … Continue reading

Posted in main courses, pasta, rice, and grains, soups | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Risotto: day three; dogs: day five

Dogs first: The girls are settling in nicely. Cleo’s taken over the new bed and dish we bought for Libby; Libby’s appropriated all the rawhides. Both are fine with this arrangement. Libby has already learned that dogs are required to sit … Continue reading

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New puppy! Oh, and some awesome peppers.

Last May we adopted a five-month-old beagle mix and named her Cleo. She had been born in a shelter, and was labeled “special needs” for her debilitating shyness: she was frightened by everything except other dogs. Nearly a year later, … Continue reading

Posted in appetizers, pasta, rice, and grains, sides, veggies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments