Category Archives: Easily Multiplies to Feed a Crowd

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

“Eat your vegetables.”

Those words get such a bad rap.  I’d like you to let go, right now, of the nasal, nagging tone you associate with this phrase.  Imagine instead, if you will, the swelling of a great horn section, Rockettes high-kicking, and this ecstatic song:

“Eat your vegetables!”

Isn’t that better?  Hopefully it will be just as easy for you to part with any lukewarm thoughts you’ve ever had about Brussels Sprouts.  Because once you’ve roasted them, you’ll never want them any other way.  (Well, except maybe raw in this awesome salad.)  Roasting does this special thing to Brussels sprouts where the outer leaves get crisp and salty and the inside becomes sweet and nutty, and all it takes to reach Brussels sprout perfection is is one simple secret….

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Roasted Squash and Tahini Dip or Spread

We are far away from the hurricane that’s raging tonight, but our thoughts have been on the storm all day.   Our East Coast family and friends are drenched but well, and the storm gave us the gift of my sister- and brother-in-law stranded with us for an extra day after their flight home was cancelled.  I hope that you and yours have fared as well.  (I’ve been seeing the photos of flooding and fires and hospital evacuations, though, so on top of just hoping that everyone is well I also made a donation to the American Red Cross.)

I’m thankful to be warm and dry tonight, and to have my big family gathered around the table for dinner.  It’s getting to be the season for cozy holiday meals, and, as always, I aim to equip you with a bountiful table of vegetarian and vegan options. Continue reading

Creamy White Bean Dip or Spread

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s a good time to have a few secretly-healthier foods in mind to sneak onto the table alongside the traditional fare.  This white bean puree works equally well as a spread for crostini or as a dip for crackers and veggies, and its creamy texture belies the fact that it’s just a fancy (and still vegan) alternative to hummus. Continue reading

Minestrone, or, My Biggest Pot of Soup

This is a soup with a story.  It’s essentially a minestrone, so you might think that our tale is going to start in Italy, with a grandmother tending a simmering pot for hours—and you’d be partly right.  Except that this story is about my good friend’s great-grandparents, and the pot was simmering on a stove in a bar in Sacramento, California.

Now, Sacramento has a long history as a drinking town.  So from the first days of the California Gold Rush, to the speakeasies of prohibition, to—I can only imagine—the indulgences of today’s state government bigwigs, there has been a steady stream of drinking establishment clients in need of a little something to help them sober up.

Our story, this soup’s story, takes place in the respectable post-prohibition era.  So it’s the 1930’s, maybe, and later the 1940’s.  The bar is remembered in family lore only as “The Joint,” which may or may not have been its name.  It resided within what was, at the time, the oldest standing building in Sacramento.  A watering trough waited outside the door for customers arriving by horse and buggy.  And my friend’s great-grandparents, the proprietors, always kept a pot of this minestrone soup behind the bar.  The recipe, needless to say, has been passed down through the generations. Continue reading

Savory Oatmeal with Curry, Greens, and Caramelized Onions

Welcome to Emmy Cooks!  You can see some of my favorite recent recipes by clicking the “My Favorite Recipes” category on the sidebar (here are July, August, and September).  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.

Seasoned readers of this blog will probably not be surprised to learn that most of my photographs are taken standing on one leg while I use the other to block my children out of the frame.  This dish was so irresistibly good, however, that I failed entirely.The baby (should I start calling her something else now that she boxes me out to dig into a dish of curried oats and caramelized onions?) could not keep her (meaning my) spoon out of the bowl.  And I can’t say I blamed her at all. Continue reading

Lentil Chili

At this time of year, I have chili on the brain.  It’s is basically everything I want in a winter meal: hot, filling, a little spicy, and a perfect vehicle for avocado.  I know that in the meat-chili world, there is a beans-or-no-beans question.  That question does not exist in my vegetarian chili world.  Yes, there will be beans (or, in this case, lentils).  Continue reading

How to Make Applesauce

I have a book in which I record, from time to time, the big and small adventures in our family’s life.  I mean to write in it every day, just a sentence or two.  More often, weeks or even months go by between entries.  I try to catch the important stuff, though, when I do sit down to write–milestones and anecdotes from our daughters’ lives, travels we want to remember, loving moments with our extended family.  And, of course, what’s happening in the kitchen.Our family’s book begins with applesauce.  It was an October when I started the family journal (abandoning, in the process, my girls’ individual baby books) and we had just turned our three trees worth of apples into a year’s worth of applesauce.  So in a way, I think of making applesauce as the beginning of each new year.  At this time of year I often flip back through the years contained in my book and marvel at how fast life changes.  And how each chapter is even better than the last.

Applesauce, though, is a constant in our lives.  Every year we lighten the groaning branches of the apple trees in the fall, piling box after box of apples into the house.  We sort the apples, setting aside the unblemished best for eating and sharing.  We eat and bake and dry as many apples as we can.  And the rest become applesauce for the year ahead. Continue reading