Food & Cooking

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Food & Cooking

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Nov 11, 2016, 11:13am

Lately all I can make is just a lot of toast.

Nov 11, 2016, 12:00pm

A variation on "leek & potato" soup garnered raves last week. My original recipe is vegan, but for this bunch I prepared it with pancetta and added veal wieners (exclude the meat and it's vegan; add high-fat yogurt or cream and/or Parmesan or Gruyère and it's vegetarian...)

The following was enough for three of us but we did finish off the whole pot.

  • 3-4 nice fat leeks, ends cut off, sliced in half lengthwise, washed, then chopped up
  • 3 zucchini, unpeeled, ends cut off, cut in quarters and chopped
  • 4-5 shallots
  • 1 large potato (potato lovers may want more, I'm not crazy about them), diced finely
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • can of beans (I used a six-bean medley), cannellini would be my 1-bean choice
  • bunch of Swiss chard, central vein removed, leaves otherwise simply ripped by hand
  • vegetable stock or broth
  • 2 strips pancetta, diced
  • 2 good quality all-veal wieners, preferably German import, heated through and chopped
  • bouquet garni--I used rosemary and thyme--2-3 bay leaves; black pepper to taste

    I didn't add salt, the stock was salty enough.

    1. heat oil in pot, saute the pancetta, shallots, celery and leeks until translucent, start adding a little stock, mix

    2. add potato and zucchini and the rest of stock. As soon as the soup starts bubbling decrease fire, add the herbs and let cook 20-30 minutes.

    3. add the beans. Let cook another 15-20 minutes. If you aren't going to puree the soup (I never do), maybe use a slotted spatula to mash it a little against the pot walls. If pureeing, this is the point at which to do it (before adding Swiss chard).

    4. add Swiss chard and continue cooking only as long as it takes for chard to wilt--no longer than 5-10 minutes.

    5. take out the bouquet garni

    6. put the prepared wieners in serving bowl, pour soup over and mix the lot.

    This is a sort of polyamorous union of two classic marriages, "leek & potatoes" and "cabbage and sausage". Chard and veal wieners, however, are much milder. I've used other veggies in the past too--cauliflower, lupini beans, spinach for chard etc.--but this is my favourite combo.

    To my taste the vegan version is great, but if you have good Parmesan or Gruyère, they'll give it a nice kick.

  • 3SPRankin
    Nov 11, 2016, 12:13pm

    >2 LolaWalser: That sounds fantastic and would probably go GREAT with my toast. Thank you.

    Nov 11, 2016, 2:08pm

    Mmm, that looks great. I'm a non-vegan vegetarian myself -- you will have to pry my cheese and eggs out of my cold dead hands, I'm sorry -- but that hits a bunch of my food pleasure points (chard, leeks, potatoes, beans). Thanks!

    Nov 11, 2016, 2:11pm

    You're welcome, and if anyone makes it, I hope you enjoy it. Very comforting potage. :)

    Nov 11, 2016, 3:00pm

    I've got blueberry-lime muffins in the oven at the moment, and cranberry bread batter ready for when they come out. I'm comfort-baking.

    Nov 11, 2016, 6:52pm

    oooo. Blueberry lime muffins sound fantastic. Where did you get the recipe?

    Nov 11, 2016, 7:27pm

    >7 LuRits: It's in a cookbook called My Two Souths -- I've been working my way through it the last month. It's sort of Indian/Southern fusion: buttermilk biscuits with black telicherry pepper; oatmeal that has cardamom and Medjool dates, etc etc.

    I'm trying to get better at vegetarian cooking. The book isn't vegetarian per se, but there are lots of tweakable recipes.

    As you can tell, it is especially great at breakfasty stuff.

    Nov 11, 2016, 7:35pm

    My kitchen overflows with cookbooks already. But that one is really tempting.

    Nov 12, 2016, 12:50pm

    Same here.

    Nov 12, 2016, 4:44pm

    I have lost almost three pounds since Monday morning. I am on WW but this wasn't me trying to lose that much.

    That soup sounds so, so good.

    Nov 12, 2016, 6:17pm

    Dinner tonight, also from the above "My Two Souths" cookbook: "skillet hash pie" -- which is really just the author's version of a quiche. She makes it with chicken but I skipped the chicken and made it with peas, onion, potato, asparagus and tomato. Seasoning is garlic, ginger, garam masala, tumeric, and freshly ground black pepper. I am really just loving the smell of all the Indian spices.

    Nov 13, 2016, 5:50pm

    fyi, the blueberry lime muffins are excellent. "Lime" is an iffy flavor for me -- I love to cook with it, but bad childhood experiences with "lime flavored" candy and sodas has always meant that a little goes a long way, and I tend to prefer the flavor in non-sweet things. Also, I can't abide flavorings and extracts -- like the lime juice powder the King Arthur Flour people once sent me, (unasked). I love adding the zest to breads and soups, and key lime juice is a standard in my favorite thai tempura dip. But I have problems with things like key lime pie, or lime sherbert, or limeade, etc.

    These are good though. The lime flavor is not strong, it mostly just enhances the blueberry. I used frozen blueberries, by the way. More room in the freezer!

    Nov 13, 2016, 11:52pm

    Niki, did you flour the blueberries? They look well distributed (and yummy overall). The reason I ask is because I made a sour cream chocolate chip coffee cake (Smitten Kitchen) yesterday and my 18 year old told me after each piece of cake (7!) that it was the best cake he'd every eaten. So its a keeper, but I'm not that found of chocolate chips and thought I'd try the same cake, but with blueberries and some lemon zest (with eldest child's approval).

    This was the third cake I baked this week. Odd, because I don't particularly like to bake, mostly because it demands attention to detail, something I struggle with, but it was the sanest possible response (other than drinking the entire bottle of Jamesons in our cupboard) to both work (we're on day 9 of a strike) and social/political turmoil (family is currently fabulous, thank god and cross fingers). Friday, I made a German Apple Cake (also Smitten Kitchen - made the apple one first -- also yummy and gone -- and a lemon curd ice-box cheese cake (Cook's Country) for a last minute family get together on Thursday.

    Tomorrow I'm trying no-knead bread, Beef Noodle soup from Lucky Peach presents 101 Asian Recipes and maybe something else bake-y.

    Nov 14, 2016, 6:03am

    Well that sucks about the strike, but it looks like you're using the time well. Not having time to bake is one of the few frustrating aspects of my work life.

    Nov 14, 2016, 8:18am

    Yeah, sorry about the strike. Talk about stressful.

    Re, blueberries -- I did not coat them in flour. If they had been fresh I might have but they were frozen, and so pretty wet even when defrosted and drained. I folded them in.

    Today I'm making harvest grain sourdough with herbs.

    Nov 14, 2016, 8:46am

    smittenkitchen just posted a roasted leek and white bean galette. Soup meets toast. It's going on the menu.

    Nov 14, 2016, 1:12pm

    I love Smitten Kitchen. Miriam, did you get the coffee cake recipe and the apple cake recipe online or in the cookbook? Sorry about the strike.

    Nov 18, 2016, 4:18pm

    I roasted some spaghetti squash. I made this a long time ago and I think I just put marinara sauce on it! Any other ideas? Though alcohol is still the main thing getting us through these days.

    Nov 18, 2016, 6:04pm

    Vegatable tempura with thai dipping sauce for me. I'm using up some carrots, sweet potatoes, and asparagus.

    Nov 18, 2016, 8:56pm

    I love homemade tempura, but I hate dealing with the oil afterward. What kind of oil do you cook yours in, Nicki?

    Nov 18, 2016, 9:22pm

    Tempura is my version of fast food. I use just regular vegetable oil, and yeah, it's annoying to deal with. I strain it and re-use it.

    Tomorrow the temperature is dropping, so I think I'm going to try the vegetarian version of Lola's potato leek soup above.

    Nov 18, 2016, 9:25pm

    I've been reading and dog-earing Deep Run Roots, thanks to a mention of it by - I think - Nicki. It's such a weird book to be experiencing; I was born in and spent the first twelve years of my life in Goldsboro -- literally, what?, a twenty-minute drive from Deep Run (which is just a wide place in the road) and not much further from Kinston, where the associated restaurant is. Some of the food in the book picks at the very furthest edges of my memory, almost like I'm reading it just in time, before I was about to forget some tastes and smells of my childhood forever. I'm serious when I say I've teared up a few times -- at ingredients lists!

    It's funny, though -- I don't think any the genuine straight-up things sound particularly delicious (I didn't when I was 12, either)...that's not how I'm reacting to it. It's like finding letters from my grandmother or something. And the fancy ones -- well, there are some hilarious fussy fig things that would make everyone in my family tree fall off a branch laughing.

    But it's a fascinating experience reading it.

    Nov 19, 2016, 10:25am

    atullar, is the crust for the galette regular pie crust or a puff pastry? If it's the latter, I might cheat with the frozen stuff. I may do that instead of stuffing this year - I have more vegetarians this year at Thanksgiving and they sound wonderful.

    Nov 19, 2016, 10:53am

    Vegetarians are always wonderful!

    Editado: Nov 19, 2016, 5:06pm

    >23 DG_Strong: I have been raving about that book, DG and I get what you're saying about the recipes. Some of them are trying really hard to make the best of a so-so situation. And there is liberal use of bacon and pork, which is, I think, how most of the area makes the best out of that situation.

    On the other hand, the book is all about using the food that is easiest for me to buy fresh, and when it comes right down to it, I like and even love a lot of that food. So yeah, I made the turnips with orange and pumpkin seeds, and it was just great. All those hearty root vegetables (turnips, beets, rutabagas), and the fact that there were two chapters on corn -- one sweet, one ground -- pretty much won me over.

    I haven't even looked at the fig chapter. Out of season. :)

    Nov 20, 2016, 12:01pm

    Do y'all have any good, not too difficult, recipes for ground beef that don't require pairing it with some kind of carbs? For example, not stroganoff (rice or noodles), not lasagne (noodles, can replace with veggies), not "taco bake" or similar (I can make excellent taco meat already)...I bought a ton of good ground beef at Sam's, and now we can't figure out what to make that my brother and I will both eat that doesn't involve carbs. So, we've made taco meat (taco salads for me) and hamburger patties. I just know my brother won't like a lot of stuff I wouldn't mind trying, like spinach lasagna or stuffed bell peppers.

    Such a lame question for you all with your galettes and bisques and whatnot! :)

    Nov 20, 2016, 12:10pm

    Asian lettuce wraps?

    They're a bit finicky to put together but cooking the beef isn't hard.

    Nov 21, 2016, 4:40pm


    Editado: Nov 22, 2016, 9:09am

    This will be the first Thanksgiving in a long time I don't have to double or triple any recipes or make anyone sit in a folding chair or make sure I get the chipped plate.

    I don't count last year, when Thanksgiving was a ham and egg biscuit at a Bojangles in Manning, South Carolina.

    Menu this year (for 5):
    Citrus/Sage turkey breast w/dressing
    Whipped sweet potatoes with caramelized apples
    Roasted broccoli
    Glazed carrots
    The usual other stuff.

    Nov 22, 2016, 9:32am

    My brother just called to say he and his wife are coming down for Thanksgiving, so I guess I'm cooking. I'm going to roast a turkey breast for them since they aren't vegetarian and I can send the leftovers home with them. But everything else is going to be veggie. Not sure what, yet. They are picky eaters so nothing spicy.

    Nov 22, 2016, 9:37am

    hi JulieCarter -

    I don't do wheat either and since we get a side of beef every year, that's a lot of hamburg.

    Hubby is the cook, so this is what he makes - lots of burgers with various toppings or ingredients like onions, mushrooms, bleu cheese etc. Meatloaf with similar additions and spices. Egg pie - basically quiche without the crust. He adds cheese, spinach and sometimes mushrooms to it as well. Uses a cast iron skillet in the oven. On the stove he'll brown the beef and then add tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, onions etc and make basically a hash. Sometimes we'll have that with spaghetti squash. Pasta is just a vehicle anyway, so cut it out and you can have more of the good stuff.

