My Cookbook Gift List

This is the time of year for gift lists of all kinds. Right now my social media feeds seem over run with cookbook gift list but this got me thinking, what books would I recommend. Not all of my recommendations were not published this year. That’s not what I am going for. I wanted to recommend cookbooks that are well used, well loved, referenced regularly and had a profound impact on my cooking. Continue reading

A Week of Thanksgiving: Bravetart’s Pumpkin Cheesecake

Like this amazing meal and all that went into it this series is finally coming to an end. Although every bite has been delicious and interesting not to mention one to be thankful for, knowing how to end a meal can be overwhelming. When you look into the world of desserts it’s immense and delicious. You have heard the phrase, “save room for dessert” but if you did that with all that is out there you may not eat anything other than dessert. When it comes to Thanksgiving, pie seems to reign supreme but I have to be honest. Pie has never done it for me. It probably goes back to a texture thing for me but all in all I just don’t get excited for pie like I do just about everything else in the dessert category. Then the question remains what do you do instead?  Continue reading

A Week of Thanksgiving: A Mountain of Cranberries Where do They Belong?

The cranberry is my nemesis. It’s beautiful, it’s vibrant, and it’s quite possibly the only “winter” fruit here in the midwest. But what do you do with it? I have a confession. I have never understood cranberry sauce and in the few places I have tried to make it work in my mind, it never has on the Thanksgiving table. I get the theory, with all those rich, meaty, sweet, and savory flavors you need something to cut through it all so this tart fruit seems like a winner, and hey, if cranberry sauce on a slice of turkey is your thing than great but it just doesn’t work for me. So I have to admit when it found a home on my Thanksgiving table this year in more ways than one I was surprised and delighted.  Continue reading

A Week of Thanksgiving: Garden Bounty

Although for many, if not most, Thanksgiving is long since gone I am still reflecting on it, making all my notes for next year, and sharing my insights. Of all the things that I was thankful for this year on my Thanksgiving table this soup is one that holds a special place for me. Now, I am not a huge soup lover and puréed vegetable soups can sometimes be unpleasant but this Butternut Squash Soup was a winner on many levels.  Continue reading

A Week of Thanksgiving: Pomme Purées, Giblet Gravy and Turkey Stock

Thanksgiving is all about tradition and family. I thought over the 10 years my husband and I have been together that I knew what the key dishes were for him. Early on he and I had a conversation about sweet potatoes. He loves them and I was like, well good luck cause I can’t smell them or I want to ralf, but marriage is about compromise and even sometimes doing things you don’t want to. Continue reading

A Week of Thanksgiving: Green Bean “Casserole”

When thinking about what worked well this Thanksgiving and what to make into their own posts I knew immediately that this years green bean casserole was going to be a focus. Each item this year found meaning and purpose on my list of “why this dish”. You see, I don’t like just doing the spread because everyone does it. I want there to be meaning and purpose in what I make, especially when it’s for a holiday or traditional feast. I will admit I didn’t set out to do that this year but as I honed in on my menu things started to fall into place. Then when the dishes started coming together I really saw why this is MY thanksgiving menu.  Continue reading

A Week of Thanksgiving: The Ferndale Turkey

Recently I was reading a book In Winters Kitchen. In it the author talks about key foods, her relation to them and the journey she took in finding them locally in Minnesota. The book also goes into a lot of major farming issues but we won’t get into that. The irony is I have been pacing myself through this book for a while, digesting each chapter, so to speak. It just so happened that I read the chapter on Turkey in October. In it I learned a lot about Ferndale Market, how they have been farming turkey for over70 years, and how their son, upon returning from college, came home only to discover that their turkeys were not identifiable in stores due to the fact that all the turkeys were being process in the same place. This lead him on a journey to create Ferndale Market. This is a small shop on the farm itself that not only features their turkeys but it also features only midwestern purveyors mainly Minnesota but also a few Wisconsin and Iowa purveyors as well.  Continue reading