April 4, 2013

Honey (Recipe: mango lassi) {vegetarian, gluten-free}

First published in February 2008, this updated pantry ingredient post features new photos and links. Often served for dessert, lassi, an Indian smoothie, makes a perfect breakfast or lunch, and best of all, you can use frozen fruit from the grocery store at any time of year.

Try a mango lassi (an Indian smoothie) for breakfast, or dessert.

Sugar pie, honey bunch
You know that I love you
I can't help myself
I love you and nobody else

When I saw this squirt jar of Canadian honey in our village grocery store, I knew I had to write a little valentine to my resident Canadian honey bunch.

Then I started to wonder, "Are there really honey bees in Canada? Isn't it too cold?"

Ha! Not only are there bees, but, according to the Canadian Honey Council, the government actually has invested in the long-term sustainability of the honey bee population. Which, of course, makes me wonder why the US government is investing in war, while Canada is investing in bees.

War and bees...

(I know. I can hear the groans.)

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February 14, 2013

Balsamic vinegar (Recipe: strawberries in balsamic)

First published in January 2007, this updated pantry ingredient post features new photos, links, and tweaks to the recipe. Just in time for Valentine's Day, this classic Italian dessert speaks the language of love.

Strawberries in balsamic vinegar, the most romantic dessert I know.

Act II, Scene 2.

The balcony scene.

Montagues. Capulets. What's in a name?

O Rubio, Rubio,
Wherefore art thou, Rubio?

Wait a second...Rubio???

Juliet may have been talking to her beloved Romeo from that Verona balcony, but I'm talking about my beloved, my absolute favorite balsamic vinegar.

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November 18, 2012

Recipe for fennel, avocado and grapefruit salad with orange vinaigrette {vegan, gluten-free}

Fennel, avocado and grapefruit salad, a green treat for the holiday table.

The first time I joined my husband Ted's family for a Canadian Thanksgiving meal, we were invited to celebrate with a group of friends at a camp in southern Ontario. The hosts assigned each family some potluck dishes to bring, and one of our assignments was carrots and celery sticks. When we arrived and added our contribution to the long buffet table, I noticed that our little plate of celery sticks was the only speck of green in a sea of brown: turkey, potatoes, gravy, parsnips, onions. If your Thanksgiving menu is looking a bit on the brown side, add this fennel, avocado and grapefruit salad to the mix. Raw fennel, thinly sliced and "marinated" in a mustardy vinaigrette, mellows to a very mildly anise flavor that pairs brilliantly with the tangy grapefruit and creamy avocado. Unexpected, and sure to be a hit.

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November 13, 2012

Recipe for sugar-free slow cooker cranberry sauce

Sugar-free slow cooker cranberry sauce, with hints of orange.

My cranberry sauce failures -- undercooked, overjelled -- are the stuff of legend in my family. I admit that the molded cranberry sauce I watched slide down the sink drain as I inverted it onto a platter shook my confidence for a while, but it didn't defeat me. I've tried many versions of cranberry over the years, including spicy dried cranberry and pear chutney, my personal favorite. With several Type 1 diabetics in the family, I wanted to create a sugar-free cranberry sauce they could enjoy, and this one was a hit on our holiday table last Thanksgiving. Prepared in the slow cooker, with just a few ingredients (and no blurping splatters all over the stove), it's so good that nobody will believe it's also sugar-free. Make this several days ahead and store in the refrigerator; let it come to room temperature before you serve.

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October 23, 2012

Recipe for curried apple and pecan broccoli slaw {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Curried apple and pecan broccoli slaw, a delicious side dish with roast turkey or chicken.

Here in Apple Valley, the parking lots at pick-your-own orchards overflow with cars every weekend in October and November. One even sets up a popcorn stand, and a bouncy house to keep the little ones entertained while the older kids and parents, armed with picking baskets on long poles, head off into the adjacent grove of apple trees. When you live in a place with a dozen apple orchards, you learn to appreciate apples in season. My love affair with broccoli slaw, however, knows no seasonal boundary. This curried apple and pecan broccoli slaw brings together the best of Apple Valley with one of my favorite ways to get more greens into our diet. I haven't finalized my Thanksgiving menu yet, but I think this quick-and-easy side dish just might find its way to the holiday table.

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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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