arugula, carrot and celery root salad

arugla, carrot and celery root salad

for those who procastinate (like moi) and are still looking for a salad for tomorrow .... here's a perfect choice!

fine cooking's original recipe said it could serve 10-12 .... i halved the recipe and we still ate it all accompanied to a main meal. then again, i'm someone who could eat a big salad for dinner and be happy, but i could imagine even you carnivores would go for seconds with this one!

super easy to make, and the spiciness of the arugula would probably go great with all the sweetness of traditional thanksgiving fare.

every thanksgiving is special to me. but as i get ready to temporarily leave my family and friends for half a year, i'm going to be giving a lot of thanks this thursday. i hope you'll be celebrating with loved ones as well.


arugula, carrot and celery root salad: serves 2-4
adapted from fine cooking (jan 2009, p. 58)

2 tb apple cider vinegar
2 tb honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
3-4 tb olive oil
salt + pepper
3 medium carrots
1 small celery root
3 oz baby arugula
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. make vinaigrette: in small bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, and mustard. whisk in oil and season with salt and pepper. this makes the whole batch of vinaigrette from the original recipe but you'll only use half for this serving size. serve with extra vinaigrette on the side, or save for another time.

2. wash and dry the arugula. peel and trim carrots and celery root, and grate into strips (great the celery root right before serving, as it may oxidize and turn brown if done too much earlier).

3. toss together the arugula, carrots, celery root, and half the almonds and cranberries with half the vinaigrette. season with salt and pepper to taste. sprinkle the rest of the almonds and cranberries on top.


comfort food: pierogi

pierogis with kielbasa and roasted brussels

sorry, no tuesdays with dorie here. vibi from la casserole carrée choose the "two-fer" pumpkin slash pecan pie, but i already have got my pies to bake for thanksgiving, and i just can't bear to do another one!

but this weekend i did make pierogis. i can't remember when i first ate a pillowy puff of potato, but evidently i was polish in a past life because i love them!! they're like a comfort food for me. when i was younger i used to eat a plate of them with caramelized onions for dinner.

so when we finally decided to use up the kielbasa we bought from the farmer's market, i got the brilliant idea of making my own pierogis!!

ready to boil

yes, it's true i like martha's recipes, but i figured her mother would know a thing or two about making pierogis. unfortunately i was going between the online and magazine recipe, and halving both and i wasn't as organized as i should have been. it was an afternoon of oops, that was supposed to be 1.5 cups of flour! and an oops, i forgot to salt and pepper the potato mix! and shit my countertop next to the oven is hot and my dough is now sticking!

do you ever having baking days like that???

homemade pierogis

but the end result was some delicious pierogi. never doubt that something as simple as potato stuffed dumplings can taste amazingly better homemade than store bought! i think there was a little bit of that delicious taste called "pride" in each bite too ... i couldn't believe i made these babies by hand!!

for the online recipe - and a great video of martha and mum - click here.


winter squash soup with sage leaves

winter squash soup with sage

in an effort (however non-effective, at least it's earnest) to try to reduce the gluttonous impact my recent omnivorous ways have been taking on my body, i'm devoting one night a week to making soup for dinner. last week's was pasta e fagioli. yes, i know soup doesn't necessarily mean "healthier", but it at least feels healthier, so i tell myself.

we had a butternut languishing on our counter and fresh chicken stock (yes, i'm in love with homemade chicken stock) waiting in the fridge. some of my favorite soups come from, of course, ms. madison. so we decided to try this simple sounding squash soup with sage leaves.

winter squashes

i was worried without some beans or pasta or dare i say, meat, i wouldn't feel full from this soup. but coupled with a crunchy greens salad and some baguette, it was a perfect dinner. it was so flavorful, and like always, was better the next night. i even had the last bit for lunch yesterday and i still loved it. yes, that bears repeating ... i ate this soup three days out of this week and still loved it on the third day!!

so what are you waiting for?

winter squash soup with sage leaves: serves 4-6
from vegetarian cooking for everyone (1997, p. 215)

2 1/2 - 3 lbs winter squash
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for squash
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
12 whole sage leaves, plus 2 tb chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
4 thyme sprigs, chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley
salt + pepper
2 quarts homemade stock (be it vegetable or chicken, but please be it homemade!)
1/2 cup fontina, pecorino, or ricotta salata, diced into small cubes

1. preheat oven to 375F. halve squash and scoop out seeds. brush surface with oil, stuff cavaties with garlic and place cut sides down on baking sheet. bake until tender, about 30 minutes.

