Food

Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt is about last meals. (Yawn, I’m so not impressed with these topics so far.)

It’s always been hard for me to separate food from seasons. Right now, all I want is apples, pumpkins, roasts, stews, and lots of savory spices. If you’d asked me 3 months ago about my favorite foods I’d have told you about tomatoes, tacos, seafood, cilantro and fruits.

In the past week I’ve made Apple Cakes from Debra at Smith Bites, though I made then in cupcake tins because I don’t do bundt cakes. (fill cupcake tins 3/4 full, bake for 18-20 minutes) I made a hearty beef stew with fresh crusty bread. Last night I made a variation on Wendi’s Cider Roasted Pork, which was only a variation because I forgot some essential steps. Still, it was fantastic. (If you accidentally marinate in just plain apple cider, rather than a brine, simply put salt, pepper, coriander, dried sage, and fresh rosemary on top of the pork before roasting. It might not be right, but it’s really tasty regardless.) I served it with Ina Garten’s Cranberry Sauce, which I had made for Thanksgiving last year and totally fell in love

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White Bread, Peach Jam, Love Bomb

About a month ago I received a Love Bomb from Wendi of Bon Appetit Hon. What is a Love Bomb, you ask? According to Love Feast Table, it is:

The act of preparing, serving, and sharing a meal or a morsel with someone.

What I received in the mail was a package containing coconut macaroons. What a wonderful coincidence it was that I was right in the midst of a major coconut jag. I was so surprised, so joyed, so impressed… These were delicious and perfect. Definitely the best macaroons I’d ever had. I couldn’t resist eating one immediately, so the picture I have is shy one delicious morsel.

Also, it was a drizzly evening, so the light was crap. It’s not a beautiful photo, but it was a beautiful gesture. I adore Wendi, and it was a real honor to get such a lovely gift from her.

My husband was totally inspired. He’s not a fan of coconut, though he tasted the macaroon and said he was sure it was something a coconut lover would enjoy. He is, however, a huge fan of canning. A few nights earlier I had made a sauce from our CSA peaches, to

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Dessert for Breakfast

We’ve all done it, right? Eaten a slice of pie for breakfast? Or maybe a piece of cake? A couple of brownies or a stack of cookies? No? I’m the only one? Okay, fine. You clearly have more self control than I do. Well let me tell you, this breakfast will satisfy the urge for something sweet in the morning without breaking your calorie budget. It’s simple, it’s fast, it’s sweet, and it goes amazingly well with your morning coffee. It’s chocolate coconut oatmeal, and it’s even kinda healthy.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup rolled oats (not quick oats) – 75 calories
1 tablespoon sweetened shredded coconut – 40 calories
1 teaspoon brown sugar, packed – 17 calories
1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder – 3 calories

Combine ingredients in a microwave safe bowl with 1/2 cup of water and stir. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, or until oats are soft and the mixture rises evenly. Stir, serve.

It takes 2 minutes from start to finish, it will satisfy your morning sweet tooth, it’s filling, it uses heart-healthy oats, and it’s only 135 calories. Does it get any better than that? I think not.

If coconut isn’t your thing, you can use a heaping

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Pressure Cooker Risotto and Pork Chops

My husband bought me a pressure cooker a few weeks ago, and I’m doing my best to learn how to use it. It’s a lot easier then I expected it to be! So far the results have been stunning. I made amazing fall-off-the-bone ribs in just 45 minutes, but this post is not about ribs. It’s about my first successful risotto! Every prior attempt at making risotto had resulted in a gummy mess, and a host of complaints from my diners. This one, though, is wonderful. It’s fast, and it’s so easy. I should have a picture of this recipe, but I don’t. Apologies! We ate it too quick to take photos. Trust me, though, it’s simple and it’s beautiful.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 boneless thick-cut pork chops
1/2 onion, chopped, about 1 cup
1/2 cup dry white wine or sherry
1 cup arborio rice
4-5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, about 1/4 cup
1 1/2 cups broth, either chicken or vegetable
2 teaspoons garlic powder
fresh herbs

Heat olive oil in the pressure cooker over med-high heat. Brown pork chops on both sides and remove them to a dish. Brown the onions in the remaining oil, then add the

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Asian Slaw

I’ve been getting things from my CSA that I have never dealt with before. That’s actually why I joined the CSA, to push myself out of my culinary comfort zone. Of course I also enjoy the fresh, local, organic produce, and I love being able to support a farmer that lives only a few miles from my home.

This week my share of the harvest included heads of cabbage, napa cabbage, and kohlrabi. Strange as it sounds, I’ve never worked with cabbage in my kitchen. And I’d never even tasted kohlrabi. So after some discussion with my bff, I decided that an Asian slaw would be my best bet. Let’s ignore the fact that I don’t care for cole slaw, and I’d never had an Asian slaw before. She told me how she makes hers, I read over a dozen different recipes, and then I dove in. What I ended up with was beautiful and delicious.

The salad:
2 heads of green cabbage
1 head purple cabbage
2-3 bulbs kohlrabi
2 carrots
a few handfuls of snap peas
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves

The dressing:
2 limes and 2 oranges, juiced
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup hot chili oil

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Chunky Pasta Sauce For Cheaters

I like my pasta sauce chunky. Mighty chunky. Chunkier than any jarred sauce could ever provide, yet I’m too lazy and pressed for time to start completely from scratch. My sauce is a hybrid, using fresh ingredients to bulk up a good store-bought jar of sauce. On this particular day I forgot to buy mushrooms, which was disappointing. Don’t be like me. Use mushrooms.

Chop up 2 sweet bell peppers.

And a few tomatoes. This is 6 Roma tomatoes.

Make sure you have some basil. Basil brightens up the whole dish.

Saute the peppers and maybe some onion in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, until they brown and soften a bit. Add some garlic in there, too. I didn’t because I was using a sauce that started pretty garlicky. While they’re cooking, brown some ground beef if you’re into meat sauce. I am very into meat sauce, so I use 1-1.5 pounds per jar of sauce.

Add your tomatoes and basil.

Cook over medium heat until the tomatoes break down most of the way.

Grab your sauce…

And pour it in. If you’re using meat, add it now.

Cook the sauce for a few minutes to get it nice

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