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Posts tagged as holiday

Fudgiest Brownies (Gluten-Free)

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Dec 3, 2013 at 11:47am

Fudgy Browndies (Gluten-Free) | Fresh TartThe beauty of Alice Medrich’s fabulously decadent cocoa brownie recipe is that flour plays such a minor role in flavor and texture, that it matters not a whit what type you use. Use wheat flour, as the recipe was originally written, and you’ll be thrilled. Or, substitute gluten-free AP flour and be equally thrilled, because by my memory, they taste exactly the same. That’s because these brownies are about good cocoa, butter, and eggs, melted and stirred and whisked in just such a way (in one bowl, no less!) to deliver a shiny, crusty top with a fudgy (not cakey) interior.Fudgiest Brownies (Gluten-Free) | Fresh TartI’ll even go so far as to say that I think you could make these grain-free, by using tapioca starch or potato starch as the flour. I haven’t done it yet, but I will, and I’ll let you know how they turn out. I suspect: mighty damn fine.

No matter how you bind them, these are brownies that beg for a glass of milk, particularly restorative after holiday shopping, gift-wrapping, or tree-trimming. Not that those things aren’t fun, it’s just that…chocolate makes them more fun.

Heh.

Recipe for Fudgiest Brownies (Gluten-Free) at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Nathan and I spent the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at my dad and stepmom Susanna’s home south of Bozeman, Montana. My sister Stacey and her son Cooper were there too, as well as my brother David and sister Etta, both in from NYC. We had a long, restorative weekend catching up, cooking, hiking, and relaxing. Just what the doctor ordered for all of us!Jake | Fresh TartDad picked us all up at the airport, with Jake in tow. He makes an adorable front-seat companion.Sun West Ranch | Fresh TartSo good to pull up to this view. I hadn’t been in a year and a half, too long.Against All Grain Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies | Fresh TartWe were very, very happily greeted by Against All Grain paleo chocolate chip cookies, made by Susanna and Etta. These are winners of the highest order. Make them. Gah so good.Sun West Ranch | Fresh TartI’ve never been to the house in the winter…so lovely to see the setting sun against the snow-capped Madison range. Hi Etta!Gluten-Free Waffles with Chokecherry Syrup | Fresh TartMy dad made gluten-free waffles with Pamela’s mix/recipe. Perfection. That’s chokecherry syrup, made by Susanna from chokecherries she picked this summer at the ranch. Absolutely delicious. DuJour Magazine | Fresh TartI was delighted to page through the latest issue of DuJour Magazine while I ate breakfast, sipped coffee. My sister Etta is the photo editor. Seriously, how stunning is that cover?!Sun West Ranch | Fresh TartThere was pre-feast hiking and sledding. Lovely in every way.Sun West Ranch Sledding | Fresh TartGo Susanna! Sun West Ranch Sledding | Fresh TartGo Nathan and Coop!Thanksgiving Table | Fresh TartMy sister Stacey set a gorgeous table.Turkey! | Fresh TartSusanna’s sister Margie made a perfect, deconstructed turkey, all juicy, all crispy.Thanksgiving Sides | Fresh TartThe rest of the meal: roasted squash, gluten-free and gluten-full gravies, gluten-free sausage chestnut dressing, green beans with lemon-garlic butter & walnuts, buttermilk mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Colorful, flavorful, not over-the-top rich. In my book: perfection. Charlie (the pup) agreed.Pumpkin Cheesecake | Fresh TartMargie also made my aunt Marge’s pumpkin cheesecake with caramel sauce. There was oohing, aahing, sighing, groaning, and the licking of forks and perhaps even plates.Leftovers | Fresh TartLeftovers Part I was breakfast the next day: fried stuffing topped with green beans and…a poached egg, of course. Killah.Sun West Ranch | Fresh TartSun West Ranch | Fresh TartWe attempted to offset gluttony with another good, long hike, which even included crossing a creek on a fallen log. I wish it were as hard as it looked…but it was actually pretty easy. My brother David makes it look badass, however.

The rest of the meals? I stopped taking pictures, which means I relaxed into my vacation, and that was…so unbelievably nice. Home now, which feels lovely too, jamming on Twin Cites Chef’s Table. I spent the day writing and cooking, filling my fridge with roasted beets and squash, kale chips, hard-cooked eggs, grassfed beef bone broth, jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk, and braised beef short ribs. I’m stocking up for the cold, snowy, insanely busy days ahead, days when I want to eat fresh, nutritious, delicious meals on the fly.

The view out the window at home today:Snow | Fresh TartHey winter. Hey.

