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Seared Scallops with Leek Risotto and Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce

Seared Scallops with Leek Risotto and Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce - Romance is all about making great combinations. Scallops and risotto are two dishes that many people are nervous about making, but take the plunge. Trust us: it's easier than you think.  Look, nobody...
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Braised Short Ribs with Honey, Soy and Orange

These braised short ribs are cooked low and slow in a delectable sauce flavored with soy, honey, orange and Chinese 5-spice powder. A hearty cold-weather recipe!

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Brownie Cookies Filled With Peanut Butter Buttercream

Creamy peanut butter buttercream sandwiched between two moist, fudgey brownies, rolled in crushed salted peanuts. Simply the most delicious cookies we’ve ever made.

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Brussels Sprout Pizza with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese

Brussels Sprout Pizza with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese

Brussels Sprout Pizza with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Goat CheeseAn elegant and delicious pizza with caramelized balsamic-glazed red onions topped with a layer of crispy, golden brown brussels sprout leaves. Mozzarella and goat cheese add richness and tang. 

If, like me, you get a lot of your culinary inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram (I admit it, I’m completely addicted to both), you might well think that pumpkin and squash were the only vegetables available from September through November. Not true!

Don’t get me wrong, I love squash and that high-pitched squeal you heard was probably me squee-ing with excitement when the first delicatas arrived at the farmer’s market but a girl’s gotta mix it up a little, right?

Thus, our Brussels Sprout Pizza with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese was born.

Rustic Shortbread Biscuits (or Cookies)

Rustic Shortbread Biscuits (or Cookies)

Rustic Shortbread BiscuitsThese deceptively simple shortbread rounds are so rustic, you’ll think you’ve time-travelled to 1740.

We’ve recently been doing some behind-the-scenes overhauling of the site, cleaning up old links, testing a new recipe plugin, that sort of thing, and I found myself looking at one of the first articles I ever wrote for the blog, in 2013. In it I talk about finding three wooden biscuit stamps at my grandmother’s house after she died. Her kitchen cupboards were seemingly endless and there was always something at the back that you never knew was there. Into the 90s I swear we were still finding foodstuffs at the very back of the larder with halfpence prices (which were phased out in 1983). Certainly I don’t remember ever seeing, let alone Nan ever using, these stamps.

So, just to recap, the stamps are, at first glance, a shamrock, a thistle, and a dragon. If you’re British, you’ll be saying “yes of course, that makes total sense”; if you’re not, you will probably be singing the “One of these things is not like the other” song from Sesame Street.

Smothered Pork Chops with Cipollini Onions and Grapes

Smothered Pork Chops with Cipollini Onions and Grapes

Smothered Thin-cut Pork Chops with Cippolini Onions and Grapes

Smothered Pork Chops with Cipollini Onions and Grapes

Tender, thin-cut pork chops smothered in a rich, savory sauce, with sweet cipollini onions and grapes. This is a dinner party-worthy dish quick enough to whip up after work. 

Is it just me or has 2016 been a beast? Maybe it’s only pre-election madness but lately everything seems just a wee bit more stressful than usual. I look around and all signs seem to point to YEP, TIME TO PANIC. Not that I’m turning into a crazy survivalist or anything (surreptitiously steps in front of industrial-sized case of organic ketchup). What? That was on sale at Costco.

Now that I think about it, if the apocalypse really is coming I want to have lots of condiments on hand to mask the flavor of boiled weeds and roadkill. I’d probably be the Walking Dead zombie that sprinkles fancy salt and a splash of vinegar on my victims before I chew their faces off. There’s really no excuse for bland brains, m’right?

Okay, I seem to have strayed raaaaather far off topic. What I mean to say is, even during stressful times, nay, especially during stressful times, it’s important to take an hour out every once in a while and make a nice dinner.

Farro Salad with Roasted Grapes and Baby Kale

Farro Salad with Roasted Grapes and Baby Kale

Farro Salad with Roasted Grapes and Baby Kale

A farro salad is the perfect way to extend salad season into the fall. This combination has great intense flavors and only a little preparation.

[Matt says: We’re reposting this popular recipe from the first year of the blog. The evenings are colder in these parts but we’re still getting warm sunny days; even though there’s nothing fresh in the garden, I still want a healthy green lunch, and this does the job. A good boxed baby kale or even baby spinach is perfect here.]

A long, long time ago, on my first “grown-up” trip, I was at a tiny little restaurant in Florence, Italy, when a waiter asked me if I was a fan of “Farrah”. “Um, huh?” I asked, eloquent as always. “Farrah, you like?”. “She’s… ok, I guess”. I was very confused as to what a 70’s sex symbol had to do with Italian food but was too embarrassed to ask. The waiter, befuddled by my response, wandered away, I’m sure annoyed that he ended up with the table of weird Americans.

Later I noticed a special on the menu, “Farro con Pomodori Arrostiti” (Farro with roasted tomatoes). Aha! Farro, not Farrah! Farro, of course. Farro… I had no idea what Farro was. I didn’t order it.

Concord Grape Jelly

Concord Grape Jelly

Concord grape jellyMaking concord grape jelly is really easy and you don’t have to be a homesteader to do it. All you need is grapes, sugar and lemons – no added pectin!

I may as well put it out there straight away: we’re not homesteaders. At least, not yet. If you’re reading this (frankly, if you’re not reading this, I don’t know what the hell’s going on), you’re no doubt into food, and home cooking, and perhaps you subscribe to the newsletters of people who have acreage and live off the land and have their very own scoby and sourdough starter, both of which have names (I’d name my sourdough starter “Scrimshaw”, I think. How about you?) People who pickle. People who can.

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