Monday, November 25, 2013

No-Fuss Thanksgiving for Two or Four

                  Not everyone, every time, wants to make a huge Thanksgiving dinner.  This fully-satisfying but simple menu is for the year when there are, thank goodness, just two of you--or maybe four.  Or for the year when you escaped the family and borrowed a friend's cabin on the lake or condo at the shore.  You'd like something tasty, but it's just not the year to spend two days in the kitchen.

                 This little menu begins with a sparkler (a sparkling wine)--an inexpensive Spanish cava or  New Mexico Gruet (not sweet and very reasonable)--and a bit of cheese.  No need to get full before dinner.  Next comes a magnificent, golden brown chicken* roasted with lemons, basil, and huge shards of winter squash.  Just to show off, there are nearly instant--but incredibly luscious--green beans graced with lots of bright lemon zest and a splashy note of crushed red pepper. A very fast, cooked stove top, spicy cranberry sauce made with apples and lemons is an optional side and truly a contrast.  Drink a good bottle of Pinot Noir with the chicken.  (I like an Oregon Pinot Noir, which comes at several different price points:  A-Z at the lower end, Ken Wright or Adelsheim further up.  Can't find one you like or can afford?  Ask the wine shop for a middle-ground French red Côtes du Rhône. Want white?  Choose an off-dry Riesling--German or Washington state. ) Tiny individual microwaved pumpkin "pies" bring up the rear--so to speak-- with no crust necessary, though you can add a small ginger thin at the bottom of each ramekin if you'd like. Coffee  you flavor yourself with cinnamon (a sprinkle in the grounds works wonders) and a nice piece of dark chocolate--or two-- end the day in happiness.

*You might consider a slow cooker roasted chicken if that would be simpler.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

One-Pan Salmon and Kale on Brown Rice

     Confused about which fish you should buy?  Download a Monterey Bay Aquarium guide...

When Dave's gone (he's my dishwasher), I lean toward one-pan meals.  I like hearty, healthy, and satisfying potfuls that will feed me a few times.  I admit to laziness.  Evenings spent on the couch reading.  Kitchens that stay clean.

I also adore fish cooked with or in vegetables; it's one of my favorite meals for experimenting.  As long as there's enough liquid in the vegetables and pan and the vegetables are done (or nearly done) when the well-seasoned fish goes on top, the meal is usually successful.  Fish salads are next on my list; I love them, too!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Apple Pie for You and Someone Special--Just in Time for Thanksgiving When Someone Says, "Bring the Pie!"

10-inch pie for dessert ("A" is for apple) and a coffee cup pie for someone who needs one, like my grandson, Rhyan.
I'm not a big pie eater.  Well, if I'm in Santa Fe I eat coconut cream pie.  If I'm in Florida, I make cherry pie for my family and, well, I eat some. But if I'm home, I bake, but I don't eat much.  A bit of crostata.  A bit more of pumpkin once a year. Honestly, one piece at Thanksgiving and one piece the next morning for breakfast.   I make tarts for gifts and have a bite.  (Especially lemon.)   Overall, I'm a chocolate person.  And while I don't EAT a lot of pie, I certainly bake it and do taste it.