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December 1, 2013

Recipe for egg casserole with leeks, red bell pepper and goat cheese {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Egg casserole with leeks, red bell pepper and goat cheese.

It's the morning after a weekend of heavy eating, and still you have family and friends visiting, sleeping in, slouching over their first cups of coffee, needing to be fed. By this time, everyone has had their fill of turkey-potato-stuffing leftovers. You want to send them home with a great breakfast, one that's easy on the cook and a bit kinder to the waistline, and you can't go wrong with an egg and cheese casserole packed with vegetables. After just a few minutes' work, and 35 minutes in the oven, something pouffy and tantalizing emerges, and your guests will feel loved and pampered and never know how simple it was for you to create. In this version, combine low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese with a little bit of goat cheese for a creamy texture. Leeks contribute a sweeter flavor than onions, though either would be fine here. Just add toast, orange juice, the Sunday newspapers, and, well... more coffee.

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November 24, 2013

Sophie's noodle kugel recipe {vegetarian}

Noodle kugel, for any holiday celebration.

Judy, a longtime reader who lives in the Philadelphia area, sent me a favorite recipe for her grandmother's noodle kugel, a casserole my own grandmother used to make. I loved the note Judy wrote with the recipe, and she graciously allowed me to share it, and the recipe, with you. In the year of the Thanksgiving and Chanukah convergence, this noodle dish is a perfect addition to the holiday table, no matter which holiday you're celebrating this week:

My grandmother Sophie, who lived to be 98 years old, was an amazing cook. She spent a number of years in the 1930s and 1940s running the kitchen of a "resort" for union workers, and she never really adjusted her recipes to cook for just a few people (a tradition I seem to have continued). Grandma didn't wrote down her recipes, so I would cook with her and write down the ingredients and measurements as best I could.

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October 31, 2013

Powdered buttermilk (Recipe: apple spice bread)

First published in August 2006, this updated ingredient post features new photos, links, and tweaks to the recipe. I think I've made this apple spice bread more than any other quick bread, ever. My family loves it, so I try to keep one in the freezer at all times. (Doesn't everyone keep an emergency apple bread on hand?)

Apple spice bread (make ahead and freeze).

When most people think of Rhode Island, they think of Newport mansions. Jazz festivals. Clambakes on the beach. Rhode Island Red chickens. (Okay, not everyone thinks of chickens....)

Until I moved here, I was one of those people. If you'd told me I was moving to apple country — that, in fact, I'd be buying my Macouns at an orchard named Apple Land — I would have said "hah!". But here I am, smack dab in apple land, where I can buy Jonagolds and Cortlands, Mutsu and Macintosh, from August until March.

The thing about apple land is that it's miles from here to anything like a grocery store. So I always keep powdered buttermilk, an essential ingredient in my favorite apple spice bread and other baked goodies, in my pantry.

What is buttermilk? And what makes it cultured

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October 27, 2013

Irish soda bread muffin recipe

Irish soda bread muffins, with golden raisins.

In my family, there are people who remember in detail the dreams they had days, weeks or years ago. I don't mean hopes-and-dreams; I mean I-just-woke-up-where's-my-coffee dreams. I'm not one of those people, so when I tell you that the idea for these Irish soda bread muffins came to me in a dream, and I remembered and then actually made them, you'll understand why in every sense of the word, these muffins are a minor miracle. I know that Irish soda bread purists will cringe at the notion of golden raisins, but they add just the right amount of sweet. Though it's good to let the muffins cool for a few minutes so you don't burn your fingers, my husband Ted and I couldn't wait, and we slathered on some butter as soon as the muffins came out of the oven. It was the right thing to do.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • 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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