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My Beauty Uniform: Deb Perelman

My Beauty Uniform: Deb Perelman

Though she needs no introduction, Deb is the force behind the beloved food site Smitten Kitchen and two bestselling cookbooks, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and Smitten Kitchen Everyday. I recently visited her at home in the East Village, where we chatted about both food and beauty. (And yes, she was every bit as warm and funny as she is on her site!) Here, she shares the cold and creamy moisturizer she swears by, the best eye pencil for brown eyes and the three easy recipes where you can’t go wrong…

My Beauty Uniform: Deb Perelman

First, let’s talk beauty. What skincare products do you swear by?
My skin routine is simple. Most days I take my makeup off at the end of the day with Bioderma Micellar Water and follow that with moisturizer.

Which moisturizer?
At night, I use CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream, and I really like it. Every so often I think, I should try this really fancy thing. Six years ago, I bought a jar of La Mer, which my husband calls “lame-r,” which is fair given the price, and I was excited for it to change my life, but I actually found myself cheating on it with the CeraVe.

And your daytime moisturizer?
For 20 years, I’ve been using Olay Complete Normal UV 365 Daily Moisture Cream with sunscreen. It feels really good on my skin — cold and creamy, but not too thick.

My Beauty Uniform: Deb Perelman

I’m curious: When in your life have you felt really beautiful?
I felt good when I was pregnant, since I was freed of stressing about my body for a while. I have this big old belly and I love it! I felt happy and glowy. I also love beaching in the summer. You know, when you’re sweaty and hot and sandy all day, and then you take a shower and put on a sundress to go out to dinner on a summer evening and you feel so good.

My Beauty Uniform: Deb Perelman

I know exactly what you’re talking about! On summer days — or any days — what makeup do you use?
I always put cover-up under my eyes because I have baggy undereyes. I love Tarte Clay Stick Foundation. It lasts forever and never feels dry. Then I either do NARS Laguna Bronzer or Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush, which is a really pale pink and looks natural.

How about your eyes?
I have Boy Brow from Glossier like everyone else in New York. And I’ll put on Laura Mercier eye pencil in ‘Stormy Gray.’ It’s great with brown eyes. Lastly, I have a mascara that I LOVE. It’s called — are you ready for this? — It’s So Big. It never smudges which is really important because my eyes are watery.

My Beauty Uniform: Deb Perelman

We’re really into lipstick at Cup of Jo. Do you have colors you like?
If I’m running out of the apartment, I like those Kiehl’s buttersticks in Touch of Berry. It’s a moisturizing lip color. I also have a sheer red lipstick that I wear to restaurants or my son’s guitar recitals — NARS Gipsy. A few years ago, I walked into NARS and said there is no red lipstick that works for me. I tried everything on in the store until we found this.

My Beauty Uniform: Deb Perelman

Now let’s talk food. People around the world make your recipes. What are your most popular?
You can’t go wrong with spaghetti and meatballs. You can’t go wrong with caramel pretzel blondies. You can’t go wrong with chocolate peanut butter cup cookies.

My Beauty Uniform: Deb Perelman

I know you and your husband enjoy going to restaurants. What do you do with your hair?
My favorite splurge is a blowout. That’s my vice. I can get a lot of mileage out of them. I’m completely disgusting all week — I go to the gym and am cook all day — but on Friday, I’ll properly clean up and go to Drybar. They’re always playing a movie like 27 Dresses, and I sit there drinking a glass of bad champagne thinking, I don’t watch enough romcoms.

My Beauty Uniform: Deb Perelman

Speaking of rituals, what are five ingredients you always have in your kitchen?
I always have lemons. I love leeks. Rice is one of the few things that my really picky daughter always agrees to. Good salted European butter. Eggs.

I have that thing where cilantro tastes like soap. Are there any foods you really don’t like?
I’m a closet picky eater. I’ve never been into salmon. I don’t like beets. It was a rough couple years when every restaurant had a beet and goat cheese salad on the menu. I love love love snacking on cheese but I don’t love cheese on top of things and inside sandwiches. We all have our things!

My Beauty Uniform: Deb Perelman

Another tricky food area: Any tips for taking kids to restaurants?
Well, obviously you’re not going to bring them to Daniel. But most restaurants are fairly kid friendly if you go early. I don’t care if we used to be cool, we’re going to dinner at 5 p.m. now, okay?

Pop quiz! Six people are coming over for dinner tonight, what do you serve?
Skillet pizza. I love turning anything into a dinner party food. I’ll make mussels and fries and a big salad. I like making things that people might not think of making on a week night at home. I’d definitely have people over for French onion soup.

My Beauty Uniform: Deb Perelman

After all these years, how do keep your passion for cooking?
My rule is that I don’t cook on weekends. We either go out to eat or have cereal. That way, I start to miss cooking and want to get back to it on Monday. I need that pendulum swing.

Any other advice for people?
Yes! There’s this idea people have that ‘I need to learn to cook,’ but just pick one thing. Learn to roast chicken or learn to make a great pasta sauce. And focus on the things you can’t get good versions of. The delivery you order and it tastes like trash? Cook that!

My Beauty Uniform: Deb Perelman

Thank you so much, Deb! We love you.

P.S. More beauty uniforms, including my aunt Lulu and chef Samin Nosrat.

(Photos of Deb and her family at home by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. Recipe photos from Smitten Kitchen. Family vacation photo from Deb’s Instagram.)

Note: If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We recommend only products we genuinely like. Thank you so much.

  1. meg says...

    I’m another long-time die-hard Deb fan. I’ve relied on her recipes for years and years, for many special occasions and weeknight go-tos. I really hope Deb reads the comments. Her recipes are incredibly reliable, her encouragement is like that of a best friend, and her warmth and humor come through in her storytelling.

    I’m still, very sadly, mourning that I can no longer enjoy her Devil’s Chicken Thighs with Braised Leeks and Dijon Mustard now that I don’t eat meat anymore. Please, if you do eat chicken, make this dish. I suppose it is more autumnal, but my goodness, it is divine. (I think we followed it with the Pear, Cranberry and Gingersnap Crumble when we made it for Thanksgiving one year.)

