Homemade Swedish Potato Sausage ♥ Recipe & Photos

Last month, twas my honor to witness something magical, a grandmother passing a family tradition along to two of her granddaughters. I took a few pictures so that readers might tag along too. Here's how to make homemade Swedish potato sausage, the classic Swedish dish, with step-by-step photos and tips.
It happened like a scene right out of Carl Larsson, the renowned Swedish painter who captured home and family scenes in the Swedish countryside in the last 1800s and early 1900s.

There we were on an unseasonably warm afternoon on the last day of November, the grandmother all organized and prepared, the kids smart from school, me bearing a camera and a tin of allspice -- all gathered in the kitchen to make one of the family's traditional Swedish recipes, an important dish for the feast on Christmas Eve.

The dish? Homemade potato sausage, 'potatis korv' en svenska. Here's how it's made, with love.

"We had a ball this afternoon grinding everything…

Fast Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts ♥ Recipe

Today's vegetable recipe: Brussels sprouts that reach the table in 20 minutes flat, with all the flavor of a long and slow roast in the oven. Weight Watchers 1 point and low-carb so an especially good vegetable choice during the calorie-heavy holidays.
Roasting vegetables is just so rewarding! For that hungry hour before supper, the low and slow heat coaxes out aromas and flavors, teasing us of what's to come.

The one downside? Speed. Or lack thereof. Slow Food is one thing. So is sloooooow food. But when you want dinner on the table, pronto? Roasting's not the smart choice.

But wait. Here are roasted Brussels sprouts that reach the table in 20 minutes snap. It takes two pots, one to parboil (that means to partially cook) the sprouts, another to pan-roast the sprouts. But these are delicious - way delicious, worth the wait, even if not required. Plus the two-step process has an advantage: they can be cooked, partway, ahead of time and then be finished at the last minute. T…

Carrot Salad with Pomegranate ♥ Vegan Recipe

A quick and colorful salad, grated carrot tossed in a light vinaigrette with pomegranate seeds. Low carb. Weight Watchers 1 point. Vegan.
Even without a blanket of snow, beginning somewhere in mid-November or early December, I think we all begin to crave color, perhaps because of the shorter days, the long darkness of winter nights.

And my goodness, does this quick salad ever pack a punch of color!

The recipe comes from a reader, Kathie from Los Angeles, who shares Weight Watchers-friendly recipes with me every so often. Here's how she sold me on the concept for this colorful salad, it took all of ten seconds. "Quick, delicious. I am in love with this concoction."

It goes together quickly and packs a flavor punch and a crunch punch (ha!) too.

RECIPE for CARROT SALAD with POMEGRANATEHands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Serves 4
6 carrots, trimmed
Seeds from half a pomegranate (The Quick & Easy Way to Remove Seeds from a Pomegranate)
Orange segments, optiona…

Caramelized Onion Tart ♥ (Swiss Onion Cheese Flan)

A simple but sophisticated tart, rich enough to serve in thin slices as an appetizer or in larger wedges for a vegetarian main dish. The crust is super un-fussy and flecked with cornmeal for crispness. The filling is packed with caramelized onions, those dark and dusky nuggets that make almost anything taste better. Both the crust and the filling can be made ahead of time, then tossed into the oven to bake in time for serving hot, warm or at room temperature.

Vegetarian Entrée or Appetizer, Perfect for Thanksgiving. Time-Adaptable (Cooking and Serving). Make-Ahead Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special.

Farro Risotto with Butternut Squash & Mushrooms ♥ Vegetarian Recipe

Today's vegetarian entrée recipe: Another idea for a vegetarian (and in fact, vegan) main dish for Thanksgiving but will have everyone, I'm willing to bet, coming back for seconds. The recipe blends four fall flavors: nutty Italian farro, butternut squash, mushrooms and sage. Very pretty on a plate.
So this is fun! I'm having a great time testing recipes suitable for vegetarian Thanksgiving entrées for the 2009 collection of Thanksgiving vegetable recipes (FYI, link updated in 2010). With this one, it took great restraint to not gobble (tee hee) it up all by myself.

The recipe starts with an idea borrowed from Cook's Illustrated, using the skins and seeds and all the 'gunk' inside a butternut squash to make a vegetarian broth, so very thrifty! The broth is gently flavored with a lovely orange tinge.

From there, the squash is pan-roasted but you could also roast the squash cubes in the oven if preferred. I also added mushrooms for bulk and texture contrast, pe…

How to Cut, Peel & Cube a Butternut Squash and Keep All Ten Fingers

How to safely peel, cut and cube a butternut squash, one of those unwieldy-looking winter squashes. A step-by-step illustrated guide to cutting up a butternut squash, so easy the squash almost cuts itself up. If you want to cut a big squash into pretty cubes, safely, this is how to do it!
Okay, I admit it. There was a time when my eyes glazed over recipes for butternut squash. My Inner Knife Phobia whispered, "How in the world would you cut one of those things safely, without losing a finger? A butternut squash is door-stop dense." It tempted, "Just go buy squash cubes at Trader Joe's. No cutting, no peeling. Who cares if they're all dry and unappetizing?"

You too? Well, you are in luck! This post illustrates, step by step, how to cut up a butternut squash. It's so easy, the squash will practically cut up itself – SAFELY. Just think of all that squash we've been missing ...

A cutting board
A silicone mat, if you have one

Savory Bread Pudding with Butternut Squash, Chard & Cheddar ♥ Vegetarian Recipe

Who says bread pudding is always sweet and always for dessert? Not me! Instead, this is a savory bread pudding, a layer of hearty greens greens sandwiched between layers of good whole-grain bread studded with cubes of butternut squash and cheddar cheese. This bread pudding (vegetarian casserole?) can be made ahead, much like a breakfast strata. It's perfect for a vegetarian Thanksgiving main dish or a weekend brunch or a holiday buffet supper. It could also stand in as the "stuffing" at Thanksgiving dinner. This vegetarian entrée recipe launched my 2009 collection of Thanksgiving vegetable recipes, all now showcased in a multi-year collection of Favorite Recipes for Thanksgiving's Favorite Vegetables.
How to strike fear in a cook's heart? "Alanna, I'm bringing so 'n' so to Thanksgiving dinner. He's a vegetarian." Even though I was a vegetarian myself for many years, even though I often cook simple vegetarian and vegan meals, there'…