    Oh and here's a weird one. Use ground beef as the "crust" in meatza. Basically you spread it out on a sheet pan and bake it until it's mostly cooked. Drain the liquid and add your pizza toppings like you would. No crust to get in the way of the goodness. He sometimes uses a bacon weave instead of ground beef for the meatza. Either way it's great. If we make it for a party it's the first thing that disappears.

    Nov 23, 2016, 4:04pm

    >2 LolaWalser: To my taste the vegan version is great, but if you have good Parmesan or Gruyère, they'll give it a nice kick.

    I meant to comment on this. One trick I've taken to doing when I'm making these bean/potato/kale type soups is to throw in a piece of rind from a good-quality Parmesan cheese during the simmering part. I fish it out before adding any late, just-before-serving ingrediants.

    Parmesan is the one kind of cheese I am never out of. I always have a big sized chunk on hand. And it goes without saying that it removes the need to add any extra salt.

    Nov 23, 2016, 4:08pm

    >33 southernbooklady:

    Yes! I do that for certain minestrones and here too, with the meat version.

    Editado: Jul 3, 2018, 2:57pm

    I second Bookmarque on meatzza. Google Novella Lawson, she has a good recipe. I do mine in a spring form pan, it's really fun.

    Nov 24, 2016, 7:36am

    No no no! You cannot replace the best part of the pizza with a gross meat bottom! Unlawful!

    Nov 24, 2016, 8:18am

    Yeah, not sure meatzza would be for me. I already ...disagree with my husband on deep dish vs thin crust. (I much prefer the latter.) Meatzza seems like a situation where he'd eat the whole thing and I'd stand by at the phone, ready to call 911 when the heart attack strikes.

    Editado: Nov 24, 2016, 9:34am

    Speaking as a vegetarian, that sounds gross, though I'm sure it's probably good. As an editor, I only object to the word itself.

    I'm going to my sister's for Thanksgiving and therefore only responsible for one dish, so I'm bringing roasted butternut squash and red onions—much as I love to bake, there are always so many desserts that no one has room for, and I'd rather have some more hearty main dishes to choose from that don't involve turkey. It also looks easy, which is good because I tweaked my back cleaning the house yesterday and I'm moving verrrry slowly. Hoping my sister, who had some back issues of her own last summer, has a vicodin or two lying around the house.

    Nov 24, 2016, 1:48pm

    The dish is more like a casserole than a pizza. I know the name is awful.

    Were having Thanksgiving tomorrow at my stepdaughter's. Today I'm going to Whole Foods and get something to go with Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes and champagne. The first Thanksgiving not at our house in years. No relatives to fight with over the election.

    Nov 24, 2016, 3:18pm

    There were five of us for dinner, but all of my kids are flung across North America--Toronto, DC (by way of Providence RI), and Oklahoma City. And we're through and the guests gone even though it's only 3 pm here. The kid in OKC made her first pie from scratch last night, so I did some long-distance pie tech support which was fun and incredibly nostalgic. I did the same thing with my mother at that age when I was living in Pittsburgh.

    Nov 24, 2016, 3:25pm

    >38 lisapeet: *highfives* Go veggiepeople! :D Though I, for one, am sure it is gross. xP

    This is one of those times of year when I am super thankful (hur hur) to be living on another continent. I have always hated turkey day. Forced to be around a ton of people (my anxiety revolts at this idea), celebrating the massacre of a population, and to top it off when I was little the only things I ate were a little turkey, a little of the crunchy onions from the top of the green bean casserole, and some potatoes. As an adult, that switched to stuffing, green bean casserole, and potatoes. Tons of food, practically none I would touch. Least. favorite. holiday. evar! Lol. At least the Jewish holidays when I had to deal with all the people there was good food as a reward! Lmao.

    Nov 24, 2016, 9:25pm

    It isn't if you're not afraid of meat.

    Nov 24, 2016, 9:47pm

    Thanksgiving dinner ended up being a little truncated because it was beautiful here today and I didn't want to spend the whole day in the kitchen when I could be out in the garden. So:

    Turkey breast roasted in pomegranate sauce, with small red potatoes.
    Pan roasted zucchini with lemon
    Wild rice salad with mung bean sprouts, dried cranberries, toasted almonds, and tarragon.
    honey harvest whole wheat bread
    apple cider and dark beer (in different glasses)

    Editado: Nov 24, 2016, 10:57pm

    Yum, Nicki. Sounds like a good balance to me of cooking and outdoor time. We went to my sister's house, fortunately only an hour away, and she cooked for ten without breaking a sweat. I'd have been a nervous and very snippy wreck. I made two Hershey bar pies and they were both eaten (as was a pumpkin pie that I didn't bring). And my husband made sweet potato rolls which seemed to go over well, especially among the younger set. (My child, of course, ate salt and that was it. Poured from a shaker onto a plate and just licked off her fingertips. I remember doing the same thing as a kid.)

    Nov 25, 2016, 6:51am

    >44 Cara_DB: I made two Hershey bar pies

    I went into insulin shock just reading this.

    Nov 25, 2016, 7:29am

    I used to work somewhere that made a Hershey Bar cake and it was HILARIOUS because every year it would get entered in some local cake-making contest among local restaurants and it won like ten times. It was a Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix that was baked and then Hershey bars were placed on top of it. You then microwaved it until the chocolate melted. THAT WAS IT. It was disgusting but people loved it.

    Nov 25, 2016, 7:32am

    Ew. That sounds like the kind of recipe you find on Pinterest.

    Nov 25, 2016, 8:26am

    Yeah, these pies (which everyone loved) aren't much better than the Duncan Hines + microwaved Hershey bars. You melt Hershey bars in a little milk and stir in marshmallows and melt those, too. Then once it's cooled a little you add some vanilla, then fold in whipped cream. It would probably be way better with better quality chocolate but I was going for nostalgia - it was a childhood favorite. Basically it's a standard chocolate cream pie where you're using marshmallows instead of straight gelatin.

    Nov 25, 2016, 8:51am

    We had a ton of desserts last night, but not a single one homemade! I guess I shouldn't be surprised—no one there is a baker besides my sister, who had her hands full, my son's girlfriend—this was her first year with us and they had traveled, so she gets a pass this year—and me, and I opted out. And that was fine, since the meal was so much about dinner this year and less about dessert, and dinner was 100% fantastic. But I may have to bake something next year, just for my own sense of satisfaction.

    On the other hand, the squash/red onion dish was excellent—easy to make, everyone loved it, and it just looked gorgeous, so that hits pretty much all three of my Thanksgiving requirements (and I could easily scale it down for a regular meal, and probably will).

    No vicodin, but I scored a half bottle of Ibuprofen 600s, which are probably a lot more practical.

    Nov 25, 2016, 11:00am

    >43 southernbooklady: Pomegranate sauce and turkey sounds fantastic. Since it was a small group this year, I also did a turkey breast instead of the whole bird. Usually, I just roast it with salt and pepper, and maybe a little butter or olive oil but I used a recipe I found on Epicurious that called for a mixture of butter, fresh sage, and lemon and orange zest under the skin and it was really good. Plus it looked pretty when it was sliced. I also roasted broccoli instead of brussel sprouts this year. A friend gave me a jar of Greektown Seasoning recently and I've been throwing it on everything lately, and it's so good with broccoli in particular. I also accidentally left it in the oven ten minutes longer than I meant to and discovered that I need to roast broccoli ten minutes longer than I have been heretofore.

    Nov 25, 2016, 8:16pm

    Ours was a very simple Thanksgiving. All of our relatives were off to other homes, so my husband and I went to the assisted-living home where my mother lives and had a lovely turkey dinner. We did smuggle in our favorite kind of cranberry sauce, but the dinner was really quite tasty. The only drawback is the lack of leftovers.

    Editado: Nov 26, 2016, 10:40am

    It took a while, but I finally finished Ten Restaurants that Changed America (it's a BIG book) and it's definitely a top ten book for me this year. At first, I was sort of skipping around, reading the long chapters on places that interested me (Chez Panisse, The Mandarin, The Four Seasons) and skipping the ones that didn't (HoJo's, Schraft's) but I do recommend reading it in order -- it starts with Delmonico's -- because you really do get a sense of the evolution of what a restaurant is and what we want from them now, and all of that is based on what came before, way more than you realize and even if you think "oh, I'm a vegetarian, I don't care about the meat at Delmonico's," almost everything you experience in a restaurant today is filtered through the ten places in the book one way or another.

    It's really good, but Alice Waters is still a crackpot.

    Nov 26, 2016, 12:35pm

    We also had a lot of desserts - practically one per person.

    I made the smitten kitchen leek galettes which were incredible and not as fiddley to make as I thought they might be. I am sometimes afraid of crust. But this was easy to roll out and deliciously flakey.

    Nov 27, 2016, 1:54pm

    I fixed turkey tenderloins dry-rubbed with sugar, salt, cinnamon, garlic, thyme and cumin, served with a drizzle of sweet chili and Maggi seasoning sauce. The rest was store-bought. An easy Thanksgiving!

    Dic 1, 2016, 3:04pm

    Thanks for the hamburger recommendations! I'll have to look at Meatzza or whatever, because it sounds really....meaty. But I do appreciate the suggestions! And I ate some carbs for Thanksgiving, because we were in a suite at the Cowboys game and I wasn't going to miss out! And I bought myself a good pumpkin pie, because I adore it, and it's not around all year. But now, it's back on the diet...only 24 more pounds to go! I'm down 46 pounds so far, so I'm sticking with this for a while longer.

    Dic 1, 2016, 7:25pm

    Wow, Julie, you go girl!

    Editado: Dic 2, 2016, 1:09pm

    You're ahead of me now, Julie. I've lost 44 since April 18. Haven't decided exactly where I'm stopping but at least 15 more.

    >50 SPRankin: How long do you roast your broccoli? Because I'm doing some tonight.

    Dic 2, 2016, 5:09pm

    All this weight loss is very inspiring! I need to drop about 25 and it still seems within the realm of do-ability but I'm obsessed with this workout called BollyX that is Bollywood-inspired and I keep waiting for a franchise of it to come here so I can do it that way. I want to lose it Indian style!

    Editado: Dic 2, 2016, 5:18pm

    I did it at 375 for about 30 minutes, or until it gets nice and brown on the bottom and the littlest pieces get brown all the way through. (I confess those bits never even make it to the table.) I also cut it into fairly small pieces, with not too much stalk. It cooks so much slower than the florets, which can burn before the stalks are roasted enough.

    Dic 2, 2016, 6:14pm

    I seem to have gained back all that I lost which is sad making. Maybe if I ate less pie.

    I am working with a trainer though and today, I actually deadlifted a barbell! It was a lady barbell but still.

    Dic 2, 2016, 8:01pm

    >57 karenwall: Great job, Karen!

    Dic 2, 2016, 8:30pm

    Lady Barbell. Wasn't that a Stanwyck movie?

    Editado: Dic 2, 2016, 10:31pm

    Thanks, guys! I think I am going to get a trainer for a few sessions after the first of the year. I've mainly only done walking.

    I also trim off the stalks, SP. I cooked mine before I saw your answer, I did it at 375 for 25 minutes, it was fine.

    Lauren and DG, we want videos!

    Dic 3, 2016, 5:50pm

    Wow, Lauren I'm impressed. Keep up the good work, you'll get there!

    Dic 5, 2016, 8:27pm

    Dic 6, 2016, 8:33am

    I am so not coordinated enough for a BollyX class

    Dic 6, 2016, 10:28am

    But if you are in the privacy of your own home, nobody can see you.

    Dic 6, 2016, 11:20am

    It must be nice not to have a judgmental dog.

