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Recipe: Honey-Apple Layer Cake
Craving cake, but don’t necessarily have an occasion to make one for? Well then it’s a pretty good thing that you don’t need to wait until your birthday to make this honey-apple cake. This recipe falls under what I call “casual cakes,” meaning cakes that are perfectly suitable for Sunday brunch, afternoon tea, or any random Wednesday night when you need to fulfill a relentless cake craving without having to make something completely over the top.
May 18, 2016
Ruth Reichl’s Smart Tip for Better Pumpkin Pie
I thought I knew pumpkin pie — I mean, you can’t really beat the classic — and then Ruth Reichl comes along and drops this bombshell on me, and now I feel like I’ve been lying to myself about the gloriousness of my pies for years. I would be disheartened if I weren’t so dang excited to bake more pie this Thanksgiving. Enough teasing — here’s what Ruth Reichl has to say on the subject of pumpkin pie.
Nov 17, 2015
Recipe: Maple Pumpkin Pie with Streusel Topping
I’m not usually much of a dessert person, but for some reason, I’ll never turn down a slice of pumpkin pie. It’s probably because I love buttery crust and custard, and lucky for me, pumpkin pie has both. I decided to up the ante this year and throw an oatmeal streusel topping on top of the pie. You only have Thanksgiving dinner once a year, so why not?
Nov 15, 2015
These Baked Apple Desserts Are So Easy to Make
We take our baked apples seriously and decided to transform this lazy, weeknight dessert into something extraordinary. Taking a cue from our favorite desserts, we used hollowed-out apples to hold an array of tasty fillings. With just a few ingredients in each filling, you can recreate your favorite desserts by stuffing your apples with the different mixtures and baking them to make the perfect seasonal treat.
Nov 10, 2015
Recipe: Stuffed Winter Squash
Every fall, the squash calls begin again. They’re part of the season, like apple cider donuts and the colds that come from tromping around without a warm-enough coat. They start off just coming here and there, maybe one a day. But as November overtakes us, the pace quickens and the calls become more panicked. “Help. Need squash recipes.” Who can resist those winter squash?
Nov 10, 2015
Recipe: Giant Skillet Grilled Cheese with Ham and Apple
Cheesy? Check. Comforting? Check. Impressive? Check. Whereas most party-friendly ideas for grilled cheese involve shrinking everyone’s favorite sandwich down to finger food, we’re heading in the opposite direction with this recipe. Simply by grabbing a round bread boule instead of an oval loaf, you’ve got the tools to make a super-sized grilled cheese that really fills out the skillet. Think of this technique as a template for making your own crazy grilled cheese combinations.
Nov 4, 2015
Recipe: Jacques Pépin’s Rustic Leek and Potato Soup
When I asked chef Jacques Pépin about his favorite childhood dishes, he fondly brought up this soup. He mentioned that it was simple, versatile, comforting, and satisfying — all qualities I agree that this delicious soup has. Jacques says, “Leeks and potatoes are commonly made into creamy vichyssoise. For Parisian potage, the leeks and potatoes are cut into very small pieces, stewed in a little butter for a couple of minutes, and then cooked with chicken stock.
Oct 22, 2015
One More Reason to Avoid Candy Apples
Caramel apples are just not my thing, y’all. I have never been able to reconcile the sweet and gooey (or crunchy and tooth-breaking) coverage of what is already a very sweet fruit. Sure, they look gorgeous, but do they actually taste good? Well, here’s one more reason to avoid candy and caramel apples: your health.
Oct 15, 2015
Your Checklist for Doing Fall Right
Summer, we definitely knew ye — with your record-setting high temps and low rainfall, your cobblers and corn on the cob, and your iced tea and ice cream. We knew ye and loved ye — most of the time. (Sometimes you were a real piece of work, just sayin’.) But that’s all in the past. So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye. Guys, fall is here.
