Category Archives: autumn

bowl of smoky collard greens

Smoky Collard Greens

January 11, 2022

bowl of smoky collard greens

Did you enjoy good luck greens for New Year’s? Along with Pimento Cheese Cornbread, I had Caribbean inspired Hoppin’ John with coconut milk and citrus and purple kale. I feel lucky. Continue reading

serving of no bake sweet potato cheesecake

No Bake Sweet Potato Cheesecake

december 7, 2021

serving of no bake sweet potato cheesecake

Did you have pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving? Sweet potatoes? Are you craving cheesecake? Answer yes to any of these questions and this dessert is for you. I love easy entertaining at year’s end holiday time. These No Bake mini Sweet Potato Cheescakes are simple, yet fancy for company. Continue reading

serving of turkey and veggie stuffed potatoes

Turkey and Veggie Stuffed Potatoes

November 23, 2021

serving of turkey and veggie stuffed potatoes

My clients really love their stuffed potatoes. Last month they ordered six (six!) different types as their entree sides. Six different cheeses and six different aromatic profiles. Garden chives still thrive in the ground—potted herbs have mostly succumbed to cool weather trickery. Thus, my most popular stuffed potato is cream cheese with garden chives. Cheddar, fontina and parmesan make the grade, too. Continue reading

slice of brown sugar apple pie

Brown Sugar Apple Pie

November 9, 2021

slice of brown sugar apple pie

We say the phrase ” as American as apple pie” when we want to convey authenticity. What does this mean to you and your family? Slab pie, double crust, streusel-topped? I love apple pie any old way, especially if topped with a nice scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream.

Continue reading

skillet of tangy cheddar cauliflower

Tangy Cheddar Cauliflower

Tangy Cheddar Cauliflower

skillet of tangy cheddar cauliflower

Make your plan for Thanksgiving yet? Each year I think of new vegetable sides to grace the table of bounty (and it’s all about the sides, right?). I also dream of harvest desserts, which in my mind are second in command.

head of cauliflower

we must place cauliflower on the pedestal it so richly deserves

Behold the cauliflower, Queen of Vegetables. Roasted, riced, in crackers and gnocchi, in wraps and soups and stews, the main affair and the sidekick. Moreover, stores are now loaded with fresh cauliflower, even vivid colors like orange and purple. This is a Recent Thing.

Potatoes occupy the number one place in my heart of hearts and I will never forsake them. A holiday table is not complete unless something like Cheddar Parmesan Potato Gratin makes an entrance. However, let us eat more veggies and fewer starches for better balance. This cheesy side dish holds its own against any creamy potato side, I’ll wager.

Save the Cauliflower Bits for Enjoying Later

Here is my trick for cutting cauliflower : divide into quarters and manually make florets. Cut and save the trimmed bits for a tasty salad; they keep in the fridge for days.

quartered cauliflower

cauliflower trimmings

save those trimmings – they make a great salad

Tangy Cheddar Cauliflower is a good make-ahead dish. Once defrosted, run under the broiler to give a nice burnished top and serve hot. Equally important, now all you need is a great accompanying potato dish to complete your holiday table.

closeup of tangy cheddar cauliflower

Tangy Cheddar Cauliflower

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes 6-8 servings

ingredients 

one large head cauliflower
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons gluten free flour mix – I like King Arthur measure-for-measure*
one cup whole milk
one cup greek yogurt or sour cream
1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
* regular all purpose flour also works well

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut head of cauliflower into quarters and manually break into large bite size pieces, placing on heavy non insulated sheet pan; if desired, save cauliflower trimmings for enjoying later.
  3. With clean hands, toss cauliflower with olive oil and one teaspoon kosher salt, on the pan.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, giving a good shake halfway through to move pieces around.
  5. If making ahead, turn off oven and if serving soon, place oven on high broil setting.
  6. While cauliflower bakes, make sauce : melt butter in sturdy two quart saucepan over medium heat, whisk in flour and cook over medium low heat, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes, avoiding browning.
  7. Slowly add milk, whisking (few tablespoons at a time to avoid shocking the starch and making sauce grainy), then do the same with the greek yogurt or sour cream.
  8. Increase heat slightly and cook mixture about 4 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  9. Off heat, add cheddar and whisk well just until cheese is melted.
  10. Add roasted cauliflower to sauce and place all in oiled heavy broiler proof cast iron skillet or baking dish.
  11. Broil several minutes or just until top is nicely browned.
  12. If dish is made ahead and frozen, defrost thoroughly in fridge, then bake at 400 degrees until warmed throughout (time depends on depth of dish), then broil until just browned on top.

basil plum cocktial

Basil Plum Cocktail

October 12, 2021

basil plum cocktial

Basil tastes lively right up until that first chilly night, when wilted leaves the next morning means revival is futile.  Likewise, the time for stone fruits is over until next year. Basil Plum Cocktail, with fruit infused vodka and basil simple syrup, is our goodbye to autumn warmth . Continue reading

clementine honey iced tea

Clementine Honey Iced Tea

march 23, 2021

clementine honey iced tea

 

I want to break my dependence on single serving beverages. I get thirsty when I’m running errands so I  grab an iced tea at the store.  Aluminum cans and glass bottles are more readily recyclable than plastics, which I try to avoid, but I’m still contributing small containers to the huge pool of Things That Must Be Recycled. Most iced tea brands use plastic packaging; many recent articles inform us that only a small fraction of plastics are actually recycled and repurposed. Continue reading

garlicky kale and carrots

Garlicky Kale and Carrots

march 8, 2021

garlicky kale and carrots

 

Are you in a vegetable rut? This recipe for Garlicky Kale and Carrots  will give you a boost. By rut, I mean the sameness of our vegetable side game: open bag of frozen veggies and heat. Roast simple vegetable in oven. Buy precut veggies and make a stirfry. There is nothing wrong, however, with these vegetable sides unless you are bored with the repetition. Continue reading

pot of smoked turkey split pea soup

Smoked Turkey Split Pea Soup

january 12, 2021

pot of smoked turkey split pea soup

Chilly days are all in a row and that can only mean one thing : soup weather. This Smoked Turkey Split Pea Soup is hearty enough for both lunch and dinner. Today’s chunky soup has vegetables and bits of smoked turkey, easily found in any grocery deli and sliced for cubing.  One pound of split peas makes a decent amount of soup, especially since it thickens so much on standing and takes to dilution well for those with a yen for broth. Continue reading

pear whiskey sour

Pear Whiskey Sour

december 28, 2020

pear whiskey sour

Pear Whiskey Sour is what I’m making this holiday season to make my spirits bright. I am toasting the upcoming year. We have just endured a year that cannot be repeated, right? I am hopeful and wanting the world to recover all that has been lost. Some things may not come back to full speed, like raucous bar behavior. Restaurant patrons, those who enjoy  conversation that does not need to be shouted, will likely agree. Homemade cocktails suit me just fine for now, unless takeout is an option.  Continue reading