December 23, 2014
December 18, 2014
December 16, 2014
December 8, 2014
I've heard a rumor that some people don't adore the humble cabbage the way that I do, but I have a hard time believing it. So maybe it is not the most fragrant of vegetables while it's cooking, but the end result is magnificent - delicious, sweet and mellow. Take some of those crunchy cabbage leaves, cook them slowly until tender, and you will end up with some serious comfort food. Let's not forget, too, that cabbage is in season right now, and is a real bargain at the market.
December 2, 2014
I had a lovely, but quiet Thanksgiving dinner with my family this year (just 3 of us this time). Small though it was, we had turkey and all the trimmings – candied sweet potatoes, creamy mashed potatoes, a super-rich homemade green bean casserole, loads of fluffy stuffing, and everything topped with a boatload of gravy. Yum! It was an excellent meal on Thanksgiving Day, and delicious for a second round Thanksgiving evening.
November 23, 2014
Since Florida navel oranges are currently in season, I decided I would share a recipe for one of my favorite marinades. This recipe comes from my years spent living in South Florida - the place where my husband grew up, and his family still resides. It's the land of sun, sand, surf and palm trees swaying in the breeze.
November 5, 2014
Apple butter is one of the best things that you can make with apples. It's sweet and a little spicy, with an intense apple flavor. I love it on toast, and also in recipes (bbq sauce and apple stack cake recipes coming soon).To me, fall is not complete without making a batch of apple butter - enough for a jar for the fridge, and a few jars for the pantry.
October 29, 2014
These hearty taco bowls use one of my favorite old-time money-saving tricks: stretching the ground meat. This is something that grandmothers did regularly back in the day, often adding a little bit of bread crumbs, or some oats to make the meat go a little further. Think of all of the meatloaves, casseroles and stews that came out of the necessity to make the meat stretch a little farther.
October 24, 2014
Some days, I crave something warm and nourishing, but there just isn't much energy to spare for cooking a meal. The family is waiting to eat, but I am drained. Normally, I am generous with my cooking, but today I am grumpy, and start mumbling something to myself about how I just fed everyone yesterday. This is just how I felt today. I needed to make something cozy and comforting, but also super-easy. Luckily, I had some leftover grilled chicken, but still needed something to go with it. Spicy Sweet Roasted Acorn Squash was my answer.
October 21, 2014
Did you know that you don't need to use store-bought phyllo dough to make apple strudel? It's true! Authentic Viennese strudel uses a simple dough that you can easily make at home, with ingredients you probably already have in the pantry. Let me just say that, with few exceptions, it it makes me very happy to avoid making a special trip to the store to spend extra money on a "convenience" item.
October 15, 2014
Pears are the forgotten fruit of fall. This time of year, we see big piles of apples at every supermarket, and they turn up in so many of our favorite dishes - apple butter, apple strudel, caramel apples, candy apples, etc., etc. But what about that other fall fruit, the pear? They are equally as delicious as apples, and pricewise, they are often downright cheap this time of year. Today I found them for $.65 a pound at my local market! Naturally, I picked up several pounds (3 pounds, to be exact), because they are good in so many recipes, as well as just on their own as a snack.
October 13, 2014
"Wild is the music of autumnal winds
Amongst the faded woods."
Mushrooms and leeks are essential, but often overlooked, fall flavors. There is something about mushrooms, with their woodsy, earthiness that just seems to taste like fall. To be clear, I’m not talking about the bright, cheerful aspect of fall in all of its orange and gold flamboyancy. For me, mushrooms make me think of something more dark, mysterious and wild, like a fall day in a dark forest.
October 8, 2014
Kielbasa has always been a favorite around our house. My husband is of Polish heritage, so he is a fan. Although I am not Polish, I was raised in an area of Western Pennsylvania that has a huge Eastern European population, and kielbasa (or kolbassy as I knew it as a kid) was common fare. These days, it is easily found at any market, and makes for a quick, affordable meal. Although we often have it paired with some type of cabbage and/or noodles, tonight I decided to change it up a bit and pair it with some kale and potatoes for an easy fall supper.
October 2, 2014
I am a serious chili fanatic. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall - the time is always right for chili. I am not a purist, however, because I do like to change-up my ingredients and play with seasonal flavors. This chili uses one of my favorite fall ingredients - sweet potatoes. I know that sweet potatoes are available year-round, but they are harvested and cured in the fall, and their sweet taste and orange color are just right for a hearty bowl of chili on an autumn evening.
September 29, 2014
A Fall chill is in the air, and it's time for our favorite, comforting fall flavors. For a couple of days now, I've been contemplating baking up this sweet treat from my childhood. When I woke up this morning, the urge was overwhelming - I just knew that it was time to make Pumpkin Gobs.
September 26, 2014
Sometimes here at our house, we just crave a midnight snack. Last night it was pizza. My favorite homemade pizza baked in a cast iron skillet, to be exact. I love it because I can whip up an easy crust, top it with some leftovers from my fridge, and have a hot, crispy (yet chewy) pizza in no time. No pizza stone or pizza peel needed.
September 22, 2014
I think that one of the most important rituals of the late Summer/early Fall is the preserving of the harvest in preparation for the dark, cold months ahead. Our ancestors relied on this to survive and, although preserving food seems so unnecessary in modern life, it can be a great money saver. It seems silly to waste fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables if, with just a little effort, you can preserve them and use them later.