Nov 17 2010

chicken a la veracruzana

Joseph is on this great kick where he’s trying all these slow cooker recipes from Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday.  It’s wonderful.  Slow cookers are great because you just throw stuff in the slow cooker and then several hours later you open it up and there’s your meal, hot and succulent, just waiting to be ladled and eaten up.  I think it would be great on a snowy day.  Just imagine going out to play in the snow and this spicy dish welcoming you home to a warm kitchen.

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Nov 14 2010

pasta with butternut squash, sage, and pine nuts

Ok, so clearly we’re really into fall foods.  We just can’t stop buying butternut squash.  One Monday night when we had a butternut squash lying around waiting to be eaten, I saw this recipe on the kitchn and thought, perfect!  A quick Monday night dinner and we have all the ingredients!  The problem was that I was only right on the latter.  You see, once you have to roast something, your time is just going to go up and we just didn’t factor that into our timing.  So it ended up being a late night dinner, but it was totally worth it for this delicious autumnal pasta.

One of the things that really made this dish shine was the truffle salt that we put on just before serving.  Now, this is totally optional, but trust me, it’s totally, totally worth the money.  This last Valentine’s Day I got Joseph Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home and a jar of truffle salt from Williams Sonoma. Now, this may be a teeny, tiny far of salt that costs nearly 30, yes 30, dollars.  But trust me!!!  It’s so worth every penny!  We use it all the time and yet  you can barely tell that we’ve made a dent in it even though we’ve been using it since mid-February!  If you don’t believe me, just check out all 30 reviews with the average of 5 stars.  If you’ve never had the extreme pleasure of getting to try truffles, do yourself a favor and get this salt.  If you have had truffles and you know how extraordinary the flavor is, I shouldn’t even have to tell you to get this salt.  It imparts a lovely, earthy truffle flavor to everything you add it to from scrambled eggs to your pizza to your pasta with butternut squash, sage, and pine nuts.  Put the salt on your Christmas/Hanuka/Kwanzaa/Winter Solstice/Whatever list and you’ll thank me the second you open the jar and get a whiff of what lies inside. Continue reading

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Nov 12 2010

butternut squash and sage soup with sage breadcrumbs

Ok, so here’s another butternut squash soup that you have to try.  I think Joseph and I actually liked this one better than the last one.  The sage is a really nice flavor and the breadcrumbs give it a little texture and a lot of richness.  Possibly too much richness.  I think I won’t add as much to mine next time because it was a little too rich for me.  We used extra breadcrumbs on some delicious butternut squash tortellini we got from Whole Foods.

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Nov 7 2010

cinnamon apple macawhoopsie pie

apple macarons

So the time had finally come for me to make my own macarons, which Joseph was reminding me on a regular basis.  He had seen a recipe for cinnamon apple macarons on Dessert for Breakfast that look absolutely amazing.  I kept pleading with him, saying that we should probably start with something a little much more basic.  When he finally relented and said, “Yeah, you’re right, we should probably start with something easier” I was suddenly determined that I would not start small.  No, I was going to make the cinnamon apple macarons if it killed me.  And it nearly did.

Ok, that’s a complete exaggeration.  But if you’ve never tried to make macarons, or talked with anyone who has, or read anything about them, you may not know that they are difficult to make because of the very temperamental meringue cookies that make the sandwich.  This particular macaron has many elements, and well, it just didn’t work.  At all.  It completely flopped.  I didn’t get the macaron “foot” (the little bottom that each of the cookies is supposed to have), they were dense instead of airy, and each top was completely covered in little cracks. Continue reading

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