Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Jalapeño Pimento Cheese Canapés

Jalapeño Pimento Cheese Canapé, overhead view on black

Perfect for Super Bowl festivities

Come Super Bowl time, we start thinking of party fare, like dips and snacks. Which makes sense—in the US, the Super Bowl is almost synonymous with munchies.

Want to change up your appetizer routine this time? Well, you’ve probably seen pre-made pastry shells at your supermarket (the ones that often are made from phyllo—fillo—dough). Just fill them with a dip or spread, and you’ve got instant canapés.

Easy! And with these morsels on the table, you’re ready for gridiron glory.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Meat and Potatoes Chili

Meat and Potatoes Chili in bowl

Winter comfort food 

Need some down-home cooking to combat the cold weather we’re having throughout much of the US? Well, there’s nothing better than good old meat and potatoes.

We could just fill our plates with a slab of beef and a mound of spuds. But why not go for something with more flavor? Like this chunky Meat and Potatoes Chili. It has all the savor of traditional meat and potatoes, with the zing of chili. Win win.

And speaking of winning, if you haven’t already planned your eats for the Super Bowl festivities, this would be a great dish to prepare. You can cook it a day ahead, then reheat it—so you won’t miss a minute of the game. That’s a touchdown in my book.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili

Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili in bowl, with spoon and napkin in background

So tasty, you’ll never miss the meat

Quinoa recipes are everywhere these days—for good reason. Quinoa is loaded with nutrition, and it’s a great source of protein. People are putting it into salads, soups, you name it.

So why not chili? It may sound strange, but it works really well. So if you’re looking for a dish that can feed a crowd—with appeal to vegans and carnivores alike—look no further.

You’ll have to take a short trip to read the recipe, though. Today I’m guest posting at Wendy’s Cooking Quinoa, so you’ll need to read the recipe there. You want the direct link? Read on.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork

Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork in sandwich with BBQ sauce and red onions

Perfect for Super Bowl Sunday

Pulled pork takes a while to make if you do it the traditional way—12 hours or more of slow cooking with wood smoke. Plus you need to hang around outside to tend the fire. For most of us, that’s just not going to happen very often (especially when the weather turns cold, as it has right now in much of the US).

Well, good news! You can “barbecue” a pork shoulder in your oven—and get succulent pulled pork that rivals your favorite BBQ joint’s.

With the Super Bowl coming up in a couple of weeks, you may be having some friends over to watch the game. Hungry friends. Serve them this great pulled pork and you’ll be a winner—no matter how your team plays.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Moroccan Kefta and Tomato Tagine

Moroccan Kefta and Tomato Tagine with poached egg garnish


Spicy meatball stew

Tagines are a great favorite in Morocco. These flavorful, stew-like dishes can be made from almost any meat, fish, or vegetable you can think of.

Our recipe features kefta, a ground meat that’s flavored with aromatics (like onion) and spices (like cumin). Think of it as hamburger on steroids. We form the kefta into little meatballs, then cook them in a savory tomato sauce that’s spiced with fragrant cinnamon and other goodies.

Your guests will lap it up. And best of all, you’ll sound really cool when you say “tah-zheen.”

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Couscous with Dried Fruit

Couscous with Dried Fruit in bowl, fork and napkin in background

A quick version of North African “pasta”

Couscous is among the most famous grain dishes of North Africa. It’s a particular favorite in Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria. But you’ll also find couscous in many other countries bordering the Mediterranean, including Italy (especially Sicily).

Preparing couscous the traditional way is a lengthy process (one that includes washing and drying the couscous, then steaming multiple times). The dish is wonderfully light and fluffy when prepared this way, but most of us just don’t have the time.

Well, no worries. You can make great-tasting couscous with ingredients sourced at any supermarket, and it’ll take just minutes. But feel free to tell your guests that you slaved over a hot stove all day.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Moroccan Carrot Soup

Overhead view of Moroccan Carrot Soup in bowl, with yogurt and paprika garnish

Cinnamon and cumin add zip to this warming dish

Looking for a zesty starter? Something that will wake up your taste buds, but still leave you hungry for the main course?

This Moroccan Carrot Soup fills the bill. It’s chockfull of nutrition, but it’s light on calories. Best of all, it’s packed with flavor.

If you’ve resolved to eat lighter and healthier in 2014, this dish is for you. Who knew it would be so easy to keep your New Year’s resolutions?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Moroccan Chickpea Soup (Harira)

Moroccan Chickpea Soup (Harira) in white bowl, overhead view on black

This traditional dish can be a starter or a meal-in-a-bowl

Harira may be Morocco’s best known soup. This Berber dish is served all over the country—and throughout much of North Africa. Every region has its own unique version. In fact, every family probably has its own unique version.

Although this soup can be enjoyed anytime, it comes into its own during Ramadan (the month of fasting during the Muslim year). In Morocco, many people follow the tradition of breaking their fast at sunset with a bowl of Harira.

Ramadan doesn’t come around until late June this year. But you don’t need to wait until then to sample this healthy and delicious soup. A warming dish like this is perfect for the cold weather many of us are experiencing in the US at the moment. Just think of it as springtime in a bowl.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Death in the Afternoon Cocktail

Death in the Afternoon Cocktail in champagne flute and cocktail glass

A champagne cocktail invented by Ernest Hemingway

Alcohol flowed freely in Hemingway’s stories and novels. So it’s not surprising that he invented a drink or two—including this one, which he named after his book on bullfighting.

But be warned: In addition to champagne, this drink packs some stronger stuff. After one or two of these, you might be tempted to take on a bull yourself.