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Mexican Wedding Cakes

January 12, 2013

mexican wedding cakes

Mexican wedding cakes, Italian wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, butterballs – whatever you happen to call this particular cookie (not at all a cake despite two of its popular names) they are undoubtedly delicious and addictive. You can make these with almonds, hickory  nuts or walnuts but my favorites are  made with pecans. I order a few with my coffee whenever a cafe or bakery has them, and they’re the most delightful companion. I was even getting them for free for a while from a bakery near my house until the cashier who was doing so saw me hand in hand with Fred… Oh the sacrifices one makes in the name of love!

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Chickpea Flour Soup with Toasted Cumin

January 6, 2013

Chickpea Flour Soup with Toasted Cumin

With temperatures dropping to the single digits and snow blanketing our city, this was most unquestionably a soup week. I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for probably a year or two and now that we’ve made it I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this soup for that long! It’s so simple (duh, it’s from a book called Radically Simple!) that it doesn’t feel the least bit overwhelming to make on a whim or after a long day followed by a freezing walk home where you lost feeling in your ears 30 seconds in. Served with crusty bread it makes a filling lunch, add some spicy braised collards on the side and dinner is served!

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Arroz Verde: Special Occasion Rice

December 28, 2012

grains of rice

To be honest, I’m not really a fan of rice. I know, I know, it’s a great cheap staple, that can be healthy if it’s the right variety and can be prepared a million different ways etc etc. But that doesn’t change the fact that whenever I eat rice, even in small quantities, I wake up the next morning with a bothersomely puffy, uncomfortable belly.  So, I eat it sparingly, saving it for my two favorite rice meals – sushi and arroz verde. Arroz verde, literally green rice in Spanish, is often served at special occasions, festivals, weddings etc. There are probably hundreds of variation on arroz verde, but this recipe is my favorite. It’s simple, foolproof and full of flavor. When considering how to pair it for a meal, just consider whether a cilantro garnish would go with what you’re eating – if so, then this rice will be perfect. We enjoy it in burritos, as a side to grilled fish, and with black bean soup. Enjoy!

spinach

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Pumpkin Ricotta Pasta with Crispy Sage

December 9, 2012

parmesan and sage

Gosh do I love pumpkin. So much so that for the past few weeks I’ve bought a few cans every time I go to the grocery store. Because when it comes to pumpkin my inner monologue goes something like this: “Oh look, pumpkin puree is on sale. Gosh, I love pumpkin. I know I have a few cans in the pantry though. But probably not enough. And it’s on sale. And I love pumpkin. I could make pumpkin muffins. Or pumpkin ravioli. Or a pumpkin pie. I should definitely get some more pumpkin.” And so I buy more pumpkin and hope that I can stash them away before Fred sees them and hassles me about my hoarding tendencies.

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Parsnip Parmesan Soup

December 2, 2012

parsnip parmesan soup

So, winter happened. Again. This dawned on me last week as I returned home from Thanksgiving in Chicago and all I was carrying on the plane was down (as in feathers). I wore a down vest, carried my down jacket and stowed my new down comforter. I was a vision in down and was quite pleased with the thought that if necessary I could wrap myself entirely in down and then make a down tent or cocoon for shelter. You know, should all power sources suddenly fail or if I was locked out of my apartment with no where to go or something.

parsnips

Thus, the return of soups in earnest. This parsnip number is my newest creation in an effort to eat myself to warmth. The sweetness of the parsnips is balanced by the parmesan and the whole thing gets a kick in the but from a good dash of red pepper (or not, if you’re not into spicy). It’s a simple soup, easy to prepare and good for you without tasting too much like it is. Enjoy and stay warm folks! Read more…