Spiced Fresh Cranberry Relish Mold

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Nov 26, 2013 at 1:12pm

Spiced Fresh Cranberry MoldPoor cranberries. No one really ever eats them, despite tradition, even when made from scratch. I think it’s because Americans are unaccustomed to the delights of chutney-eque condiments. Which is a shame, given the palate-cleansing powers of a tangy, acidic punch on a plate of buttery, rich foods.Spiced Fresh Cranberry Mold | Fresh TartThis recipe is as old school as I possess. My mom’s been surprising guests with her famous cranberry relish mold forever. Why surprising? Well, much like my mom, it’s got a spicy kick that sneaks up on you, in this case a surprising zing of horseradish that eliminates all worries of cloying sweetness. Think mostarda and you’ll have exactly the right idea.Spiced Fresh Cranberry Mold | Fresh TartAs a bonus, the mold is stunning on a holiday buffet table. My mom’s original recipe calls for raspberry Jello and canned cranberries, so I reworked it a bit to include fresh cranberries and fruit juice. The end result has more texture, and a fresher taste, without losing the surprising spicy kick. Pretty perfect, I think.

I hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Recipe for Spiced Fresh Cranberry Relish Mold at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Oct 22, 2013 at 7:38pm

Brussels Sprouts Gratin | Fresh TartI’m always trying to find things to douse in Cedar Summit cream, because let’s face it, I’m obsessed with the gloriously grass-fed stuff. Given a giant bag of darling little baby Brussels from the farmers market, and a hankering for my fave cauliflower gratin, I present the easiest, coziest Brussels dish in the world. I have a vision of setting this on a holiday table (particularly next to a roast beast), nestled among candles and pine boughs…although until the holidays roll around, I simply made it my dinner, with toast and a glass of wine.

Note: I am thoroughly enjoying the occasional slice of St. Paul’s own Thuro Sourdough Gluten-Free Teff bread. The Thuro folks have no idea who I am, I just happened to pick up a loaf in the freezer at The Wedge, in my quest for tasty GF breads made without weird fillers and nasty vegetables oils, which is no easy task. It’s seriously sour, which I love, and makes a flavorful, chewy piece of toast, toast that in fact makes me pine – again – for dearly departed, grass-fed Pastureland butter, which used to be made from Cedar Summit Cream.

Obsessed, I tell you.Brussels Sprouts Gratin | Fresh TartAnd another note: I recently devoured the book Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food by Catherine Shanahan, MD. I understand completely if you are not in the mood for yet another book about nutrition but…I still think you should read it, especially if you’re considering a pregnancy. I found myself reading several passages aloud to Puppy Louis, who now knows more about genetics than the average fluffy pup. I also found myself snapping iPhone pics of pages off my Kindle, for a potentially annoying way of sharing passages that blew my mind. Dr. Shanahan describes what she calls The Four Pillars of traditional diets around the world, the ways of eating that have produced the genetically healthiest people over millenia: meat cooked on the bone, a combination of raw and cooked plants, offal/organ meats, and fermented foods. She makes a strong case for avoiding vegetable oils and sugar in particular – a very strong case. Dr. Shanahan recently revamped the training diet of the injury-plagued LA Lakers and has helped several players heal nagging injuries. Good stuff.

Recipe for Brussels Sprouts Gratin at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Clafoutis

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jul 3, 2013 at 10:09am

ClafoutisAll-American pie is always perfect, but consider warm, fruity, French clafoutis for this 4th of July celebration. For one, clafoutis is faster to pull together. Can you mix pancake batter? In a blender? Then you can make clafoutis, which is in effect a giant crepe, scattered with fruit, and eaten hot out of the oven with whipped cream or creme fraiche or ice cream. Kids can definitely help pull this together – or make it all by themselves!Clafoutis: Cherry, Rhubarb-Raspberry, PeachI made three quick versions – peach, cherry, and rhurbarb-raspberry – to demonstrate how adaptable clafoutis can be. Plums, nectaries, blueberries – any fruit that marries well with crumbles, buckles, crisps, cobblers – can have an affair with clafoutis. If you can’t bear to serve anything but pie on the 4th, make clafoutis for breakfast. Melty creme fraiche and warm maple syrup are awesome together, for the record. Sexy even. It’s all bon.ClafoutisInspired by my friend Zoe Francois of Zoe Bakes (cornbread and peaches baked on the grill, oh my!), you could try baking clafoutis on the grill after you pull off the burgers and/or ribs. It’s hard to mess up a clafoutis which makes it experiment worthy. If you give it a try, let me know.

Happy Independence Day, Minnesota!

Recipe for Clafoutis at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 4.20.18 PMPS If you’re searching for 4th of July entertaining inspiration (or recipe ideas any day), bookmark or follow the Fortify: A Food Community Pinterest page! Formerly the Minnesota Food Bloggers, Fortify is a group of food lovers, many of whom have popular food blogs and write stunning, delicious recipes. Check out the page, I know your mouth will water. We have a Fortify: A Food Community Facebook group page too; join us!

Almond Triangle Cookies

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Dec 19, 2012 at 6:03am

Almond Triangle Cookies

What to bake when you prefer the salty over the sweet? And you’re busy? (And you can’t eat gluten?) These easy beauties, which have become everyone’s favorite Christmas cookie, including mine.

