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Cook the Book Fridays: Roasted Calabaza Hummus


Roast Calabaza Hummus
Roasted Calabaza Hummus

Hummus is a standby we take for granted. It’s ubiquitous at parties, office refrigerators, and a lifesaver when a snack attack hits at home.  It fills out sandwiches that need a little stretching.  And while it is nice in vehicles like pita chips and veggies, eating it straight from the spoon is almost as satisfying.  This week’s Everyday Dorie recipe for Cook the Book Fridays is Roasted Squash Hummus – a play on the traditional recipe that substitutes the chickpeas for roasted squash.

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Cook the Book Fridays: Maple Syrup and Mustard Brussels Sprouts

Maple Syrup and Mustard Brussels Sprouts

The very first recipe I made from Around My French Table way back in 2010 was Pancetta Green Beans. The lesson from that dish: a little pork fat makes vegetables sing. The Maple Syrup and Mustard Brussels sprouts from Everyday Dorie sing and do a little shimmy with the addition of maple syrup and grainy Dijon mustard.

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Cook the Book Fridays: Dorie Greenspan’s Newest Gougères

Dorie Greenspan's Newest Gougeres

Everyday Dorie is here!   Eight years after the  release of the beloved Around My French Table, Dorie Greenspan gives us a new cookbook that highlights the way she cooks every day.  Along with French influences, Dorie shows us the rest of her world, which feels at times like the world.

Everyday Dorie

I have to admit my copy of the book is not here yet, but thanks to the publishers at Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Mardi Michels – she of In the French Kitchen with Kids – I was able to bake this week’s recipe, Dorie’s Newest Gougères.

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Spicy Eggplant Pasta Bake… and a bit of Housekeeping!

Oh boy… it has been a while, hasn’t it?   You know you’ve let your blogging-self go when you log back in and find that your blog needs all these updates for security, looks and what not.  

Spicy Eggplant Caponata Pasta Bake - Great Food 360


Double authentication settings? Check.  Shiny new WordPress plugins? Check. A whole new Cook the Book Fridays adventure?  Ohmygod, yes. I mean, check. 

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Carne Guisada – Puerto Rican Beef Stew

Carne Guisada

When I was a kid, I did not show much love for my mother’s beef stew, carne guisada.  I was told once by a family friend that my mother made the best beef stew and I shrugged it off.  Teenagers are stupid.  I didn’t really get the alchemy behind sofrito, tomato, potatoes, carrots, bay and beef.  My siblings and I would get home back from school and basically ignore the large pot where the beef stew, stuffed pot roast and carne a la catalana would simmer for hours before dinnertime. It was just… there.  It took going away for college and coming back home to appreciate the comforting magic of these slow cooked dishes.   Read More…

World Peace Chocolate Chip Cookies

World Peace Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ever had the strongest urge to eat something sweet and chocolatey, and absolutely nothing in the pantry or refrigerator fit the bill?

It would have been a LOT worse had there not been a bag of chocolate chips leftover from the holidays.  And a vacuum sealed bag of cocoa powder that hasn’t seen the light of day in over a year.

That also speaks of the cobwebs and dust piling up around here…

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Curried Grass-Fed Beef Shanks #CaboRojoSteaks

curried grass-fed beef shanks

It’s hard avoiding all the negative – and sadly true – news coming out of Puerto Rico this summer.  Countless articles explain how the government borrowed beyond its means during the last four decades and the reasoning behind many families leaving the island in record numbers since the 1950s.  Not as many articles have been written about the creative ways some Puerto Ricans are trying to solve some of our more pressing issues, like economic growth and sustainability.  And there are many people who are leading the way down that road through entrepreneurship and collaboration.  We – as a society – need to get through our thick skulls (and sluggish butts) that supporting these local products (and the businesses that consume them) is crucial for our economic recovery. Read More…

Flash Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes

Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes

I purchased a basket of assorted cherry tomatoes on a trip to the warehouse club last week.  It included every color under the sun, from striped brownish red, red, orange and yellow, to green.  I made a point of using every tomato during the week – except the green ones.  At the time I wasn’t sure to which dish I would be adding them to, but their destiny was clear.  I was going to flash fry those green cherries.   The last time I got my fried green tomato fix was back in November in DC. Seven months is a long time! Read More…

Roast Pumpkin Salad with Romesco Vinaigrette #BarGitano

romesco vinaigrette

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to taste Bar Gitano’s rejuvenated menu.  Chef Carlos Vázquez has added delicious small plates to the tasca’s already popular dishes – and inspired a salad recipe that would be right at home with them.

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French Fridays with Dorie: Curried Chicken with Lemongrass, AHA Moments and my Top 5

curried chicken with lemongrass and vegetables

The fearless Doristas have met their goal.  Last Friday, Mardi of Eat Live Travel Write and Cher The Dabbler cooked and blogged all 300+ recipes of Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.  Most members of the group are a handful of recipes away from reaching this milestone.  While my participation in the group was inconsistent (to put it mildly), I rejoice and join the rest of them and toast to this accomplishment.  The following four weeks will allow us to reminisce and recap some of the lessons learned in these four years of cooking and friendship. Read More…

Roasted Eggplant Étouffée

Eggplant Etouffee

When May rolled in – particularly during third week of the month – my social networks swelled up with all the activities surrounding my alma mater’s commencement ceremony.  Lovely birrete art, the second lines and music that only come from New Orleans, and Maya Rudolph’s hilarious address.  It made me nostalgic for my own hectic graduation week, so I scoured the web and my own ‘archives’ for those memories from fifteen years ago. Read More…

Harissa Turkey Chili

Harissa Turkey Chili

Is harissa the next sriracha?

It seems many blogs and food publications are ready to anoint the next big thing when it comes to hot sauces and spice flavors.  Sriracha’s supremacy has been challenged by condiments from all over the world.  Harissa – a north African blend of peppers and spices – has been floating around for a few years now as a contender.  What sets harissa apart from other pepper blends is that it includes a hint of mint. It doesn’t cut the heat, nor overpowers it.  I wish I had a better way to describe how the flavors complement each other.   In addition to hot red peppers and mint, harissa contains caraway, garlic, cumin, and coriander. Read More…

Mango Spiced Quick Oats

mango spiced oats

It feels good to be back after a break of a few weeks without doing much cooking or writing.  For most of February and March I was caught up in training for the Puerto Rico Marathon and Half Marathon.  Those focused weeks definitely paid off: I shaved off over six minutes over my previous half marathon personal best. Read More…

Chunky Mojo Isleño

Salinas Puerto Rico

Photo Credit – Angel Figueroa. All rights reserved.

On Sundays, people pile up their families in their cars and take off to explore the island and every corner’s signature flavors.  On today’s Domingo Criollo feature, we ‘visit’ the Southern Puerto Rico town of Salinas through this recipe for chunky mojo isleño.

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Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Granola Energy Bars

granola energy bars

Fig and Pecan Granola Energy Bars

I’ve liked granola bars for as long as I can remember.  Could it be the candy-like wrappers?  The combination of sweet and salty?  Their magic hunger killing powers when enjoyed with coffee, tea, water, soda?  They are so convenient I always have a box or two at home and at work.  Although I have made ‘loose’ granola at home before, this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, Granola Energy Bars, was my first time baking and slicing it into bars.  It won’t be the last.  No brand that I know of has come up with apricot macadamia or fig and pecan varieties.  And those are just the flavors I thought up with this week!

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