    Dic 7, 2016, 6:15am

    Oh yes, it's all about no one looking. And I will say that with these Bollywood moves -- you get used to them and get better at them, I swear.

    Dic 7, 2016, 1:55pm

    So you people actually ... exercise at home? If I'm not paying for a class, I'm not gonna exercise.

    Dic 7, 2016, 2:04pm

    Yup. I do. When we bought this house we had enough room to put a gym downstairs. We only needed a squat rack, plates and a bench in addition to the kettlebells we already have. Last year hubby added some pull up rings, so I'm all set and all I have to do is go downstairs. Love it!

    Dic 7, 2016, 3:22pm

    Not me. I have to go outside and run around because otherwise I would never see daylight.

    Dic 7, 2016, 5:59pm

    I am super lucky because even though I work in a museum, we are located in a public park and part of the parks department so not only can I join their fitness center at a very reduced rate, I can actually use work time to exercise. so there is really no excuse.

    On topic: I ate mostly caramel corn today.

    Dic 11, 2016, 10:05pm

    Lisa or any other bakers: got any tips for homemade icing for cookies that will dry pretty quickly? I'm having people over to bake and decorate cookies and they're going to need to take their cookies home at the end.

    I feel like I get inconsistent results. I made a batch of royal icing last night, decorated a million cookies - painstakingly since they are intended as gifts - and got a huge scare because the icing was still sticky in the morning and these are going in the mail. But it's mostly hardened up -enough to handle, anyway, and I'll just separate them with a million pieces of waxed paper so they don't stick to each other.

    Dic 11, 2016, 10:44pm

    >74 Cara_DB: Here's the recipe I use for royal icing:

    2 egg whites
    2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
    1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
    ½ tsp. vanilla extract
    food coloring or paste colors
    lemon juice for diluting

    1. Beat egg white to soft peak consistency—use copper or stainless steel bowl, glass if you have to, but not plastic!
    2. Add sugar, cream of tartar, & vanilla. Beat to stiff peak consistency.
    3. Separate out portions and add coloring in small amounts, making sure to keep everything covered with plastic wrap or in airtight containers. Dilute, if necessary, with small amounts of lemon juice to achieve flowing consistency.

    The key to it being fast-drying is how much sugar you use—the two cups mentioned above should do it, but test it when it's done, before you start adding food coloring. Just put a little dab on something and give it 15 minutes. It should be pretty clear whether it's going to dry fast—it'll either get shiny and form a smooth crust, or it'll be slightly spongy and not harden. If this looks like it's the case, beat in a little more sugar. Just small amounts until it does what you want, because if you use too much it'll be like a rock (but hey, it'll dry fast).

    Dic 12, 2016, 6:09pm

    Unless I get stung in the ass by a very large hyper bee, this holiday will not be chomping on rosemary shortbread.

    Dic 12, 2016, 6:58pm

    Thanks, Lisa! I'm going to make it the night before people come over, so I should have some time to futz around and check the texture. (and not use plastic ... fat is the enemy here, I know.)
    Do you ever use dehydrated egg whites or meringue powder? I have 'em and they're safer (and honestly easier because I don't worry about killing people), but they smell SO GODAWFUL that I also hate using them.

    Dic 12, 2016, 7:00pm

    >76 Kat.Warren: I love herby-flavored things, including candies and sweets. I think it must be genetic, related to the same thing that makes me adore the taste of cilantro and love the taste of anise and licorice. My mom also has it, but my dad doesn't and my younger brother and sister, nope nada, never.

    Editado: Dic 12, 2016, 7:47pm

    Cilantro belongs in its own category. Its own, soap-tasting category.

    Dic 12, 2016, 7:53pm

    Crap, southernbooklady, might have to break down to make some to send you some.

    Cilantro needs must be used in very tiniest portions and then sparingly.

    But, we've talked about this before.

    Dic 12, 2016, 8:03pm

    Yeah, I'm on well-trodden ground cilantro-wise.

    Dic 12, 2016, 8:21pm

    >77 Cara_DB: I do use meringue powder -- most of the time, actually. I just assume people are starting with egg whites, though I guess I shouldn't. Yeah, meringue powder takes a lot of volatility (wondering if your egg whites got water or yolk in them, etc.) out of the mix. I get mine from baking supply stores and they smell sweet, like marshmallows -- which are, after all, egg white and sugar and gelatin. Maybe yours is old?

    Dic 12, 2016, 9:49pm

    I was using meringue powder! (Actually powdered egg whites.) and it was old - that was probably the issue. I should add it smelled and tasted just like marshmallows once made so I wasn't knowingly icing cookies with something gross.

    what water/meringue powder proportions would you use in the recipe you posted earlier?

    Dic 12, 2016, 10:58pm

    >83 Cara_DB: I just use whatever it says on the container. The only place I mess around is with the powdered sugar—I tend to use a bit less than it calls for to start with, and then add as necessary. The thing about royal icing is that it breaks down over time, because of the egg white whipped-up protein thing—there's a whole lotta food science that goes into it—so I keep extra sugar, lemon juice, and a whisk around all the time to fix it as I go.

    Editado: Dic 12, 2016, 11:27pm

    >74 Cara_DB:, >75 lisapeet: Okay, here's the icing recipe my mom uses for sugar cookies. The key was that it had to stay soft long enough to spread on the cookies and add decorations, but harden enough to hold all the decorations we kids encrusted on them. -- colored sugars, sprinkles, and little cinnamon candies.

    1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
    quarter teaspoon teaspoon vanilla
    3-4 tablespoons milk
    food coloring (optional -- mom always made a "green" batch for doing the Christmas Tree-shaped cookies but otherwise she was happy to leave the icing white)

    Basically you put all the ingredients into a glass or metal bowl set over a bath of hot water and stir/whisk constantly as it melts, adding milk by the teaspoon until you get a spreadable consistency. You can spread it with a butter knife, and put the bowl back over the water bath if the icing starts to harden, but you can only do that so many times before you end up with a crystalized clump. So you can't really double the recipe, you just have to keep making fresh batches.

    Dic 13, 2016, 8:05am

    In the past, when Kat has sent me that shortbread, my mailbox always gives away the rosemary surprise before I can open the package. I recently had a similar one at a thing, but it also had parmesan in it. It was sweeter than yours, Kat, and slightly less short-bready.

    Dic 13, 2016, 1:14pm

    Mmm, Parmesan.

    Interesting report on restaurant no-tipping:

    Dic 13, 2016, 8:02pm

    I love rosemary shortbread. Heck, I love any kind of shortbread.

    Dic 13, 2016, 8:27pm

    >87 Kat.Warren: Both of the restaurants mentioned that are in Portland look very tasty.

    Dic 13, 2016, 10:37pm

    Thanks, Lisa and Nicki! I'll get there one way or another.

    Dic 15, 2016, 5:03pm

    Today's comfort baking project is an Italian rustic bread, il pane di como, or just "Como Bread." -- It's from Carol Field's book The Italian Baker.

    It's basically a white bread, not a sourdough. But it does use a starter made from yeast, malt syrup, and milk. I set up the starter last night, so it was bubbling away overnight, but the temperatures are plummeting here so the rising is slow.

    What I like about it is that the dough is pretty forgiving, and it takes flavorings like grated parmesan, or pepper and rosemary, really easily. However, it doesn't keep very long. couple days, and then it is basically only good for toast, breadcrumbs and croutons.

    But the recipe is so simple I don't even need to look it up anymore, so if I forget to feed my sourdough starter, this is my fallback.

    Dic 16, 2016, 1:11pm

    I love that cookbook. I've made the ricotta cheesecake with (look away, Kat) marsala-soaked golden raisins many times.

    Last night I made turkey chili with cheddar biscuits basked on top - basically you make the chili in an oven-proof skillet and then throw the biscuits on top, 425 for 20 minutes. Sheesh, it's good.

    You could probably make a decent veggie version with crumbled tofu.

    Editado: Ene 6, 2017, 1:49pm

    Cookbooks I recently purchased after checking them repeatedly out of the library.

    Now I need a handsome smallish bookshelf for the dining room where I can stash pretty cookbooks.

    Ene 6, 2017, 2:25pm

    all of those Ottolenghi books are just big fat amazing trouble

    Ene 6, 2017, 4:13pm

    Yup, which is why I snatched it up for a third of its price. It only had one sticky page -- for the recipe for the dish shown on the cover. i imagined someone getting it and preparing something new to impress a new person in their life, only to discover (1) they didn't like eggplant; (2) they didn't like to cook; nd (3) they didn't much like the other person anyway.

    Ene 6, 2017, 7:46pm

    That's kind of like that Hemingway baby shoes thing.

    Ene 7, 2017, 10:02pm

    Wordier, but that's what revision is for.

    Ene 7, 2017, 11:17pm

    I got my son's girlfriend the Prune cookbook for Christmas. It was a little pricey but when I looked through it I really liked the recipes. It's the kind of thing you get for someone who's a good cook already, which she is—the recipes aren't crazy complicated but they're creative combinations and the food looks attractive. I'd cook out of it, which is basically my benchmark for any cookbook I'd buy someone.

    Ene 8, 2017, 2:39pm

    That Prune cookbook used to get quite a workout in my house but I confess that the later book -- Bones and Blood and Butter or whatever it was called -- made me like her less and I put the brakes on the Prune love after that. It's a perfect example of why some people should just let their work do the talking.

    Ene 11, 2017, 6:21pm

    Oh, nice.

    I've taken to buying big boxes of granola bars at the Lot Less store just so I can hand them out to people asking for money on the subway. The world's just getting tougher.

    Ene 12, 2017, 9:28am

    I have bags in my car with granola bars, chocolate, hand warmers, kleenex, lip balm, and a little cash. Sometimes I add a bottle of water and if I know I'll be driving to a place where people will be begging for food / money, I'll add a sandwich or some fruit. I don't kid myself that I'm doing something significant -- for all I know, the guy or gal begging really really just wants cash ans will feel encumbered by a bag of stuff. But I also figure that aside from food or cash, basics like kleenex and hand warmers and wet ones can help make a person living rough feel a little more human.

    Ene 12, 2017, 11:18am

    I don't see as many women, but we keep tampons on hand, and for all genders, loonies, and warm socks. We should add granola bars, etc. and gloves.

    I love the idea of a little free pantry.

    Editado: Ene 12, 2017, 11:29am

    This is a great idea. I was in a situation yesterday where that would have come in handy.

    Though last year was the year I lost the weight (well, about fifteen pounds to go) you'd think I'd be healthier. Weight Watchers is a great program but within it you can eat bad stuff and because of my ongoing BP issues I'm going to have to revise my cooking. So I have some challenges ahead, though I've mostly cut out red meat. I do eat a lot of salmon. So I'm looking for new recipes.

    Ene 12, 2017, 1:07pm

    >102 tpc_real: I have bags in my car with granola bars, chocolate, hand warmers, kleenex, lip balm, and a little cash.

    I recently started doing this with the little bottles of soap, shampoo, lotion, etc I accumulate from periodic stays in hotels for conventions. But since I rarely drive anywhere, it is of limited use to anyone. If there was a Little Free Pantry in the area I'd stock it up. As it stands, the average cost of a house in my neighborhood is over 250K, so a LFP on my road is utterly pointless.

    Ene 12, 2017, 1:26pm

    There's a high school girl in my town who last year started a GoFundMe campaign (which grew out of an English composition class assignment!!!!) through which she raised tens of thousands of dollars to purchase tampons, napkins and related stuff to be provided to local homeless shelters and food pantries for distribution.

    Ene 12, 2017, 5:23pm

    >106 tpc_real: Lysne (of Readerville, long ago) organized an entire nonprofit that does this--she's in Michigan.

    Ene 12, 2017, 10:23pm

    >107 lisapeet: That's where I got the idea!

