Frequently Asked Questions

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  • I have a recipe question. And I have an answer for you, or at least, I hope I do. I get a lot of recipe questions via email and although I try to respond to them, between you and me, it’s much better for everyone involved if you leave your question in the comment section of that recipe. I always read new comments, no matter how old the post is and will respond to a published comment much faster than an email. Plus, anyone else with your question — and there is another person with it, always — can save themselves the trouble.
  • … But do you read comments on really old posts? Absolutely. I check comments from the site’s internal admin panel, which shows them in the order they arrived, regardless of how old the entry is, so even if you comment today on the oldest entry on the site, I will see it when I check in next.
  • I contacted you through Twitter/Flickr/Facebook/LinkedIn and you didn’t respond. To be completely honest, it is impossible for me to manage multiple inboxes at once, so I focus my energies on one. If you email me through the main address for this site [the smitten at gmail dot com], I will respond as soon as possible. That said, my inbox can get really backlogged when life gets busy, and it can be hard to catch back up. If you emailed me a question about something (as in, about a recipe or cooking or life, and not about whether I want to increase my CPMs or some other nonsense) and I didn’t get back to you, would you do me the favor of resending it so that it returns to the top of my inbox?
  • I work in PR/ marketing/ product services/ community outreach/ advertising for a company that makes something your readers would love, can I send you a sample? Thank you, but I don’t do product reviews on Smitten Kitchen or accept any free stuff. The reason is that I couldn’t imagine even suggesting that someone consider shelling out for something when I didn’t do the same. I buy what I like and I talk about things as they seem fit; this system works a lot better for me, and seems far more transparent to readers.
  • I would like to advertise on your site. Why thank you! However, advertising on Smitten Kitchen is handled by Hashtag Labs. You can send any ad-related inquiries to them.
  • I have a question about your cookbooks related to publicity, events, or a potential book tour stop. Thank you! This page contains all of the listings for The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook Book Tours. If you have any further questions about the book’s U.S. publicity, Sara Eagle ( knows all (and often, more than me!). Sheila Kay ( is the person to speak to about the Canadian edition’s publicity and (Fiona Murphy ( can speak to UK/Australia publicity.


  • Do you have a recipe for… ? The two easiest ways to find content on Smitten Kitchen are to use the Google search box at the top left corner of every page, just below the logo, or to use the almost excessively organized Recipe Index and browse by anything from season to course to dish to the speed or store-ability of the recipe, or even the specific fruits or vegetables it might contain. Sections for special diets, such as Vegetarian and/or Gluten-Free are included as well.
  • How do I print a recipe? You can print any recipe by clicking the “Print” link at the bottom of each post. [It comes before the ad and the comments begin and it looks like this.] In many browsers you have the additional option of simply highlighting the text that you want to print, and from your Print menu, choosing “Print Selection”. This is great if you just need to grab part of the recipe, such as just the ingredient list.
  • How do I email a recipe? You can email any post to yourself or someone else by clicking on the email link at the bottom of each entry, before the ad and the comments begin. It looks like this.
  • Can you unsubscribe me from your newsletter? If you are subscribed to receive emailed versions of Smitten Kitchen posts, it is because you signed up for it through a link in the sidebar. To unsubscribe, simply click the “Click here to safely unsubscribe now” link at the bottom of any of the emails you receive, and you will be instantly removed from mailings.
  • Who designed this site? I did before launching it in 2006, mostly because I’m unhealthily particular about the way I think everything should be. Also, CSS is fun.
  • What kind of publishing software do you use? Who hosts your site? Smitten Kitchen is run on WordPress software that has been souped up with a zillion (actual number) plugins. It is privately hosted.
  • Why don’t your links open in a new window? The reason is that that the W3C (the standards organization behind the web) says that you should not. In essence, it takes the browsers control out of the user’s hands — opening a window that they didn’t okay, etc. — and that’s a no-no. That said, I always open links in new tabs, by Cntrl-clicking each link as I press it. (On a Mac, use the Open Apple instead.)
  • Why doesn’t your print template include photos? For a while, the print template did include the top photo from each entry but I received many complaints that it was a toner drain. Then I removed the top photo and now I receive this question. In short, until we figure out a seamless way to give you a choice as to whether or not the photo is included, I am defaulting to my preference, which is to not use any more printer toner than needed. That stuff is crazy expensive!
  • Your site is fraught with errors and as an editor/copy editor/grammar junkie I feel it is my obligation to send you a list of every one of them. Thank you. I appreciate it because mistakes make me cringe (er, once I see them). However, Smitten Kitchen is a one-person operation, run by a very imperfect human being spinning out thousands of words a week. With this level of output, the odds of typos are extremely high. Just shoot me an email and I’ll get it fixed, ASAP.
  • I saw an ad on your site that offended me. I cannot believe you’re taking money from that terrible political candidate/evil corporation/people who kick puppies! I know that you have bills to pay but… Wait, stop. First, ugh, I am very sorry. Believe me, the last thing I want on the site is political or other offensive ads, ever, and never once have I said, “Let’s put up a really obnoxious ad because MONIES are the most important thing in the world.” My ads are served by large networks that buy in bulk; sometimes these slip through and we can’t remove them until they are brought to our attention. There are no direct transactions; the following scene has never/does not ever/would never happen:

    Evil Congressional Candidate: I’d like to buy an ad on your site.
    Deb: You have very divisive views and I disagree with your politics, so, no.
    ECC: But I will offer you a LOT of money. You will be rich!
    Deb: Hokay, then! Why not?!
    [Fades ominously to black.]