  2. Kristin says...

    I couldn’t love Deb more! She and Smitten Kitchen are the ultimate cure for my mid week dinner rut. I can always depend on her recipes to renew my love of cooking and to help me try new things. Its always wonderful to love not only someone’s work, but them as a person too. What a treat to have her featured on My Beauty Uniform, because I also love this part of the blog. Thank you again ladies.. this was a treat to read!

  3. Yvonne says...

    Isn’t Deb just the cutest?!!!

  4. Karli says...

    Of course the Cup of Jo crew would also love Deb! So many of my favourite food memories are a result of Deb’s recipes x

  5. Kasia says...

    What a joy to see a profile of Deb, my favorite chef!! We make meals according to her recipes on a weekly basis – her blueberry pancakes, mushroom bourguignonne and rhubarb snacking cake being our favorite go-tos. I admire her knack for recreating restaurant food in her own tiny kitchen. She is smart, witty and super funny. Looking forward to more cooking adventures with Smitten Kitchen.

  6. AS says...

    Love, love, love Smitten Kitchen! Deb has the sassiest voice in her writing and her food is so simple and straightforward. Always my first stop on the internet when looking for a recipe or inspiration.

  7. Meghan says...

    okay but what color boy brow does she use?

  8. Laurel says...

    I just love her so much! She feels like everyone’s mom in the best way possible, like Michelle Obama. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Kathi says...

    What a winning combo, Deb and COJ!

  10. Eileen says...

    This is so wonderful, I love her so much. Love her sweet musings and recipes. So many gems. She is a gem!

  11. Sophia says...

    Thanks for this feature. My favorite!

    I love deb. My co worker and I trade recipes. I’ll say I got this idea from deb and she knows exactly what i am talking about. We refer to her like she is one of our other coworkers.

    Thanks for all you do Deb. Changed my life for the better!

  12. Jess. says...

    Whenever I shop at Fairway, or anywhere I think might be worthy of Deb’s presence, I daydream about running into her and becoming best friends. She’s basically an honorary member of our family–so many of her recipes have become constant staples at our house. She’s beautiful and brilliant and I love her.

  13. Love her!

  14. Anna says...

    I ❤️ Deb! Her dead simple and really approachable recipes gave me the confidence to start baking years ago. Her chocolate pie with gingersnap crust was the first ever item I made to impress my then boyfriend (now hubby)! I’m still not a professional baker by any means but her brilliant tips and warm reassuring voice has made me a much more accomplished baker than I would’ve been otherwise. And given me a reputation for consistently turning up with delicious goodies ppl fight over! Like literally my bro will throw down with his own teenage sons for the last piece of her hazelnut Linzer heart cookies!!!! In his words, it’s every man for himself when it comes to the cookies I make, lol!

    So thanks Deb for the wonderful recipes, and please keep them coming! Thanks CoJ for featuring her!

  15. Alison says...

    Deb is the best!!!!

  16. Elle says...

    What a relief, after days of reassuring six-year olds (and myself), while yelling, “HAND-WASHING BREAK!” randomly throughout their day, to see Deb here talking about normal things like cooking, Olay, and wearing a sundress.

    • Oks says...

      God, thank you for this comment. I truly feel understood now :D Same situation, same thoughts.

  17. Kate says...

    I love this and Deb! I’ve been following Smitten Kitchen for many years and am still impressed by how warm and genuine she is.

  18. Em says...

    I want a deb house tour, too! As a family of four with two little kids living in a tiny city apartment, I would love to see how she makes it all work. :)

  19. Allison says...

    First, my family only eats because Smitten Kitchen exists. Deb is amazing in so many ways.

    Second, is there any way to get Deb’s daughter’s beauty uniform? We struggle with my daughter’s curls and I’d love to hear what works at the Perelman residence!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha yes! her curls are amazing!

    • Oks says...

      +100!!! I love my daughter curls but WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?? None of our families has anything resembling even a wave.
      And I’ve got no idea how to take care of curls, they’re more like bird’s nest most of the time.

  20. Ansley says...

    Please read these comments, Deb, and feel loved and appreciated! I’ve been making your recipes for years for my family and the results are always SO STELLAR. Your fab cakes and deserts have been a part of so many birthdays and family celebrations—just made a monkey cake for my two-year old’s birthday and he LOVED it. Thank you for being amazing and for all the useful tips and ideas!! xxx

    • Teresa says...

      Yes!!! My husband will ask where I got a recipe from and if I say Smitten Kitchen (which is often!!), he always says, “Deb can do no wrong!!”

  21. Liza in Ann Arbor says...

    I mean how can one not like Deb? She’s the best.

  22. Hope says...

    She is so beautiful and natural! Like the kind of woman you’d see at the grocery store and want to be friends with. Loved this interview!

  23. Nisserine Whisman says...

    I love Deb! I’ve been reading Smitten Kitchen for years and have both of her cookbooks. Recently made the Marsala Chicken from her Instagram post after watching the entire 40 minutes! She’s the real deal… beautiful, funny, and can definitely cook!

  24. Cynthia says...

    Such a fun post! It’s great to read about some who uses affordable skin care, and her black dress is a classic.

  25. Rusty says...

    ** canned goods

    • Bethany says...

      Oh, Deb. So wonderful yet down to earth. *cries softly* The recipes, the no-cooking-on-weekends rule which I am going to claim as my own starting right now, the affordable beauty routine. So unfussy. So triumphant. (Yes, I own both of your books). Thank you, CoJ, for featuring this person of whom I am clearly a huge fan! Smitten Kitchen, you’re awesome.

  26. Rusty says...

    Will CoJ have anything about planning for the Coronavirus…or would the comments section go viral?!?

    I’m interested in what people in different parts of the world are doing, for real, in their homes.

    Australia’s cases are ramping up by the hour on the east coast especially, now with person-to-person cases, rather than imported from the Princess Cruize or flights from Iran, China, etc.

    I wanna know what WE, the real people are actually doing, rather than the advice about what we should/could do.

    We went shopping today, for the second big shop since Friday. There is zero toilet paper, people! No wet wipes, hand sanitizer, paracetamol, the list goes on. No pasta, rice, bottled water, tissues, baby supplies (even though we don’t need that). Canned hoods are extremely limited, flour, bread mixes, oats….it’s crazy!