    Ene 13, 2017, 12:24pm

    I've never frequented this thread, because I hate to cook. There. I said it. I'm not even much of a foodie. Thus, I am always looking for ways that cut my kitchen time as short as possible. In the past few years, I have made a big effort to eat more healthily. I was starting to have some stomach issues, and I swear that since I've gone mostly organic and severely limited red meat intake, I'm feeling much better.

    I love fresh baked bread (I don't bake much, but my family recipe for Irish Soda Bread is to die for), but baking yeast breads requires waaay too much time in the kitchen. So, I bought one of those bread machine thingies. I decided not to start with anything high end (Zojirushi, Breville, etc.), and I purchased a 2lb Oster, which actually had lots of very good reviews.

    Well, the first attempts didn't go well... sunken tops, too crusty bottoms, and so on. I'd seen the King Arthur flour Web site mentioned in a lot places, so I ordered a bunch of their organic flours and ingredients, and HooBoy! Success, at last. I found a Honey Whole Wheat recipe that I'm pretty much addicted to now. The only bread I'm still having issues with is Rye. Just can't seem to master that. I checked some forums, and I guess bread machine rye bread is an issue with many, not just me. Several posters said they gave up trying to bake rye in the machine, use their favorite recipe on the "dough" cycle, and then just bake it in the oven. So, that's the plan for one more rye attempt.

    Unless any here have other suggestions?

    Ene 13, 2017, 12:32pm

    No advice to offer on bread machines, but I do struggle with rye and rarely make it because it is so much work. It's the one recipe I use my mixer's dough hook for and even then it is hit or miss.

    But I'm a huge fan of King Arthur flour and never use anything else for bread baking. I can get both the bread flour and all the organic flours at my local supermarket, which is kind of a miracle, really. They aren't known for their organic options.

    Ene 13, 2017, 3:05pm

    I've owned two bread machines in my lifetime and other than the smell of fresh baked bread I was never really happy with the result.

    Ene 15, 2017, 7:10am

    It was one disaster after another (I was considering returning the machine), until I went with the King Arthur flours and followed their Web site's suggestion to proof my yeast in every recipe. Since then, I've had nothing but success... except with the rye.

    Editado: Ene 15, 2017, 9:38am

    Is anyone else obsessed with those little Short Stack cookbooks? OH GOD, they're all so pretty, those little chapbooks. There's a little hipster shop here that carries them and anytime I have to buy a gift for anyone I go there to get it because then I can always add a Short Stack to my purchase and just keep it and then just lie to myself that I didn't go to specifically buy it.

    Te lady that owns the shop says the hardest one to keep in stock is the Chickpea one, which I think is hilarious for some reason.

    Ene 15, 2017, 11:59am

    Those are nice covers. Are the insides any good?

    Ene 15, 2017, 12:53pm

    So far -- I only have a few. Sometimes these sorts of things are guilty of putting stuff like peanut butter and jelly as a recipe, but these are written by various luminaries, so the food is interesting.

    Aesthetically, they remind me of the old-school Peter Pauper Press A-Z books, with which I was also obsessed for a while. I think I finally got them all though, so don't be surprised if you are invited to a dinner at my house and are served ham and eggs a la orange.

    Ene 16, 2017, 10:50am

    OMG....those Short Stack ones are so cute! And maybe handy for some favorite (or not so favorite) ingredients.

    Editado: Ene 16, 2017, 11:12am

    I haven't seen them but it looks like those would be easier to read than cook from -- do they lie flat?

    The University of Chicago has a smaller series of short food books on things like the Hot Dog.

    Ene 16, 2017, 7:12pm


    The Short stack things are paperback and saddle stitched (fancy for "stapled"), so they stay open like a magazine once you fold it backwards once.

    Ene 17, 2017, 4:51pm

    I just made a big pot of Sandra Gutierrez's Cuban black bean soup. This is one of my very favorites -- it just tastes better and better the second and third day.

    Ene 24, 2017, 4:18pm

    Ooh, that sounds good. I'd make it now if I had sherry in the house.

    Ene 25, 2017, 7:55pm

    Any of you King Arthur fans have got to try their French Toast Scone mix. I made them yesterday morning in a cast iron skillet pan, and they were delicious and gone before the morning was over.

    Ene 29, 2017, 4:07pm

    Christopher Kimball is giving away copies of his new magazine: Milk Street

    Ene 29, 2017, 4:46pm

    Broke link—try this: Milk Street. And yes, of course I signed up.

    Ene 29, 2017, 5:38pm

    I'm on a new diet (or I will be, when all the Girl Scout cookies are gone), so I'm not sure I want a new cooking magazine in the house. :-)

    Feb 4, 2017, 6:49pm

    Tonight is curried beets from Andrea Reusing's Cooking in the Moment, which came out pretty well. I had them with a peeled orange and a little bit of coconut rice.

    I don't know why but I'm on this root vegetable kick -- turnips, beets, parsnips, carrots. I can barely resist them in the supermarket. I wonder if there's something in them I'm deficient in that is making me crave them.

    Feb 5, 2017, 8:34am

    We are going through a beet phase too. I think all of America is, though, because at the world's worst grocery store yesterday, I saw pre-packaged cooked beets -- not like in a can, but ones over in the produce section, like ones that had already been roasted and cut up and then vacuum packed. And of course they had to fuck with them five ways -- there were multiple flavors. JUST LET THEM BE BEET FLAVORED.

    Feb 5, 2017, 10:17am



    Feb 5, 2017, 10:18am

    I've seen those at Fairway too. And of course my eternal rant, which you've all heard before but hey, it's on topic for once—if they're going to sell bunches of beets with no greens attached, why can't they sell all those greens separately? Unlike beets, which I will admit take a little time to cook and may not be great for a weeknight, beet greens take no time and they're amazing. I would buy bunches of beet greens every damn week if they were available like other greens. But given the number of comments I've put in the Fairway suggestion box over the years, that just ain't gonna happen.

    Root vegetables are sooo good. I have parsnips and colored carrots (I know I know but I'm kind of a magpie when I shop) in the fridge and those are going to get roasted one night this week with a handful of rosemary. One of the few things I like about winter is roasting EVERYTHING.

    Feb 5, 2017, 1:05pm

    Or cinnamon and nutmeg...

    Roots fan here, too.

    Although, I've never eaten beets greens. Now I'm curious.

    Feb 5, 2017, 2:31pm

    My son is sick with what's been going around, so this might be the first SuperBowl we haven't watched together since I don't know when...maybe ever.

    I'm still cooking just in case, though. Plus, the brother and wife are coming over.

    On the menu is Frontier Soups' Michigan Ski Country Chili. I always thought my own chili recipe couldn't be beat until someone talked me into trying this one. I change it up just a bit, but it really is the best chili ever. Making their Santa Fe Cornbread to go with it which has to be tasted to be believed. However, you must bake it in cast iron and you must use buttermilk.

    Also, the obligatory spinach dip and crackers. I didn't bother making a dessert. We never have room for one.

    Feb 6, 2017, 9:10am

    So in a couple weeks I'll mark a full year of being vegetarian. I started it in a desultory way, because I was eating quite a few vegetarian meals anyway (yay, garden!), so I thought, what the hell? Why not? But I committed to it as a kind of new year's resolution and got rid of all the meat and meat-based things in my freezer. It was an easier transition than I was expecting -- partly because I found it easier to cook for one person as a vegetarian. No more left over chicken in the fridge. Also because vegetables are just so easy to cook. And while not necessarily low fat -- I haven't given up cheese, and I remain devoted to good tempura -- on the whole I found I was spending less time cooking a meal, but enjoying the meal more.

    So for this year I've eradicated junk food from my life, and last week I finished off the last bag of cheese flavored popcorn, and drank the last soda. I have half a pack of Thin Mints left to finish and I am done with anything in the pantry that might be called pre-packaged snack food.

    Once again, the transition has been unexpectedly smooth. I go on binges where I crave salty things, so peanuts are my new snack food of choice. But otherwise I find I am not missing the stuff the way I thought I would. I don't know if I could manage it if I didn't work from home, but it has been a rewarding journey -- I've been sick less, more energetic, and more adventurous in cooking. I find myself re-exploring cookbooks with new goals in mind.

    And while not exactly cheaper (I gave up meat, but not the high-dollar cheese), I am in and out of the supermarket much more quickly now. So on the whole, it's been win-win-win.

    Feb 6, 2017, 10:33am

    >131 southernbooklady:

    Congrats! Theoretically I'd want to be at least vegetarian but in practice I've failed every time. I'm not even hugely fond of meat (much more of fish, which is as bad from an environmental perspective), but the idea that it's "never again" eventually ramps up my appetite.

    I did manage a vegan June last year. I found I get better results when I set myself such limited goals, or don't obsess about what I *must* or *must not* be eating.

    Peanuts I adore so much I try never to buy them. The caloric load is just too much if you have no control, and I don't, not with peanuts. Anything else--nuts to bread to cheese to sweets--I can reduce, ban, forget about. But freaking peanuts, for some reason, no.

    Feb 6, 2017, 10:47am

    >132 LolaWalser: The caloric load is just too much if you have no control, and I don't, not with peanuts.

    I'm like that about the cheddar popcorn. :) Peanuts, though, are one of nature's great flavors. I'm actually going to try and grow them this year!

    A couple things helped this whole new diet thing. One was having a few easy meals and snacks I could eat and really liked ready to hand. I make a lot of hummus and raita, and cut up a lot of carrots!

    The other was not thinking about goals, just new habits. Goals are things I fail at. Habits are things I integrate into my life. Less pressure.

    And I have very good cast iron cookware, so cooking is easier because I'm not fighting the equipment even though it's like a little weight lifting session to bring out the iron wok when I make miso soup.

    Feb 6, 2017, 10:55am

    >133 southernbooklady:

    Yes, that's it, lessening pressure, and habits vs. goals, excellent way of thinking.

    You make miso soup in a wok? Any special reason?

    Feb 6, 2017, 10:58am

    Not really. I put tofu and shitake mushrooms in it and I like to stir fry both in a little chili paste before I add the broth. It's not really an authentic miso recipe. It's my go to soup for chilly days, though.

    Feb 6, 2017, 12:33pm

    Oh, interesting. I make a lot of miso soup but only the way the packet on the soy paste says. :)

    Feb 7, 2017, 12:16pm

    Congrats SBL!!! It also helps that you grow a lot of your dinners, right, and it would be difficult for you to tend chicken, pigs and a cow?

    Feb 7, 2017, 12:45pm

    The cats would like it if I had chickens. I don't think the zoning laws would allow the pig and the cow. I have considered bees, though. Mostly as a deterrent to the neighbors behind me that keep cutting down the shrubbery and trees that screen us from each other.

    Feb 13, 2017, 11:51am

    This week's bread project:

    I think I'm going to have to use the kitchen aid mixer because I'm having trouble standing for long periods of time.

    Feb 15, 2017, 1:47pm

    Just so happens I have all those ingredients in the pantry. But anything that takes days to make...

    Let us know if it was worth the effort, Nicki.

    Mar 11, 2017, 4:42pm

    Late to report this, but the sourdough sandwich bread came out well -- a little more dense than I'm used to, but it was great for toast and sliced cheese. A lot of work, though. I don't think I'll try it again in the winter, since it was hard to keep the dough at the ideal temperature. I ended up letting it go through rises in my plant room, which is warmer than the rest of the house because of the grow lights from all the early seed starts.

    This week I'm home after a week spent in the purgatory of an airport hotel, so I went mad at the grocery store. I was so desperate for decent vegetables (not something on the menu at the airport hotel). So tonight I have a pot of vegetable soup simmering -- it's a new kind of vegetable soup for me. Not Mediterranean-based, not American-plains based. It's from the Vilna cookbook and has barley, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, peas, kohlrabi, parsley and dill. I'm tempted to throw in an onion just because, but I won't.