    Finally, many ads are targeted either by region or browsing history (i.e. people who go to any political sites are likely see political ads; I, predictably, see ones for cookware) so I actually don’t see what you’re seeing. Nevertheless, shoot me an email the moment you see something you don’t like and I will immediately do everything in my power to have it taken out of the rotation.


  • Who takes the photos seen on Smitten Kitchen? Deb Perelman. I have seen my husband, Alex, cited as the site’s photographer so many times in articles that I wanted to correct that here, and clearly. I think the confusion arises because in the early days of this site (pre-June 2008), I’d work on the site in the evenings, after work, and Alex, being the awesome husband that he is, would help. The photos he’s taken are clearly marked, but very, very few. (Although, of course, they are excellent.) Mostly, he’s acted as an occasional photo assistant, pouring batter into pans for “action” shots and/or a model, as he is about to bring food out to guests
  • What kind of camera do you use? What lenses? Check out Our Approach to Food Photos. The equipment information is out-of-date, but my belief that the kind of camera you (or I) use does not matter remains current.
  • Can I run one of your photos on my site? All photos on Smitten Kitchen are copyrighted, which means that they should not be reused without my explicit permission. However, if you’re excited about a recipe and want to tell people about it via your site, well, thank you, I appreciate it, and you may. Make sure you’re only using one photo at a time (i.e. rather than pulling every photo from a post) and clearly link that photo back to, or even better, the permanent link to that recipe (linked from the title, first photo, or word “Link” at the bottom of each post; these deep links will be more useful to your readers). If you’d like use of the photo to illustrate anything besides your enthusiasm for the recipe (i.e. for your business, advertising, decoration, postcards, books, a different recipe on your food website, etc.) you must first purchase the photo. The next two links will describe how to do this.
  • I want to buy a print. We’ve set up a small, and (we hope) very reasonably priced print shop through SmugMug. If you’d like to buy a print you don’t see there, please email me and we’ll be happy to upload it for you.
  • I want to buy a full-size download of one of your photos. A limited selection of my photos are available through Getty Images. If you don’t see what you’d like there, email me with a link the photo you’d like and we’ll find a reasonable price. The transaction will then be run through our SmugMug shop.

