winter

The Thanksgiving Timeline, for Reals

I am sharing all of my best tips and advice about making your Thanksgiving as smooth as a bowl of silky whipped sweet potatoes, but while these bits of advice are very useful, and I do stand by them, I also want to offer a glimpse what turkey day actually looks like in our home. Scene: My mother’s house, CT. Wednesday evening: My mother, my sister and I are together organizing and cooking.  About 17 times during this night my mother says, “Oh we are SO far behind.” My sister makes the crudites platter for the next day, a job …

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Meyer Lemon Carnitas

Don’t you love when a dish that you’ve heard breathless praise about lives up to its expectation? Having fallen head over heels for pulled pork, the call of carnitas had to be addressed.  Carnitas are a Mexican pork dish, where the meat is first braised, then sautéed for a wonderful flavor and texture.  As with any recipe I offer having to do with regional cooking, classic dishes, or pork, I relinquish any claims to authenticity. The key to carnitas is a fatty piece of pork, since first the meat is simmered in liquid, releasing the fat, and then after the …

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Standing Rib Roast for a Small Crowd

{NOTE: During several seasons of Downton Abbey I decided to cook dinners to eat while watching the show that somehow felt kind of Downton Abbey-ish to me.  No claims to authenticity, truly, but a fun little project.} This is this week’s Downton Abbey recipe post, and a culinary commentary on the changing times of the English aristocracy in the early 20th century.  Ok, no it’s not.  It is a commentary on the fact the normally exorbitantly priced prime bone in rib roast was on crazy sale at one of my favorite supermarkets and it seemed fitting to make a patrician …

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10 Ways to Top a Baked Potato

A baked potato is so lovely just on its own, with a pat of good butter, a sprinkle of coarse salt.  But it can also become dinner; a wonderful translators of leftovers into a meal, and a way to serve myriad people at the table with the odds and ends that are in the fridge. First of all, here’s how to bake that potato. 1. Meatball Baked Potato “Sub” Give your baked potato an Italian-American accent with mini meatballs, a generous spoonful of tomato sauce, and a shower of grated Parmesan cheese. You can also halve large meatballs and tuck …

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Bulgur Wheat, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Gratin

Getting more whole grains onto our tables is something most of us are thinking about, and in fact possibly even stressing about.  Before you start cooking with them they can seem so mysterious, so intimidating.  They are just a grain, like rice or anything else, and they can enter your cooking repertoire in so many different ways. Here in this Bulgur Wheat, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Gratin, the bulgur wheat is first cooked, then layered into a casserole with sweet potatoes, lightly spicy black beans, and melty provolone or gruyere (more on that shortly),  then baked.  You could really use …

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