    Mar 11, 2017, 5:46pm

    At my library used book sale, I bought a copy of Tartine 3 because it was so beautiful and only $1. Does anyone want it - I am not a breadmaker but I know several in this thread are................

    Editado: Mar 12, 2017, 3:26pm

    >141 southernbooklady:

    Interesting. Any special reason for avoiding onion?

    I made a beet soup yesterday that turned out amazingly good. First I roasted beets wrapped in foil (400 F, about 1 h), peeled and diced them very finely (you could grate them as well, I prefer soups with a touch of chunkiness to them).

    In a large pot I heated oil and sauteed 1 celery stalk, three shallots, about 2 cups of red cabbage, all chopped up finely, then added veg bouillon and the beets and a can of black beans. Let it cook for about 15-20 minutes, mashing the ingredients to taste, with a spatula (again for more of that chunkiness vs. pureeing), and shortly before removing from fire added some balsamic vinegar (because it's what I had, ordinary red is fine.)

    Chopped parsley and a large dollop of high-fat yogurt and it. is. great.

    ETA: herbs used: some thyme and a bay leaf. Black pepper. No extra salt, the bouillon was salty.

    Mar 12, 2017, 5:12pm

    >143 LolaWalser: Any special reason for avoiding onion?

    No reason, except that it wasn't in the recipe. I usually follow new recipes without variation for the first try.

    I agree on the "chunkiness" of soups. I do puree black bean, split pea and lentil soups though. That's just because it's how my mom made them when I was kid.

    Here's the Vilna Vegetable soup recipe, word for word:

    Bring 2 quarts water to the boil. Add 1/2 cup pearl barley (and cook about 20 minutes). Add 2 tablespoons butter, 1 (head) cauliflower cut in pieces, 1 bunch (1 pound) carrots cut in pieces, 1 pound shelled peas, a little (chopped) fresh parsley, 4 or 5 new potatoes, and 1 (cut-up) kohlrabi, and cook everything until soft, about 20 minutes. Make a roux from 1 and 1/2 teaspoons melted better and 1 tablespoon flour, and add to the soup. Salt to taste, and cook 15 minutes more. When serving, sprinkle each bowl with (chopped fresh) parsley and dill.

    In the book, the things in parentheses are in square brackets, and represent editorial interjections from the editor who originally transcribed the book. I didn't add salt, but I did add black pepper.

    Mar 12, 2017, 7:43pm

    Mmm, that looks good. I don't cook with kohlrabi often, but the rest is on pretty regular rotation around here and that looks like a good one to try. Too bad I didn't see that before Jeff went shopping, since we've got a snowpocalypse coming and that would be an appropriate cooking project.

    Thanks for the beet soup recipe too, LolaWalser. We've been eating a lot of beets lately since discovering, in The 5-Ingredient Vegetarian Pressure Cooker Cookbook, that you can steam them in the pressure cooker in under 20 minutes—which is a hell of an improvement over an hour-plus when you get home at 8 p.m. (The e-version of that cookbook was on sale at Amazon a couple of weeks ago for 99¢ so now we have his'n'hers copies, which is probably more about my personal life than anyone needs to know.) More golden beets than red, but that looks like a good recipe to try.

    Mar 13, 2017, 10:20am

    >145 lisapeet:

    If you'd like to preserve the taste roasting gives to the beets (much more flavourful, I think), it's perfectly okay to roast the beets in advance--I did it several times so far. I didn't even bother refrigerating them overnight in this cold weather. Just unwrapped them and let them cool to RT. They are easier to peel slightly warm, though--or at least before the skin dries out. I expect roasted peeled beets would keep at least a few days too.

    For some reason I avoided beets all my life and started eating them only recently, as I try to expand my menu to be mostly vegetarian. This is the first time I used them in a soup and for me it wins over salads hands down.

    Oh--and at first I bought them for the leaves, which are excellent prepared any way one cooks chard or spinach. (Did not try them raw.)

    Mar 13, 2017, 2:31pm

    I've eaten beets several times in the last year or so, and discovered...I think I like them! I never even tasted them until I was in my late 30s, I think, when I tried borscht at a Russian-themed book club dinner party. But, I have never bought them or cooked them. I am about to get back on my "diet," so maybe I'll get brave and try to roast them sometime.

    Mar 13, 2017, 2:57pm

    Wow, just found this thread, this SUPER thread. I will follow for sure. Just checked out the Short Stack cookbooks. Great! There are at least 5 that I want. I will keep my eyes peeled for them.

    Mar 14, 2017, 12:31pm

    What happened to the recipes on the old BB? SP, I know you explained this when we first made the transition. I remember Lisa had a massaged greens recipe I wanted to try and I have a very good spinach/kale/chard.mix I want to use.

    Mar 16, 2017, 9:09am

    Recipes are here, Karen:

    and there are probably a few in the food/cooking archive:

    So I bought kohlrabi at the supermarket this week -- something I almost never do because it is ridiculously overpriced. But it is a staple in many of my veggie cookbooks, so I figured I'd at least try and see how it was. I must have got an especially fresh bunch, because it was awesome in everything -- in the Vilna vegetable soup, diced raw and tossed into my wild rice confetti salad, sauteed with a little chili pepper, ginger and sesame oil.

    I'm thinking of making it a garden staple if I can get it to grow. I bet I could plant it in the fall when I plant the kale -- if so, between the kale, spinach, turnips and that, I could almost live off the garden year round, at least for vegetables.

    Mar 16, 2017, 7:00pm

    My grandfather grew kohlrabi (he pronounced it "colla-robba") up in the North Carolina mountains and it never occurred to me to cook it -- we always ate it raw, sliced and salted and it was always in-between courses -- sometimes even right before dessert, to cleanse the palate. I love it.

    Mar 16, 2017, 8:12pm

    Is it like jicama?

    Mar 18, 2017, 12:55pm

    It's a fat stem, Lisa. So like eating broccoli stems, only a brighter, tangy taste.

    Editado: Mar 19, 2017, 8:57pm

    How many times do I have to tell you people: fruit does not belong in coleslaw -- neither apples nor pineapples. Also, no effin' nuts! Can you spell purist?!

    Mar 30, 2017, 10:57pm

    Kat: ditto!

    Mar 31, 2017, 7:02pm

    turnips roasted with honey for dinner tonight, with a side of spinach salad, walnuts, and dried cranberries in a fruity dressing. I did really, really well with turnips in the garden this year, so this weekend I'm freezing what I can, but otherwise looking for different ways to make them for dinner.

    Editado: Abr 20, 2017, 3:11am

    Moving to the Old Farts Home last spring sent me kattywhumpus up the wall with regard to cooking which has been a creative outlet since forever.

    Our spacious one-bedroom apartment sports a small kitchen that is acceptable in most ways. Full-size fridge with ice maker (never had that before), four-burner cooktop, large oven, excellent dishwasher, good microwave (suspended so no huge counter footprint).

    But, the tiniest kitchen sink I ever have seen. So tiny I had to divest some larger pots and pans. It's not even as large as half of the usual half sink. No idea what they were thinking. Big everything; tiny sink, right.

    Granted our tenancy includes white-tablecloth dinner each evening (sigh). Such usually is sort-of palatable, sometimes not and, very occasionally, good. We indulge more often than not because it's easy and caring for Jim eats up my days.

    Nevertheless, I still love to cook and there is breakfast and lunch/snack to dispatch. Once or twice a week, I enjoy making dinner.

    Also, I'm getting tres expert at breakfast -- omelettes with bacon, cheese and avocado; French toast, waffles with butter and maple syrup, smoked salmon on toast with cream cheese and capers.

    Likely too high in bad cholesterol and carcinogens but, honestly, how awful would it be if Jim died before he was confined to bed witless and unable to walk, talk, and tend to his own intimate needs?

    Abr 20, 2017, 8:44am

    Sister Meg prefers breakfast above anything else for every meal, so we do frequently have the how-healthy-is-it discussion and we just decided that, eh, whatever.

    My only complaint about it is ohmygod, it's such a kitchen-wrecker.

    Abr 20, 2017, 8:58am

    I feel your pain about the sink, Kat. I've never had a kitchen with a good one, and I curse the fool who invented the divided sink. May he (it must have been a "he") be condemned to wash large pots in too small sinks for eternity.

    The house I grew up in, a turn of the century Victorian money pit, had a huge and deep kitchen sink -- built for the days they washed clothes in it, I think. It was awesome. When my folks finally moved, my mom wanted to take it with her.

    Abr 20, 2017, 11:03pm

    One of the few good features of NYC tenements was the big deep double kitchen sinks, originally for laundry as well as dish washing. If you were lucky you had one with the original enameled metal cover that slid over one half at a time.

    Abr 22, 2017, 12:11pm

    And the all-in-one drainboards. I covet these sinks bigtime:

    Farmhouse Drainboard Sink

    I had one in almost every Connecticut apartment I rented in my 20's. I wasn't so crazy about the ones with the covers. Those suckers could slice your hands if you weren't careful.

    Editado: Abr 22, 2017, 12:18pm

    Kat, I mentioned these before, but if you've never tried the King Arthur Flour scones mixes, I highly recommend them. My favorites are the gingerbread (with pieces of candied ginger), and the French Toast scones. I even purchased their scones baking pan, and it bakes and washes like a dream.

    King Arthur Scones mixes

    Abr 23, 2017, 11:45am

    >162 Pat_D: Yummy! We have a local gal here who makes the most scrumptious scones and sells them at the hardware store. We have the best hardware store anywhere. They run a Nordic ski team for the young people around here. The Plain Valley Adventure Women's group organizes and transports us crazy ladies to hiking trails in the warm months and teaches classic and skate skiing in the winter. They have made arrangements with various land owners to groom ski trails through the properties. The trail passes right across the road from my house, so I can just grab my skis and head out for some cross country skiing. They also sell really cute home décor items and women's clothing. (This ends the advertisement for the Plain Hardware.)

    Abr 23, 2017, 12:16pm

    Oh to be able to retire in a very cool sounding place as where April lives...

    Abr 23, 2017, 2:54pm

    Last night - at the best dinner ever with LuAnn and DG - yes, people, it was all that! - I had the most perfect dessert.

    One scoop of coconut sorbet sitting on a bed of crushed hazelnut brittle. One scoop of lemon gelato on a bed of crushed hazelnuts. And a financier cookie in between like a little brick of butter.

    Oh, and the scoops were ovals - like quenelles.

    It was the perfect Lauren dessert, I haven't been so happy eating since I was served panna cotta in a teacup at the Dream Away Lodge in the Berkshires.

    Food aside, if you ever have a chance to meet either of these people, run, don't walk. My sides hurt from laughing.

    Abr 23, 2017, 7:06pm

    I had ten pounds of pork belly!

    Abr 23, 2017, 9:59pm

    Fat cap.

    Abr 23, 2017, 10:03pm

    Oh, to be a fly on that wall.

    Abr 24, 2017, 11:40pm

    It sounds like a great time was had by all. I'll have to get to that neck of the woods one day.

    Abr 25, 2017, 10:40am

    April, dg and I are available.

    Editado: Mayo 3, 2017, 7:44pm

    I splurged last Saturday at the Food Museum and bought a three-pound boneless prime rib roast. Then I forgot about it until this afternoon. So, we are having it roasted, served atop a bed of apples and onions braised in brandy and sprinkled ever so fairy like with shredded parmesan. We call that cuisine around here.

    Jun 4, 2017, 6:08pm

    Just posting because today is my first eat-entirely-out-of-the-garden day. Italian sweet frying peppers, early purple beans, a hand full of small tomatoes and parley, oregano and basil. Even the garlic came from the garden last year. The only things from the pantry are the olive oil, salt and pepper.

