Lunds & Byerlys REAL FOOD Winter 2019

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Lunds & Byerlys



















Savor the Season Welcome all to the table with traditions and twists




ONE-POT COMFORTS: Easy warming bowls INSPIRED SPREADS: Platters and boards to entertain in style SWEET SIMPLICITY: Quick breads to serve or gift



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real food winter 2019

20 Holiday Helpings Welcome all to the table with traditions and twists BY ROBIN ASBELL

30 Sweet Simplicity Easy quick breads for serving or gift giving BY LAUREN CHATTMAN

38 One-Pot Comforts Warming soup, stew and chili RECIPES BY ELLEN BROWN

44 Inspired Spreads Platters and boards to entertain in style RECIPES BY SHELLY WESTERHAUSEN WITH WYATT WORCEL

52 Rachael Ray Memorable moments and meals BY TARA Q. THOMAS

Departments 4 Bites Guilt-free snacks RECIPES BY ARMAN LIEW

6 Kitchen Skills DIY pizza party BY JASON ROSS

8 Contributors 17 Ingredient Chocolate: Sweet rewards for mind and body BY MARY SUBIALKA

18 Healthy Habits Spice it up: Beneficial herbs and spices BY KAIT ECKER

56 Pairings Sparkling wine: Food-friendly fizz BY MARY SUBIALKA

2 real food fall spring 2017 2015


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Our Cover

Holiday Helpings (page 20) Photograph by Terry Brennan Food styling by Lara Miklasevics Prop styling by Tim Creagan




2:55 PM



VOLUME 15, NUMBER 4 Real Food magazine is published quarterly by Greenspring Media, LLC, 9401 James Ave. S, Suite 152, Bloomington, MN 55431, 612.371.5800, Fax 612.371.5801. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Real Food is exclusively operated and owned by Greenspring Media, LLC. Printed in the USA. C








The pages between the covers of this magazine (except for any inserted material) are printed on paper made from wood fiber that was procured from forests that are sustainably managed to remain healthy, productive and biologically diverse.

winter fall 2019 2009 real food 3


A Not-So-Guilty Pleasure Enjoy delicious and healthy paleo and vegan recipes with keto options, perfect for gatherings and events


hen choosing dishes for a winter get-together, it can be difficult to decide what to make when guests have varying dietary restrictions, especially as paleo and keto diets have become more mainstream. In his recent book “Clean Snacks,” Arman Liew has answered this call with recipes that are easy, adaptable and full of variety. While the book features paleo, vegan, gluten-free and keto treats for all kinds of cravings, the recipes offer guilt-free snacks everyone can enjoy whether or not they have a dietary restriction. There is no need to miss out on favorite snacks like ice cream and cookies—Liew’s versions are designed specifically to be easy to make, nutritious and dietsensitive. In his cookbook, Liew’s dishes include Fluffy Pancakes, Baked Curly Fries, Gummy Bears and Peanut Butter Cookies in addition to the following recipes for party-favorite hummus and a healthy makeover of chocolate coconut treats. —Jonah Harrison

Chocolate Coconut Bars MAKES 16 BARS

This classic chocolate coconut candy bar has been given a healthy makeover. These seriously addictive bars need just four ingredients, and they satisfy the sweet tooth! 1 cup coconut butter, melted ¼ cup pure maple syrup 2½ cups shredded unsweetened coconut 2-3 cups nondairy chocolate chips of choice (see Cook’s Note) 1. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper and set aside. 2. In a small microwave-safe bowl or in a small pan on the stove, combine the coconut butter with maple syrup and mix very well. Alternatively, if the coconut butter is already smooth and creamy, simply whisk with the syrup. 3. Add the coconut and mix very well until fully combined. Pour mixture into the lined pan and press firmly into place. Refrigerate until firm. 4. Use a slightly wet knife and slice into 12 bars. Refrigerate again for at least 30 minutes. 5. In a medium microwave-safe bowl or in a small pan on the stove over low heat, melt the chocolate chips. Remove the coconut bars and, using two forks, dip each bar in the melted chocolate until fully covered. Continue doing so until all the bars are covered in chocolate. Refrigerate until firm. The bars can keep at room temperature, in a sealed container, for up to 2 weeks. Cook’s Note: For a thicker chocolate coating, use around 3 cups of chocolate chips or drizzle excess melted chocolate over the tops.

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Secret Ingredient Hummus MAKES 12 SERVINGS

I’ve never been a huge fan of chickpeas, but I have always loved hummus. I’d been meaning to create alternatives that taste like a classic hummus, minus the legumes. And here it is! 1 large red pepper, halved and core removed sea salt, to taste 1½ cups zucchini, peeled and chopped ¼ cup tahini (can sub for any nut or seed butter) 2 tablespoons olive oil (can sub for any neutral-tasting oil, like avocado), plus more if needed 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 cloves garlic 1 teaspoon mixed spice (can sub for cumin or garam masala) salt and pepper, to taste 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to garnish 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside. 2. Place the pepper skin-side up on the tray. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the skin starts to char. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. 3. Sprinkle sea salt over the zucchini and set aside. 4. Remove the skins from the peppers and cut into pieces. Add to a high-speed blender or food processor along with the zucchini, and lightly blend. 5. Add all the other ingredients and pulse until thick and creamy. If the dip is too thick, add a little extra olive oil. 6. Transfer to a large bowl, top with extra cayenne pepper and serve immediately. The hummus should be refrigerated, and it can keep for 5 days.


Cook’s Note: Feel free to add any extra spices or herbs to the hummus. 




winter 2019 real food 5

kitchen skills

Pizza Party

Make your own fresh dough, add toppings, and you have delicious homemade pizza BY JASON ROSS


hat better excuse to get the oven cranking to its highest setting on a cold day than a pizza party? The thin, wet pizza dough loves high heat, and guests will enjoy the interactive nature of pizza making. The dough is pretty quick and easy to throw together the same day you plan to use it. If you want to get ahead of the game, make it the day before and chill it overnight, which will give it a little extra flavor and allow you to check dough off your list a little earlier. For toppings, you could go with the classics like mushroom or pepperoni, try some of the combinations listed in the recipes here, or you could make it a contest with best topping combinations winning door prizes.


DIY Pizza Party

Fresh Pizza Dough

SAUCE: For a pizza party, have your guests choose tomato or cream sauce. Use a ladle or spoon to spread a thin layer over the rolled pizza dough. Do not use too much, or the dough will get soggy and weighed down.


TOPPINGS: Last, layer on toppings. All toppings should be cut or sliced thinly so they cook quickly. Raw meats and sausage or other items that take longer to cook, like eggplant or roast garlic, should be precooked ahead of topping the pizza. FINISHING: When pizzas come out of the oven, top with fragile and fragrant items like fresh herbs, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese.

IDEAS TO GET THE PARTY STARTED SAUTÉED SPINACH WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE Puree a can of whole peeled tomatoes or use your favorite pizza sauce. Ladle a thin layer onto the dough. Sprinkle on shredded mozzarella and provolone. Sauté fresh chopped spinach with minced garlic and olive oil and top pizza. Add on cooked and crumbled Italian sausage. Finish with olive oil when hot pizza comes out of the oven.

WHITE PIZZA WITH FRESH MOZZARELLA, PROSCIUTTO AND SLICED ASPARAGUS Reduce and season cream until thick. Cool the cream and spread a thin layer on pizza. Layer on sliced prosciutto, asparagus and fresh mozzarella. Finish with chopped fresh torn basil, black pepper and olive oil on the just-cooked hot pizza.

1. Use a wire whisk to mix the yeast, honey and warm water together in a large mixing bowl, forming a cloudy liquid. It is important the water is not hotter than 105-110°F or it can kill the yeast. Warm water from the tap will usually be warm enough. After mixing together, wait for 5 minutes. Add the olive oil. 2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture, using a wooden spoon until the dough comes together in a ball. 3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Using your hands, knead the dough for about 10 to 15 minutes until smooth and elastic. 4. Roll the dough into a ball. Coat a bowl with oil. Then gently roll the dough in the bowl to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature or slightly warmer, until it doubles in size (about 45 minutes depending on the temperature in your kitchen). You could make the dough up to 24 hours ahead and cool it in a refrigerator instead of room temperature. This is called retarding the dough, which allows it to rise more slowly. 5. Set oven to highest temperature, 500°F or higher, in preparation for cooking the pizza. 6. When the dough has doubled, punch down the dough with your fists. Cut it into 6 equal pieces. Using your hands, roll the pieces into 6 baseball sized dough balls. 7. Line a tray with plastic or parchment and dust it lightly with flour. Lay the dough balls on the tray, making sure the dough balls are far enough apart so they do not touch as they expand. Brush the dough balls with oil and cover them with plastic wrap. Allow them to rise at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes, or until they have roughly doubled in size. 8. Lightly flour a work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough balls. For every roll with the rolling pin, turn the dough a quarter turn until you have circles of dough roughly 8 to 10 inches in diameter and ¼ inch thick. Slide the rolled dough onto the underside of well-floured sheet trays so the pizzas can slide off without hitting the lip or use a floured pizza peel. The pizzas are now ready to be topped and baked. 9. After topping, bake pizzas at the highest temperature possible in your oven, preferably 500°F or even hotter. If you have them, unglazed tiles on the bottom of your oven make a great surface to cook the pizzas. The tiles help retain the heat of the oven. You can also use another sheet tray, turned upside down set in the bottom of the oven. Pizzas will cook in 12 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness of the crust. Pizzas should be fully browned and crispy on the bottom of the crust. To remove pizza from the oven, use a tong to carefully pull the pizza onto a tray or wood cutting board, or a thin pizza peel works great, too. 


CHEESE: Next, add cheese: shredded or sliced, or fresh cheese like mozzarella, burrata or ricotta.