The original recipe caught my eye a few years ago as the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s 2009 Cookie Contest Winner. If you love almonds and caramel and butter and Christmas, you’ll be as smitten by these decadent cookies as the Strib’stasting panel clearly was (their verdict: “love” and “beautiful”).

As a gift to the baker, these are bar cookies, which Minnesotans know are the most magical (and easy!) of all. Other than allowing time for the shortbread crust to chill before baking, they come together in minutes. After they cool for awhile, cut them into tidy triangles, pour yourself a glass of milk, and dig in.

Despite their simplicity, the triangles are elegant on a cookie plate AND disappear blessedly quickly. You can focus on how nutritious almonds are to lull yourself into cookie complacency, but a cookie isn’t Christmas without a hearty dose of butter and sugar, and these are no exception.

Thank goodness!

Recipe for Almond Triangles at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Magical Boozy Eggnog

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Dec 11, 2012 at 6:51pm

Fabulously Boozy Eggnog

As a kid, I loved eggnog so much I could down a carton all by myself. I thought it was truly insane that anyone would blemish its creamy dreamy nutmeginess with stupid booze. Do not mess with perfection!

I no longer feel that way. I read this recipe in the December/January issue of (the fabulous!) Garden & Gun Magazine and it jumped right out at me 1) because the accompanying article is fantastic, and 2) because THIS is recipe writing: decadent, hysterical, and easy to follow.

Magical Boozy Eggnog

So if you too are charmed by the idea of a blast of bourbon in your eggnog, this recipe is for you. Two sips in, my tree sparkled magically, my family looked perfect, and The Little Drummer Boy didn’t make me want to gouge my eyes out. Suffice it to say this is a bracing ratio of bourbon to cream, so depending on the tolerance of your guests, adjust accordingly. (I think you could start with half the recommended bourbon and add more to taste. Kablam.)

Cheers!

Recipe for World’s Greatest Eggnog via Julia Reed, Garden & Gun Magazine at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Crunchy Wild Rice Salad with Citrus Dressing

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Nov 20, 2012 at 10:30am

crunchy wild rice salad with citrus dressing stephanie meyer fresh tart

Happy Almost Thanksgiving! If you’re searching for a refreshing, flavorful salad for the holiday table, I’ve got just the dish. This wild rice salad has been a Meyer family favorite for years and I’m always happy to see it on my plate. Right when the richness of buttery stuffing, buttery mashed potatoes, and buttery gravy threatens to tank your palate, slide your fork over for a bite of this salad, snappy and downright refreshing with orange zest and the crunch of toasted pumpkin seeds.

crunchy wild rice salad with citrus dressing stephanie meyer fresh tart

Bonus 1: It tastes even better the next day, which makes it a perfect do-ahead dish as well as a leftovers treat.
Bonus 2: It can easily be made vegan.
Bonus 3: You can play with the ingredients to your heart’s content. Pine nuts instead of pumpkin seeds. Pomegranate seeds instead of golden raisins. Add cubes of roasted squash. Add cubes of apple. Just don’t add marshmallows…

Enjoy a lovely meal, everyone!

Recipe for Crunchy Wild Rice Salad with Citrus Dressing at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Party Popcorn!

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Nov 6, 2012 at 2:59pm

popcorn fresh tart stephanie meyer

As we head into holiday entertaining and craziness, don’t forget about popcorn! I am NOT talking about microwave popcorn, I’m talking about the real deal, popped in a pan, which takes about 5 minutes to make and tastes 50 million times – maybe 100 million times – better. When you’re done, you have a bowlful of fragrant crunchiness ready to be tarted up for a party (or plopped in front of the TV with a glass of wine aka dinner).

When I was a kid, we were butter-and-salt purists, preferring plenty of both. Don’t get me wrong – browned butter with sea salt to this day makes up 80% of my popcorn consumption. I make it for my son’s friends, I set it out at our pool for swim parties, I make a batch after a night out with the girls. But it’s great fun, and almost as easy, to play around a bit with creative flavor combinations, which are both addictive and gorgeous, and tend to blow guests away for very little effort.

popcorn fresh tart stephanie meyer

Recipe(s) for Pumpkin Seed/Brown Butter/Crispy Sage, Bacon/Caraway Seed/Bay Leaf, and Curry Powder/Honey/Lime Zest popcorn (and other ideas too) at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Almond & Orange Cake with Poached Plum Compote

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Dec 7, 2011 at 11:16am

almond organge cake w plum compote

Given lusty poached plums and a hint of orange, this cake would be stunning on the Christmas table.

Recipe for Almond & Orange Cake with Poached Plum Compote at Food & Wine Magazine/Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures.

Turkey a la King

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Dec 7, 2011 at 10:40am

turkey a la king andrew zimmern

Um, I’m a bit late putting this up, I’m very sorry. This dish is of course is perfect for leftover Thanksgiving turkey…perhaps you froze some? Then you’re in luck! A creamy, delicious topping for rice, or filling for a luscious pot pie.

Perhaps you’re roasting a turkey for Christmas? I’m trying…

Recipe for Turkey a la King at Food & Wine Magazine/Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures.