November 23, 2014

Walnut and Chocolate Tart

Have you ever boarded a plane on Thanksgiving Day with a pink pie box in hand? I have. I don’t know how many people have teased me with “Is that pie for me?” Smile. No, it’s for us. It’s for Thanksgiving dinner.

They don’t know, but inside the box is a walnut and chocolate tart, a less sugary cousin of pecan pie. Filled with walnuts, bittersweet chocolate, and maple syrup, this tart is not excessively sweet. And not what you’d expect.

Walnut and Chocolate Tart

You can see by the photo that the filling is dark in chocolate—and when it’s still warm, that chocolate is soft and oozy, like a chocolate chip cookie that spent the afternoon in a hot car. Those chopped walnut pieces provide plenty of chunk, and their slightly bitter skins even out chocolate’s richness. Like I said, sweet, but not too much. Continue Reading…

November 18, 2014

Romaine Salad with Pears, Blue Cheese and Pecans

Our traditional Thanksgiving menu, overloaded with mashed potatoes, bread stuffing, and syrupy sweet potatoes, begged for something else. I wanted to add a salad, and lucky for me, my mother-in-law understood and found this recipe for romaine salad, with pears, blue cheese and pecans.

ingredients for Romaine Salad with Pears, Blue Cheese and Pecans

This salad delivers, with enough self-confidence and poise to hold its own on any table, and balance out all that starch. Now, a big bowl of green crisp romaine lettuce, with blue cheese crumbles, perfectly ripe pears and crunchy sweet pecans, is an official and welcome side at our Thanksgiving feast. For this I am thankful.

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November 15, 2014

Potatoes Dukkah {gluten free, vegan}

Potatoes dukkah? Crispy crunchy on the edges, and moist inside, like cross between a potato chip and a French fry—are these accordion potatoes not the coolest? They’re easy to make too. All you do is slice potatoes almost all the way through leaving a piece at the bottom to hold the slices together. Douse in olive oil, bake in a hot oven and sprinkle with toasted nuts and exotic spices. Potatoes dukkah.

Potatoes Dukkah

DOO-kah is my new put-it-on-everything seasoning. Dukkah on hasselbacks–funny words to describe an Egyptian spice mix on fan-cut baked potatoes. Named after the Swedish restaurant that originally created them, hasselbacks entertain with their look and crunch. Continue Reading…

November 9, 2014

Black Bean Soup with Poached Egg

Here we have little toasts, crostini, holding perfectly poached eggs, resting over gently seasoned beans, with a dollop of confetti-like salsa and a sprig of flat leaf parsley. This is Mexican food. Not the tacos or enchiladas we might expect, this black bean soup with poached egg is an simple example of one of the many reasons I adore Mexico—its cuisine.

Black Bean Soup with Poached Eggs

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October 25, 2014

Butternut Squash and Soba Noodles {vegan}

Boooo! Black squiggly things, bright orange cubes of squash, round rustic lentils, and long winding buckwheat noodles—altogether they fire up our tasters with salty and sweet, plus a pleasant savory umami. Does this dish of butternut squash and soba noodles look like Halloween or what?

Butternut Squash and Soba Noodles

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