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November 29, 2013

Quick Pickled Baby Carrots


I made these carrots for Thanksgiving. 

I LOVE THEM! 


So did everyone else.
You might as well have the recipe available to hand out.
Whoever eats them will want it.

I'm going to have them in my fridge forever more.

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

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Quick-Pickled Baby Carrots
Serves 8-10

1 pound farmers' market baby carrots
1 cup water, plus more for blanching the carrots
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 teaspoon toasted celery seeds
1 teaspoon toasted mustard seeds
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Trim and peel the carrots and cut them in half lengthwise.

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the carrots and blanch until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Immediately drain and run under cold water. Transfer the carrots to a bowl (or jars if you plan to keep the carrots for longer). 

Combine 1 cup of water with the vinegar, salt, honey, bay leaf, garlic, celery seeds and mustard seeds in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the salt and honey. Pour over the carrots. 

Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate in an airtight container for at least an hour and up to a month.

Several variations of this are possible. You can find the original recipe here


November 15, 2013

Creamy Pumpkin Risotto


This "Pumpkin Risotto" has to be one of the best I've tasted.

Perfect for this cooler weather.



If your not a pumpkin fan, don't let that stop you from giving this a try. 
The pumpkin flavor is very faint, if at all. 
The marriage of it with all the other ingredients, turns it into 
one harmonious plate of awesomeness! 

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.


Creamy Pumpkin Risotto
Serves 4

1 1/2 cup of arborio rice
4 cups of chicken stock
3 shallots, diced finely
1 teaspoon of dried sage
1 glass of good quality white wine
A large handful of cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan, and extra for serving


In a pot, bring the stock to a boil, reduce to a low simmer.
In a saucepan, add a good drizzle of olive oil on medium low heat. Add the shallots, and the dried sage. Once the shallots have softened (about 2 minutes), add the rice and and mix, stirring until the rice looks lightly toasted. Add the wine and gently stir. Once the wine has almost evaporated, add the stock one ladle at a time. Keep adding stock once it has almost evaporated in the pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper (the stock will reduce and is salty so make sure not to add too much salt while you're cooking the risotto).

In the meantime, heat some olive oil on medium high heat in a separate pan. Add the sliced mushrooms. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are cooked through. Set aside.

Keep a constant eye on the rice, adding stock as it gets incorporated into the rice. The risotto should gently simmer for about 16-17 minutes. Once the rice is cooked, add the mushrooms and pumpkin puree. Gently mix them in making sure the pumpkin puree is well stirred through. Fold in the Parmesan. Serve immediately, adding a little more Parmesan if desired. Enjoy!