Among the few Food Network chefs that don’t terrify me, Michael Chiarello is high on that list; his cooking, style and not overly-aggressive healthfulness fits cleanly with the type of foods I like to make and we like to eat. But, I have yet to make a recipe of his and it is, quite frankly, because he can be such a pain in the ass. The gray salt, the extra-virgin use for cooking, the $218 Balsamic, the fifteen-step recipes and his endless gadgets put me off. Would it still taste good from the kitchen of Simple Folk? Due to some haphazard sense of principle, I never bother finding out.
Winter Squash Archive
My sharp-eyed husband caught this bourbon pumpkin cheesecake recipe while I was — typically — flipping through a Gourmet magazine last year. Although it was a total hit at Thanksgiving, my fleeting recipe attention span struck again this year, but as I began hunting for a new and different fall-themed cheesecake it was made clear I’d still be welcome at the table with something else — just a little less so.
See, now I’m a girl who keeps my promises, eh? About everything but picking up the dry-cleaning, at least. As I expected, these pumpkin muffins were a cinch, which is good, because I expect that from my muffins. They should max out at two bowls for prep, you should be able to mix them by hand and there shouldn’t be any excessively difficult steps. It’s not rocket science.
High on my list of things I’ve always wanted to do but finances, scheduling or partner interest always got in the way was going to some small town for a rustic fall weekend, even though it risked cementing my unconditionally yuppie status. I mentioned this to my delightful husband a month ago, in a “maybe we could pull it off this year” kind of way and a day later, he had the whole thing booked. Cue: swoon.
A firm believer in balance, or some fumbling approximation of it, if I tell you about the bewildered, exhausted and terrifying, it is only fair that I tell you that today — a day I was certain was Monday the whole day long (as in, “hey, why is the Times updating their food section a day early?”) — was a knock-it-out-of-the-park great day. Sparing you all the driveling details, suffice it to say there has been a raise, bragging rights and even the ability to make someone else’s day. I took this string of greatness to the store (not jeans, or course, I know better than to rub my luck in the face of the narrow-hipped crowd) where I found a sweater I suspect I love enough to wear it until it’s threadbare and a pair of heels that (crosses fingers that they will continue to) almost feel comfortable.