It’s December and you know what that means, the holidays are upon us. Now, depending on who you are, that could be a very good thing or a kind of crappy thing. And if you’re like me, it can be either or depending on the day. I am currently wrapping up my holiday shopping, so I’m a little lukewarm on the subject. But even my post-Black-Friday sour mood can’t spoil the joy I get from planning festive menus. Cocktail parties, cookie boxes, and lavish feasts – I love dreaming them all up. Today I’m bringing you a holiday-ready main – this Gnocchi Stuffed Squash with Spinach Artichoke Cream. A vegetarian offering that I think is grand enough to hold its own next to a standing roast and decadent enough to make omnivores jealous. So let’s talk about it!
I adore appetizers. It’s probably because I have the attention span of a gnat. I love small bites of many things. Committing to a full serving of anything sort of feels like settling. Especially when you have plenty of choices in front of you. I would rather order the full run of starters on a menu than a solitary main. And yes, I realize this is far from sane. Most people would rather have a ribeye than a side order of focaccia. But that’s not important. What is important is I love to design appetizers. From dips and canapes to sliders and skewers, tiny food is when my heart is. And today’s Curried Pumpkin Croquettes with Mint Chutney are some of my best work.
Making a quesadilla for dinner is a lot like walking out of your pants the moment you step through the door – it’s bliss, a relief, a reward. Or at least that’s how I look at it. Quesadillas are a simple pleasure. They can be delicious with nothing more than cheese, or life-changing when more elaborate. And therein lies what I love most about the quesadilla, their versatility. You can stuff any sad thing for your crisper into them and transform it from yuck to yum. But today we’re not making quesadillas out of necessity, we’re making them on purpose. These Acorn Squash Quesadillas are far from flung together but they still feel carefree, fun, and most importantly, cozy.
Today’s Caramelized Fennel Linguine is a tidy little recipe. Minimal ingredients, minimal prep, and a dead simple method. But just because this recipe is short on flourishes doesn’t mean it isn’t toe-curlingly delicious. This pasta dish features caramelized wedges of fennel dressed with a kiss of sherry, a whole lot of butter, and a healthy sprinkling of shredded Grana Padano cheese. Served in a tangle of al dente linguine and finished with toasted breadcrumbs, fennel fronds, and a dollop of creme fraiche, this dish delivers balanced perfection with minimal fuss.