1½ teaspoons instant yeast 1 teaspoon honey 1 cup warm water 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing 2½ cups all-purpose flour plus some for dusting 1 teaspoon salt

FRESH PIZZA DOUGH: PER SERVING: CALORIES 221 (30 from fat); FAT 3g (sat. 1g); CHOL 0mg; SODIUM 396mg; CARB 41g; FIBER 2g; PROTEIN 6g



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Tara Q. Thomas intended to

be a chef when she trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York but got sidetracked by wine. She has been writing about it for nearly 20 years now, most prominently at Wine & Spirits Magazine, where she is executive editor. Author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wine Basics” and a contributor to “The Oxford Companion to Cheese” and the forthcoming “The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails,” she also sits on the advisory panel for the International Culinary Center’s Sommelier Training Program. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, juggling a laptop and two small children. She still cooks nearly nightly, albeit for a smaller crowd.

Terry Brennan is a

photographer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Clients include Target, General Mills, Land O’Lakes and Hormel. “Working with Real Food is a highlight for me—I look forward to every issue. I love working with the creative team and, of course, sampling the wonderful recipes.”

Lara Miklasevics began her

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word about how truly delicious and beautiful whole, real foods can be through her work as an author, cooking teacher and private chef. She likes to create delicious dishes that range from meat and seafood to beans and grains using global flavors. Her latest book is “Plant-Based Meats.” She is also the author of “300 Best Blender Recipes Using Your Vitamix”; “Great Bowls of Food: Grain Bowls, Buddha Bowls, Broth Bowls and More”; “Juice It!”; “Big Vegan: Over 350 Recipes, No Meat, No Dairy, All Delicious”; “The New Vegetarian”; and “Gluten-Free Pasta.”

Jason Ross is a chef consultant

for restaurants and hotels, developing menus and concepts for multiple high profile properties. He trained and grew up in New York City but now calls St. Paul, Minnesota, home. Currently, he teaches the next generation of chefs at Saint Paul College Culinary School.

food career on the other side of the camera, cooking at the renowned New French Café in Minneapolis. Today her work as a stylist is in demand at corporations including Heinz, Target and General Mills, as well as with many magazines. She prides herself on using her experience as a chef to make food as appealing on the page as it is on the plate.

Robin Asbell spreads the

Shelly Westerhausen is the

author of “Vegetarian Heartland” and the founder of the blog Vegetarian Ventures. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her boyfriend, Wyatt Worcel, who is a musician and a contributor to Vegetarian Ventures and Westerhausen’s book “Platters and Boards.”

Lauren Chattman

is a cookbook author, freelance writer and former professional pastry chef. Her recipes have appeared in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Cook’s Illustrated and The New York Times. She is the author of 14 books, including “The Baking Answer Book,” “Cookie Swap! and “Cake Keeper Cakes.” She has also co-authored several books, including “Dessert University” with former White House Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier. With artisan baking expert Daniel Leader, she is the co-author of the International Association of Culinary Professionals award-winning “Local Breads.” With Susan Matheson, she is co-author of “The Gingerbread Architect” and with Daniel Leader, she is co-author of “Living Bread,” which was published in October 2019.

Lunds & Byerlys welcome

Bloomington: 952-896-0092 Burnsville: 952-892-5600 Chanhassen: 952-474-1298 Eagan: 651-686-9669 Eden Prairie: 952-525-8000 Edina 50th Street: 952-926-6833 France Avenue: 952-831-3601 Golden Valley: 763-544-8846 Maple Grove: 763-416-1611 Minneapolis Downtown: 612-379-5040 Northeast: 612-548-3820 Uptown: 612-825-2440 Minnetonka Glen Lake: 952-512-7700 Highway 7: 952-935-0198 Ridgedale: 952-541-1414 Navarre: 952-471-8473 Plymouth: 763-268-1624 Prior Lake: 952-440-3900 Richfield: 612-861-1881 Roseville: 651-633-6949 St. Cloud: 320-252-4112 St. Louis Park: 952-929-2100 St. Paul Downtown: 651-999-1600 Highland Park: 651-698-5845 Wayzata: 952-476-2222 White Bear Lake: 651-653-0000 Woodbury: 651-999-1200


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Holiday Helpers T

he joys of gift giving, spending time with family and friends and watching the magic of the season unfold for our children makes the holidays the most wonderful time of the year. Truth be told, it can also be one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year. After all, the gifts don’t buy themselves, the food doesn’t magically appear on your guests’ plates and we don’t get any extra hours in a day—maybe we should! We can all benefit from a holiday helper to make the season a little less pressurefilled. And here at Lunds & Byerlys we relish the opportunity to lighten your load during the holidays. Whether it’s using our online shopping service to save time, turning to our experts for meal inspiration and the perfect wine pairings, taking advantage of our catering service so you can be a guest at your own party, or connecting with our basket shop to help you create a unique gift, we’re here to be your elves this holiday season. You may not even know we have a basket shop at our St. Louis Park store. There you’ll find a wide variety of gift baskets and gift sets our talented team has arranged for your gift-giving needs. Want to send a piece of Minnesota to your family or friends in another state? We have many Minnesota-themed gifts that include everything from wild rice

and pancake breakfast baskets to mugs, pitchers and shot glasses in the shape of our great state. Another best seller at our basket shop is the recipe towel collection featuring some all-time customer favorite recipes such as our wild rice soup and cherry chicken pasta salad. That’s just a small sampling of what is possible as you can customize a basket to your exact needs by visiting our basket shop or giving them a call at 952-5485328. Not only will they help you create the perfect gift, but they can also deliver it anywhere in the United States. From our Lunds & Byerlys family to yours, we wish you the happiest of holidays and a season filled with great food and quality time with those that mean so much to you. Sincerely,

Tres Lund Chairman and CEO

FOOD QUESTIONS? Call our FoodE Experts: 952-548-1400

REAL FOOD COMMENTS Aaron Sorenson: 952-927-3663 real food 9

Lunds & Byerlys bakery

How Sweet It Is

Impress guests and save precious time with our delicious array of European pastries



essert is one of my favorite parts of the holidays, but with travel and parties in full swing, it can be hard to find the time to bake. If you’re feeling a little oven-shy, give our European pastries a try. Expertly crafted by our skilled pastry chefs, our European pastries include traditional favorites, seasonal delights and trend-forward treats. Some are legacy recipes from the Lund and Byerly families, and others are inspired by recent trends or decadent desserts our pastry chefs have dreamed up. Our team finds inspiration for new pastries across the country and throughout the world. We scour restaurant dessert menus and boutique bakeries. We chat with local and national chefs and search the Food Network, Instagram and beyond to see what’s new, exciting or noteworthy. We’re always on the lookout for fun ideas and deliciously decadent treats that we can bring to our customers right here in the Twin Cities. Here are some of our favorite holiday desserts that are sure to impress your guests:

GOURMET YULE LOG: Our moist chocolate sponge cake is filled with chocolate ganache and handsomely decorated with white and chocolate buttercream and marzipan accents. Order ahead and we will customize the chocolate plaque for your family!

PETITE PASTRIES: Our petite pastries are perfect for holiday entertaining because you can mix and match your own selection of bite-sized treats. They’re easy to serve, require no utensils and make a great addition to any dessert tray.

WHITE CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY MASCARPONE: This is a fun twist on the traditional! A white chocolate cup is filled with rich white chocolate mascarpone and piled high with fresh raspberries.

ÉCLAIRS: To create our original éclairs, we fill crispy puff pastry with rich, sweet pastry cream and a drizzle of chocolate ganache. For a fun flavor variation, try the lemon meringue éclair, which adds a tangy lemony twist to our traditional éclair shell. Look for these and more heavenly desserts such as fruit tarts, lobster tail pastries and galettes in the bakery. 

For large orders or to order a yule log, stop by the bakery counter or give us a call, and we’ll make sure you have everything you need for your holiday gathering.

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Our European pastries are available at the following Lunds & Byerlys stores: 50th Street Edina, Bloomington, Burnsville, Chanhassen, Eagan, Eden Prairie, France Avenue Edina, Golden Valley, Highland Park, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Prior Lake, Richfield, Ridgedale, Roseville, St. Louis Park, Uptown Minneapolis, Wayzata, White Bear Lake and Woodbury.

Lunds & Byerlys gifts and services FOODE EXPERTS Whether you’re seeking menu inspiration for an upcoming holiday gathering or simply need help finding an item, we have FoodE Experts in our stores who have a passion for food and an eagerness to share it with you. Easy to spot in their green coats, our FoodE Experts have one mission—to make your time in our stores and your kitchen more enjoyable.

WINES & SPIRITS Our wines & spirits shops offer an impressive

Make the season merrier with a little help from Lunds & Byerlys

selection of wines, liquors and beers from around the world. Our staff is eager to help make your next event memorable. Did you know we also have a wine club? Become a member and take advantage of special discounts and invitations to dinners, tastings and private sales. To learn more, go to or visit us at Lunds & Byerlys Burnsville, Chanhassen, Downtown Minneapolis, Eagan, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Ridgedale, St. Louis Park, White Bear Lake and Woodbury.

HOLIDAY GIFTS Our gift baskets

CATERING Are you planning an

and gift cards are sure to please the food fanatics in your life. A Lunds & Byerlys gift card makes a great holiday gift. To purchase a gift card, stop by our stores or visit Need something special for that “hardto-buy-for” person? Create themed gift baskets with the help of our basket shop at Lunds & Byerlys St. Louis Park. Baskets can be picked up from the shop or delivered to a home or business locally or nationally. You can also choose from a wide selection of gift sets, prepared baskets and culinary items at For more information, call 952-548-5328.

office holiday party or hosting a large family gathering? The experts at Lunds & Byerlys Catering are eager to turn your vision into a reality. Choose from a wide variety of menus in all price ranges and enjoy delicious food, efficient delivery and exceptional service. To speak with a catering expert, call 952-897-9800 or visit

ONLINE SHOPPING Feeling the stress of the holiday hustle and bustle? Save time and shop online! Simply visit to quickly and easily place your order, and then our trained staff will shop the order and have it ready for you to pick up in stores or deliver it to the front door of your home or business.

