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Showing posts from April, 2007

Beet Carpaccio ♥

Yes, beet, not beef! carpaccio! (Huh? That just means it's thin slices of cooked beet, not thin slices of beef.) And isn't that just the prettiest salad ever? And it's sooo easy! And soooooo good!!

And -- it's also my first time to experience golden beets. Call me hooked! The flavor is still very beet-ish but somehow a bit less earthy than red beets. And the color, of course, is glorious ...

And -- it's a great way to use my brand-new benriner, the one recommended by Karen from FamilyStyle Food who seems to 'get' me whether it's cookbook recommendations or food finds or now, kitchen tools.

It was a breeze to create razor-thin slices of beet, also thin-thin-thin bits of red onion. I can't wait for more chances to experiment! The cutting area is about 2 1/2 inches wide, perfect for beets, potatoes, most vegetables. There's also a Super Benriner that's slightly wider. It includes the straight blade used for the beets, plus three interchangeable bl…

My Favorite Food Blogs

What Is a Food Blog? This story was originally published in Sauce Magazine in December 2006. Since Sauce has removed the piece from its website, I publish much of it here.

On the surface, food blogs look much like other food sites, magazines and cookbooks. But look closer, they stand apart. Food blogs are extraordinarily personal, even when produced with knowledge and professionalism. They radiate curiosity, excitement and creativity. They often exude rich humor, sweet charm and unedited spontaneity.

"Food blogs are like memoirs with recipes. Every recipe comes with a backstory woven from family, culture and personal experience. Tales abound of early lessons from mothers and grandmothers, first experiences with fresh figs, strategies for Thanksgiving turkeys, and frustration with breads that fall and tomatoes that char. If there’s a rant, it’s Reggiano versus Kraft or lard versus butter, not the left versus right of politics.

"Food bloggers may start blogging with some notion o…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Another Quick Supper! ♥

Kitchen Parade is famous for its Quick Suppers. They're quick (of course!) but more than that. A 'four-star' quick supper is easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher.

And today's Kitchen Parade column features a four-star recipe, skillet-cooked chops with a sour cream and caper sauce and curried carrots on the side. Who needs carry-out?

No pork chops or carrots on hand? Check out all the quick supper recipes in the Kitchen Parade Recipe Box.


FREE COOKBOOKS! During April, win free cookbooks at A Veggie Venture! It's all to celebrate the Alphabet of Vegetables, the brand-new A - Z of Vegetables with easy links to great vegetable recipes! Need an example? Check all the spring asparagus recipes.


SO WHAT IS KITCHEN PARADE, EXACTLY?

Kitchen Parade is the food column that my Mom started writing for our family newspaper when I was a baby. Today it's published in my hometown newspapers in suburban St. Louis and features 'fresh seasonal recipes…

Beet Greens & Three-Onion Pesto Pizza ♥

Sooo many ways to cook beets, for sure! But with just six beets and their greens, I created three entirely delicious meals. Talk about thrifty! Talk about contradicting the idea that fresh vegetables are too expensive!
Meal Number One: Monday's supper salad using the roasted beets
Meal Number Two: Yesterday's beet green risotto that used up half the greens
Meal Number Three: Today's Pizza! using the last of the greensI roasted the beets for the salad. But at my house, the greens too often go to waste, despite knowing that leafy greens are good for us. No more!

This pizza isn't photogenic but it sure tasted good. I built it 'heavy' on the vegetables and 'light' on the cheese. It's not really a recipe as much as a concept -- there's no going wrong using just the basic construct.

Two 'convenience' products came in handy. Fresh pizza dough (mine from Missouri Baking Company on the Hill in St. Louis, purchased for all of $1) but if you'd like…

Beet Green Risotto ♥

Sooo many ways to cook beets, for sure! But with just six beets and their greens, I discovered the basis for three entirely delicious meals. Talk about thrifty! Talk about contradicting the idea that fresh vegetables are too expensive!)
Meal Number One: Yesterday's supper salad with roasted beets, avocado, dried apricots and more. Meal Number Two: This risotto, using the leftover beet greens. Meal Number Three: Tomorrow! (Hint: the beets are gone but there are still beets greens to use up! Update: pizza, anyone?)
Yesterday's salad featured the beets themselves, roasted, and was delicious. But what about those pesky greens? We know leafy greens are good for us. But what to do with them? For side dishes, it's easy. Greek Greens (where you flash-cook the greens so they'll hold for a couple of days), Greens with Mustard & Stems and my favorite, Ontario Greens (which first appeared on A Veggie Venture as Greens with Sour Cream).

But for supper, this beet green risotto is a…

Spring Supper: Roasted Beet Supper Salad ♥

Roasted beets aren't new on A Veggie Venture. But roasted peeled beets are.

Yes, this recipe from Giada Who-evah works great. The beets really caramelize, plus there's no messing with hot beet skins right before serving time, either.

And this is a lovely salad, a concept recipe really. It hit the spot on a warm spring evening. You could do the beets ahead of time and serve them cold, or at room temperature, but I truly loved them warm. That said, timing for beets always varies so make sure that "supper time" is flexible if you want to serve them warm.

NOW. WHAT TO DO WITH THOSE BEET GREENS? Tune in over the next two days, when I'll share two great ways to use beet greens and stems. Talk about three frugal meals from one bunch of beets. But if you can't wait, here are recipes for beet greens. [Meal Two: Beet Green Risotto, Meal Three: Beet Greens & Three-Onion Pesto Pizza]


FROM THE ARCHIVES See all the beet recipes in the Recipe Box. My favorites are the Beets…

Spring Asparagus: Soup to Salmon to Sides to Spokes (an Asparagus Tart) ♥

This month, A Veggie Venture is inviting readers to win free cookbooks, all to celebrate the brand-new Alphabet of Veggies, the A-Z way to find great vegetable recipes. Here's how to win one of my favorite cookbooks about vegetables.

