autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower
It’s the middle of fall, Thanksgiving is in a couple of weeks, we’d like to make a start on Christmas shopping, and most of us are trapped in one sort of a lockdown or other. But there is nothing to stop you going grocery shopping, and then honing your chef skills.
These recipes have a kind of mid-autumn, pre Thanksgiving flavour. In one case I would strongly recommend serving a decent sherry or Madeira to go along with the cake. In fact, why not treat yourself to a decent glass of something any way. You deserve it, and you probably won’t be driving to work today.
(BTW for new readers, and if you just don’t know, if you click on the highlighted recipe name you will go right to that dish on the chef’s own website.)
First up this week, from Half Baked harvest we have this delicious looking 4 Cheese Sage Pesto Florentine Lasagna. How great would this be to make ahead for your Thanksgiving parties? (NB. Women should be very careful of too much sage.)
4 Cheese Sage Pesto Florentine Lasagna
Another pasta dish from Diane at In Dianes Kitchen; a very warming Cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole. (Noodles are pasta too.) This is a very easy dish, even most of my fellow single men could make, (and most single men cannot cook).
Cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole
Now a really pretty midweek dinner from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower; Honey Garlic Shrimp Farro Bowl with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette. And how fabulous to serve this if you have friends over for a pre or post Thanksgiving lunch.
Honey Garlic Shrimp Farro Bowl with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
Tiffany from Creme de la Crumb has a very seasonal dish in this Candied Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole, (with marshmallows). Being English I’m not quite certain if this is an entree or a dessert. No doubt someone will enlighten me.
Candied Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole
Joy Wilson at Joy the Baker has come up with what has to be the longest recipe name ever, (and that’s saying something here), Dad’s Perfect Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Sweet Potato Pie. You have got to make this just so you can tell your guests what it’s called.
Dad’s Perfect Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Sweet Potato Pie
And finally for this week. As you would expect from Heather Christo we have an extremely pretty dish, this time a Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake, which is both vegan and gluten free. How brilliant for afternoon tea around thanksgiving, although I’d serve this with sherry and not tea.
Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake
if you have never tried a good Maderia wine, then you have no idea the heaven you’re missing out on
believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see
Halloween is a little ways off yet, but I know that many of you will already have pulled your decorations out of the garage and started to put them about the place. Anyway, if you’re going to be ready for the fright fest night, you may as well start early.
When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers; ’tis near Halloween…..
From Joy the Baker here’s a dish that you can take to the couch while you watch your favourite scary movie and wait for scary kids to come to the door. Homemade Chili Cheese Fry Bake, sounds deliciously easy to make.
Homemade Chili Cheese Fry Bake
Quick and easy sandwiches are a good idea at All Hallows Eve, and from Damn Delicious we have these Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork buns. Actually, these would be fabulous any time you are out of doors.
Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork
Something seasonal from Ali at Gimmie Somme Oven; Healthy Pumpkin Muffins, sweetened with maple syrup, vegan, and gluten free, great with spiced rum.
Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
To drink at Halloween, what could be better than Hot Pomegranate Cider, following this recipe from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats; (How Scary Eats?). If you really want to blow your mind, then get a bottle of Calvados and add a slug of that to each cup.
Hot Pomegranate Cider
A fabulous looking and powerful sounding drink from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest; Voldemort’s Dark Serum. There are two quite dangerous ingredients in this concoction; tequila, and sage ~ and if you don’t think sage has an incredibly powerful effect on women, then you ain’t no herbalist.
Voldemort’s Dark Serum
Here’s a collection and a half for you, from Delish Magazine Scary-Good Halloween, which has more than 100 differently scary recipes. (Actually it’s 3 different collections including 45 Spooky Eats for a Grown-Up Halloween Party.) From there I’ve chosen this Black Bean Pumpkin Soup from A Foodcentric Life.
Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
darkness falls across the land
the midnight hour is close at hand
the basis of all happiness is good health
It’s all very well my trying to eat a very healthy Paleo diet, but face it, if the recipes are too difficult or too time consuming I’m just not going to make them. There is a limit to how much time a chap living alone is prepared to spend in the kitchen.
All of these recipes are healthy and easy, so enjoy.
First up this week, from Ali at Gimme Some Oven we have chicken and wild rice soup. May as well face it, it this viral epidemic gets worse we may all be glad of some chicken soup. This is real comfort food.
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.
Next, from Joy The Baker we have a roasted lemon chicken soup. This looks and sounds fabulous. I’ll bet this is a great pick-me-up too,
Roasted Lemon Chicken Soup
From Well Plated by Erin there this great looking but deceptively easy salmon wellington, (although I would have called it salmon en croute). I’d serve this with roasted asparagus. What a fabulous and fabulously easy meal to serve for dinner, or for a dinner party
Another salmon dish, sheet pan chipotle salmon with cilantro lime special sauce, this one from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest; . I like sheet pan cooking, a lot.