CHEESE SPECIALISTS Our cheese specialists are a remarkable group of experts found in each of our stores. Whether you’re hosting a big soiree or an intimate dinner party, they can help you build an impressive cheese board or pick the perfect pairing. Visit any Lunds & Byerlys cheese counter and let our cheese specialists help you find your new favorite cheese!  real food 11

Lunds & Byerlys produce

Onion Guide Onions come in so many different sizes, shapes and flavors! Check out our guide to discover the difference between all the varieties and find the perfect onion for your recipe.

Sweet onion Sweeter and juicier than most onions, delicious raw and wonderful for onion rings. A great choice for people who don’t enjoy strong, pungent onion flavor. Look for Vidalia onions or Walla Walla onions.


White onion Milder than a yellow onion, this variety

Knife Sharpening

is firm, round, white and slightly tangy. Delicious chopped into salsa and guacamole, slivered into salads or sliced onto burgers and sandwiches. Please place your knife in provided sleeve Red onion With gorgeous purple skin and flesh, this and give to any meat or seafood department is the most pungentYour of all the will onions. It’s full of bright team member. knife be sharpened peppery spice for thatpickup mellows cooked. Terrific cut into and ready in when 24 hours.

wedges and grilled; fantastic on pizzas and green salads. • Please handle knife with extreme care White pearl onion These sweet, delicate mini • Keep out of reach of children

onions look like a snack-sized version of a white onion. • No serrated blades, please Delicious roasted withper veggies • Limit 3 knives visit or pickled and added to martinis or knife charcuterie plates. • One per sleeve


Knife Sharpening As you’re slicing and dicing this holiday season, don’t let a dull knife blade slow you down. Our meat and seafood departments offer free knife sharpening. Simply bring in your non-serrated knives and our team will sharpen them within 24 hours.

Yellow onion Round with pale brown skin and white flesh. Pungent when raw, but milder and sweeter when cooked. A good all-purpose onion for any recipe and especially for long-cooking soups, stews and braising, and, of course, great for caramelizing.

Scallion Also known as a green onion, the entire length of this long, thin onion is edible. Its white bulb has a mild flavor, while its green tops have a bit more bite. With a bright flavor and crunchy texture, chopped scallion is a wonderful garnish for soups, tacos, stir-fries or scrambled eggs.

Shallot Purple in hue and shaped like a jumbo garlic


clove. With thin, tight layers and a mild flavor, shallots are easily minced for sauces and vinaigrettes. 

Knife Sharpening

Pleaseplace place your knife Please your knife in in theprovided providedsleeve sleeve and and givegive to any seafood department it tomeat any or meat or seafood team member. Your knife will sharpened department team member. Yourbe knife will be sharpened ready for in 24 hours. and ready and for pickup in pickup 24 hours. •• Please handle handle knife knifewith withextreme extremecare care •• Keep Keep out out of of reach reachof ofchildren children •• No serrated serrated blades, blades, please please •• Limit Limit 33knives knivesper pervisit visit •• One knife knife per persleeve sleeve

Please note: limit 3 knives per visit. 12 real food winter 2019


Lunds & Byerlys meat department

Holiday Table Centerpieces Let Lunds & Byerlys take care of the mouthwatering main course for your holiday dinner


his year, spend more time gathering around the table with your loved ones and less time in the kitchen thanks to our holiday table centerpieces. Lunds & Byerlys offers a wide range of delicious meat centerpieces that are sure to impress your friends and family at holiday gatherings. Plus, we have incredible in-store FoodE Experts and highly trained meat and seafood staff who can help make your meal planning decisions easier and answer those all-important questions about preparation. Before you finalize your holiday menu, take a look at some of our mouthwatering offerings.

MANHATTAN STRIP ROAST Our Manhattan Strip Roast is cut from a tender section of Choice New York Strip and lightly marinated with an exclusive combination of olive oil, French sea salt and spices developed by our executive chef Michael Selby. It cooks in less than an hour and is boneless, so it’s easy to slice and serve. Available November-December.

RESERVE AGED RIB ROAST Our patented Reserve Aged Choice Beef is aged for a minimum of 28 days to achieve optimal flavor and tenderness. Much as an oak barrel promotes the aging of wine, untreated cedar is used to provide a depth of flavor while accentuating subtle aromas and providing tenderness that is unmatched. Available daily.

SPIRAL SLICED DRY HONEY GLAZED BONE-IN HAM This is ham the way it should be, made using an old-fashioned smoking process perfected by a fourth-generation family-owned smokehouse. The ham has subtle smoky-sweet flavor that’s not too salty and a firm texture that’s never dry. Spiral sliced for easy serving. Available daily.

ROYAL RIB ROAST Our bone-in Royal Rib Roasts are the ideal pairing of premium choice beef and top-shelf local herbs and spices. The marinade is savory, not salty, and very aromatic. Plus, these royal roasts are incredibly easy to cook! Each cut—king, queen or princess—is right-sized by the number of servings. Available in December.

APPLE CIDER BRINED TURKEY BREAST Go local this holiday season with turkey from family farm Ferndale Market in Cannon Falls. Succulent all-natural turkey breasts are brined in fresh-pressed apple cider made from Minnesota-grown apples and seasoned with herbs, shallots and sea salt, resulting in a rich, clean flavor. Available in November.

NORTH COUNTRY PRIME RIB OF PORK Our North Country Prime Rib of Pork is the ultimate in flavor and presentation. Each roast has been delicately seasoned with our exclusive blend of spices and shallots with hints of juniper berry. For ease in preparation, all North Country roasts are French-cut by hand to support even cooking while maximizing flavor and juiciness. And the bone-in presentation is stunning. Available in December.  real food 13

Lunds & Byerlys what’s in store

SARTORI CHEESE CUBES For over four generations, the Sartori family has dedicated itself to the production of high-quality artisan cheese. Their newest offering, Sartori Cheese Cubes, makes artisan cheese accessible to everyone, at any time. The bite-sized cubes are a convenient, simple way to enjoy the same Sartori cheeses you know and love. Varieties include merlot BellaVitano, black pepper BellaVitano and old-world cheddar.

Tip: Minimize your party prep work with Sartori Cheese Cubes. Whether you’re building a cheese board or building a Bloody Mary bar, these cheese cubes make party planning quick, easy and delicious.

L&B FRUIT BUTTERS Our new L&B Fruit Butters are the perfect addition to your holiday gathering! Unlike jams and jellies, fruit butters utilize the pulp of the fruit, which is cooked down with sugar until it’s thick and spreadable. The fruit butters are delicious slathered on toast or pancakes and they come in reusable glassware. Flavors include apple butter, cherry butter and peach butter.

Tip: The L&B Fruit Butters can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Dip shortbread in the peach butter or spoon over granola. Or, if your taste buds swing more savory, combine cherry butter and Dijon mustard for a glaze for pork and ribs.

SABLE & ROSENFELD TIPSY TAPAS & COCKTAIL GARNISHES Sable & Rosenfeld’s gourmet foods have been lighting up dinner tables and cocktail parties from coast to coast for more than 50 years. Their Tipsy Tapas are vegetables hand-stuffed with cream cheese that make a great addition to your holiday cheese board. Plus, their festive, hand-packed cocktail stirrers are the ultimate Bloody Mary accoutrement.

Did you know? Myra Sable founded Sable & Rosenfeld out of her kitchen in 1970. Starting with a home recipe for Russian mustard, she meticulously grew the product line into what it is today, specializing in gourmet appetizers, condiments, sauces and cocktail garnishes.

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Lunds & Byerlys what’s in store

DRY SPARKLING SODA WINTER CELEBRATION BOTTLES DRY Sparkling creates lightly sweet, non-alcoholic sodas that honor simple botanical flavors. The holiday varieties draw on some of winter’s most beloved seasonal tastes—cranberry and citrus. The large bottles are sized for sharing and are perfect for toasting to the season. Enjoy DRY on its own, paired with a meal or mixed into a cocktail.

Did you know? These limitededition flavors pair with your holiday favorites. Tangy, fruity blood orange DRY effortlessly complements seared scallops, green salads or chocolate. Bright, tart cranberry DRY pairs with roasted turkey and spiral-cut ham, baked Brie or cheesecake.

STICKY FINGERS BAKERIES SCONE MIXES Sticky Fingers Bakeries offers the irresistible taste and aroma of fresh-baked English scones in just minutes. The quick and easy premium mixes contain no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or saturated fats. Just add water, mix and bake up a batch. Holiday flavors include holiday egg nog, maple oat, gingerbread and cranberry.

L&B HOLIDAY COOKIE TINS Meet your new holiday BFF! Whether you need a quick and easy host or hostess gift, a sweet stocking stuffer or one more addition to your holiday cookie tray, our new L&B Holiday Cookie Tins are the answer. Each tin is filled with a dozen rich chocolate and pure butter shortbread cookies that are sprinkled with sugar just before baking. They’re the perfect treat that will please any palate.

Tip: The dainty, decadent cookies are delicious dunked in hot cocoa or coffee and come in a reusable red tin.

Did you know? The Sticky Fingers scone recipe was a family secret handed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years until 1987 when it made its debut at the Sticky Fingers Bakeries in San Diego. As demand grew, the founders decided to create a version you could make at home. real food 15

o caarrddo c i R c o zoo && Riicccard n e Renzo & R Renz R


SSSame F amily F ame F ame amily amily

B R O T H E R S Riccardo and B R O T H E R S Riccardo and introduced in 1995 as a B R O T H Vitiano E R S Riccardo and

Renzo Cotarella Renzo Cotarella projectCotarella of their Renzo introduced Vitiano in 1995 as a project of their famed Falesco winery. In 2016 they handed the introduced Vitiano in 1995 as a project of their famed Falesco winery. In 2016 they handed the reins over to the next Cotarella generation, their famed Falesco winery. In 2016 they handed the reigns over to the next Cotarella generation, their daughters Marta and Enrica. Striking a reigns over Dominga, to the next Cotarella generation, their daughters Dominga, Marta and Enrica. Striking a perfect balance between the tradition of native daughters Dominga, Marta and Enrica. Striking a perfect balance between the tradition of native grapes the versatility international varietals, perfectand balance betweenofthe tradition of native grapes and the versatility of international varietals, Vitiano offers exceptional quality and value perfect grapes and the versatility of international varietals, Vitiano offers exceptional quality and value perfect for everyday friends family. Vitiano offersenjoyment exceptionalwith quality andand value perfect for everyday enjoyment with friends and family. for everyday enjoyment with friends and family.