    Maybe Deb could do a post about HOW TO EAT FROM YOUR PANTRY or HOW TO CREATE MEALS FROM CANNED FOODS?? Yes??

    Seriously, I’m truly interested in the REAL stories that real people are actually doing.

    We’re stocked (including most of the items that are not available), because my dad was in the State Emergency Service and I grew up thinking about this stuff, including living with Tropical Cyclones (hurricanes) in Australia.

    How about it?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      this question is really compelling. we’ve definitely stocked up on frozen foods and bags of rice/beans/etc. seems better to be safe than sorry. curious what others are doing?

    • Claire says...

      We are not doing anything yet, just trying to resist the onslaught of panic and focus on solid, science-based info as much as we can. But maybe we should be doing something…? It’s hard to know really what that would be, except wash our hands, take our vitamins. Sorry to hear that it’s ramping up in Australia. May you be well, and I hope the toilet paper supplies replenish soon.

    • Sasha L says...

      In my town in Montana shelves are still full and people are still out and about. My husband went to Costco today and stocked up on wipes and TP and PB and dog food and flour.

      We grocery shopped Sunday and bought a bunch of bags of dry beans and frozen veggies and oatmeal. Add that to canned corn and frozen tortillas and a huge bag of rice. We won’t be going shopping for several weeks now.

      We’ve got ibuprofen and Tylenol and all our meds for months. Not sure what else to do?

      We leave for Costa Rica next Friday, via Dallas. 🤞 crossed it will all work out. It’s a very big trip for us, adult kids going too, and meeting my husband’s father and his family for the first time (found via ancestry. Com last year). It will be devastating if we can’t go.

      🤞 For everyone to stay well and healthy. I’m very worried for my elderly parents, my dad has lung conditions and is immune compromised at 81.

    • Rusty says...

      We shopped for a few things …just in case they were in stock …and actually got some concentrate disinfectant and some pasta, dried legumes. We’re being super prepared because I have a serious autoimmune disease, plus I had chemo recently….so, better to hunker down and phone visit, than catch it, if possible.

      News flash tonight: a private boys’ school in Sydney has been closed due to a teen testing positive.
      17 toddlers exposed when taken to visit the elderly in a nursing home where a health worker was infected and infected 14 eldery patients, one of whom died yesterday.
      In Australia, dentists and GPs are running out of face masks. It seems the stockpiles are headed for hospitals (our country is under an emergency order where people can be forced to do things if necessary). We’re effectively in a Pandemic mode 9ne step ahead of the WHO calling it.

      Advice is to not rely on frozen goods in case of power failures or intermittency…frozen goods melt. We’ve bought some canned veggies (ugh), just coz we’re vegetarian and fresh supplies can run low re transport isssues (Australia is the same size as the USA minus Alaska.)

      I live in Western Australia which is @1/2 size of the whole country and Perth is the most isolated capital in the world…doesn’t help with the virus due to air travel. The recent fires were SO big, the main fire burned through forests equal to 1/2 size of the total of Texas…and that’s only ONE fire! We’re a BIG, spread out country and big food miles for transportation. Lots of isolated communites and remote outposts…think “wild west.”

      So, yup. That’s us. I’d SOOOO love a focused post about this to see where and what CoJ readers are and what we’re all doing about it.
      PLEASE?? 😶xx

  27. Lisa Zieger says...

    This was 100% exactly what I needed to read this morning: fun but not frivolous, reminding me about things I enjoy, too! (Off to pick up a chicken to roast for dinner…!)

  28. Jennifer says...

    “And yes, she was every bit as warm and funny as she is on her site!”

    Is it crazy that I can just HEAR her personality in these answers? Have been a loyal Smitten Kitchen reader for a very long time, this was wonderful to see another side of Deb.

  29. Lucy says...

    I loved reading this post, and the comments! So fun to see other people’s fave SK recipes. We love: corn fritters, “my favorite brownies,” and potato kugel (to name just a few). Also obsessed with the butternut squash and caramelized onion tart from her first cookbook, and the winter slaw salad from her second. I also make this Deb recipe all the time (bonus: it’s super kid-friendly): https://parade.com/169511/debperelman/carrot-soup-with-turkey-meatballs-and-spinach/

  30. Laura says...

    I feel like I know her kids–and can’t believe how big they are! It must mean my own are quite grow too. ;) Can Deb tell us where this fantastic yet casual black number is from that she’s wearing in the post?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Her dress is from old navy!

    • Greta says...

      I loved this dress so much when I saw it (at Old Navy, as Joanna says). Got to work the next day, feeling all cute, and went to go pump. The buttons are falsies! I was crestfallen (and then cold, as I stripped down in my drafty office). I’m giving it to my sister, who can put it to better use than I, but am irrationally sad about it. It felt like pjs and was dressed up enough for my meetings. For the rest of my time nursing, I’m checking the buttons before I buy!

    • Sasha L says...

      Greta, just keep it! You won’t be nursing forever!

    • Greta says...

      Sasha L, I know, but at this point, it certainly feels like it!

  31. Like everyone else here I am a total Deb groupie. So fun getting a little peek into her life outside of her cooking! I have made and loved 50ish Smitten Kitchen recipes haha… I started tracking in a spreadsheet. In addition to the other shoutouts readers have made: I Want Chocolate Cake Cake (sooo quick and easy! And so rich and chocolatey!), crispy rice and egg bowls (like my default dinner), naked tomato sauce. And I didn’t even think I liked oatmeal raisin cookies but hers are incredible!

  32. LK says...

    Love Deb. Love her fam. Love her website.

    • Pam says...

      I love Deb! So many of her recipes have gotten me through tough times. ‘I want chocolate cake’ cake should be prescribed by doctors.
      Thank you for featuring her. She seems such a lovely person.

  33. Jen says...

    Aw, I love that you featured Deb Perelman in this column! Thanks for that bright spot in my day. I’ve loved her blog/newsletters/cookbooks for years and I don’t care what anyone says about the recipe intros, hers have kept me laughing AND have imparted info and techniques that helped me “learn to do one thing well.” This is such sage advice: so often it is confidence in the kitchen that makes expanding the repertoire feel in the realm of possibility.

