Recipes

Turkey Leftovers? A One-Dish Wonder

In the days after preparing (or even just eating) a big Thanksgiving meal, I don't want to spend much time in the kitchen, especially on a weeknight. As I looked ahead to post-Thanksgiving meals, I found a gem in Pam Anderson's book Perfect One-Dish Dinners. (NB: This is Pam Anderson, formerly of Cook's Illustrated, not Pamela Sue Anderson, formerly of Baywatch.)

Read more »

Fall Foraging: A Return To Our Roots

Header photo: Burdock by Shastared

The day might have made a magnificent postcard. Spring was staining trees with subtle hints of summer. A stream was carrying on an animated conversation with raindrops. Rocks were locked in a shining dual with water. Some humans, armed with buckets, boots, and plastic suits, stumbled toward the stream. They worked in silence, selecting tender sections of watercress. Then one of them spoke: "This is beautiful. It looks like a rain forest." I shot a surprised glance at the speaker. Blood sucking insects and relentless rain had clouded my beauty sensors. But the world in which we waded was indeed exquisite.

Read more »

Cranberry Apple Jam and the Last of Canning Season

Last May I started some serious planning for canning season. I had lists, recipes, and all the right plants for the community garden plot. Armed with the Ball Blue Book and a brand new water bath canner, I had dubbed it the year of the Mason Jar. This was going to be the canning season of all canning seasons, with more than 20 different recipes to try. It’s easy to get overly ambitious after being shut in the house for a long Minnesota winter.

 

Read more »

A Gluten-free Thanksgiving

Stuffing. Gravy. Pie. For those with celiac disease, the holiday feasts this time of year represent special dietary challenges. Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder affecting approximately 1 out of every 133 Americans, is characterized by the body’s inability to digest gluten. Gluten is a protein found in grains including wheat, barley and rye. Unfortunately, health problems associated with gluten cannot be treated with a prescription. The only solution is a lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet.

 

Read more »

Homework Never Tasted So Good!

Being a student again can be a humbling and invigorating experience. It's a fact that there will always be more to learn. This is true for all subjects and especially for anything food and cooking related....or at least its true for me. There are always new ingredients, techniques, tools and not to mention endless and conflicting information about food politics. Now that I have completely overcomplicated the subject of cooking, let's break it back down.

Read more »

Pick A Side! Potluck Season Prep

A wise chef once told me to never cook a dish for the first time to serve it to others. Make the meal for yourself first to ensure the meal's delectability. Good point. For me, there is nothing better than the smile and happiness that comes from other people enjoying and savoring a tasty, nutritious dish that I provided. This is a true sense of accomplishment - especially when the good food is good for you. 

Fall is a time of abundance and variety. Fruitful harvests across the state make for a colorful table and produce aisles with plenty of variation to choose from. Since we are on the heels of potluck season, I see no reason for anyone to focus primarily on the staple side dishes of one's holiday kitchen but tis' the season to try new recipes and ingredients to bring something new to a friend's table on the needed occasions.

Read more »

The Last CSA Box of the Season: Savory Autumn Stew

Delicata Squash

I deliberately didn't write "the last CSA of 2011" (CSA stands for community supported agriculture, where individuals can subscribe to a farm and in return receive shares of produce). Many farms offer winter shares of root vegetables, storage crops, meat, or prepared foods.

Read more »

Honey Candy Apples

As another Halloween rolls around and I am faced with the specter of a 5 year old crazy with sugar and the excitement that comes from anticipated treasure, I am again reminded of my own early childhood. I feel like I was just coming into my trick or treat years when suddenly parents became aware of the "dangers" of strangers giving their children treats. 

 

Homemade cookies, candy coated pretzels and snack mixes started disappearing and I was left with nothing but a popcorn ball which my parents questioned the validity of. I'm sure, as a kid, I must have thought these treats a bit of a rip off anyway. My goal was to be able to recreate the candy section at the local store in my bedroom. Nonetheless, I try and ignore that fact in order to let a more ideal nostalgia creep in. Plus, I would much rather bake a batch of cookies than have to go and buy sacks of candy to hand out. 

 

Read more »

Oils and Fats: An Overview Without Fear

Photo shows from left to right: Olive, Coconut, Toasted Sesame and Butter.

Look, its time we got over our fear of fats and started accepting them for the healthy, necessary part of our diets that they are. They are as necessary as any other element of food in order to have a nutritious, balanced diet. As a chef, I am able to see the value and deliciousness in all fats. As a realist, I understand that too much of anything can hurt you and that of course, there are some things it would be best not to form a habit around. See, I can appreciate a piece of baguette dipped in extra virgin olive oil AND a glazed donut fried and dripping in who knows what blend of hydrogenated and processed oils.

 

Read more »

On Becoming a Farmer

Be careful what you wish for. Sometimes that’s the prime thought in my mind, especially when I’m staring at a bushel basket of carrots and the prospect of a day of canning ahead of me when I’d much rather be doing ANYTHING else. Well, this is what I wished for and dreamed about for years, and for the most part, I am not sorry I made the decision to move from the suburbs to the country.

 

Read more »
Syndicate content