© Imported by Winebow, Inc., New York, NY © Imported by Winebow, Inc., New York, NY © Imported by Winebow, Inc., New York, NY


Sweet Rewards

Chocolate offers magical deliciousness for mind and body BY MARY SUBIALKA



any foods make the news when a study comes out that extols their health virtues. Then a different study might suggest that particular food is not as good for us as we once thought. But for thousands of years, people seem to have known instinctively that there was something magical about chocolate. Before modern science bandied about words such as “antioxidants” or “polyphenols” that have now reinforced our love of the food, people around the world have turned to chocolate to cure sickness, appease gods, show love, buy animals, celebrate holidays and sustain warriors. Humans’ fascination with chocolate began at least 4,000 years ago in present-day southern Mexico and Central America where cacao (ka-kow) trees grew wild, according to the National Confectioners Association (NCA). When these early people unlocked the secret of how to eat the bitter seed from the fruit of this tree they launched an enduring love affair. Today, the making of chocolate has evolved into an industry so large that 40 to 50 million people depend on cocao for their livelihoods—and chocolate farmers produce 3.8 million tons of cocoa beans per year, according to the NCA. The trees grow in the tropics, primarily in remote areas of West Africa, Southeast Asia and Central and South America. Like wine, chocolate reflects the distinct flavors of its region. Beans from Trinidad, for example, could have a cinnamon spiciness while those from Ecuador have a floral quality, and beans from Jamaica might even have a hint of pineapple. DARK VERSUS MILK CHOCOLATE Chocolate is simply chocolate liquor (the centers of cocoa beans ground to a liquid), extra cocoa butter, sugar, an emulsifier (often lecithin) and vanilla or other flavorings. Dark chocolates may contain milk fat to soften the texture but do not generally have a milky flavor. Dark chocolate also is known as semi-sweet chocolate. Unsweetened chocolate, or baking chocolate, is 100 percent chocolate liquor and is typically very bitter and astringent. Milk chocolate contains all of the ingredients found in dark chocolate plus milk solids, which are usually dry and look like powdered milk, rather than the liquid milk we drink. When selecting chocolate, the “% cacao” on packages refers to the percentage of cacao bean solids in the bar. The higher the percentage of cacao, the less sweet the bar and the stronger the chocolate taste. Milk chocolate has at least 10 percent cocoa liquor by weight, and at least 12 percent milk solids. Now, through modern science, we know chocolate really is good for our health. Dark chocolate (65 percent or higher cocoa content) provides more antioxidants than milk chocolate, and is high in manganese, copper, iron and magnesium. Antioxidants may help reduce LDL cholesterol, lower blood pressure, improve blood flow and reduce blood clotting—all that in addition to chocolate's magical deliciousness. 

MELTING CHOCOLATE The holidays are an especially good time to try your hand at making treats to either serve at get-togethers or package for gifts. An easy idea is to melt chocolate (see method options below), spread portions on parchment-lined baking sheets and, using the back of a spoon, create circles about 1½ inches in diameter. Then, top with chopped nuts, dried fruit, candied ginger, flaked sea salt or other ingredients as desired. Refrigerate about 2 minutes or until set, and store in a cool, dry place. Stovetop: Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a large, heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and heat, stirring, until melted. Remove saucepan from heat, keeping bowl over water. Microwave: In a microwave-safe bowl, gently heat chocolate on high 25 seconds. Stir and heat 30 seconds. Stir until completely melted, smooth, and shiny; if not completely melted after stirring, heat 15 to 20 seconds.

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healthy habits

Spice it Up A variety of herbs and spices is a beneficial addition to your daily diet BY KAIT ECKER

18 real food winter 2019

nutrients, antioxidants and anticarcinogenic properties. “At the end of the day, we know the overall context of the diet is really the biggest driver for health and wellness,” Ewoldt says. “I think if we’re using herbs and spices, chances are we’re using less of these other things—sodium, fat and sugar—that we know we want to reduce anyway.” Explore some popular spices and herbs here, and use some of them in our pumpkin spice cookie recipe, which is perfect for the holidays—and the blustery winter days in general. CARDAMOM This aromatic spice doesn’t get the chance to shine in everyone’s kitchen, but it certainly can if you give it the chance. Ewoldt notes that it’s chock-full of antioxidants— as are all of the herbs and spices here—but research also shows that cardamom might have an impact on reducing blood pressure since it contains magnesium. (The mineral can help offset sodium intake.) “Magnesium is one of those things too, where it’s found in a lot of food that we tend not to eat a lot of,” Ewoldt says, adding that many people are deficient in this mineral. Beyond cardamom, magnesium is also found in spinach, legumes, nuts and whole grains. CAYENNE PEPPER The active compound of capsaicin in cayenne pepper is being used in creams as a natural way to help alleviate the pain of sore muscles. It also has some benefit in reducing hunger. “There are some studies that say if people are eating spicy food—the foods with capsaicin—they feel fuller afterwards,” Ewoldt says. “So, down the line, they potentially might be eating less, which can help with weight management.” Capsaicin also promotes thermogenesis, which is a heat-producing process in digestion that burns calories. Simply eating spicy food is not the end-all be-all for weight loss, though, as the effect is small. However, mindfully working in the ingredients can help broaden your palate and make your dietary plan



very little bit helps when it comes to developing healthy eating habits, and spices and herbs including cardamom, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cumin, ginger and turmeric have a bit more going on than meets the eye and taste buds. Not only do they add flavor and complexity to your food, but the vitamins and minerals packed into these and many other spices and herbs are beneficial. Hundreds of antioxidants, more specifically called polyphenols, can be found in our food, including spices and herbs. “These would be the compounds that seem to have the properties that combat cell damage, so that’s what makes them antioxidants,” says Jason Ewoldt, a licensed dietitian, registered dietitian nutritionist and wellness dietitian with the Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Living Program in Rochester, Minnesota. There is also evidence that certain herbs and spices have bioactive compounds that are anticarcinogenic, help glucose levels, and reduce cholesterol and triglycerides. Incorporating more herbs and spices into your diet is most beneficial if done side by side with a healthy dietary pattern such as the Mediterranean diet. “Generally, the majority of quality research shows that individuals who eat the most plants, fruits and vegetables—I guess you could even say herbs and spices—tend to have the best health outcomes,” Ewoldt says. Make sure to talk to your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet because you never know if an herb or spice will interact with a medication. Whether following a basic plant-based diet, the Mediterranean diet or the DASH diet, Ewoldt says the point is eating more fruits and vegetables in tandem with reducing saturated fats, red meats and processed foods. While he sees lots of compelling research, Ewoldt is careful not to over promise the impact of herbs and spices—even the ones full of vitamins,

more wholesome and enjoyable than expected. Making your own taco seasoning with cayenne pepper, cumin and different spices is one nice way to get them all in, Ewoldt says. “You can use less sodium because you’re kind of in control of the flavor profile that you’re creating.” CINNAMON Warm and familiar, the common baking spice of cinnamon supplies surprising health benefits. “It does seem to have some relationship with reducing the rate at which glucose enters the body, or basically helping reduce bloodglucose spikes,” Ewoldt says. “Are we going to get that from using it in our cereal in the morning? Probably not. But what we are going to get is something that contains other vitamins and compounds that are anticarcinogenic, which is beneficial no matter how you slice it.” Using it can help reduce the amount of sugar you might put in your food otherwise. “Use cinnamon maybe in a way that you’re not used to, besides putting it on oatmeal,” Ewoldt says. “The biggest thing is getting out of your comfort zone and experimenting.” CUMIN This seasoning often helps enhance the flavor of other advantageous spices like curry and chili powder, but it packs its own punch in foods such as soups, guacamole or fajitas. In looking at the research, Ewoldt says cumin has a moderate effect on both blood pressure and cholesterol. “It wasn’t like if I have high blood pressure and supplement with cumin, all of a sudden I have normal blood pressure,” Ewoldt says. “It reduced it, just not as much as your doctor would suggest. … So it’s one of those where we know there’s benefit, absolutely, but we just don’t quite know what that means for all of us and what dose.”


GINGER This unique root goes well with spicy, sweet and savory flavor profiles. It can help reduce nausea, especially in pregnancy-related symptoms and in people going through chemotherapy treatment. Whether you’re making ginger tea, a veggie-packed stir-fry, a chicken marinade or some oatmeal breakfast cookies, ginger can enhance the flavor while also providing essential nutrients. “I can replace the salt and use ginger,” Ewoldt says. “It’s a one-two punch. I reduce one that that we know we’re eating too much of, and I increase something we know is beneficial.” TURMERIC When cooking food with a strong flavor profile like Indian food, Mexican food or something like chili, this colorful spice can add pleasant depth to your favorite dishes. This spice is also lauded for its anti-inflammatory properties, but Ewoldt does not believe it is quite at the point where one could confidently use it as an anti-inflammatory agent. “There’s intriguing evidence on turmeric and inflammation, but there’s not enough for any organization to be able to say, ‘Yeah, do this and we can expect this result,’” he says. Even so, research has shown that turmeric can reduce the risk of heart attacks in bypass patients and has been shown to help reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis, kind of similar to how an ibuprofen would, Ewoldt adds. 


Lightly sweet and just a little spicy, these cookies are packed with nutritious seasonings, healthy fats and protein-rich ingredients. The small treats are deceptively delicious and will keep your sweet tooth satisfied while fueling your body with the right kind of energy. 3 cups quick oats 2 cups almond flour 1 teaspoon salt 1¼ teaspoons baking soda 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 tablespoon ginger ½ teaspoon cloves ½ teaspoon cardamom 1 teaspoon nutmeg ¾ cup unrefined virgin coconut oil 2 eggs 1 cup honey 1 cup pumpkin puree 2 teaspoons vanilla 1. Mix the dry ingredients together so that they are evenly distributed. 2. Heat the unrefined coconut oil until just melted, warm the honey so that it is less viscous and mix both into the dry ingredients along with the pumpkin puree. 3. Whisk the eggs, and add them to the dough. Thoroughly mix until everything is evenly distributed. 4. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours. 5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Scoop the dough into balls of approximately 2½ tablespoons and place several inches apart on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Gently press down on the top to slightly flatten the cookies. 6. Chill each tray of raw cookies in the freezer prior to baking. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the edges start to turn color. 7. Let them sit on the baking tray for a couple minutes before moving them to a wire tray to completely cool. Cook’s Note: For additional texture and flavor, stir in or top the cookies with chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, sliced almonds or dark chocolate chips.

