Fall Cleaning (Shitake Green Curry with Soba Noodles Recipe)

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I don’t know about you, but all I’ve been wanting to eat lately is bread, pasta, and sweets. I could probably blame it in part on the cooler temperatures pushing me towards heavier, richer foods. But really, it’s not that cold yet and it’s a bit too early still for the heavy foods of winter. More realistically, it’s my own fault for indulging in these yummy treats just a little too often and not noticing how far down the slippery slope I’d come towards subsisting solely on refined carbs. This, combined with a bout of fall allergies and a couple of weeks spent teetering on the edge of catching the nasty cold that’s been going around, has left me feeling sluggish and just generally unwell. Based on these realizations, it seems that it might be good time for a dietary cleanse. A reboot for my system, if you will. (more…)

The Space Between (Roasted and Sundried Tomato Pasta Recipe)

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The transition from summer to fall always makes me nostalgic.  And being the food-obsessed person that I am, that nostalgia often revolves around food.  Food from my childhood, to be specific. I don’t know what it is about this interim time that makes me feel this way.   Maybe the cooler weather jump starts my cravings for comfort food.  Or perhaps the tendency to nest around this time of the year makes me miss that cozy family nest of my childhood and the warm and fuzzy feelings that can only come from a home cooked meal made by Mom. (more…)

Simple Overabundance (Creamy Polenta with Grilled Tempeh and Roasted Tomatoes Recipe)

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I love this time of year.  I love the warm, sunny days and the cool, perfect for sleeping nights.  I love the late summer wildflowers overflowing the roadside ditches.  I love the monarch butterflies that positively swarm me on my late morning runs.  I love that the wooded trails stay cool long into the afternoon.  I love the slight sense of urgency one feels during BBQs and camping trips, staying outside just a little longer, trying to squeeze every last drop out of summer before that morning chill starts to hang around a little too long into the day.  But most of all, I love the absolute overabundance of fresh produce this time of year.  Particularly around here (upstate NY, aka the Arctic) where the growing season is too short and I feel like I spend most of my year trying to figure out another way to prepare squash, potatoes, and onions and reminding myself that while the tomatoes on the shelves might look pretty good I’m going to be sorely disappointed if I try to eat one. (more…)

Fun Guy (Mushroom Stroganoff Recipe)

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May I make a recommendation? Please, if you have not done so already, go out and befriend someone who grows garlic. Or better yet, grow your own garlic and make friends with me! We are very lucky to have a customer who brings us a lovely gift of garlic every year around this time and I simply cannot say enough good things about local, not long out of the ground garlic. Garlic that maybe hasn’t been cured quite long enough so that it still has some of that sticky green garlic goodness about it. Garlic that still has stringy roots attached and dirt clinging to its paper skin. Garlic that makes you feel connected to the earth under your feet. This is the stuff that makes a simple dish into something really special.

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You Never Forget Your First (Tortilla Soup Recipe)

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Hello, and welcome to the very first post on A Fork in Hand.  Much thought (probably too much, really) went into selecting my inaugural recipe.  I’m a bit of an over analyzer, so it should come as no surprise that it took me close to 2 months to decide that this was the one.  I mean, it’s my first blog post.  There were so many things to consider!  It had to be something delicious, obviously.  But it also had to be simple enough not to scare people off, yet elaborate enough that you wouldn’t find 20 examples of nearly the same recipe with a simple google search  And most importantly, it had to epitomize, as much as any one recipe can, exactly the kind of food this blog is about.

I believe this tortilla soup recipe is all of those things.  It’s been in the works for quite awhile.  A few years, I think.  I’m pretty much in love with this particular version.  It’s spicy and complex from a mix of fresh and dried chiles, bright and herbal from a short simmer with cilantro stems, and a little tangy from a squeeze of lime to finish it all off.  This is a soup I eat to warm up body and soul on gloomy winter days, to clear out my head when I feel the sniffles coming on, and most often to satisfy my craving for the Mexi-Cali food that I miss so much.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. (more…)

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