Savory Kale, Garlic, & Cauliflower Purée Pop Tarts

A few things occur to me as I begin to write this post. One, this main photo looks an awful lot like the monster cookie stack picture from two posts ago — derp. Two, these pop tarts, while very deserving of being shared ASAP to avoid depriving the world of the recipe a moment longer, have nothing to do with Thanksgiving. Three, just over a week ago I began a weekly rewind series with a mission to begin posting more frequently than once a week. And here I am with a new post……one whole week later. (My focus was derailed mid-week by circumstances beyond my control. But I’m back on track, and I’m ready to make up for lost time by cramming in two posts, back-to-back. So today, we talk pop tarts. Then tomorrow, a slightly belated weekly rewind in the form of a Thanksgiving round-up!)

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Cheesy Quinoa with Roasted Broccoli

Hey guys! First off, I’d like to thank everyone that participated in the giveaway. It’s great to find so many people who are as enthusiastic about bitters as I am, as well as those who are equally excited to learn more about them. Giveaways are always a bit tough for me — I love reading everyone’s comments, and restraining myself from replying (to avoid counting confusion) proves extremely difficult. But once the contest ends I find myself a bit distraught, because it’s time to divide participants up into winners and non-winners, and I always wish I could give something to everyone! So once again, thank you for all of the great comments. The fates have spoken, and the randomly chosen winners are:

eve: I’m relatively new to bitters, but love how they bring depth to a sugary drink, even if it’s just juice & seltzer. Recent fave is the Ruby Jack from Stanton Social in NYC – Jack Daniels, pomegranate juice, lemon simple syrup and peach bitters.

Lavender Pepper: Oh wow… yeah. I did college in Albany NY as well. I remember all that.. and Fountain Day. Those were… days.
But my fave bitters are: 1) I will second your Bitter Truth Celery Bitters, but for my Bloody Marys. 2) BT Orange Bitters in my vesperesque Lillet+Gin cocktails.

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Zucchini & Sweet Corn Pizza

Yesterday, I shared a simple pizza sauce recipe and a few house-sitting pictures with you. Today, I’d like to follow that up with the resulting pizza and a house-sitting anecdote.

What follows is a prime example of what it’s like to be me. See, I seem to be a magnet for “oops” situations. We’re talking a rapid series of events that will cause my brain to completely freeze, and my I-work-8-hours-a-day-on-a-computer fingers on my left hand to start involuntarily making ctrl+Z keystrokes. Sometimes, it’s my own fault. But most of the time, it feels like mischievous cosmic forces are at work, putting me in ridiculous situations for their own amusement. (See also this post.) It’s cool though, because apparently the universe and I have similar senses of humor. (I am also well aware that this cosmic torment might actually be better defined as “karma,” since I have a bit of a penchant for mischief myself.)

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Asparagus & Caramelized Ramp Hand Pies

So as some of you may know, I have but one sworn food enemy. That sweaty-tasting, eye-stinging, vile orb of slimy-yet-crunchy layers: The Onion.

My dislike of onions has existed for as long as I can remember. My mother swears I used to eat them when I was very young, but I have no recollection of this. On occasion, she would accidentally add a bunch of onions to something before separating out an untainted portion for me, then try to pass it off as onion-free in the hopes that I wouldn’t notice. That never worked. I could spot them in food from 10 feet away. I could smell them from even farther. I’d smush my dinner all around the plate, pick out every onion I could find, then still refuse to eat it, igniting a dinner table standoff: Carey: Hater of Onions vs. Parents: Lords of After-Dinner TV Privileges. Even today, finding them in my food ignites a childish, fussy frustration within me. If I order a dish sans onions at a restaurant and the waiter asks if I have an allergy, my go-to response is, “I’m mentally allergic to them.” This is usually met with a somewhat bemused look, but it keeps them out of my food.

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Anatomy of a Really Good Grilled Cheese

So unless you’ve been living under a rock as of late, you probably know that it’s grilled cheese month. And if you think I’d pass up an opportunity to get in on the cheesy madness, you’d better think again!

I have some pretty strong feelings about what a grilled cheese should be.  And, at the risk of getting a bit up-on-my-soapbox-y, I’d like to share them with you. First: Butter that bread. No oils, especially if they’re “spritzed” on (good grief). BUTTER all the way! Second: Use a light, mild-flavored bread. Because the bread is just a crispy vessel that contains and delivers the delicious, melty cheese. Which brings me to my last, but most strongly-held belief: The cheese is the one and only star. I like a hot sandwich with cheese and other tasty things as much as the next person. But if you ask me if I want a “grilled cheese” and I reply, “yes!” (which I always will), I don’t want any of that extra jazz. No stringy greens smacking me in the face. No tomato chunks falling into my lap. And no, not even any delicious (but overpowering and tough-to-bite-through) slices of bacon. Just buttery bread and ooey-gooey cheese, please.

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