Sheet Pan Chipolte Salmon with Cilantro Lime Special Sauce
With St. Patricks day coming up what about trying this Irish Stout beef stew with herbed dumplings? This recipe is from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats. (To be honest, St. Patricks day is a non-event in most of English England. And right now the last place I want to spend any time is in a crowded bar.)
Irish Stout Beef Stew
And finally for this week, from In Dianes Kitchen we have a really simple recipe idea for sugar snap peas and bacon. What a smashing side dish, or with rice it would make a good light lunch to take to work, perhaps.
Sugar Snap Peas and Bacon
even on his little boat, Marmaduke is quite the chef
money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy crawfish
An étouffée is a spicy Cajun stew made with vegetables and seafood. It seems that étouffée is a French word meaning ‘smother’ or ‘suffocate’, which maybe explains why this dish is found in Creole and Cajun cuisines.
It seems that Creole is New Orleans city food, created by people who wanted to stay in the swamp and not go back to Spain or France.
Last week from Joy the Baker, I featured a fabulous recipe for shrimp étouffée risotto. Joy suggests that you cook this dish together ~ whatever floats your boat.
Shrimp Étouffée Risotto
From Imma at Immaculate Bites there is this very fine recipe for a classic shrimp étouffée. It is a pretty quick and easy dish for any dinner-time of the week. Imma also has a recipe for Creole Cajun seasoning that will go well with your étouffée.
This from Taste of Home, a crawfish étouffée. We don’t even have the word ‘crawfish’ in English English. It all sounds so Southern. The dish is featured in 30 Southern Skillet Recipes.
A recipe for Louisiana Crawfish Étouffée from Ashley Kirkland at All Recipes. Just what is a crawfish anyway?
Louisiana Crawfish Étouffée
From that interesting part of the deep south we also get Shrimp Gumbo. This dish from Simply Recipes by Elise Bauer.
And finally for this week a Classic Creole Sauce from The Spruce Eats, written by Diana Rattray.
Classic Creole Sauce
Loretta Lynn was from Louisianna
if music be the food of love, play on…..
At St. Valentine’s Day a young man’s mind turns to love and romance, and having been a young man once I can vouch for that. For all I know a woman’s mind turns to love and romance, and probably food too.
But what to do? Perhaps the young man want’s to take his best girl out for a special meal, in which case find the best restaurant within a reasonable distance of her place, even if you can’t quite afford it….. If the restaurant is in or near a good hotel, and if you think she would like it, then book a room, have champagne sent up.
Or, you could cook something special for the object of your affections. Here are some recipes that might go down well on this Valentine’s weekend.
First for this Valentine’s Day we have a steak. Cooking a great steak is fairly easy if you know how, and Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has a fabulous recipe for smoked ancho chile salted steaks with drunken burst sweet cherries + burrata. If your paramour likes a big red with their steak, then maybe find a bottle of Barolo.
Smoked Ancho Chile Salted Steak
From Joy the Baker there’s a fabulous recipe for shrimp étouffée risotto. Joy suggests that you cook this dish together ~ whatever floats your boat. (An étouffée is a spicy Cajun stew made with vegetables and seafood.)
Shrimp Étouffée Risotto
If you want to risk pasta, what with your date dressed up to the nines and all, then we have 15 romantically simple pasta dinners that scream ‘That’s Amore!’ This from Brit+Cco. This is a very risky dish of linguini with clams, but it’s so easy and so impressive.
Linguini with Clams
Should your love be vegetarian, vegan, of just into eating a lot of plant-based food right now, then Heather Christo has a collection of 100 plant-based recipes. To save you the bother of looking through this list I’ve found you this beet quinoa salad with pomegranate, mint, and pistachio. This dish can serve as a starter, entree or a side, and you can make it ahead of the evening and keep it in the refrigerator.
Beet Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate, Mint, and Pistachio
Our idea for a romantic dessert comes from In Diane’s Kitchen; this delicious looking strawberry pie. Diane says this is the easiest strawberry pie she has ever made, and face it, you don’t want to be spending all evening in the kitchen.
Our final collection for this Valentine’s day comes from Country Living; 65 Best Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas for the Most Romantic Date Night. I particularly like this Engagement Chicken Pasta, but maybe don’t tell her what it’s called unless you have the ring.
Engagement Chicken Pasta
if you are eating Italian, ask if the restaurant has a demi-frizzanti Franciacorta. That will impress.
It is December, and nobody asked if I was ready.
Early December and it’s cold, dark, and drear in the run-up to Christmas. Today there is not much cheer around here, and anyway most people are busy making their arrangements for a great Christmas holiday.
