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Apple, Cheddar & Rosemary Popcorn

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Apple, Cheddar & Rosemary Popcorn

Cheese popcorn should not involve powdered cheese — that is a fact. I was recently looking for a recipe and I came across a bunch online that called for powdered cheddar cheese. Where do you even get that?

I thought about this cheese-related problem for a bit and came to the conclusion that I could probably just melt cheese on popcorn. The only tricky part is not burning the popcorn under the broiler. Whatever you do, when you are at that step, do not walk away from the oven. Just stand there patiently. Just. Stand. There. Trust me on that.

This is also a very versatile technique for getting tasty things to stick to the popcorn. I recently switched it up a bit and did a lemon, garlic and Parmesan cheese popcorn a little while back. Yes, of course just sprinkle Parmesan cheese onto popcorn, but if you toss some garlic butter and lemon zest with the popcorn and then sprinkle a little freshly grated parmesan on top, then do the broiler trick — well, it sticks a lot better. The lemon popcorn, by the way, . . . → Read More: Apple, Cheddar & Rosemary Popcorn

Curry Lentil and Squash Soup with Cilantro Yogurt

Curry Lentil and Squash Soup with Cilantro Yogurt

This is a great meatless meal for when you have winter squash you want to use up or if you just want a hearty bowl of warm soup. Or maybe you’re just bored and you want a food project that will take about an hour. This is what to do if any of those scenarios are true. Plus, it’s just a really delicious bowl of winter soup. So there.

I used a combination of one small acorn squash and one small delicata squash — together they totaled about 1.5 pounds. There’s actually a story behind the squash: I received them (and about 6 more pounds of produce) as part of my kickstarter reward for being a backer of Know Thy Food’s new market! That’s pretty cool, huh?

Red lentils will look nicer, but if all you have is brown lentils, don’t let that stop you from making this. And if you have some naan in the freezer, take this opportunity to toast that up and have it on the side.

If you are a cilantro-hater, you can substitute with parsley.

Curry Lentil and Squash Soup with Cilantro Yogurt

. . . → Read More: Curry Lentil and Squash Soup with Cilantro Yogurt

Danish Meatloaf with Bacon (Forloren Hare)

Danish Meatloaf with Bacon (Forloren Hare)

So, what is the best way to follow a Meatless Monday post? Why a big, meaty one of course! Even jwa, who is not a huge fan of meatloaf was on board with this meal. Danish Meatloaf…who knew? The bacon gets nice and crispy in places and helps keep the meat all moist (the cream helps that too, actually), and there’s lingonberry jelly in the gravy giving it that extra-Nordic flair.

Originally, the recipe said that this serves 8 but I just don’t see how that is at all possible (and it’s not like I’m all Ron Swanson or anything) — we got about four servings, dinner and lunches the next day.

On the side I made some braised greens and we split a Hasselback Potato (just one! sensible!), kind of following this recipe from Nigella, but adding some smoked paprika and Parmesan cheese (and baking at 400 degrees F). That’s something I’ve always wanted to try, ever since seeing what seems like a million photos of this potato dish on Pinterest. The verdict is that I’ll most definitely make this again. The meatloaf as well. Such a delicious, cold-weather appropriate, Scandinavian meal. You . . . → Read More: Danish Meatloaf with Bacon (Forloren Hare)

Meatless Monday: Teff “Polenta” with Sautéed Chard

Teff Polenta with Sauteed Chard

I have been having a lot of fun lately experimenting with out-of-the-ordinary and interesting grains. Teff is no exception. It is a tiny, gluten free, whole grain that is native to Ethiopia and very nutritious. Traditionally, it’s ground into a flour and used for Injera, an Ethiopian flatbread, but the grains can also be cooked whole and then used in soups and stews.

In this recipe, instead of using traditional corn for polenta, I used teff cooked in and flavored with broth, dried herbs, butter and Parmesan cheese. It transforms into a more healthful, slightly-nutty tasting polenta.

To top it off, I’ve used one of my new favorite winter vegetables — chard with a lot of onion and garlic. So good! Especially with a little aged Balsamic vinegar and freshly shaved Parmesan cheese for the top.

You can buy Teff at Bob’s Red Mill but if you don’t have any, you could always make this recipe with regular corn polenta.

Note: Because the polenta needs to set up in the fridge, an easy way to approach this dish is to cook the teff the night before you want to serve it. Simply spread it . . . → Read More: Meatless Monday: Teff “Polenta” with Sautéed Chard

Chelsea

Chelsea
Photo taken August, 2012.

She has an origin story and it goes something like this — my mom and her sister were at a Mexican restaurant in Fargo, ND (later we would learn this was actually Moorhead, MN), over Labor Day weekend in 1992. There were margaritas involved. Some would say multiple margaritas. And there was a pet store next to the Mexican restaurant. Can you see where this is going?

Needless to say, my mom bought (for $5, I think) a cute black and white kitten, intending to bring it home for me as a present. The next day, clearer heads prevailed and the kitten went back. Later that same day, my mom and her sister went to re-get the cat from the pet store. In some versions, the returning and re-procuring of the kitten happens one more time, but I’m not sure that’s true. In all versions though, my mom made my aunt go back in the store and do the actual cat re-getting while she hid in the car. I think that’s true.

Chelsea
June 1992 – February 10, 2013

She was a well-traveled feline and lived in Chicago, IL, Muncie, IN, Flagstaff, AZ, Menlo Park, CA and finally . . . → Read More: Chelsea