Sep 25, 2015
Recipe: Egg Curry with Cherry Tomatoes
I love summer and early autumn. Even though school has started and my life has been steadily getting packed with all the activities that come along with having a child, there is something about harvest time that makes me want to cook and preserve. My tomato plants have been producing a lot of fruit; I am overloaded with cherry tomatoes. Any that don’t make it into sauce get cooked in creative ways — like this simple weeknight curry. This recipe started off as a pasta sauce.
Sep 23, 2015
Recipe: Eggs with Summer Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Bell Peppers
One of the most memorable dishes I had in Spain was also one of the simplest — two eggs, over easy, alongside a mound of piperade and a few thin slices of wonderful Spanish ham. I thought about this dish of fresh tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers for months afterwards. It wasn’t just the fact that I was eating it in Spain; it was also the eggs. They were rich, creamy, and flavorful, and their bright orange yolks stood up soldier-tall.
Sep 15, 2015
Make These Spicy Grilled Cabbage Wedges in 15 Minutes
This is how you eat cabbage, and just cabbage, for dinner, and consider yourself pleased to do so. That's how I feel about it, anyway.
Aug 27, 2015
Recipe: Garlic-Marinated Zucchini
This is the dish my guests were most enamored of during our summertime Shabbat dinner (it is always the simplest things, right?). It’s inspired by the Jewish Roman recipe, concia, which is hundreds of years old. The Jews of Rome knew their way around summer vegetables — including zucchini, which they sliced, fried in olive oil, then marinated with chopped fresh herbs, garlic, and vinegar. The zucchini browns and turns silky, almost creamy, in its olive oil bath.
Jul 28, 2015
Recipe: Bryant Terry’s Fresh Herb Roasted Potatoes
In the midst of a flavorful meal, it is nice to have a simple starch dish like these tasty potatoes.
Jul 3, 2015
Recipe: Acorn Squash Stuffed with Bread, Cheese, and Bacon
I have Dorie Greenspan to thank for this recipe. Last year, I wrote about her Pumpkin Filled with Bread and Cheese, a recipe I’ve since seen updated in Fine Cooking. Thing is, I’d rather eat squash than pumpkin — and I only needed to feed two people. So I swapped out the pumpkin for a more modestly sized acorn squash, along with a few other tweaks, to make this into a weeknight meal — including an all-important step for getting that delicious, caramelized crust on top!
Mar 2, 2015
Recipe: Balsamic-Marinated Stuffed Flank Steak
Flank steak is a fairly popular cut of beef, and for good reason — it’s flavorful, inexpensive, and incredibly versatile! Unfortunately I’ve had my fair share of tough ones over the years; the lean meat almost seems to overcook if you just look at it the wrong way. Thankfully this recipe for balsamic flank steak stuffed with prosciutto and cheese has renewed my faith in the often-too-tough meat.
Feb 13, 2015
Cold Weather Recipe: Grown-Up Tater-Tots
It’s hard to say nice things about Chicago in the winter. It’s cold. Like really cold. And it can leave you feeling cooped up and crazy. But the one undeniably wonderful thing about the endless frosty days is the nostalgia it brings. The memories of warming up over a snack — hard earned after a long day sledding (or just some heavy-duty reading in PJs) — gives you a way to escape the claustrophobia and find some inspiration in the kitchen.
Feb 7, 2015
Now Is the Time to Be Eating Parsnips
By looking at them it can be easy to mistake parsnips for white carrots. Sure, they’re related, but parsnips do a wonderful job of shining on their own. And, there isn’t a better time than right now to be eating them. Whether they’re new to you, or they make a regular appearance on your dinner table, here’s everything you need to know about buying, storing, and most importantly, cooking parsnips. No, they’re not white carrots.
