26 January 2013

Carnitas - Alice Waters & A Random Recipe Story

This is a lunch or supper recipe that can really satisfy your urge for a hit of authentic Mexican cooking, but I will warn you that it takes time to make it right. The recipe comes from Alice Waters' book The Art of Simple Food , a book that sits on Sprout Sara's cookbook shelf. My on-line friend, Dom chose to have us mix up the concept of random recipes a bit this month and call a fellow foodie to ask them to provide the randomness. Clever boy, that Dom!

25 January 2013

Cold Weather Food ... Apple and Ham Risotto

What is it about really cold weather that makes me crave carbohydrates?  I swear to God, I woke this morning huddled beneath the down comforter and my nose was cold - cold, like I'd been out on the rink skating or tossing wood into the woodbox for half an hour or walking the dog briskly down our dirt road! No ambient heat in the house, the baseboards creeking to life as warm water made its way on the circuit, frost feathers decorating every window in the upper story of the house, the sunrise a lovely reddish-orange stain making its way from the corner of the bedroom window toward the curtain. And what did I think of ? No sigh of shivering frustration. No blissful adoration of the beauty of Mother Nature. Nope. I thought of a warm steamy bowl of risotto ... seriously.

23 January 2013

Bourbon-Chocolate Bundt Cake with Hard Sauce Glaze

The teapot comes out late every afternoon, especially in the wintertime and when it does, there needs to be a little sweet something for SB to have with his hot cuppa. Today's sweet something is this lovely cake - the boozy bourbon and chocolate smells when baking have been just incredible. It was difficult to let it cool before drizzling on the hard sauce, but we managed. We ARE the souls of discipline and disgression - ahem.

22 January 2013

Cheeseburger in Paradise Soup

This is a new soup ... one that I found in a Taste of Home magazine that my son gave me at Christmastime. With time and finagling, I think it will be a worthy soup, but yesterday when I made it, I couldn't put my finger on what will make is a perfect cream soup. As you look at the list of ingredients, give it a think, will you?  Let me know if something glares out at you.

21 January 2013

King Ranch Casserole - The Dinner That Keeps On Giving

Disclaimer: This is one HUGE recipe! So ... let me start right out by saying I will make half the recipe the next time I make it for SB and I! The next thing I will say is that it is hard for me to photograph casseroles, as they tend to be a good old mish-mash of wonderful ingredients. This classic of southern style cooking is no exception.

16 January 2013

January and the 'Must Make' Soup List ...

If you take a look at the sidebar of The Spice Garden this month, you'll find my personal 'must make' list of soups. I am finding such inspiration around the web and from my friends' foodblogs! I'm also digging around in my cook book collection looking for some new inspiration. I invite all of you, dear readers and friends, to make your own list of  'must make' soups ... and post a few! I'll be looking around the web all month. By the time February arrives, I'm hoping to have a whole list of soups for experimenting with for the rest of the winter!

14 January 2013

Buttermilk Honey Bread - A Bread Bible Recipe

It was a lucky thing that I was feeling right domestic on Saturday, as SB has had plenty of toast for his 'tea and toast' flu regimen. This recipe for Beth Hensperger's Buttermilk Honey Bread makes two big round loaves and they have surely come in handy over the last 72 hours.

13 January 2013

Twice-Baked Potatoes and Garlicky Broccoli

My poor guy has got the flu ... lay down sick, high fever and glassy-eye, harsh bark flu. He has no appetite for big plates. I managed to get tea and toast into him this morning, but he told me he just didn't want to eat a regular dinner or lunch. Still, he has to eat and so do I, so we had mugs of chicken pot pie soup that was leftover from last night's supper - ah, soothing on the throat.  I have bribed him to eat a small supper of twice baked potato and some steamed vegetable ... more tea, more water, more juice. Poor guy.

10 January 2013

A Wintertime Galette

At last. The Holidays are beginning to become a part of wintertime memory. The treats and candy and excessive savories are a thing of the past. The refrigerator is beginning to look normal again. I am slowly going through the last of the special food gifts received - gorgeous blue cheese that graced a creamy sauce atop venison steaks, roasted and salted almonds that were part of a Gouda cheese, prosciutto and fig jam cheese board, lovely chocolates that came from Beacon Hill Chocolates.

It's time to go back to basics. That's not to say that we must not have a sweet dessert until Easter, though! It just means that I will be rustling about in the stores and using up things that were stockpiled for the holiday baking and cooking and need to be used before I go through a 're-stocking period'.

05 January 2013

Perky Mint Chocolate Pixie Cookies

Girl Scout cookies are coming your way, folks. I saw a quick email from Girl Scouts USA the other day ... how they got my email, I do not know. Must be some strange telepathic message I send out at this time of year ... or a bubble thought that hangs over my head.

Image Source: Forbes.com

03 January 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fennel and Shitake Mushrooms

The New Year brings in many a food-oriented resolution and this foodie shudders when I think of most of them, particularly the one's that involve losing weight and limiting one's intake of certain high-calorie or high fat foods. Moderation in all things has become my mantra. I'm hoping that I can have my cake and lean meats and fruits and vegetables and eat them too! That being said, eating plenty of vegetables is always a good thing.

01 January 2013

Versatile Caponata

This is one of the most delicious vegetable sides that the Italians have ever created ... a suitable side dish with a plate of pasta and chicken piccata, a tangy starter with a glass of good red wine and some good Ciabatta toasts, or a topper for a plate of sauteed zucchini and summer squash. We had it as a contribution to the hors d'oeurves buffet that my sister-in-law hosted for New Years Eve and I am knoshing the leftovers for a light lunch today.