Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Halloween Candy Mug Cake and a Giveaway

Who says that kids get to have all of the fun on Halloween? Treat yourself to this easy, delicious, and fast Halloween Candy Cake from Jennifer's new book, 5-Minute Mug Cakes. The kids won't notice they're missing any candy and you deserve a treat too this year!

Win a copy of this amazing, must-have book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Halloween Candy Cake
Excerpted from 5-Minute Mug Cakes by Jennifer Lee

If you’re looking for ways to use up leftover Halloween candy, check out this recipe: The chocolate cake base is made with plain chocolate bars, like Hershey’s milk or dark chocolate. It’s then studded with candies of your choice, such as Snickers, Reese’s, and M&M’s—whatever the trick-or-treaters have left behind!

¼ cup (1.5oz) chopped plain chocolate bars (like Hershey’s milk or dark chocolate)
3 tbsp (45ml) fat-free milk
2 tbsp (15g) all-purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tbsp (7.5ml) vegetable oil
2 tbsp chopped chocolate candies of your choice (like Snickers, Reese’s, M&M’s)

Combine chopped plain chocolate and milk in an oversized microwave-safe mug. Microwave for about 40 seconds. Mix with a small whisk until chocolate is completely melted.

Add flour, baking powder, and oil and whisk until batter is smooth. Stir in chopped candy. Cook in microwave for about 1 minute. If cake is not done, heat an additional 15 seconds. Let cake cool a few
minutes. Cake is best consumed while still warm or within a few hours of it being cooked.


5-Minute Mug Cakes

Don't think you can make a warm, gooey homemade cake in under five minutes? Think again! 5-Minute Mug Cakes is the perfect gift for anyone with a mug, a microwave, and a dream. With nearly 100 delectable recipes for cakes, brownies, cookies, and more, every single recipe can be made in an ordinary, microwave-safe mug in just a few minutes. Author Jennifer Lee, creator of Kirbie's Cravings, guides you through simple recipe favorites like:

-2-Ingredient Flourless Nutella® Cake
-Salted-Caramel Chocolate Cake
-Funfetti Cake
-S'mores Cake
-Strawberries & Cream Cake
-Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
-Red Velvet Cake
-Lemon Dream Cake and dozens more!

Featuring special chapters like Skinny Mug Cakes (all under 200 calories!), Gluten-Free Mug Cakes, and even 4-Ingredients-or-Less Mug Cakes, there is no excuse for eating tasteless, packaged desserts anymore. Every recipe in 5-Minute Mug Cakes is simple, fast, and delicious. The best part? If you mix your ingredients right in your favorite mug, there is next to no cleanup!
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Monday, October 20, 2014

Meatless Monday: Whole-Grain Bread Pudding

We thought we'd celebrate this Meatless Monday by sharing a sneak peek recipe from the upcoming vegetarian cookbook The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen by Erin Alderson. Do you have an amazing vegetarian recipe that you want to share? Post it on our Facebook page or tag us on instagram. We'd love to see what you've been cooking up!

Whole-Grain Bread Pudding
Excerpted from The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen by Erin Alderson (publishing April 2015)

There are a few dessert-related gaps in my childhood. During the holidays, I loved going to parties that were filled with cookies, because my favorite, a no-bake cookie, was one my mother never made. Bread pudding also falls into this category, and it wasn't until I was photographing a local café that I even tried it. I finally tasted what I’d been missing: the bread pudding was warm, the custard-like texture was perfect, and the drizzle of heavy cream sent it straight into the realm of the divine. I still dream about that first bite of bread pudding.

My version, though, is a little healthier than the first one I tried. Most of the time, I opt for a whole-grain bread, go easy on the sweetener, and load up on the fruit for extra bulk. Bread pudding is a quick dessert, and I always have all the ingredients on hand: since my husband isn't a huge bread eater, we often have plenty of stale bread lying around.

