Category: Winter

Couscous with Roasted Winter Squash, Apple, and Chorizo

Well, it is the week before Thanksgiving and in between all of the prep for the big day, we’ve still got to eat…cue seasonal, easy recipes that can make a lot.  I made this recipe last night and it is delicious and full of flavor.  I wish that I had doubled or tripled it; which you can easily do (as long as you have a big enough bowl to mix it all in.)  My one tweak would be on the apples.  I used granny smith and cut them into 1/2 inch dice as instructed; they disintegrated.  Next time, I would cut them into 1 inch pieces or reduce their cooking time.  Everything tasted great, the apples were just off texture-wise.  Also, definitely taste at the end and don’t skimp on the smoked paprika.  Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Sweet Potato Cheesecake

Not panicking, really…well, maybe a little.  Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away!!! It snuck up on me a bit (as I knew it would, due to the fall vacation,) but I am feeling like I can still pull it all together, kinda.  I made a tentative menu this week and have ordered the turkey that I want, so that part is under control.  I know the potatoes that I want to have, still looking for green veggie recipes and had decided on dessert.  Then, I saw this recipe and thought; well maybe two desserts, who needs green vegetables anyway (me, after 2.5 weeks of vacation food.)  Still, I am sorely tempted to make this.  I do love a good cheesecake and how southern that it is with sweet potatoes.  I will keep you posted, but just in case anyone is looking for a show stopper dessert…let me tempt you.

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Caramelized Turnips with Capers, Lemon, and Parsley

Last week I was asked if I had any good turnip recipes…I had to pause and take some time to come up with a couple of ideas. See, we do not eat a lot of turnips in our house. I actually am a fan, I grew up eating them as just another vegetable, mostly boiled (I know, eww, but hey, I like boiled okra too.) My husband, however, is not a fan and I think that is because he grew up eating them as a “faux” some other kind of veggie; i.e.mashed potatoes. I think we should take this week to learn to appreciate turnips for what they are, turnips; that sort of sweet/spicy root veggie that so many love to hate. One of the best ways to celebrate a vegetable that you tend to shy away from is to roast it. Roasting brings out the natural sugars and tends to tone down that bite. This week’s recipe is a showcase for our much maligned turnip, so lets go forth and roast…

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Dublin Coddle

Even though it has been feeling like late spring/early summer lately, we are just heading into mid March. With that comes Saint Patrick’s Day and even if you are way past the days of drinking green beer, it is fun to celebrate and try something new. I love the tried and true corned beef and cabbage (in fact, I corned my own last year,) but this year an early vacation makes the timing of accomplishing it a little off. I thought I would try this recipe instead. We are lucky that our own Savannah River Farms makes a killer bratwurst, plus they and Khakalaki both have bacon, so what are you waiting for? Also, the Bintje potatoes from Lazy Willow would make a great sub for the yukon golds. Happy Cooking Y’all!

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Breakfast Cornmeal Squares with Spinach & Bacon

For years we have been hearing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day…Guess what; I think that is true. Breakfast gets your mind and body ready for the day ahead. For most people, eating breakfast is doing exactly what it says: breaking an 8-12 hour fast. Yes, you have been asleep for a good bit of that, but your body is still going about its processes, so you should eat something within an hour of waking. For me that is usually a protein shake or a piece of toast with nut butter before the gym and then a more substantial breakfast after. I am always on the look out for new and interesting breakfasts, bonus points if I make it ahead of time and it makes multiple servings. This recipe checks all of those boxes for me, plus you could easily make it vegetarian by leaving out the bacon and adding some mushrooms. You could also swap out the spinach for whatever greens are in season (adjusting cooking time for heartier winter greens,) so you can really make it your own.