Jan 30, 2015
How the Farm Puts Itself to Bed: The Last Day of the Season at Amber Waves Farm
As the cooler winds begin to blow off the Atlantic, the days become shorter, and before the first frost settles in, Amber Waves Farm begins its transition to winter. For me, the time is bittersweet as Katie and Amanda take on the task of putting the farm and fields to bed. For these last days of the 2014 farm season, there is much to do! It’s been a wonderful season! Much more than I expected.
Dec 31, 2014
How Farmers Celebrate the End of a Season: The OktoberFeast Potluck at Amber Waves Farm
Celebrating the harvest is a tradition that is deeply entrenched in farm culture. During the summer months, time is precious and devoted to working the fields. With the cooler weather of autumn the frantic pace lessens, leaving time to reflect on the season and to thank the community for their help and patronage.
Dec 23, 2014
5 Fun Ways to Spice Up Apple Cider
The scent of sweet apple cider mulled with cinnamon and other warm spices is a sure sign of fall and the winter holiday season. And while you can buy apple cider any time of year, it just seems appropriate to drink more of it after the apple harvest. Apple cider takes well to fun flavor additions and preparations — here are five ways to personalize and make it more interesting!
Dec 2, 2014
A Teeny-Tiny Thanksgiving
We ended up with a much smaller Thanksgiving this year due to the unexpected injury of our host and main cook. A cozy, thrown-together meal was served up on the kitchen table which had been moved into the living room to be closer to The Patient who was convalescing on the couch. Brined heritage turkey, sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, honey and thyme carrots, and cream roasted fennel. And cranberry sauce.
Nov 30, 2014
Recipe: Dark Molasses Gingerbread Cake
This is a cake that should come with a warning: Only proceed if you love molasses. If you do love molasses and its dark, bitter sweetness, then proceed immediately, and with haste. This cake is dark, fudgy, damp and rich. It’s like a chocolate cake for people who don’t like chocolate. I am one of those people who loves molasses even more than chocolate — I love how it balances sugar sweetness with bitterness and a cascade of funky sour notes.
Nov 20, 2014
Pomegranates, the Jewels of Winter
After the bounty of summer berries and stone fruits, it may seem that fall and winter are relegated to only apples, pears, and citrus, but don’t forget pomegranates! The hidden little sweet-tart jewels inside pomegranates can brighten up any rainy or wintry day. Pomegranates are one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruits. Native to Iran and India, archaeological findings show that they were grown and harvested by the Persians as far back as 2,000 BC.
Oct 31, 2014
Did You Accidentally Pick 20 Pounds of Apples at the Farm? Let Us Help You With That.
Finally this year I remembered to go apple picking before the frost hit! I remember looking at the somewhat small bags the orchard provided and thinking that I should pick enough to fill two or three bags, because one wouldn’t be enough. Well, it’s been two weeks and we still have apples to spare. Are you in a similar state? Overloaded by apples brought on by over-eager pickers? Read on for tips on what to do with your apple bounty this fall!
Oct 29, 2014
Autumn Kitchen Welcoming Winter
We’re deep into autumn right now. The move from bright to dark has begun, a yearly non-negotiable event that has a profound influence on our lives. The extent that we can shift with it will become the measure of our contentment and happiness. Often we feel a contraction from the loss of sunshine.
Oct 26, 2014
A Pasta Dish For Fall: Sausage, Fennel & Eggplant Rigatoni
I’ve been craving a lot of pasta recipes lately, especially recipes that use rigatoni. I love the way the ridges of the pasta help support the sauce and flavor of any dish. This recipe from Healthy Recipe Ecstasy uses interesting ingredients that sound highly flavorful and satisfying. It’s a perfect companion for a Friday night. This pasta dish has three main ingredients outside of the rigatoni: sausage, fennel and eggplant. It’s also smothered in tomato and cheese.
Oct 17, 2014
The Best Tool for Removing Pumpkin and Squash Seeds
Whether you’re carving mini pumpkins into Jack-o-lanterns or just prepping some butternut squash, scraping out of the seeds and stringy bits around them can be an annoying task. But did you know you can use a kitchen tool you probably already have in your gadget drawer to make the whole process much, much easier? I used to haul out a regular spoon when it came time to remove seeds out of hard winter squash and pumpkins, but it never seemed to do a good job.