It’s simple to serve, too. Bread pudding is best served straight out of the oven, but can easily be reheated, and I seriously recommend serving it with a drizzle of heavy cream. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of bread: I've made bread pudding with rye bread before, which is surprisingly good, especially when it’s garnished with a few fresh berries.

Yield: 4 servings

3 cups (180 g) ½-inch (1.3 cm) cubed whole-grain bread
3 large eggs
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
3 tablespoons (45 ml) maple syrup
2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C, or gas mark 4). Place the bread cubes in a 1- or 1½-quart (1 or
1.3 L) baking dish. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and then add the milk, maple syrup, melted butter, and
vanilla extract. Pour over the bread, pressing the bread down with the back of a spoon to cover with
the egg mixture.

Bake the bread pudding for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden and set. Remove from the oven and serve hot. To reheat bread pudding, cover it with foil and place in a 325˚F (170˚C, or gas mark 3) oven
for 12 to 15 minutes until the center is warm.


The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen

Fresh, delicious vegetables should be a staple of any diet, but if you've decided that you'd like to take your Meatless Mondays to a whole new level, then it might be time to ditch the processed foods and meats and try out a vegetarian diet. Eating vegetarian doesn't have to be complicated! In fact, it can be downright scrumptious and satisfying.

The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen helps you to create simple meals that will help you live a happier and healthier life. Erin Alderson, the popular voice behind the whole foods, vegetarian blog Naturally Ella, shows you how to easily eat plant-based vegetarian meals every day.

With 50 core recipes for everything from entrees to appetizers and desserts, The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen guides you through staple recipes such as salads, sandwiches, stir-frys, and stews and easily adapt them to seasonal or oh-hand ingredients. Enjoy spring's fresh asparagus in a delicious frittata and change it up for winter with Curried Butternut Squash and Feta. Core recipes allow readers to build an essential pantry list so eating vegetarian is always easy. And if you feel like going vegan, each recipe can be easily adapted with flavorful substitutions.

Start filling your kitchen, and your belly, with healthy, plant-based ingredients and start eating your way to a happier meat-free life.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Making Pizza at Home: Quick Tips

Making pizza can seem trickier than it actually is, which is likely why we're all so quick to pick up that phone and order one in, right?

Well, it's easier than you think to come up with a delicious pizza right in your own home. Use these tips from Pizza: A Slice of American Pie to help get you started with crafting the perfect pizza pie. Once you smell that melted cheese and take your first bite, you'll say goodbye to delivery for a long, long time. If you get really into it, you should also grab a copy of Kitchen Workshop: Pizza. Of course you'll then be eating pizza every night ;)

And be sure to try the NY-style pizza dough recipe below.

Making Pizza at Home: Quick Tips
Excerpted from Pizza: A Slice of American Pie by Liz Barrett 

- Always use a thermometer to judge water temperature for yeast. If the water is too hot, you’ll kill the yeast and your dough will not rise. Try to stay around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

- If using a pizza stone, place it in the oven before you preheat and give it plenty of time to get nice and hot. The hot surface will help mimic a deck oven.

- Mixing dough raises the temperature, so gauge your water temperature to allow for a temperature increase. 

- Try to resist microwaving refrigerated pizza slices. Pop them in the oven and turn the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. By the time the oven has reached temperature (around the time you start smelling the pizza), the pizza should be just about done.

- The oven temperature on the dial isn't always the true temperature. Invest in an oven thermometer to know how hot your oven is.

- Made too much pizza or brought home too many slices? Wrap them in foil and a freezer bag. They’ll keep for at least a month, and you can reheat them in the oven whenever you have a craving. 

- No time to knead? Ask your local pizzeria, bakery, or grocery store for ready-made dough. Just form your crust and you’re ready to go.

- Has pizza given you heartburn in the past? Ditch the dried oregano and opt for a fresh variety instead.