Recipes and Cooking

  • Why didn’t this recipe work for me? Can I say this? Promise not to take it the wrong way? I have no idea. The very difficult thing is, I am not in the kitchen with you. I don’t know if your ingredients were fresh, measured correctly, if your oven is properly calibrated, if you forgot to set the timer, if you swapped an ingredient for another one that probably caused the dish’s demise, if your ingredients were at room temperature, if the bowl where you whipped the egg whites was clean and dry, or if the cooking faeries were just not in the kitchen with you that day. And that list of possible things that can go wrong is just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s what I can tell you: First, consider all of the variables listed above, and understand that even one of them can change the outcome of a recipe. Second, do understand that if I say a recipe worked in my kitchen — and unless you see said recipe filed under “Disasters”, that is what I am saying when I suggest you try something out — it means that I feel confident that if you make it as written, it will work for you too. From this side of your computer, it’s really the best I can offer you. Hm, did that sound frustrated? It’s true, it drives me bonkers when a recipe I consider worth laminating and framing flops in someone else’s kitchen and I only wish I could get to the bottom of it every time. I am working on that skill. I will patent it when it’s ready.
  • I only have extra-large eggs/How many ounces in a pound?/What gas mark is 350°F? etc. I’ve created a Cooking Conversions & Equivalents page that is replete with an measurement/weight converter and a list of common ingredient substitutions.
  • Why aren’t your recipes in weights/Metrics? While most of the newer recipes on the site include weights and Metrics along with cups-and-spoons measurements, most of the archives do not. They will be, in time. If there is a recipe you’d like to see done sooner (i.e. bumped up in the queue or now-now-now!), leave a comment on the post. I usually fix it within days of seeing the comment.
  • How do you measure your flour? I’m a spoon then sweep kinda gal (meaning that I gently spoon my flour into the measuring cup until it heaps over the top and then use a knife or spatula to sweep it flat). My cups generally weigh in between 4 1/4 and 4 1/2 ounces. Do you find this question utterly exacting and of dubious urgency? It is understandable, especially as there is no “wrong” way to do so. However, the method used (packing flour into cups versus scooping the cup into flour versus spooning flour into the cup, etc.) can yield cups of flour with widely differing weights, anywhere from 4 to 6 ounces! Thus it can be helpful to know the way a cookbook author/food writer/blogger did as they created their recipe. Did this stress you out because you’re not sure how every other cookbook author/food writer/blogger creates their recipes? Fret not. Most people are either scoop-and-sweepers or fluff-scoop-and-sweepers, which only produce only slightly varying weights. And unless you’re getting into large flour quantities (5 cups, 10 cups, etc.) it’s rare that a slight differential will make a dramatic difference. Happy sweeping!
  • Can I substitute ___ for ___ in this recipe? As much as I wish I were able to, it’s just not conceivable for me to rework every recipe to fit every diet limitation. If I have a hunch that it won’t cause any disasters, I will say so but the disclaimer is always that if I haven’t tested in it my kitchen, I can’t really vouch for the results. That said, if you find a substitution or adaptation of a recipe that works well please share it with us in the comments — I bet other commenters will appreciate it as much as I do.
  • Can you suggest a wine or beer pairing for your recipes? Eh. I love wine and beer with my meals but I’m never going to be the type who tells you that you can’t drink a Chinon with a salad course. I think everyone should drink what they like. Uninspired by what you’re drinking? Go to a wine tasting and find some new favorites.
  • How come you don’t have ___ recipes? Although with an ever-growing Recipe Index it can begin to look this way, the fact is that the Smitten Kitchen will never been an exhaustive recipe site. More accurately, it could be titled “things we’ve cooked that we wanted to tell you about.” Have a recipe you think we’d be all over? By all means, send it to me. I am always in search of new ideas.
  • Why don’t you include nutritional information or calorie counts in your recipes? While this is not a feature I’m interested in adding to the site, I frequently use this recipe analysis tool from to check information. It’s far more useful than any list I could add at the end of a recipe because it allows you to cut and paste whole recipes, removing or adding any ingredients you’d like and adjusting serving sizes to what you’ll eat or make.
  • How do you keep track of recipes? I use Google Documents. I have a couple documents full of categories of web links (i.e. “check out Heidi’s cauliflower popcorn“), written references to cookbook pages (i.e. “Reichl’s raspberry tart from Tender at the Bone”) and notes for myself about things I want to try (i.e. “Cinco de Mayo dinner party ideas”). It’s not the most straightforward system but it works for me, largely because Google Docs are awesome and can be accessed from any computer or my iPhone (so useful when you’re at the grocery store). I also share my cooking ideas document with my other half, so he can help me answer the “what should we have for dinner” question, even when he’s at work.
  • Can I write about one of your recipes on my site? But of course, and I appreciate it. All I ask is that you identify as the place you found the recipe (read on for why), you only share a recipe you’ve actually tried, you use your own photos and put the recipe in your own words — both a copyright requirement (read on for why) and something I am sure your readers will appreciate.
  • How do recipe copyrights work? Welcome to the most frequently asked of all the frequently asked questions in the history of food writing, or, in short, great question! Here’s the official word from the U.S. Copyright Office: “A mere listing of ingredients is not protected under copyright law. However, where a recipe or formula is accompanied by substantial literary expression in the form of an explanation or directions, or when there is a collection of recipes as in a cookbook, there may be a basis for copyright protection.” Got that? Ingredient lists? Not copyrighted. Directions and added instructions? Copyrighted. Reprinting a recipe word for word? A copyright violation. That’s about as clear as it gets. More questions? Keep reading…
  • Do I still have to list as the source of the recipe if you yourself adapted it from another source? Yes, you should, something along the lines of “Recipe from where it was adapted it from [The Name of the Cookbook, Magazine or Publication]. Why? Because I generally change almost everything about a recipe before I share it with you, and to only source my source, i.e. The Name of the Cookbook, Magazine or Publication, might end up looking nothing like what you’re adapting it from and everything like a Smitten Kitchen post. Plus, awkward, as if you cut and paste fully, you’ll might find notes near the baking time of an SK recipe about how “some little Jacob guy pulled down a stack of books and when I was cleaning them up, I forgot to check the time the cupcakes were finished” which would be especially strange coming from [The Name of the Cookbook, Magazine or Publication], yes?
  • Do I need permission to adapt a recipe from another source? No, you do not. But it is in good form to acknowledge the source.
  • What if I want to run an existing recipe on my own blog? You are welcome to run the ingredient list as-is, but you should put the directions in your own language and add your own tips. By doing this, you are creating a new piece of work, not just creating an infringed copy of what is already out there. [See above: Can I write about one of your recipes on my site?]
  • “Deb, you use the phrase ‘Adapted from’ in many of your recipe sources. What does this mean?” In most cases, what it means is that I am being gracious. In the vast majority of recipes (the exceptions being where I’ve used the phrase “Adapted, barely” and very early recipes on the site, where I was less versed in copyright etiquette and am slowly getting things into proper form), I’ve changed many, many things — ingredient levels, some mixing instructions, cooking temperatures and times, added several notes and extra tips — enough that the recipe is legitimately “new”. But, out of respect for the place where I started my hunt for the dish, and out of a stubborn belief that it’s in bad form to pretend you were the first one to ever rub butter into flour, I like to give shout-outs to places that got me started on the path to what I wanted to achieve in the kitchen.
  • What happened to the Baby Food site? For about half a year, there was a sporadically updated Baby Food sub-blog in the universe. Its archives are still up and feel free to use them if you’re looking for a place to get started. However, the “baby” in question is now three, and kicked the baby food habit shortly after he started it, so we got into solids quickly and I stopped having new recipes for the section. While I still make applesauce all of the time (he’s a junkie), the swift move away from baby food was a bit of a philosophical matter, too. My goal is for all of us to eat the same meal and while I don’t at all mind his influence (for example, we eat a lot more sweet potatoes, broccoli and other preschooler-approved vegetables than we did before and I use a lighter hand with the hot sauce), he eats what we eat. And that you can find right on the front page.
  • Your kid must be such an amazing eater… You’re hilarious! While I haven’t even the slimmest desire to use the site to taunt my kid for having fairly-normal-for-a-preschooler food preferences (plain buttered noodles three meals a day, please), I also don’t want to give out that impression that just because I cook for a living that I have some sainted preschooler who has never lost it over a fleck of parsley too many on his carrots. Be assured, he is normal, which is to say perfectly imperfect, and we’d have him no other way.

