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 →Pin It
Well, well; Martha Stewart. Looks like you’ve gone and gotten yourself into an eensy bit of trouble, haven’t you? Whoopsies! Seems as though the only thing you haven’t found the perfect hand-embroidered fabric storage box for is your incredibly insulting, out-of-touch comments. To be fair, there are probably lots of those comments, so you may want to consider packing them away in that extra home of yours on your property. It would be a good thing.
Let’s talk, Martha. *pats chair*Pin It
Happy Thanksgiving, my Canadian friends! As it turns out, you win at holidays this weekend, because in America, we’re celebrating a real jerkface; federal holiday and all. I’ve been thinking a lot about our collective Thanksgivings, thanks to this helpful comparison slideshow, and I think you really do it right. American Thanksgiving is, after all, dangerously close to Christmas and Hanukkah, causing us to overeat, overspend, and generally overdo the entire holiday season. It flies right past us in a whirl of dishes, decorations, and dramatic weight gain; it’s a wonder we don’t all walk around with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder once everything has come to a close. Or maybe we do: I think we call it “January.” Continue reading →Pin It
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 →Pin It
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 →Pin It
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 →Pin It
I’ve been meaning to tell you about this bark. It’s terrible, when I hold out on you, particularly when it’s something this easy and this good. Did I mention that, as far as chocolate bark goes, it’s pretty good for you? There’s that too, so you can feel good about making this repeatedly for yourself and others. If you give this as a gift (which you should) and the receiver throws their hands up in protest, mumbling something about holiday calories and winter weight gain, be sure to tell them not to worry, because this is arguably the healthiest chocolate thing they’ll eat this season. Except if they eat Willow’s chocolate avocado mousse, but someday, those avocados? They’ll be gone. And you don’t want to be left with nothing. Continue reading →Pin It
Please allow me to introduce to you my opening shot for pumpkin season: the pumpkin pan scone. It’s not what you think, for there’s not one speck of cinnamon, allspice, or ginger to be found here. Nary a sprinkle of sugar in this little guy; just pure pumpkin, in a semi-savory dish perfect for any time of the day or night.
I’ve realized in the past few years that we (and I mean “we” like Americans) sometimes have too narrow a view of pumpkin and what it can do for us. We’re perfectly willing to whip up all sorts of squashes and root vegetables into savory dishes, but the pumpkin? Always the sweet treatment. Which is great, by the way, because I love it this way; I happily count myself amongst the pumpkin-spice-crazy crowd. Custard pies, cheesecakes, bars, you name it: sweet and delectable, to be sure – but there’s so much more it can do. Continue reading →Pin It
The biggest downside to food blogging? The nagging sense that if you don’t begin your pumpkin pear spiced cinnamon latte baked donut coffee cake posts by mid-August, that you’ve somehow missed the season. Either my planning game is off, or the rest of you are just really, really overachieving this year. I’m quite impressed, but stop it; you make a girl feel ashamed.
So while the rest of you are looking over a new recipe for apple pie butternut squash sage mac n’ cheese DIY turkey brine whilst sitting on your perfect back deck drinking cinnamon mai tai pear martinis? I’ll be over here. With a giant. pink. cake. Besides, I already made a butternut-apple thing – with cinnamon and the word “donut” in it – and I made that back in June because of the way deadlines work.
*stares, arms folded* Continue reading →Pin It
Okay! Last tutorial before the big pink cake, and then we’ll dive straight into autumn. Get excited; this one may have been my favorite thing to do, and you can fit the idea into virtually any party that needs prizes. Trivia nights, board game night, birthday parties with games, baby showers, whatever: adults love dumb prizes as much as kids do. Away we go. Continue reading →Pin It