Always consult your doctor if you have health concerns or before making any major dietary changes.

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Holiday Helpings Tasty holiday dinner twists for traditionalists and adventurers alike


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22 real food fall 2019

Creamy Sweet Potato and Orange Soup with Pistachio Garnish



meal the same way every year and may be

2 pounds sweet potatoes (to make 3 cups puree) 2 tablespoons butter 1 large onion, chopped 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage 2 tablespoons flour 11/2 cups cream 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock 3/4 cup orange juice 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest 1 teaspoon salt

hen it comes to the holidays, there are traditionalists and there are

adventurers. Traditionalists make the holiday using recipes handed down for generations. The comfort of the familiar, traditional foods is more important than trying some crazy new thing. Adventurers, on the other hand, are always looking for a new way to make the turkey more exciting or for a side dish that might shake up the expected menu. Whether you are a traditionalist, an adventurer or a little bit of both, these recipes combine familiar ingredients with twists on techniques and flavors to give you tasty dishes to make throughout the holiday season. The spatchcocked turkey will shave roasting time for a small turkey down to under an hour and a half. A Spinach and Ricotta Shepherd’s Pie provides both a serving of spinach and mashed potatoes in one delicious helping. Ditch the usual rolls for savory, cheesy Monkey Bread laced with garlic butter. In a nod to the traditionalists, pumpkin and spice are in the dessert—just in cake form instead of pie. Whether you make all of these dishes or just insert a few into your tried-and-true lineup, you’re sure to get lots of thumbs-up!

Sweet potatoes make a gorgeous, harvest-orange soup to give your holiday table a stroke of color. Sweet-tart orange juice and zest accent the smooth creamy texture, and a crunchy topping of pistachios and sage adds a textural contrast.

For the Garnish 1/2 cup raw pistachios, coarsely chopped 3 tablespoons fresh sage, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1/8 teaspoon salt 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the whole sweet potatoes on an oiled sheet pan and pierce each one a couple of times with a fork for steam to escape. Bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a paring knife. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack. 2. When cool enough to handle, scoop the sweet potato flesh and place in a food processor bowl. Puree until smooth, then measure 3 cups for this recipe. If there is a little extra, save for another use. 3. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat, then add the onion and sage. Stir until the onion starts to sizzle, then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture, stir to mix well, and cook the flour, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and whisk in the cream, and when it is incorporated, whisk in the stock, then the orange juice. Return to medium heat and whisk occasionally until the mixture thickens slightly and starts to bubble around the edges. Whisk in the sweet potato puree, chipotle, orange zest and salt and stir until heated through. Serve with pistachio garnish. 4. For the garnish, place a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Let it heat for a few seconds, then drizzle in the olive oil and let it heat for 30 seconds. Add the chopped pistachios and stir until the oil sizzles, then add the sage and stir until the pistachios are toasted and the sage is dark green. Stir in the salt and scrape into a cup, making sure to include the oil. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the garnish on each bowl of soup and drizzle a few drops of the flavorful olive oil on each serving.

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24 real food winter 2019

Pomegranate Glazed Spatchcocked Turkey MAKES 8 TO 10 SERVINGS

Spatchcocking is a technique that cuts down on cooking time by flattening the bird, allowing you to cook a whole turkey in under an hour and a half. The key here is to have a small bird, no larger than 11 pounds, and a pan that it will fit in, so it will not hang over the edge. Cutting out the spine of the bird requires a sharp knife and kitchen shears, but it’s a great technique to master for roasting whole turkeys and chickens much more quickly. 1 (11-pound) turkey, skin on 1 cup orange juice 2 cups pomegranate juice 1/2 cup maple syrup 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons butter, melted 1. You’ll need a 12x16-inch roasting pan, a cooling rack that fits in it and a cutting board at least that big to carve the bird. Thaw the bird in the refrigerator for at least 4 days. It should be completely thawed before cooking. 2. First, make the glaze. In a 1-quart pot, combine the orange juice, pomegranate juice, maple syrup and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium to keep the mixture boiling but not boiling over. Reduce to 1 cup. (After about 15 minutes, check the volume by pouring the liquid into a heat safe measuring cup, then pour back into the pan and continue boiling as needed.) This can be made up to 4 days ahead of time and refrigerated, tightly covered. Whether you use it immediately after making or later on, when you do use it, let the mixture sit until it reaches room temperature and then whisk in the melted butter. 3. Prepare the roasting pan by placing the cooling rack in it and having it by your cutting board. 4. Preheat the oven to 450°F. 5. To spatchcock the turkey: In a clean sink, unwrap the turkey and drain the juices. Remove the giblets and neck, reserving them for another use. Place two layers of paper towels on a large cutting board. Drain the turkey and transfer to the paper towels, and use another towel to pat dry. Discard the wet towels. 6. Turn the turkey breast side down and use kitchen shears to cut out the spine of the bird. Start at the tail and cut along each side, as far as you can go. You may want to switch to a chef’s knife once you get it started. It also may be easier to place the bird on its head and cut straight down with the knife to get some leverage. Once you have removed the spine, place the bird breast side up and press down with the heel of your hand in the center of the breast to flatten the ribcage on the board. Using your fingers, separate the skin from the breast, starting at the neck hole, being careful not to tear the skin. Do the same with the thighs and legs, starting at the cut side where the spine was. 7. Lift the bird onto the rack in the prepared roasting pan and tuck the wings behind the bird. Arrange so that the legs and sides are all inside the pan. Scoop about 1/4 cup of the pomegranate mixture and hold the skin away from the breast so you can pour it under the skin. Smear it around with your hand. Do the same with the thighs and legs. 8. Tear a piece of foil about 1 foot across. Place the bird in the preheated oven and roast for about 30 minutes. Baste with the remaining pomegranate mixture, then cover loosely with the foil to prevent premature browning. Baste the bird every 10 minutes and roast for a total of 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes. Use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh. When it reaches 160°F, remove the bird from the oven. Let cool on a rack for about 10 minutes before transferring to a large cutting board and carving.

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Cheddar Garlic Monkey Bread

Spinach and Ricotta Shepherd’s Pie



Break away from the usual rolls and make this impressive pull-apart loaf, gilded with sharp cheddar cheese and garlic butter. By using frozen dinner roll dough, you cut the prep time and make it easy to put this golden bread on the table.

This dish combines the flavors of your favorite veggie lasagna with the classic Shepherd’s Pie. Not only does it cover the obligatory veggie side and the mashed potato craving, but it can also serve as the main course for any vegetarians at the table.

2 pounds frozen whole-wheat rolls or bread dough 1 stick butter 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese 1. Have a non-stick Bundt pan ready to go. If using roll dough, remove 16 balls of frozen dough from the bag and place them on a baking sheet, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and let thaw for 2 hours. After thawing, uncover the rolls, place each one on a cutting board and cut in quarters. 2. In a medium pot, melt the butter and add the garlic and thyme, cook over medium heat for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Let cool. 3. Brush a little of the butter on the bottom and sides of the Bundt pan. Toss four pieces of dough in the butter at a time, then scoop out with a slotted spoon and drop in the pan. Sprinkle each layer with cheddar cheese. When all the dough and cheese have gone into the pan, tap the pan on the counter a few times to settle the dough into the bottom. Drizzle any leftover butter over the top. Cover the pan with foil and let rise at room temperature on the counter for 1 hour. 4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake, covered, for 45 to 50 minutes. Use an instant read thermometer to check whether it is done: The center of the loaf should reach 190°F. Let the loaf cool for about 5 minutes on a rack, then place a plate over the pan and invert to drop the loaf on the plate. Serve warm with plenty of napkins. Cook’s Note: To use frozen bread dough rather than rolls, cover two 1-pound loaves with a damp towel or plastic wrap and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Cut the loaves into strips and cut those into 2-inch pieces. Proceed with recipe step 2.

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2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes 1 cup half-and-half 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 11/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided 1 teaspoon salt, divided 20 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and wrung out 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 pounds ricotta cheese 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a 9x13-inch rectangular baking dish by lightly oiling it, and reserve. 2. Cut the potatoes in large chunks and place in a large pot. Cover with water by 1 inch and place on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a vigorous simmer and cook until the potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly, then slip the skins off as you put them back in the pot to mash with a masher or a ricer. When mashed, add the half-andhalf, butter, 3/4 cup Parmesan and half of the salt and mix. When smooth, cover the pot and let stand. 3. For the filling, wrap the wrung-out spinach in a kitchen towel and squeeze tightly to dry completely. 4. In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat, and add the onion. Stir until they start to crackle, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute, then remove from heat and scrape into a large bowl. Let sit until cool enough to handle. 5. Add the spinach, ricotta, eggs, thyme, and the remaining salt and pepper to the pan with the onions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the remaining Parmesan for topping, and add the rest to the spinach mixture. Mix well. 6. Spread the spinach mixture in the prepared pan and smooth the top. Dollop the potato mixture over the spinach and use a fork to spread it evenly and make an appealing crosshatched pattern. 7. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, then sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and bake for 15 minutes longer. It should be lightly browned and bubbling in spots.


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Spinach, Cranberry and Walnut Salad with Bleu Cheese Dressing

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Broiled Pecan Topping


This moist, easy-to-make cake will please your guests, especially if you broil the topping at the last minute. By spreading a buttery brown sugar and pecan topping on the cake and running it under the broiler, you create a warm, crunchy sauce that is easier and more special than the usual frosting.


