Did you have a merry Christmas? Or, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, did you have a terrific Tuesday? I did. I got to spend time with friends and family and relax and eat good food. That’s what holidays are truly about. And I’m lucky enough to be off work for the next two weeks, and it’s a good thing too because I have serious plans for my kitchen and pantry…but more on that in a later post.
I promised you the third and final installment of our Citrus Dinner series—that is, the recipes and dishes we made for our citrus challenge, featuring delicious and fresh satsuma and clementine oranges from Whole Foods. Thus far we’ve covered a delightful Champagne Wednesday cocktail (berry punch with clementine simple syrup) and a wholesome cheese plate (goat cheese, olive oil, raw almonds, fresh satsumas), plus two main courses (clementine-roasted chicken with thyme, mushrooms and tofu en papilotte). Now, for the grand finale….
…dessert. Continue reading →
[highlight]”I used to think the brain was the most important organ in the body. Then I realized who was telling me this.” –Emo Phillips
The brain is clearly the most superior of all the organs, and I’m not just saying that because it told me to. Well I kind of am. Ok, I totally am, but with other good–nay, delicious–justifications. After all, my brain is what told me to buy a couple gallons of cider at the Dexter Mill a couple weeks ago and my brain is what told me to use that cider to make apple syrup, which was delicious, and my brain decided that if apple syrup is good then apple caramel sauce must be just as delicious and obviously, if the brain thinks it’s true, then it must be. Continue reading →
It’s getting to be that time of year again. Football season is in swing. That’s good. School has started up again. That’s bad. The days are bright and cool. That’s good. It’s darker in the mornings when I leave for work now. That’s bad. This post comes with a free frogurt. That’s good. The frogurt contains potassium benzoate. That’s bad. But it comes with your choice of toppings!
(That’s a Simpsons reference, by the way. If you got it, that’s good. If you didn’t, that’s bad.)
But fall is also the time of year where I start thinking about, craving, making and eating what I consider to be the ruling class of the gastronomical world: comfort foods. And that’s good.
Comfort food is not just a universal cultural icon, it’s a necessity. It’s an inevitability, really. It’s not just about favorites, it’s about associations. And I have a lot of associations. For instance, baked mac and cheese is one of my very top comfort foods because it’s a dish we always have at family holidays. Apparently that’s not very common, but it’s a must for us. And then there’s barbecue, which is more of a summer comfort food for me but really works all year round (I mean, I don’t turn down barbecue for just about anything). I used to watch my dad make his neighborhood-famous ribs and homemade sauce every summer as a kid and it stuck with me. Sugar cookie dough–because my mom used to make sugar cookies at Christmas time and I used to swipe the unbaked dough and eat it while watching my sister play video games. Chili, because it’s the first comfort dish I learned to make on my own–and the first dish I ever cooked for a friend, in middle school. And chocolate chip cookies because…well, I’m alive. That’s reason enough.
And these are all things I find myself wanting in the fall and winter, as it gets colder and darker and a slew of holidays begins to creep forward (or sprint—Costco actually has Christmas stuff on sale. In September). So the time has come, the Lauren said, to talk of tasty things, of stews and soups and casseroles, of comfort foods and drinks. Continue reading →