Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes

This weekend I am beginning the process of putting my little container garden to bed.  It was an awesome pepper year for me, particularly for my habanero plant which yielded more than 50 habanero peppers on one small plant.  Habaneroes are tough to use up due to their extreme level of spice, however I like to slice and dry them in my dehydrator for use all winter whenever a recipe call for a little zip.  I also grow them to use in my Habanero – Maple Barbecue Sauce which I pressure can and use on everything from chicken wings to ribs and pulled pork.

My little garden also yielded a number of beautiful red cayenne peppers which I have dried whole for use this winter, as well as a great number of jalapeno and spicy black peppers, most of which I have already used up over the course of the past few months.  One thing that saddened me about my CSA is that I did not receive any hot peppers all summer which makes me very grateful that my own did so well this year, seeing as how I use them all the time. Continue reading

Welcome Back! … and Leek Fritters

The answer to your question is, yes, I am alive.  Unfortunately, however, it is September, and I have not posted a single thing since December of 2011.  At this point, I think it is fair to say that I have been more than a little bit of a failure at this for the better part of a year.  Between everything to do with planning a wedding, a job that was consuming my soul in a way that I would prefer not to discuss, applying for jobs, getting an interview three days before my wedding, getting married, getting a new job two days later, giving my notice, traveling to Ohio for a second wedding reception, starting my new job, and all those millions of little things in between that life throws at you, I have been both physically and emotionally exhausted.  However, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel now that I have posted the last of my thank you notes!

Over the past year, there have been so very many recipes that I have wanted to share, and while I have taken many photos and made many notes, I have failed to post anything at all.  Now I am left with a terrible loss of words at where to start…as a result, I have decided to start fresh…so I guess I will jump right in… Continue reading

Pumpkin – Black Bean Cakes with Creamy Horseradish Sauce

All right, I know, enough with the black beans already!  The posting of this recipe, as well as my Black Bean and Wheat Berry Chili with Turkey Sausage, comes from the fact that I made black beans just a few days ago, and therefore wanted to show a few ways in which I use them.

I work very hard to be economical in my kitchen, I don’t buy or make things that I don’t have some sort of plan for because I absolutely hate to waste food.  Learning how to maximize your ingredients and to reduce the amount of waste in your kitchen, is not always a simple as it might sound, but it is, in my opinion, a very important skill to attempt to master.  Such an endeavor requires creativity in cooking and the willingness to experiment.

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Simply the Best Chili and Cornbread

This is quite simply, the best traditional chili that I have ever had.  My Mom has made it for as long as I can remember from a recipe she got many years ago at one of Vermont’s finest sources of specialty smoked and cured meats, Harrington’s of Vermont.  This chili has just the right amount of spice to it, enough so that you feel the heat on your tonge, but not so much that your mouth burns, and it has an excellent bean to meat ratio.

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Acorn Squash with Cranberry – Apple Stuffing

Several weeks ago, we had dinner at a friend’s house and were served this delicious fall treat.  Since then I have made it several times, with many different variations.  It combines all the wonderful flavors of fall in one simple dish.

Due to how easy, delicious and seasonally appropriate it is, it has become my go to, “I don’t feel like making something exciting for dinner dish.”  Yet with a little maple sausage thrown in, it becomes quite an exciting meal all its own.

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Cranberry – Apple Chutney with Ginger

I love the tang of cranberries, and I love how that tang is traditionally used to cut through the richness of a Thanksgiving dinner.  However, I hate when cranberry sauce has too much sweetness added to help subdue that tang.  It is for that reason that I really enjoy this Cranberry – Apple chutney with Ginger.  There is some added sweetness, but the beauty of this chutney is that you get the tang of the cranberries, offset by the sweetness of the apples, and then you get a little more punch from the ginger.  It is a lovely combination of not too sweet, not too sharp, complex flavor.

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Double Squash Soup

Last November, when we were living in Boston, we had a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving with a group of friends.  I think that there ended up being twelve of us squeezed into the kitchen of our apartment.  Once we sat down, no one could get up.  Despite the fact that quarters were close, everyone had a great time and a great meal.

My dear friend Tallo (who writes her own food blog, La Cucina Francesca) contributed this amazing squash soup to our meal, which I was instantly in love with.  It continues to be a favorite of mine.  As a child, I would never eat the squash served at my Grandmother’s Thanksgiving holiday table because I hated the stringy texture of the mashed squash that she always served.  This pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving made me realize that though my Grandmother would be appalled to hear me say it, what you decide to serve at your holiday table does not always have to follow family tradition, especially if only half the people at your holiday table will eat the dish in question.

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