Chestnut Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter

Chestnut Flour Gnocchi in Sage Brown Butter Sauce

Oh, the joys of being a Minnesotan.

We were lucky enough to be treated to an unseasonably warm Saturday this past weekend.  It was in the upper sixties.  In November.  It felt balmy, it felt springlike, it felt…

…especially cold Sunday when the temperauture dropped forty degrees and snow flurries started falling.

But it’s November, it’s Minnesota, and millions of people in less land-locked parts of our country have far worse weather related woes right now.  So I won’t complain; I’ll cope.

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Pumpkin & Goat Cheese Tart with Hazelnut Brittle

Pumpkin & Chevre Cheesecake with Candied Hazelnuts

Something important happened this week.  I am taking a stand, committing to a position.

Don’t worry, it’s not political.  It’s about pumpkin.

For years I’ve been undecided, straddling the fence between loving and hating pumpkin desserts.  I should like them- I adore squash and like not-too-sweet desserts, but pumpkin has never been my pie of choice, nor have I ever gotten excited about pumpkin bars or the crazy pumpkin drinks coffee shops are hawking this time of year.  I probably would have happily stayed on the hate-side of the fence if it weren’t for my pumpkin-lovin’ bf whose taste buds occasionally influence what I bake.

It has taken me years to get to this place in my life, but this recent concoction makes me proud and confident in taking a stand and saying it.

People, I’m no hater.  I love pumpkin!

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Whole Roasted Branzino with Lemon & Fennel

Mediterranean Sea Bass

Until recently, I was really intimidated by the prospect of cooking a whole fish.  I thought there was just too much that I needed to know, knowledge that could not be grasped by this land-locked Mid-westerner that is not the daughter of a fisherman.

The turning point came in Italy last summer when Matt and I ordered whole fish  in a restaurant for the first time.  We went up to the display of fresh seafood, picked our victims, and sat down to our primi piatti.  Before I knew it, our empty pasta plates were being cleared and our waiter was table-side, filleting our two little fish.

Wow…those fish went from being nestled in ice to being grilled and sitting on my plate in a very short amount of time.  And they were delicious.  Maybe it’s not so complicated after all.  Maybe I can do this…

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Chicken & Olive Meatballs in Consommé

I’ve been accused of only posting decadent diet-busting recipes on my site.  Harsh…I know cream cheese streusel coffee cakes, pork-on-pork roasts, and nutella cream filling aren’t for everyday eating.  They’re treats.  Believe me, I’m eating plenty of really boring healthy meals between those posts.

Here’s a recipe that proves I’m not a total glutton and that simple, healthy foods can be blog-worthy.  It is a chicken consommé with baked chicken-olive meatballs and strands of Swiss chard.  Perfect; I’m calling it consommé so it sounds all French and elegant, it’ll be healthy because there’s a bunch of barely wilted chard in it, satisfying enough for dinner because there will be half a dozen meatballs bobbing around in each bowl.

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