Thursday, December 19, 2013

I'm really thrilled that one of my recipes was selected by food52 to be a finalist in their current contest!  This is my smoked trout pate, which I have shared on the blog before, and it's as easy as can be to make and surprisingly delicious to eat.  I often make this for large gatherings for these reasons.  I like to serve it with thinly sliced baguette, but little packaged toasts and mild crackers are good too.

I'd love if you checked out the contest and voted!!  There are lots of great recipes on the site if you've never been before and many great hors d'oeuvres to choose from!

I'm hoping this link below will take you right to the voting page, but do take a moment to explore.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Vegetarian Chili with a Little Something Extra

The other night I made my usual chili (without the corn), but did my little two pot dance wherein I produce an omnivorous dish and its vegetarian counterpart, side by side, on the same stove, at the same time!  I feel like I should add "with two hands tied behind my back,"  but that would not be true.

I browned some ground chicken thigh meat in a skillet and started my chili in a Dutch oven.  Once I had added everything except the meat (and vinegar, which is almost a garnish, added at the very end), I pulled out a smaller pot and ladled about one-third of the chili into it.  I then put the chicken into the mix in the bigger pot and added a little already cooked and frozen quinoa into Maddy's vegetarian version.  The spirit had moved me earlier in Mom's to buy some frozen butternut squash, an item I have never before purchased, and I added that to the pots proportionally, as well.  I let them simmer a little more just to let the chicken incorporate and the butternut squash thaw and warm.  Too long and the squash would just puree.

I feel certain that this sounds much more complicated than it is!  If you too have a mixed family, give it a whirl.

I made this again with ground turkey and decided that the combination of turkey and butternut squash is a perfect fall nod to Thanksgiving.  This is also the recipe that won in the Greater DC Whole Foods Market cooking contest for best chili.  You can link to the full recipe here!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thanksgiving Post Mortem or What to Keep for Next Time

How is it possible that we have no photos from Thanksgiving?  No photos of food preparation, no photos of finished dishes, no photos of GORGEOUS dry brined and maple glazed turkey, and no photos of happy friends and family spending time together and feasting semi-healthfully.  Might be in part due the theft of Maddy's camera, but still, we all have iPhones!

I planned a vegetable heavy meal, with every dish vegetarian, except for the turkey.  We did not make any weird, faux turkey vegetarian product.  Maddy never liked turkey, anyway, and doesn't miss it.

This was the menu:

Hors D'oeuvres: cheeses, carrot sticks, olives and Marcona almonds, mini sweet potato latkes with both cranberry-apple and Fuji applesauces in a nod to Thanksgivukkah, smoked salmon canap├ęs on cucumber slices with a (very) small dollop of creme fraiche and a little dill.

Seated dinner for 18: I thought the hors d'oeuvres selection was heavy enough that I opted to skip an appetizer course at the table.  That way we saved one plate which reduced dishwashing and meant we could dig right into the main event.  We had turkey, challah stuffing, green beans roasted with fennel and shallot, butternut squash and parsnip puree, cranberry sauce, roasted brussels sprouts, salad (thank you Karen), and store bought rolls.

For dessert, we had Paula's delicious brownies and sugar cookies, fresh fruit salad (thanks Wendy) and a crumb top apple pie from Jennycakes in Kensington.  The piece de resistance, though, was Maddy's vegan pumpkin pie.  Her crust was ground speculoos cookie with coconut oil and was stunning.