All posts in appetizers

crispy kale + bacon toasts with lemony white bean puree.

crispy kale + bacon toasts with lemony white bean puree.

Because toast posts > pumpkin spice lattes any day of the week.

Even in the fall, because I know the PSL’s are in full swing – I myself have refrained thus far, and will continue to do so until October; September is reserved for chai and chai only.

So, this toast: as usual, there are a few components to this (the hallmark of my recipes by now: components!), all of them incredibly simple and involving small amounts of time. What you see before you is:

  • Baguette, sliced and oven-toasted
  • White beans puréed with a few tasty things
  • Crispy oven-roasted kale
  • Bacon.

Nothing to it, right? Seriously, bake those toasts, fry that bacon, whirl that bean puree, crisp those kale leaves. Done. Cozy toast for a Tuesday afternoon, or a pretty great alternative to that chicken wing dip appetizer you internally gag at the thought of even though football season has barely begun. Continue reading →

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Things on a Plate: fig-pecan-molasses or apricot-pistachio-honey salad plates.

things on a plate: arugula, prosciutto, ricotta, fig, pecan, molasses

Every summer, my personal food choices seem to degenerate into a category best described as “some things on a plate.” I don’t know if it has more to do with bountiful produce, bountiful heat, or bountiful laziness, but it happens, and it’s happened every summer since I was a child. Perhaps it’s embedded in my genes, because everyone in my family seems to be afflicted.

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feast magazine, april 2014: jerusalem artichoke + sundried tomato spread.

feast magazine april 2014: sunchoke spread.

Yes, it’s April 2nd, and typically I have my Feast article out at the crack of the new month, but “better late than never” is my new “on time,” at least for right now. This month, I’m pretty stoked about the recipes inside the April issue: so joyously springy, which at least for me was no small feat considering those of us who create recipes had to have our contributions in by mid-February. In case you’ve blocked it out, at that point we were snow-covered and frozen. Some recipes I think you’ll love (besides my humble contribution): Continue reading →

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Feast Magazine, October 2013: root vegetable lettuce wraps + citrus miso dressing.

root vegetable lettuce wraps + citrus miso dressing.

The October issue of Feast is on the stands! Which means I am also on the stands (and on your internets) with a new Mystery Shopper article. Thankfully this month, I remembered to take my own photo of the dish when I made it; since my column is about featuring the ingredient, the finished dish photo for these posts will be up to me. This month, the magazine delves into the awesomeness which is Asian cuisine: there’s ramen, dumplings, a sushi step-by-step, Japanese cocktails, and a user’s guide to choosing one of my favorite kitchen tools, the spider basket. There’s also a stunning feature on one of our esteemed local chefs, Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus (Did you know Nigella Lawson ate at Farmhaus during her 2010 book tour? She did) and his becoming one with the sea. He catches fish, he prepares it beautifully, and it’s a great read on the depth in which he cares for food, where it comes from, and how it’s treated. As if that weren’t enough, there’s some stunning photography courtesy of the wonderful Jennifer Silverberg (who also photographs my column), my official girl crush where photos are concerned. Someday, with a whole lot of luck and practice, I will take photos half as good as hers. Continue reading →

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red pear + gorgonzola pizza with pomegranate vinaigrette-tossed arugula salad.

red pear, arugula, and gorgonzola pizza with pomegranate vinaigrette.

I realize Autumn doesn’t technically occur until later this month, but it’s September. To me, fall has arrived in a little bit of a way; not totally pumpkins yet, but apples and pears for sure. So too has Rosh Hashanah arrived, and in my attempt to learn more about Jewish food and holidays this year, I tried to do a few things for the celebration. Should a non-Jewish person ever try to craft new recipes for a people steeped in centuries of history and tradition? Probably not. So I’m learning, but there’s bound to be a few missteps. Continue reading →

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sourdough ciabatta.

sourdough ciabatta.

There is something to be said for people who rush to your aid even though they have never met you in person. A few weeks back, I had been attempting (and failing, in various and really disgusting ways) to make a successful sourdough starter. By the second or third attempt, I was convinced the entire thing wasn’t for me. What was I doing wrong here? Bread starters are supposed to smell all luscious and warm hearthy; mine smelled like I poured beer over some yellow cake and abandoned it in the sink for a few weeks. I’m not going to lie; I may have cried a little bit. Because here I thought I had gotten over the yeast part of things (where nothing ever rose correctly), but now it seemed as though the universe was telling me that the gates were locked on anything sourdough-related.

But I love sourdough breads the best.

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sweet cherry + rosemary focaccia.

sweet cherry + rosemary focaccia.

One more for the road, people; I’m writing this post and then launching myself face-first into my suitcase so I can get packed and ready for our flight this Monday. Well that, and a few dozen other odds and ends I need to tie up, but that’s okay: once we’re all in Florida, it’ll be vacation, and vacation food to go with.

Bread and I have been having a little bit of a moment recently, and I’ve been trying to figure out why. It’s just never happened to me before in a summer setting: typically, I get all bread-crazy in the winter. Perhaps this year it’s because I’ve learned how to actually make it versus trying to do so and dissolving in a pile of tears when it inevitably fails. I suppose that makes the entire process more fun for everyone. Continue reading →

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cucumber guacamole.

cucumber guacamole.

I’ve been eating this nonstop for a few weeks now, and it occurred to me that many of you may like it as much as I do. ‘Tis the season to dive headlong into as many avocados as you can find, because they are buttery and scrumptious, and oh so good for you. Even their fat is good for you. Avocados are fabulous, but let’s be honest; the have quite a few calories, and sometimes you just don’t want to care about that. Continue reading →

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dear library: a mini-series for national library week. (and spinach + ricotta turnovers)

spinach + ricotta turnovers.

I’ve talked about my love of libraries for some time now. This week (April 14-20) is National Library Week, and I’m going celebrate it by talking about why the library has been important in my own life for over three decades, and why it should be important to you. Hopefully, your library is awesome, and you visit it regularly. You can use it for a multitude of things, from music to movies to, yes, every conceivable type of book. In this little corner of the internet, you’ve seen it used most often for cookbooks; in fact, many of the recipes I’ve researched, toyed with and practiced on over the past few years have come from none other than my lovely library. Continue reading →

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faux bois egg tutorial and a go-anywhere appetizer.

faux bois eggs.

Quite a few of you have asked me how to make those little wooden-looking dyed eggs, so I thought I’d do a short post about them so you have it for next year. It was silly, really; just a matter of experimentation and a little bit of time on my hands, but it worked, and I loved the way they turned out.

As I mentioned in the Easter post, this is the first year I’ve done natural dyes on eggs, and I swear I may never go back; it was so easy, and in my opinion, you get a much better color selection from vegetables and spices and things than you do, say, the neon food dye 4-pack at the store. The tones are more earthy and they suit my taste much better than their artificially colored counterparts. No judgement here: if you like the liquid dye for eggs, have at it, because that’s how we have dyed our eggs for years. Continue reading →

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