And today, class, we start with the A of vegetables, the asparagus! (Yes, the Alphabet of Vegetables is big on asparagus.)

After several days of hard freeze two weeks ago, I'm holding my breath that local St. Louis asparagus will be available at the Scharf booth at Soulard Market tomorrow. If they are, I'll turn to three favorite recipes for asparagus, all featured in Kitchen Parade columns.

The first is a simple asparagus soup, lusty with asparagus flavor. I call it "Easy to Elegant Asparagus Soup" because it's easy, with a couple of changes, to move this from a weeknight supper soup to something smooth and elegant.

Next up is a favorite quick supper, salmon paired with asparagus, both roasted in the same dish.

I can't tell …

English Peas with Fresh Mint ♥

Such a simple side! Just a bag of frozen peas with a little butter and lots of fresh mint! Frozen peas are a shortcut for those of us who don't have access to just-picked peas from the garden. Seasonal. Naturally Gluten Free.
The English have a reputation they don't appreciate: "bad food". But British blogger Sam Breach from Becks & Posh (now inactive) set out to disprove that idea and asked for help. I've had plenty of good food in England, in pubs along the wonderful Inland Waterways, in restaurants and hotels in London, in country hotels further north, but especially in the home of my grandfather's cousin, our family's much loved Lyla, and her now-deceased husband Vic, who were married for a few days short of 62 years and were still giggling with stories about their wedding night the last time I saw them and we had lunch at a small restaurant near the train station a corner from the church where they were married. So there's no need to convin…

Cooking from Nature: Cream of Dandelion Soup ♥

What a surprise, making a creamy soup from common dandelion greens!
My mother always said, "A weed is only a flower out of place". And that same feeling crept in while I was chopping dandelion greens for soup, knowing that I was cooking, well, weeds, and creating a rich, creamy soup that the French call "creme de pissenlits". And then, the "flower" (ahem) outcome was ever so elegant, worthy of a place on any royal table.

I was feeling indulgent when preparing this soup so used a combination of milk and cream for the liquid. To my taste, however, that made the soup heavier rather than delicious and I'd have been happy with all milk, maybe with a swirl of cream added to the bowls when serving. That said, the creaminess is completely lovely against the slightly bitter greens. And don't be put off by the idea of bitterness, dandelion does have only a slight bite – peppery – like arugula or broccoli raab.

MORE WEEDS, LOTS MORE WEEDS! Cooking with &q…

St Louis Farmers Market News

The St. Louis farmers markets are showing early signs of life, matching the slow start to our spring here in eastern Missouri. (Updated 4/4/08)

Kirkwood Farmers Market - Located just east of the train station from Kirkwood Road. From I44, exit Lindbergh Blvd north. Easy parking. Open-air market but covered and thus protected from rain and sun. During the height of the season, the Kirkwood Farmers Market is open 7 days a week but the "best time to shop" is always Saturday morning when farmers and vendors set up shop. In 2007, the market sponsored "Tunes at Ten," adding to the festive feel. Dog friendly!
2008 Schedule: Opens Saturday, April 4th, 2008 with a handful of sellers, including Farrar Out Farm with fresh chicken, eggs and pork and later, with naturally raised lamb. Beginning April 12th, the market anchor Summit Farms opens.
Favorites:
CJ's PRODUCE: Eckerts peaches, Cascade tomatoes for slow-roasted tomatoes. Also other local produce, eggs and cured meats.
F…

Zucchini Mushroom Tacos ♥

Today's great recipe idea for Meatless Monday and other nutritious vegetarian suppers. The filling is slightly sweet, slightly hot, a big mess of zucchini, mushrooms, tomato and beans – a great base to easily adapt with what's on hand or just sounds good. With a vegan cheese, the tacos are not just vegan but "Vegan Done Real". With more vegetables and/or protein instead of beans, the filling meets the requirements of both paleo and Whole30 diets. For Weight Watchers? The filling is just three PointsPlus for a whole cup! You're gonna love this one, I promise!
BACK IN 2007 Did I mention I love-love-love Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday? I do! This recipe is one more reason. It makes an excellent quick supper of tacos, infinitely variable, completely delicious. And then? The leftovers are just excellent for a simple lunch! Next time, I will go easy on the canned chipotle pepper and its adobo sauce. This turned out hotter than pleasant – not inedible-hot, not ey…

Time to Delurk! Free Cookbooks & Brand New Alphabet of Vegetables

Alright, veggie lovers, it's time to let the world know (okay, let me know) that you appreciate all the vegetable recipes on A Veggie Venture.

You see, for the last few months, I've been re-building the Recipe Box to make it easier to find recipes quickly. And this week, I finished my favorite section, the Alphabet of Vegetables, the fabulous (if I may say so myself, but you're allowed to say so too!) way to find great vegetable recipes easily and quickly. Yes, it's the perfect A - Z of Vegetables, with recipes just a click away!

And to make sure you know about it, to give you extra reason to poke around the alphabet a bit, from now til the end of April, I'm offering the chance to win free A - Z vegetable books of your choice. It's easy! And no purchase is required, no cooking is required!. Here's how it works.
When you sign up for a new e-mail subscription (see Never Miss a Recipe to the right) between now and April 30th, you're automatically entered.
O…