Is there such thing as burger-induced writer’s block? If so, I have it.
Which doesn’t make sense because these veggie burgers are nothing short of amazing and should inspire me to write epic poetry, let alone a simple blog post.
Alas, the words elude me. Like the thinking equivalent of talking with your mouth full. How about we just say these burgers left me speechless, and I’ll simply tell you about them instead. Straight to the point and without all the fluff. Also: without any meat.
Quinoa, shredded carrot, cheese and breadcrumbs form a surprisingly substantial patty, which is then topped with fresh tomato, arugula, tart pickled red onions and soft, creamy goat cheese.
I put goat cheese on everything.
Just in case you didn’t notice.
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Life is good. You know how I know? The biggest dilemma I was faced with this past weekend was what to do with the rest of my coveted strawberries.
Two batches of jam, three smoothies, and four bellyaches later, there were only a handful of less-than-perfect berries left, crying to be used. Rather then send them into the deep freeze for later use, I threw them into a batch of these delicious-sounding scones.
While the flavors were spot-on, I felt that the texture was not quite as scone-like as I would have liked. Granted, I took them out of the oven sooner than the directions instructed, however if I hadn’t I would have ruined another baking sheet with the singed remains of strawberry ooze. As a result, the texture was almost muffin-like, light and fluffy and soft. Good, no doubt, but not what I’d define as a scone.
I loved the sweet buttermilk glaze, though, and so did the cat. We turned our backs for 5 seconds only to find that she’d broken in to the partially open container and was now madly licking the glaze off the top of one scone like her life depended on it.
I take it back. We DO have bigger dilemmas than just strawberries…
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I give up. Why don’t YOU try to photograph a cheesesteak. The gooier and meltier the better, taste-wise, but the harder it is to photograph.
Disclaimer: I do not live in Philly, nor have I ever actually had an authentic Philly cheesesteak. This is my version, based on a recipe by Julie of The Little Kitchen (who has never been to Philly either). If you are offended by the fact that we didn’t use cheese-whiz or whatever processed cheese product the locals use, please keep your cheesesteak-gospel to yourself. I’ll try a real one eventually (really, I will!) but until then, this is a darn good substitute.
The secret to this sandwich is really the bread. It’s worth the extra effort to hunt down some good-quality hoagie rolls (we were really impressed with the Publix rolls Julie recommended). And don’t skip the steaming. Simply wrapping the rolls in foil and popping them in the oven for a few short minutes allows the juices to permeate the bread, steaming and softening the bread in a marriage of succulent steak and melted cheese.
I’m a proponent of simplicity when it comes to cheesesteaks and thus chose to top mine with just sauteed onions; however, if you need a more fulfilling cheesesteak, feel free to add green bell peppers, mushrooms, or other toppings to them mix.
Actually, I take that back. I’m really tempted to make a “hipster” version, complete with goat cheese and arugula or other toppings that will probably make the cheesesteak-purists out there cringe.
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Great news! Today I’m also sharing this recipe over at Broadway+Thresher, a new online lifestyle magazine dedicated to exploring the rich diversity of our rural areas and the influence urban migration has had on them. They’ve got some beautiful stuff over there already, and I’m honored to be a part of it with this recipe for Wild Mushroom Papardelle. Keep up the great work, guys!
I’m inspired by simplicity.
And when that simplicity is bathed in butter? Even better.
This pasta dish contains two kinds of mushrooms: dried porcini mushrooms as well as the more exotic Maitake mushroom, also called Hen of the Woods mushrooms, my newest discovery. Why dried mushrooms? Why not use all fresh? While the fresh mushrooms definitely have a delicate texture that the dried version can’t reproduce, it’s that rehydrating process that is the key to this recipe, namely what is leftover: mushroom water (mushroom juice?) The soaking liquid left after the mushrooms have softened is loaded with a robust, earthy flavor that would be a shame to waste. Some of that water gets added to the pan along with the mushrooms, making the sauce into, well, a sauce.
With a splash of lemon juice, a dash of parsley and red pepper flakes, and a flurry of freshly grated Pecorino cheese topping it all off, this dish comes together in a delightful symphony of flavors, rich and buttery yet light and delicate. Inspired by a local restaurant here in Nashville (the same place, the same meal actually, that inspired this Brussels Sprout Salad that you all loved so much), the result is incredible.
If you’ve never made homemade pasta before, I suggest you start out with a basic recipe, perhaps the one that came with your machine (or hand crank). I’ve posted my basic recipe before, such as in these Fresh Corn Ravioli, as well as published it in our book, you’ll just want to slice the pasta sheets into wide noodles instead of shaping them into ravioli.
Another tip? Make the effort to find 00 pasta or 00 semolina flour. It makes a world of difference; you’ve never had pasta so tender. However, you can also substitute fresh store bought linguine or fettuccine in this recipe if you’re short on time.
Don’t forget to click on over to see this recipe, plus some extra photos of the process at Broadway+Thresher.
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