Kitchen Stuff

  • I am creating my wedding registry/setting up my first kitchen, what do you think I need? Updated 12/09: I finally created a guide to the most practical, beloved items in my kitchen, just for people like you. [Build Your Own Smitten Kitchen]
  • Where’d you get those spice containers? Everything you’d ever want to know about the new and old ones, right here.
  • How do you keep your stove so clean? The first thing I need to tell you is that the idea of anyone, anywhere mistaking me for a neat/clean freak is hilarious. I have my moments of obsessiveness (cough), but for the most part, storm out of the kitchen when I’m done cooking and cross my fingers that this will be the day that it up and cleans itself. Eventually, someone caves. And while I am all for using the lowest level of chemical interference needed in your cleaning, I am also for getting the job done. If you’ve got this kind of dinky white stove and it never gets clean, I recommend the single tiniest drop of Soft Scrub With Bleach on a wet sponge; it alone will clean the entire stove. It is a game-changer. It may even accidentally convince people you’re not a slob, and what’s the harm in that?
  • What kind of counters do you have? Like the above, this is a question that makes me laugh every time I receive it because I need to tell you: they’re plastic. We live in a rental building, and they’re just about the cheapest counter the landlords could put down. They’re, in fact, so ugly in person that I almost didn’t take the apartment because of them. It’s bad enough to have them on the counters, but up the walls too? My eyes! But then I discovered that they didn’t photograph so terribly (this was the first recipe photographed in the then-new kitchen) and decided to grin and bear it. And you would not believe how often someone who has asked me who my “counter guy” is. (I take it they don’t mean this guy.) Nevertheless, I did some research and found the source of this lovely countertop, baby-plus-Crisco-can not included in purchase.


  • I want to start my own blog, how do I do it? There are dozens of different free blog platforms out there these days, however I have personally been most impressed with WordPress, as it seems to make it easiest to get started. Your blog will be up in seconds.
  • How do I build an audience? If you enjoy what you’re doing, are excited about sharing your knowledge with others and can convey that to readers, an audience will without doubt follow.
  • Deb, that answer was a cop-out. I realize it sounds rather twee — “do what you love, and lovely things will follow!” — but the further along I get in this whole blogging thing (I’ve been at this a decade; related: I am old) the more true it feels true to me. If your site doesn’t reflect you — your viewpoint, your interests, your preferences — but instead reflects someone else’s idea of what a blog should be, you’re never going to enjoy it, it will always be a chore (and don’t you have enough of those?), and your readers will figure this out. Don’t be afraid to challenge the norms; maybe you’ve got this radical idea for a food blog without photos; maybe you find recipe headnotes tiresome; maybe you don’t want to write about your grandmother’s cooking — you can do this. You should do this. I would read it.
  • So, will you link me? Can we exchange links? My Good Reads list is published directly from my RSS reader. My hope is that generating the page this way will mean that it is always an accurate reflection of what I am reading these days, sharing sites you might enjoy as well. So, link exchanges are out of the question (and you shouldn’t do them either, frankly), however if you have a new or even established site that you want to bring to my attention, by all means, please share it with me. I love finding new, excellent sites to read.

    Further unsolicited advice: Wait until you have more than a few posts up to pass the link to your site around. When I click over to a site and there’s only one or two entries (and one is a “Welcome! Soon I will be writing more here.”) I learn nothing about the site. It’s far more fun to have a month or three of posts to dig into, because when you’re into a new site, you want to keep reading. The other advantage to this is that it gives you time to get your blogging sea legs, to get real comfortable with the format before inviting the world’s gaze.


  • Can you tell me more about The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook? Thank you! I’ve put everything I could possibly imagine you needing to know about the book over here. Whee.
  • Are you writing another book? No, I am not, I’m honestly not even considering it. I know that a lot of authors finish one book project and jump right into the next one, and I think that’s wonderful for other people, but it doesn’t work for me. I need more space between projects, and that last one, it was a beast, in part because it took me so long to write and in part because people like you received it so enthusiastically, I’ve spent the last year visiting 32 cities (and the UK!) and having a blast but I’m also a little exhausted. What I’d really like to do right now is go back to just (psst: It was never “just” for me) being a blogger. I want to be here, doing this because it still the most fun part of what I do. If I were to do anything else right now, it would probably involve a little freelancing (but not so much that I’d have to be away from here).


