Ragù alla Bolognese (Bolognese Sauce)

When I was young, pasta came with one of two sauces: tomato or meat. Now, I can appreciate that there’s a lot more to “meat sauce” than I used to think there was, and anybody who has ever tried to pursue that perfect Bolognese sauce knows just what I mean. For instance, despite its appearance, tomato should not be a huge part of the sauce–a variety of meats, slowly braised and simmered, is the true star, giving this sauce a full body and an incredible complexity. Of course, no matter how you make it, it won’t be hard to find somebody else who does it completely differently. Ragù alla Bolognese is one of those personal, family tradition kind of sauces that has as many recipes as there are people on the planet at any given moment.

I was inspired by the insightsclick to read more…

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Sweet Potato Pecan Pie with Ginger Ice Cream

This was another pie I wanted to revisit, as I’ve come a long way since I first started cooking, so given my southern Thanksgiving theme, I had the perfect opportunity. Based entirely on my anecdotal experience, sweet potato pie seems to be one of those things that doesn’t seem to have spread very far outside of the south, and I really can’t see why. Pumpkin pie is certainly popular, and sweet potato pie is similar in style, but it brings a unique, amazingly vibrant flavor. Combined with a sticky, pecan crust on top and a scoop of sweet (but lightly spicy) ginger ice cream, and you’ve got yourself one heavenly dessert.

Given the aforementioned similarity to pumpkin pie, the approach to this pie is in keeping with my recent experimenting with pumpkin pie. I made a click to read more…

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Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits

For me, no dinner is complete without some form of bread. For Thanksgiving, I thought a pile of fresh biscuits would be perfect finger-food for sopping up gravy and getting that bready fix. Plus, biscuits are awesome, especially when loaded with cheddar and chives.

These biscuits had everything you could want in a biscuit. They were tender, flaky, buttery, nicely layered, and really tasty. The butter gives a nice richness, the buttermilk a bit of tang, and the cheddar/chive combo adds a delicious, sharper flavor. And did I mention biscuits are awesome? Another flavor I strongly considered adding into the biscuits (but laziness won, so forgive me): crumbled bacon! I throw it out there for any motivated would-be biscuit makers. 😉 I made these to go with my Thanksgiving dinner.

  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar

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Pork Chops with Honey Chipotle Cranberry Sauce

I’ve wanted to experiment a bit more with cranberries since these tart little fruits are too good to relegate solely to Thanksgiving dinner, never to be seen again until next year. I’ve gotten a lot of suspicious reactions to all of my cranberry endeavors thus far (since its not traditional cranberry sauce), but the versatility of these berries continues to impress me. So today, I wanted to see how they’d fare with a bit of a stronger, South-western style kick to them by making a honey chipotle cranberry sauce to go with some pork chops.

The sauce itself was surprisingly potent: tart, dark, acidic, spicy (in both heat and flavor), sweet, and smoky. Simply put, the sauce was tasty, a fun change, and a very… click to read more…

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Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: A Southern Inspired Thanksgiving

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving–I certainly did. I hosted again this year with a small gathering of friends and family, serving enough food for a…much larger gathering, lol. Normally, I’m just cooking for my wife and me, but Thanksgiving is an entirely different animal what with the wide variety of dishes to coordinate–you don’t want redundant flavors, too few pans, too little oven space, too much to do at once–its a lot of work, stress, and trouble…and I love it. As I had promised you, I wanted to share the outcome of my Thanksgiving this year with you as this holiday is obviously about giving thanks, and for me, its also very much about the food.

Also, something worth mentioning: Foodbuzz. I’ve been a member with Foodbuzz for a while now, and they have… click to read more…

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Happy Thanksgiving! Some last minute ideas

Its that time of year again! Thanksgiving is when we all slave over a much bigger-than-usual meal, planning and cooking far more food than we really need. Its crazy, its stressful, and I love it. This kind of thing used to scare me, but now, its a fun challenge–all the planning, the timing, and trying to balance the variety of food throughout the entire meal–I can’t quite nail it down, but its a wonderful thing.

Turkey, ravaged on the Thanksgiving table

By the time you’re reading this, I’m abuzz in the kitchen (and I promise you a post to show the fruits of my labors during this holiday, so check back in a few days!), so while I do that, I thought I’d post a mini-roundup of dishes I’ve done before that would do great on your holiday table. This list is by no means exhaustive and I’d love to hear what your plans are for this year, whether they be what you intend to… click to read more…

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