New York-Style Pizza Dough
Recipe courtesy of Chef Santo Bruno, corporate chef for Marsal & Sons, Inc.
Lindenhurst, New York 

4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 oz. dry yeast dissolved in 1/4 c. lukewarm water
1 to 1 1 /4 c. lukewarm water (around 60 degrees Fahrenheit)
1 tsp. salt
1 /4 c. mild olive oil


Allow dissolved yeast to double in size. Mix all ingredients together (by hand or machine) and knead to a smooth, elastic dough. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rest for at least 8 hours. Dough should double in size. Divide dough into four or five balls, flattening one at a time and stretching to a thin disc about 10 inches in diameter with a thickened edge.

When ready to cook your dough, keep the toppings light (plum tomatoes crushed by hand with salt, pepper and sporadically placed mozzarella). Your pizza will cook quickly on the bottom rack of a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven.

Pizza, A Slice of American History

With liberty and pizza for all. 

There is no doubt that pizza is one of the most popular foods in the United States, cherished by everyone from your average family guy to the Leader of the free world. Americans reportedly eat a combined 350 slices every second! Although pizza has its origins overseas, it has come into full (ahem) flour here in the States. Pizza: A Slice of American History tells the story of how this beloved food became the apple of our collective eye--or, perhaps more precisely, the pepperoni of our pie. Pizza journalist Liz Barrett explores how it is that pizza came to and conquered North America and how it evolved into different forms across the continent. Each chapter investigates a different pie: Chicago's famous deep-dish, New Haven's white clam pie, California's health-conscious varieties, New York's Sicilian and Neapolitan, the various styles that have emerged in the Midwest, and many others. The components of each pie - crust, sauce, spices, and much more - are dissected and celebrated, and recipes from top pizzerias provide readers with the opportunity to make and sample the pies themselves. Illustrated throughout with modern and historical photographs, postcards, and memorabilia, Pizza: A Slice of American History is the most comprehensive and fun cultural history of pizza in the USA ever written.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Carey Apple Juice

I had never thought about making my own apple juice or apple cider or hard cider until I visited Poverty Lane Orchards & Farnum Hill Ciders. There is just something really inviting about the natural sweetness and yet tart qualities of a well-made apple cider.

Turns out it's not as difficult as one would think to make a really amazing juice, cider, or hard cider. Since it's apple season, I thought I'd share this amazing apple juice recipe from Lindy Wildsmith's new book, Artisan Drinks

Carey Apple Juice
Excerpted from Artisan Drinks by Lindy Wildsmith

Carey Organic nestles in a rural valley at the end of a long and winding tree-lined lane, deep in England’s Herefordshire countryside, not far from the River Wye. This recipe is based on owner Martin Soble’s production methods, and includes his tip of including 20% cooking apples alongside the dessert apples for flavor.

Makes 1 gallon

26 lb 8 oz ripe dessert apples
6 lb 10 oz ripe cooking apples such as Bramley or Granny Smith
1 good pinch ascorbic acid

You will also need
Crusher and a basket or other form of apple press
Sterilized bucket

Wash all milling and pressing equipment in hot soapy water, rinse and leave to dry, or dry
with a clean cloth 6 x 25.4 fl oz (75cl) sterilized green glass wine bottles with screwcaps.

Sort the apples, discarding any moldy ones and cut away any bad or bruised parts. Position your crusher over the press. Feed the apples whole (skin and core), or cut in half if they are unusually large, into the crusher. The milled apple bits will fall into the press. When full, pack
the apple down firmly. Press out the juice and collect in a clean bucket. Add the ascorbic acid and stir. Rinse out the sterilized bottles with hot water. Using a funnel, fill the bottles, leaving a small gap of ¾ inch between the top of the liquid and the top of the bottle. Screw down the caps.

Making & keeping: Make in late summer and autumn. Store in a refrigerator for a few days or pasteurize.

Note: If you don’t have a crusher, you can cut the apples into small pieces yourself, or you could invest in a Pulpmaster, but don’t use a food processor because this will turn the apples to mush. I have found that if you want to make your own apple juice, you really need a decent basket press. Otherwise, why not approach a cooperative or artisan juice producer and see if they will juice your apples for you?

