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Thanksgiving Preparations

This is just a quick, short post to say Happy Thanksgiving as I am knee deep in turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberries and the like. I started all my prep work today and finished some of my make-ahead items (i.e. the apple cranberry chutney and a couple of desserts). Tomorrow will be quite hectic, but I look forward to everyone gathering at our house for some good food, good drinks and above all, good company. Our “feast” will start off with some appetizers: tzulamas (a pork, currant and pistachio pie); kopanisti (a gorgonzola, feta and roasted tomato spread) with

Broccoli Rabe

I’m hosting Thanksgiving Dinner in a few days and although I’ve been planning a menu for weeks, it was only this past week that I started experimenting with some lighter side dishes to complement all the rich accompaniments to join the turkey on our table. My utmost favorite vegetable would have to be broccoli rabe and so the other day I thought of adding some greens to our Thanksgiving Dinner with this flavorful veggie. Saute these bitter greens in a bit of olive oil and some minced garlic and they make a perfect side dish as is–I can probably eat an

Persimmon Walnut Cake in Orange Syrup

A couple weeks ago I brought home a large shopping bag full of persimmons that my uncle had picked straight off a tree in his garden, right there in the heart of good old Astoria. Every fall I am amazed at just how much fruit this tree produces (the photo you see above of what I was given is probably just a fifth of what my uncle had picked that day, not to mention how many persimmons various birds had feasted on prior to his picking them). I love to eat them as is, but there were so many and as my husband and kids aren’t thrilled with this fruit in particular, I

Pastitsada

Short ribs are one of my favorite cuts of beef. The other day I decided to stray away from my usual braising of the ribs with different vegetables and try them out in a specialty dish from Kerkyra, known as pastitsada. I’ve tried many versions of this dish across Kerkyra, some made with rooster and others with beef. My favorites have never been based on which meat (I’ve enjoyed both the rooster and the beef) but always on the sauce. For me, the more the spices the better. I made my version with loads of cinnamon and cloves, bay leaves and some red

Creamy Parsnip and Bacon Soup

I love, love, love soups. And they are a great way to experiment with ingredients, which is exactly what I did the other day. I’ve never cooked with parsnips; honestly, I don’t think I’d ever even eaten parsnips before Monday. And I have eaten and cooked my fair share of vegetables, but this less than appealing, or should I say bland looking, root veggie never made the cut. When I spotted some parsnips in our local fruit/vegetable market late last week, I decided it was time to take the plunge. So I bought quite a few not really knowing what I

Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Panna Cotta

With Thanksgiving coming up and my hosting this particular holiday for the first time, I’ve been planning a menu for weeks. I do that. A lot. Planning I mean. Lists, notes, schedules, etc. Last week I was mulling over desserts. Between myself , my mother and my three sisters we always have the usual pies covered: pumpkin, pecan and apple. I’ve got to admit though that the pumpkin is never my favorite. And I always wish it would be. I love dessert, and I adore desserts that are creamy and rich. I know, it’s bad. But it’s not like I eat them all