It’s like broccoli rice casserole, but without the broccoli or rice. That’s the first description that came to mind when I made this. Or at least that is what I envisioned when I came up with the recipe.
I’m still not over riced cauliflower. Maybe the rest of the world is? I don’t know. But I love the stuff. I’m always stir-frying it into things. So last week I thought – why not stir it into things…and then bake it.
Alas, a casserole was born.
It’s the end of October which means my meals have become fully committed to all things fall. Currently, that means Brussels sprouts and winter squash. I’ve even gone so far as to plant a few Brussels sprouts in the garden in hopes that I can keep the trend going throughout the winter.
We went to a pumpkin farm last weekend and the walk up to the outdoor checkout was lined with $1 and $2 heirloom acorn squash, butternut squash and pie pumpkins. It was my version of the king size packs of M&Ms on sale as you wait to check out at the supermarket. The wagon was full of orange and green speckled culinary squash by the time it was my turn to pay. No self control.
This is one of the recipes I put together recently that incorporates both of my fall favorites. I hadn’t made risotto in forever and I love it with winter squash mixed in. I often incorporate cheddar into it, but this time I skipped that. Instead, I paired it with shredded brussels sprouts and crispy bites of bacon.
These boneless short ribs make the best winter comfort food when braised in white wine and served with a seasonal cabbage slaw. The short ribs were among several cuts of high-quality grass-fed beef that I recently received from Butcher Box.
Beyond burgers, I don’t claim to be an expert at cooking beef. That’s why I like it when I receive a little something that makes me step out of my comfort zone. This time is was grass-fed boneless beef short ribs.
Last minute gift idea alert. If you have a beef lover in your life or someone who loves to cook it, Butcher Box is the answer.
A little while back, I was sent a Butcher Box full of high-quality grass-fed beef. Sirloin tips, steaks, short ribs, ground and bacon. It was loaded with good stuff.
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.
These savory snacks make a great start to holiday meals. Their rich, earthy flavors are an ideal match for the Cabernet Franc I received from Cultivar Wine.
The idea of snacks for Thanksgiving day seems a little absurd. It’s not like we really need to include more food in the celebration. And having snacks around certainly isn’t because we need to satisfy hunger. If you are like me, hungry won’t even be a part of your vocabulary for at least 36 hours.
Yet there is something about little bites to kick off the celebration that feels like a necessity. All that cooking makes you want to eat. Why not take things over the top? It is Thanksgiving after all.
Soon, we’ll be frantically running out to the supermarket to get overlooked ingredients. Soon, we’ll forget what it’s like to shop during the holidays and find ourselves elbowing our way to a check-out line. Soon, we’ll be waiting in line at the post office (something we swore we’d never do again) to get gifts mailed before the last possible hour.
Soon, no matter how hard we try to stay in control, things are going to get crazy.
I love the holiday season, crazy or not. So I say bring it on! As long as I have some lights sparkling in the living room and cookies in the oven at some point throughout the season, I’ll take it.
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.
Every year, I go to the grocery store mid-October and ask if they have fresh cranberries. Every year the hard working person in the produce section tells me that they don’t come in until mid-November. So last week my expectations were low, but I had my eye out anyway.
When I turned to find a pile of bags front and center in the lettuce row, I’m certain my cheer carried itself to the freezer section across the store.
Rumor has it the season arrived earlier this year. As a result, it will end earlier to. So stock up. I’ve already started.
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.