Kim Cooks Up a Book

My editor tells me I'm allowed one full-blown shameless plug, so here goes: I am the proud mama of my first-born cookbook, "A Mighty Appetite for the Holidays." It is a cute little (7x7) soft-covered book that is small enough to tote on your daily commute or to tuck into a carry-on bag on your flight over the river and through the woods. The book is divided into two sections -- the Thanksgiving feast, from soup to nuts, and the festive month of December that includes four holidays, a winter solstice and a new year. My goal is to gear you up with a battery of recipes (with plenty of room for improv and variation), inspire you to try new ingredients and expand your culinary horizons, and maybe, just maybe, entertain you with stories about the mercurial marriage of family, food and the festive season.

Here's cookin' with you, kid. (Jefry Andres Wright)

Because this is a self-published venture, the book is currently not for sale in bookstores (although it is available at Tabletop, the fab Dupont Circle home design shop).

Readers outside of the Washington area can order the book online (there's a preview available, fyi). And readers who live near the Beltway have the additional option of buying the book at several scheduled book signings throughout November, including two this weekend - the morning of Saturday, Nov. 3, at Arlington farmers' market and the evening of Sunday, Nov. 4, at Book Bash in Baltimore. Details for all events and book availability updates are listed on my shameless self-promotional blog space.

And that, ladies and gents, is the end of this plug. For your weekend pleasure, I suggest playing with in-season pears for a batch of my Dark 'n' Stormy Pear Crisp, which is on page 72.

Have a delicious weekend! Coming up Monday: Fruitcake, out of the oven.

Dark 'n' Stormy Pear Crisp

Ingredients: Filling
6-8 Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1/3 cup raisins, soaked in 1/2 cup dark rum for at least 20 minutes
3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
2 teaspoons lime zest (from approximately 2 limes)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon high-quality vanilla extract

Method: Filling
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, add pears, raisins soaked in rum, ginger and lime zest. Stir to combine. Pour into an 8-inch square or 9-inch pie plate.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add vanilla extract or scraped insides of a vanilla bean. Let brown for at least three minutes. Pour browned butter over fruit. Set aside.

Ingredients: Topping
6 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, softened
3/4 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

Method: Topping
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugars, spices and salt. With hands, pinch butter into mixture until it looks like crumbly wet sand. Add nuts until well combined. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes before using.

Drop topping onto buttered fruit, covering entire surface. Bake until fruit is fork-tender and topping is crunchy, between 45-60 minutes. Cool slightly and serve in bowls.

Makes six servings.

By Kim ODonnel |  November 2, 2007; 7:12 AM ET Cook's Library , Events
Previous: Bread 911 | Next: Fruitcake Date


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Congratulations! Would you tell us how vegetarian-friendly the book is? Thanks!

Posted by: Kat with a K | November 2, 2007 9:03 AM

Hey Kat with a K: Of the 30 recipes, only four are strictly for omnivores. The rest are either veggie friendly or flexible enough to omit the meat.

Posted by: Kim O'Donnel | November 2, 2007 9:27 AM

Thanks for the info!

Posted by: Kat with a K | November 2, 2007 9:59 AM

Can you suggest a substitute for the rum in the Dark 'n' Stormy Pear Crisp, Kim? My DH hates the taste of rum while I love the taste of pear crisp.

Posted by: BarbaraA | November 2, 2007 11:46 AM

Barbara: You could try brandy, bourbon or that newfangled vanilla cognac..whatzit called? And of course, if no alcohol is preferable, by all means, leave it out and soak the raisins in apple cider. Cheers.

Posted by: Kim O'Donnel | November 2, 2007 11:58 AM

... my sub for raisins..

the timing is perfect as hubby just asked last night if I'd make a dessert this weekend (ran out of apple pie... sigh)

does the rum/brandy/bourbon/cider/other go into the bowl with the raisins/cranberries/other -- or just the fruit -- or does the fruit sssssssuck up all the juice and get plump and there's no liquid left to speak of?


Posted by: brandy soaked cranberries | November 2, 2007 1:51 PM

Hey Kim,
I can't be around for the chats on Tuesday, but I have a question and thought you might be able to help. Two of my friends and I (we're all in college) are getting together for thanksgiving because we live too far from our families to go home for the weekend. Every turkey recipe we look at feeds 12-24 people. We've never roasted turkey before and aren't sure we'll be up to it---even though we looove turkey and stuffing. Any thoughts on a downsized three-person thanksgiving? We don't mind leftovers, but that seems excessive.

Posted by: college student | November 4, 2007 6:14 PM

College Student,
Sorry I'm not Kim, but maybe I can help. Have you looked at recipes for turkey breasts only? On the Post's recipe finder, for instance, there are two turkey breast recipes - one more traditional and one with a chipotle rub. I think they cook faster and you can just buy as much as you need. Shouldn't be too hard to find, either.

Posted by: lurker | November 5, 2007 8:52 AM

Congrats on getting the book published! I can't wait to pick one up. I looked for it in vain when I placed a big Amazon order the other day, only to realize that you self-published. I'll make a trip out to Dupont Circle, if I don't get a chance to go to an event somewhere.

Posted by: DC Cubefarm | November 5, 2007 11:15 AM

College Student:
Definitely think about the T-breast, you can always cook additional stuffing in another pan. If you like the drumsticks and other dark meat, think about cornish game hens or a medium sized roasting chicken. Not turkey but just as tasty!

Posted by: Sportster | November 5, 2007 12:35 PM

College Student--
Whatever you do, buy the turkey fairly early. Two friends of mine and myself celebrated Thanksgiving one year. The fellow in charge of getting the turkey went shopping on the Tuesday before and the smallest, thawed one he could find was 24 lbs! That was a LOT of leftovers.

Posted by: rmh | November 5, 2007 2:41 PM

College Student:
You can get small turkey's, 10 to 12 pounds. (Remember, a lot of the weight is in bones). A turkey this size would feed three of you easily with left overs. Enjoy.

Posted by: Ohio | September 4, 2008 10:28 AM

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