Recipes

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Recipe: Green Bean Fries

There is something subversively satisfying about finding a fried vegetable recipe in a healthy eating book. I was thumbing through Clean Start: Inspiring You to Eat Clean and Live Well with 100 New Clean Food Recipes by Terry Walters. Hidden somewhere between the longest title...

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Recipe: Cranberry and Apple Cake
Listen to Ina. She is wise. When the Barefoot Contessa says use a 10-inch glass pie pate, use a glass pie plate. When she says use fresh cranberries, use fresh cranberries. But you know me. I never listen. Or more precisely, I don't always think ahead. I dive into recipes head first, often to find the culinary waters muddy, turbulent or shallow. With company arriving and frozen cranberries going begging, I made the best choices I could under less than perfect circumstances. So, when faced with using a 9-inch glass pie plate or a 10-inch ceramic pie plate, I pulled out the larger dish. When forced to choose between using frozen cranberries or producing no dessert at all,  I opted for frozen fruit. And while I stand by my decisions, I paid a price.
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Ginger Orange Carrot Soup
Carrot Orange Ginger Soup - TheMessyBaker.com I'm not psychic but something tells me that before the winter is over, my copy of Jeanelle Mitchell's For the Love of Soup is going to be dog-eared, grease-splattered and a fought over. Sorry extended family, but you'll have to get your own copy. I can't imagine being without mine for long. I first heard about this book more than a year ago from my beef-searing buddy, Heather Travis. One minute we were dissing salt-laden condensed soup, the next she was raving about a little recipe book I'd never heard of and begging me to find a copy. As luck would have it, Whitecap recently reissued the nearly decade-old title last month -- with a makeover to match its younger sister, For the Love of Salad. Like its older sibling, For the Love of Soup isn't a photo-rich, high-maintenance bombshell you drool over but abandon after a few dishes. Instead, this quietly pretty book is the kind you bring home to the family.
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Recipe and Giveaway: Chipotle Shortbreads
Move over Julia Child and Paula Dean. I'm the Butter Queen today. Now that the jack-o'-lanterns have been extinguished and the last of the waxy mini-chocolate bars have been gobbled, we can safely move onto thoughts of holiday baking. While I'm not ready to rummage in the basement for stockings and mistletoe, I am more than ready to plot the goodies I'll be baking in my recently renovated kitchen. And as I do, visions of shortbreads dance in my head. Those who know me will vouch that I'm a huge shortbread fan, making variations that run from a classic 4-ingredient cookie to a savory Pecan Cheesie. So when I was offered the chance to post a butter giveaway, I couldn't say no. "Butter give away?" you ask in a mixture of awe and joy. Yes, butter give away. Who says dreams don't come true?
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I’m Cooking Beef at the Royal

Don't say I didn't warn you. You are amongst the first to know. In fact, I haven't even had time to tell my parents yet, so no complaining about the short notice. My news? On Sunday, November 7th at 1 pm, I'm hitting The Entertaining at...

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Recipe: Plum and Orange Sorbet
The pears went bad so I called on the plums. The plums started to go so I... reached for the ice cream maker. I could have made preserves, but I had too few plums to make jam worthwhile. The fruit would have slipped from iffy to unusable by the time I had found the jars, sterilized them, heated the water bath, located the labels...  No, I needed a quick fix. Plus, I'm still in the any-excuse-to-use-my-brand-spanking-new-food-processor stage. The result of my plum panic is a palate cleansing sorbet -- the kind you get in fancy restaurants between courses. You won't want to sit down to a big bowl of this -- unless you've got a lot of chocolate sauce on hand. It's fresh, intense and if you don't rasp away too much of the orange pith, very smooth. It's ideal for a hot summer day. Of course, I created it just as the autumn winds whip in.
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Recipe: Plum, Chocolate & Frangipane Pie
Had the pears held up I would likely be writing about broccoli or Swiss chard. Health food fans lament; pie lovers rejoice. On Saturday, with guests arriving and the clock ticking loudly in my ears, I tossed my dessert plans into the garbage along with the perfect-on-the-outside, punky-on-the-inside pears. Unable to rest upon the laurels of a well-tested dessert, the pressure was on. With little on hand but plums and leftover ingredients from my recent stone-fruit baking exploits, I tossed components together like Dr. Frankenstein creating a new life from. All that was missing were lightning flashes and ominous organ chords. The crust was the leftover pate sucree dough (which froze beautifully). I sprinkled in a layer of chocolate borrowed from the Pear Chocolate Tart,  slathered on butterless frangipane lifted from the recent Peach, Apricot & Plum Galette and topped it all with a generous coating of sliced plums. Using the only egg left in the fridge I whisked in some cream for a custard to hold it all together.
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Recipe: Caramelized Apple Pancake Syrup
Don't get me wrong, I like pancakes. But sometimes the expression "Flat as a pancake," describes my enthusiasm for this dish. Unadorned, they're pallid, uneven, and large-pored. This describes my skin without make-up. It's not something you should be serving guests before noon. Oh, sure I can drizzle them with maple syrup, but sometimes you need to shake things up a bit. It's apple season and since I put apples in the pancakes, why not put apples on the pancakes as well. The results?  A pan of goopy, butterscotchy fruit that cooked in the time it takes to make a supporting batch of flap jacks. So decadent and sweet, it's enough to make the maple syrup sulk.
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Recipe: Plum Frangipane Tart
Plum Frangipane Tart by The Messy Baker Little Jack Horner's got nothing on me. What's he got? A corner, a thumb and a nursery rhyme no one understands. Me? I've got fresh plums and frangipane. That's right. You heard me. Frangipane. I know. It sounds like a resort cocktail, but it's really just fancy food talk for a filling made with ground almonds. And plums and almonds go together like boozy fruit-based cocktails and tiny paper umbrellas --  or sneaky little boys and pies -- so this was combination seemed obvious. I had pastry left over from the annual Thanksgiving Concord Grape Pie -- enough to make a 6-inch tart. So, I got creative with the plums. Compared to the in-your-face-I'm-a-GRAPE pie, this one is subtle. But subtle's good. Good enough to stick your thumb in.
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Recipe: Roasted Squash and Pear Soup
I missed the last of the season's peaches on Saturday by THIS much. You can't see it but I'm holding my thumb and index finger about 4 inches apart. The universal translation for this gesture is one hour of time for each inch of empty air. I got to the Farmers' Market just after 10:00 AM and the grower told me the last few baskets of peaches went "first thing." Since the only 6 o'clock I'm acquainted with arrives at supper hour, I decided my plans for the peaches were just not meant to be. So I grabbed some pears and plums and shuffled home to fill the peach void with something equally luscious but so different I wouldn't feel cheated. As I walked in the kitchen and slammed the door, the large butternut squash on the counter rolled over like a surrendering puppy. The answer was  soup.

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