Page 24
Weekend Meditation: Nourishing the Hungry Ghosts
It’s a deeply gray and rainy day, one hundred percent autumnal in its light and temperature and mood. It’s the kind of day where I cancel all obligations and stay tucked indoors, wandering throughout my apartment turning on the lights even though it’s barely 2pm. As I pass by the kettle, I flick its switch to boil some water for a cup of milky black tea and pull on an extra sweater scooped up from the closet floor.
Oct 31, 2010
Quick Dinner Recipe: Pumpkin & Ricotta Pasta Casserole
Everyone loves a good casserole, right? The key word here is good. We’ve all had goopy, unappetizing messes inflicted upon us in the name of casseroles, but that really should be the deviation — not the norm. I love casseroles — the good ones. In fact, I just spent a year writing an entire book with 225 recipes for modern, fresh casseroles. This recipe isn’t in the book, but it’s very much in the spirit of things.
Oct 29, 2010
Look! A Vertical Pear Salad
Well, this is one way to make salad more exciting. How charming, right? And they’re really easy. You just need to remember to do one important thing.We saw this salad at The Novice Chef blog, where Jessica explains how to cut out the core and reassemble the pear (each slice ends up looking like a doughnut), so that you can eat the salad without having to maneuver around seeds.The key is to brush the pear slices with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Oct 21, 2010
Eating Cheese Fondue in Switzerland: My First Taste of Real Swiss Fondue
When I visited Switzerland for the first time, our kind and hospitable hosts treated us to a meal of real Swiss fondue. Now, I have never been very enthusiastic about fondue. It has always seemed gimmicky and outdated (olive green fondue pots, strawberries dipped in chocolate…). But the real thing — ah, it won me over. Here’s a little peek at one of the most wonderful meals I’ve ever had. The table set, with steaming glasses of tea.
Oct 5, 2010
Weekend Meditation: The Potential of Apple Blossoms, Fully Realized
It was just about six months ago that I wrote here about wandering in a small apple orchard amongst the apple blossoms, dreaming of the day they will become apples, and apple pies and applesauce. That day has come, at least in my kitchen. It’s time to begin the cycle again, to capture the blossoms of spring in a jar and seal it up tight. It’s applesauce time!I’ve got a case of canning jars and a lead on an apple tree that is just about ripe for picking.
Sep 19, 2010
Quick Tip: How to Quickly Trim a Big Pile of Beans
Let’s face it: trimming green beans is a chore. Laboriously snipping the tops and tails off of each bean with a paring knife definitely gets old after a while. Particularly when you’ve still got most of the pile left to go. Here’s what we do to make the job go by a little more quickly.You can use a chef’s knife or a paring knife for this, whichever you feel more comfortable using.
Jul 19, 2010
Valentine’s Breakfast in Bed Recipe: VS Mocha Café
What are you drinking on Valentine’s? (Or, for that matter, Chinese New Year, President’s Day, or Fat Tuesday?) A little later today we have a roundup for you of creative and delicious Valentine’s Day cocktails. But first, let’s consider breakfast. Why not start the day off with a spiked mocha? Here’s one recipe that looks so good; we’d love to curl up with a hot mug of mocha on this snowy weekend!
Feb 12, 2010
Recipe: Hashed Sprouts with Hazelnuts and Fried Capers
We mentioned yesterday that we’re slightly obsessed with Brussels sprouts This dish was totally inspired by the warm salad of Brussels sprouts leaves with fried capers and hazelnuts at Contigo, a great Spanish and Catalan restaurant in San Francisco. We had a very memorable meal there a few weeks ago, but it was this dish that took the top prize. Fresh, warm, and interesting.
Jan 5, 2010
Seasonal Spotlight: Matsutake Mushroom
These mushrooms, whose name means “pine” (matsu) and “mushroom” (take) grow under pine trees in Japan, parts of China, and the North American West Coast. They’re also found in parts of Northern Europe. Sought-after and prized by the Japanese, these mushrooms can sell for up to $2000 per kilogram in Japan. Here in San Francisco, I found them going for $10 per pound. Their seasonal window is very short, usually from October to January.Their fragrance is wonderful.
