There are two things I love about summer – sweet corn and white nectarines.
Normally, I wouldn’t think of putting the two together, but lately I’ve had this thing for mixing fruits into savory foods. I’m a huge fan of the of sweet and savory and combining fruits and veggies feels like a better habit to me than, say, eating too much salted caramel.
So blueberries sometimes find their way into chicken salad and cherries often appear in my bean salads.
Given this new habit I found myself wanting to try nectarines with my corn. My first thought was a corn fruit salsa, but then I decided to skip the chips and eat this as a summer side dish.
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.
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.
One might look at these photos and say — who sits down to only a bowl of lentils?
The answer to that question would be me. I have lentils as a meal so often that I’ve run out of new ideas for preparing them.
That pretty well sums up how this recipe came about. The solution to my problem called a curry powder rut.
This butternut squash dish is not sweet. I repeat, this dish is not sweet.
If you are like me, no matter how many versions of winter squash you’ve made or been exposed to, your brain still thinks of nutmeg, cinnamon and maybe even maple, when you envision the rich, orange, tender squash.
Okay, I’ll admit that this does contain cinnamon. But cinnamon is one of those interesting spices that can swing sweet or savory. It this case, it’s savory.
The secret to this recipe is some heat. You don’t have to burn your mouth off, but use at least a medium spicy chili powder. I could even see a chipotle chili powder working. When you use these deeply flavored spices you get a beautiful balance of slightly sweet squash, with earthy pear, a bit of heat and crunchy walnuts.
If you are going to try and tell me it’s not fall yet, well, I don’t want to hear it.
Yes, I know the calendar tells us it’s not until the 23rd, but pay no attention to the calendar. It’s always trying to rain on my parade by conflicting with my view of the seasons.
It may be warm outside, but Labor Day is over and to me, it’s fall! Sweaters, boots, and scarves will soon be completely acceptable.
I’ll admit it. I’m easily bored by fish. I really like fish, but I can only have so much baked white fish and pecan crusted salmon before I long for something more creative.
The solution this time? Grind it up and make burgers.
I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve gotten away from canning. I used to be all about the jams and relishes.
Until I wasn’t.
And by that I mean until I had the pantry stocked with too many condiments than two people (and the occasional friend or family member) could possibly eat.
So I’ve scaled back a bit. Only small batches, and as it turns out, a lot of quick pickling. I actually prefer quickly pickling. Yes, you have to eat the veggies within a few days, but you can make much smaller amounts and things stay crisp. Something I used to struggle with when water bath canning.
This tangy pickled daikon and kohlrabi salad makes a super simple side dish for spring!
I’m a big fan of pickled veggies. Asparagus, long beans, cucumbers, carrots — pickle it and I love it. Last year, I gave up on pickling for long term preserving. Meaning no water bath pickling, etc.
I just can’t seem to master the art of keeping things crisp, and the batches end up being too large for us to finish in a reasonable amount of time.
So now I’m into quick pickling. A few veggies, a vinegar mixture, a couple hours in the fridge and a manageable amount is ready to serve.
Add some citrus to your next cocktail! This simple gin martini is made with fresh blood orange juice and flavorful finger limes!
Citrus season is one of those things that went completely unnoticed to me prior to living in California. With oranges, lemons and limes available year round and a few tangerines thrown into the mix, it never felt like there was a beginning and end to the selection.
These days, things are different. My post autumn-pumpkin and holiday-gingerbread blues, are not so difficult to deal with anymore. Now, as we move into January and February, I hear trumpets in my head and a big round of applause as I walk into a supermarket or roam the farmers market. Ta da — it’s citrus season!