Tag Archives: winter


We just wanted to note that we tried out this ribollita and it was perfect for supper on a chilly evening. Advertisements

Starting the year off right . . .


I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants.       ~ Tweeted by @ISpeakForGirls


Exactly one year ago, Aspen Colorado was named “the nation’s first Meatless Monday community”  by someone over at MM.  We aren’t making fun – we love Aspen and, like everyone else making New Year’s resolutions, we are big into eating better, getting healthier, and losing the LBs we added between Thanksgiving and now.  And going meatless one day a week gives us a chance to be adventuresome and creative without depriving the other human units in the household of all their winter-hibernation foods.

After you’ve gone off to see Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, come home and browse through Great Britain’s Cook Vegetarian for nine years’ (yes NINE YEARS’!!!) worth of interesting Meatless Monday ideas.  (We are not using the word interesting as a pejorative.)

Now that we’re in the post-season, Kim in our office suggested his warm-and-comforting alternative to the Monday Night Football burger:

Eggplant Tower (because Melanzana Torre is so intimidating)


  • 1 – 1 ½ pound / medium eggplant
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Flour for dredging
  • Italian breadcrumbs for dredging
  • 1 – 12 oz round of fresh Mozzarella, sliced into ½” slices
  • 1 sliced ripe red tomato
  • Basil leaves
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Olive oil


  1. Peel eggplant and slice into ½ inch – ¾ inch slices
  2. Dredge each slice in flour until coated; dip in beaten egg; dredge in Italian breadcrumbs
  3. Fry, three at a time, in olive oil until golden brown
  4. GENTLY salt and pepper
  5. Stack fried slice of eggplant, mozzarella slice, tomato slice, basil leaf (or two); repeat, topping with basil leaves, and secure with a toothpick down the center.
  6. Serve on a bed of marinara sauce (or go crazy with a balsalmic reduction!)

The New York Times has this great interactive tool for what they call semi-vegan options.  We are especially fond of that term: semi-vegan.  So much more elegant than once-a-week-vegan or when-it’s-convenient-vegan…

We keep running across great stuff from Two Peas and Their Pod blog – this one gives good crunch:  roasted chickpea fajitas.

For wake-up freshness, try out Blood Orange, Beet and Fennel Salad. Because we like Robusto cheese so much, we thought we should pass along Whole Foods’ Warm Spinach Salad with Apple & Robusto Cheese.

For even more adventure, try out parsnip/sage/mascarpone risotto or poblano crepes.

And when you are tempted – on those dark winter mornings – to roll over for an extra fifteen minutes’ sleep and skip the walk or the run, make the day count for your health.  Your choice, of course.  Either way, it’s only 15 minutes.



Those whom summer’s heat tortures yearn for the full moon of autumn

Without even fearing the idea that a hundred days of their life will then have passed forever

                                                 – Buddha Shakyamuni

Just near the Art Institute is a quarter block that looks almost vacant now, under snow.  In summer and fall, it is filled with viney cucumbers and zucchini and summer squash, tomatoes, eggplant, scallions, lettuces and other summer greens.  A few blocks away in the Baker neighborhood is another community garden, and along South Pearl Street there are many patches that, in summer, will feed families and neighbors. 

It occurred to me that if we spend December dreaming about spring’s light and summer’s warmth, we will miss the amber lit windows, the scents and tastes that are winter — the ones we remember, the ones we build rituals and traditions around.  Time enough for first strawberries and early baby carrots, cilantro and thyme.

We are focused on the sweets of the season: persimmon, kumquat and pomegranate; citrus, pear and apple. We all have our own rituals and food traditions — apples were a big deal for my mother and therefore for the whole tribe of us. But the world is a smaller, tighter-knit place, so we are going to explore sights and tastes that stretch us beyond the familiar. 

Meanwhile, this is my Mom’s recipe for Sour Cream Apple Pie:

1 cup sour cream

¾ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon vanilla

3 medium eggs, slightly beaten

4 medium to large apples, cored and sliced thinly

1 – 9” pie shell


½ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup butter

¼ cup flour

Whisk together all ingredients except apples.  Spread sliced apples in pie shell.  Pour custard mix over all.  Process together topping ingredients until crumbly.  Sprinkle evenly over top of pie.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 40-45 minutes.

If your remembered winter flavors lean more toward the apple and cinnamon, try out this one from a valley near Turin, Italy, courtesy of Saveur — I’ve made it twice this year and it’s both pretty and delicious : 

Torta di Sant’ Antonio