Dec 1, 2009
Tip: How To Roast and Peel Chestnuts
To me, few things signal the arrival of autumn better than the sweet chestnut. As soon as I see them at the farmer’s market, I happily scoop them up, filling a bag with them. Chestnuts have to be cooked before they can be eaten. The meats are large and sweet, and do well on their own as a snack, chopped and added to savory stuffings, or added to desserts. Peeling and roasting them is a bit time-consuming, but knowing a few tricks can help expedite the process.
Nov 2, 2009
Autumn Recipe: Mélange of Squash Braised in Cream
We usually roast our butternut, acorn, and delicata squash. We like the flavor of winter squash roasted slowly in the oven. The only problem is that word: slow. It takes a while to roast a whole squash or two, so lately we’ve been turning to a familiar technique, used in a new way for squash. Braising.Braised or simmered squash is much quicker than roasting: it cooks in just a few minutes, and you’re left with the benefit of all that creamy sauce, too.
Oct 19, 2009
Autumn Recipe: Brown Butter Ice Cream
There are many desserts in the fall that beg for ice cream to accompany them. Apple pies. Peach crisps. Quince crumbles. Plum tortes, tarts, and clafoutis. They all need a little scoop of creaminess to complement the natural tartness of the fruit. And as much as we love good vanilla ice cream, there is really only one ice cream we now choose to go with all of these autumn desserts. Brown butter.Brown butter anything is heartstoppingly good, of course.
Oct 15, 2009
Apples Galore! How to Make Apple Butter
Have you ever had apple butter? Personally, we can’t get enough of it! Apple butter is applesauce that gets slowly cooked down until it becomes a thick, glossy, caramelized spread. So good on toast and swirled into ice cream. And here’s how to make it at home:Step 1: Choose ApplesThe best apples are the ones that taste good to you. We like apples that are tart and tangy, but you might prefer ones that are more sweet and mellow. Both are good!
Oct 12, 2009
Seasonal Recipe: Pumpkin Soup with Bacon
My farm box delivered the most exquisite treasure a few weeks ago, the fairy tale-like Musquee de Provence Pumpkin. It’s been sitting on my dining room table and as much as I would love to keep it around for it’s voluptuous beauty, this pumpkin (which is technically a part of the squash family) is also quite delicious to eat.Read on for a favorite recipe!The flesh of the Musquee de Provence is deep orange and sweet.
Oct 12, 2009
Dessert Recipe du Jour: Plum Crumble
Have you seen the latest irresistible recipe making the blog rounds? We’re speaking about plum crumble, a dish that Molly of Orangette just put on the menu at Delancey, and a dish that has a quite impressive lineage going back through Luisa Weiss and Marian Burros. But sources aside, this dish speaks for itself. It’s freaking fantastic.We love plums; they are one of our favorite fruits in late summer and early fall.
Sep 25, 2009
Quick Southern-Style Baked Beans from Pioneer Woman Recipe Review
“Woah, Nelly.” That’s how Ree Drummond begins this recipe, and we have to agree! We took one look at this bacon-topped casserole of smoky beans and knew we’d be making it soon. Fortunately, with lots of weekend cookouts and football parties to attend, we didn’t have to look far for an excuse!
Sep 16, 2009
Quick Tip: How to Clean Morel Mushrooms
Morels are one of our favorite mushrooms of all time, and they’re in season right now! Since they’re harvested from the wild, morels come with a fair amount of grit and all those little nooks and crannies can be hard to clean. Here’s how we do it…There’s a lot of debate about whether morels should be rinsed under water, dry-brushed with a paper towel, or soaked in salted water remove the grit.
