Sometime last spring I decided to stop whining about wanting to go on a “big trip” and booked something. From the moment I chose the beauty and history of Eastern Europe to the moment my flight was booked took about 12 hours. I knew I would have a few days alone in Prague, and then meet up with a tour group that would head east into Krakow, Poland and then down into Budapest, Hungary with plenty of stops along the way, but beyond that, planning was minimal. I bought a few books, because that’s part of the fun, but despite thorough readings and one active Pinterest board I just couldn’t make anything stick in my head. I’d find myself wondering “Which city has the baths again? Which one came out of WWII mostly unscathed? Which one serves a lot of pork knuckle?” (FYI – the answer to that last question is basically “All of them”) but I couldn’t connect the fact with the city. Finally, I just gave up and dedicated myself to assembling a monochromatic wardrobe and researching which pocket point-and-shoot camera to buy. FYI this ended up being a Canon Powershot S110 — ain’t no way I was going to lug a DSLR around for 2 weeks.
As both a pasta fan and meat foe, I appreciate the joys of a good noodle, tomato, and cheese casserole. Popular and portable, this baked ziti from the culinary maestros at America’s Test Kitchen has recently become my favorite “pasta casserole.” Baked ziti is great because it doesn’t require the layering of a lasagna or stuffing of shells, and this version is superb. Thanks to a secret ingredient, the cheese and sauce stay rich and creamy (not rubbery noodles and gummy cheese here).
Last weekend kicked off with a very wet (soaking, in fact) Fourth of July. We spent it at my parents with my sisters and their families, plus my aunt and uncle. The rest of the weekend was sunny, warm, and pleasantly busy. Here it is in 10 photos.
Summer has finally arrived in Manchester and I’m into it, starting with homemade strawberry sauce. If you have to recipe test gingerbread in June, all it takes is a little strawberry sauce to take things from Santa to summer. Cut up fresh berries, add a little sugar, let things sit and chill for a few hours. Voila.
March might be my least favorite month of the year (and thank heavens it’s over), but the long and cold month’s one saving grace here in New England is that it’s also maple season — that heavenly time of year when the sap flows and the sweet amber syrup is bottled. Pancakes, marinades, glazes, cakes, and cookies benefit from a boost of pure maple syrup, and if you’re one of those people who prefers Aunt Jemima or Log Cabin “pancake syrup” to the real stuff, never tell me. I want us to stay friends. Continue reading
I make a lot of food, but precious little of it gets shared here, meaning most of what I make is for work or is so boring (toast, anyone? shrimp quesadillas? veggie burger?) it’s not acceptable. You can, as always, keep up with more of my cooking and baking via my Yankee blog, but in the meantime, I’m sharing a little slice of life today on AA with Three Things.
Those looking for adventure in the kitchen have a few options. Some think global and tackle new world cuisines. Some think science and grow their own yeast starter or master homemade fudge (my nemesis). Still others think innovation and start cooking from inspiration and instinct, recipes be damned.
Few things are better in the winter than a big bowl of hot soup (unless there’s a grilled cheese with the soup, which is better), and this easy Coconut Curry Chickpea Soup definitely fits the bill. The curry powder, coconut milk, lime juice, and brown sugar give it special flavor and sweetness, while the chunks of potatoes, zucchini, chickpeas, and fresh spinach add hearty heft.
Some appetizers are healthier than others, but healthy doesn’t have to inherently mean less tasty. My family got together over the weekend to celebrate my mom and sister’s birthdays, and since I knew my mom would be providing plenty of crowd-pleasing cheesy, chippy snacks, I thought I’d take the opportunity to make a bean dip.
The snow is already falling here in New England, and for me that means soup, soup, and the occasional pot of chowder. If you’re tired of clam chowder (heaven forbid) you may want to try a classic recipe for simple fish chowder instead. In 1961 a young fan wrote to President John F. Kennedy asking what he liked to eat, and a recipe for fish chowder was his reply.