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Happiest New Year to one and all! It’s Monday, so most of you are probably back on the grind with work, school or whatever else claims your day. During the holidays, we all enjoyed the festivities with food, drink, family and friends. The return to normalcy is never easy, especially if you’re adding a pile of resolutions on top of everything. No major resolutions here. I’m not even going to feel bad about the cake I’m sharing on the blog today. It was actually part of the 2015 Kwanzaa Culinarians series highlighting stories and recipes from a number of bloggers. The cake is a slightly revision of Chef Pierre Thiam’s Sweet Potato and Mango Cake from his new cookbook, Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl. Head over to the site for the complete recipe, as well as a bit about the influences and flavors of Senegalese food. If there’s any resolution I suggest to add to the list, it’s try new things. Starting with this spiced fruit and vegetable-laced cake.
Bubble and Squeak is an English dish that is traditionally comprised of last night’s leftovers. Whatever meat and vegetables hanging around after a big meal are mashed together with potatoes and fried to a satisfying crisp. The dish is named for the bubbling and squeaking sounds it makes as all of the ingredients fry in the pan. You’ll commonly see veggies such as cabbage, peas, Brussels sprouts, or carrots in this dish, but as with most things in life (including our favorite recipes), toss in whatever you like. The beauty is that it will work just fine. Continue reading “Leftovers Renewed”
This recipe was created on a complete and total whim. It was like an episode of Food Network’s Chopped. I literally grabbed 3 ingredients from the pantry that had reached the end of their shelf life: a handful of pearl onions that were on the verge of sprouting, a couple old sweet potatoes in the same condition, and a dusty can of black beans. They needed to be eaten today or they would have to forever hold their peace. What could possibly come of this random trio? I opened the fridge and noticed a carton of eggs. Yes! A frittata would do just the trick. Continue reading “Sweet, Eggy Experiment”
Have you ever heard of the spice mace? Even better, have you ever cooked something with it? Well, don’t feel bad if you’ve answered no to one or more of these questions. Last Christmas, we made an obscure turkey stuffing recipe which called for many spices that had us scratching our heads—the stuffing was a disaster in of itself, but that’s another story. One of those spices was mace. For the last few months, it has been pushed aside, knocked down, and flat out forsaken to the back of the cupboard. It seemed time to blow the dust off the lid and find another use for it. It may still be the summertime, but sweet potatoes are available year round. When you get a craving for them and the spices that make a perfect match, follow your instincts. Continue reading “Give It Another Chance”
It may be obvious to you, but if not, it should go without saying that Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday! A whole day devoted to eating specialty dishes, family recipes, and seasonal foods—how could this not be the best day ever? Just hearing the word “Thanksgiving” brings to the surface memories of specific smells, table settings, and, most prominently, tastes. For us, different childhood memories pop-up of nibbling on the “crusty” edges of mom’s baked mac and cheese, or licking the wire beaters from the electric mixer clean after they whipped together the sweet potato casserole. Of course, equally important as the food is the company. On this glorious holiday, you not only get to devour a massive meal, but you get to do it with the people you love. Again, it just may be the best day ever!
Continue reading “A Pre-Thanksgiving Feast”
Many of you are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with your friends and family. We are both doing just that on opposite sides of the coast, but this past weekend, we had the chance to eat a pre-Thanksgiving meal with friends here in Los Angeles. One of the things we had to do when we moved to Los Angeles was create a sense of family amongst friends. We’ve both spent different holidays away from our blood relatives, and it’s nice to know that there are people around to be with you when you can’t go home. Enjoy the holiday however you’re spending it. Whether you’re with friends, family or your pet Fido, make it a good one.
Continue reading “Happiest Thanksgiving to All”
We took another class at Hipcooks a while ago–a class all about soup. We made seven soups in just over three hours, and it was a very mind and gut filling experience. Although we’ve made soups and stews on our own, we don’t normally fix them just on a whim. This class, like every other Hipcooks class before it, always sends us into a tizzy about what we can make in our own kitchens. It’s an addiction, you know. Once we start the brain a-moving, we can’t stop. It goes without saying that we are very excited by food. When we start talking about food and recipes, it is clear that we are in our own world. It was evident to others in the class because we spent a third of the session whispering to each other different soup ideas, substitutions and additions that were coming to mind at the time. We were paying attention to our lovely teacher, really we were, but so many thoughts were running through our heads, we had to let them out. This one came to mind somewhere between the preparation of a chunky butternut squash and white bean soup, rich cream of mushroom and thyme and the anise-flavored corn, tarragon and sun-dried tomato chowder.
Continue reading “The Product of Inspiration”