Well, I’ll be on my own in the garret again over the Christmas holidays, so one of the things I should do is cook myself some great food. There are some very cool, very easy recipes in this post, and I hope that we can all enjoy them in the run-up to Christmas Day. I’m wondering if there’s going to be any great Christmas time TV.
First up this week, from Barcelona we have Ali at Gimmie Some Oven who has a healthier broccoli chicken casserole, made with pasta, tender chicken, and broccoli in a cheddar mushroom sauce. Despite everything this is a light and very healthy dish that’s really easy to prepare.
Healthier Broccoli Chicken Casserole
Now from Joy the Baker, something else with a broccoli theme; spicy broccoli pizza with homemade pizza crust. This is far, far better than anything you could buy anywhere, and a great pre-Christmas treat for your casual guests.
Spicy Broccoli Pizza with a Homemade Pizza Crust
Dana Shultz, the Minimalist Baker has a cool recipe for one-pot chicken soup with white beans and kale. This 30 minute recipe does look so easy to make, and it’s warming, healthy, and gluten free. What more could you want on a cold December evening.
One-Pot Chicken Soup with White Beans and Kale
Another great chicken dish, and this time the recipe is from the ever-delightful Heather Christo; creamy tomato baked chicken and pasta. I would use gluten free, or wholemeal pasta, but that’s your choice. Whatever this is a great midweek dinner.
Creamy Tomato Baked Chicken and Pasta
Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest always gives us the longest titles for her recipes, this one is 30 minute Chinese egg drop chicken rice soup with garlicky chile oil. Say no more…..
Chinese Egg Drop Chicken Soup
The collection this week is from Country Living magazine; 85 easy Christmas appetizers that will delight all of your holiday guests. From this huge list I’ve chosen these deviled eggs with old bay shrimp from Carrie Purcell. But make your own choices fro your pre-Christmas drinks party and Boxing Day snacks.
Deviled Eggs with Old Bay Shrimp
some people are almost ready for Christmas
If you want to live a healthy life, eat more broccoli.
Both broccoli and cauliflower are very good for your health, being nutritious, full of fibre, low in calories, and packed with vitamins and minerals. However, broccoli is better for you as it has much more vitamins B, K and C, as well as containing vitamin A which isn’t in cauliflower at all. Broccoli also contains a lot of sulforophane, which is said to have anti-cancer properties.
The main thing with cooking any vegetable is not to boil them to death, because boiling will leach out up to 90% of the good stuff you’re eating the vegetables for in the first place. Anyhow, boiled broccoli and boiled cauliflower are tasteless, and more akin to bad prison / school food than anything you’d want to have at home.
There are some great recipes for these two cruciferous vegetables;
First for this week we have broccoli pesto pasta with whipped ricotta from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest. This is a 30 minute dish that you can also take to work the following day ~ perfect for Meatless Mondays.
Broccoli Pesto Pasta with Whipped Ricotta
From Joy Wilson at Joy the Baker, there’s a cool recipe for roasted cauliflower and plantain tacos. I firmly believe that roasting cauliflower florets is the best way to cook this vegetable. However, I’m not certain about making tortillas from scratch.
Roasted Cauliflower and Plantain Tacos
In Diane’s Kitchen there’s a recipe for chicken stir-fry and ramen noodles, which includes lots of nutritious broccoli. This easy dish should only take you 30 minutes to prepare.
Chicken Stir-Fry and Ramen Noodles
From the Good Houskeeping test kitchen I found this kale and roasted cauliflower salad. Now that the weather is warming up a little, perhaps it’s time to start thinking about salads again ~ and you don’t get much healthier than this.
Kale and Roasted Cauliflower Salad
Well now, this is different from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats broccoli cheddar tots ~ part of her Side Dish Sunday. I guess you can call these very healthy nibbles / appetisers ~ and very interesting.
Broccoli Cheddar Tots
Your collection this week comes from Olive Magazine with their 32 best ever broccoli recipes, including this broccoli and crispy chilli beef stir fry. I just love stir-fry it’s such a quick way to cook food, sealing in all the flavours and all of the goodness.
Broccoli and Crispy Chilli Beef Stir-Fry
click the link to check some out
Good food is as welcome as the flowers in May.
It must be a couple of months since I last wrote a Food on Friday post so for today I originally decided that I was just going to choose some recipes that I really like the sound of, rather trying to stick to a theme.
Well actually, there will be a bit of a theme, I wanted to feature dishes which are pretty easy, don’t take so long to prepare, and will taste really good on a warm, early summer day. But, quite by accident there’s a lot of avocado this week. Must be something to do with some Mexican festival that happens tomorrow.
First up this week, from Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest, we have these cool baked egg crepes with spring herbs and avocado. You should really make your own crepes, but you can buy crepes at stores like Trader Joe’s, and just assemble the fillings. This 25 minute dish will make a great brunch on any nice early summer’s day.
