This is how I ended my blog a year ago, when I wrote about how Suvir Saran’s
recipes and encouragement had changed my life and awakened and educated my
palate. And I was right—2012 was a
year of great culinary adventure and excitement.
Thrilled to have spent a few days at the farm last weekend and the early part of this week. The highlight was having an advance copy of Kristine Kidd's book sitting at the kitchen counter. Now I have reason to cook, even if alone and for none but myself or Charlie when he is also at the farm. Weeknight Fresh & Fast: Simple, Healthy Meals for Every Night of the Week is a wonderful cookbook with great recipes and attractive photos too. Best still, these are the creations of Kristine, the very talented and gifted food editor at Bon Appetit whilst Barbara Fairchild was the editor-in-chief. Try these recipes and you will eat happily, healthily and without fuss.
You can follow more of what Kristine does by visiting her blog.
Every holiday season, in my previous life, when I was with my ex and lived at the Hudosn Mews in Greenwich Village in NYC, our neighbors Susan and Joe would leave a beautifully packed bag of banana bread on our door. This is Susan’s mother’s recipe. I love this recipe because the cake is exceptionally moist, not cakey, and it is lightly spiced with Indian spices – cinnamon, mace, and powdered ginger. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and candied nuts of any kind. Better still, make it in small tins, and you can give your neighbors and loved ones an edible jewel of a gift.
I was looking at images I had saved for blog posts and found this one from the height of summer. A folder that got lost in the madness of the joys of summer. What is startling today is the difference in the light. How different everything looks as seasons change. How different we feel. How things taste different, not always because of ingredients, but also because of perception colored by our mood, altered by the seasons.
Those that know me well know I am a vegetarian who is rather fussy about what vegetables he eats. I LOVE all vegetables. But I am not one to eat all vegetables cooked by everyone. Certain veggies need a very special hand in my mind to be fit for me to enjoy. Zucchini and Squash are two such vegetables. This week has been a lucky one for me as far as these vegetables go.
When Marry Ann Joulwan invites us to dinner, we know we are in for stupendous food. And most importantly, we know we will eat well, eat without fuss or frills, but eat beautiful food that is incomparable in taste and satisfying beyond description.
This week at the 16th Annual Chef Culinary Conference at UMass - Amherst, I tasted several bites of heaven-on-earth. They came mostly from one dish. The Mujadarrah (traditionally made with rice and lentils) made by a university chef using a recipe provided by the uber-talented and mega-brilliant and one-and-only, Joyce Goldstein. I could not help meddling in the preparation and ended up stirring, sauteing and frying the onions and chickpeas. But that was not the reason the recipe was so great.
When a Vermont girl (Zoe Francois) meets a Trinidad boy, and moves to Minneapolis, you wonder what life would show them. Certainly you think of unsavory comments and stereotypical prejudice et al, but this girl has found just the opposite. Go Minneapolis! What she has also found is critical acclaim as a baker, and this last week, we were lucky to have eaten Sticky Pecan Caramel Rolls made by her, using Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. WOW!
For 50 cents or less a day, you can make and bake your own bread. You have total control over ingredients, and who can resist fresh bread? Had too many pumpkins in the garden? The above pumpkin brioche is yours to make and share. Easy, made in minutes (well 5 minutes a day to be exact) and delicious too.
Biscuits and I have never been friends. From my first time eating them, to versions prepared by famous chefs from across the South, I never warmed up to them, even when they were warm. Now I realize, I had been tasting biscuits that had either gone too gourmet (and not tastier for that) or some that were just not good enough. Luckily for me, a visit by Bret Bannon, a dear friend from Minneapolis, changed this forever.