Fall themed desserts are all over these days – pumpkin bread puddings, cranberry panna cotta, pecan trifle. And those of us with a confirmed fear of rolling pins grasp at these desperately. But now it’s time to get real. You and I both know that Thanksgiving is about pie. Preferably multiple types of pie. The table should be GROANING with pie. Pumpkin pie, mincemeat pie, apple pie … Panna cotta, while a very lovely dessert, just doesn’t cut it. Which means, fair readers, that if I’m going to do Thanksgiving right by you, I need to get over my fear of rolling. I need to summon the reserves — the wisdom of the elders, nerves of steel, hands of ice, and my own experience of parenting a three year old, and tell that pie dough, “You are NOT the boss of me. I am the boss. And don’t you forget it.” And then I’m going to fill it with something wonderful — in this case, a variation on the Thanksgiving classic pecan pie made with walnuts and maple syrup and no corn syrup in sight. And then I’m going to tell you all about it. [...]
Every night on my way home from work, I drive through Little Ethiopia and fantasize about Ethiopian food. Ethiopian food, if you’ve never had it, is usually made of a variety of fantastically spicy stews served on this spongy flat sourdough bread called injera, which is kind of a cross between a pancake and bread. I started thinking about making Ethiopian food at home, and since injera is integral to the Ethiopian food experience, I started scheming as to how to make my own injera too. It’s made from a grain called teff, and you need your own teff based starter that captures wild yeast, and you need to make it over at least three days and …
Do you see where I’m going with this? I literally DRIVE THROUGH LITTLE ETHIOPIA ON MY WAY HOME EVERY DAY. How much easier would it be to just stop one night and pick up some Ethiopian food and injera than it would be to go through the whole rigmarole of finding teff, getting a starter going, making the injera, making the stew not having it taste nearly as good AND then doing the dishes? I’m a big believer in jumping into cooking projects, because homemade is usually better and easy to make, but some culinary escapades just don’t make sense.
Hummus, however, is not one of those escapades. Yes, you can buy about sixteen varieties of hummus at nearly every grocery store, but it is totally worth making at home, since it is 1) a snap to make 2) inexpensive and 3) infinitely customizable. [...]
When I was growing up, I was never told to eat my brussels sprouts. Or my lima beans. Or my parsnips. This isn’t because I was some infant prodigy vegetable lover, but because these vegetables, and many others, never graced our family table. My father, who is a gourmand in many other ways, has a decided aversion to most vegetables. (He claims he’s allergic to beets, having developed a rash when fed them at the age of two. He has not eaten beets in the intervening sixty years. I am skeptical.) We did have a green salad almost every night with dinner, and my mother does make the world’s best Caesar salad, but I never encountered kohlrabi or rutabagas until I was all grown up and eating them in my own kitchen, so I never developed a distaste for those little beauties. Because of my sheltered childhood, I have a strong and lasting love for cruciferous vegetables – those strongly flavored, cancer fighting, generally awesome brassicas that are despised by children the world over. Bring on the Brussels sprouts! Cue the cauliflower! Of all the cruciferous vegetables, I would say cabbage might just be my favorite. It’s versatile, performing equally well in salads and stir fries, it’s sweet, and salty, and perfectly crunchy, and best of all, it lasts a good long time in my refrigerator drawer. Cabbage Photo. That is why when I saw the recipe in the New York Times for kale and cabbage gratin, I knew I hit the jackpot. Cabbage! And Kale (another Brassica, and the healthiest vegetable)! And I’m not turning up my nose at Gruyere either. Full Post [...]
plum forgot what I’ve made lately. That is what happens when I don’t update enough. Let’s go back in time to Valentine’s day, shall we? Dinner was delicious — sauteed shrimp in a harissa cream sauce (recipe to follow later), steak (do you really need a recipe?), mashed potatoes (again? But I’ll give you my secret which is to add just a leetle mayonnaise to the mix — Best Foods of course. It adds a nice tang and even if you hate mayo you don’t taste it. I myself love mayo), roasted asparagus, because it’s the time for those little teeny asparagus, and for dessert, maple cream pie, for which I MADE THE CRUST FROM SCRATCH AND ROLLED IT OUT ALL BY MY LONESOME. You have no idea how huge this is. I don’t have an issue with MAKING pie crust, but the rolling gives me heart palpitations. Read more … [...]