  • Is this site called Smitten Kitten? No. Smitten Kitten is a store in Minneapolis that sells a different kind of … treats. Please don’t Google if you are at work. I was informed by no fewer than two lovely people that I’d met on book tour that they’d made a “clerical error” when telling their bible study group about this cooking site that led to arched eyebrows and awkward conversations. I want to spare everyone this.
  • Are you a vegetarian? I thought you were and then you posted a short ribs recipe and I was confused. No, not a vegetarian. Not in the least. However, I was a vegetarian for about 15 years (a very opinionated 13 year-old, you see), coming back into the carnivorous fold in 2004. That said, all of that time definitely changed my orientation towards eating; I generally consider meat a side dish and the number of vegetarian recipes on this site greatly outmatch those for meateaters.
  • Do you still have that tiny kitchen? Yes, I do, we haven’t moved and I don’t particularly want to. I mean, I’m not overly attached to the apartment we live in now (it’s a 1.5 bedroom rental, it was never intended as our forever home) but I like so much about it, a central location, decent light, an absolutely reasonable (uh, for NYC) rent and a kitchen that works for me, that I see little reason to uproot ourselves just to have a slightly larger place and pay so, so much more. Would I one day like to buy a place and gut renovate a kitchen to make it just perfect for me, me, me? I mean, who wouldn’t, right? But, as long as it was in NYC, I don’t think it would ever be “big” and I just don’t think you live here if, above all, you value space. What I’d rather have is a kitchen with a window and a view.
  • You bake so many cakes and cookies. Do you weigh 300 pounds? Nope, though I don’t think anyone is going to mistake me for malnourished in this lifetime! Something that is less clear on the site is the distinction that we make between rich and healthier foods. Healthier foods are what we eat on a daily basis at home. The desserts and rich braised short ribs and macaronis with cheese are almost always reserved for dinner parties or parties where desserts have been requested. I’m not saying that this is what others should do but this system, for the most part, works for us. Biggest disasters? Last minute party cancellations leaving us home with a pan of chocolate brownies. That we try to hide in the freezer. Only to learn that brownies taste better frozen. Sigh.
  • Do you have a favorite food? Artichokes. Pommes frites. Bourbon. (Yes, bourbon counts as food in the Smitten Kitchen.)
  • Where else do you write? As a freelancer in a recession, I write for whomever wants to pay me — ha. But really, I have written for a slew of publications and a simple Google-ing of “Deb/orah Perelman” will no likely yield a few clips, most of them incredibly boring. The food-related clips are sometimes noted in these entries.
  • I am coming to NYC — where should I eat? In May 2011, I began sharing a sporadically updated list of foods I’d recently become obsessed with in New York City. See: Deb’s New York.
  • Can you give me restaurant recommendations for Rome or Paris? I know you love both cities! There are lots of Rome details and tips over here, and Paris ones here. The Paris ones are several years old and any recommendations should be taken with a grain of fleur de sel.
  • Finally, do you have a nagging question? I promise, I don’t bite and I will almost always answer, either in the comment sections of posts or over email. Good cooking questions keep me on my toes. Plus, I rather enjoy talking about things beyond cooking, too, and have found that sometimes the most random questions begin the most interesting conversations.

[Last updated: 10/23/13]

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98 comments on Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Leslie Lynch

    I like to have the photo with the recipe but agree about the toner drain. When I really want a photo with the recipe I print the recipe, take a screen shot of the photo, print that and then cut and paste it (actually, with scissors and tape!) to the recipe. A little time consuming, but If people really care, it works. Love your site. Thanks!

  2. Sylvia Henderson

    Dear Ms. Perelman, Love, love, love so many of your combinations/recipes. TY for some new twists on old faves (pink lemonade bars, salted brown butter crispy treats, etc.). This may seem silly, but so many of your baked items are in 8×8 pans. I’m often baking for larger groups and favor 9×13 preparations rather than two pans. Can most of your recipes be doubled without sacrificing the quality of the finished product? Sometimes a specific crust to curd ratio (your lemon bars!) really makes a difference. Or the center doesn’t bake up before the outer edge is over-baked. You get my where I’m going with this I’m sure. Please…do share your thoughts on this.

    1. deb

      Thank you so much. Almost every 8×8 recipe can be doubled in a 9×13. The result will be slightly thicker, but not significantly. The baking time is usually just barely more for cakes, not more than 10 minutes additional.

  3. Tasha

    Hello and thank you for so many wonderful recipes. My question is – weren’t you going to do some videos. I saw the first one and thought it stated you were signed up for 8 more or something like that. Am I just missing them on your site, I looked and cant seem to find any. Again thank you.

    1. deb

      Thank you. We did film 4 more Food Network episodes; I don’t have a release date for them but I should know more very soon. And thanks! I’m glad you’re interested.

  4. Abby

    Hello and thank you for so many beautiful recipes I am looking forward to trying so many of them. I was wondering, since I am interested in starting a blog in the Caribbean, what app do you use for your recipes? Yours is by far the cleanest one I’ve seen and the one I like the most so I’m hoping its one that is available for use (or there is someone I could commission to produce something similar)

  5. Jackie Hayter

    Love your recipes and especially your photos Deb.

    I’ve just remodelled my kitchen & want to buy 3 of your full-size photos for my wall. When I tried to line them up on my desktop to see which 3 look best together, it wouldn’t allow me to do so & I was left with a white icon that says “spacer.gif” below it.

    Now I can’t delete the icon from the desktop. Any ideas?

    Also, is there a way to view a grouping without this problem?

    Thanks in advance,

    1. deb

      Thank you. Not sure why it would happen or what program you were using to line them up but it’s possible you accidentally right clicked and saved an image (a gif is an image). You should be able to drag it to the trash, like any other image.

      1. Jackie Hayter

        Thanks for your quick answer Deb. I use Safari if that’s any help (not computer literate, as you can tell.) I just clicked & dragged the photo to my desk top, where it turned into the blank gif. I can drag the blank image to the trash, but it won’t go in. Keeps bouncing back.

        Is there a way to view chosen photos in a grouping, to get an idea what they will look like together? Do I need a special program?

  6. Kat

    Hi Deb. I love your blog, but as of today I am getting really annoying video ads that make it impossible to scroll the page. They are constantly adjusting my spot on the page and they auto play so you have to listen to ads about dog treats. I’ve been a reader for years and today was so frustrated while trying to just read a recipe.

    1. Rose

      me too :( I’m devastated. When Epicurious went this way I left, hardly ever go there now. It makes it too slow to navigate around. Smitten Kitchen has been my go-to for so long now that I’m not even sure what other sites I would like!

      1. deb

        I’m sorry there was a problem with the video ad. It should be resolved. I was on vacation and not paying as close attention as usual. You can always let me know if an ad is being problematic and we will remove it.