Baked Egg Crepes with Spring Herbs and Avocado
From Chungah at Damn Delicious we have a nice recipe collection; 8 fast pasta dishes for busy weeknights. Here in England we don’t go much on Mac and Cheese, but from this collection there’s this super looking creamy broccoli mac and cheese. Qucik, easy, healthy, and nutritious.
Creamy Broccoli Mac and Cheese
Joy the Baker has this dangerous sounding dish; mango and jalepeno guacamole. I suspect that you’d want to accompany this with beer, rather than tequila.
Mango and Jalepeno Guacamole
Averie Sunshine at Averie Cooks has this nice and very easy dish; taco stuffed avocados ~ and you couldn’t get much more Cinco de Mayo than that. (Actually, I’m English and I know damn-all about Mexican food, or Cinco de Mayo.)
Taco Stuffed Avocados
And now for something completely different; Heather Christo has this brilliant idea which should appeal to all American men ~ the DIY guacamole bar. (At least it should keep the guys out of trouble for a while.)
DIY Guacamole Bar
And now, to celebrate National Guacamole Day, we give you 10 amazing guacamole recipes, brought to you by Shape magazine. This collection includes the amazing celery-spiked guacamole with chiles from bon appétit.
Celery-Spiked Guacamole with Chiles
Finally for this week, and realising that for those of you in the USA the 5th of May is a bit of a holiday, with a slight Mexican touch. From Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes we have 8 ways to show your love of avocados this Cinco de Mayo. Leaving aside a great recipe for guacamole, this collection also includes this interesting chicken posole salad ~ what a smashing idea, and wouldn’t the leftovers be good for lunch at work the following day?
Chicken Posole Salad
Just in case you’re not already satiated with avocado, check out 52 genius ways to get your avocado fix, from delish magazine. This also has lots of guacamole recipes, including BLT guacamole ~ and how cool is that?
Marmaduke is not a big fan of avocado
Almost anyone can cook a great dinner inside half an hour.
When you’re working for a living it isn’t always so easy to find the time to cook a proper dinner, and sometimes we just don’t have the energy after a long day at work, (maybe with a stressful commute thrown in). Ergo during the week what we really want is something very easy for dinner, and preferably pretty quick and requiring the minimum number of pans and dishes.
I firmly believe that the recipes I’m giving you in this week’s Food on Friday fit the bill as far as easy mid-week dinners go, and will also make a great lunch to take to work, or eat at the weekends.
Firstly this week, from San Diego girl Averie Sunshine from Averie cooks we have this really easy chicken stir fry with noodles. Healthy, very easy, and ready in just 15 minutes, this is a great mid-week stand-by dinner. There are lots of vegetables in this dish, miss out the chicken, maybe add cashew nuts, and you could have yourself a vegan stir fry,
Chicken Stir Fry with Noodles
Another brilliant stir fry, this time from Dana the Minimalist Baker, 30-minute cauliflower rice stir-fry. This healthy, flavourful, quick and easy dish is vegan and gluten free, and if you like you could swap broccoli for the cauliflower. What’s not to like.
30-Minute Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry
When it comes to easy mid-week dinners, there’s nothing easier than a pan of soup you already have in the refrigerator. So while some soups may take a while to prepare, make a big pot and you have the basis of several lunches and dinners for the week to come. From Joy the Baker we have a recipe for carrot coconut red curry soup. To begin with, making the soup will take you about an hour, so maybe that’s best done at the weekend, but once it’s made, add some crusty sourdough bread, and you have a great mid-week dinner. This is a vegan dish.
Carrot Coconut Red Curry Soup
Another soup, this time from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats; 30 minute Asian chicken soup. As its says, you should be able to make this big bowl of health in a half-hour. And best of all, this is a one-pot recipe.
30 Minute Asian Chicken Soup.
Now from Heather Christo we have a fast and easy bee pho, this isn’t really authentic because it’s a very shortcut recipe you can have ready in 45 minutes, a lot of which you can use to do other things ~ like find the show you want to watch on TV.
Fast and Easy Beef Pho
Even though it’s autumn, running into winter, and here in England it’s cold, damp, and grey, sometimes we still crave a salad. San Francisco girl Andrea from Cooking with a wallflower has a good recipe for autumn apple salad with maple balsamic vinaigrette. This great looking and very healthy fall salad should be ready in just 10 minutes. Enjoy.
Autumn Apple Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
Finally for this week, a collection for you from Good Housekeeping, midweek meal recipes, all of which should take less than a half hour and use no more than 10 ingredients. I like the look of all the recipes in this collection, but especially I like this quick pan-fried salmon with sweet and sour leeks, (here in the North East of England we love our leeks).
Quick pan-Fried Salmon with Sweet and Sour Leeks
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