‘Tis the season for all things sweet. It’s definitely one of my favorite times of the year, although admittedly, I have been cooking and baking less than one would think. I won’t lament being busy with work, but one consequence of “handling business” is having less time to do some of the things I enjoy. Playing around in the kitchen is one of them. Luckily, a few catering jobs have given me the opportunity to be creative or just have fun with food in my own way. This brittle is an example of that. Hardened sugar and buttered, toasted nuts dusted with floral, dried herbs and salt. It’s a dream treat for the holidays.
Admittedly, my favorite vegetable during this season is the sweet potato. I’ve said it a million times before, and it will be a statement that remains on repeat. They are usually my favorite tuber to play with during the fall. That being said, there’s no sweet potatoes in this recipe. It’s time to switch it up, right? Today, I am sharing a simple recipe featuring my second favorite orange vegetable–carrots. They’re sweet, crunchy and versatile. And best of all, they’re pretty. Especially if you explore all of the colors.
There are some recipes out there that seem easy, although they can be quite tricky. This one–toum–is one of those recipes. The first time I ever had toum was at a local, fast casual Middle Eastern restaurant. My chicken entree came with a tiny plastic cup of what appeared to be fluffy, creamy, white paste. It had a piquant aroma, and once I dipped a fork into the cup, the sweet, sharp flavor of garlic and lemon hit my tongue. That was when I knew I had to make this condiment on my own.
Freshly baked cookies are one of those things that you just cannot refuse. The same could be said for leftover cookie dough at the bottom of the bowl, but maybe that’s just me. Mixing a batch of cookie dough can be a quick and easy fix if you have everything on hand. I had white chocolate chips and pecans leftover from separate cooking trials, so I decided to use them together in a recipe. This time around, forget macadamia nuts. Try pecans win your white chocolate chip cookies, and you will indeed be pleasantly surprised.
One of the last summer dishes I made was centered around pasta and two seasonal vegetables that tend to be at their peak this time of year–corn and tomatoes. You may not see the corn just by looking at the final dish, but it’s there. Following a menu tasting at Little Next Door, I spoke with the chef who served ravioli swimming in a corn and butter sauce. He described how he cooked the corn down until the kernels reached its sweetest point, and that golden mixture was the foundation of the sauce. I decided to take that idea and use it as the base of my pasta dish to add a subtle layer of flavor and creaminess.
Chocolate and peanut butter is a classic pair that appeals to many, and I get it. They work well together like two old pals who have seen each other’s best and worst times and totally understand where they are in this present moment. That’s how in tune they are when used in one dish. This cake takes advantage of chocolate and peanut butter’s awesome relationship. The final result is rich and decadent, so take it from me when I say that one slice goes a long way.