Revenge of the #Basics: Pumpkin Risotto

Confession: I don’t like pumpkin spice _______. I tried one of those latte things at Starbucks last autumn for the first time, and I thought it was kind of gross. I was excited for what I thought would be a pumpkin-flavored coffee, and instead it was cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and a lot of sugar.

I love pumpkin, though. Like eggs or sandwiches, it’s unfairly categorized as a thing that is to be eaten and prepared just one way. Eggs are for breakfast. Sandwiches aren’t for dinner. Pumpkins are for sweets. Rubbish, I say.


Risotto isn’t nearly as hard to make as people seem to believe, which is great for you: when you make it, everyone acts very impressed.  Even though it isn’t very photogenic, it is kind of of sexy. Seasonal and filling, this pumpkin take I invented has been a big hit with everyone I made it for. My best friend is convinced this is how she sealed the deal with her new boyfriend, so strong is the allure of a savory pumpkin dish.

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Tea Party Tuesday: Zoborodo

If you’ve poked around this blog at all, you have probably picked up on the fact that I hate to waste pretty much anything. I’m one of those people who puts water into the soap dispenser to get more liquid out (what? it works!), and I save all my vegetable peels so I can make stock. I’m like your grandma who lived through the Great Depression, only I have WiFi.  To me, wastefulness is lazy and uncreative, two things no one should want to be.

Right, so, pineapples were on special at Publix, and I love a sale, so obviously I bought several. I peeled them and chopped them and ate them, but then I had all these spiny skins littering my kitchen and I was loathe to throw them away. What the Sam Hill do you do with a couple pounds of pineapple peel? I googled around and came across zoborodo, a Nigerian tisane that put them to good use.

Yep, blood red tea.
Yep, blood red tea.

As we’ve covered in previous blogs, tisanes (or herbal teas) aren’t really teas at all. They’re waters infused with herbs, spices, fruits, and flowers. They’re hydrating, almost calorie-free, and have tons of benefits for you, but they aren’t tea. This one can lower blood pressure and decrease pain, plus it’s got a little vitamin C to boot.  Here’s an easy recipe for zoborodo that I adapted from a few I found online. The only odd thing in this recipe is hibiscus flowers, which you can buy at Whole Foods or a health food store.

Acquire the following:

Peel of a pineapple

A generous handful of hibiscus flowers

Two tablespoons (ish) of diced raw ginger

Juice of 2 limes (pro tip: check the “priced for quick sale” shelf at your supermarket. Limes are expensive right now, bout they’re usually there. They’re fine for juice, but just kind of ugly. I got a dozen for a dollar this week.)

Put all these in a big pot and cover with water (I did about 2 liters of water). Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes, then remove from heat and let it steep for about 10 minutes. Strain out all the things you put in and serve. You can drink this hot, but I loved it iced! It’s still 90 degrees here in Charleston, so the mere idea of drinking a warm beverage is a horror. It’s a little bit sour, so add some agave or honey if you want something sweeter. Enjoy!

So what do y’all think of my pineapple reuse? Any other tips for me?

ME WANT [recipes for] COOKIES

These are my favorite cookies ever, but getting the recipe would be on par with the Ocean's 11 heist.
These are my favorite cookies ever, but getting the recipe would be on par with the Ocean’s 11 heist.

So, I’m trying to do something cool for some nice friends of mine who have been deployed to Afghanistan for the next year. I want to send them cookies every week, but I don’t want to just send Toll House chocolate chippers every couple days. Would you be willing to share your favorite recipe with me? All the different ways to contact me are in the About column. I’m hoping to get about 50 and I’ll make a little booklet at the end!

Snacks on Snacks on Snacks: Jam Thumbprint Cookies

I don’t know what my deal is, but I’ve been really craving sweets this weekend. We’re having people over in a little bit to watch the season finale of Mad Men, so I have an excuse to make dozens and dozens of cookies that I wouldn’t otherwise have made. It’s way too summery for hamantaschen, but I think we could make some jam thumbprints, right?

I only ate 6 while writing this.
I only ate 6 while writing this.

Right. After the jump, check out my five-ingredient summer remix cookies.

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Lazy Sunday

I’m too exhausted by the events of the past  few days to even attempt a pithy headline, so here are your links for Sunday:

Do I Love You? A guide on how to know.

Maybe you’re wondering if I love you. The answer is a firm “maybe.” A good hint would be that if you get hurt and are feeling kind of bummed and are just hanging around the house alone, I make you a pie and bring it to you and sit on your couch and watch Nashville with you.
A couple days ago, I promised that I would share a few things my grandma taught me how to do. I meant to get this to you yesterday, but, you know, Nashville. The particular coconut cream pie recipe that I will share with you after the jump is well regarded to be the alpha and omega of coconut cream pies. I will let you be the judge.

Sweet, sweet convalescence.
Sweet, sweet convalescence.

Continue reading “Do I Love You? A guide on how to know.”