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mediterranean turkey + spinach mini burgers.

mediterranean turkey + spinach mini burgers.

Remember how I told you that I’d give you another thing you could use your Greek dressing with? It’s these very small turkey burgers.

And don’t worry, you’re not seeing things: those burgers are green, because they’re made with a combination of spinach and turkey. Does that sound weird? Maybe, but they’re really good and actually pretty healthy for you: they come from everyone’s favorite Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook, It’s All Good. You know I love this cookbook too, almost as much as I love cookies. Continue reading →

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feast magazine, february 2014 [part one]: black walnuts.

black walnuts.

So: black walnuts, otherwise known as the nut I was tasked with creating recipes around for this month’s Feast magazine: let’s talk about them. When I was asked to do a feature article on black walnuts, I was obviously elated: me? write a feature? Yes, please: I would love that. I am honored. I am utterly geeked out by your request yes I will do it. But then it dawned on me: black walnuts?

I know nothing about black walnuts.

Now, you could argue here that my entire columnist life is centered around ingredients I largely know nothing about until I work with them for the magazine, but that’s 1 recipe: this time, they were asking for a full writeup and 6-7 recipes. Add to that the direction to balance sweet to savory and make it all winter-centric, and you get one nervous writer.

Continue reading →

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three-cheese asparagus pizza with lemon.

three-cheese asparagus pizza.

You want to make a 3-year-old’s (food) dreams come true? Okay, cupcakes, but also, let them make their own pizza and then eat it. I don’t know about other 3-year-olds, but the one I belong to loves it when she gets to assist in food preparation, especially when the outcome is one of the two things I mentioned above. And honestly, the same thing probably holds true for most of the adults among us as well. Continue reading →

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individual winter root vegetable souffles.

winter root vegetable souffles.

The one thing I’ve noticed since I started writing for Feast is that I look at the magazine from a different perspective than I used to. Unavoidable, perhaps, because now I know them and talk to them, and they’re real people to me, whereas before they existed only in the abstract. So the magazine, for me, has become a way to see what all the other kids’ assignments were for that month. When it comes out, I look through it to see what everyone did, and how it all came together into one finished piece. On one hand, it’s a cool perspective to have, because you get to see people’s work more as an extension of who they are, and as a way of getting to know them. The downside of this is that I don’t ever seem to just thumb through it like I used to, seeking out what I may like to make from the plethora of recipes showcased each month. I miss doing that. Continue reading →

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wintery kale salad (with roasted things.)

winter kale salad with roasted cauliflower, tomatoes, walnuts, and goat cheese.

Because who am I to hide the fact that I’m trying to eat better and turn over a new, less-sugary leaf just like most of you? Truthfully, I think that something flips a switch in me each January that makes me not only want to eat healthier, but rather demands it. My body basically shuts down if I don’t start inhaling greens and vegetables regularly by the first week of January, and thankfully, I enjoy eating like that, so it’s not too much of a thing aside from a minor habit adjustment.

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feast magazine, november 2013: lamb, kale, + sweet potato chili [with a vegetarian option.].

lamb, kale, + sweet potato chili.

Yes; I have been missing. Eerily absent from my normal activities, like posting things, or perusing blogs, hanging out with you on Facebook and Twitter, pinning things I want to make/do/buy all over your Pinterest, and so on. Daily life has fallen by the wayside, and why? Because we are all so ill right now. Not “ill” in a Beastie Boys way, either; ill in the gross mid-Autumn cold and sinus way. I’ve had a sinus infection kicking for about three weeks now, which I’ve been able to ignore in some ways and not in others; mostly it turns my kitchen and writing skills into that of a floating baby hedgehog. That’s me right now, people. To add to the fun, the Wee One had a middle-of-the-night trip to the ER because she woke up just as I was headed to bed with the croup. Since she’s a child who is never, ever sick, I have zero experience with this. It is hard. So we’re all on the mend, but I’m grossly behind on just about everything.

I know what you’re thinking: this is fun talk for food blog, Shannon; thank you ever so much. But this is good information, because I think this is how the zombies get us. It’s not glamorous enough for film and TV, but the reason we can’t outrun them? First, the infect us with colds. Then, we become so lethargic and grosstastic that we have zero speed or energy. Then, the world is theirs. Keep that in mind. On to the food talk. Continue reading →

butternut squash + sweet potato soup.

butternut squash + sweet potato soup.

I feel like the Midwest has reached the Official Second Tier of Chilly for the season: I can see the puffs of breath and car exhaust in the morning, we rarely leave the house without some sort of sweatshirt or coat on, and the days are brisk and mostly sunny. I’m making the most of things until Daylight Savings Time kicks in, which will signal the end of our evening walks (as it will get dark by 5 pm, a total bummer for someone who walks regularly and really loves this time of year for it) and the start of much shorter days. I know for certain that it’s soup weather: I’ve been wandering through cookbooks searching for new ones to try. Continue reading →

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fennel soup + chorizo mini-meatballs.

fennel soup + chorizo mini-meatballs.

Sunday, 6 October 2013, 1:00 pm.

  • weather: chilly and waffling between clouds and sun; a little moody. sweater weather.
  • sleep quality: wonderful, mostly because it was cold in the house all night.
  • plans: none, except for a little recipe experimentation.
  • sound: football, as background noise; iPod, on a weather-appropriate shuffle.
  • owl candelabra: lit up like a Christmas tree, as are most of the other candles. Chilly weather calls for flickering flame of some sort.
  • lunch/dinner craving: this soup.

Who knew fennel soup was so entirely soul-satisfying? I, for one, did not. I couldn’t quite put my finger on how it would taste, considering it looks a lot like a celery root soup, somehow creamy, yet without any cream in it. I’ve had some experience with fennel in the recent past, but nothing which would lead me to believe that this soup would turn into one of my favorites.  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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thanksgiving-stuffed apples.

thanksgiving-stuffed apples.

I think it goes without saying here that I’ve resisted a rather strong urge to say “how d’ya like them apples?” several times throughout this post. So at least I’ve spared you that.

I didn’t intentionally make these Thanksgiving-like; they started out life as a very simple idea for a savory baked apple, the likes of which I’ve seen here and there while perusing the internets and my cookbooks. They always look so lovely – all burnished skin and crispy top – pitch perfect for chilly evenings. I had my doubts about if they were like this in real life, or how easy they would be to accomplish in real life, so I tried it. The family was discussing our Thanksgiving ’13 plans at the time, so these are the physical manifestation of those conversations. Continue reading →

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