    2. deb

      Sorry about the ad trouble. It should be fixed now. I was on vacation and not paying as close attention as usual. Do let me know if it continues to be problematic on your end.

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  9. Bunny

    Love your blog, and I’m interested in your cookbooks. Do the Kindle versions contain all of the pictures and content contained in the hard copy versions?

  10. Samantha

    I tried making the Wild Mushroom Shepherds Pie today from your new cook book and the mashed potatoes and a pit and got covered with liquid so it’s not that pretty. I followed the recipe and suggestions of what I may have gone wrong?

  11. Suzanne


    I’ve now seen you on both your book tours, but still have a question I don’t think you’ve addressed anywhere else yet.

    When I cook, I hardly ever take the time to measure. Instead, I eyeball measurements for all of the ingredients (spices, amount of onion, oil, cups of vegetables, etc.). I hate measuring and find that it takes more time and dirties more dishes. For me, it’s just not practical. (The only exception is baking. My mom taught me that you always have to measure when making a cake.) Do you measure everything? Do you not find it tedious? Is there a difference in your measuring style when you’re cooking for yourself versus working on a recipe for


  12. Hello Deb:

    Love your recipes and just purchased your new cookbook; have both now!!
    Have you updated your favourite New York Restaurants lately (know this is not a priority).
    If you had to suggest your favourite:
    pizza place
    deli spot
    bagel spot
    chinese spot
    sushi spot
    hamburger spot
    high end resturant (that is worth it)
    medium priced
    low priced

    What would they be?

  13. Hello! Longtime follower, first-time commenter. :) I’m starting a food blog of my own, and am curious if you favor a particular WordPress recipe plugin.

  14. Karen Kulberg

    Just tried your recipe for olive oil and rosemary shortbread. Turned out well and I loved the flavor. How can I adjust the recipe to make it into a slightly chewy bar cookie? Thank you.

  15. JamieinPDX

    Deb, I feel as though you must have posted a list of favorite cookbooks by now (or at least cookbooks you use often/are inspired by). I’m trying to keep our cookbook cache relevant. He and I are both about to turn 41, tired after long workdays, etc. I’ve thrown out a lot of beautiful cookbooks that were simply impractical–too much prep, too fussy in terms of instruction or ingredients, or too “niche” (guilty of keeping a lovely edition of Vintage Cakes). We love your latest cookbook so much for this reason–it applies to us even though we don’t have children. We also find the CI collection reliable, if time-consuming, but we love Carla Snyder’s one-pan cookbooks despite her cooking being (a little) time-consuming…the pay-off is worth it. Also, we have one or two other cookbooks which we rarely dip into for the well of inspiration, but they’re largely forgettable for the most part. They can’t be that good if I can’t recall their names this instant. I just checked out Good to the Grain from the library and am working through it. I suddenly thought I needed recommendations from Deb…you never disappoint us!

    XO from Portland, OR, nexus of the the Left Coast

  16. T. I.

    Do you have any way-or future plan-to allow us to SAVE recipe ideas that we see on your site? Like staring them/heart them/save them…I often see stuff on the site or stuff pops up that looks great, but then i forget about it until I stumble across it again by chance.
    i use your site as my go-to, have both your books and LOVE them. I have a notepad where is scribble ideas down, and i know you use google docs. BUT it would be great to be able to archive and keep them all on the site(like Fodd52-but not)
    Thanks, and you’re incredible!
    Many thanks for all the years of delicious ideas and meals I’ve shared with loved ones.


  17. Judith Trumbo

    Hope this isn’t posted in bold on your website someplace, but is there a standard number of servings (or serves x#) for your recipes unless otherwise stated?

  18. Katy

    I’d like to change my email address in my subscription to your WONDERFUL site. I can’t find a way to do this. Shall I just start a new subscription with my new email, & then cancel my original subscription?
    Thanks, Katy (in Victoria, BC)

    1. deb

      If they’re Instagram links, they might just need updates (my account was hacked a few years ago and they couldn’t restore everything). Or are there other photos not working for you?

  19. sheri Whiteman

    Is there a way to save favorite recipes directly to your website, so I don’t have to print all the ones I like–which is a LOT!!

  20. Susan Lichtenstein

    I love your stuff! I wish your website had a function where I could save my favorite recipes so I can remember which ones I particularly wanted to make.

  21. Hi, thank you for a great site (having just joined). I wanted to know if there is a way to tag our favorite recipes and thus have them saved onsite. Is that possible?


  22. gloria

    Hi – I had lots of figs and mixed the filling for your “fig Newtons” on Monday, finally on Sat. I’m ready to mix the cookie dough-
    The fig mixture looks good still – can I still use it? I know you wrote the filling was to be used w/in 24 hours.

    Love your site !

  23. Hi!

    I love your blog and your recipes. I would like to read every single post, starting from the beginning and making my way to today. What’s the best way to do this? I’ve tried starting from your current post and working backwards but if I click on a recipe and then try to go back to where I was, I’m taken back to your most recent post. Thanks!

  24. Susan Ulevitch

    I have an old recipe of my mother’s for Banana Cake. It say to use “Spry, Mazola or Wesson Oil” …. what do you suggest for substitute for the 21st Century?
    I make a Passover cake with Hollywood Safflower Oil; would that be good? Or butter like I use in my banana bread recipe?
    Lost this recipe and now found, by my brother … anxious to make it and see if as good as I remember it growing up 70 years ago:-)
    Thank you, Susan

  25. Jolien Barresi

    I am making your “tiny but intense chocolate cake” for my daughter in laws birthday this Friday. How far in advance can I make this cake and should I refrigerate it? I could only buy a 7.5″ spring form pan. How can I adapt the recipe to this pan? And can you suggest a brand of semi sweet chocolate to use? Can I substitute “dark chocolate?
    Sugar snap pea sald with miso dressing is everyone’s favorite.

