Fall

Image No, this is not a picture of a sea anemone. It's spaghetti squash. And though my mom doesn't like it, she makes it all the time for my dad since it's his favorite type of squash. Her favorite, by the way, is buttercup. I know this because the three of us have the same conversation every year as if it's a revelation:

Dad: "What did you buy at the farmers' market this week?"

Me: "Some butternut squash."

Mom: "Ooh, yeah? I love butternut squash. But you know what's even better? Buttercup. You should try it."

Me: "Yeah, Mom, I have tried it, but I don't like it as much as butternut."

Mom: "How could you not like buttercup squash?!"

Dad: "You know what the best squash is? Spaghetti squash. Your mother makes it with tomato sauce and cheese. Oh, I love it like that. You should try it."

Read more ...

applesauce.jpgMy local market recently had a sale on apples. I spent 10 minutes carefully selecting the most perfectly shaped, shiny Macs, Rome Beauties, and Pink Ladies I could find.

I gently placed my bags of apples on the conveyor belt at the checkout. As I continued to unload my remaining groceries, from the corner of my eye I saw my apples disappear from the belt: blam! onto the scale, then blam! into the grocery bag. Before I could utter a word, it was too late. My previously pristine apples were irrevocably spotted with unsightly blemishes.

Rather than trying to eat around the bruises, I did what any resourceful cook would do: I made apple sauce.

Read more ...

pumpkingnocchiIn our house, "Gnocchi" means "I love you".

The time invovled in making the pillowy mixture is minimal, but it is the act of cutting each strip to just the right width...chopping bite sized dumplings and then rolling each one delicately across the ridges of a fork - those repetative moves of delicious intent translates so purely to my husband as he savours one gnocchi at a time.

I have made several verisons of Gnocchi, using potatoes and even squash. Though in keeping with the season of pumpkins and fall delight, I am pleased with this version. The sage and shallots carry a certain melody throughout the dish that can only be thought of as fall.

For a vegetarian, this is the perfect Thanksgiving meal.

Read more ...

raddichiorisotto.jpgWhen Brian and I took the boys to Italy, we wanted to eat lunch at a place near the Vatican that a lot of these Italian travelers recommended. It was a lunch we never forgot. We still talk about it and laugh. The place is Dino and Tony's and it is run by two brothers – Dino out front and Tony in the kitchen, neither of whom speak English.

When we arrived for lunch, we were not offered menus at all. Dino told us he was going to bring out special antipasti for us and then asked if we like pasta. Well, sure, we said. Before we knew what was happening, he disappeared into the kitchen and then brought out two pizzas, a platter of prosciutto and salami, a platter of grilled vegetables, a platter of potato croquettes, fried olives stuffed with meat and a bottle of Chianti. This was just the antipasti!

Then he delivered large bowls of radicchio risotto. "Where is the pasta?" I asked him. "After the risotto," he said. I knew we were in trouble. The risotto was so good, I couldn't believe it. Then the pasta came - Rigatoni Amatraciana. Delicious and perfectly cooked.

Read more ...

pumpkinbarleysoupSoup weather has hit hard today, very rainy and gloomy all around.  A good day for a fire and just hanging out. 

With Fall in full swing, some type of pumpkin soup seemed in order.  This particular recipe is spicy (from the andouiile sausage) and a little bit sweet from the addition of maple syrup.

Served with fresh baked bread it was the perfect afternoon meal. 

This soup is so easy to make, no other pictures were necessary.  So enjoy the Fall season and hopefully you have soup weather too.

Read more ...