What’s Cooking: October 2012, Week 1

In the Kitchen

What’s cooking in your kitchen this week?  Please feel free to leave your seasonal favorites and links in the comments!  Here’s a glimpse into my kitchen:

Menu 1: Grilled salmon, salsa verde, and three salads.  I always feel like it’s so decadent to have three salads.  The first was a quinoa salad with corn, green onions, cilantro, tomatoes, and lime.  The second was a plate of thinly sliced cooked beets dressed with olive oil, sherry vinegar, and chopped hazelnuts.  The last was a lemony arugula salad.Menu 2:  The leftover arugula salad & quinoa became ingredients in a batch of quinoa cakes, which I served with the leftover salsa verde.  (We also slathered some of the quinoa cakes with tomato jam.)  We had them with beet soup and braised greens in an anchovy broth.Menu 3: Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Olives (using fresh tomatoes instead of jarred) and a green salad.  If you roast the cauliflower in advance, this meal can be ready in the time it takes to cook pasta.Other Tidbits:

I make granola when our gallon jar runs empty–which is to say, quite often.  This week I made a variation of this maple-pecan olive oil granola using 8 c. oats, 2 c. pecans, 2 c. sunflower seeds, 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, 1 tsp. each cinnamon and cardamom, 1 c. olive oil, 1 c. maple syrup, and 1 Tbsp. vanilla.  Mix it all up well, spread onto two rimmed baking sheets, and bake for 45 minutes at 300, switching the two pans top-to-bottom halfway through.  After baking, I added raisins to part of the batch and coconut chips to the rest.

I made a variation of the Pear Muffins with Vanilla and Cardamom, this time using applesauce and cinnamon in place of the pear sauce and cardamom.

And before I forget to tell you, those Candied Cherry Preserves are outstanding with Cypress Grove Chevre’s aged Truffle Tremor goat cheese.  (Do you have a favorite cheese that I should know about?)


I had an all-peach Can-o-Rama day and ended up with a Ginger Peach Chutney, Saffron Peach Jam, and Vanilla Bean Peach Preserves.  I almost always make my jam using Pomona’s Pectin and a low proportion of sugar, but I made the peach jam with no pectin and a more traditional (read: large) quantity of sugar, and I have to admit that it was quite good as well.  It will be a weekend treat.

I also canned another dozen jars of Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam.

Eating Out

After failing to get reservations at Altura to celebrate our wedding anniversary, J and I scored seats at the bar late on a Wednesday night.  It was a splurge of the best kind; we loved the food and the place and the service.  Altura received a James Beard Foundation nomination for Best New Restaurant and I can see why.  My off-the-menu vegetarian dishes were deeply flavorful, gorgeous, and inspiring.  I came home and wrote down everything I ate, which I won’t bore you with, except to share a few of the flavor combinations I want to remember for my own cooking (oh yes, I ate all this and more!):

  • Sweet corn panna cotta with scallion, scallion oil, and smoked steelhead roe
  • A multi-hued tomato salad (including one salty fried green tomato) with fresh mozzarella, herb oil, and green coriander seeds
  • Fresh pasta in matsutake broth with shaved matsutake mushrooms, black truffles, and lots of celery leaves
  • Blue cheese with candied fennel

On My Plate

Today’s CSA haul:Thanks for Cooking with Emmy Cooks!

Kalyn’s Kitchen featured my favorite grilled broccoli.  Little Sis of My Sister’s Pantry says she likes it too!Somer of Vedged Out made oven fries to go with her awesome-looking vegan black bean burger.

Natalia of Hot Cheap & Easy was inspired to create her own version of these zucchini frittersHers have manchego, rosemary, and thyme–yum!

Thanks again for being part of the Emmy Cooks community!  If you like what you see here, you can sign up on the sidebar to receive a daily recipe by email, add the RSS feed to your own reader, or follow Emmy Cooks on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

p.s. Is it ridiculous to want this?


8 thoughts on “What’s Cooking: October 2012, Week 1

  1. Sarah @ The Cook's Life

    I am truly overwhelmed by the variety of dishes you cook! It seems like I cook the same old things. Need to start actually using you as inspiration, instead of only thinking about it!

    Saw your p.s. and I want one too. I probably wouldn’t use it as much as I think I would, but it might be a good Christmas present for my dad. I never would have thought to look for a chili grinder, but it is a brilliant idea.

  2. So Does That Mean I'm Southern

    In the fall, I have a strong desire to bake and especially love to bake bread. Last week, I featured Inn’s in Virginia on my blog and included a recipe for Sweet potato muffins that my readers loved. I plan to feature apple recipes on my blog soon as I visited an apple orchard last weekend. Thanks for your posts. I like your blog.

  3. Somer

    So awesome! Thanks for the linkage back! I’ve actually been making those fries for years, but since your recipe is literally exactly the same as mine, why reinvent the wheel with a new post. So good! So easy! And yes, I want that Chile grinder too! So not ridiculous! We all know how delicious freshly ground black pepper is, why would it be any different?

  4. Allison

    Oh wow, your CSA haul looks gorgeous! And that eaten-out meal sounds amazing– thanks for including the all-important description of what you ate : )

    I just made granola this past week, too! One week later– with only two people eating what I thought would be about 20 servings-worth– and it is already almost gone!


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