  34. Rae says...

    I will read anything Deb writes (or says) and man, look at her gorgeous Snow White coloring. Such a knockout human being.

  35. NN says...

    I LOOOOOOOVE THIS PROFILE! I love that the photos looks so real and completely unstaged! I didn’t even know it was missing in my life, but wow…it honestly helps to see representation of a real home in action, instead of a hyper-clean, hyper-curated, staged house. I mean, I love the aesthetics of staged photo, too, but…it’s nice to see a happy, active, lived-in home! (NOT messy, just loved!)

    Love everything about her, too!

    • Sarah says...

      I love it too!! Her house just looks so homey and like people live and eat and cook there in real life! Because they do… Love her, love her recipes, love her house!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, her apartment was really cozy and homey with tons of cookbooks, games, toys, etc :)

  36. Sophie says...

    Like another commenter said : my two favourite voices on the internet, togheter at last!! Deb is radiant. How sweet is that picture with her daughter; cannot believe I read her blog back when she was pregnant with that one!

    I am an absolute SK devotee (and have spread the good word around quite a bit); I have actually won an office baking contest with one of her recipes (this beauty : https://smittenkitchen.com/2014/09/sunken-apple-and-honey-cake/) and made the French onion soup last night (substituting the white wine for bitter beer, which I highly recommend. Call it Belgian Onion Soup).

  37. Jen says...

    Love Deb! Thanks for featuring her. Makes me love her even more.

  38. Totally squealed of delight at seeing Deb here! Also, totally killed me when she said she wears her Nars gypsy to restaurants and her son’s guitar recitals! Haha. The glamorous life of a parent with young kids. I love it!

  39. Meg says...

    Ah! Thank you for spotlighting Deb!
    Love her recipes & her writing.

    Down to earth vibe!

  40. Molly says...

    My pal and I always refer to Deb as either our girl crush or real soul mate. So happy to read about her here!

  41. Kathryn says...

    Please can CoJ consider further posts with/on Deb? I honestly don’t even care what it is. Just more of the amazing, beloved, extra-special Deb Perelman! (I make SK’s sheet pan meatballs with crispy tumeric chickpeas on the regular. Total joy.)

    • Christina says...

      Hi Kathryn! Just wanted to let you know there are a BUNCH of Deb Perelman pieces on this site. Like 10 or so? I recommend searching her name! One of my favorites was when they interviewed her in a grocery store. So cute. I agree we can always have more, but wanted you to know!

  42. j says...

    i love deb so much! her writing, her words, her recipes. thank you for sharing a part of her live i’ve never known despite following her blog for years!

  43. jane says...

    It is wonderful how much your son looks like you and your daughter looks like your husband!

  44. Hali says...

    Love Deb!! So much!! My friend gifted me Smitten Kitchen Cookbook as a wedding gift, tucked into the pages were Fishs Eddy business cards that had notes and tips scribbled on them, indicating my friend’s favorites and what occasions she makes them for. I’ve used that book a zillion times and it’s a right mess now, but the cards are still in there.

    Whenever a potluck or a dinner party features a Smitten Kitchen recipe we casually say to each other “Got the recipe from Deb” always to have confirmed “Deb! Oh I just love her!” like she’s a dear mutual friend of everyone’s. It happens a lot! It’s basically happening in the comment section right now!

    Thank you for your hard work and sense of humor, Deb! Time with your words and guidance in the kitchen is the precious, honestly!

  45. Sorina Brackett says...

    Love this! When I first started baking, I tried one of her recipes and I royally messed it up. I sent her a message asking for help, not thinking that she would respond but she did and was so kind and so helpful. That was five years ago and I continue to follow her because of her warmth and kindness.

  46. Emily says...

    Ah! This is my favorite beauty uniform yet – LOVE Deb and Smitten Kitchen. She has the loveliest voice and her recipes never let me down. Perfect pick, such a fun read!

  47. Justine says...

    My fave SK recipe is the baked potato with kale. You can get SO much kale in that sucker! With leeks and aged cheddar… It’s a comfort salad spud. Go forth and enjoy, folks. It’s great March weather food. And for desert, her salted brownies. SK… where I learned how much better deserts taste when salted. Thanks Deb!

  48. Emily says...

    So thrilled to see two of my favorite blogs collide!

  49. Malissa says...

    She need no introduction at all. If you say Deb (The Deb), we all know. I loved getting this little glimpse into her life from another angle. I live by the Gospel Of Smitten Kitchen! Go, Deb!

  50. K says...

    Also, does Deb have a favorite European cultured butter?

  51. Emily says...

    Three cheers for Deb! Basically all my favorite recipes are from her. I love hearing how real she is. I too felt especially beautiful when I was pregnant and I miss it a lot!

  52. joy says...

    I also love Deb, her writing, and her recipes. Here are the ones I come back to over and over: three-bean chili, multigrain pancakes, 18-hour pizza dough for margherita pizza. Oh–and the Ottolenghi streamlined black pepper tofu and eggplant! My god, that was amazing and I wish Deb would rewrite ALL of his recipes. And now I am remembering that I haven’t made her green bean salad with fried almonds in way too long.

    • Mel says...

      I always make the green bean salad for thanksgiving! Such a nice contrast to the heavy stuff with all the acid 👌

  53. Christine says...

    I squealed when I saw this post! Like everyone else in the comments, I love Deb and the Smitten Kitchen and have been reading it and COJ for a long time. Deb really taught me how to cook and bake. I learned how to make homemade pie crusts from her (her pictures are incredible and made the process so much easier), and have experimented with new flavors – like the one pot farro I tried last week for the first time (thumbs up from the whole family!). I’ve read her site since before her son was born, and even used her baby food recipes from her now defunct baby website to make both my daughters first foods!! SK is so reliably good and Deb’s instructions are detailed and precise, which is so important to me. Some of my families favorites are: her mom’s apple cake (my daughter’s requested bday cake last year!), classic brownies, chewy granola bars, and sausage soup. I could list so many more, it’s just full of great recipes. Deb’s writing is so friendly and warm, I feel like I have a friend in the kitchen, which is why I love her and her site. Pretty much the same way I feel about the writing at COJ!

