meatless meatballs roasted porcini with gremolata gluten-free chocolate chip cookies venison with morel sauce

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archive for December 2009

feeling festive

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Recipe: pomegranate chocolate dessert

I thought I might find a little time to do some festive baking, but it seems that I won’t have much time this season for a variety of reasons. There has been one recipe I’ve been wanting to try out for a couple of months now ever since pomegranates arrived in our markets. Pomegranate seeds are little jewels. We have five large pomegranates sitting on our counter right now. I tend to stock up on them because Jeremy can put away quite a few. My enjoyment of pomegranate seeds increased tenfold several years ago when I learned I could EAT the crunchy center. How about that?

the glamour girl of the fruit world

boozy version

PAMA had sent me a bottle of their pomegranate liqueur last month to inspire and shoehorn me out of this creative funk I’ve been wallowing in. Well, I suppose lack of time and funk are not the same thing, but I have noticed that lack of time can be an inspiration-killer. Jeremy’s immediate reaction was pomegranate martini! Oy, martinis and I have a checkered past. I thought something more tame like a dessert, was in order.

had to try making pomegranate molasses

cutting the cake bases

**Jump for more butter**

catching up with the seasons

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Recipe: cornbread

Sometimes the recipes I post here are completely out of whack with the time of year (although completely in whack with the southern hemisphere, so it’s not a complete bust). I’m probably more guilty of posting summer recipes in winter than the converse. If I could have my druthers, I’d eat summer food in winter. Is that crazy? Don’t get me wrong, I really do love those slow cooked winter stews, soups, and braises. I like to make those in the dead of winter, when temperatures are cold… very cold. Lately it has been feeling like the dead of winter and yet it’s still technically autumn. We’re a little ahead of the curve here in Colorado, I suppose. Time for some food to warm the soul.

Last month my friend introduced me to her favorite charity The Women’s Bean Project in Denver, Colorado. It’s so much more than a charity. The Women’s Bean Project is a non-profit organization that tackles the issues of poverty and hunger by empowering women with the skills to be self-sufficient. When I inquired about sending a donation in, I had a lovely email exchange with Diana Lachiondo who offered to send me some of their products to sample. The Women’s Bean Project gives participants entry-level training in their gourmet food business, turning out packages of soup, chili, bread, dip, iced teas, or cookie mixes. (They have jewelry now too – great ideas for holiday gifts.) What I got was a beautifully wrapped gift basket with several packaged mixes, each one signed by the individual who made it.

i picked the firehouse chili

I had chili on my brain and gave it a spin. The packet contained a gorgeous assortment of dried beans and spices. I merely followed the recipe instructions and added the fresh ingredients like ground beef, tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers. It had a nice kick and received the thumbs up from both Jeremy and myself. Imagine my delight the other day when we were walking through the grocery store in our little mountain town and saw Women’s Bean Project soup mixes on the shelves! Don’t fret if your grocer doesn’t carry their products – you can order online directly from their website for a very good cause.

Making chili also demands cornbread. A friend of mine recently asked if I had a cornbread recipe I could recommend. I had plenty of cornbread recipes, but none that knocked my socks off (the socks, they were still on my feet). Even though there was a mix included in my WBP packet, I had been itching to test drive a version I had dog-eared long ago.

a little sugar never hurts


**Jump for more butter**

hoo boy, it’s cold outside!

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Recipe: tomato soup

It WAS cold outside. Today the weather is bounding back up to a balmy 24°F around here and that means wind – lots of wind. But before the winds came howling through, we had a couple of incredibly peaceful and calm days. It even snowed (thank goodness). It’s a morning ritual when snow has fallen to check the mountain stats at Eldora, our local ski hill. They reported almost a foot of new snow and a current temperature of -6°F. Normally I wouldn’t go near the mountain if they were below zero because our typical winds would make that a less than pleasant experience. But it was a completely calm morning and the sun was shining so… -6°F didn’t sound so bad!

glorious morning

so the black runs are still roped off

We had a solid first day of the season. I know it’s rather late, but if someone can find my snow… thanks. Eventually, the cold did get the better of us and it was time to head home. As my toes endured the painful thawing process in the car, my thoughts turned to some leftover soup I had waiting in the refrigerator. Last month I had posted about a grilled steak sandwich which I love to pair with a bowl of hot tomato soup. So many people asked about the tomato soup! In all honesty, I buy Pacific Natural Foods’ organic tomato soup. It’s one of the few that doesn’t have milk products and actually tastes good to me. But you people shamed me into making my own tomato soup because it seems ridiculous that I have never done it before.

dice an onion

and some garlic

**Jump for more butter**