Apr 21, 2009
Soup of the Day: Creamy Garlic (Knoblauchcremesuppe)
Knoblauchcremesuppe! Say that eight times fast. It’s actually a very simple thing, and it’s quite deserving of our soup of the day. Creamy garlic soup, an Austrian favorite.This soup is so simple and easy: just some onion and garlic, a little flour and a little milk. Toasted bread croutons and ta-da! Dinner. Sweet and simple.• Get the recipe: Knoblauchcremesuppe (garlic soup) at Dinner for OneHave a great soup recipe? Email us here if you have a recipe and photo to share.
Feb 10, 2009
Tip: Warm The Plates
With Thanksgiving nipping at our heels, it’s a good time to remember all the things that help make a meal a great meal. Here’s one I learned from both my mother and my husband: warm plates make a huge difference.I’ll admit that I don’t warm the plates every time I serve someone food, but when it feels special, I always try to give them a little kiss of warmth. Here are a few ways of doing it.
Nov 26, 2008
Look! Wax-Dipped Pears in France
Here’s a small, colorful note from my time in France last week. At the market some of the pears had dabs of something bright and scarlet on top. What was it?It turns out that all of the stems were dipped in wax to seal them. My market tour guide, Rosa Jackson, told me later in the week that this was done to keep the pears from ripening too quickly.I’ve never seen this done in the States – have you? Does anyone know why keeping the stem sealed prevents ripening?
Nov 20, 2008
Recipe: Apple Walnut Bread Pudding
Apples and bread pudding – what could be more well-suited? This is fall dessert at its most comforting. We made this chock-full of autumn flavors – toasted whole wheat bread, fresh picked apples, roasted walnuts, plump raisins. We poured cinnamon cream and eggs over top, baked, and drizzled real homemade Caramel Sauce on top of individual servings.Great for breakfast – we speak from experience! Click through for recipe and another pic.
Nov 13, 2008
A Bread-and-Cheese-Filled Pumpkin from Dorie Greenspan
Still thinking about what to serve on Halloween tomorrow? How about this? Dorie Greenspan calls it a “recipe in progress.” We call it yum…This dish certainly has a wow factor—a whole pumpkin stuffed with bread, cheese, garlic, and heavy cream, baked until creamy and bubbly. We frequently see small pumpkins that are stuffed and served individually, but with this one, everyone slices or digs in to the same big gourd.Dorie admits that the measurements are rough.
Oct 30, 2008
Recipe: Sweet Butternut Squash and Coconut Jam
Remember the doce de abóboraWe love all manner of Indian sweets, many of which are made with milk. One of our favorite sweets is carrot halwa, an Indian dessert made with reduced milk and sugar (like dulce de leche) and shredded carrots. The Brazilian and Portugese pumpkin compote reminded us of that.We decided, impetuously, to experiment with adding milk (and a couple other things) to Patricia’s recipe for butternut squash compote.The results? Well, first of all, we were lucky.
Oct 30, 2008
Eat This: Baked Acorn Squash Rings
We have a trustworthy method for making sweet and spicy acorn squash, but there’s one downside: it’s slow. So we perked up when we saw this alternate method from Alicia and Summer at Bread & Honey.They used a Martha Stewart recipe – such a simple formula, really – and sliced the acorn squash before baking. They dotted each slice with butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper, and then put them in the oven.
Oct 21, 2008
Acorn Cakelet Pan from Williams-Sonoma
Uh oh – watch out! Williams-Sonoma and Nordic Ware are at it again.This is a new seasonal pan, made by Nordic Ware just for Williams-Sonoma. The pan makes up to 18 little acorn cakelets, and even the pan itself is shaped like an acorn.Nordic Ware’s pans are always very well made; we have an elaborate castle cake pan from them, and it has always performed beautifully. Great baking, easy cleanup.
