A collection of seasonal recipes and stories

Archive for February, 2009

winter veg slaw

Whenever I’m called upon to feed a crowd my thoughts turn to slaw.  Truth be told, my thoughts turn to slaw — with its delightful crispy, crunchy freshness — far more frequently than any social engagements require, but the point here is that slaw is the perfect thing to take along to a picnic or a potluck or any sort of food-related festivity.  It’s easy, inexpensive, and it can be made from whatever vegetables happen to be in season.  Although it’s a great do-ahead dish because the longer it sits (within reason) the more the flavors blend, it can just as easily be thrown together at the last minute for an impromptu gathering without sacrificing a great deal of yumminess.  Plus slaw looks pretty, tastes fabulous, and is a hell of a lot better for you than pigs in a blanket.  In fact, I whipped some up earlier in anticipation of Academy Awards revelry.  


chocolate cutout cookies

Two years ago, when Chris and I still lived nearly a thousand miles apart, I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning, chilling and rolling and cutting small hearts out of shortbread dough, dipping freshly-baked cookies into melted chocolate, waiting for the chocolate to harden so I could nestle each little heart into a cocoon of parchment paper and bubble wrap, and generally wishing I’d chosen a slightly less complicated way to express my undying devotion.

Thus a tradition was born, minus the whole overnight shipping thing, of course. (more…)

quick puff pastry + rustic rosemary tart

You know those furrowed-brow-type people you see  in the grocery store picking up packages of this or that, frowning at labels and then returning the offending products to the shelf with a disgusted little shake of their heads?  I am one of those people.  I like to think I’m not the only one of those people, but it stands to reason that if there were more of us the labels wouldn’t be quite so full of unpronounceable bullshit.  Which brings me to the puff pastry.  

Unless you live near a Trader Joe’s or a Whole Foods (I don’t) and are comfortable spending six or seven dollars on a sixteen ounce package of crap-free frozen puff pastry (I’m not), your choices are limited:  Pepperidge Farm in all of its partially hydrogenated glory or nothing at all.  I’ve generally gone with the nothing at all option, but after years of rejecting scads of perfectly delicious-sounding tart recipes, I had a puff pastry epiphany.  “How hard can it be?” I thought, and set about gathering the necessary ingredients.