Dress up a spinach salad with sparkling red cranberries, crunchy walnuts and a creamy dressing that elevates it to special meal status. This is easy to assemble at the last minute, and the dressing can be made up to 4 days ahead so your big night will go smoothly. For the Dressing 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt 1/4 cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese For the Salad 5 ounces spinach, washed and dried 2 medium scallions, chopped 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1. For the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and mayonnaise and stir until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper, then stir in the blue cheese, mashing it with the spoon but leaving plenty of chunks. Transfer to a cruet or jar. Makes 1 cup. 2. To serve, spread the spinach over a platter and sprinkle the scallions, walnuts and cranberries over the spinach. Drizzle with the blue cheese dressing and serve.

2 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon clove 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 teaspoon salt 4 large eggs 1 cup avocado or canola oil 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin

For the Topping 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup light brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt, softened 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 9x13-inch baking pan and reserve. 2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and pumpkin until smooth. Stir into the flour mixture, just until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. 3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with no wet batter clinging to it. 4. While the cake bakes, prepare the topping. Mix the melted butter, vanilla, brown sugar, salt and pecans. 5. When the cake is done, remove from oven. Turn the oven to broil and put a rack 4 to 5 inches from the heat. Drop spoonfuls of the brown sugar topping over the cake, spreading it gently and leaving 1/2 inch around the edges bare. Broil it with the door open, watching closely, for less than 1 minute. When the topping is bubbling and melted, take it out to cool. If the topping is melting down the sides, you can use a small spoon to move it back to the top and arrange the pecans while it’s hot. Serve warm after the topping has set.


Cook’s Note: You can make and bake the cake up to 2 days ahead of serving, then cool and wrap tightly and refrigerate. On the day of serving, let the cake come to room temperature for a couple of hours. Just before serving, make and broil the topping, and serve warm. 

SWEET POTATO & ORANGE SOUP W. PISTACHIO: PER SERVING: CALORIES 462 (280 from fat); FAT 32g (sat. 15g); CHOL 76mg; SODIUM 566mg; CARB 40g; FIBER 6g; PROTEIN 8g


28 real food winter 2019

CHEDDAR GARLIC MONKEY BREAD: PER SERVING: CALORIES 475 (218 from fat); FAT 25g (sat. 13g); CHOL 58mg; SODIUM 740mg; CARB 45g; FIBER 6g; PROTEIN 19g

SPINACH & RICOTTA SHEPHERD’S PIE: PER SERVING: CALORIES 380 (189 from fat); FAT 22g (sat. 12g); CHOL 98mg; SODIUM 628mg; CARB 26g; FIBER 3g; PROTEIN 22g


PUMPKIN SHEET CAKE W. PECAN TOPPING: PER SERVING: CALORIES 472 (297 from fat); FAT 34g (sat. 8g); CHOL 83mg; SODIUM 510mg; CARB 39g; FIBER 3g; PROTEIN 6g


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30 real food winter 2019

Sweet Simplicity Easy homemade quick breads are perfect for entertaining or gift giving BY LAUREN CHATTMAN


rothers-in-law Dr. Austin Church and John Dwight began packaging Arm & Hammer baking soda in Dwight’s New York City kitchen in 1846. In 1854, Harvard chemist Eben Horsford combined baking soda

with monocalcium phosphate to create baking powder. Soon afterward, the quick bread was born. Manufacturers of chemical leaveners distributed quick bread recipe booklets, advertising the virtues of a bread that didn’t require kneading or rising. They hoped that these leaveners would replace yeast entirely before the century was over. Although baking with yeast has hardly become obsolete, both savory and sweet quick breads have remained popular because of their simplicity and versatility. Brown butter banana bread or a spiced chocolate loaf is a simple way to feed houseguests in the morning or entertain friends who stop by in the afternoon, and you can either freshly bake the loaves or pull them from the freezer as needed. Prettily packaged (see page 33) eggnog or lemon chia seed loaves are practical gifts for bringing to a variety of holiday gatherings. For whatever occasion, these loaves will add a feeling of warmth in the winter months.

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Gingerbread with Cranberries

Brown Butter Banana Bread



Fresh ginger gives this gingerbread some extra spice. Chopping the cranberries (you can do this with a few pulses in a food processor) will ensure that there is some tart cranberry flavor in every bite. You can chop frozen berries straight from the freezer and stir them into the batter. Baking time will be a few minutes longer (to account for the lower temperature of the batter) in this case.

Brown butter is made by cooking butter until the milk solids separate from the butterfat and become brown. The butter develops a concentrated taste that is like butter on steroids with a nutty undertone—after all, brown butter is called “beurre noisette” in French because its luxurious nuttiness is similar to the flavor of toasted hazelnuts. With this extra step, your banana bread will have a deep, dark buttery flavor that will balance the sweetness of the bananas, a balance reinforced by the toasted hazelnuts in this recipe.

For the Bread 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons ground ginger 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground cloves ¾ cup dark molasses ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1 large egg ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt or buttermilk 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled 1½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped For the Glaze 1 cup confectioners’ sugar 3 tablespoons heavy cream ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger pinch salt 1. Make the bread: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease one 8x4-inch or four 51/2x3-inch mini loaf pans and dust with flour. 2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. 3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the molasses, brown sugar, egg, yogurt and ginger. Whisk in the butter. 4. With a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir in the cranberries. 5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan or pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes for small loaves, 55 to 60 minutes for 1 large loaf. Let the gingerbread cool in the pan or pans for 5 or 10 minutes, invert onto a wire rack, and then turn right side up on a rack to cool completely. Wrap in a double layer of plastic and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month before glazing. 6. Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt until smooth. Spread over each loaf. Let stand until the icing is firm, about 30 minutes, before slicing and serving.

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2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour ¾ cup sugar ¾ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and coarsely chopped (optional) ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter 3 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1½ cups) ¼ cup buttermilk 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the inside of an 8x4-inch loaf pan and dust with flour. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and chopped nuts in a large bowl. 2. Heat butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until the milk solids on the bottom are a dark chocolate brown, 6 to 9 minutes (see Cook’s Note). Set aside to cool slightly. 3. In a medium bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, buttermilk, eggs, butter and vanilla with a fork. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Stir in the nuts if using. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and bake until loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve. 4. Alternatively, wrap the loaf in a double layer of plastic and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month and defrost on the countertop before serving. Cook’s Note: A stainless steel skillet or saucepan is the key to accurately judging the butter’s progress. With a shiny pan bottom, you can see the color of the butter, which becomes a deep golden brown, and the color of the solids, which become the color of milk chocolate when properly cooked.

sweet gifts wrapped up Homemade quick bread makes a wonderful gift. There are several ways to wrap them for the holidays: UNGLAZED LOAVES: Wrap like a package in baking parchment and decorate with ribbons and bows or baker’s twine rather than ribbon. Attach frills such as jingle bells and holly sprigs. Or, wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper and pack in a holiday gift bag or pretty burlap sack. GLAZED LOAVES: Consider baking it in a decorative paper loaf mold. Once your loaf is cool, apply the glaze to the top and let it set. Then place the loaf, still in the mold, on top of a piece of cellophane, gathering the cellophane edges together over the bread and cinching with a ribbon. This wrapping will cover the loaf without marring the glaze. GIFT FOR A BAKER: Wrap the loaf in parchment and place in a new loaf pan. Wrap a pretty ribbon around the pan and loaf, along with a recipe card and wooden spoon or spatula.



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Eggnog Mini Loaves

quickbread FAQs


What is the difference between baking soda and baking powder? When baking soda comes in contact with an acidic ingredient like lemon juice or yogurt, the reaction produces carbon dioxide, a bubbly gas that causes baked goods to rise. To get a similar reaction in batters that don’t have acidic ingredients, bakers use baking powder, which is baking soda combined with a little acid and some cornstarch to keep the two ingredients dry and non-reactive until moistened. Some recipes call for both baking soda and baking powder. The baking soda neutralizes the acid in the batter, while the baking powder provides powerful lift.

A little rum mixed with some confectioners’ sugar makes a festive glaze for these little loaves. For a non-alcoholic glaze, use a little bit of un-spiked eggnog instead. For the Bread 1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1¼ teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 1 cup sugar 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 teaspoons rum extract ¾ cup eggnog For the Glaze 1 cup confectioners’ sugar 2 to 3 tablespoons eggnog or dark rum pinch nutmeg 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease the inside of an 8-cavity miniloaf pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl. 2. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and rum extracts. 3. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Add ½ of the eggnog and mix until incorporated. Repeat with the remaining flour and eggnog, ending with the flour. After the last addition, mix for 30 seconds on medium speed. 4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let the loaves cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, invert onto a wire rack, and then turn right side up on a rack to cool completely. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month and defrost on the countertop. 5. Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, eggnog or rum, and nutmeg until smooth and pourable but not runny. Spread some icing over the top of each loaf. Let stand until the icing is firm, about 30 minutes, before serving.

What’s the difference between a cake and a quick bread? It’s true that some cakes—think angel food or old-fashioned pound cake—rely on whipped egg whites or air beaten into butter for their rise. But most cake batters are very similar to the quick bread batters here. The biggest difference is that quick breads are simply constructed and minimally decorated—no layers, no fillings, and they may have a dusting of confectioners’ sugar or an easy glaze rather than a fancier frosting. Is there a difference between quick breads made with butter and those made with oil? Both butter and oil will moisten and enrich a quick bread. Butter will add wonderful flavor. Oil will give it a longer shelf life. If your recipe calls for solid butter creamed with sugar, then it will get some extra lift from the air bubbles created during the process—lift that it won’t get if you use liquid fat. If your recipe calls for melted butter, you can use an equal amount of oil instead if you prefer. Can I make several smaller loaves instead of one large with the same recipe? The recipes here are formulated to make one 8x4-inch loaf, four 5½x3-inch loaves, or eight 4x2-inch loaves. Baking times will have to be adjusted depending on the pan size you choose. Whatever size you choose, test your breads for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center, removing them from the oven as soon as the tester comes out clean. How long will quick breads stay fresh? Breads with plenty of butter, oil, nuts and fruit will keep for several days in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic. If you want to plan ahead, you can bake your quick breads and then freeze them for up to 1 month before defrosting on the countertop.

