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 29, 2014
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.