Eating light, colorful, crunchy food makes me feel good, fits the season, and makes cooking more fun and interesting. Although I generally steer away from grains and high-carbohydrate food, I do occasionally indulge in quinoa. I just love the nutty taste, and that it makes a terrific breakfast "cereal" as well as a base for a flavor-packed salad. I've been eating a lot of hemp seeds lately because they taste a lot like quinoa, but are even higher in protein and fiber with very few carbohydrates. Now when I make quinoa, I make a 50-50 combination of quinoa and hemp seeds (1/2 cup red quinoa, 1/2 cup hemp seeds, 1 cup water, 1/2 tsp. salt; bring to a boil, cover, simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed; eat warm or cover and chill to use in salads or the recipe below).
Sure, sandwiches from the grocery store don't exactly have a reputation for being the tastiest kind. Make that a sandwich from a grocery store that used to be a gas station, and you might want to run the other way. But Nancy shows how one turkey club sandwich from Pensacola, FL, might just change your mind.
Sometimes, sandwiches taste better when they're totally unexpected — for instance, served at a grocery store in an old gas station in Florida. Equally unexpected: finding forgotten, six-month-old photos on my laptop that are making my mouth water all over again.
See the pictures — and more — when you keep reading.
We know from experience; bacon strips covered in brown sugar and baked until caramelized are a good thing. Life Above the Clouds shares this candied bacon recipe that you'll want to make over and over again.Candied bacon: I saw this recipe a while ago and I've been dying to try it. Simple enough, this is basically just bacon covered with brown sugar and thrown in the oven. I didn't even follow the recipe. It tastes like sin in the best possible way. Sweet and savory and oozing with bacon-y goodness (aka grease). I'm definitely going for a run tomorrow . . . but it was so worth it.
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder (I just used black pepper)
- 20 slices of thick-cut bacon (1 1/2 pounds)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil.
- In a small bowl, whisk the brown sugar with the chile powder.
- Press bacon strips in to the sugar mixture.
- Arrange the bacon strips on the foil and sprinkle any sugar leftover onto the bacon.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until caramelized and almost crisp. Transfer the bacon to a rack set over a sheet of foil to cool completely; serve.
(Inspired by Food & Wine)
We bet you've never seen garlic like this before. Thanks to Fresh Tart's baked garlic recipe that comes with fresh herbs and zesty cheese, you'll have yourself a popular party appetizer that's guaranteed to be a hit.I'll confess: I meant to get this recipe to you before New Year's Eve. But in the crush of the holidays, and illness, it did not happen and . . . well, Happy New Year? The good news is that New Year's Eve is not the only Winter night to invite friends over for dinner, and this easy appetizer is meant to share with friends.
This is a pretty old school recipe at this point, given roasted garlic's heyday (perhaps even Kardashian-level overexposure?) around the turn of this century. I think it's fair to say that we all know that garlic becomes gorgeously sweet and spreadable when roasted; but add fresh herbs, tangy cheese, and a splash of broth and you create a rich swiping sauce that elevates it to a party food that stands the test of time.
Find out the origins of the recipe — and more — when you keep reading.
We're all about working smarter, not harder, so naturally we're smitten with Fresh Tart's ideas for transforming one meal into many different enticing treats throughout the week.I've written before about the beauty of braising a pork shoulder one day, then crafting several meals from it as the week wears on. This version is more basic than the Pork Braised with Chiles & Cinnamon, which means you can eat it even more ways. Seasoned with onions, garlic, salt, and pepper, the finished roast can be eaten as is with its rich pan juices. (Mashed potatoes would be a perfect accompaniment.) Then the next day you can warm some of the pork with hoisin sauce and roll it in lettuce leaves with rice, scallions, pickled vegetables or kimchi, and a dab of chile sauce. Or ginger scallion sauce. Oh my goodness YES.
If you're anything like us, the shadow of holiday indulgences past has led to an increased desire for lighter fare as of late. Thankfully, blogger Fresh Tart has come to the rescue with a dreamy (yet light) mushroom soup that is practically tailor-made for these blustery Winter days.Happy New Year! It's time for vegetables! I know that I don't really need to explain why, given universal post-holiday puffiness and such. For me, all sorts of high-carbohydrate, gluten-free grainy flours made their way into my diet and while festive, I certainly noticed how 1) tired, and 2) starving it all made me feel. Sometimes it takes little reminders that what works best — and for me that's not just gluten-free, but primarily grain-free eating — is exactly what works best.
As a bonus, all of the foods that make me feel and look like myself — high quality meats, fish, vegetables, eggs, nuts, fats, and small amounts of dairy and fruit — are all of my favorite foods anyhow.
So 2013, let's lead off with soup! I'll confess I didn't plan this one out, it sort of made itself out of the fridge. I'm quite sure that you could use vegetable broth, and skip the chicken, and enjoy this as a vegetarian treat. Dried porcini mushrooms make the broth — and everything — delectably meaty, for very little effort. When you're making up a soup, keep in mind that the most satisfying soups are texturally layered — this version is brimming with tender chicken, chewy mushrooms, crisp broccoli, with crunchy nuts to finish. That's how I like it! Kablam!
I couldn't eat much of anything this terrible, sad weekend, but as my desire to cook has slowly returned, I'm turning to comfort foods. I made pan-seared steaks with a dried-and-fresh-mushroom pan sauce, and it was just really nice to serve John and Nathan one of their favorite meals.
I made a good amount of the mushroom sauce with savory french toast in the back of my mind. If you only enjoy french toast for breakfast, you're missing out on a terrific and fast lunch or dinner. I used gluten-free bread for the pic (and my stomach), but if I could eat gluten, I'd use challah. Any type of bread works nicely, though, really whatever you have on hand. Because that's the point — savory french toast is a filling, comforting base for leftovers of almost any type, to put on the table quickly.
If you're not a mushroom fan, try spinach sautéed with garlic, perhaps with a spot of sausage in the mix as well, perhaps with a pinch of red pepper flakes. Or thin slices of ham and a spoonful of braised beans. Or roasted squash and fried sage leaves. Or in the Summer, slices of ripe tomato and crispy bacon. (Best. Thing. Ever.) French toast is rich, so a touch of acid and a shower of black pepper strike a delicious balance.
In case you ARE a mushroom fan, the sauce below is a terrific finish for any pan-seared meat that leaves lovely, crusty drippings behind: chicken, steaks, lamb, venison, veal, pork. Just stir in the completed sauce into the hot pan juices, scraping the pan while simmering for a couple of minutes. That's it. However, the sauce is also rich and flavorful on its own, thanks to the beauty of dried wild mushrooms. And sherry. And butter.
See the recipe when you read more.
One of the things that always amazes us is how creative our readers are when it comes to cooking up top-notch dishes. From mouthwatering desserts (think cheese-stuffed strawberries) to classic appetizers with a twist (ever heard of buffalo chicken wontons?), we've rounded up 20 of our most popular community recipes.
Butter beans, a.k.a. large limas, are perfect for making a from-scratch hummus, because they cook very quickly — just about 45 minutes in gently boiling water. You can also use canned, of course, just as you would use canned chickpeas for hummus. I like the fact that butter beans are a Southern cooking staple, too. Try some!
Use your own favorite hummus recipe, or if you don't have one, here are some amounts to get you started.