After meeting and interviewing Amanda Hesser, author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook, we promise to never complain again about the long hours, days, and months it took us to write our cookbook, No Whine with Dinner. Amanda’s project took six years, and the result is a cookbook filled with more than 1,000 recipes hand-picked from the New York Times’s extensive, 150-year-old recipe archive. That’s a lot of recipes!
We caught up with Amanda at Boston’s Liberty Hotel last week to talk about her ground-breaking book, how she selected the final recipes, and how she tested each and every one even when she was pregnant with twins. We feature Amanda’s interview on this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast along with several recipes from the book: Teddy’s Apple Cake, Cucumbers in Cream, and Sweet Potato Casserole.
The Meal Makeover Moms, Liz & Janice, pose with Amanda Hesser, author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook.
Be sure to tune in for the back story to this amazing (and heavy) cookbook and to hear Amanda’s tips for turning kids into adventurous eaters. FYI: Her Four-year old twins have eaten and enjoyed such unusual foods as pigeon (let’s hope it wasn’t from Amanda’s New York City balcony!) and octopus.
Teddy’s Apple Cake is ready to go in the oven.
Teddy’s Apple Cake
Makes 12 1o 16 Servings
This recipe first appeared in the New York Times in 1973. When Amanda asked readers for their favorite recipes from The Times, this recipe was near the top. For the cake, we added some signature Meal Makeover Mom tweaks. We switched from 3 cups all-purpose flour to 2 cups all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat. We also replaced half a cup of the oil with canned pumpkin purée, and we cut back on the sugar from 2 cups to 1½ cups. To make it kid friendly, we suggest cutting the apples into 1/2-inch dice instead of the thick slices called for in the recipe. The seventies version suggests a serving size of 8, but if you have young children at home, 12 to 16 servings may be more realistic.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups peeled, cored and thickly sliced apples (Honeycrisp or Granny Smith)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup raisins
- Vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch tube pan (we used a 10-inch bundt pan). Sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.
2. Beat the oil and sugar together in a mixer with a paddle (or in a bowl with a hand mixer) for 5 minutes. Add the eggs and pumpkin and beat until the mixture is creamy. Stir in the dry ingredients. Add the vanilla, apples, walnuts, and raisins and stir until combined.
3. Turn the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (our cake cooked a bit faster because we used a slightly larger pan). Cool in the pan before turning out.
4. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
The Sweet Potato Casserole from page 286 of The Essential New York Times Cookbook appeared in the The Times in 1992. Created by chef Jimmy Sneed, this simple casserole is perfect for Thanksgiving … or any holiday for that matter. For the recipe, check out Liz’s sweet potato post from November 21st.
GIVEAWAY News (the giveaway is now closed)
To thank all of you for reading our blog, listening to our podcast, and following us on Facebook and Twitter, we are giving away one copy of The Essential New York Times Cookbook (retail value: $40.00). To enter (U.S. only), tell us about your favorite food memory from your childhood. In case you’re wondering how we would answer that question, even though we’re dietitians, dessert immediately comes to mind. Janice remembers her grandmother’s plum pudding and Liz still savors the memory of her Nana’s buttery/lemony sponge cake!
We will enter you into the giveaway a second, third, and/or fourth time if you …
* Subscribe to our RSS feed and/or e-newsletter
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Please be sure to leave us a new comment every time you do something extra …. and GOOD LUCK! The giveaway ends on Wednesday, December 8th at noon, and as always we’ll use random.org to pick our winner.
Cucumbers in Cream, circa 1977, was created by long-time New York Times reporter, Florence Fabricant. When Liz brought it to an end-of-the season soccer party last weekend, the adults devoured it before the kids even walked in the room. PS: The next time we make this dish, we may use reduced-fat plain Greek yogurt instead of the sour cream.
Cucumbers in Cream
Makes 6 Servings
- 3 cups peeled, thinly sliced cucumbers (about 3 regular cucumbers) or thinly sliced (peeled if desired) English (seedless) cucumbers
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- Freshly ground black pepper.
1. Place the cucumbers in a colander. Dust with the salt and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and drain.
2. Combine the sour cream, lemon zest, and juice in a bowl. Toss the cucumbers in the dressing and dust with the chives and a generous sprinkling of pepper.
We hope everyone has a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!