    I really loved the glimpse into her life through this post and the photos. She’s just beautiful inside and out! I’m totally buying that CeraVe night cream to see if I can get the same glow!

  54. Eliot says...

    *gasp* Deb!! On Cup of Jo! My day is made.

    My sister (L) and I both adore Smitten Kitchen and talk about Deb like she’s our friend. L lives in Brooklyn and every time I go visit her I always keep my eyes peeled like a *complete* creep in case I see Deb or anyone from CoJ. Headed up there next week actually! I promise that if I see you, I’ll just do a little internal happy dance and leave you be.

    In my early 20s, I had no idea how to even make a grilled cheese and now, a decade later, thanks almost exclusively to her, I feel completely at home in the kitchen. Not only did she teach me how to cook. She taught me how to eat well relatively inexpensively. I’m a grad student so I have a limited income. I see so many of my school friends spending most of their money on mediocre take-out for every single meal and I wonder why. I just cook a bunch of mostly-Deb recipes on Sundays and eat it all week. It takes a little time but I save money and eat much better food. My sister is also a recipe developer so between her and Deb, I never have to wonder what I’m going to eat. Ugh, Deb is the best.

  55. emily d says...

    this makes me so SO happy. she is so gorgeous and witty and an actual genius. i ALWAYS make a cake from her for birthdays and have never had a failure. i’m talking, omg-i-invited-45-people-to-a-third-birthday-happening-the-saturday-after-i-go-back-to-work-from-second-maternity-leave birthday parties, and her recipes and the comments/responses are golden. thank you!!!

  56. Susan says...

    She’s so awesome! I follow her on Instagram and always responds to me questions and comments. Just so friendly, approachable, and of course, her recipes are da bomb!!!

  57. Sarah says...

    This made my night! Adore Deb, and her relatable, funny, witty voice. I actually made her aforementioned spaghetti and meatballs tonight…a meal that makes my three year old say, without fail “Mommy, I love this dinner.”

  58. maria says...

    deb is the epitome of beauty begins on the inside. you see a photo of her and she just … gleams. her humor and grace and zest for life and food and all the good stuff just streams right out of her, from her eyes and her smile. such beauty. and talent. and loveliness.

    related, but not quite, a bit of a funny revelation of how i became a smitten kitchen fan. I was reading an article in a magazine a LONG time ago. real simple maybe? i can’t recall. in any case there was a random interview with the actress keri russell with even more random questions for her – and somewhere in there after calling out her (then) hot carpenter husband, haha, she mentions how she adores smitten kitchen and, thereya go – i jump down the rabbit hole and fall deeply in love. with deb. with smitten kitchen. and i don’t even cook. ha! but i’ve recommended OH so many of her recipes to my husband. and he cooks them. and it makes us both happy. thank you deb. :)

  59. Emily says...

    I gasped when I saw that Deb was the star of this “My Beauty Uniform.” Smitten Kitchen and Cup of Jo are two of my favorite voices on the internet, and I loved seeing you both together. Also, I found it really sweet that so many of these pictures were Deb hanging out with her family.

    • NN says...

      Yes! Me too, to all of this. :)

  60. CB says...

    I love Deb– this post was like my two favorite TV shows doing a cross over. Also “lame-r” really cracked me up!

  61. Nina says...

    I can’t believe the Chocolate Olive Oil Cake didn’t make the top 3! It’s incredibly delicious, incredibly easy to make, actually quite cheap to make for a chocolate cake, and vegan. I make it with rice flour so it’s gluten-free as well. At Christmas I added gingerbread spices and crystallised ginger and it was even amazinger.

  62. Megan says...

    I am here for all things Deb!

  63. Amy says...

    Well, this made my day! I may have squealed out loud a little when I first pulled up the site. What a lovely end to a mostly crappy Tuesday. Escapism at it’s finest. :D

  64. Allie says...

    CoJ and SK is the ultimate blog mashup! Thanks for featuring my favorite food writer of all time. And I’m definitely getting some Laura Mercier “Stormy Gray” eye pencil. Heart emoji from one brown-eyed girl to another.

  65. Susan says...

    Half our meals are from her website and cookbooks! We saw her in Seattle when her second book came out and it was crazy how many people were there. She was genuine and warm in person.

  66. Kate says...

    She is just such a goddess. I want to be her when I grow up. Early on in my relationship with my now-husband, I leaned heavily into the Smitten Kitchen date-night category. The very first meal I made for him was the mushroom marsala pasta bake. So many happy food memories!

    • JG says...

      That DISH!!! My bf loves that one more than anything. ❤️

  67. Rachel says...

    Lovely Deb! Just a gorgeous overall aesthetic. And glad I’m not the only one who splurges on a Friday blow out after being a bit grungy all week. Cheers to a great beauty uniform!

  68. Tina, NYC says...

    Deb, I adore you. You are beautiful and smart and charming.

    And so many of the food memories I’m creating for my kids I have thanks to your immense talent and impeccable recipe testing.

    Simply thank you for doing what you do and being who you are.

  69. Lauren says...

    Loved seeing Deb on here! Smitten Kitchen is ALWAYS my first go-to when I have a dinner party or need to bake a sweet treat. It’s so lovely having a peek into her “uniform.” What a gorgeous person in all ways. Deb, thank you for sharing and Joanna, thank you for this feature!

  70. Lisa says...

    Love Smitten Kitchen and so happy to see her on Cup of Jo 😍

  71. Nicole says...

    DEB!! ❤️

  72. K says...

    I love Deb and Smitten Kitchen! I’ve made her consummate chocolate chip cookies and strawberry dumplings. And maybe some more recipes, but most of it is me getting sensory overload from her gorgeous photos, attention to detail and humor. Deb is really funny and a great storyteller.

  73. Shayna says...

    Hers was really the first cooking blog I ever read. When I was first trying out cooking and baking I used her recipes as a bible. And every time I made something from her site my (now) husband would say “this tastes like it came from a bakery. You should open a bakery.” Still cook from her recipes all the time. Best cocoa brownies AMAZING as are the rugelach, her Caesar dressing, the butternut squash galette….on and on.

