My New Fall Zoom Cooking Classes at The Baker’s Pin Cooking School and Store

Hello Everyone,
I’m happy to let you know that I’ll be giving cooking classes this fall at The Baker’s Pin Cooking School and Store located in Northampton, Ma. We launched our first series of classes this summer and were thrilled that we had people join us from Maine to California! 

I’ll be giving four new classes this autumn! In September I hope you can join me for a Fall Backyard Supper (featuring a delicious make ahead paella salad with grilled shimp and lobster tails). In October, I’ll be giving a Paris Fall Cooking course with a menu of seasonal French dishes, and in November, I’ve planned a Small and Delicious Thanksgiving Dinner with a stellar menu including a boned and rolled turkey bread with a mushroom and pancetta stuffing.  Finally, as December arrives, I am teaming up with my colleague, Barbara Morse, to do a Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen class. Click here to see my classes on this blog and for information about how to sign up.
May all of you stay safe and well during these challenging times!  Betty

A New Halibut Burger for Labor Day Celebrations

My son, Mike, a talented and creative cook, called recently to tell me about a new burger he had fashioned from his weekly seafood share. “Mom, there were some nice halibut fillets in my haul, and I turned them into burgers!” He went on to explain how he prepared them, and by the end of the conversation my mouth was watering!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve made these “halibut” burgers often, fine-tuning the cooking times and adjusting the ingredients. I used halibut first, but also tried them with cod fillets. The halibut is marinated in lime Continue reading

A Simple Arugula and Melon Salad Makes Summer Meals Even Better!

 It’s definitely the peak of the melon season here in New England where watermelons and cantaloupes are on full display at our local farmers markets and roadside stands. They are so tempting that some days at our house we start and end our day with slices of these juicy fruits. I love to use them in salads too, and this week included diced cantaloupe in a beautiful, yet simple summer salad.

I whisked together a honey vinaigrette, then tossed baby arugula leaves with some dressing before mounding them on salad plates. Next I drizzled diced cantaloupe and small fresh mozzarella balls with more vinaigrette and arranged them on top of and around the salad greens. Finally, I sautéed Continue reading

Cooling Julep Iced Tea for the Hot Days of Summer

For the past few weeks our weather here in western New England has been unseasonably hot and humid with temperatures often reaching into the 90s. During this heat wave I invited two good friends, who work with me testing recipes and prepping for cooking classes, to come for an afternoon visit. Since we were following our state’s guidelines and planning an outdoor get-together, the weather was a problem. I carefully moved our new Adirondack chairs to the shadiest part of our lawn, and decided to make a pitcher of julep iced tea to counter the warmth,

This tea, prepared with a generous amount of fresh mint leaves that are steeped with julienned lemon rind and mild tea (English or Irish Breakfast varieties, for example) is sweetened with sugar and scented with lemon juice. The recipe, created by Lynn Wilkins, a talented cook from Oxford, Continue reading

A Warm Plum and Almond Crisp for a Backyard Supper in Adirondack Chairs

In late May, after months of lockdown, our health experts in Massachusetts announced their guidelines for opening up, including the recommendation that people visit with family and friends outdoors, rather than inside. Because we have an enclosed porch, we have never taken advantage of our large yard, though we had envisioned Adirondack chairs under the canopied shade of old trees on our lawn. That all changed this summer when we ordered six of these iconic chairs. It took over a month and countless phone calls to locate a set, but finally they arrived.

Now we have moved our social distancing al fresco, and love the simple menus we are sharing with cautious friends. This week a neighbor and I are cooking an array of comfort foods– grilled burgers, grilled corn of the cob with seasoned butter, sesame and ginger coleslaw, and baked beans. For dessert, we’ll end with a warm plum and almond crisp served with scoops Continue reading

A Favorite Pasta for Summer from Provence!

For many years my husband and I traveled to Provence during the summer to spend several weeks in the south of France. We were enchanted by the landscapes– fields of purple lavender, groves of old, snarled olive trees, and exquisite beaches bordering the Mediterranean. It was, however, the simple, yet vibrant food that inspired us to return. 

Although we ate in a handful of Michelin starred restaurants, I liked the unpretentious, out-of- the-way bistros and cafés best. One of our favorites was La Merenda, a tiny place in the center of Nice, where there was no phone, and you could only reserve in person. Their signature dish was “pâtes au pistou,” prepared with house made spinach fettuccine tossed with pistou, Provence’s version of pesto. Over the years, I have tried to recreate the dish, but without much success.

