Jill Fergus

I began cooking as a child and feeding family and friends has always been my passion. My kitchen is a busy one. I love to experiment and embrace the kitchen successes along with the accidents. I love to cook and collaborate with friends. I am seasonally driven (I love the farmer's market!), avoid processed foods and focus on whole and organic (mostly plant-based, but not exclusively) choices. In my home, my family has a variety of eating preferences from plant-based, gluten free, refined sugar free to full on omnivore. My goal is to create dishes to please all, either as is or with minor adjustments to the recipe. Where did "Feed the Swimmers" come from? When my kids began swimming competitively and growing into young adults, I realized, even more, how important nutrition is to performance, growth and overall health and emotional well being. Everyone (including the coach during travel meets) would ask "what are you feeding the swimmers?" This has become my mantra whenever I'm in my kitchen cooking for family and the friends I love.

 

 

Joe’s Favorite Black and White Birthday Cake

Joe’s Favorite Black and White Birthday Cake

My policy is everyone gets a homemade cake of their choosing every year for their birthday. I always ask, about two weeks before their bigs days. My kids do change their minds now and then. Frequently one will be popular for a few years, then their tastes change and a new request comes my way. Joe has never wavered. Never. I’ve tried. The kids have tried. He only wants his Black and White. I’ve been making this cake for Joe every year for the last 22 years. Here it is. We’re ready to share!

 

Joe’s Favorite Black and White Birthday Cake

(Chocolate cake recipe adapted from Gale Gand)

Cake ingredients-

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (it should bend, but not be mushy and lose its shape)

3 cups light brown sugar, packed

4 eggs, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

3/4 cup valrhona cocoa powder, unsweetened

1 Tbs baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

3 cups sifted cake flour

1 1/3 cups sour cream

1 1/2 cups hot, strong dark roast, coffee (I use a French roast)

Method-

1- Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour 3-9” cake pans. Cut 9” rounds of parchment and press into bottom of pans, then flip paper over and press in again so greased side is facing up. Gently sprinkle with a touch more flour. Set aside.

2- Fit stand mixer with a whisk attachment or use a hand beater and cream butter and sugar until light and smooth, scrape down sides of mixing bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.

3-Lower speed and mix in vanilla, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Add 1/2 cup flour alternating with 1/2 sour cream and continue until it’s all in.

4- Drizzle in hot coffee while continuing to mix until smooth. The batter will be thin.

5- Divide equally between the three prepared baking dishes and bake for about 35 minutes (time will vary oven to oven) until tops are firm and a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean, with just a few crumbs.

6- Allow to cool in pan 8-10 minutes and invert onto a parchment lined cooking rack until completely cooled. Only frost once completely cooled.

Joe’s Favorite Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Frosting Ingredients-

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup cream cheese, room temperature

2 heaping cups confectioners sugar, sifted

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp sea salt

Method-

1- In a mixture fit with the whisk attachment, or a hand mixer, combine butter and cream cheese until fully combined and smooth.

2- 1/2 cup or so at a time, add sifted confectioners sugar and best until light and creamy, add vanilla and continue beating u til combined.

3- Pipe and spread on your favorite cake or cupcakes.

4- Lick the spoon.

My New Favorite Veggie Burger

My New Favorite Veggie Burger

Smashed Lemony Potatoes with Greek yogurt and Feta Dressing

Smashed Lemony Potatoes with Greek yogurt and Feta Dressing