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November 22, 2014

Cranberry sauce: like or dislike?

Cranberry sauce.

Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, even favorite cooking gear. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.

In the house where I grew up, cranberry sauce came from a can. It plopped out in one solid mass, and my mother sliced it into thick, slithery circles. My oldest grandson adores that canned jellied cranberry sauce; the rest of my family prefers the whole berry variety, which is especially good on sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving. One time, many years ago, I tried to get fancy and make a cranberry mold. It all went well, until I unmolded it onto a platter over the kitchen sink... and watched it slide right off the plate and down the drain. I'll bet it would have been delicious.

Cranberry sauce: like or dislike?

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November 19, 2014

Broccoli, cheddar and mashed potato quiche {vegetarian}

Broccoli, cheddar and mashed potato quiche, made with Thanksgiving leftovers. #vegetarian

Finding leftover mashed potatoes in the refrigerator the morning after Thanksgiving is like finding a half-finished bottle of leftover wine. It almost never happens. However, if you're lucky enough to have just a cup of creamy mashed potatoes, you can make a brand new quiche that has not a hint of leftover about it. (If you also have some leftover cooked broccoli, use it here. Nobody will know.) This quiche takes all of the ingredients of a steaming bowl of potato broccoli soup and reimagines them wrapped with eggs and dressed in a crust. What's not to love? You can make this at night, and reheat it for breakfast, brunch or a light supper. Leftovers never looked (and tasted) so good.

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November 16, 2014

Warm Brussels sprouts, almond and goat cheese salad with maple mustard dressing {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Warm Brussels sprouts salad with almonds and goat cheese. #Thanksgiving #vegetarian #glutenfree

I'd forgotten how much my husband Ted loves Brussels sprouts until I watched him devour a bowl of this salad for lunch the other day. I don't love them quite as much, but I could bathe in the warm maple syrup and mustard dressing that gives these particular Brussels sprouts their sweet, tangy character. Country-style grainy Dijon, speckled with whole mustard seeds, adds texture to the dressing, which is made right in the pan with the vegetables. For a holiday meal, do your prep ahead of time, and cook the sprouts at the last minute. The heat of the sprouts will melt the cheese just a little bit. If you don't like goat cheese, use feta, or omit cheese for a vegan salad. Substitute cashews or pecans for the almonds. You'll want to serve this salad warm -- not hot, and definitely not cold. It's perfect for the holiday table, yet quick and easy enough for an everyday side dish with chicken, fish, or steak.

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November 15, 2014

Sweet potatoes: like or dislike?

Sweet potatoes.

Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, even favorite cooking gear. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.

With or without tiny marshmallows on top, are sweet potatoes your thing? I discovered one Thanksgiving a few years ago that I am the only person in my family who likes sweet potatoes at all (five pounds of leftover mashed sweet potatoes went right into the soup pot the next morning). I love crispy sweet potato fries dipped in curry mayonnaise the way a local restaurant serves them, and I also love them mashed, with spices and butter or lots of garlic. Sweet potatoes are slightly higher in fiber, and slightly lower on the glycemic index, than white baking potatoes, making them a slightly healthier choice when the potato craving hits. 

Sweet potatoes: like or dislike?

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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