By far the most popular recipe on the site is the one for chocolate turtle cookies (with very good reason – it’s one of my favorites too!) and I thought it was about time for another thumbprint cookie recipe. This one comes by way of Food52 and is such a great, easy cookie to add to your holiday repertoire. Just look at the ingredient list – only 9 ingredients, and one of them is optional! I even happened to have everything on hand already, including exactly 3/4 cup of almond meal, left over from making some chocolate almond meringues (recipe coming soon!).
I had never had dulce de leche before I spent a summer in Santa Cruz, Bolivia over 10 years ago. In fact, I’m not sure I had even heard of it before then. But one taste of the sweet, sticky, caramelly spread and I was instantly hooked. I was in Santa Cruz volunteering as a supervisor for Amigos de las Americas and was often in a rush to get out of the door in the morning, but not without having my bread and dulce de leche. It always seemed like an indulgent breakfast – I was essentially starting the day off with dessert – but hey, do as the locals do, right? It certainly gave me something to look forward to when my alarm when off in the morning!
When I came back to the States after 3 months of bread slathered with dulce de leche, I went into a bit of withdrawal. It’s probably better that I didn’t know then how easy dulce de leche is to make, or I would have eaten it by the gallon. Ok, I confess, I still haven’t made it myself, but it’s basically just sweetened condensed milk that’s heated up slowly until it becomes thick and creamy. Sounds easy enough, right? But these days it’s much more accessible in grocery stores (often in the international aisle), making these chocolaty dulce de leche duos even easier to make. Continue reading
I first made this apple butternut squash gratin for my sister’s baby shower last year and it was completely devoured. Not a crumb was left. I was a little sad because once I had had a taste of it, I was already dreaming about leftovers. I’ve been meaning to make it again every since, but it somehow slipped from my mind and then the next thing I knew, it was spring. When a good friend and his mother made the trip up to have dinner with us earlier this fall, this gratin instantly came to mind. It just seemed like the perfect dish. Warm and satisfying, while being perfectly seasonal with roasted butternut squash, sautéed apple, fresh rosemary, nutty gruyere, and a dash of cream, all topped with crunchy, garlicky breadcrumbs, this gratin is both deliciously sweet and savory. It is also guaranteed to make your house smell absolutely amazing.
The dish is substantial enough to serve as a main dish, pairing beautifully with a harvest salad of pear or apple, walnuts, and gorgonzola, but it would work equally well as a side to any fall meal. It would be an especially nice accompaniment to a Thanksgiving dinner, especially if you are looking for something that will work for both your vegetarian and meat-eating guests alike.