Recipes with warmth and ease in The Kitchn Cookbook

Faith DurandFaith Durand is Executive Editor of The Kitchn, one of the United States' largest websites devoted to home cooking, reaching over 14 million readers a month. Faith is also the author of Bakeless Sweets, the first cookbook dedicated to pudding and no-bake desserts. Her newest book is The Kitchn Cookbook, coauthored with Sara Kate Gillingham, published by Clarkson Potter and in bookstores now. (You can enter our contest for your chance to win a copy of The Kitchn Cookbook).  We asked Faith about The Kitchn and her new cookbook:

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There are 3,449 recipes on The Kitchn (we know because they are all indexed on EYB).  How on earth did you manage to choose your best recipes for the book?

Well, first off, most of the recipes in the book are new and never before published on The Kitchn! We wanted to create a new batch of recipes with all the things we value on The Kitchn: warmth, ease, accessibility, but still a real sense of drawing from smart cooking skills and different cultures. Having said that, though, we did include a few all-time reader favorite recipes. We just drew out the ones that have been so wildly popular they deserved a victory lap in the book, things like Monkey Bread with Bourbon Crème Anglaise, and Sparkling Peach Sangria.

The book also contains lessons for 50 basic skills that every cook should master.  How did you decide which skills were most important?

As we developed the recipes we also made note of the things that we do over and over again: boil water, chop onions, knead dough. These are the skills that let you not only cook well but learn to cook impromptu meals with no recipes at all.

Were there any skills covered that taught something even to an experts like you?

I always learn something new, every time I write a book! It's always a process of discovery. I loved how the veggie burger, for instance, is baked in the oven (not pan-fried). That takes some of the guesswork and hassle out of cooking veggie burgers and for me anyway makes it more accessible.

Of course The Kitchn covers a lot more than just cooking - kitchen design, storage, hygiene, shopping, etc.  Again, how did you choose from 9 years of excellent advice what to include in the book?

It was really a matter of looking at essentials. We've published so many fun and helpful tips over the years, but when you come down to it, what's most essential to a clean, well-organized, and happy kitchen? I hope that we emphasized these the most.

What are your favorite features of your own kitchen?

I love the light in my kitchen. The sun comes in all day - in the morning, in the afternoon, and even at sunset. I also have a really deep kitchen sink that hides all my dirty dishes!

Are you a gadget junky or do you keep things simple in your kitchen?

I don't have a lot of gadgets, but I do have many, many duplicate tools. For Christmas last year my husband gifted me with about half a dozen 1 teaspoon measuring spoons, since I always seem to need a clean one!

Whose kitchen that you have featured on The Kitchn do you most envy?

The one that I (and most of our readers!) seem to love the most is this gorgeous blue and marble kitchen in San Francisco

The Kitchn has 14 million readers per month so presumably you get a lot of feedback from them.  How much did your readers contribute to what was chosen for the book?

So much! We looked at what they like best and what they respond to, and we even included a lot of reader comments in the sidebars of the book. They have so much to offer; we really look to them to decide what to write about.

Do you know what has been the most popular recipe ever on The Kitchn?

Oh yes! Once you move past all our cooking lessons (How To Cook a Turkey, et.al.) it's Emma's fab Thin Crust Pizza recipe

And finally, what is the recipe from The Kitchn that you personally cook the most?
Well, besides Sara Kate's margarita recipe (does that count!?) it's probably these absolutely perfect pancakes by Dana. My husband is a cracking good pancake flipper and often makes them on the weekends.

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