  74. Stephanie says...

    I have loved cooking ever since I discovered Smitten Kitchen 10 or so years ago. I just love this interview and love Deb’s natural beauty inside and out! Thank you!

  75. Rae Daniel says...

    These comments are wonderful. Deb, I hope you read these and feel so appreciated, because you are! Like many here, I got my start as a home cook with Deb. I now cook widely, but still always check in on Smitten Kitchen, and Deb’s recipes remain the only ones that I trust — to be consistently delicious, to tell me if I really need a certain spice or an extra pot, etc. There are probably about a dozen recipes that I return to over and over again, and for me so many of these are Deb’s. A short list: meatballs of course, lentil soup with sausage and chard, spicy squash salad with lentils and goat cheese, one-pan farro and tomatoes, Israeli couscous salad, kale salad with pecorino and walnuts, and so many others. So many of these recipes taught me techniques that I now use without recipes, too — like in that last recipe in the list, the method Deb suggests there has become the way that I always cut kale, and I often simmer currants and toast walnuts in the way she outlines there to add to other salads. Love all the photos here and especially the family photo — so happy!

  76. Kathryn says...

    We are making Deb’s pizza beans for dinner tonight!

  77. Elizabeth says...

    Love her writing and recipes and you for this feature, but must ask—nude lip color in the photo?

  78. Sarah says...

    I literally screamed OUT LOUD when I saw this uniform was with Deb! Love love love!

  79. Sunny Choi says...

    She is the best! I constantly make her “Everyday meatballs” for dinner parties, week night meals, taking it to friends who just had their babies… so many of her recipes are so much like her, down to earth and SO enjoyable!

  80. Jill says...

    Yes! Deb is the best.

    Some of my favourite classics are old recipes of hers that I’ve forgotten even came from her – 18 hour pizza dough with asparagus pizza, hello! Just this last week I’ve cooked two Deb inspired slaw salads without even registering it. You have made a lot of lives better and more delicious!

  81. Erin says...

    WOW I WAS SO EXCITED TO SEE THIS. DEB, I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!

  82. Molly G says...

    I LOVE Deb! I’ve been following Smitten Kitchen FOREVER. I call her my “foodie soulmate.” I love how she’s so relatable and down-to-earth even though she’s massively popular. What a nice treat for a Tuesday afternoon to get a little extra Deb :) Now I’m off to make those peanut butter cup cookies… YUM

  83. Mamakate says...

    I’m in the Deb fan club too- been following her for years now! So down to earth and her recipes are spot on. I know if I make one of her recipes it WILL come out great. Also, I return to that CeraVe night cream time and time again, it’s my favorite. She is such a delight and so naturally beautiful. Thanks for featuring her ❤️

  84. Lindsey says...

    This was a delightful addition to my day. 😍😍😍

  85. I was so happy to see this! I am a loooong time Smitten Kitchen follower. I go to her blog first when I need ideas. Her scone recipe is my standard and I have received so many compliments on it that I will never look anywhere else. Thanks Joanna!

  86. Hayley says...

    I love Deb, and am so happy to see her here! She taught me how to cook, has never steered me wrong, and is absolutely lovely. I can’t believe i have been following her for at least a dozen years already!

    I remember the months after her son was born, where each post included one sneak link to a baby pic- it was the sweetest :-)

    • Kate says...

      Ohmygosh, I could have written this comment! I was a newlywed and SmittenKitchen basically taught me how to cook. And I totally remember the sneaky pictures of her little son giving me total baby fever! :)

      Thanks Deb—I make your salted brown butter rice krispies for Halloween EVERY YEAR!

      PS. I’d love hair tips from Smitten Kitchen, her hair is just like her pie crusts, always fabulous. ;)

  87. Katie says...

    Deb is the best, and her recipes are EVERGREEN. Several years ago, my sister and I made one of her galette recipes and posted a picture to Instagram. Deb ‘liked’ it and we almost FAINTED. My husband is always like “This is good! Is this a Smitten Kitchen recipe?” and then he has to listen to me wax on about Deb’s recipe process and how she’s always right . Thanks Cup of Jo and Deb! XOXO

  88. Joaquina says...

    She seems lovely. I guess I am surprised by her skin care products, La Mer and Olay seem pretty old fashioned. But hey if they work for her, great! Would love for people to consider using products that
    do NOT test on animals. CeraVe (L’Oreal), Oil of Olay, and La Mer are not cruelty free.

    • Sasha L says...

      What cruelty free brands do you like Joaquina?

    • Heather says...

      I’m not the original poster, but I like Glossier (for brows, powder, blush), Supergoop (sunscreen), LUSH (face lotion), ELF and NYX (eyeliner, eye primer). The first three I buy online; the last two at drugstores (and they are very affordable).

      When ordering things like lotion, hand soap, or body wash, I often go to Target or Vitacost and click the “Cruelty Free” filter to see what brands fit in those categories. I’ve been surprised at how many relatively mainstream brands there are, like Method and Mrs. Meyer’s.

  89. Kara says...

    Deb is the best!! She’s always felt like a friend chatting with you on the internet, like just so human and real, and this was no different.

    • Britt says...

      Just here in the comments like so many others to say Deb has never steered me wrong. I’m a vegetarian living with a meat eater and her veg recipes are always a hit. The carrot salad from her last cookbook is phenomenal and the cauliflower poblano quesadillas could change your life. The way she talks about food is lovely to read.
      Been reading COJ and Smitten Kitchen regularly over the last ten years and y’all have seen me through some times (interesting boyfriend choices, bangs…twice, law school, and too many moves). Thankful for you both!

  90. Mary says...

    I love smitten kitchen! Deb is the best, love her hair and she’s got the most naturally beautiful face. Loved the live Instagram cooking session last weekend too.

  91. Jane says...

    I love Deb! I’m a good home cook, and I realized recently that I learned to cook entirely through reading the Smitten Kitchen, Amateur Gourmet, Wednesday Chef, and Post Punk Kitchen. But it was 90% SK. Thank you for featuring her!

    • another Jane says...

      From one Jane to another: you sound ready for Lady and Pups! You’re welcome ; D

  92. Sophie Wall says...

    I LOVE DEB

    • TheRachelSyn says...

      CO-SIGN.

