Every family has it’s own Thanksgiving customs, and one of my family’s traditions comes straight from another family – NPR commentator Susan Stamberg. Every year, Susan tells the story of her mother-in-law’s cranberry relish, and every year, it’s on our Thanksgiving table.
My dad – experimenter of unusual recipes and maker of the relish (and all things Thanksgiving) – started making the relish probably about 30 years ago. Even Susan S. acknowledges it’s a bizarre mix of ingredients. However, the unusual ingredients (and that it’s frozen!) result in a spicy, tangy, sweet, and deeply flavored side dish that holds it own amid the other flavors at the table. Certainly, regular cranberry sauce always has it’s place at our Thanksgiving table (my brother Eric might riot if it didn’t), but this cranberry relish is my favorite.
(FYI I’m very sure that my love of horseradish is partly why I love this cranberry relish so very much)
If you have been reading this blog for a while you know that I love to turn things into cookies. These pecan pie filling cookies might be my best conversion yet and my first pie to cookie conversion. They have the flavor of pecan pie but the soft warm texture of a cake. They go great with a steaming hot cup of coffee.
Wanna try some of my other cookie conversions?
Curious how I even begin to convert recipes? It has a lot to do with my favorite kitchen book by Harold McGee. Being a scientist, I like to understand how each ingredient plays a role in the final product and this book helped me tremendously. It also helped me when I first tinkered with the Science of Cookies.
Halloween is obviously over, but we are NOT done with pumpkins! Clearly, we still have pies ahead of us at Thanksgiving and I firmly believe that we should continue to honor the hearty squash by utilizing it to its fullest potential between now and the end of the season. Combining savory pumpkin with kale, rice, cheese and baking it whole makes a delicious – and dramatic-to-serve-to-guests – fall dish.
As we previously discussed, making Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good is an annual event in my house. Dorie Greenspan’s fantastic recipe is very much a include-what-you-like sort of recipe, so I thought I’d post about our go-to method – filled with risotto-like creamy rice, tender kale, onion, and cheese, it’s a delicious and filling way to round out any meal (or, in my case, serve as a vegetarian main dish).
To wrap up squash month on the blog here’s another great baked good using pumpkin! Just like the pumpkin chai bread, these pumpkin blondies are a great way to deliver authentic pumpkin flavor during this pumpkin-y time of year. I felt I had to do something with this squash when a friend gave me 4 of her 50 pie beauties from her garden! Pie pumpkins are so easy to work with because I like to just bake them whole to use for recipes like these pumpkin blondies!
How many ways can you use pumpkin?
With so much fresh pumpkin I also peeled and sliced a fresh one up using half for fried slices in ghee (chips!) and the other slices to make a gratin!
It’s obviously the season of pumpkin, and Streusel and I would be remiss if we didn’t spend some time here on the blog acknowledging the gourd and all it’s greatness. As a pumpkin-enjoyer (vs. pumpkin lover), I set out to make this Pumpkin Chai Bread as a treat that is all about fall flavors, but isn’t a wildly over indulgent (the rest of the holiday season is coming, after all, so there is plenty of time for that!)
Because of my like (but not passionate love) of pumpkin, I’m thoughtful about my pumpkin intake (though serving Dorie Greenspan’s Pumpkin Stuff with Everything Good is an annual event in my house). As a result of these boundaries, I’ve determine that drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes or, you know, eating pumpkin-flavored breakfast cereals is not a place that my finite pumpkin enjoyment should not be used up on (side note: these scones and these biscuits fall in to the “totally worth it!” category).
Enter this Pumpkin Chai bread: it combines chai flavor that I love with hearty pumpkin in an easy-to-transfer-to-your-mouth bread form.
As an avid follower of The Real Food Dieticians, they recently introduced me to butternut squash noodles from The Veggie Noodle Co. Both the beets and butternut squash noodles were available at my neighborhood Sprouts. I couldn’t resist trying the butternut squash noodles in a stir-fry since I prefer veggie noodles or cauliflower rice to pasta or rice.
Admittedly owning a hand-held spiralizer can be a real chore when spiralizing sweet potatoes or butternut squash! These ready-made noodles make it easy to add color, flavor and nutrients into almost any recipe.
Happy fall, y’all! We’re plunging in to the season with a month of all things squash-ish. As you could tell from the many many many posts, we had an excellent time at IFBC. But, now we’re back home – away from the sponsored lunches and plethora of snack foods – and ready for some healthy eating.
For this month, we’re focusing on squash – I expect it to be a savory month of autumnal treats. My very favorite thing about this blog is sharing it with my pal Streusel, in part because I love being surprised by what she makes each month – especially when she gets creative with bacon (just because I don’t eat the stuff doesn’t mean I don’t like to be a voyuer…). This month is no exception – we both love squash and I’m excited to find new ways to incorporate it in to my dinners.
Here’s the deal: we’re currently at IFBC, and while we sit and taste new foods, vendors come around and offer us their goods.
Strudel and I are here in Sacramento with our pal, Erica, attending the 2017 International Food Bloggers Conference. Today’s fun started with listening to a panel discussion with bloggers, Best Friends for Frosting and Cake Whiz. Then we were treated to a picnic lunch at California State Capitol Park hosted by Nugget Markets. We ate lunch with fellow blogger Contessa Grigia. I fell in love with this tree in this park!
I’m getting very excited about my upcoming adventure to the International Food Blogger’s Conference, starting at the end of this week. This year’s agenda looks great, I’m always excited to meet new bloggers, and love getting to spend time with my ladyblogging pals, Streusel (of course) and Erica.
This week’s recipe is inspired by one of the sponsors of the conference, the folks who make balsamic vinegar. I’ve got an early morning flight, and I’ve been thinking about a healthy snack I want to take with me (and packing along less food than I did for my last flight – I need to show up hungry!). With my love of all foods tangy, I came up with these savory almonds. They’re filling and healthy, but not the type of food I can stuff myself with (again, helpful when you plan to spend the weekend eating). Also, they’re quick to make and easy to pack up, so I’ll be all set for my flight to Sacramento.