In my mind, I’m a Southern Belle. I wear sundresses, speak in genteel tones, and cook Baked Fried Chicken on Sunday nights.
In my reality, I wear thick wool socks over my leggings and say “bag” in that particular nasal way that only a resident of Wisconsin can emulate. I will, however, stand by my oven “fried” chicken. Juicy on the inside, crisp on the outside, and packing a subtle kick, this is a healthy dinner recipe that Miss Mississippi herself could not resist.
Forget the stovetop simmering spices and air fresheners. I’m turning my house into a magical, holiday-scented wonderland by baking continual batches of Gingerbread Granola.
The aromas of ginger, molasses, maple syrup, and toasting nuts that fill the kitchen as the granola bakes are positively intoxicating. I now see why the witch tempted Hansel and Gretel with a house made of gingerbread, versus any other cookie. I nearly burned my second batch, purely because I didn’t want the smell to end.
Beet Cheddar Apple Pizza represents a glorious moment of redemption when the band geek dates the homecoming queen.
I have a deep affection for vegetables that were made fun of in middle school. Not to bring up my childhood (but to bring up my childhood), my full-forehead bangs, braces/glasses duo, and 12-year-old-boyish figure put me in the metaphorical clarinet section, not the cheerleading squad. Continue Reading →
It’s Giveaway Day 11! For the first 12 days of December, I’m giving away a fabulous prize each and every day. Enter today to win a gourmet food selection from Bonne Maman, Sartori Cheese, and Maille, then check back tomorrow for something new. Happy Holidays!
When it comes to holiday gift-giving, Santa has some serious advantages. He doesn’t need to include the gift receipt, isn’t invited to social events at the boss’ house that necessitate a hostess gift, and above all, he already knows exactly what’s on everyone’s list. For those of us without the Santa-factor, holiday shopping can be trickier, which is why I’m excited to be sharing today’s “Fives” post, along with a fantastic foodie-themed holiday giveaway.
I try to be thoughtful and intentional with my gifts, but some situations are just plain complicated. What do you give your notoriously picky mother-in-law, the 12-year-old cousin who’s more interested in his iPhone than interaction with actual humans, or the friend who already has it all?
When it comes to holiday entertaining, I seek intersection of “looks impressive” and “is actually easy.” My ultimate example of deceptive, er, savvy entertaining: Three Cheese fondue.
Fondue is the secret to earning the loyalty of friends and admiration of enemies. After all, what other reactions could a bubbly, warm pot of simmering cheese infused with white wine elicit besides a lifetime of devotion? A fondue-fueled marriage proposal is not completely unreasonable. Continue Reading →
The next time you feel as if you are coming apart, reach for a Dark Chocolate Chunker Cookie. These deep, dark treats are so loaded with marvelous mix-ins, they are barely holding it together, and it is the overload that is the essence of their glory. You are in good company.
By all reasonable measures, Dark Chocolate Chunker Cookies should fail. They contain a scant three tablespoons of unsalted butter and 1/3 cup of flour, yet boast a full 4 1/2 cups of mix-ins. The amount of chocolate involved is positively irresponsible, and for goodness’ sake, there are raisins. Seriously? What kind of cookie is this?
I harbor romantic notions of myself as a farm girl. I’d gather fresh eggs every morning, milk my goats and make cheese in the afternoon, then cook cozy dinners like Butternut Squash Casserole with Sausage, Kale, and Sage Breadcrumbs, using ingredients picked from my land of course.
In farm girl reality, I’d whine about ruining my shoes in the chicken coop and provoke a goat bite. I still, however, hold fast to the beautiful notion of cooking from what the earth provides right where I am, right now—even if I pick from the grocery store bin, instead of my backyard.
This concept of seasonal eating became real to me when I first started cooking for myself. Directly out of college and on a budget, I quickly realized that seasonal ingredients both cost lest than out-of-season ones and taste much better too. What began as a logical budgetary decision has turned into a passion, and I now look forward to the way the colors in my grocery cart change as the year progresses. Continue Reading →