  93. Emily says...

    I love Deb, like the rest of the internet. She honestly changed my life when I found her in 2009 when I was just starting grad school , she taught me how to be a successful home cook. Perhaps an outfit diary next??

    • Kate says...

      YES! Her outfits (& hair!) are always A+

  94. Lynn says...

    Deb, you inspire me, and I’ve always wanted to tell you that your husband is smokin. Cheers to you!

    • RN says...

      Plus one on the cute Russian husband :)

      You are funny and gorgeous and deserve each other. Thanks for the recipes!!! I just made the mushroom Marsala bake for a crowd of friends…you are a genius

    • Sasha L says...

      Yep, he’s hot. I wasn’t going to mention but since you all are 😉

  95. Amy says...

    I have nothing to add other than DEB IS THE BEST AND I WOULD STARVE WITHOUT HER.

  96. Joie says...

    Yes to the CERAVE night cream. An incredible product at an incredible price. Love everything about this post!

  97. Ellen says...

    Love Deb!! So fun, thanks for featuring her.

    Idea for a future Beauty Uniform, or maybe a separate feature: HAIR REMOVAL! I have my routine but I feel like there’s a lot I should know but don’t, or better ways/products. HALP!

  98. Ali says...

    Her recipes never fail! Deb is a delight! Her writing is great too, I get so happy when she posts new stuff!

  99. jules says...

    I just made dozens of the peanut butter chocolate cookies for a wedding table next weekend (Pittsburgh wedding thing) and I cannot contain myself from getting into the freezer for them!!
    Deb is the best.

  100. Mel says...

    Yes! She is the bessssttttt. We also eat out on weekends because I Cooke every other meal the family of 4 eats for the week and I need a break and inspiration.
    Fav Deb recipes:
    Perfect Blueberry Muffins
    Yellow Cake with Buttercream (aka Best Birthday Cake)
    Skillet Chicken Tikka (seriously everyone make this tonight. Easy. Impressive. Amazing leftovers!)

    • Mel says...

      Not skillet. Sheet pan. So so easy!

  101. Liz says...

    I love when CoJ and smitten kitchen cross over!!

  102. Amanda W. says...

    Love Smitten Kitchen! I’m vegan and her website is one of my favorites for finding recipes. She very often points out if something can be made vegan, and a lot of her dishes are vegan-friendly. My favorites: Quick Pasta and Chickpeas; Split Pea Soup; Pasta Salad with Roasted Carrots and Sunflower Seed Dressing. Deb seems really lovely!

    • Christie says...

      I’m not vegan, but those are actually three of my favorite recipes. We just had the pasta e ceci two days ago. She is my favorite. Whenever I make something that everyone oohs and ahs, my husband asks: where did this recipe come from. I just say Deb. Like she is my friend.

    • Sarah says...

      I just made a vegan Smitten Kitchen recipe tonight—the sweet potato tacos! Yum!!!

  103. Kristy says...

    I was so excited to see Deb featured today! I love how she described that blissful summer feeling of “beaching.” And definitely agree with another commenter that she’s this generation’s Ina.

  104. Sarah says...

    Gosh I love Deb so much. I started following both of you around the same time (spring 2009) and feel like I have learned how to be a gracious, thoughtful adult from both of you. I started cooking my way through her blog back then but lost track after hitting recipe #270 or so. Needless to say, I’m a huge fan, and love seeing Deb’s life and her cute apartment!

    • Emily says...

      I was introduced at the same time when I was 18 and I feel like they taught me to be a happy, capable adult woman! It’s making me kind of emotional to see how many people had the same experience. There’s so much love here!

  105. Sarah says...

    She’s the BEST. Nothing but love for Deb. <3

  106. I have made Deb’s red bean chili for YEARS! It always blows my kids minds when I add the chocolate powder. Thank you for sharing a bit more of her awesomeness!! She’s just gorgeous.

  107. Laura Slayton says...

    Gosh, what a treat! I love Deb and I love COJ, worlds collide in the best way! I’ve always thought she was so lovely and has the most beautiful, shining eyes! I totally identify with the line about feeling beautiful during pregnancy, too.

  108. A says...

    ” I love love love snacking on cheese but I don’t love cheese on top of things and inside sandwiches.”

    Yyyyeeeesssssss stop putting cheese where it doesn’t belong! I love eating cheese as cheese, but I don’t need it in and on top of all my food. Totally ruins a good food video for me.

    • Sarah says...

      I was the opposite of this growing up. I could *only* eat cheese if it was shredded, or melted if there was something crunchy on top. I’m still a little weird about eating it plain (when I eat a cheese platter, I make cracker “sandwiches” so I don’t have to have cheese texture in my mouth haha). The concept of string cheese makes me want to gag, but I will gladly eat chunks of aged parm for breakfast. What is it about cheese that makes us so particular?!

    • jane says...

      @ Sarah . . .”What is it about cheese that makes us so particular?!” . . .
      welllll… it IS cultured body fluids we’re talking about here. Pretty certain that’s what does it.

  109. Susan says...

    I hate cheese inside sandwiches too!!!

  110. celeste says...

    Smitten Kitten virgin, but will make some cookies and check out the website. 13 years…whoa.

    • Kristy says...

      You HAVE to try her Whole Lemon Bars. Insanely delicious!

    • kath says...

      Aw. Love, Deb! This is creepy but my first reaction is Jacob is so big! I used to use her website so much back when he was a baby and toddler. I need to get back to it. With our three littles now, I feel like I’m in a rut.

    • Gabi says...

      You are in for a TREAT!

    • Amy says...

      We’ll see you in a year when you resurface from catching up on all the deliciousness you missed ;)

      I highly recommend:
      -Best Cocoa Brownies
      -Butternut Squash Salad with Farro & Pepitas
      -Cucumber Avocado Salad
      -Chicken Gyro Salad
      -Everyday Italian Meatballs
      -Cold Start French Fries
      -Zucchini Rice and Cheese Gratin

      And I’ll stop myself there.

  111. Ari says...

    Not. Cooking. On. Weekends.

    WOW. I’m stealing that rule.

    • Angela says...

      Yep! Same here. Kitchen’s closed, fools!