Recently, I found several on-line articles in which the current owner, Continue reading

Blueberry Cake with Lemon Crème Fraîche for July 4th

With the long July 4th weekend almost here, I’m certain many cooks are finalizing their menus for outdoor meals. Grilling, naturally, will take center stage, whether juicy burgers, marinated chicken, spice-rubbed steaks, barbecued ribs, or fresh fish fillets. Favorite potato or pasta salads and summer vegetables will be set on the table too. And then there is dessert. For this mid-summer holiday, I believe that there are two requirements. The chosen confection should be special, and it should feed a family generously with seconds. Blueberry Cake with Lemon Crème Fraîche meets both these Continue reading

Betty Rosbottom is giving zoom cooking classes at The Baker’s Pin Cooking School!

I’m thrilled to let everyone know that I’ll be giving zoom cooking classes starting in July at The Baker’s Pin Cookware Shop and School in Northampton, Ma,. In my Paris Summer Cooking class, you’ll see how easily you can make  dishes like grilled lamb chops topped with pats of delicious Béarnaise butter plus delectable lemon and white chocolate mousse parfaits with raspberries. You can also travel to the south of France virtually with me in the Glorious Provencal Dinner class where a fabulous Salade nicoise with grilled tuna steaks will be the main attraction. And, for a simple yet irresistible summer meal, sign up for Best Ever Backyard Cooking and discover how quickly you can prepare pork tenderloins with fresh peach salsa served with 5-minute roasted sugar snaps and sesame ginger cole slaw.

To see the cooking class schedule and sign up, click hereSince zoom classes have no geographic boundaries, I hope I’ll be able to greet many of you  from western Massachusetts, and from other parts of the country too!

Let’s cook well, eat well, and hopefully all stay well!   Betty




Favorite Dishes for Father’s Day

With Father’s Day almost at hand, many of us are planning celebrations outdoors. I’ve turned for inspiration to The Big Book of Backyard Cooking, which I authored back in 2004. The recipes in this collection always seem to please my husband, the dad and granddad in our family. He loves any dish if coded with the letters BLT, plus slow-cooked barbecued ribs, grilled lamb chops or rib-eye steaks simply garnished, homemade or purchased artisanal ice creams, and any summer dessert that includes cherries or peaches. Looking through the book, it didn’t take long to find a trio of dishes certain to please his palate. Lamb Chops with Roquefort, Figs, and Rosemary, BLT Pasta Salad, and Best Ever Caramel Sauce that could be used for peach sundaes jumped off the page.

The recipe for the lamb chops is just as tempting today as it was over  a decade ago. Wine marinated lamb chops (either loin or rib) are grilled and then topped with crumbled Roquefort, wine-soaked figs, and chopped rosemary. The slightly charred meat combined with the salty cheese, sweet fruit, plus an herbal accent of rosemary makes a stellar dish.

For the pasta salad, crispy bacon, multi-hued cherry or grape tomatoes, and coarsely chopped arugula are the primary accents to a cooked pasta such as farfalle or penne, all tossed in a Parmesan mayonnaise dressing. This side dish can be assembled an hour ahead and makes a fine partner not only to lamb, but to grilled chicken or steaks as well.

I’ve never met a caramel sauce I didn’t like, but this one, due to the addition of cream cheese and butter, is noteworthy for its extra creaminess. For sundaes you place a couple of scoops of purchased vanilla ice cream in a bowl or wine glass (I used small glass canning jars minus lids), then top with fresh sliced peaches, and a generous drizzle of caramel.

Happy Father’s Day this Sunday, June 21st, to all the dads and granddads out there!



A Simple French Cake Becomes My Go-To Recipe

During the lockdown when I was cooking three meals a day, some recipes became staples—especially desserts. One was an Extra Easy Brown Butter Almond Cake. My husband likes it so much that now even with things opening up, he is still asking me to bake it. As the name implies, it’s exceptionally easy and doesn’t call for any hard- to- find ingredients. I’ve made it twice in the last few weeks!

The batter for this cake is based on one used in France for those special confections called financiers, mouthwatering small cakes prepared with brown butter, sugar, flour, and almonds. They take their name from the brokers (financiers) who bought them in Paris’ financial district. My friend, Tina Isaac, who lives in Paris, introduced me to a simpler version of this classic. She bakes the batter in a single pan rather than in the traditional smaller molds.

I’d offer two caveats when baking this dessert. The oven temperature of 450 degrees F is quite high so if you have an oven thermometer be sure to confirm the temperature.  Also, following the recipe you’ll find a cooking tip that it is best to avoid using a dark metal baking pan as it causes the cake to cook too quickly on the sides.

Served warm with a dusting of powdered sugar, this golden “gateau” is versatile. Pair it with scoops of ice cream or a bowl of fresh berries, or drizzle it with your favorite chocolate ganache. Right now, I’m garnishing this cake with juicy sliced strawberries and dollops of vanilla-scented whipped cream. I think of it as a French version of our quintessential summer dessert–strawberry shortcake.