Prohibition “cider”
During Prohibition in the early 20th century, the tradition of farm-made cider disappeared, to be replaced by apple juice production. Canny farmers continued to call the apple juice “cider.” To this day many people in the United States still think of “cider” as a nonalcoholic drink. For this reason there is a distinction in the US between “cider” (pure apple juice) and “hard cider,” which is the
alcoholic drink the rest of us know and love. The recipe here is for pure apple juice.

Delicious fruit makes delicious juice
While selection of fruit is all-important, so is variety, ripeness, and condition. According to Martin Soble of Carey Organic, “If you are not prepared to eat your apples, then there is no point in making juice with them.” The apples must be fully ripened for full fl avor and good juice yield. Overripe fruit turns into a mush when pulped, and that can create problems with the juice once it is bottled. The crushing should result in small, clean pieces of fruit. While bruised, moldy, or damaged fruit should be avoided, small fungal spots on the surface of the apple skin do not affect the juice. Windfalls should be juiced as soon as possible before the bruising starts to ferment.

When we peel and cut apples for culinary purposes, we add lemon juice to prevent them from discoloring. In the same way, small amounts of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), 0.5% by volume (roughly a teaspoon per bucket), can be added to fresh juice to prevent it from darkening. Once pressed, the juice should be bottled in green glass to prevent any further oxidation. To ensure that the juice doesn't ferment and turn to cider, the bottles should be carefully pasteurized.


Artisan Drinks Delicious alcoholic and soft drinks to make at home

Re-discover artisanal techniques that were once second nature to past generations and learn to appreciate the pleasure of working within the seasons and collecting natural produce. Artisan Drinks guides you through the methodology of drinks, divided into different types of beverages that all take their basis from fresh natural ingredients that can be sourced locally. There is a huge pleasure in celebrating the outdoors, of becoming intimate with the seasons and the plants, fruits and flowers that grow around you. Preserve every seasonal flavor to enjoy all winter long by creating all of the recipes created by Lindy Wildsmith. Enjoy creating original drinks, giving them as gifts, sharing them with friends and family, and the simple and wholesome pleasures of drinking! Relish the satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself. From organic and nourishing fruit syrups and cordials to sparkling celebratory drinks such as mocktails and summer cups, you will find a wide variety of drinks to make, savor and enjoy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Family Meals: Kitchen Sink Muffins and Grocery Shopping Suggestions

Being a parent is hard. Especially when it comes to meal planning. I know that I am always scrambling to figure out the best things to make for my family. It's even hard in the grocery store figuring out what to buy that is both healthy AND fast and easy.

This is why I'm really addicted to the following two books: The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet by Laura Fuentes and Clean Eating for Busy Families by Michelle Dudash.

These amazing books have some great suggestions of healthy, easy recipes to make for your families as well as some suggestions on how to be a better family meal grocery planner and what to stock your pantry with. Important advice, if you ask me.

So I thought I'd share with you. Hope you find the below information helpful.

Kitchen Sink Muffins
Excerpted from The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet by Laura Fuentes

My favorite kinds of recipes are those that are flexible and will yield delicious results. Recipes that, on any given day, I can make work with what I might have in my pantry. These muffins are just that kind of recipe. When you mix and match any of the add-ins, even your pickiest eater is sure to find a combination that they will love.

For Muffins:
2 cups (250 g) whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons (14 g) ground flax meal
2 teaspoons (9 g) baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¹⁄3 cup (67 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (245 g) unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons (28 g) melted butter
¹⁄3 cup (78 ml) milk

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a standard-size muffin pan with liners. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add in the applesauce, melted butter, and milk, and stir until thoroughly combined, creating a smooth, stiff batter. Gently fold in the add-ins, if using, and then divide the batter equally, spooning it into the muffin cups.