  112. Ah, so fun to see another side of Deb, whose recipes I LOVE and who regularly cracks me up with her down-to-earth approach. I love that CeraVe lotion, too! Reminded me again that I want to get Boy Brow instead of some dumb stuff I got at Sephora which is clumpy.

    • patricia blaettler says...

      I highly recommend Wonderbrow gel. Yet, I never seen anyone on the internet talk about it. It’s great.

  113. Karen T. says...

    Just chiming in to say I also LOVE Deb. Her recipes are AMAZING (never had a fail in all the years of making her recipes) as is her writing voice–so funny and wise and inspiring. Glad to see her crossover to my favorite (non-cooking) website. Beauty and inspiration all around!

  114. sarah morabito says...

    LOVE HER LOVE HER LOVE HER!

  115. Alex says...

    I loved this! Anyone else spend all their time scanning the first photo to try to figure out what they were eating?! Thank you for that close up later on!

    Also, I love how relatable her apartment looks – lived in and homey and…kind of like mine!

    Deb – you are lovely!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha yes! they were eating irish soda bread with jam, nutella or butter; fruit salad; hard boiled eggs; and coffee. delicious!

  116. Kat says...

    Love you Deb!!!

  117. Jo says...

    Echoing every comment here to say I just love Deb and I’m so pleased to see her here. Having following both smitten kitchen and cup of jo for years its so lovely to see you together, like a dream dinner party guest list. Can we get a Deb week of outfits too? 🤞

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s a great idea! i’ll ask her xo

    • Another vote for a week of outfits by Deb! I know she’ll die laughing at the thought of this, but give the people what they want, Deb!

  118. good heavens, she is consistently the best!

  119. Jess says...

    yay! Love Deb and squealed with glee to see this post.

  120. Jen C says...

    I love Smitten Kitchen! It’s wonderful to read about Deb in a different light, she seems as lovely as she does from her words :)

  121. Denise says...

    Oooo, I love that last bit of advice about cooking the delivery orders that aren’t very good. I need to get on some chow mein w chicken something-or-other. Also, Deb is gorgeous. Thanks!

    • patricia blaettler says...

      I literally JUST made General Tso’s chicken at home. I’m fiddling around with an airfryer so I thought I’d try it. Not bad. Definitely cheaper than takeout.

  122. angie says...

    Ooooh I’m going to need to know where that black dress came from …. please?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask her!

    • Kate K says...

      It looks nearly identical to the one I just got from Old Navy! I just bought it in olive and then in black as well because I liked it that much. I also wore it for my engagement photos! And now I’m thrilled that I can twin with Deb Perelman! :D

    • Sarah Beth says...

      I was just going to say that I think it’s the same Old Navy dress I just bought! It’s a great dress. I will say the buttons are fake, so you can’t wear it as a nursing dress as I’d intended, but I liked it so much I’m keeping it for the future.

  123. Faith says...

    What a wonderful interview! She is awesome and beautiful!

  124. Jessica Melindy says...

    LOVE YOU DEB!! :) :) <3 <3

  125. Susan says...

    I love Deb! She’s beautiful and full of joy.

    This line bummed me out: “I felt good when I was pregnant, since I was freed of stressing about my body for a while.” Wow. Such a successful, lovely woman – her recipes are killer – constantly stresses about her body? Especially when it’s her job to cook and write about gorgeous food. I don’t really know what I’m saying here, just what a messed culture we live in when it comes to body image for women.

    • T says...

      I hear you, that stood out to me too! Very much a reminder of how harsh our culture is and that if someone as wonderful, successful, sharp and beautiful as Deb has doubts about her body then the expectations for women are SO MESSED UP! This is such a bigger topic but definitely reminded me of how hard it is to be a woman sometimes.

  126. Karen says...

    She always has the best relaxed, advice.
    Beets taste too earthy for me too, Deb.

  127. Rachel says...

    I have the cilantro/soap thing going on, too! Even the TINIEST bit is wayyy overwhelming to me! Ruins the dish!!

    • Samantha says...

      Yes!!! Why do people put soap in everything????????? (:

  128. Ruth says...

    Deb is THE BEST! I always say that she taught me to cook. I have been making her recipes for 10 years now and she has NEVER steered me wrong.

  129. Allyson says...

    I am OBSESSED with Smitten Kitchen. Every recipe I’ve tried turns out great. I love seeing people/things I love (Samin Nosrat, Fleabag, a million more) show up on Cup Of Jo!

  130. Emily S says...

    I love Smitten Kitchen! Enjoyed this interview with Deb :)

  131. Abbe says...

    Gasped out loud when I saw this — I love Deb!!! I cook Smitten Kitchen recipes at least twice a week. She is my go to for dinners, desserts, and cocktails. And as for the Deb-the-person (as opposed to Deb the cook), she always looks so warm and glowy and welcoming. This was a fun read! I’m definitely checking out that eye liner and definitely making those blondies. :)

    • Julie says...

      I gasped too haha.

  132. Elizabeth says...

    She is our generation’s Ina. I love her. And I don’t like salmon, either, so now I love her more.

  133. Katie says...

    Loved this interview, as I have loved Deb and Smitten Kitchen for years and it was so fun to see it/her in a different context. I especially loved seeing the picture of her whole family! So sweet. Thanks for sharing these bits of your life with your fans, it’s so fun!

  134. Olivia says...

    Yay! I love Deb :)

  135. kacey says...

    I love Deb’s blog. The Word Doc I’ve kept for 8+ years now of all my notes on recipes tried is called Smitten Kitchen Experiment because it began with me testing Deb’s recipes for my family. I owe her so much for the many happy meals we’ve shared with her advice. The one thing she wrote that still cracks me up and I’ve quoted to people many times is in her recipe for Homemade Oreos (which I highly recommend). The recipe calls for butter and lard. Then she says in her comments- I know some of you are going to write in and object to the use of lard but, let’s be real, you’re the one looking at a recipe for Homemade Oreos- is it really time to draw the line??
    So great.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha

  136. Taylor says...

    in the past three days I’ve made Deb’s dijon stew, her eggplant rigatoni and her banana toffee muffins, Deb is my QUEEN

    beautiful woman and beautiful family!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yummmmm