Oct 17, 2014
Using It All Up
The vegetables I discovered in my crisper this morning were not upholding the expectations of their location very well. In other words, they will never again be described as crisp. If I don’t rescue them today, they are doomed to the compost carton and since that would be a crying shame, I pull out my knife and get to work. I love the alchemical process of cooking.
Oct 12, 2014
5 Ways to Eat Apple Pie All Day (Without Actually Baking a Pie)
A lofty double-crusted apple pie is one of my favorite all-American desserts — it’s the perfect blend of buttery pastry, tart-sweet apples, fruit syrup, and warm spices. Sadly, with a busy work and home life, making one of these beauties isn’t at the top of my to-do list. But the classic combination of flavors in an apple pie can easily be enjoyed in other foods, making it possible to eat apple pie all day long.
Oct 1, 2014
The Best Apples for Baking
Apples are one of our favorite fruits to bake with — they’re inexpensive, easy to find, available year round, and last a long time. Whether they’re baked into a pie, grated into muffins, or shingled into a beautiful tart, this fruit can do it all. But not all apples are designed for baking, so here’s what you need to know! When baking with apples, you need to keep in mind that texture is really important.
Sep 17, 2014
Recipe: Rosemary & Lemon Chicken Minestrone Soup
There are recipes that happen because one has a grand vision, and then there are those that happen because one is hungry, but lazy. This is one of those. What I really wanted was meatball soup, but meatballs required, well, making meatballs. I was hoping for something a little more one-pot, one-bowl. Lucky for me, this soup gave me the chicken meatball goodness I desired. But, you know, without the meatballs.
Feb 24, 2014
Winter Recipe: Caramelized White Chocolate “Hot Chocolate”
By now, we’ve all met our quota of eggnog, peppermint, and pumpkin-spice inspired hot chocolate (not to mention a lifetime supply of plain cocoa), but we still need something sweet to warm us up on a wintery night. I’ve got a soft spot for white hot chocolate, which is as comforting as a glass of hot milk can be, but equally snooze-inducing. To mix things up, I decided to caramelize the white chocolate beforehand.
Jan 7, 2014
Thanksgiving Recipe: Whipped Cauliflower with Crème Fraîche
If you’re looking for an easy, healthy, and absolutely delicious side dish to complete your Thanksgiving menu, look no further. (Bonus points for not taking up precious oven or stovetop space!) Can I just say that I am officially obsessed with whipped cauliflower now? My family is set in their Thanksgiving ways, which doesn’t bother me in the least.
Nov 25, 2013
5-Minute Recipe: Candy Crunch Dip
We all have one. You know, a recipe that you’re probably a little ashamed of, either because it is unglamorous or unhealthy (or both). Candied Apple Dip is one of those recipes I wish I didn’t know existed. Because, quite simply, it is absolutely delicious, even if it is just plain wrong. My next door neighbor, Mike, brought an appetizer to our house a few years ago that I wouldn’t soon forget.
Oct 31, 2013
Pretty Autumn Dessert: Pumpkin Ice Cream in Gingersnap Bowls
Ice cream is the perfect dessert for busy hosts and there are so many ways to fancy up a simple scoop. Here’s a tasty, seasonal idea that would work for an autumn dinner party, or even as a Thanksgiving dessert: serve scoops of pumpkin ice cream in no-bake gingersnap cups! This recipe comes from The Merrythought, who make their pumpkin ice cream from scratch, but you could easily adapt the idea with good-quality store-bought ice cream.
