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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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November 14, 2014

3 easy ways to save your favorite recipes (or, life after Ziplist)

If you've been using Ziplist to save recipes from The Perfect Pantry, and from other favorite blogs and websites, I'm sad to report that the company is closing on December 10, 2014. I just learned this and wanted to share with you as soon as possible, as they will no longer support the recipe box, shopping list, and recipe saving features after December 9.

I have removed the blue "Save Recipes to Ziplist" button from my recipe posts here, as well as the "Recipe Box" link at the top of the page.

How to preserve recipes currently in your Ziplist recipe box

First, download all of the recipes you've stored in your recipe box. You need to do this before December 10, and as it takes just a few minutes, why not do it this weekend? Here's how:

3 easy ways to save recipes 

Now, what's the best way to continue to save recipes (your own, and those you find on this blog and other sites)? Ziplist recommends you create a recipe box on and transfer the recipes you've already saved. It's a great option, and it's free, especially if you already use the Epicurious site to search for new recipes.

I have three additional ideas for you.

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November 12, 2014

Creamy mushroom gravy {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Creamy mushroom gravy, #vegetarian and #glutenfree.

Uh-oh. You just found out a couple of vegetarians are coming for Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving, the most turkey-centric holiday of the year. Do not be afraid; you really can provide your non-meat-eating guests with the same great holiday experience as the carnivores. After all, Thanksgiving is about the side dishes: mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce. And all of those are basically meatless, except the gravy. Here's a great vegetarian alternative, one I always serve in addition to traditional turkey gravy. A mix of wild mushrooms gives this gravy the "meaty" richness of turkey drippings; cream and a cornstarch slurry add the requisite viscosity to slither over mounds of mashed potatoes and stuffing. Make this a few days ahead, and store in the refrigerator in a tightly-closed container. Reheat before serving, and season as needed with salt and pepper. (For more vegetarian-friendly holiday recipes, including main dishes that everyone will enjoy, check out my e-cookbook, Meatless Holidays.)

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November 9, 2014

40 fabulous recipes for Thanksgiving side dishes

40 fabulous Thanksgiving side dishes: some classic, some new.

Turkey. I can take it or leave it. For me, Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes, the must-haves (mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, stuffing) and the new recipes we grant an audition each year. Some will make the cut, and become permanent fixtures on the holiday table. Others will pass into family lore (remember the year she made that weird whatever-it-was?). The story of the jellied cranberry sauce I unmolded over the sink, only to watch the entire thing slide off the platter and down the drain, continues to amuse my family; that was my one and only experiment with molded cranberry sauce. Still, those of us who prepare the meal keep exploring new possibilities to bring diversity to the menu. If you are one of those explorers, this list of classic and not-yet-classic Thanksgiving side dishes is for you. I'd love to try all of them. There are so many possibilities, and I haven't even tackled cranberry sauce, salads or soups. For many more ideas, check out The Perfect Pantry's Thanksgiving recipes, an eclectic and fun recipe collection.

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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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