    1. deb

      It doesn’t need refrigeration. It should keep well for a few days. If you’re using a 7.5″, it will be thinner but can still work, of course. Semisweet and “dark” are often used interchangeable. Technically speaking “semisweet” should be in the 60s % and “bittersweet” in the 70s % but it’s not an official standard among chocolate makers.

  26. Dani Walker

    I love your recipes and have been a fan for a very long time – never had a miss with one of your recipes!

    I came here to buy some prints of ingredients to put up in my kitchen, as I recalled the store having a lovely selection of them a few years ago, but it looks as though both the link the SmugMug and the link to Getty Images are defunct.

    Do you plan to reactivate those? Is there anywhere else we can buy the wonderful prints?


    1. deb

      First, thank you. Sorry, no, I need to update those links. I don’t use either anymore, but when things get back to normal (ha), I’d like to look for a new print shop setup. Btw, feel free to email me and I can probably send you a jpg of the photo you’d hoped for (

  27. Dani

    Generally you do a great job of not assuming I know what I am doing when you write your recipes. Thank you! But you do get rather vague when referring to pan sizes. Just what do you consider, for example, a medium pot (versus a large or small pot)? Could you please post a guide somewhere? (Maybe on the conversion page: Medium Pot = about 5 quarts, Medium fry pan = 7 inches.) Thank you for all you do. You have given me the courage to venture beyond canned soup casseroles (and we love your green bean casserole with crispy onions)!

    1. Emma

      I came here with this exact same question. I would love to support you directly for all of the joy that your work has brought to my life, but I don’t collect physical cookbooks. I wish you had a Patreon or similar that I could sign up for!

      1. deb

        Thank you! So, since you asked, there are a few ways you can support Smitten Kitchen:
        * Keep coming here and finding our new favorite thing to cook. When you do, tell all of your friends where to find the recipe. 💚
        * You can, if you’re so inclined, buy my cookbooks — for yourself or for cooking-inclined friends. 🤗 I’ve written two and have a third coming out in 2022.
        * Consider turning off your ad blocker on SK, if you use one. I don’t do sponsored content or don’t accept free things for mentions. I earn money through ads, books sales, speaking gigs, and freelancing. And I’ve always had far, far fewer ad spaces on my site than most because I wanted you, the reader, to know you were the most important thing, and weren’t just a vessel for ad income generation.
        * Subscribe to the Weekly Digest, which rounds up a few good things I’ve read, what’s new that week, and each week has seasonal menu-planning theme.
        * Subscribe to my YouTube channel and watch the videos, if that’s your thing; it really helps.
        * Follow Smitten Kitchen socials — Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or hey, even TikTok because SK is very “cool” (okay, literally nobody believes this)

  28. Carolina Faulkner

    Hi Deb!
    I use your recipes for my personal chef clients quite often. I am transitioning to a career as a copy editor; I am three-quarters of the way through a copy editing program, and I am looking to expand my professional experiences as a recipe tester. As a side note, I have learned so much from all the examples and mentions about you, your blog, and on recipe writing from Dianne Jacob’s book- Will Write for Food! I would be thrilled to work with you!


  29. Carolina Faulkner

    Hi Deb!
    I use your recipes for my personal chef clients quite often. I am transitioning to a career as a copy editor; I am three-quarters of the way through a copy editing program, and I am looking to expand my professional experiences as a recipe tester. As a side note, I have learned so much from all the examples and mentions about you, your blog, and on recipe writing from Dianne Jacob’s book- Will Write for Food! I would be thrilled to work with you!


  30. Maya

    I’m sorry if you’ve already answered this! I really want to send my son some cookies or brownies for his birthday. He’s in college several states away and we haven’t seen him since last January due to COVID (sad face emoji). Do you have suggestions for packing so they arrive intact and edible? Thanks!

  31. Hi Deb! Question…
    Is there anything in place that allows someone (me) to keep my favorite recipes of yours in some kind of a virtual recipe box? I use a “save” feature on the NYT recipe app and it’s awesome! That way I can peruse my favorites before meal planning for the week.
    Love your newsletter, love your photos and recipes…

    1. deb

      I haven’t seen a feature like this for the software I use (WordPress) but it’s absolutely the most frequently requested feature here (I have about 300 emails about it over the years). I’d love to find a solution!

  32. Ann

    I make your sprinkle cookies very often. They are always a hit. Someone suggested I try mini chocolate chips instead of sprinkles. Is this a good idea? Would you roll the balls in mini chips or put mini chips in the dough before rolling.? Thank you.

    1. deb

      I never quite know how the chips will melt. It should work in theory but it might take a lot more time for them to cool/set without become a big (delicious) chocolate smudge.

  33. Katherine C


    First of all, I found your blog a decade ago & *cannot* believe I’ve followed it that long! Time flies when you try amazing recipes on the regular. I just adore your writing & the variety of food.

    I am dating someone who has celiac. If he eats wheat, he has horrible pain & flu-like symptoms all day. What is a good substitute for wheat flour? There are so many suggestions on the internet, I am not sure what to try.

