Sunday, April 14, 2019

Rum Raisin Persimmon Muffins

platter of muffins
Platter of Rummy Goodness

Recipe adapted by Robin


What do you bring to a luau-themed birthday party for a 60 year old who has everything and loves rum? More rum! And some rum raisin muffins for the potluck. Luckily my friend Cynthia shared a recipe for persimmon muffins earlier this year, and I still had persimmons in the freezer. And rum. I remembered what cousin Jon’s great grandma Ellen said about her Bourbon Pecan Cake: soak the raisins in the rum so the alcohol won’t bake off as much. This also concentrates the rummy flavor in each plumped-up raisin. I also cut down the sugar and tweaked a few quantities to accommodate the extra liquid.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Pumpkin Soufflé or Winter Squash Soufflé

Slice of pumpkin souffle with orange slice
Brilliant Use of Leftover Pumpkin

Recipe from The Classic Zucchini Cookbook


For the past year I’ve been obsessed with soufflés. After the classic cheese soufflé, the golden delicious apple soufflé, and my recently posted acorn squash soufflé, I have one more recipe to explore, this time with leftover Winter Luxury pumpkin from Argentine beef stew in a pumpkin, pureed and frozen.  Any kind of cooked, pureed winter squash, or even canned pumpkin, will suit the recipe. It’s that late winter/early spring time of year, when I’m using up the rest of the winter squashes from last year’s farmers’ markets. Alas, I’m recycling the same old soup and baked squash recipes. This recipe can the antidote to baked squash ennui.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Gluten-free Flaxseed Crackers

Good with a Schmear

Recipe inspired by Bob’s Red Mill & How Not to Die


It’s Lent, the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter, according to the Christian calendar. The word derives from the Anglo Saxon lencten, meaning spring. Symbolic of the time Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for his ministry, it’s a time for reflection and purification as the seasons change from winter to spring. When I was growing up, kids were encouraged to “give up (name of rich food) for Lent,” a feat at which I never really succeeded. Deprivation just isn’t my thing, but I offer these gluten-free, keto-friendly, high fiber crackers as a crunchy substitute for buttery high carb desserts, for whenever the urge for purification strikes.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

New Orleans Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Square of Bread Pudding topped with Bourbon Sauce
Bread and Bourbon Classic

Recipe by Susie M.


Absolutely the best ever. Even the exquisite Commander’s Palace and Brennan’s restaurants can’t compete in the bread pudding arena. My Auntie Ann’s concoction comes close, but lacks the New Orleans bourbon sauce. My friend Susie brings this pudding to an annual New Years’ Day party and it always disappears quickly, despite numerous dessert contributions and large amounts of seafood stew. When I inquired, she said that the recipe is from a New Orleans greeting card that she purchased years ago, and generously shared a photocopy. It’s a perfect treat for Mardi Gras—next Tuesday, March 6 this year.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Acorn Squash Soufflé

wedge of acorn squash souffle with spoon and napkin
Serve Warm, Room Temp, or Chilled

Recipe adapted from Simplicity from a Monastery Kitchen


This last of a trio of soufflé recipes from an upstate New York monastery cookbook is perhaps my favorite, though it barely surpasses the classic cheese soufflé in deliciousness, and the apple soufflé is easier to prepare. This is a dessert soufflé, taking advantage of acorn squash’s natural sweetness, enhanced by small amounts of maple syrup and sugar. The cookbook suggests serving it warm, but it’s also good at room temperature, and IMHO even better chilled, like a light pumpkin-ish pudding infused with the unique flavor of acorn squash.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup

Closeup of bowl of Moroccan pumpkin soup
Leeks on Top for Color Contrast

Recipe from Dan Musicant’s sister


Looking for creative uses for leftover pumpkin from the delightful Argentinian beef stew in a pumpkin recipe, I came across a recipe I printed out way back in 2011 when I first started this blog. I’ve already blogged a more elaborate Moroccan Butternut Soup as well as a Savory Roasted Pumpkin Soup and a Chunky Ginger Pumpkin Soup, but the addition of allspice makes this recipe unique. So I adapted it for the amount of leftover pumpkin that I had, and added some extra chickpeas, since my husband isn't a fan of super-smooth soups. I also chose to serve the sautéed leeks on top, instead of pureeing them with the pumpkin and spices, for variety of taste and texture.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Persimmon Chicken

Persimmon Chicken on bed of spinach
Sweet and Savory Persimmons

Recipe adapted from Persimmon Love


I thought I’d escaped the annual ritual of receiving persimmons from my friend Bill’s tree by being away for the holidays, but alas! I responded to his Christmas greeting early in the New Year, and he replied, “Persimmons?” Sure, I’ll take some. I froze the super-squishy Hachiyas, but had to find a use for the hard, super-ripe Fuyus right away. We’re off the usual persimmony sweet treats post-holiday, so I adapted an online chicken recipe by adding sour and salty components to the sweet persimmons for a perfect balance of flavors. A dash or two of cayenne completes the flavor spectrum.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Chilean Pumpkin or Winter Squash Casserole

Plate of Chilean Pumpkin Casserole on Spinach
Oldie But Goodie Vegetarian

Recipe from Moosewood Cookbook


Way back in 1974, Mollie Katzen hand-wrote, illustrated, and published the first Moosewood Cookbook, with recipes she and other Moosewood Restaurant cooks dreamed up. It became an instant classic for creating satisfying vegetarian meals. Both the restaurant and cookbook have survived the intervening 40-plus years. Many new revised editions have been published, but this recipe, from my original handwritten edition, is delightfully old-school. It's a tasty way to use up leftover pumpkin, either from autumnal displays or from a recipe like Argentinian Beef Stew in a Pumpkin.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Cranberry Pistachio Dark Chocolate Bark

plate of broken up bark
Simply Chocolate, Nuts, and Fruit

Recipe adapted from Kaiser Permanente


It’s Bark!! And according to Kaiser, my health care provider, it’s “food for health.” They’re the experts, right? They offered a version of this healthy-ish treat on their website this holiday season. I tweaked their recipe a bit, by simplifying the process and upping the proportion of chocolate. While it’s not entirely keto-friendly, it is vegan and gluten-free. So it’s a reasonable (and fast!) choice for potlucks. Plus, it’s chocolate!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Simple Cranberry Apple Slaw

Cranberry Apple Slaw in Bowl
Simple and Colorful Winter Salad

Recipe adapted from Paleo Approach Cookbook


In prepping for a recent dinner party I was challenged by a recipe that took a lot of space, time, and effort: Carbonada en Zapallon. Like many holiday recipes, it requires the entire kitchen for a prolonged period of time. I discovered this simple side dish to add a fresh, seasonal crunch to an otherwise meaty, stick-to-the-ribs menu. Bonuses: only 4 ingredients plus salt and pepper, and it keeps well and can be served with leftovers.  A green salad just can’t compete.