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Lemon-Chia Seed Loaf

Spiced Chocolate Bread



Although they look like poppy seeds, chia seeds lend a different character to a lemon loaf. They will swell slightly when stirred into the batter, adding a pleasantly chewy texture to the bread.

Dutch process cocoa gives this bread deep, dark color and a refined chocolate flavor. A little bit of chipotle chili powder gives it subtle heat. The batter is quite thick because of the Greek yogurt, so make sure to use a spatula to spread it in an even layer in the pan.

1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1¼ teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 3 tablespoons chia seeds ¾ cup whole milk

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease the inside of an 8x4-inch loaf pan and dust with flour. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. 2. Combine the butter, sugar and zest in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and chia seeds. 3. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Add ½ of the milk and mix until incorporated. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk, ending with the flour. After the last addition, mix for 30 seconds on medium speed. 4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let the bread cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack, and then turn it right side up on a rack to cool completely. Slice and serve. 5. Alternatively, wrap the cake in a double layer of plastic and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month and defrost on the countertop before serving.

Variations This recipe can be used to create a variety of interestingly flavored quick breads. Simply replace the lemon zest and chia seeds with different ingredients to create a whole menu of holiday-worthy loaves. Some ideas to get you started: Almond and Maraschino Cherries: Replace the lemon zest and chia seeds with 1 teaspoon almond extract, ½ cup toasted and chopped almonds, and 1 cup drained, dried and chopped maraschino cherries. Orange and Chocolate Chip: Replace the lemon zest and chia seeds with 2 tablespoons grated orange zest and 1 cup mini chocolate chips.


Lime and Coconut: Replace the lemon zest and chia seeds with 1 teaspoon grated lime zest, 1 teaspoon coconut extract and 1½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut.

BROWN BUTTER BANANA BREAD (W/O NUTS): PER SERVING: CALORIES 402 (168 from fat); FAT 19g (sat. 11g); CHOL 93mg; SODIUM 299mg; CARB 53g; FIBER 2g; PROTEIN 6g

BROWN BUTTER BANANA BREAD (W. NUTS): PER SERVING: CALORIES 508 (254 from fat); FAT 29g (sat. 12g); CHOL 93mg; SODIUM 299mg; CARB 56g; FIBER 4g; PROTEIN 8g

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LEMON-CHIA SEED LOAF: PER SERVING: CALORIES 352 (132 from fat); FAT 15g (sat. 8g); CHOL 79mg; SODIUM 178mg; CARB 49g; FIBER 2g; PROTEIN 6g

EGGNOG MINI LOAVES: PER SERVING: CALORIES 423 (135 from fat); FAT 15g (sat. 9g); CHOL 90mg; SODIUM 212mg; CARB 66g; FIBER 1g; PROTEIN 5g

11/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour ¾ cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted 1 cup packed light brown sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder or more to taste ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon salt 1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt 1 large egg, lightly beaten ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease an 8x4-inch loaf pan and dust with flour. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking soda, chili powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. 2. By hand or with an electric mixer, stir in the Greek yogurt, egg, melted butter and vanilla until just combined. 3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Let the bread cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack, and then turn it right side up on a rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. 4. Alternatively, wrap the loaf in a double layer of plastic and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month and defrost on the countertop before serving. 

GINGERBREAD W. CRANBERRIES: PER SERVING: CALORIES 496 (133 from fat); FAT 15g (sat. 9g); CHOL 62mg; SODIUM 405mg; CARB 88g; FIBER 2g; PROTEIN 5g

SPICED CHOCOLATE BREAD: PER SERVING: CALORIES 359 (144 from fat); FAT 17g (sat. 10g); CHOL 63mg; SODIUM 200mg; CARB 51g; FIBER 4g; PROTEIN 6g


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One-Pot Comforts Warming soups and stews are the definition of easy home cooking and clean-up


ooking for easy yet delicious dishes that provide a complete meal with little fuss and minimal cleanup?

That’s where one-pot dishes come in. These flavorful and balanced meals have protein, vegetables, and usually a starch or legume made in one pot—whether a saucepan, slow cooker, sheet pan or Instant Pot—and they are simplicity in the making. In the following recipes from “One Pot Recipes” by Ellen Brown, we highlight recipes from the soups and stews category including a chicken chili, her all-time favorite bean soup and a fish stew. These warm, comforting meals are great to have on hand during the colder months and especially helpful throughout the busy holiday season. In these dishes,

everything is ready at the same time—and you won’t have to clean more than the one pot. —Mary Subialka

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Curried Fish Stew MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

The curry and chile are tamed by creamy coconut milk and rich peanut butter in this Indian-inspired fish stew. Adding some vegetables at the end of the cooking process enlivens the texture, too. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 small onion, chopped 2 jalapeño or serrano chilies, seeds and ribs removed, chopped 4 garlic cloves, minced 3 tablespoons curry powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon pinch of ground allspice 1/2 cup seafood stock 3 tablespoons natural peanut butter 1 (15-ounce) can light coconut milk 1 teaspoon granulated sugar 1 pound redskin potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch dice 2 carrots, peeled and sliced 11/4 pounds thick white firm-fleshed fish fillets, such as halibut or cod, cut into 1-inch cubes 2 ounces fresh snow peas or sugar-snap peas, stemmed salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for serving 1. Heat the oil in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and chilies, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic, curry powder, cinnamon and allspice, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Scrape the mixture into a food processor fitted with the steel blade or into a blender. Add the stock and peanut butter, and puree until smooth. 2. Return the puree to the saucepan, and add the coconut milk and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes and carrots, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. 3. Add the fish to the pan, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the snow peas and cook for an additional 11/2 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately, sprinkling each serving with cilantro. Cook’s Notes: • While I’m no fan of skim milk or even 2% milk, I always look for the light version of canned coconut milk. … And for cooking, you must use the canned product. The refrigerated coconut milk next to the nut milks in the refrigerator case does not really deliver any coconut flavor. • The dish can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered. Reheat it over low heat, covered, until hot, stirring occasionally. VARIATION Substitute chicken stock for the seafood stock, and substitute 11/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes, for the fish. Add the chicken to the stew along with the potatoes and carrots.

White Bean Soup with Prosciutto and Spinach MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

This is my all-time favorite bean soup, with flecks of salty prosciutto and bits of bright green spinach in a thick and flavorful base of beans and other vegetables. It’s hearty and filling, and all it needs is a crusty loaf of bread and a tossed salad to make it a complete meal. 11/2 cups dried navy beans or other small dried white beans 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion, diced 1 medium carrot, chopped 1 celery rib, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained 1/3 pound prosciutto, diced 5 cups chicken stock 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary 6 ounces baby spinach salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving 1. Rinse the beans in a colander and place them in a mixing bowl covered with cold salted water. Allow the beans to soak for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight. Or place the beans into a saucepan of salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 1 minute. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and soak the beans for 1 hour. Drain the beans, discard the soaking water, rinse them well, and cook or refrigerate the beans as soon as possible. 2. Heat the olive oil in the slow cooker using the browning function or in a medium skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until onion is translucent. Scrape the mixture onto the slow cooker, if using a skillet. 3. Add the drained beans, tomatoes, prosciutto, stock, parsley and rosemary to a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker, and stir well. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours, or until the beans are tender. 4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer half of the solids to a food processor fitted with a steel blade, or to a blender, and puree until smooth. Stir the puree back into the soup, add the spinach, and stir well. Cook on high for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the soup is simmering. Season with salt and pepper, and serve hot, passing around the Parmesan cheese separately.

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Chicken Chili with Tomatillos MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

Tomatillos are more closely related to gooseberries than to tomatoes, and they have a tangy flavor with light citrus notes. They form the base of this easy salsa verde, in which chicken and vegetables are cooked.


1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed 2 or 3 jalapeño or serrano chilies, seeds and ribs removed, diced 1 shallot, sliced 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion, diced 1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, diced 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon ground cumin 11/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes 2 cups chicken stock salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 small yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 3/4-inch slices 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 1 diced avocado, for serving 1/2 cup sour cream, for serving 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for serving 3 scallions, white parts and 4 inches of green tops, sliced, for serving 1. Place the tomatillos in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan and cover them with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer the tomatillos for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they turn from bright green to olive green. Drain the tomatillos and dice them when cool enough to handle. 2. Combine the tomatillos, chilies, shallot and cilantro in a food processor fitted with a steel blade or in a blender. Puree, and scrape the mixture into a bowl. 3. Heat the oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and red bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, or until the onion is translucent.

CURRIED FISH STEW: PER SERVING: CALORIES 368 (153 from fat); FAT 18g (sat. 7g); CHOL 53mg; SODIUM 207mg; CARB 28g; FIBER 7g; PROTEIN 26g

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4. Add the tomatillo puree to the saucepan along with the chicken, sweet potatoes and stock. Season with salt and pepper and simmer over low heat, covered, for 30 minutes. Add the summer squash and beans and cook for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes and squash are tender. 5. Remove the chicken thighs from the pan with tongs, and shred the meat with two forks. Return the meat to the pan and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve in low bowls, passing around dishes containing avocado, sour cream, cilantro and scallions as garnishes. Cook’s Notes: • The real heat in chilies is found in the seeds and the ribs, so you can always adjust a dish to your liking by either removing the seeds and ribs or leaving them in. When you see a recipe calling for more than one chile pepper, it’s likely that the seeds are meant to be discarded. • This dish can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered. Reheat it, covered, over low heat. VARIATION Substitute ½ pound peeled and deveined shrimp for the chicken and substitute seafood stock for the chicken stock. Add the shrimp to the dish along with the summer squash and beans. 