Oct 21, 2008
Recipe Recommendation: Ribollita
Dana’s post last week on cavalo nero kale reminded me that we’re in ribollita season. Ribollita is a simple, earthy Tuscan soup made from whatever vegetable scraps and stale bread is on hand, and is eaten in the fall and winter months.The word “ribollita” means “reboiled” and is used to refer to this soup because it requires a lot of cooking to get the right flavor and texture. It’s very hearty and filling, and keeps you warm in the winter.
Oct 13, 2008
Seasonal Spotlight: Prickly Pear Fruit
The fruit of the prickly pear cactus, also called tuna in Spanish, has been a staple of Native American and Central American cuisine for centuries. The plant has been introduced to southern Europe as well, where it is also considered a delicacy.Prickly pear cactus fruits ripen in the late summer and early fall. Pears with reddish orange to purple skin are considered to be the sweetest. Green and white pears can be eaten too.
Oct 10, 2008
Recipe: Asian Pear, Fresh Date, and Pomegranate Salad
Just as we were starting to lament the dwindling abundance of summer stone fruits at the farmers’ market, in marched a whole new array of fruits to inspire us. Asian pearsfresh dates Each fruit delights the tongue: a crisp juicy pear, crunchy young dates with hints of honey, and pomegranate seeds that burst in the mouth, sweet at first and then tart. A dressing of pomegranate juice, honey, ginger, and cinnamon ties them together.
Sep 26, 2008
Food Science: Vegetables That Are Even Better After a Frost!
Yes, it’s true: summer is on its way out, but it’s not all sad! There are some end-of-summer vegetables that are even better after a good frost or two. Which ones and why? Read on…Members of the cabbage family are known for growing well in cooler temperatures and for being frost-tolerant. This family includes cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, radishes, kale, chard, and brussels sprouts.
Sep 23, 2008
Seasonal Spotlight: Pink Oyster Mushrooms
As the weather gets cooler and the rains come, mushroom collectors go off into the woods to hunt for prizes. We haven’t had any rain in the Bay Area yet, but if you’re getting rain in your area, you may be seeing more fungi at your local farmer’s markets and greengrocers.We have been seeing a lot of cultivated mushrooms showing up at the markets here, and one new item making the rounds is the pink oyster mushroom.
Sep 22, 2008
Farmers’ Market Report: Fresh Dates Los Angeles
Last weekend, we found branches full of fresh Barhi dates at the farmers’ market. While we were sampling the crunchy young fruits, the man who grew them urged us to peek around the corner…Along the sidewalk, just behind the Dates by Davall stand at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, are several date palm trees, laden with green fruits. Although we’d seen such trees around town before, we admittedly had no idea they were the same as the dates we snack on.
Sep 17, 2008
Recipe: Creamy Cheesy Potatoes
These potatoes are a homestyle recipe – full of dairy and fat and other very, very good things. They are comfort food at its finest, with cubed potatoes boiled till just tender and then baked with all sorts of creamy cheese until soft and bubbling. They also come together faster than you might think, and they last for days in the fridge – if you can keep them around that long!
Jan 25, 2007
Recipe: Sweet Potato Bread Pudding with Caramel Pecan Sauce
Here’s a fall flavored weekend dessert that can be assembled ahead of time and baked just before serving. It’s great for company as a finale to a homey fall meal. The earthy flavor of the sweet potatoes really comes through, pairing well with the spices and the caramely, nutty sauce. I made a batch and gave some to two sets of friends who heated it up in the microwave later. Everyone raved.
Oct 20, 2006
Recipe: Herbed Corn for Columbus Day
Columbus may have come searching for gold, but what he found was a wealth of new foods. Before Europeans arrived in the New World they had never tasted peppers, chocolate, tomatoes or the culinary gold of maize – staple of the Native American diet. Imagine Indian curries without peppers, pasta without tomatoes, or Paris without chocolate!This recipe is adapted from one that Gourmet ran last summer, with a tangy lime butter sauce over lightly cooked corn and herbs.
Oct 9, 2006