Bake the muffins for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden. Transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store the remaining muffins in an airtight container.

Yield: 12 muffins

Laura’s Tip
You can freeze muffins after they are baked and cooled for future grab-and-go breakfasts. To rewarm, heat the muffin for 10 to 15 seconds in the microwave.


Weekly Shopping
Excerpted from Clean Eating for Busy Families by Michelle Dudash

Make quick weekly sweeps through the market for fresh proteins, produce, dairy, deli, and baked goods. If you know you’ll be eating dinner at home three nights this week, you can decide on three recipes you will prepare or three proteins and vegetables.

Suggested Weekly Shopping List

» Snack vegetables, such as baby carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, jicama, and cherry tomatoes
» Dinner vegetables
» Seasonal sandwich and salad vegetables: tomatoes, avocados, and cucumbers
» Lettuce greens
» Italian flat-leaf parsley
» Scallions
» Fruit: berries and stone fruit (spring, summer), apples, grapes, and pears (fall), and citrus and kiwi (winter)
» Dairy or nondairy substitutes: low-fat Greek yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, kefir, and shredded,
sliced, and snack cheeses
» Baked goods: 100 percent whole-grain (sprouted preferred) sliced bread, English muffins, and tortillas
» Hummus dip
» Vegetarian-fed eggs
» Fresh tofu and tempeh
» Seafood, such as tilapia, salmon, barramundi, shrimp, rainbow trout, and cod
» Poultry, mostly skinless
» Lean meat, such as pork tenderloin and chops; bison; and organic or grass-fed ground beef, or flank steak

Busy Family Convenience Foods

Following are a few smart choices for packaged foods, should your family find them helpful to have
on hand:

» Lower sodium soups and canned vegetables
» Fruit cups in 100 percent fruit juice or water
» Lower sodium natural deli meats
» Natural granola or snack bars with fruit, nuts, or whole grains listed as the first ingredient
» Whole-grain tortilla chips made with nutritious oils
» Natural microwave popcorn

Monthly Shopping

Set aside a couple of hours to shop each month without the kids. Shop with a plan and stock up on grains, frozen and canned goods, and other staples. I recommend keeping a running list on the fridge so that when you are tasked with writing the list you already have a head start and won’t forget to restock when you run low.

Suggested Monthly Shopping List

» Produce for recipes: lemons and limes, yellow onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, and garlic
» Frozen peas, corn, carrots, and shelled edamame
» Variety of whole-grain rice, pasta, and quinoa
» 100 percent whole-grain breakfast cereal and granola
» 100 percent whole-grain crackers
» Brown rice cakes
» Salad dressing made with olive or canola oil and minimal added sugar
» Tub spreads made with olive or canola oil and no hydrogenated oils
» Nuts and seeds
» All-natural nut and seed butters with no hydrogenated oils
» Dried fruit with minimal or no added sugar
» Organic or reduced sodium broth (vegetable, chicken, and beef)
» Pouches of salmon and light tuna
» Canned or dried beans: garbanzo, black, white, kidney, and pinto
» Cans or cartons of tomato products: whole, diced, crushed, sauce, and paste
» 100 percent fresh fruit juice
» Treats if you choose: dark chocolate, natural whole-grain cookies, dark-chocolate-dipped fruit and nuts


The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet

We all know that kids need to eat right and get the nutrition they need to be their best all day long. So why not make lunches that will power their growing brains and bodies? Making lunches at home is a great way to keep your child healthy. Not only does it allow you to nourish your child with the most pure and wholesome ingredients, but it also gives you the peace of mind of knowing what has gone into every bite your little one takes. Full of recipes to suit every age and stage, The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet shows you how simple and easy it is to prepare food that'll be the envy of the lunch table. The 200+ adorable and inspiring recipes in this book are just as much a joy to make as they are to eat! There are even entire lunchbox meals that are gluten-, soy-, and/or nut-free. Make your own super-delicious, super-nutritious homemade lunches today--it's guaranteed to be at the top of the class!


