Butter beans and pomegranate form an unlikely friendship

Butter bean salad with pomegranate seeds

Butter bean salad with pomegranate seeds and scallions

While I have been eating in accordance to the Bon Appetit Food Lovers Cleanse for the last 2 weeks, I admit I did not follow their day-by-day menu plans. Instead I did a lot of mixing and matching depending upon what was on hand at any given time. This is sad only because it means it took me an extra week to discover the unexpectedly delicious coupling of butter beans and pomegranate seeds.

In fact, to be honest, I saw a picture of the salad (made with white cannellini beans) and immediately thought, “Oh hell no. That’s one to skip.” Even though I love a good bean salad, for some reason my brain could just not accept the combination of beans and fruit.

But then I saw reviews for the recipe — both online and on Instagram — and was surprised. People seemed to love it. And almost everyone praised the pomegranates for making the salad a success. After all, take them away and the salad is very, very basic — lemon, parsley, olive oil and green onions. Good, no doubt, but nothing to write home about.

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A biscotti by any other name…would be a tozzetti?

Tozzetti

Plate full of biscotti tozzetti

I am still slightly uncertain as to why this cookie is not a biscotti. After all, they are both “twice cooked” which is the general translation of biscotti. I’ll concede there is a slight difference in the dough. When I’ve made biscotti, the dough tends to be drier and some light kneading is usually required to get the logs properly formed. The tozzetti batter was much looser and after its first baking, looked more “free form” than traditional biscotti.

But presenting your co-workers with cookies that look like biscotti, while telling them they are not in fact biscotti, makes you feel a little silly.

And yet I’m happy I trusted Bon Appetite’s recipe because, no matter what you call these unassuming crunchy cookies, they are delicious. I’m a sucker for any kind of sweet that goes best with coffee because then you can eat it for breakfast without an ounce of guilt. These were perfect dunked into my morning cup of joe.

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Summer Pasta: Farmer’s Market with a side of Kitchen Sink

Summer pasta: a combination of all of the Farmers Market finds you forgot to eat!

Summer pasta: a combination of all of the Farmers Market finds you forgot to eat!

I feel like every season has an appropriate pasta sauce to go with it. I can’t imagine autumn without brown butter (and its ubiquitous partner, sage) or winter without a rich Bolognese. Spring seems to be the time for pesto — either traditional basil or a new riff like this parsley version.

Summer pasta sauces seem less structured and more, well, see the title of this post…

They stem from that moment when all of a sudden you realized you bought a bunch of beautiful produce but have been so busy hiking, camping, bbq-ing and river floating that you forgot all about it. And they usually consist of ripe tomatoes, squash, herbs, garlic, peppers and whatever odds and ends you come across while cleaning out your fridge.

I made this pile of pasta last week while I realized (in a slight panic) that I had things that needed to be eaten before they turned to the dark side. I took one look at everything I had pulled out of the fridge, and immediately started digging for some pasta. All types of veggies can find harmony when mixed with pasta. It’s a fact.

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Mr. Wonderful has arrived…and he’s a keeper!

White Cake with Strawberry Freezer Jam

Mr. Wonderful White Cake with Strawberry Freezer Jam

I made this cake a month ago, but summer is flying by so quickly, it feels like it was just last weekend! Yesterday I was actually surprised to see all the “back to school” stuff at the stores and then it hit me that it’s nearly mid-August. Summer, where did you go?

Luckily in times of crisis (and yes, summer ending is a crisis!), I find it’s best just to enjoy the moment and eat some cake…especially if it’s this cake. I made this berry-licious treat for my family reunion and let me tell you, it was gone so fast I barely got a piece. I think that’s the ultimate compliment, right?

Not only is this cake perfect for a summer get-together, but it’s also crazy easy to make. Seriously. I took the train to Tacoma, not arriving until 9pm and the reunion started the next day at noon. I had an idea of what I wanted to make, something sweet involving the jar of homemade strawberry freezer jam that I had brought along, but I didn’t really have a game plan.

On the trip up, I kept telling myself, just make it easy. Go to the store and buy a cake mix. No one will ever know and, as long as it has sugar in it, no one will care. But I remembered that I had seen a simple white cake recipe (hilariously named Mr. Wonderful White Cake) on one of my favorite blogs, food for fun, so I figured I’d give it a try.

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A new pickle will perk up old summer favorites

Pork Tacos w. Pickled Corn

Pork Tacos w. Pickled Corn

These three things are not much of a surprise to anyone who knows me: I love corn, pickled anything (except herring) and culinary magazines. So when I came across a recipe for pickled corn in the latest issue of Bon Appetit, I waited…oh, like two hours before making it.

Seriously. Two hours, no lie. The magazine arrived that afternoon, I leafed through it while basking in the sun and then it was time to start cooking.

My husband and I had decided to make tacos for dinner and I had two beautiful fresh ears of corn that I wanted to use up. I almost just shucked them and added them to the pot of beans but then I gave in and made this instead. It seemed too serendipitous to resist the temptation.

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More chew, less crunch: tinkering with homemade granola bars

Homemade chewy granola bars

Homemade chewy granola bars

I’ve been on an oat and flax kick lately — making lots of granola, oatmeal and those no-bake energy balls that you see all over Pinterest. I’ve also played around with some granola bars, including the cherry almond ones that I made a month or so ago. They were delicious, but it’s hard for me to just keep making the same thing over and over, no matter how tasty it is.

So it should come as no surprise that when I saw a recipe in Food & Wine for Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Energy Bars, I decided to give them a go. And if you’ve been reading my blog at all, it should also not come as a surprise that I made some changes to the recipe.

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