Easy butternut squash sauce

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Around this time every year, as I finish preserving tomatoes and ponder the results with equal parts satisfaction, gratefulness, and relief (it's hot work, people, hot!), I become sort of possessive and protective of my tomato larder. All that work, and I don't want to use any of it. I want to hoard it, save it for when the snow flies and I really, really need an injection of summer memories. So between now and then, I look for tomato sauce alternatives to serve over pasta or gnocchi, … [Read more...]

Smoky sweet potato and apple soup

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Even though I do have to admit that I'm not ready to let go of summer veggies and those fresh, raw dishes that shine with things plucked straight from the garden, I am ready for soup. Cold soups are delicious and refreshing, but they're just not the same as a big bowl of steaming hot goodness. So, our newly chilly weather has me back in the kitchen, brewing up old favorites and experimenting with new combinations. This makes me ear-to-ear-smilin' happy, because one could say I'm rather fond … [Read more...]

The Perfect Fried Egg – Chef vs. Tradition

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A slideshow on the New York Times website recently caught my eye. Entitled "The Perfectly Fried Egg," it shows a step-by-step of Spanish chef, José Andrés, frying an egg in a pool of oil. Like french fries. Or doughnuts. Equally repulsed — an oil-immersed egg? "Perfect?" Seriously? — and intrigued, I had to try it for myself. And compare it to my family's long-standing tradition of frying an egg flat in a cast iron pan. … [Read more...]

Farewell, Summer – it’s been grand

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It's September 19th, and I don't think I can procrastinate any longer. Despite mustering up my very deepest reserves of denial and avoidance, the inevitable has caught up with me: Summer ends on Saturday. So this, the last full week of summer, finds me a bit brooding and energy-drained. It's suddenly still dark at 6:30am, my normal waking time, and I stumble around the house getting ready for the day, stubbing toes, stubbornly refusing to turn on a light. Just yesterday, it seems, the … [Read more...]

Salted caramel apple skillet cake

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I'm sorry. I'm sorry I'm practically pelting you with salted caramel. I apologize for getting in a rut and dragging you along with me. You deserve better. But. It's salted caramel. I can't help it. When I get into cooking ruts, it's normally a red flag for me to keep it the heck off my blog, lest I write about nothing else for weeks. (I spared y'all from my zucchini obsession earlier this summer — you're welcome. Although I should've shared the zucchini butter because it was … [Read more...]

Caprese dagwood sandwiches

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It's mid-September, and this week finds me starting my annual tomato panic. The chill in the evening air signals an all-too-soon forthcoming end to my summer garden and the non-stop supply of fresh tomatoes. {Sigh} In between making and preserving tomato sauce and tomato paste (my late-summer crush) — and this weekend, sweet and spicy tomato jam — I've been adding sliced tomatoes to everything and have consumed more caprese salads then anyone should sensibly claim. But even … [Read more...]

Salted caramel custard mini pies

Salted caramel custard mini pies

I'm slowly making the mental transition into fall. Truth be told, I'm not entirely certain I ever fully transitioned into summer from spring, although I quickly got to used the long days of sunlight — bright at 6:00am and still hanging on at 9:00pm. My sense of seasonality is guided more by my gardens than the calendar. Although many of my summer crops are still happily putting out fruit (tomatoes!), the fall crops are taking hold, and I'm beginning the annual late summer clean-up, … [Read more...]

Crunchy Corn Slaw

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Ever since discovering the amazingness of raw corn last year, it's the only way I'll eat it off the cob (I still love da smoky grilled corn-on-the-cob with lots of cilantro butter brushed on, and brushed on often). Honestly, the concept of eating corn raw was a [forehead slap] moment: Of course I would enjoy corn raw, sliced fresh from the cob — it's super-sweet, juicy, and crunchy. In fact, when the corn at the farmers' market passes its prime, as it does in September, I find the … [Read more...]

Fried Egg Pupusas

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I bought a tortilla press earlier this summer on impulse. It's one of those single-purpose tools that has the very real potential to be used once, and then left, forgotten, in the back of the cabinet. (I have one of those cabinets, where kitchen tools go to die. Confession: it really hurts when I buy a tool, get home, and then dig through the cabinet, only to find I already had it. I've done that more than once.) But not this summer. Much like the discovery of homemade pita bread (which … [Read more...]