Oct 29, 2013
Cold Weather Recipe: Beer Cheese Soup
Beer cheese soup is a classic Midwestern recipe, but a lot of things can go wrong when making it. (Greasy blobs of cheddar, anyone?) Thankfully I discovered a little trick that will guarantee that your next batch is silky, creamy perfection. Bring on the cold weather, because this recipe will definitely keep you warm. The first time I attempted beer cheese soup was a few Christmases ago for a romantic night of tree trimming and indulgent eating.
Oct 14, 2013
Recipe: Tart Cherry Crumble
I recently spent a few days in northern Michigan, the heart of tart cherry country. I ate the most transcendent piece of cherry pie I’d ever had, and I was reminded of how much I love tart cherries in baking. They are the baker’s dream fruit: plump, juicy, bite-sized, and not too sweet at all.
Oct 10, 2013
Fall Recipe: Moroccan-Spiced Carrot & Sorghum Soup
Because so much of the recipe development I do these days involves whole grains, there are times when I rely heavily on different flours or grains for a short period and then grow tired of them. Quinoa had a strong run last spring, and this summer we found ourselves making either millet or polenta in some form practically every day of the week. But I’ve just started using a new grain in the kitchen, and I’m quite smitten, maybe for the long run. Do you know sorghum?
Oct 2, 2013
The Best Start for Chilly Fall Mornings: Make-Ahead Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Huddled under the covers, hitting the snooze button on these chilly fall mornings? Tell me about it! With the temperature creeping lower and lower, practically the only thing getting me to rise and shine is the thought of a hearty breakfast of steel-cut oatmeal waiting in the kitchen. In anticipation of busy mornings, I often cook up a batch on Sunday to eat all week. Here’s how I do it.
Sep 30, 2013
The Best Thing I Cooked Last Week: Thai Coconut Seafood Soup
It’s officially fall. Let in the cool breeze and bring on the warm soup. Last week this surprisingly simple and quick-to-prepare soup took the crown of “best thing I cooked” so I just had to share. If you’ve got 12 minutes, you’ve got time to make this for dinner tonight. I usually take so-called “30 minute recipes” with a grain of salt, as they rarely take 30 real minutes to execute from knife to spoon.
Sep 26, 2013
This Delicious Butter Is Actually Made of Maple Syrup
Earlier today we showed you the oh-so-easy method for making butter at home. And since I now have butter on the brain, let’s talk about another kind of butter that is also quite easy to make, and, if possible, even more amazing and delicious. This is not butter in that it is made from cream and can be used in pâte feuilletée. But it is butter in the sense that it is very, very, very good on toast.
Sep 6, 2013
Recipe for Rosh Hashanah: Apple Butter Challah
I have never met a challah I did not like. There is simply something magical about the puffed, egg-enriched loaves that sit at the center of many Jewish holiday meals and that make an extravagant base for French toast. And yet as a kid, I would count down the days to Rosh Hashanah when my mom would bring home challah baked specially for the holiday.
Sep 3, 2013
King Ranch Casserole
With all the hustle and bustle in our daily lives, I can’t think of anything better than stocking the freezer with a couple of homemade casseroles. There is something about these piping-hot, one-dish meals that can satisfy the weariest of souls. This from-scratch version of King Ranch Casserole gets rid of the cans and is destined to become a modern-day classic.
Aug 26, 2013
Easy Dinner Recipe: Viking Chicken
I’ve been doing a lot of cooking this week, and it’s been really nice. When my marriage ended a year ago, I was suddenly thrown back into cooking by myself again, and at first I was lost at sea. I had forgotten everything I’d known — the touch and the feel of cooking — that I’d had ten years earlier when I was single.
Jan 8, 2013
Dinner-for-Two Recipe: Sage-Brined Pork Chops with Brown Sugar Glaze
Whether you’re planning a low-key holiday meal or sneaking in a midweek dinner date amid other holiday plans, put these tender pork chops glazed with brown sugar on your list. It’s one of those dishes that is so easy and so simple, and yet feels like a special feast all its own. A quick brine is one of my favorite ways to add flavor to thin cuts of meat like pork chops and also ensure that they stay juicy and tender during cooking.