    Jul 1, 2017, 3:38pm

    I've just spent a grueling day making and putting up roasted tomato sauce -- the kind where you roast everything, then make the sauce on the stove top, then put it in the oven to bake for the last step. Very rich, very flavorful, and has absolutely ruined me for anything you get in the supermarket.

    I'm particularly proud of this batch, because it is made almost entirely from what I had in the garden -- the carrots, the zucchini, the tomatoes, even the herbs and the garlic. The only things in the sauce I didn't grow myself was the olive oil, an onion, and the black pepper and the cinnamon.

    Mind you, by that gauge it is the most expensive and labor-intensive sauce, ever, but I feel so much better have a stack of full jars in the pantry.

    Jul 1, 2017, 4:53pm

    Oh my gracious does that sound yummy!

    Jul 1, 2017, 6:29pm

    I've only "put up" something once -- sauerkraut I made a few years ago. I loved the whole process of it (like any new hobby, a lot of the fun part was the gear-getting -- tongs, jars, gloves, etc.) but only did it that once. It did make a mess in the kitchen, that's for sure. But I guess I did it right because I opened the last jar of Avis Brown's Kraut (that's what we named it, and it involves a long handwritten recipe and a story I have told before) last week and it was delicious and I didn't die.

    Jul 1, 2017, 7:22pm

    I used to put stuff up, mostly preserves, but for a while I did pickled beets and they were the best things ever. I never figured out how long they lasted, though, because I'd eat them up within a few months. I still have the recipe somewhere and I may just try a small batch this winter, because I miss those beets.

    Jul 1, 2017, 7:56pm

    Putting up the tomatoes and the beans is really hard work for me because I can no long lift the 10 quart canning kettle when it is full of water the way I could in my 30s. And frankly, it is hot, tiring work because it always seems to be at least 85F out on the day I have to stand over a hot stove covered in vats of boiling water. It's not really a one person job, to be honest.

    Still, I've got tomato sauce for the rest of the year, so there's that.

    Jul 2, 2017, 9:18am

    Yes, I think the trick is do it with a second person, at least based on my one time. I had a huge crock of kraut to jar and it seemed to take FOREVER, like the amount of kraut was not going down in the urn...until a second person showed up to help. And then we were done in like twenty minutes.

    Jul 2, 2017, 9:45am

    The rest of my family is away so I am partying hard which for me means listening to Kate and Anna McGarrigle REALLY LOUD and staying up late to watch Barbara Stanwyck movies.

    But I can also eat whatever I want, whenever I want, which means last night, a caprese salad with peaches. That is summer.

    Jul 2, 2017, 3:48pm

    I went over to Karen's last night with the peach caprese thing and we put it in mahi tacos -- it was really terrific. I accidentally used burrata instead of mozz, so it was creamier.

    Jul 2, 2017, 6:03pm

    Where do you get burrata? I have yet to try it but it sounds heavenly.

    Jul 2, 2017, 6:07pm

    Ohhh burrata, grilled peaches, basil, and a little balsamic reduction is the best thing ever. Come back to NY, Lauren, and we'll go to Casa Della Mozzarella on Arthur Avenue and get us a big batch.

    Jul 2, 2017, 7:33pm

    Believe it or not, Lauren, at my terrible Kroger.

    Jul 9, 2017, 7:32pm

    Best best best summer recipe:


    1 cup uncooked long grain white or basmati or brown rice
    3 tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil
    2 tbsps. red wine vinegar
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    salt & pepper to taste
    3-4 ears freshly cooked corn, cut off cob
    1 large tomato, diced ½” or 1 pint grape or mixed tomatoes, halved
    ¼ cup diced sweet red onion
    ¼ cup packed basil leaves, julienned

    Cook rice; remove from heat & let stand until cooled to lukewarm, uncovered. Fluff.

    Meanwhile, in serving bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, & pepper. Add rice, corn, tomato, red onion, & basil. Toss to coat with dressing & serve. The longer this sits the better it is.

    4 servings

    Jul 9, 2017, 7:41pm

    >184 lisapeet: That sounds yummy. My husband is in New Mexico visiting his Mom. As soon as he returns, I'm going to try this.

    Jul 10, 2017, 9:12am

    >184 lisapeet: Confetti rice salad is my favorite go to meal when I can't be bothered to cook. But it comes out different every time depending on what I toss into it because I want to use up something.

    Jul 10, 2017, 11:42am

    Yum. I could see switching out the rice with white beans for that as well.

    Jul 13, 2017, 4:03pm

    It took me three trips to harvest all the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and eggplants from the garden today. The eggplants, especially, are a nice surprise. Usually I get a couple per plant, but this time I have a big bowl full. They are the smaller, white egg-shaped kind.

    Favorite eggplant recipes, anyone?

    Jul 13, 2017, 4:06pm

    >188 southernbooklady:


    I go for the simple and quick whenever possible...

    Jul 13, 2017, 4:12pm

    ratatouille takes me forever to make!

    Jul 13, 2017, 4:18pm

    Ah yes? Takes me about an hour, an hour and a half with the prep.

    Jul 13, 2017, 4:39pm

    I must not be doing it right. Or I'm just really disorganized in the kitchen, which is often true! It's cooking everything separately first that takes me awhile. Hour and a half total, easy.

    Jul 13, 2017, 4:46pm

    Hmm--everything separately consecutively in the same pan? I run a pot and two pans at the same time.

    Also, I dehydrate the eggplant before cooking it (sometimes the zucchini too if they are biggish), and I don't brown them, they have to be cooked through and tender but not browned before the all-together-now stewing.

    Jul 13, 2017, 5:47pm

    Is there ever a time when you shouldn't dehydrate eggplant before using it?

    And yeah, I have one big 12 inch cast iron skillet and deep iron fryer with the high walls I can cover and stick right in the oven. So it all gets done one thing after the other. They are heavy pans though, so I avoid using more than I absolutely have to.

    Jul 14, 2017, 10:13am

    >188 southernbooklady: Regarding eggplants, this is my second attempt. Last year I left them on the plant too long and they turned yellow. How do you tell if they're as big as they are going to get and are ready to pick?

    Jul 14, 2017, 11:12am

    >195 varielle: The variety you planted should have an estimated days to maturity/harvest you can probably look up on the internet. My variety is called "White Beauty" from the Southern Exposure Seed Catalog, and says 70 days, fruits to six inches long:

    But my rule about all garden veggies is that it is usually better to pick early than late.

    Jul 14, 2017, 12:27pm

    >194 southernbooklady:

    If I could get better, fresh eggplant I'd skip the salting for stuff like this.

    I do it all on the stove top. Onion and tomato in the pot, eggplant and pepper in the pans, then transfer all to pot and cover tightly for the stewing. No baking.

    Editado: Ago 9, 2017, 2:00pm

    So can I just say, "tofurkey" -- blech. seriously. that stuff is nasty.

    Ago 10, 2017, 5:44pm

    Oh yeah, gross stuff. If you're going to have vegetarians to your Thanksgiving, there are a lot of other ways you can feed them.

    Editado: Ago 10, 2017, 8:57pm

    Dinner tonight:

    Chicken thighs sauteed with onion, shallots, apple, calvados, cream, dijon mustard. Green salad.

    White nectarines and blueberries for dessert

    Ago 10, 2017, 9:02pm

    >199 lisapeet: Someone gave me a package of tofurkey "Italian sausage" and I thought "what can it hurt -- how bad can it be?" As it turns out, it can be pretty damn bad.

    I'm living on figs, yogurt and homemade granola this week. I'm in a war with the birds over the fruit near the top of the tree.

    Ago 21, 2017, 7:07pm

    Salad nicoise for dinner tonight. And probably lunch tomorrow unless I totally pig out.

    Ago 22, 2017, 5:58pm

    My favorite part of a leftover nicoise is jamming it into a sandwich

    Ago 23, 2017, 8:49am

    I leave today for five cabin days -- just as the weather took an opportune cooler turn! -- and it's been a trip eight months in the making, with a master Google Doc that everyone could refer to for their meal assignment (everyone has one) and it's been kind of fascinating to watch people in the group be so determined to be unprepared. My email has been overflowing with questions over the past two days (my car has been packed for four) with questions that have been answered for MONTHS on the online doc. Everyone is so hilariously anxious and elaborate -- one woman is poaching trout -- so I swerved the other direction and am making simple stir-fry (on the grill!) with literally every about-to-turn vegetable in my kitchen. I just know I'm going to get the side eye from trout lady about that.

    Ago 23, 2017, 9:40am

    >204 DG_Strong: I envy these camping trips of yours from afar, DG.

    Ago 25, 2017, 6:25pm

    Since we moved to the old farts home my cooking usually is limited to breakfast. But most Saturdays I cook a proper dinner. Tomorrow we'll feast on beef pot roast with carrots, mushrooms, onions, garlic. Accompaied by fennel gratin, butter lettuce salad. Fruit (tbd) for dessert.

    Ago 28, 2017, 8:39am

    SO! Cabin trout lady arrived WITHOUT trout and instead a bunch of Costco Indian food! It was so funny, I had been talking her up because she's a cookbook author and food critic and blah blah blah and there she was microwaving everything. It was ALMOST as satisfying as winning a state fair ribbon. ALMOST.

    The previous evening I made two authentic Surrey County sonkers -- peach and berry -- and they were the best two I've ever made; something about the slightly hotter oven made the bready part better. I really do have that down, and am determined to keep that very regional specialty alive.

    Sep 21, 2017, 11:00am

    Re-creating historical recipes at the Duke University Rubenstein Test Kitchen:

    Many a Jell-O dish has been attempted, and many have failed, including McDonald's Jell-O pie that turned out to be strawberry soup in a crust.

    Sep 28, 2017, 7:44pm

    Dinner gonight: spinach souffle with parmesan, onion and bacon. Fruit salad (yes we have no bananas).

    Sep 28, 2017, 9:24pm

    I haven't had the energy to cook much, but I've been baking flatbreads. I seem to be living on Naan, tapenades, yogurt, and apples.

    Anyone have any opinions on the best ginger ale?

    Sep 28, 2017, 9:38pm

    >210 southernbooklady: I do, in fact! Best ginger ale in the universe is from Foxon Park, in CT near New Haven. But they ship.

    We get it at our favorite pizza place, Frank Pepe in Yonkers, the original one of which is in New Haven. And they bus Foxon Park soda down, so we can usually go there for a fix—ginger ale or sometimes cream soda or root beer. We have also been known to order it, though.

    Sep 28, 2017, 9:52pm

    Is it gingery? I like gingery.

    Sep 28, 2017, 10:06pm

    Not super strong gingery. But it's got a nice real ginger ale flavor, as opposed to a chemical ginger ale flavor, if that makes any sense.

    Sep 30, 2017, 8:04pm

    Blenheim! Curl-your-nose-hair gingery.

    Plus it’s practically local.

    Oct 20, 2017, 6:28pm

    So Blenheim. Not stocked anywhere in town. I'm going to have to get my brother to pick me up some at a Mast General Store or something.

    In the meantime, I'm having mad curry cravings. I reorganized my cookbooks today and got sidetracked by my Madhur Jaffrey books.

    Editado: Oct 21, 2017, 2:19pm

    Saturday is home cooking night so I'm prepping now for tomorrow's beef braised with leeks and mushrooms. Apple galette for dessert.

    Oct 21, 2017, 2:17pm

    Can anyone recommend a really good vegetarian (or mostly) slow cooker cookbook?

    Oct 30, 2017, 12:46pm

    It was raining and cool yesterday, so I baked. Apple cider walnut bread, Uzbek flatbread, and vegan carrot cake muffins.

    the cider/walnut bread didn't rise as much as I'd have liked, but it tastes wonderful.

    Editado: Oct 30, 2017, 4:33pm

    A naturalist friend told me where there was a persimmon tree by a corporate parking lot so I went there today and took home half a grocery bag of windfall wild persimmons. I don't have a food mill and the hand straining is a bit tedious but worth it. Happy.

