I have pumpkins hidden all over the house.
You might think I’m kidding, I assure you, I am not.
There are little decorative pumpkins hidden on the new shelves in our living room, a pie pumpkin on the desk in my office, and heirlooms on the front porch. I tend to be a minimalist in most areas of my life, but pumpkin collection is one thing that I take almost to hoarding levels.
Of course, I have to rotate the stash occasionally. Out with the old and in with some new. And by out with the old I mean it’s time for them to be transformed into something edible. This little pie pumpkin was tucked on the second shelf of the plant stand in the dining room and it was his time to go.
This simple slow cooker chicken is coated in savory spices and served with sweet apples and onions for the perfect fall meal.
This post is sponsored by Petaluma Poultry – Home of ROCKY® and ROSIE® Chicken.
Like many people, my introduction to poultry was in the form of the boneless, skinless chicken breast. Now, I have nothing against these chicken breasts. They still serve a purpose in my kitchen. Since I started this blog over eight years ago and got much more adventurous in my cooking, things have changed.
I’ve become more open to the versatility and the full flavor of other parts of the chicken.
I also didn’t mess around with graduating up to bone-in, skin-on parts. Nope. I jumped right into using the whole bird.
These bone in chicken breasts are glazed in a barbecue sauce made of grilled garlic and sweet onions and cooked over the fire until tender and juicy. This post is sponsored by Petaluma Poultry.
It took me a long time to get comfortable around a grill. I’m not sure if it was the dancing flames or maybe it was our society’s perception that grilling is a guy thing. For whatever reason, I could most often be found on the sidelines watching others flip the patties, chops and legs on the grill.
Then I found myself at a point where I had no choice but to start grilling. More of the recipes I was developing for clients needed to be grilled and I also got some print writing assignments on best grilling practices. This all led to a lot of research about the craft. I also could no longer wait for the weekend or evenings to have my husband around to fire up our kamado-style grill.
I had to jump in, tongs first.
We were at the wedding reception of a friend, chatting over a drink with the cousin of the groom. The conversation turned to our upcoming trip to Nashville. It would be a quick weekend trip from Lexington, our home at the time.
“You need to try Hot Chicken,” he said. My husband and I must have had confused looks on our faces, and he must have been used to that kind of response, because he went on to explain. He lived in East Nashville and said that few people had heard of it, but it was a favorite among locals.
My husband and I often celebrate Thanksgiving by ourselves a few days before we join our families for the big meal. This year I decided to share some recipes for those who might also be doing some Thanksgiving cooking for two. This is the first post in the series. Be sure to check out the side dishes that go with this main course.
I’ll be the first to admit that Thanksgiving isn’t my favorite holiday of the season. It doesn’t make much sense, though. I love fall and pumpkins and I love to cook. Seems like I’d be all over a holiday that has those things well covered.
I can offer no explanation other than my fondness of a winter wonderland, warm cocktails, cookies and cheesy Christmas movies. It simply beats out Thanksgiving every time.
Despite it not being my favorite, I still like to cook and I like to get creative. We typically travel to the homes of our families for Thanksgiving dinners. (Yes, dinners. As in two in one day.) There, the family has traditional covered. But it rarely satisfies my need to try some new and creative.
This recipe takes an ordinary sandwich and makes it worthy of an excellent wine pairing! It comes from Chad Hendrickson, Executive Chef for The Hess Collection. A special thank you to The Hess Collection for sponsoring this post.
Sandwiches are casual. When we don’t want to have a fancy meal or invest too much time in the kitchen, we go for a sandwich.
They are convenient and familiar, but many lean a little towards boring and monotonous. That is, until you start considering whether the lowly sandwich could possibly pair with wine. Not just any wine, but a syrah that boasts black and blue fruits with a subtle touch of spiced vanilla and cedar. Before you know it, you have a duck breast sandwich on your hands that also happens to be layered with bacon and Cambozola cheese.
I rarely identify with the term comfort food. I think it’s because, unless you are force feeding me steamed broccoli or those crunchy fancy green beans, I consider all foods comforting. I may be partial to carbs, but a salad or spring roll can bring about as much comfort and nostalgia for me as mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.
But I get it, and if you wanted me to come up with some comfort foods, using the true sense of the word, one thing that comes to mind is the classic casserole.
In this recipe, slow cooker lentils are topped with turkey meatballs and then brightened with a sprinkle of fresh spinach for an easy one-bowl meal!
I tend to eat in earth tones. It’s something I didn’t realize until I began photographing my food.
Think about it. The occasional leafy green aside, many healthy foods are pretty much a big bunch of off white, beige and brown.
Lentils, beans, chickpeas, cauliflower, oats, onions, garlic, meats, mushrooms — all pretty much the same boring color. It’s unfair, too, because they can be pretty darn delicious.
This recipe combines aromatic lemongrass with spicy chili paste to create a flavorful marinade for grilled chicken. It’s perfect for kicking off the start of grilling season!
It wasn’t until we began exploring the BBQ meats of Korean, Thai and Hawaiian cuisines that we discovered the deliciousness of the chicken thigh. Prior to that, our meals were most often made up of chicken breasts and the occasional full roasted bird.
To be honest, the chicken breast alone leaves a lot to be desired. When it is not cooked with the rest of the bird, it’s often dry and tasteless. At least that was my experience. Even the best marinades and fillings rolled up inside couldn’t seem to make it any better.
This spicy noodle bowl is topped with turkey sausage, mustard greens and garlic. It’s vibrant flavors pair well with the 2014 Cultivar Rose that I received as part of the Cultivar Wine Bloggers!
Growing up, like most people who come from the middle portion of the U.S., comfort food was defined by things like mashed potatoes, pot pies and biscuits and gravy. Heavy, nap-inducing and delicious.
Fortunately, travel has introduced me to a few more things that define comfort food for others around the world. Feijoada in Brazil, fish and chips and pastries in Europe, but nothing can compare to noodle dishes in Southeast Asia. They have redefined comfort food for me.