2. meanwhile heat 1/4 cup oil in small skillet until nearly smoking, then drop whole sage leaves and fry until dark, about 1 minute. set leaves aside on paper towel and transfer oil to wide soup pot. add onions, chopped sage, thyme, and parsley and cook over medium heat until onions have begun to brown, about 12-15 minutes.

3. scoop squash flesh into pot along with any juices that accumulated in the pan. peel the garlic and add to pot along with salt and stock and bring to boil. lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes. if soup becomes too thick, simply add more water/stock to thin it out. taste for salt.

4. depending on the type of squash you've used, the soup with be smooth or rough. if you want a refined soup, use a handmixer or blender. if you mix it, you might want to heat it up a bit again. then ladle into bowls and distribute cheese over top (the cheese adds a contrast flavor to the sweetness of the squash, so yes, it's necessary!) garnish with sage leaves, add pepper, and enjoy!


a try at snickerdoodles


i have to admit that i've never heard of snickerdoodles before i started blogging. AND i thought they had something to do with snickers, yummy! so i was just a tad bit disappointed when i learned that was just false advertising - and in reality they were just basically a sugar cinnamon cookie. where's the snickery peanuts and chocolate and caramel??!!

stack of snickerdoodles

but so many people wrote so many wonderful things about them, so i've wanted to try making them ever since. last week i did, but i was rushing out and did not watch them carefully. they ended up slightly overcooked and deflated to a crunchy cookie. so the verdict is out on whether i like these or not, i'll just have to bake another batch more carefully!

i used the recipe from fine cooking's special cookie issue, but you can find the recipe online here.


twd: arborio rice pudding

arborio rice pudding

one of my weaknesses in the last grocery aisle of fairway is the stacks of kozyshack. i'm such a sucker, for both the vanilla rice pudding and the regular chocolate pudding. it doesn't last long once it gets back to our fridge

so when isabelle from les gourmandises d'isa picked dorie's arborio rice pudding for this week i was pretty excited to try it out. there was a bit of a typo that the miss dorie herself pointed out to us on the twd blog but then i overcompensated too much and ended up with a pudding that was more like a mushy brick of rice. whoops! but it still tasted pretty great. i'm tempted to see how it might come out with rice milk instead, since i don't buy cow milk on a regular basis at all.

as always, please visit the other members and check out their much more creative rice puddings! for the recipe, click here.



ricotta pancakes

ricotta pancakes

happy friday everyone!

two years ago, mark bittman had an article about pancakes that showcased a photo that was the very definition of drool-worthy. i don't even like pancakes (i'm an omelette girl) but these just looked so damn good, soft on the inside, crunchy brown on the outside, so golden and buttery!!

and his accompanying recipe for ricotta pancakes became our favorite, it's the only one we make when i finally get the craving.

for the recipe click here.

and for the bittman photo that started it all, click here.


think paprika round-up!

sunita gave me the gracious honor of hosting october's think spice event. i chose paprika, and received some delicious entries!

in addition to the one i offered - mr. mimi's chicken paprikash - here are the other lovely dishes to satisfy your paprikan curiosity. please visit their blogs, all of them are wonderful!

sweatha from tastycurryleaf made a very yummy potato goulash, vegetarian german style, even if that is an oxymoron! this bowl of goodness is perfect for these colder nights.

next up is lubna from
yummy food (needs no explanation!) who found the paprika very spicy but made these spicy potato chunks. i don't care how simple the recipe may seem, i bet this was delicious!

su-lin from the beautiful blog
tamarind and thyme made a similar pimentón potato wedges, dusted with paprika. she suggested to pair these up with grilled steak. but they look so good i could probably eat a whole plate as lunch!

priya with her colorful blog priya's easy n tasty recipes posted one of her favorite recipes for spicy baked chicken. if the picture doesn't have you drooling i don't know what will, this looks fantastic!

mahima from olives and basil actually loves the flavor of paprika! and here's her entry, a peppery basil spaghetti that is both creamy and spicy blissfully at the same time. sounds like my perfect kind of pasta!

and last but not least, lovely manuela from
baking history brought along cheese straws. "hard to stop eating" she says and i'll take her word for it, but i definitely want to try making these!
so there you have it, all the paprika you could ever want! next up is
think spice ... think anise hosted by manuela. for past think spice events, visit sunita's blog.


thyme roasted chicken with apples and bacon

thyme roasted chicken with apples and bacon

sorry there's no tuesdays with dorie here today (but please check out everyone else on the blogroll for a very awesome kugelhof as chosen by yolanda from the all-purpose girl!)