    Oct 30, 2017, 5:44pm

    hand straining -- colander lined with cheesecloth?

    Oct 31, 2017, 12:45am

    A sieve with a spatula.

    Nov 2, 2017, 6:39pm

    >218 southernbooklady: That apple cider walnut bread sounds scrumptious. Recipe?

    Nov 9, 2017, 9:45am

    >222 AprilAdamson: April, sorry, I just saw this. The recipe I used came from Mark Miller's Flavored Breads. That said, my first attempt didn't work at all. The recipe called for a whopping 1/4 cup of cider vinegar at the proofing stage. (What? I thought, but dutifully followed the directions anyway) Since vinegar actually kills yeast, that was just nutty. I don't know how it passed the editors.

    Here's the recipe I used, adjusted on the second try:

    Olde English Cider-Walnut Bread

    1 cup lukewarm unfiltered fresh apple cider
    1-2 Tablespoons unfiltered cider vinegar (I use Braggs)
    1 Tablespoon dark molasses
    1.5 teaspoons active dry yeast
    2 cups bread flour
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    1 tablespoon dry powdered milk
    1.5 teaspoons salt
    1 cup toasted chopped walnuts or pecans

    1) combine the cider, vinegar and molasses in a mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over the mixture and wait a couple minutes

    2) stir in the bread flour, whole wheat flour and powdered milk, and then knead about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and resilient.

    3) mix or knead in the nuts.

    4) put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1.5 hours)

    5) punch down, re-cover, and let rise again for another 30-40 minutes

    6) place a baking stone on the middle rack of the over and preheat to 400F (you can add a baking dish of water for steam) I use a cloche, so I don't need the stone

    7) While the oven is preheating, turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and shape it into an oblong loaf (I like round loaves, personally). Place the loaf into a prepared loaf pan or on a baking sheet*, and cover again and let rise in a warm place another half hour or so. I don't keep my house very warm, so rising times tend to be longer.

    8) uncover, spritz with water, make a couple slashes in the bread to allow the dough to expand in the over

    9) set the loaf pan on the hot baking stone, and bake for 35-40 minutes. Bread is done when the crust is a caramel brown and it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

    10) cool on a wire rack.

    * I use this:

    I would advise using the unfiltered and organic cider and vinegar, so you aren't dealing with whatever weird preservatives they put in these things.

    Nov 14, 2017, 10:36am

    My folks and my brother are coming down for Thanksgiving again this year, so I'm starting to plan out meals. It's a compromise between vegetarian (me) and non-vegetarian (everyone else). Mom and Dad are fine with eating vegetarian meals, to be honest, but I don't want to subject them to it the entire week, so I think I may put a pot of chili on reserve.

    In the meantime, I'm testing recipes. Tonight it is a mushroom and swiss chard galette.

    Also, for some reason everything involving apples and/or acorn & butternut squash just sounds delicious at the moment. What is it about fall that makes me start salivating over certain foods?

    Nov 14, 2017, 11:13am

    Last year I had many vegetarians at my table and made individual leek and white bean galettes that were killer. I think it's a Smitten Kitchen recipe. The dough was a dream to work with. Also a fancy poblano and squash casserole that is very rich with cream and farmer's cheese - It's truly worth every blessed calorie.

    Nov 19, 2017, 9:16am

    So here are some of the dishes I'm planning for this week:

    Lemon/asparagus risotto
    Vegetarian Hungarian goulash over noodles
    caramelized root vegetable tart tatin
    white bean & kale soup
    roasted acorn squash & pomegranate black rice salad
    mushroom/swiss chard galettes (came out fantastic when I tested)
    something for leftovers -- I'm thinking a vegetarian version of "bubble and squeak"?

    Plus, you know, back up chili - veggie and non veggie version. I may have a small ham, as well, just in case.

    For baking I've got herbed sourdough bread, cumin uzbek flat bread, bagels, and for desserts oatmeal/sour cherry cookies, short bread with ginger, gingerbread with hard lemon sauce, and applesauce/carrot cake.

    Except for the galettes, I think most of this stuff will work as dinner one night, munchies/lunch the next day. I also have the usual supply of cheese, fruit, hummus, raita, etc.

    so nice to have the excuse to cook for people.

    Nov 19, 2017, 2:34pm

    wow, that's impressive!

    Editado: Nov 19, 2017, 7:35pm

    That sounds delicious. Where's the vegetarian goulash recipe from? That sounds like something that might get some play in our house.

    I'm headed to my sister's for Thanksgiving, so only bringing one dish: wild rice and mushroom casserole. I've never made it before, but it looks good. There's a gluten-free person coming, so I'll leave out the Parmesan and substitute some other topping for the panko—any suggestions? I have cornflakes and rice cereal in the house, and I could probably locate some gluten free bread before Thursday, though it seems kind of wasteful to buy a whole loaf of something just for the topping.

    I also got the makings for a loaf of orange cranberry bread for just us, since I'm guessing we won't be bringing home a ton of leftovers—there are 16 people coming and the vegetarians always get a little shafted when it comes to doggie bags.

    Nov 19, 2017, 6:02pm

    >228 lisapeet: It's a Food & Wine recipe:

    To be honest, I was looking for recipes to use up all these peppers I have, and this came up in a google search. But I love mushroomy things, and I love paprika, and basically love everything in the recipe, so we'll see. Luckily mom and dad are good sports about trying out new dishes.

    Nov 19, 2017, 9:36pm

    >226 southernbooklady: I'm intrigued by the pomegranate black rice salad.

    Nov 20, 2017, 8:55am

    >230 varielle: wild rice salad is one of my go-to dishes I make to snack on. How I do it depends on what I have kicking around. In this case, it's going to be

    2:1 black rice and wild rice,
    one roasted acorn squash, quartered, peeled, and then sliced
    one pomegranate's worth of seeds
    some sliced scallions
    a cup of chopped, toasted pecans
    tarragon and parsley, to taste
    maybe some radish sprouts, added before serving.

    honey vinaigrette

    rice salad keeps well for me if I wait to add any fresh greens and dressing until I'm ready to serve.

    Nov 21, 2017, 2:19pm

    Nicki, we are such opposites! I envy your life of books, gardening, animals, and cooking, but I'll just never be like you. :(

    I didn't even get invited to Thanksgiving at my father's house (he probably knew my brother and I would be uncomfortable with his wife's family, and he just forgot to extend the invite, knowing we'd probably say no), so it's just me and my brother. I got a turkey breast, and I think I'm going to make mac and cheese and mashed potatoes, and buy a pumpkin pie. And have some munchies. I don't like to cook, and my brother barely eats any sides or veggies, so even this bit is going to be too much for us! I'd make some kind of green veggie, but he won't eat them, so why waste my time? If I feel like I need something non-starchy, I have some frozen and canned veggies, or I can make a salad or something. Sigh....I do love being single, but holidays kind of suck.

    Also, I keep seeing risotto being mentioned all over the place, and I have zero idea how to make it (I read something in a Cooking Light magazine yesterday about adding small bits of stock while the rice is cooking? Makes sense.), but I'm thinking about trying one soon. Lemon/asparagus risotto? Sounds yummy. As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure I've ever tried risotto. Sheltered life, I guess.

    Editado: Nov 21, 2017, 3:00pm

    Risotto is very easy. If you can find Arborio rice, great, otherwise, any long grain rice will do. melt some butter in a pan. Saute some onions, maybe some garlic. Add the rice and let it toast for a minute. Then put in a cup of chicken broth and give it a stir, lower the heat and let the rice absorb the stock, stirring every few. After the rice has mostly absorbed the stock - 5-7 minutes, add another cup of stock. And just keep going (usually 5 0r 6 cups of stock) so each rice kernel is plump and soft. Salt, pepper, parmesan cheese. And veggies you want. You kinda can't go wrong.

    Nov 21, 2017, 6:38pm

    You know I will chime in with my "if you ain't stirring the whole time, it ain't risotto" chant, but yes, it's easy.

    I've stopped adding the parmesan because I ultimately decided it made it a cheese dish instead of a rice one; now, just a knob of butter right at the last second.

    Nov 21, 2017, 8:17pm

    After I went vegetarian, I switched over from chicken stock to coconut milk when making risotto. But I do stir the whole time.

    Nov 21, 2017, 8:54pm

    Well this will surely disturb you purists, but Jeff makes Mark Bittman's pressure cooker risotto and it's really good. We use vegetable stock, don't bother with the wine since we never have any in the house, porcini mushrooms and peas or whatever's in the house. Maybe it doesn't hold up to what you get from standing and stirring, but for two people who work and commute, it's pretty fab (and if it means that once in a while there's dinner on the stove when I get home, it's VERY fab).

    Everybody at work is talking about pie and now I'm sad I didn't plan for one. I may have to make one just for us over the weekend—I'm thinking crimson pie, which is probably my all-time favorite. Plus it's super easy.

    Nov 22, 2017, 5:18pm

    I started making risotto after hearing about it so much on Readerville, so it's definitely doable for a non-cook. Because I tend to forget I'm cooking, I set a timer to add broth and stir every five minutes. It's good to know someone else prefers it without cheese and still calls it risotto.

    Nov 22, 2017, 6:40pm

    Oh, I've definitely eased up on my risotto rules over the past few years, largely because once we had a dog who shed too much, dinner parties were verboten, and the standards for feeding just Sister Meg and me are somewhat more lax than the standards I use for guests.

    I remember Caryn Pernu and her husband Scott came to town once and had dinner at my house and I made the most perfect citrus risotto (from one of the Patricia Wells books; I had to supreme two grapefruits) with two or three giant grilled prawns on top of each bowl and it really was the best risotto I ever made, so I kind of lost interest knowing I'd peaked. But I do love it as a comfort food every now and then and it's very rare that I don't have ingredients for it.

    Nov 25, 2017, 6:12am

    So some follow up to the thanksgiving menus:

    the Hungarian Goulash was really good, especially the second day. The recipe called for six cups of stock, but I didn't need that much. Also, I opened a fresh bag of paprika, since it called for 1/4 cup. Mom and I didn't even salt our meals. Dad, being dad, added chili pepper to his.

    the root vegetable tart tatin was the real hit. It's a rich, pretty dish -- would work as a Thanksgiving dinner centerpiece on the vegetarian table. And while my recipe used sweet potato, potato, parsnip, carrots, and red onion, I think you could get away with all sorts of substitutions -- turnips, beets, etc.

    Swiss chard and mushroom galette was also great -- it worked as a meal, and then the leftovers as lunch the next day. I was surprised at how simple that was to put together, so I see more galettes in my future.

    Mom and dad ate all the shortbread and went through all the oranges, clementines and pistachios. I think I ruined their diet.

    Really, the only food mishap over the entire week was the day my dad mistook the crisco in the butter keeper for cream cheese. So we lost one home made bagel.

    Nov 25, 2017, 8:48am

    I think I've made that chard and mushroom galette, or some variation. It was both easy and company-worthy.

    The mushroom and wild rice casserole was good, but a bit much as a side dish—it was the kind of thing you'd eat (well, I'd eat) on its own with just a salad on the side. Plus it was dense! The damn dish weighed ten pounds. So I brought about half of it home, and I'll be taking it to lunch for the foreseeable future. But it was tasty, so at least I won't mind.

    Today I'm going to bake two loaves of orange-cranberry bread, one for us and one for the boy to take home with him tomorrow morning.

    Nov 25, 2017, 11:11am

    I had pie for breakfast.

    Nov 27, 2017, 10:20am

    I did too the other day, Lauren. It was good.