Nov 19, 2012
Quick Recipe: Maple Pecan Blondies with Maple Butter Glaze
These bars were baked with a very specific person in mind: My father-in-law, Jim. He and my mother-in-law keep to a gloriously healthy diet. They have a bountiful garden behind their small urban home, and they eat two modest home-cooked meals a day, one after a vigorous early morning swim. However, on special occasions, restraint vanishes and I find a lot of pleasure in offering Jim his two favorite foods in the whole world: Butter and maple syrup.
Nov 13, 2012
Recipe: Enchiladas de Pipián Rojo
Every Halloween I like to cook something warm and pumpkin-y for dinner. This year I’ll pair my favorite pumpkin tortilla soup with enchiladas de pipián rojo, a smoky, nutty, spiced (but not too spicy) sauce made with pumpkin seeds, chile peppers, and roasted vegetables. In Mexico, pipián is a type of mole or sauce served with meat or over enchiladas. Made with ground seeds or nuts, it may be green (verde) or red (rojo).
Oct 31, 2012
Recipe: Roasted Grape Granita & Red Wine
One of my favorite simple snacks to make is roasted grapes. The roasting process really brings out all the natural sweetness and the warmth and tenderness of the red orbs just melt in your mouth. I usually set them out with a charcuterie or a cheese plate, but this time around I decided to do something else with them. What if I made a granita with this roasted goodness? What if I enjoyed that granita with a bottle of red wine?
Oct 25, 2012
Recipe: Fettuccine with Roasted Butternut Squash, Brown Butter & Sage
Here’s a simple little fall-time pasta dish with sweet roasted butternut squash and nutty brown butter. It’s one of those dishes that makes even a weeknight meal feel special, especially if you splurge for fresh fettuccine noodles and a nice bottle of wine. Serve it with a salad of bitter greens, apples, and walnuts on the side, and dinner is ready.
Oct 22, 2012
Wholesome Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Soup with Herb Dumplings
The dish I’m about to share is really two recipes in one – heavenly together but also good building blocks for many other meals this fall and winter. First up is a creamy, yet dairy-free, soup with roasted fall vegetables like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. Then come the dumplings. Roasting the vegetables amplifies and deepens their flavors. Pureed with vegetable stock, they form a velvety, comforting soup.
Oct 17, 2012
Recipe: Pizza with Crispy Kale, Butternut Squash, Bacon & Smoked Mozzarella
I have suffered from a slight obsession with kale recently, especially the dark Tuscan and dino varieties. I’m eating it raw in salads, roasted until crispy for a snack, sautéed on the side to round out a meal. Yum. I plan on carrying my green addiction right on into the fall with this hearty harvest pizza. Given the need to roast the squash and fry the bacon, this isn’t exactly the kind of pizza you can throw together last-minute on a weeknight.
Oct 8, 2012
Recipe: Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Milk & Vanilla Bean
These whipped sweet potatoes are a great recipe when you need to get out of a vegetable rut. They’re a little more dressed up than the average weeknight side so think of them as a minimalist dish for your holiday feast. With coconut milk for interest and richness, and a swirl of vanilla bean paste, consider adding this to the Thanksgiving table when you want something on the sweeter side that still leaves the marshmallows out of the equation.
Oct 4, 2012
Recipe: Balsamic-Glazed Pearl Onions
It’s funny how precisely the weather seems to adhere to the calendar year; the first day of fall immediately brought vibrant leaves and cooler breezes to Georgia. My appetite also succumbs to these changes and my urge for comfort food grows strong—out with vine-ripe tomatoes and grilled summer corn, bring on the hearty braises and savory stews.
Oct 1, 2012
From Alabama To Wyoming: A Guide to Finding Farm Stands In All 50 States
We’ll pull over to visit a roadside farm stand any time of year, so we’ve put together a list of resources to help you find roadside stands, pumpkin patches, and pick-your-own farms in all 50 states. Let us know if you have a particular favorite in your part of the world!
