Pasta Carbonara

Every once in a while in winter time, I crave Pasta Carbonara – a simple dish that relies heavily on the use of high-quality ingredients.

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Indrani’s Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Part of my family is Sri Lankan, and I’ve learned how much I love Sri Lankan food! I keep meaning to make a roadtrip to Toronto, the nearest city with a large Sri Lankan population, to enjoy the Sri Lankan restaurants, but haven’t done so yet… In the meantime, I have a repertoire of a few recipes that have been passed around the family, and this chicken curry is one. The full recipe follows the photos.

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Ceebu Jen – a rice and fish dish from Senegal

One of my neighbors recently had a baby, and a mutual friend cooked up an amazing celebratory lunch for the family and invited a half-dozen more of us to join in. He explained that you can’t make Ceebu Jen for a small number of people. It was a dish the village he lived in in Senegal, would make for special occasions. It was delicious, and I asked my friend how to make it. His recipe follows, albeit in text form rather than “ingredients and directions”. Enjoy! -Jillian

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Good winter reading on Italy – A Year in the Village of Eternity

I just finished reading A Year in the Village of Eternity: The Lifestyle of Longevity in Campodimele, Italy, by Tracey Lawson. The author decides to visit the village when she hears that a disproportionate number of residents in Campodimele live into their 90s and 100s – she wants to learn about their food and their lifestyle to gain insight into why they live longer.

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Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Prunes and Almonds

The nights are getting cool again, which inspires me to think about cooking in my tagine. (You could also use a heavy ceramic-coated cast iron baking dish with a lid, if you don’t have a tagine.) I have Paula Wolfert’s beautiful cookbook, The Food of Morocco (2011), and this recipe, “Chicken Tagine with Prune and Almonds in the Style of the Rif Mountains,” jumped out at me as straightforward, gluten-free, and calling for ingredients I mostly had on hand already.

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Orange Almond-Polenta Cake

My cousin made this delicious, gluten-free cake for her birthday party last weekend, and provided the recipe to the many of us who asked for it! (Via a cook book called Homemade, by Yvetter Van Boven. Recipe below.) In the ingredients it has hints of both Piedmont (polenta) and Sicily (almonds and oranges).

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Fresh Corn Pancake with Blueberry Sauce

Fresh sweet corn, and blueberries, are still at my local farmer’s market. I wanted to make something easy for Sunday brunch that included both ingredients, and this sweet corn “pancake” recipe was perfect.

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Molecular Gastronomy Dinner

I have not eaten at a molecular gastronomy restaurant, but last Friday my friend Tammy, who has a business called Tammy’s Tastings, came over and gave a group of us a mini cooking class, demonstrating some of the techniques that molecular gastronomy chefs use. It was a lot of fun, if somewhat odd! What is molecular gastronomy? The way I see it, it’s cooking techniques that involve some kind of modern technology, or, just a new, creative use of very old techniques (such as smoking). And the desire to be playful and defy expectation, while providing delicious food and an experience for all 5 senses.

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Canning Sour Pickles – Recipe and Step by Step Photos

It’s the pickle-making time of year here in Michigan! I love sour pickles, and my family does too, so I always make a point of boiling-water-canning a big batch, to keep us in pickles year-round. I found a simple recipe with no sugar in it and have been using it for years.

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Tuscan Countryside Dinner Recipes

In May 2012, Peggy Markel, our Tuscany food tour partner, came to Ann Arbor and cooked up a wonderful Tuscan dinner, together with the chefs at Zingerman’s Roadhouse. There were 4 courses, and 4 wines.

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