Clean Eating for Busy Families

All moms know what a struggle it can be to get dinner on the table night after night—you want to prepare healthy meals for your family, but picky eaters, busy schedules, and way-too-long cooking times always seem to stand in your way.

Clean Eating for Busy Families takes the challenge out of putting delicious food on the family table on a nightly basis by providing you with a clear plan for dinner success. With streamlined weekly grocery lists, simple-yet-delicious recipes, and practical tips for healthy family eating, you’ll find it a cinch to trade in that uninspired takeout for wholesome meals that don’t just put your tummy to ease, but your mind too.

It’s Quick: From easy sautés and casseroles, to slow cooker meals, to pan-less grilling, all the recipes you’ll find inside list both mode and length of cooking time, so there’s no time wasted trying to figure out a time plan or what works best for your schedule. Plus, most recipes can be prepared in thirty minutes or less!

It’s Clean: The ever-growing “clean food” movement, which focuses on a healthy, whole foods-based approach to eating, lies at the foundation of this book, so you can be sure you’re feeding your family the very best. From wholesome ingredient lists to nutritional analysis on every recipe, you can feel confident that every meal you prepare is both nutrient-rich and calorie-conscious.

It’s Green: Featuring eco-friendly tips, along with information on how to go green while shopping and cooking, you’ll find it a cinch to keep your family and the planet happy. You’ll also find the peak season noted on every recipe, as well as substitutions for ingredients that are out of season, so you can adapt according to what works best for you.

And most importantly…it’s delicious! From Orange Peel Chicken & Broccoli Stir-fry with Brown Rice to Baja Fish Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Summer Berry Slump with Vanilla Greek Yogurt, you’ll enjoy night after night of delicious home cooking—without any of the hassle. Get started creating new and exciting dishes for your family today!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Southern Food Heritage Day: Indian-Spiced Okra with Chickpeas

Oh no! We are three days late to celebrate Southern Food Heritage Day! Well, no worries. We'll just celebrate late. Better late than never, right?

Whether you live in the South, are from there originally, or just love to try new ingredients and recipes, today is for you. We're sharing one of our favorite southern recipes from Brys Stephens' cookbook, The New Southern Table. This okra recipe uses a classic southern ingredient and gives it an international spin.

Do you have a favorite southern recipe? If so, be sure to share it with us by connecting on Facebook, Twitter, instagram, Google+, and Foodie. We'd love to hear from you.

And be sure to check out our southern food series with Reggie. See all of the recipes here.

Indian-Spiced Okra with Chickpeas
Excerpted from The New Southern Table by Brys Stephens

Okra is common throughout Asia, especially in India, where it’s called lady fingers. Its earthy flavor benefits from an array of bold Indian spices. The deeply toasted tomato paste adds depth of flavor; and the chickpeas are a healthy addition that also adds texture. This dish works as a side or as a main course over any grain.

3 tablespoons (45 ml) vegetable oil
2 tablespoons (22 g) mustard seeds
1 tablespoon (6 g) cumin seeds
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1⁄2 pounds (680 g) okra, any tough stem ends trimmed off and discarded
3 tablespoons (48 g) tomato paste
1 1⁄2 cups (360 g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained (1 can, 15 ounces, or 430 g)
1 cup (235 ml) water, or less as needed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds, and cover as the mustard seeds will start to pop. Shake the pan 1 to 2 minutes, or until the popping subsides. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the okra and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste (which may splatter, so be careful) and stir to coat the okra and to toast the tomato paste on the bottom of the pan, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chickpeas and enough water to coat the bottom of the pan; season lightly with salt and pepper, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the okra is bright green. Uncover the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, another 2 to 4 minutes,
or until the sauce thickens and the okra is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