Jul 10, 2012
Winter Recipe: Pork Ragu with Semolina Gnocchi
With December finally here, I can’t seem to find enough hours to get through each day. Between Christmas shopping, holiday parties, and work projects, life on Monday through Saturday is hurried and I’m sprinting just to keep up. But then, just in the nick of time, there is Sunday.I diligently set aside Sunday as a time for personal rest and relaxation. Don’t expect me to brush my hair, and don’t even ask why I still have mascara on my face past noon.
Dec 5, 2011
Recipe: Thai-Style Brussels Sprouts
I had the best Brussels sprouts of my life last week at a lovely little restaurant in Brooklyn called Vinegar Hill House. It was just before Thanksgiving and it got me thinking about the dwindling stock of green food coming from the earth this time of year. Winter eating can be depressing for a girl like me, but given the limits and challenges of cold-weather cooking, some pretty amazing stuff can pop through this kind of tabletop sorrow.
Dec 1, 2011
Recipe: Turkey Meatloaf in a Pumpkin
It was a lonely late fall a few years back. I had moved back to the apartment my husband and I owned to oversee its sale. Two thousand miles from family and with Thanksgiving fast approaching, I was just about to buy a last-minute ticket for a flight home when my big sister showed up on my doorstep and turned my frown upside down.
Nov 15, 2011
Cold-Weather Cocktail Recipe: Pumpkin Buttered Rum
pumpkin butter Alcohol always warms the body, and hot alcohol doubly so. Delight your guests, and warm your insides, with this tweak of an old recipe. Now, if you have never had hot buttered rum before, you may be a bit skeptical. Alcohol and butter? Believe and do not doubt. Butter adds a certain richness to this drink, as well as a bit of flavor. Imagine drinking a warm glass of boozy pumpkin pie. Don’t you love fall? Nancy Mitchell loves a hot drink on a cold day.
Nov 11, 2011
Make-Ahead Vegetarian Recipe: Beet & Sweet Potato Stacks
It’s the details that matter the most at fancy dinner parties and holiday meals. Take this recipe. Really, it’s just a warm beet salad. But assemble it in pretty layers, add some toasted walnuts and a citrusy vinaigrette, and suddenly you have a dish that elicits oohs and ahhs as you carry it proudly to the dinner table. Equally impressive is the fact that most of this recipe can be made ahead of time. The beets, sweet potatoes, and walnuts can all be roasted.
Nov 10, 2011
Spooky & Playful: The Best Halloween Treats for 2011
It’s Halloween — which means we’re all supposed to pull out vats of Jell-O and light ’em with black lights, and scrawl spiderweb icing over elaborate cakes. Right? Well, if you’re short on time for such undertakings, or if you want to avoid the sugar overload of too many Halloween treats, check out this roundup.
Oct 28, 2011
Recipe: Spiced Apple Jellies With Yogurt Mousse
These pretty cups of spiced apple jelly topped with lightly sweetened yogurt mousse taste like apple pie in Jell-O form. But better than Jell-O — this spoon dessert is made with agar instead of gelatin, so even vegetarian dessert lovers can indulge. Combining the very Western flavor of spiced apple cider with the texture of an Asian agar-based jelly, this is a sweet that is both intriguing and comfortingly familiar.
Oct 21, 2011
Pears! 7 Common Types and How to Use Them
If you’re browsing your local farmer’s market, you’ll probably see more than seven types of pears. You may even discover a totally new (and vaguely unpronounceable) variety that becomes your favorite. But for now, let’s talk basics. What’s the difference between a Bartlett and a Bosc? And which one should you pick up for your afternoon snack? These seven types of pears are what we see most often at the grocery store.
