Updated: Nov 16, 2021
I’m just returning from a wonderful trip to California, specifically Ojai and Healdsburg. Although our vacation was amazing it is comforting to return to the frosty late autumn days here in Rhode Island. It’s time for long braises and bread baking. Many of us are thinking about our Thanksgiving menus, switch it up or go with the classics? On our trip I enjoyed a roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potato salad, I may have to re-create that for a new Thanksgiving side this year. I see that fresh cranberries are plentiful so for something sweet I’m going to bake a Cranberry Maple Pecan Breakfast Cake that legendary baker Joanne Chang features in her “flour” cookbook, it’s a winner for sure!
There are several dinners between now and that special Thursday though. This week I’ve got a few dishes on my mind, the New York Times Chicken Vesuvio is a favorite, quick, easy and a crowd pleaser. By the way, if you don’t subscribe to NYT Cooking I highly recommend it, the $40 annual fee is well worth it. So much inspiration from a very talented pool of writers, you can’t go wrong with Melissa Clark, Genevieve Ko or Tejal Rao to name just a few.
I know tacos will be on the menu this week because my beautiful new Masienda tortilla press arrived yesterday and I can’t wait to try her out. Pati Jinich has a delicious recipe for Adobo Fish Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa, I’ll be putting that recipe on repeat!
A couple of weeks ago I was listening to a podcast with beloved Italian cook, Mary Ann Esposito and she mentioned that her most requested recipe is for Eggplant “Meatballs” so I had to make them, so delicious, definitely worth a try, especially if you’re trying to cut down on the red meat. My husband is not a fan of eggplant but he loved these, you really don’t miss the beef.
I’ll leave you with a little gadget that I discovered on my California trip, it’s so fun to spend time in another cook’s kitchen to discover their favorite gems. I don’t know about you but I feel like I’m always trying to fish crumbs out of the corners of my kitchen drawers. This tiny little battery powered vacuum is just the thing to get into the nooks and crannies!
Enjoy the season and eat well.