but i don't want to leave you empty-handed, so let's revisit a week ago tonight, election night. what a strange ride this has been, when the only reasonable discussion of policy and politics i could have was with my republican cousin-in-law because everyone else in my immediate circle was an obamaholic who couldn't see beyond their own assumptions and stereotypes. i'm a 110% dyed in the wool liberal - love me or leave me - but go ahead and challenge me! i love to refine my arguments with debate and deconstruction until alas, you just have to concede that i was right all along ;-)

squash cubes

we had some people over for election night and wanted to serve a family style meal that was easy but comfy. we settled on roasted chicken, butternut squash risotto (that was awesome), and arugula salad (thanks J!)

so here's to change, here's to hope, and here's to turning that map a little more darn blue.

thyme roasted chicken with apples and bacon: serves 6

large whole chicken (ours was 5 lb)
1 bunch thyme
2-3 apples
4 garlic cloves
3 slices turkey bacon, cooked
1 quart chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
olive oil
salt + pepper
lemon juice

1. preheat oven to 425F. rinse chicken inside and out; discard gizzard and neck.

2. dice apples and mix with lemon juice. slice garlic cloves and dice turkey bacon. toss all in bowl with a little olive oil, a couple thyme sprigs, and salt and pepper.

stuffing mix

3. place remaining bunch thyme sprigs in roasting pan. stuff chicken with apple/garlic/bacon mix. rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper (and other seasonings as desired). place on top of thyme sprigs.

in the bird

4. roast in oven for 20 minutes. turn down to 325F and pour some of the chicken broth and all the white wine over chicken. continue to pour a little fresh broth on chicken every 20 minutes until roasted to an internal temp of 165F.

5. take out and let rest for half hour. carve and set on oven-proof platter with stuffing, pouring juices over the chicken/stuffing. put the platter back in the oven and bring back up to internal temp. serve sizzling and enjoy!

thyme roasted chicken with apples and bacon


pasta e fagioli

i have to sheepishly admit ... many times i go through my google reader and think so many things look delicious and i post a comment "got to try this soon!" - sometimes even a "definitely trying this out!" - and then i guiltily never come through on my encouraging promise.

but for some reason, this pasta e fagioli bucked the trend when i saw it on jen's blog use real butter. folks, i saw this yesterday and made it tonight ... that's how much i was impressed by this so simple, but so delicious supper soup!

pasta e fagioli

i made some slight modifications based on what we had in the pantry, and our preferences. we used our favorite turkey bacon instead of the italian sausage, and navy beans instead of northern. we did splurge on the ditalini (oh when am i going to use this again?!) and we had fresh rosemary instead of dried (if you use fresh, add and remove with the cinnamon, not in the beginning as written in the recipe).

i worked later than usual tonight so i asked mr. mimi to have it ready for me when i came home (i know, spoiled by a professional chef!) and when i walked in the hallway, the spicy aroma - combination of cinnamon, rosemary, and vinegar - was sooo nice!! it was a perfect meal with some crusty bread, and even though i was tempted to halve the recipe i'm glad i didn't because i bet it will taste even better (as all soups inevitably do) for tomorrow's, and the next day's, and next day's lunch!

now you might notice that my soup doesn't really look like anything from jen's soup. although i'm sure her photographs benefit from natural mountain sunshine, my soup was definitely a dark red in real life too, so it could have something to do with brand of tomatoes i used. regardless, it tasted great, so who cares what color it came out!

a hearty spoonful

plus! when i started getting ready to write this post and upload my photos i noticed that unbeknownst to me at the time of my clicking - both of us did a spoonful money shot. great pasta e fagioli minds think alike :-)

for the recipe, click here.


twd: rugelach


this post is going to be short and sweet as i have (at least what seems) a zillion things going on today.

when i was younger i loved hanukkah. and not just for the gifts! but latkes and rugelach were my favorite holiday treats that basically i pigged out on because they only came around once a year!

so how delighted i was when grace from piggy's cooking journal picked rugelach for this week's tuesday with dorie!

the recipe was super easy to follow. i used a combination of whatever i had on hand: cherry jam, walnuts, and golden raisins. i did not add the chocolate, as dorie suggests, because i'm one of those few stalwarts who thinks not everything tastes better with chocolate!

rugelach dough

these were the best rugelach i've ever eaten, especially right after baking. the dough was so light and flaky, compared to the denser dough typically found at store or even bakery bought versions. next time i want to try rolling them a little bit more uniform in size/shape, but i can't wait to make these again for hanukkah!


for the recipe, click here. and to see everyone else's rugelach combinations, click through the blogroll!