One of my favorite things about winter is winter squash. The fact that acorns and butternuts, kobacha, and spaghetti squash are plentiful and cheap is a wonderful thing.
Actually, wait, it’s not one of the things i like about winter, it’s the thing i like about winter. Cold weather and the sun setting at 6 PM — who can stand this? At least i have yummy squash to help me get through the cold* darkness.
The only problem being that the squash are pretty big — one of them is more than Minos and i can eat in one meal. So we chop them in half, and use each half separately.
Atlanta is now infamous for its lack of coping skills in winter weather. I was lucky to have only spent 3 hours in the snow and logistics induced traffic jam of 2014. Even though I was lucky compared to others I knew who spent 7 and 13 hours in it, it was still a hideous way to spend an afternoon. When I got back, I wanted comfort food. Big time. There was no matza meal, so I looked for dumpling recipes on the internet and found this semolina dumpling recipe at Smitten Kitchen.
Our usual Super Bowl party hosts cancelled this year. Since I love football, there had to be a Super Bowl party! So we split duties with our friends. We cooked and they provided the space. This was the perfect time to play with the chili recipe, which I did.
I love apples. I eat them regularly. I buy big bags of them from my local farmer’s market, and stick them in the fridge, so that i always have some around. Apples are an important part of my snacking regimen.
The problem is that invariably one or two will come loose from the bag and wander around my fridge for a while. Any time that i clean out the fridge i find a few apples just hanging out, usually a little old. Uh, not to imply that i do not clean my fridge weekly! Bi-weekly in fact…
So what do i do with apples that are a little old, maybe soft in parts, but not bad yet?
In our quest to know more about different cheeses, we went on the smoky side.
Smoked Sulguni (Karoun)
Karoun is a California company specializing in Mediterranean cheeses such as the Ackawi we reviewed earlier. The smoked sulguni tastes a bit liked a smoked provolone. The smoke flavor is relatively mild compared to the Irish cheddar listed next. Sulguni is a specialty of Georgia (Eastern Europe not Southeast US) and is a stretched curd cheese like mozzarella. We didn’t find this sample to be as soft as most mozzarella, and it was perhaps a little more rubbery than a provolone. It would be yummy used as you would a smoked provolone, but Georgians also use sulguni in stuffed mushrooms.
Irish Knockanore Oak Smoked Cheddar
Knockanore is a family owned cheese company in Ireland. They breed their own cows for cheese making. This cheese has a strong cheddar flavor. It is sharp and a little crumbly like a good aged cheddar. The smoke does not overpower the cheddar flavor, so that the flavor is balanced. It’s a powerfully flavored cheese….not for the faint of heart. I can imagine sitting in an Irish pub with a Guiness, dark bread and some of this cheese! Slainte!
Grafton Village Maple Smoked Vermont Raw Milk Cheddar
Grafton Village Cheese Company has been making cheese in Vermont since the 19th century. This was very mild in cheddar flavor and in smoke. It’s texture was smooth and creamy. Of all these cheeses, this is probably the best to eat raw on crackers or rye with a smear of mustard or a slice of apple.
I despise winter. I am, basically, a solar-powered person. I require sunlight in quantity that i cannot get during the winter. I mean, it gets dark before 6 PM and that is just wrong. (Note: i understand that it gets dark even earlier in my ethnic homeland along Lake Erie, and i do not know how i could have survived such a thing.)
This is the second part of my posting about The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013. The first part details the cookies that i made and sent out.
What, you might ask, is “GFBCS2013″? It is:
All of you loyal readers who have been with us from the beginning know that the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is, in a sense, the reason for this blog. Quite simply, i love making cookies and love eating cookies, so i have wanted to participate in this event for a few years. In order to do so, i had to have a food blog, and thus you came to be reading this.
Atlanta Veg Fest is a gathering of Vegetarians and Vegans. On Saturday 9 November 2013 i went to the third annual event, which appeared to be a pretty popular.
It took place at Le Fais Do-Do in the trendy Westside. Despite my aversion to “joining things” and “being part of a group” i went to the event. I know that i would be going there to mingle with people who have an “ideology” and a “group identity”, things which make me profoundly uncomfortble for reasons that would take too long to go into here I went mostly to see what it would be like, but also because Isa Chandra Moskowitz was giving a cooking demonstration. Isa is the lady behind The Post-Punk Kitchen, a blog i have been reading for quite a long time, and so my long familiarity drew me out on a cold, dreary Saturday..
I love cranberry sauce just as it is. But when we were making trade items for the November Food Swap, I figured plain wouldn’t cut it. Researching cranberry relishes, chutneys and sauces is overwhelming! I ended up combining elements from a couple of recipes. Some of the seasoning comes from a chutney recipe. It doesn’t really taste like an Indian chutney, but it has a little bite from ginger and some mellow sour from the balsamic vinegar. The slightly chunky texture that comes from using the food grinder gives it textural interest but leaves the relish spreadable. If you don’t have a food grinder, a food processor would work as long as you don’t overprocess and end up with a paste.