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Archive for the ‘Just plain tasty’ Category

Can you think of any ingredient that you haven’t seen slapped on a  pizza at one point or another? Pizzas come in thin crust, deep dish, vegan, cheese-stuffed, dessert varietals, even as deconstructed versions of other well known meals (cheeseburger pizzas anyone?). So it just seemed like a really good idea to me to order a pizza with my beloved butternut squash and goat cheese last year at a favorite Boston haunt. And it was. Being 3,000 miles away now it’s a little harder to indulge in my regular cravings for this pie, but I was inspired the other day by, you guessed it, some leftover ingredients and a bag o’ dough from Trader Joe’s. I know that I may be revealing myself to some of you as a home cooking poser by buying pre-made dough, but honestly, I don’t like to bake and I don’t like following recipes so a prêt à porter canvas to experiment on with freestyle ingredients really appeals to me.

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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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Southern Comfort

It’s been a week, and I think I’m finally recovered to the point of being able to reflect on all the gastronomical delights New Orleans had to offer. What a wonderful place. I had such a lovely time with great friends (and one awesome dog) enjoying all the music and architecture and history and culture…and of course, the cuisine. Now I am a firm believer that if you can swing it and your friends are generous, that you should aim to travel primarily to the cool cities where they are residing. They know all the tricky things like who makes the best oyster po’ boys, see? What better way to see a new place than with someone who can actually show you what the  city is about? My friend, Alicia, is a native born and raised, so she has years of knowledge that was thoroughly exploited all weekend. Good hostesses are hard to come by, but we couldn’t have asked for a better time!

So, back to the food. Mmmm. I’ve been detoxing for the past week because I’m pretty sure I gained at least ten pounds indulging in the rich dishes New Orleans is famous for. Worth it, totally worth it. Now those of you who know me will be surprised to see that not only did I eat pickles, olives, deep fried and pie-type things, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I don’t know if it was the fish-out-of-water thing or what, but Southern food and I are friends. No gravy though, there are limits to my adventurousness.

Rather than exhaust my descriptive vocabulary with all of the appropriate words I can think of to describe how good the food is, I thought a pictorial narrative of my weekend of gluttony would do better to explain just how much I want to go back already!

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Thai Peanut Noodles

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This post makes me hungry! I haven’t eaten dinner tonight, and I just don’t think it’s a good idea to blog on an empty stomach, especially when you’re blogging about one of your most favorite types of food. The posts here make it  obvious that I like Thai food, but I very rarely cook a common dish you see in a restaurant. More often I’ll throw coconut milk or basil in a soup and call it Thai-flavored. This time I tried to create something similar to pad thai because I am beholden to all dishes involving peanuts and peanut butter. If you’ll remember back a couple of weeks ago I was challenged to create a meal for eight that could satisfy many tastes and include some pretty random ingredients, and although I tried to get away unnoticed with calling peanut sauce a cream sauce in order to fit in the parameters of cooking a meal with cream sauce, I felt a little cheating in this case was well worth it.

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