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Herbed Goat Cheese and Root Vegetable Galette

As the temperatures go up, our access to root vegetables goes down, so before it gets too hot, why not enjoy the abundant carrots and sweet potatoes that our farmers have to offer. I love this recipe for a lot of reasons: first, it really shows off vegetables that tend to play second fiddle in recipes or are an afterthought in a meal. Second, a galette is like a freeform pie. It is not meant to be perfect looking, but rustic, so if something does not crimp correctly or leaks, who cares; that is what you were going for and third, it uses whole wheat flour and veggies that are really good for you, so… you could consider it (wait for it) healthy pie! 😀

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Radishes Braised in Cream with Garlic and Thyme

If you have followed these posts for a while, you will know that I am not the biggest radish fan in the world. You will also know that I make an effort to eat locally and in season, so when radishes are in season the quest for new recipes begins. Over the years, I have found that I prefer radishes cooked via heat or in my recipe from last month via sitting in citrus juice; the bite is just a bit too much for me raw and that is why I am excited about today’s recipe post. Cooking a radish changes it completely. The pungent flavor disappears and is replaced by a mild turnip-like sweetness. This recipe uses a braising technique. Braising meat is easy, but can be time consuming; with veggies you get the ease of braising, but since you are not trying to melt connective tissue, it is a quick process as well. My plan is to serve this as a side for a non-fatty cut of meat or fish, but I think it would be quite yummy with mashed potatoes, grits, or on top of some wilted greens.

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Mustard Greens and Udon Noodles

Mustard greens are a veggie that a lot of us did not grow up eating. They are nutritious, pack a boatload of flavor and can be used in many types of cuisine. Yes, they can be eaten raw or cooked just like collards, kale, or turnip greens, but due to that mustardy bite, it can be a little harsh for some. I tend to like them in something where they have other flavors to blend and mute. This is a simple weeknight recipe that does just that and don’t worry if you cannot get fresh udon, just use the dried and cook it first before the greens.

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Creme Fraiche Panna Cotta with Fresh Blueberries and Herbs

Well folks, February is here and that means trying to come up with a plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We keep it fairly low key in my household and as you can guess, instead of going out to celebrate, I usually cook. Since it is on a Tuesday this year, I am looking for a fairly easy dessert; panna cotta is certainly that without giving up taste. It is so simple that while the main cook does dinner, the other Valentine could be putting this together. I like this version, because it uses a combo of berries and herbs (I will go with the frozen blueberry and lemon thyme option.) Herbs are not something that we always think of for dessert, but they provide a nice brightness and an interesting flavor profile. There are some hints in the notes of berry-herb combinations that go together quite well, but try some of your own to really add that personal touch.

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Provencal Greens Soup

I was happy to see chard on the market this week, since it is not always the easiest green to find. Plus, it worked out perfectly, since I have been wanting to make this soup for a while. Chard is used quite frequently in the South of France and in ways that we do not always think to use it here. In the fall of 2015 while in Nice, I enjoyed a lovely piece of chard pie for dessert after our meal. I ordered it mostly because I was curious and could not imagine the green in an unsavory pie. It was delicious, not too sweet and probably not for everyone, but I am on the hunt for a copycat recipe…Greens are something that us southerners grew up with, but probably not chard, so if it is something you have not tried before or even if it is an old favorite, here is a new French spin on something that is tasty and also good for you.

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Fried Smashed Potatoes

Last weekend I was in the mood for a burger, not veggie or turkey, but a real, old fashioned beef burger cooked on the griddle. Well, what goes best with a burger; fried potatoes. Since I was grinding the beef myself to make the burgers, I decided to make things a little easier (and healthier) with the potatoes by doing this recipe. I used a combination of small yellow and red potatoes and steamed them instead of boiling. The end result was a crispy and flavorful side dish for my decadent burgers that left me not feeling guilty about a little indulgence.

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Orange and Radish Salad with Pistachios

My husband and I decided to have an after the holidays, catch up-get together with our neighbors (also a good excuse for me to stretch my culinary muscles and cook for other people.) Since we had just had a couple of months of heavy, traditional eating, I thought it might be nice to do a sort of Mediterranean mezze theme. I picked this to serve as a colorful, somewhat acidic accompaniment to some fattier dishes. It worked like a charm. I was not able to get blood oranges, so substituted Cara Cara navels instead along with regular navels. Both were juicy and bright with the former kind of having a pink grapefruit color. I used a couple types of radish along with the daikon and subbed in walnut oil for the pistachio. It was a beautiful counterpoint to the lamb meatballs, hummus, and feta dishes. If radishes have a bit too much bite to them for you, I found that sitting in the marinade really calmed things down, so don’t be afraid to give this gorgeous salad a try.

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