Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

I am now convinced we all need more Kung Pao in our lives.

Do you know what it means when something is Kung Pao? I did not. So I looked it up, after making a joke about Kung Pao Chicken and then realizing I had no idea what Kung Pao Chicken was, or Kung Pao anything. To Kung Pao something is to stir fry to deep fry something, and then serve it with a spicy sauce….and sometimes peanuts. I love Kung Pao! I had no idea how much so. The most classic thing to Kung Pao (acknowledging that Kung Pao may not be an accepted verb, but also that maybe it should be) …

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How to Caramelize Onions

A step by step guide to making perfect caramelized onions every time, with photos (and how to use them!).

What Are Caramelized Onions? Caramelized onions are just onions that have been sliced (sometimes chopped, usually sliced) and cooked with a bit of butter or oil and salt over low heat for quite a while, until they are very soft and nicely browned – but not too dark. Some cooks add a bit of sugar to help the browning process and enhance the cooked onions’ natural sweetness. That’s optional, but I find it helpful, and it doesn’t take much to bump up the sweetness.   What Kind of Onions Are Best for Caramelizing You can use any onions for caramelizing, …

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Classic Vinaigrette (aka Salad Dressing)

Salad dressing is somewhat of a hot button for many of us. We either have a little fear of it and keep hitting the bottle (bottled dressing, of course), which is often pretty gross, or we get stuck in a one-dressing rut.   What is Vinaigrette? First of all, vinaigrette is just French for oil and vinegar. Okay, no, that’s not quite true, but it certainly is partly true and this is helpful in making things much less scary. This basic classic vinaigrette recipe lets you make a classic vinaigrette in two minutes. My family likes their dressing pretty vinegary. If you …

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Pasta Shells with Pumpkin in a Creamy, Cheesy Sauce

Pretty, satisfying, cold weather comfort food

While I cook with butternut squash all the time, when I think about cooking with pumpkin I picture a can of puree. But not this year, this year I am grabbing the pumpkin by the stem and here’s the first pumpkin moment of, I hope, many. This is a decadent cold weather (vegetarian) dish, filled with comfort and decadence. My kids did not think they were going to like it, and did not hesitate to share their reservations with me.  I assured them they would. Full disclosure, they liked the pasta with its lovely sauce, but left almost all of …

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How to Make Deviled Eggs

This basic deviled eggs recipe is versatile and makes for a great appetizer. Experiment with different flavors and fillings.

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