Thursday, November 29, 2012

Raspberry-Apple-Cranberry Sauce


Who likes cranberry sauce? Anyone? I don't know many people who actually do, and the memory that comes to mind for many is the canned cranberry-esque gelatin. If that's the tradition, be traditional, but why not soften the tart and start up a new standard? This Raspberry-Apple-Cranberrry Sauce carries with it hints of the other fruit along with the known cranberry flavor. It makes cranberry a subtlety and converts the dish to delish. If made in excess, it becomes a great jam alternative for after the holidays!
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bacon Stuffing, Pan-Fried

Holidays may come and go but sometimes the food remains for days...along with those additional pounds. This Thanksgiving, I made a Bacon Stuffing for a dinner party co-hosted among friends, a variation from a recipe I introduced last year. The stuffing was a hit, the bacon a favorite, but of course in wandering my own leftover woes, I had a decision to make: toss, re-heat, or fry. Of course I explored the latter and I wanted to share it as an alternative to serving stuffing the traditional way.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mini Peanut Butter Cream Pie


When it gets down to the wire with guests arriving in less than 24 hours and it's realized that there aren't enough desserts, what does one do? This Mini Peanut Butter Cream Pie is a rather efficient little homemade treat that leaves the complexities on the side and eases right into any dessert spread. The graham cracker crunch and sweetened peanut butter cream pair well for a wanting mouth and hungry belly and will surely be a new household favorite. Holidays or otherwise, this dessert hits the spot in two to three bites!
Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mukhtar's Afghan Eggs


My friend Mukhtar whipped up this quick and delicious dish in Afghanistan, but it's so simple it can be made anywhere around the world. Bonus: serve it in the skillet you cook it in and you'll save time on clean-up! Spicy and light, this is perfect for lunch or a very quick dinner - serve with a salad and you have a full meal.  It's a great dish to share with friends... pass around some naan or pita and just dig in!
Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ken's Artisan Pizza

Portland, OR. Duck for cover from those chilly and rainy autumn nights and head into Ken's; no, not the bakery, though its co-founders are one and the same. Ken's Artisan Pizza is a 'why not' choice - a bread maker having mastered the craft branching into a related dish of dough palatable by many a person? It seems a rather natural fit. Seeking the toasty warmth of a nearby wood-fire oven and the pleasure of a tall stout, this Portland eatery accents a natural craving.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Postcard from Kabul


Kabul, Afghanistan. OK, so you'll probably NEVER come here; but I'm always interested in reading about food in far-flung places, and perhaps you are too. In a place as exotic and mythical as Afghanistan, one might imagine nomads sitting in yurts eating naan and yak cheese... in Kabul, that couldn't be further from the truth. There is a vibrant, diverse and refined food scene here, as long as you know where to go. Restaurants are largely unmarked in this city: dusty, pockmarked walls encircle villas and courtyards, replete with gardens, lush furnishings, gorgeous carpets. To get in requires passing through two steel doors and for males, undergoing a pat-down. But once inside, it can be magical.
Thursday, November 08, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake, No-Bake


The days are upon us: gathering together with family, friends, or sometimes even alone but still accompanied by a table overloaded with great holiday food. Pumpkin Cheesecake definitely hints of the holiday season and I find myself craving it come Thanksgiving. It could be the resurgence of pumpkin lattes, bakeries boasting of seasonal treats, or some misguided internal clock that designates that this time, is cheesecake time. However it happens, this no-bake rendition of a cheesecake, looks particular impressive despite its overtly simple approach. Make it at the start of the day and just forget about it until it's time for dessert!
Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Apple Galette with Brown Butter & Sage


I usually prefer my share of fall's apple crop processed and bottled into hard cider instead of pastries because a.) it makes long cold nights cozier, and b.) I'm not a baker. I'm the kind of cook who likes to experiment with ingredients and just throw things together...a habit that usually doesn't lend itself well to baking. Who knew confectioner's sugar wasn't the same as regular sugar? I do - but only after using it in an extraordinarily inedible batch of cookies I once served to a friend's family after Christmas dinner, subsequently destroying any goodwill I had earned with my Christmas roast leg of lamb.
Thursday, November 01, 2012

Semi Sweet Bakery

Los Angeles, CA. A walk into this little shop may lend itself to some brief confusion - decor is simple, a table or two with garden chairs, and not the usual cafe of romance and trend - but fear not, for there is pastry ahead. Situated next to a tequila and mezcal bar and across from a famed French Dip eatery, Semi Sweet Bakery supports handcrafted goodness that combines skill with a touch of homestyle warmth. If I look and believe I can make it at home, then take a few morsels and realize: no...there's a greater skill at play, then something has been done quite right.

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