I know I've lost all credibility with you because I say this all the time, but these might just be my favorite of all the turkey meatballs I've made. Greektown turkey meatballs remain my husband Ted's top choice; he likes to buy a crispy-fresh Greek salad from Giorgiana's Market, across the street from his office, and add a couple of meatballs to make a complete lunch. We've both cut way down on the amount of bread we're eating, so I fantasize about how good these Thai red curry turkey meatballs would be, sliced in half, piled on a baguette with some pickled vegetables and arugula, Vietnamese-banh-mi style. Instead, I dunk a meatball in sweet chili sauce and eat it straight off my chopsticks, letting the gentle warmth of the curry paste and the sweet sauce mingle in my mouth.
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Our grandson loves chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, but I've never been one to go sweet early in the morning. I'd rather have these gingerbread waffles for dessert, but my husband Ted loved them as an afternoon snack, with butter and maple syrup. In other words, don't let me tell you when to eat waffles. Almost every ingredient in these waffles comes right from the pantry. I swapped white whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour in the original recipe, and upped the amount of powdered ginger because I love it. Though somewhat more dense thanks to the whole grain flour, these waffles still have the cake-like quality of gingerbread and, topped with ginger ice cream or vanilla frozen yogurt, would make a great dessert for kids or grown-ups. If you're having a party, cook a batch of waffles ahead, and refrigerate or freeze them; then, to serve, simply pop them in the toaster. One waffle per person will be perfect at the end of the meal. Our grandson might just manage two for breakfast.
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In the house where I grew up, we ate grilled cheese sandwiches all the time, but nary a quesadilla. Maybe it was a Northeast thing, but more likely, it was a my mother never heard of quesadillas thing. My own pantry always holds enough fixings for these simple Mexican grilled cheese sandwiches, a go-to meal on busy days. Most often I use Joseph's low-carb oat bran tortillas -- the gorgeous orange ones in these photos are habañero-lime tortillas from Trader Joe's -- and my friend Lucia keeps me supplied with her homemade peach salsa. Newman's Own peach salsa from the supermarket, or Trader Joe's peach salsa, will be fine substitutes that add a bit of fruity heat. Here's my secret to great quesadillas: tuck a few teaspoons of the salsa inside, and cook them on a dry griddle, to keep them from being greasy on the outside.
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When you work at home alone, in a log cabin in the woods, you treasure the afternoon tea visits that mark the end of the business day and break the solitude. It's traditional, when someone stops in for tea, to offer a cookie or cheese and crackers, or some slices of fruit. Today I'm serving pumpkin-pecan mini muffins, easy to make without dirtying the mixer, and a perfect late afternoon pick-me-up. I swapped white whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour, to give the muffins a bit of whole grain goodness. These little two-bite muffins are sweet, but not too sweet, and if you don't like pecans, use walnuts or no nuts. Of course, if mini muffins aren't your thing, make full-figured muffins in a regular 12-muffin pan, and bake them for two or three minutes more.
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