Yup, 2016’s almost in the books. And we’re quickly looking down the barrel of 2017. I’m thinking to myself, what I my biggest cooking-related goal for 2017? I can think of SO many things I want to do better. It’s easy to have tons of goals. But, I thought I’d challenge myself to make ONE goal my priority for next year. I wanted to make it practical, yet challenging. I wanted something that could make my life better on a day-to-day basis. So here’s what I chose. I want to learn FIVE fundamental recipes that I can make on a regular basis - and then create several variations of each one. I want to become so familiar with these basics that I can make them well almost without a recipe.
Back in the Spring I watched my lemon plant sprout it’s buds. They smelled incredibly sweet. And weeks later the first signs of mini lemons started popping out – green and tiny, but unmistakably lemons. Throughout the summer those babies get bigger and fatter. By the time fall arrives you can see them start to turn yellow. By November they are completely yellow and ready for harvest. But somehow I don’t get around to it until December.
Yup. It’s that time of year. Gift-giving season has arrived. And like a lot of people with cooks in their lives, you may be wondering: “What the heck can I get them for the holidays?”. Well, I’m here to help (or at least try to help). I have a few ideas which you may not have heard about or thought about. But those cooks you know will love them. Here’s a quick run-down for you.
Well, here we are. The week before Thanksgiving. Lots to do. Lots to cook. Lots of recipes to sift through. Let me add a wonderful Fall recipe to your list for consideration. This one's relatively simple - and will make all your guests (especially us vegetarians) happy. This week's Recipe of the Week is Maple Roast Vegetables from one of my all-time favorite websites Epicurious.com.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. And for so many people cranberries start to take the stage. Maybe not CENTER stage, but they’re there. And for most, it’s a pretty boring experience. Assuming you don’t want to just peel open a can of that jellied cranberry sauce stuff. I know. I know. Some people do like it. And yes, it’s pretty darn sweet. And yes, there’ a bit of nostalgia that accompanies that can. But really. You’re a cook, doggone it. We expect more from you, don’t we? You need to be able to look yourself in the mirror with respect when Black Friday comes around. So, here are a few ideas about making cranberries rock.
OK, I admit it. I love, love, love mushrooms! And on my social media accounts I've shared a few mushrooms-included recipes lately...a creamy parmesan polenta risotto with mushrooms, a mushroom, butternut squash & gruyère tart, a vegan "chicken" pot pie, and plenty of others. So you know when I see a great recipe involving mushrooms (and this one uses 20 ounces of mushrooms!), my eyes get wide with anticipation. And this one definitely caught my attention. It's a lovely mix of a savory dutch baby, covered in mushrooms, and a creamy mushroom-infused butter. Wow! So, this week I'm featuring Mushroom Dutch baby with Roasted Chanterelle Butter from AdventuresInCooking.com as the Recipe of the Week.
Roasted vegetables. They seem so dang easy to make; but they can be fraught with so many missteps. They can burn. They can be undercooked. They can stick to the pan like glue - and get destroyed when you go to remove them. So, is there a way to get them right every time? Well, if you follow just a couple of these rules you should be able to rock just about any roasted veggie. So, here you go. Some keys to great vegetable roasting.
As we roll deeper into fall (and have scooted right on past Halloween), Thanksgiving starts to come into focus. For cooks this is one of the highlights of the year. Pies, turkeys, family gatherings, side dishes, winter squash. Autumn has it all. The harvest season is here in a big way. So, I thought to myself “What’s a good way to start easing into November?”. How about an appetizer dish that would be perfectly at home on your Thanksgiving table, before a holiday party or family get-together, and really throughout the entire season? Something a little different, a little unique. And something that brings forth some oohs and ahhs from your family and guests never hurts, right? I found this one from one of my favorite blogs: Cranberry Goat Cheese Tarts from Cake-n-Knife.
With Halloween behind us (just behind us), many people are looking forward to the remainder of fall and the soon-to-be holidays. And for many fall (Thanksgiving) and winter (holidays) is almost synonymous with more baking. So, I thought this would be a good time to share with you (or remind you) some of the keys to successful baking.
OK, let's just admit it. Maple is sure having it's day in the sun. It's a flavor that's been trending amongst foodies and chefs for the last 18 months or so. We're seeing it pop up as an ingredient on restaurant menus, added to other foods, and we see consumers becoming more savvy about pure maple syrup, grading, and origins. Is that a bad thing? Heck no! I, like so many of you, love the warm sweet taste of maple. It's one of those flavors that says "Fall" to me. So as I scanned around for more great Autumn recipes to share with you, I cam e across this one. It's a cookie recipe with a nice maple flavor and adds not just frosting, but brown butter frosting that adds real depth of flavor beyond just another sweet frosting slathered on a cookie (as nice as that is). This week's Recipe of the Week is Maple Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting from House of Yumm.