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Archive for November, 2009

It’s important at every overindulgent and gluttonous meal to try and have at least one dish that makes you feel like you’re nutritionally balanced and moderately healthy. This is said dish…nevermind the large chunk of butter in the recipe, it doesn’t exist if you melt it.

This recipe came from Epicurious and was originally printed in 2007. Even though you might think the ginger would be too spunky in with a more traditional Thanksgiving meal, it actually ended up being much more savory than I expected. Cashews are just plain awesome, and toasting them for a couple of minutes gave it a really deep flavor. Despite the butter, these beans still tasted fresh and healthy and crisp and were a fantastic addition to the table, on a holiday or any time.

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Here’s a two for the price of one post. These two dishes were high-ranking in my pre-Thanksgiving extravaganza, I think everyone had seconds and make a couple had thirds. You really can’t go wrong adding cheese or caramelized onions to anything (except maybe ice cream).

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No-turkey Turkey Dinner

I’m about to write a sentence that I can hardly believe is true. My parents have banished me from the kitchen for Thanksgiving.  I know. I haven’t decided if this is some sort of cruel and unusual punishment or just an earnest desire to maintain traditions and welcome me back into the family holiday fray.  It has been four whole long years since I’ve shared Thanksgiving dinner with my family so I’m excited regardless of the lack of cooking, and I don’t doubt that my mom will whip up a delicious and festive dinner. I’m just…well, bummed. I love fall food. I love to read food magazines and think of all the fall food I could enjoy. I especially love to cook fall food that other people eat, because squash and potatoes are just better when shared. How to reconcile this terrible obstacle I’ve encountered?  Suddenly it occurred to me that I could have a pre-Thanksgiving kick off dinner with friends at my house and have my, er, pear-prosciutto stuffing and eat it too.

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Most of the time I think mushrooms look rather unappetizing. Fungal. So when I came across these fuzzy guys last week at the mothership (more familiarly, the Ferry Building Farmers Market) I couldn’t resist. Sure, fuzzy can also be interpreted to mean, er, moldy, but here we have pristine white balls of fluff that were just so appealing. The vendor assured me they didn’t even need to be washed.

What do they taste like? Really mild, similar to a butto or regular white mushroom with what I think is a smoother taste; they’re not robust like a crimini or portabello, or super-potent like a shitake. They’re more delicate -you can see how porous and light they are- but can go well in a variety of dishes. This week I’ve used them in both the stuffed acorn squash and a breakfast scramble with spinach and a local sheep’s milk mild cheese.  I have  also heard  some claim that this fungus can actually ward off dementia and stomach ulcers. Brain tonic that tastes good, brilliant!

 

 

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This posting is otherwise known as “stuff a squash with anything and it tastes good”, I just thought that title was a little wordy. I hadn’t really befriended squash in any earnest way until last year in New England, probably because squash just looks more appropriate there I guess; the only dishes I remember seeing growing up on the west coast were mountainous piles of orange blob-y stuff with a bunch of marshmallows on top…later identified as sweet potatoes. Hmm, not interested. Anyway, I have since done some lateral exploring of different gourd family members (god I love that word) and I am now a fan.

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I’m a little late to the fall game this year, and for that I am truly sad. Sure summer produce is wonderful, but I love me some soups and squashes. Not to mention it is much more enjoyable to spend time over the stove when it isn’t 6,000 degrees outside.  So, I have some catching up to do; first up is this awesome risotto that was perfect to serve on a cool fall evening to my first dinner guest in my new place.

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Cute Food #1: Lady Apples

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Regular apple shown to demonstrate scale. So tiny!

 

Okay, since I’m kind of ridiculous I just had to post this picture. I’m one of those people who buys things at the grocery store just because I’ve never seen them before. Especially if they’re cute. It keeps me entertained and is a way to avoid eating asparagus and strawberries every day of my life. And since I do this quite often and am now in a city where unusual and pretty produce is abundant, I’m starting a new blog series to introduce my charming new finds.

Have you ever seen these? Lady apples. Adorable. Too bad they’re a little tart for me, but if you’re into that sort of thing these are a great snack or a good boredom solution. The novelty kicks a regular apple’s butt!

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