    I am also wondering if you have a suggestion for how to make a roux without wheat flour. I hope it’s possible because your mushroom lasagna is freaking fantastic.

    Thanks so much,

  34. Claire

    Hey Deb! I’m on a shopping adventure for a food processor- what kind do you have and do you like it? What specs would you look for in a quality but not-break-the-bank machine?
    You may have answered this elsewhere but I couldn’t find an equipment specific FAQ, so apologies if this is a repeat.

  35. jessica

    i wish you had a page where we could comment on the recipes in the books. the cookbook page doesn’t have comments, but i want you and everyone to know that the peach and sour cream pancakes from the first book are AMAZING! and i can’t wait to make them again 😋

  36. Alison George

    Hey! New reader. Loving your attitude shining through these answers. Would love to see updates! It’s says 2013 was last update? ❤️

  37. Terri Lyons


    First I would like to thank you for so many great recipes on your site and in your books. You are one of my first go-to places for a recipe.

    I have just read that you are coming out with another cookbook and I wanted to know if you use home cooks as testers before publishing. Just so you get a heads up of questions that may arise. If so, I would love to be one. I’ve done a bit of testing for other bloggers/sites and have fallen in love with it.

    Good luck with your next book. I’m very much looking forward to it,
    All the best. Stay safe,

  38. Sophia

    Hi Deb,
    I hope you are enjoying the New Year! I can’t thank you enough for making such delicious food possible! Each of the recipes I’ve made since finding your blog has been a keeper, and I’ve learned so much about cooking and baking from reading your posts. I absolutely love your braised short rib recipe, and it reminded me of a mouth-watering dish of oxtail I had tried at an Argentinian restaurant a few years ago. I’ve been too intimidated to attempt it on my own, and I was wondering if you would ever consider creating a recipe for oxtail? Do you have any thoughts on this cut of meat?

  39. Tave

    Thank you for the copyright information. I write for a couple of food blogs and have written two cookbooks (needed published work for my resume). I’ve always given credit to the person responsible for my inspiration. But it hasn’t always been clear what is right or wrong in that department.

  40. Meg

    I have been enjoying cooking with you for many, many years now, and when I’m planning my weekly meals, I often stroll over here to find something tasty that’s in season or that I happen to have in my fridge. I was startled to discover today that you don’t really have any fish recipes on your site and now I’m beyond curious – are you not into fish? Totally cool if not, I was just fascinated by the prospect that you might not be.

    Thanks for so many amazing recipes – I made my wedding cake from your celebration cake recipe (twice – once for my pandemic wedding and once this weekend to celebrate our one year anniversary!), amongst many, many others. You are awesome!

    1. deb

      Thank you for reading! I am *lightly* into fish, but, as you guessed, not very. I prefer shellfish — oysters, clams (see also), mussels (see also), sometimes lobster, shrimp, but only in very specific ways. Basically, if it’s not kosher and can be bathed in butter, I’m in.

  41. Dear Ms. Perelman, love your many combinations / recipes. TY for new twists on old fave (pink lemonade bars, crispy brown salted butter, etc.). This may seem silly, but most of your baked goods are in 8 × 8 pans. I usually bake for large groups and prefer 9 × 13 arrangements rather than two pans. Can your many recipes be doubled without sacrificing the quality of the finished product? Sometimes a certain amount of crust to curd really makes a difference. Even if the center does not bake before the outer edge is too baked.

    1. deb

      I’d say 90% of them will easily double in a 9×13 pan. Sometimes it’s a little thicker but I don’t think anyone minds. [You didn’t ask, but I gravitate towards 8×8 pans because they hold the same volume as 9-inch round, and just over half that of 9×13. I try to pick a few ‘logical’ pan sizes and stick to them for all recipes here, so the recipes will have the best chance of being useful to the largest number of people.]

  42. Beki

    You pour so much time and energy into this blog and I love it, do you have a patreon account or something so I can buy you a coffee or something?

  43. Sal Lombardo

    Hi! My wife is a super fan of all your recipes and teachings and I’m a super fan of eating it all! She really wants a signed copy of your new book Smitten Kitchen Keepers. Is it possible to purchase a signed copy? Thank you!

  44. Susan Newmeyer

    I just bought Smitten Kitchen Keepers on Amazon. Pages 31-46 are upside down and backwards. You may want to check with your publisher. I’m not sure if all copies have that issue or if I’m the lucky one.

  45. JP

    Will you please add a function to save favorite recipes? I currently have to save them to Pinterest but would prefer just to come to your site and find them.
    Thanks for considering this. I know I not alone in hoping for this to happen.

  46. Katie

    Hello! I have read allll the FAQs and the recipe index and so I am hoping I have not missed something obvious somewhere. I was wondering if you had advice/recipes/tools for eating your food as a solo person. I’d love to try desserts, for example, but only need 1-2 servings. It would be amazing if there was a category for this in the index, or perhaps an advice page for how to cut recipes down to a single or double serving. If the answer is “do all the maths yourself, Katie!” then I will humbly take it, but I wanted to check. Thanks for all your work, and your thorough recipe index in particular. :)

    1. deb

      There are two approaches: 1. Of course, cut all recipes down in half or quarters. It’s helful to know that half a 9×13-inch pan is roughly the same as an 8-inch square; half of that might fit in the bottom of a loaf pan or toaster tray. 2. Or you can make whole amounts and get great at freezing individual portions. Once a lasagna, for example is cool, you can cut it into portions and wrap them well and have your meals all ready. Soup or a stew might go in quart bags with the air pressed out.