    I may not be as fancy as all of you, but I was happy with my dinner on Thursday. My turkey breast turned out really good, and I made yummy mashed potatoes and fancy mac and cheese. I was very happy with my meal. I wasn't as happy that my brother's stomach was upset all day, so he barely ate any of it, and he didn't help me clean any of the dishes. But my starchy food was good, so whatever. Now I have to treat all those carbs as a fond memory, so I can try to lose at least a few pounds before my cruise in February. :(

    Nov 27, 2017, 4:36pm

    I went to a little maker faire (there's just no other way to spell it) on Saturday and one of the things available was these little handmade pies. Maybe six inches across? Cherry, pecan, apple. I bought and ate all three without ever telling my sister they existed. Then today she saw some EVIDENCE in the trash and, oh, there was a terrible, shameful pie confession. But it was all lies, like regular confession! I wasn't sorry one bit.

    Ene 21, 2018, 3:18pm

    >243 DG_Strong: I love little pies -- especially little savory pies! Alas, not enough to go through the trouble of making them though.

    This winter's kitchen project has been "weird flours" -- I've been trying amaranth and teff -- the former in quick bread things like banana bread, and the latter for that Ethiopian spongy flat bread called "injera."

    I have to say, so far it's all been a real hit. I especially love the injera, but it is kind of pain to make so I'm not sure how feasible it is to do often. Tastes amazing, though.

    And the amaranth made a great substitute in the banana bread and carrot muffins. I basically took whatever amount of flour the recipe called for, and replaced half of it with amaranth flour. The end result is a little dense, but very very delicious. Seems to keep well, too.

    Ene 21, 2018, 7:39pm

    The Great British Baking Show or whatever it's called has a little crush on savory pies; they show up as a challenge quite a bit and I'm always taking notes like crazy. I can just never get the combination of snow days and pantry stocking correct.

    Feb 11, 2018, 5:51pm

    Vegan dinner tonight: Ethiopian red lentils (ei, seasoned with berebere) with turnips and kale. The turnips and kale are out of the garden. The lentils, onion and garlic are not.

    Feb 11, 2018, 8:06pm

    Nice. Lentil soup here as well but with sausage at Bruce's request and lots of cumin. Nothing was out of our garden.

    Feb 11, 2018, 9:21pm

    I had lentil soup for lunch. None of it from my garden either, but I did make it (last week), with kale and lemon.

    Editado: Feb 13, 2018, 8:03pm

    Feb 14, 2018, 1:15am

    Contravening posts above, when I made this at Casa Fuchsia, the mint, thyme and parsley came from my garden. Now, at Cadita Nueva, the ingredients, including the herbs, come from the Food Museum.

    Feb 14, 2018, 9:45am

    My younger son is in an outpatient drug rehab four nights a week so I am making heavy use of the slow cooker. If anyone has any great recipes to pass on, please let me know. I love peanut stew and brisket but there are only so many times I can eat it.

    And yes, dg, we need to have lunch.

    Feb 14, 2018, 1:32pm

    Lauren, I have a really great new slow cooker book -- it's maybe a little too fancy for Sister Meg, though, so I'll pass it on to you.

    Feb 14, 2018, 2:52pm

    Okey doke. I have the one you recommended Slow Cooker: Hot, Ready, and Willing or whatever it's called and that's been a lifesaver. Every recipe is good.

    Mar 4, 2018, 4:36pm

    In my perpetual search for things to do with over ripe bananas (I always end up with a couple in the bunch) today I made the double-coconut muffins from Smitten Kitchen, with a couple mushed bananas added into the wet ingredients.

    They are worth making just for the smell when they are baking. I also used coconut sugar instead of white sugar, so they aren't super-sweet, but they have a lot of flavor.

    Mar 5, 2018, 10:33am

    DG, what's the name of the slow cooker book you have? And the one you rec'd to Lauren (because "hot ready and willing" is not on Amazon, so I'm assuming it's something more like "Slow Cooker Leg Spreaders" or something)?

    I'm trying to stay away from buying cookbooks, because I already have far too many considering how little I cook. But I'm a big fan of the slow cooker and the instant pot. It's so hard to mess stuff up, and there's a lot less work involved. I am about to go back to healthy eating, because for the last month, I have been trying to give myself a fast food/junk food heart attack or something. Stress eating is REAL. And I'm hugely fat again to prove it.

    Mar 5, 2018, 10:38am

    Slow Cooker Ready and Waiting. I'm making the peanut stew as we speak.

    I would totally buy Slow Cooker Leg Spreader though.

    Mar 5, 2018, 10:50am

    Thanks, Lauren! When I write a slow cooker cookbook, I'm totally taking that name.

    Mar 23, 2018, 11:10am

    Someone has given me a tagine. Iron bottom, ceramic top. I've never used one before so I'm going to try a cauliflower/chickpea dish with harissa. Not really working off a recipe, just using what's around. Wish me luck.

    Mar 23, 2018, 11:44am

    >258 southernbooklady: I read that as "Someone has given me a tagLine..." And I'm like what does cauliflower have to do with taglines? Man, I really liked your tagline, too. LOL

    Mar 23, 2018, 8:12pm

    Tagines are really just fancy braisers -- I use mine quite a bit both on the stovetop and in the oven for anything that I would use a big dutch oven for -- but since I rarely cook in large quantities, the tagine makes more sense.

    Mar 31, 2018, 2:46pm

    Kohlrabi and apple salad for lunch today. I ended up with a dozen plants in the garden I could harvest -- a couple started to flower before their stems swelled enough to be worth picking. Still, I've got about five pounds of kohlrabi (before peeling) out of it, so I'm happy. I also roasted some with turnips and parmesan (huge hit) and I've diced a couple for my confetti rice salad in lieu of other crunchy things I put in -- like water chestnuts.

    Oh, and the tagine is SO EASY -- I'm kicking myself for not having one before now. It's perfect for a work-at-home single person. Slow cooking, small serving.

    I did a cauliflower/chickpea thing that came out great, and then a couple nights later a rice/acorn squash/apricot dish that was pretty good, but needed something spicy to cut the sweetness.

    Abr 4, 2018, 11:46am

    To those of you with more cooking experience than I.

    Working on a new recipe and the instructions were to blend butter and miso and rub into and under the skin of a cut-up chicken. I wanted until the butter and miso were quite soft, they blended easily but the rubbing ended up with more on my skin than the chicken's. Is there a technique to this?

    Abr 4, 2018, 12:50pm

    It's been awhile since I've had to do anything like that, but I do remember carefully lifting the skin up with a butter knife, sliding a pat of butter/whatever underneath, and then patting the skin down and with a bit of plastic wrap laid over kind of smooshing the stuff around. I was usually working on a whole chicken, though.

    Abr 4, 2018, 4:53pm

    I used to do it by separating the skin from the flesh with my fingers going in through one smallish opening, then put in a plug of butter and miso mix, press the skin shut, and moosh it around from on top of the skin while holding it shut. Easier to do with a whole chicken though, yeah.

    Abr 4, 2018, 5:15pm

    Hmm, I can see that. I just happened to have cut-up pieces in the freezer.

    My hands smell really good though.

    Abr 4, 2018, 6:07pm

    My takeaway from this conversation is that "smoosh" and "moosh" are totally valid words.

    Abr 4, 2018, 6:38pm

    At the least, effective.

    Abr 4, 2018, 8:48pm

    Much better than "smush" and "mush."

    Abr 15, 2018, 2:27pm

    I've been hankering for yuca. So put together a soupy stew of yuca sauteed in olive oil, onion, garlic, chicken broth, coconut milk, s&p. Served with lime juice and cubed avocado. Almost home now.

    Abr 29, 2018, 10:11am

    So I have a new cookbook -- an increasingly rare occurrence for me as my kitchen routine has changed over the years. And really, there are a host of reasons why I shouldn't have even bought myself a copy of The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen:

    -- I shy away from restauranteur cookbooks
    -- It's focused on Minnesota and northern woods and plains food, which is pretty much the polar opposite of what I've got here in the humid South
    -- It uses a number of highly specialized ingredients that I don't have a prayer of finding (corn mushrooms!)

    I ended up getting it because it is co-authored by Beth Dooley, whose book Savoring the Seasons introduced me to the Random House Classic Cookbook series and remains to this day one of my favorite comfort food cookbooks. I'm on my second copy.

    So despite my reservations, I took a chance on this book and was quickly won over. It turns out to be more applicable to my current kitchen than you'd think. It's written as a testament to Native American, uh, "cuisine" -- if you keep in mind that word should encompass not just a collection of recipes, but a people's entire relationship with their food. As such, it eschews what Sean Sherman calls "colonialist thought" and emphasizes connections with the natural world -- both being philosophies I have an affinity for.

    How that translates into cooking is a rejection of European food and big business processed food (no wheat flour, no sugar, and no dairy at all), and a reliance on locally grown, locally hunted and locally foraged foodstuffs. "Ramps," which I do not really like, are a staple. But so are wild rice, berries of all kinds, a constellation of edible greens, maple sugar, sunflower seeds, nuts, corn, and a rainbow of heirloom beans. Me? I'm not really willing to spend the time foraging for wild food (plus, nowhere near me is undeveloped enough that I can count on things being free of contaminants). But I do have a garden, and most of the recipes in the book can be adapted to what I can get from there.

    Plus, the recipes themselves are generally simple and easy to do. The list of "essential equipment" in the book includes a skillet, a knife, a stewpot, and a baking stone. A food dehydrator is noted as "optional." As a test I made the "wild greens pesto" -- which uses sunflower seeds and sunflower or hazelnut oil and I have to say, it was really good.

    It's a little weird to be cooking out of a book that acts like garlic doesn't even exist, but I'm finding its whole "less is more, use and appreciate what you have" approach sort of revelatory.

    So not a book for the cook who has to rely on the supermarket, but it may well work for the person who can get to a farmer's market. And while not specifically vegetarian or vegan, it is easily adapted to both.

    Editado: Jul 3, 2018, 2:33pm

    I haven't been to this thread in forever. I can't remember if we saved recipes anywhere. I wanted Lisa's massaged greens recipe if anyone has it. It's like 105 every day here and I have some nice kale.

    Jul 4, 2018, 5:03pm

    I don't have it Karen, but it is really nice to see you back.

    Editado: Jul 4, 2018, 5:49pm

    I'm not even sure I have it! It seems like something I made a lot out of my head but not from any particular recipe, but I'll poke around.

    Tonight, because it's still pretty beastly hot, I'm making an arugula, roasted bell pepper, and white bean salad (behind a Cook's Illustrated paywall, but I copied the recipe before it evaporated). I was considering my usual fourth of July lime pound cake, but it's too hot for baking (or whipping cream).

    Jul 5, 2018, 10:07am

    I made a peach custard pie and it was so killer good, even I was surprised.

    Jul 5, 2018, 10:51am

    I'm in a "use up stuff in the freezer" mode while I try to psyche myself up for canning tomatoes. (Ugh, why does canning kick into high gear right when the temperatures reach the 90s? And anyone who wants to get all nostalgic about old-time farm life can kiss my ass. I have been working like a dog and I am hot, sweaty, and exhausted. Even with air conditioning and a washing machine.) But I digress. I used up a couple packages of frozen raspberries and blueberries making muffins. Part of my on-going quest to learn to bake with alternative flours and sugars. So these were made with half rice flour and half amaranth, sweetened with coconut palm sugar and raw applesauce, coconut milk instead of dairy, plus a little lime zest.

    They came out smallish and dense, more like a quick bread than a cake-y muffin. But they taste pretty good, so I'm counting them a win. It does turn every baking attempt into a major project, though, not being able to rely on the usual butter-flour-sugar-egg combos I'm used to.

    Jul 5, 2018, 10:59am

    >270 southernbooklady:- I will have to check on the cookbook. I am from West Texas and my husband was a Minnesotan. My father liked food cooked one way and my husband another way so I had to learn. They love casseroles (hotdishes) here. I have never heard of corn mushrooms. I do love wild rice but my husband thought it was too chewy. Have fun.