Oct 20, 2011
Recipe: Baked Apple Dumplings
As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m a pretty big fan of the Southern restaurant chain Cracker Barrel. Their buttermilk biscuits are the lightest, airiest biscuits around. The chicken & dumplings and hashbrown casserole are pretty rockin’, too. But once in a blue moon I’ll indulge in their most decadent menu item of all, baked apple dumplings. Up until a few days ago, Cracker Barrel’s apple dumplings were all I knew.
Oct 20, 2011
How To Make a Small, Quick Batch of Applesauce
Have you ever made warm, silky, cinnamon-spiked applesauce? It’s the simplest thing in the world, and it’s a good way to use up windfall apples, or ones with brown spots on the edge of going bad. If you’ve never tried this simple cooking DIY, then why not celebrate fall with a little pot of applesauce this week? You only need apples, water, a bit of citrus peel (if you want) and cinnamon (if you’re so inclined).
Oct 19, 2011
Pretty for a Party: Fall Salad Served in Apple Bowls
Want a sweet little presentation for a simple autumn salad? Get out your melon baller.We saw these beautiful salads served in apple shells over at Yummy Mummy. It sounds pretty easy—slice off the top of the apple and scoop out the flesh with an ice cream scoop or a melon baller, leaving a thick edge.The salad inside is so colorful and lush, a mix of avocado, blue cheese, apple, and pomegranate seeds.
Oct 18, 2011
Recipe: Giant Zucchini Stuffed with Sausage, Mushrooms & Sage
This, if you can’t tell, is an enormous zucchini. It’s the the type that shows up this time of year, somehow having hid beneath leaves all summer long until reaching proportions too gargantuan to ignore. There’s only one thing to do with a zucchini of this size: stuff it. This particular zucchini was bequeathed to me (as such things usually are) by a friend’s mother.
Sep 29, 2011
Recipe: Autumn Udon with Vegetables
Earlier this week we posted about about Tara Austen Weaver’s new ebookTales from a High MountainLike much of Japanese cooking, the beauty and taste lies in the simplicity of the recipe. Udon is a perfect dish for a light supper on a cool night, as the first of the autumn leaves gently rattle in the trees.
Sep 15, 2011
Weekend Meditation: The In-Between Time
The angle of the sun and the bowl of apples sitting on my table speak of the autumn that’s coming, a whispered murmur growing bolder as the schoolchildren fill the playground next door and a leaf crinkles and spins, slowly falling from the tree outside my window. An occasional persimmon appears in the market, calling out to the pomegranates and pumpkins to hurry and catch up. The idea of braised meat is appealing again and out of the blue comes a craving to knit a scarf.
Sep 4, 2011
Seasonal Spotlight: Pink Pearl Apples
These Pink Pearl apples made me gasp when I saw them in San Francisco’s Bi-Rite Market last week. I was so excited I almost overturned the display! Like little ambassadors of fall, this forgotten heirloom variety is hard to find these days. Don’t know Pink Pearls? Read on for more about these little jewels.Pink Pearls are delicious eating apples. Their vibrant, deep pink flesh is crisp, juicy and has an excellent sweet/tart ratio.
Aug 30, 2011
Autumnal Recipe: Roasted Squash and Arugula Salad with Pecans, Bacon, and Goat Cheese
This salad, with its deep flavors and rich ingredients, is a perfect example of autumn’s most delicious offerings. In fact, it would almost be too rich if it wasn’t for a bright splash of sherry vinegar and the light, spicy green of arugula. Bring it to a buffet, pot luck or serve it as a light supper on its own.This recipe was inspired by Suzanne Goin from her book Sunday Suppers at Lucques.
Nov 10, 2010
Creating a Día de los Muertos Altar
November 1st and 2nd is Día de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead), a Mexican holiday that is celebrated all over the world, especially where people from Mexico have settled. Here in San Francisco it’s a huge celebration, complete with a wild, candle-lit parade through the Mission district ending in an altar exhibit in a nearby park.
Nov 1, 2010