AS: Variations. It’s an unusual title, and an unusual cookbook. Please tell our readers more about it.
DS: The idea of this cookbook is to have some fun by showing how versatile recipes can be, all the while staying true to my healthy and simple way of cooking. Each recipe showcases two different ways of either cooking or serving. We learn that recipes don’t have to stay within their original boundaries. It’s all about creativity and flair. A main dish can be recreated as an appetizer, and a batch of cookies can become a large cookie cake. The possibilities are endless! It actually took me a while to come up with the title. I wanted something that explained the two-dish concept. In the end I felt that Variations was short, to the point, and explained it in one word. It just worked!!
AS: This is your third cookbook, after The Silver Platter: Simple to Spectacular and The Silver Platter: Simple Elegance. Can you share some of the feedback you’ve gotten on those two bestsellers?
DS: I think the biggest compliment is how so many people have told me they are using my books for staple recipes in their homes. They are turning to them for easy, healthy, and reliable recipes. Hearing that is so rewarding.
AS: You use the word “simple” often in your cookbooks, and yet the photos show such gorgeous foods. What’s the secret?
DS: The only secret is simplicity. I don’t like to fuss in the kitchen and I use the word “simple” because I truly mean it. My dishes are simple to make, healthy, and quick to prepare. Simple, healthy, and quick meals can still look and taste amazing.
As: Here’s a tough one: Did you have any funny culinary disasters while developing recipes for your cookbooks?
DS: Of course! Here’s one: I had prepared my Corned Beef Biscotti for a photo shoot. My mom came over and before I told her it was meat she was about to eat, she thought the corned beef pieces were Craisins! It was pretty funny!
AS: With so many recipes — and two variations of each! — what are some of your personal favorites?
DS: No question: I love the Panko-Topped Kale Salad, Sesame Crusted London Broil, and Low-Fat Ginger Biscotti! Yum!