The New Southern Table

Immerse yourself in The New Southern Table, a celebration of food, culture, and quintessential Southern ingredients. Food writer, photographer, and fifth-generation Southerner, Brys Stephens, shares his love of travel and food and reinterprets classic Southern ingredients with recipes from diverse world traditions. Often oversimplified as "y'all" cuisine, Southern food, at its heart and soul, has always been fueled by local ingredients and flavors. Okra, peaches, pecans, and collard greens are just a few of the beloved Southern ingredients found on farms--and dinner tables--all across the American South. Many world cuisines have even developed age-old flavor combinations, techniques, and dishes based on these very same ingredients--from lima beans and sweet potatoes in South America to corn and watermelon in Asia. With 100 recipes, each showcasing home-grown ingredients,

The New Southern Table tours through French, Mediterranean, Asian, and Latin cuisines. Try Greek-inspired Okra with Tomato, Feta, and Marjoram or Caribbean-infused Coconut Hoppin' John. Savor flavor-infused main dishes such as Herb Grilled Bison with Fig Chutney and sides such as Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Yogurt, a unique spin on meat and potatoes. Sicilian Watermelon Pudding elegantly balances sweet, sour, and bitter flavors. With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, the recipes in this book will quickly become down-home favorites at American tables, new and old.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

As a Canadian living in the States, I get a lot of "Canada has a Thanksgiving? Why?" Sure, Canadians don't have pilgrims and school plays or giant Black Friday events, but we do have a lot to be thankful for... like fresh fruits and vegetables that we can harvest before the snow comes. That's why we celebrate in October and not at the end of November. I mean, have you ever seen Canada in November?

Okay, slight over-exaggeration, but you know.

Anyhow, I thought today I would share some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes with everyone. Whether you're celebrating today or prepping/planning for your end of November festivities, these recipes are must-try.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Walnut Crumble
Excerpted from The Homemade Flour Cookbook by Erin Alderson

Yield: 2 side-dish servings

1 medium sweet potato
1 ounce (28 g) blue cheese
1 tablespoon (15 ml) heavy cream
1⁄2 clove garlic, minced
1⁄4 cup (25 g) walnut meal
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6). Pierce the sweet potato 4 or 5 times with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and bake until soft, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Cut the sweet potato in half and scoop out the flesh into a medium bowl, leaving a 1⁄4-inch (3-mm) shell of sweet potato around the edges of the skin. Add the blue cheese, heavy cream, and garlic to the sweet potato in the bowl. Whip the mixture until well combined and spoon it into the sweet potato shells.

In a bowl, combine the walnut meal, salt, and pepper. Rub in the olive oil until the walnuts are coated. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potatoes. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the walnuts are browning and the cheese is melted.


Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Green Bean and Bacon Casserole

Thelma's Southern Chicken Gizzard Cornbread Stuffing

All-in-one Thanksgiving Dinner

Honey Wheat Rolls

Bourbon Pecan Pie


The Homemade Flour Cookbook

Have you heard? Milling at home can be less expensive and healthier than buying pre-ground flours! Much of the flour that is sold in grocery stores has been stripped of its nutrients and has extra ingredients and preservatives added to prolong shelf life. Not only that, but some flours, like almond, can run as high as $15 per bag! There has to be a better way.

There is with The Homemade Flour Cookbook. Erin Alderson will explore the different ways to grind flour including electric and non-electric grinders, food processors, blenders, and even coffee grinders, making it easy for any do-it-yourself homemaker to have fresh flour whenever needed.

Try out great grain recipes like Cheddar Rosemary Farro Scones, Zucchini Feta Empanadas, Einkorn Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls, and Black Pepper Pasta with Goat Cheese and Pesto. There are also dozens of Gluten-Free recipes. Check out Cheddar jalapeño quesadillas with quinoa tortillas, Berry Crisp with Oat Dumplings, or Buckwheat Dutch Baby with Maple Cherries! There are even recipes for legume, nut, or seed flours. Flatbread with sun-dried tomato dip and Feta and Curried Red Lentil Dip are just a few of the recipes that you'll make with your own hand-milled flour!