|As Emily Horton writes for the Washington Post, now is the time for good winter salads, like this one I made with spiky red mustard, spinach, apples, toasted pecans, blue cheese and a honey-cider vinaigrette (see recipe at the end).
Washington Post: "Salads for the Cold Weather: Believe It or Not, Now’s the Best Season of All," by Emily Horton.
With a focus on hearty greens, Horton makes a case for celebrating--not apologizing for--winter salads. She includes a handy guide for some tasty winter greens. If you like the salad pictured at top, check out my recipe at the end of this post.
Washington Post: "Spirits: Nutmeg, Unlike ‘Pumpkin Spice,’ Gives Cocktails a Subtle Taste of Fall," by M. Carrie Allan.
It's an understatement that some people don't like Pumpkin Spice; count Allan in that camp ("With autumn upon us, some turn morbid in our thinking...maybe it’s just all the damn pumpkin spice"). But Nutmeg alone, one of those said spices, can do wonderful things in cocktails. In relaying its history and usage, Allan refers to Penn Commons bartender and cocktail historian David Wondrich and offers a recipe for the nutmeg-spiced rum-porter cocktail Rattle-Skull.
Washington Post: "Which Fats Are Good and Which Fats are Bad?" by Ellie Krieger.
Krueger provides an excellent summary of the evolving thinking about nutrition and fat. No longer just something to avoid, the relationship between fat and our health has become more complex as we've learned some fats (fish, olive oil) are beneficial, while others (animal and especially transfat) should be avoided.
New York Times: "It’s Just a (Thanksgiving Dinner) Fantasy," by Jeff Gordinier.
Like a lot of holidays, Thanksgiving comes with certain traditions, which can feel stifling if you're the sort of person who fantasizes about serving something other than the (rather bland) passed-down-through-the-generations recipe for turkey X and stuffing Y. Gordinier indulges the fantasies of a number of cooks who might prepare something other than the usual if given the chance.
New York Times: "How to Dazzle Without the Frazzle," by Kim Severson.
Does the idea of hosting Thanksgiving dinner stress you out? I hear you, it stresses me out a little bit too, although i love the challenge of making it all come together. For this article, Severson spoke to Regina Charboneau, who plans to host 145 people at her house this year. Although your dinner will most likely be smaller-scale, there are still quite a few useful tips for flawlessly executing the big meal without breaking a sweat.
New York Times: "Wine of the Times: Wines for Thanksgiving That Refresh the Palate," by Dave McIntyre
The Times' annual round-up of Thanksgiving wines, based on a tasting of 10 wines--5 reds, 4 whites and a cider, reminds us that the best Thanksgiving wines are versatile, refreshing and ideally lower in alcohol.
Starving Off the Land: "Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry," by Tamar Haspel.
This is a story about two great food writers. Haspel, whose Unearthed column for the Washington Post Food section is one of my favorite food reads, reviews the new cookbook by D.C. food writer Cathy Barrow, Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving. Barrow and I chat on Twitter sometimes; she's always a good source for inspiration.
The Wall Street Journal: "A Visit to the Kitchen of Legendary Cookbook Editor Judith Jones," by Charlotte Druckman.
Julia Child, James Beard and Marchella Hazan. Those are three of the most celebrated names in cooking from the last 50 years, and all of them (apparently) were discovered by food editor Judith Jones. Druckman chats with Jones, now 90, about her kitchen and cooking.
The Wall Street Journal: "The Goulash Cure: Recipe for a Remarkably Soothing Soup," by Mimi Sheraton.
I haven't had Goulash--German or Hungarian beef stew--in some time, so Sheraton's article caught my eye, as it's something I'd like to try to make. Her version is based on what's popular in Munich, made with beef and potatoes and spiced with caraway and two kinds of paprika.
Mother Would Know: "Baked Sweet Potato Chips," by Laura Kumin.
Kumin's simple recipe for baked sweet potato chips would be perfect for a Thanksgiving appetizer, perhaps with some interesting dips.
Winter Mustard and Spinach Salad
Makes 2 salads
2 cups spiky red mustard leaves (or other mustard greens)
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1 apple, cored and diced
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
3 tbsp. crumbled blue cheese
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Combine the mustard leaves, spinach, apple, pecans and blue cheese in a large bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, honey, salt and pepper, then add the olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.