WHITE BEAN SOUP W. PROSCIUTTO & SPINACH: PER SERVING: CALORIES 408 (123 from fat); FAT 14g (sat. 3g); CHOL 17mg; SODIUM 974mg; CARB 49g; FIBER 18g; PROTEIN 26g

CHICKEN CHILI W. TOMATILLOS: PER SERVING: CALORIES 605 (213 from fat); FAT 24g (sat. 6g); CHOL 144mg; SODIUM 447mg; CARB 56g; FIBER 15g; PROTEIN 44g


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Inspired Spreads

Entertain in style with creative platters and boards from happy hour to dessert


latters, boards and spreads, with their delicious array of bites to sample, are perfect for gatherings from casual get-togethers to holiday parties. A cheese

plate is probably the first thing that comes to mind, but there are antipasto platters, veggie trays, relish trays, charcuterie boards and holiday cookie samplers that offer delicious options. Think of it as a work of art for both the eyes and mouth, says Shelly Westerhausen in her book, “Platters and Boards,” which teaches the art of creating beautiful spreads for every occasion. Each board, including those featured here, is vegetarian with optional meat suggestions from co-author Wyatt Worcel, and easily scaled to accommodate any size group. —Mary Subialka


This hands-on board is a fun way to involve your guests. You can make seasonal adjustments by swapping in blackberries, peaches and basil in the summer; sliced citrus, figs and tarragon in the fall and winter; and strawberries and chives in the spring. Base pieces 2 batches Quick Crostini (recipe page 45) Spreads Pink Hummus (recipe page 51) 1 cup store-bought fig butter or jam 1 cup peanut or almond butter 8 ounces cream cheese or chèvre 1 cup Compound Butters Three Ways (recipe page 46) 1 cup Whole-Grain Lager Mustard (recipe page 46) or store-bought whole-grain mustard 1 cup store-bought pesto 10 ounces store-bought olive tapenade 1 cup mascarpone cheese 8 ounces soft cheese (such as Camembert or mozzarella), sliced

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Toppings 3 cups sliced fruit (peaches, figs, berries, etc.) 3 (8-ounce) variety packs of sliced cheese (about 12 slices each, large enough to halve or quarter) 2 cups sliced radishes 2 cups carrot batons (large matchstick pieces) 11/2 cups chopped nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts) 2 cups cucumber slices 6 ounces sun-dried tomatoes 1 (16-ounce) jar of roasted red peppers, drained and chopped Garnishes 1 cup chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, mint, parsley or cilantro) 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon 2 tablespoons flaky flavored salt (such as garlic salt, lemon salt or red wine salt)


STRATEGY: I like to arrange the

base, spread, toppings and garnish into sections in an assembly line fashion so it’s easy for guests to instinctively know how to prepare their crostini. Also, I like to assemble a few and place them in the spread beforehand, as it helps get people’s ideas flowing and gives them a few combination suggestions to start with. If you need to size this board for a group other than 20, keep in mind that most guests will eat around six crostini throughout the night, and for each crostini you’ll want to have 1½ tablespoons of spread, 2 or 3 toppings, and 1 teaspoon of garnish.

Quick Crostini MAKES ABOUT 50 PIECES

1 cup crushed pistachios 1/4 cup balsamic glaze 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup honey

1. Place all the ingredients into individual bowls and/or small plates. Place the plates and utensils on the side of the table you want guests to start on. Next to those, place the base pieces followed by spreads, toppings and garnishes. Add a serving spoon or fork into each bowl and serve.

Use this recipe if you’d like to make your own crostini. Make sure you cut the baguette into ½-inch thick slices, as thinner slices may get soggy and not hold toppings well and thicker slices will be more difficult to bite into. Also, use good-quality bread when making these, as the ingredients are so simple that the texture and flavor of the bread are essential.

DRINK PAIRING: Serve with a red

wine spritzer. It’s fancy enough for a cocktail party but light enough for a small get-together. To make, mix two parts dry red wine (such as a Merlot or Shiraz) with one part sparkling water and serve with a slice of orange. WYATT’S MEATY SUGGESTION:

In keeping with the Italian ori-

gins of crostini, turn to capocollo 1 baguette or coppa. These Italian cured 1/2 cup olive oil meats boast a little more brawn 1 teaspoon fine sea salt than prosciutto and a little more 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper elegance than salami. raw garlic clove or peel of 1 fresh organic lemon (optional) 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 2. Cut the baguette into 1/2-inch thick slices and transfer into a single layer on two large baking sheets. Brush both sides of the baguette slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown, flipping the crostini halfway through and rotating the trays. When the crostini come out of the oven, rub with halved garlic or lemon peel for a subtle flavor, if desired. Let cool before serving. 3. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or bag for up to 1 week.

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Whole-Grain Lager Mustard MAKES 2 CUPS

This tangy and spicy mustard pairs nicely with sweet fruit and savory cheeses. Keep the mustard spicy as is or add more honey at the end to sweeten it up to your liking. Don’t skip soaking the seeds overnight in the vinegar mixture, as it helps mellow them out. Yellow mustard seeds are milder than brown, so feel free to use all yellow if you want a milder result or more brown to make it even spicier.

1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds 1/4 cup brown mustard seeds 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup pale ale beer 1 tablespoon lightly packed brown sugar 1â „3 cup honey plus more as needed salt 1. Combine yellow and brown mustard seeds, the cider vinegar, beer and brown sugar in a small bowl or medium glass jar. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. 2. Transfer to a food processor and process until almost smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the honey and process for another 15 seconds. Taste and season with more honey or salt, if needed. Serve right away or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Compound Butter Three Ways Compound butter is just a fancy way to refer to flavored butters. These can be served soft, right out of the food processor in a small dish, or rolled in parchment paper and firmed up in the refrigerator before being served by the slice. These butters have a great texture and color that will add depth to any presentation. They go great on fresh vegetables, crackers or bread slices. Each makes ½ cup compound butter. Serve each within 5 days or store in the freezer, in an airtight container, for up to 6 weeks.

Vanilla Cinnamon Compound Butter 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter seeds from 1 vanilla bean at room temperature 11/2 teaspoons honey 11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon dash of fine sea salt 1. Combine the butter, cinnamon, vanilla bean seeds, honey and salt in a food processor and process until the butter is smooth and the ingredients are completely incorporated, about 20 seconds. 2. Transfer the compound butter to a dish to serve right away or roll it up in parchment paper and store in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, until firm.

Blueberry Thyme Compound Butter 11/2 teaspoons fresh thyme 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter 11/2 teaspoons honey at room temperature dash of fine sea salt 11/2 tablespoons dried blueberries 1. Combine the butter, dried blueberries, thyme, honey and salt in a food processor and process until the butter is smooth and the ingredients are completely incorporated, about 20 seconds. 2. Transfer the compound butter to a dish to serve right away or roll it up in parchment paper and store in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, until firm.

Chili Garlic Lime Compound Butter 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter 11/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed at room temperature lime juice (from about 1 lime) 1 teaspoon chili garlic paste dash of fine sea salt 1 teaspoon fresh lime zest 1. Combine the butter, chili garlic paste, lime zest and juice, and salt in a food processor and process until the butter is smooth and the ingredients are completely incorporated, about 20 seconds. 2. Transfer the compound butter to a dish to serve right away or roll it up in parchment paper and store it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or until firm.

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STRATEGY: Mix up the textures

by adding thinly sliced, diced and marbled meats. Serve with cornichons (tiny pickles) as a palate cleanser between bites.


Mix up your appetizer game by swapping in this low-maintenance and crowdpleasing arrangement. This is a great way to introduce your guests to specialty cured meats they may have never ventured to try before. 8 teaspoons Whole-Grain Lager 4 ounces prosciutto Mustard (recipe page 46) or 4 ounces capocollo store-bought whole-grain mustard 8 ounces sopressata salami 1/2 cup cherry jam 4 ounces cubed cooked pancetta 8 ounces cornichons 8 ounces toast or crackers Hot Honey (recipe page 51) 1. Place the mustard, jam, pickles and hot honey in small bowls and group in the middle of the board. Roll up each piece of prosciutto and place on the board. Place the remaining meats around the board to fill it out, keeping the meats from touching, if possible.

DRINK PAIRING: An excellent

lager beer balances out the saltiness of the cured meats by providing a cool, smooth and carbonated finish. SHELLY’S VEGGIE SUGGESTION:

Swap the cornichons for a batch of quick-pickled vegetables. They still make great palate cleansers and give a little more variety to this meaty board.

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These bite-size appetizers add variety and texture to a big platter presentation and allow your guests to try several different flavors. And each of your guests can take an entire mini cheeseball for their plate instead of fiddling with a large appetizer at the serving area. Mini Cheeseballs (recipe below) 20 carrot batons (large matchstick pieces from about 5 large carrots) 20 celery sticks (from about 6 celery stalks) 20 radish slices (from about 4 small radishes) 8 ounces sesame sticks 8 ounces crackers 3 cups mixed nuts Quick Crostini (recipe page 45) 1. Pile cheeseballs on the platter so that they are grouped based on what they are rolled in. Fill the empty space with carrot slices, celery sticks, radish slices, sesame sticks, crackers and crostini.

Mini Cheeseballs MAKES 40 CHEESEBALLS

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature 2 tablespoons crème fraîche 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (vegetarian, if you can find it) 2⁄3 cup shredded white cheddar cheese 2⁄3 cup shredded hard cheese (such as Gruyère or Parmesan) fine sea salt freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots 1/2 cup slivered almonds 1/2 cup chopped pistachios 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (such as thyme, sage, rosemary, etc.) 1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Use a sturdy spatula to mix together the cream cheese, crème fraîche, Worcestershire sauce, cheddar cheese and Gruyère. Season with salt and pepper. 3. Use a 1-inch cookie scoop to portion out a ball of the cheese mixture. Roll the ball between your wet hands to create an evenly spherical cheeseball and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the cheese mixture. Cover and let chill for at least 2 hours. 4. Set out three shallow dishes. Mix together the blue cheese and chopped pecans in one dish, apricots and almond pieces in another, and pistachios and herbs in the last. Remove the cheeseballs from the refrigerator and roll each ball in one of the mixtures until completely coated. Transfer to a serving platter and repeat with the rest of the cheeseballs. Let sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before serving.

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STRATEGY: Make the cheeseballs

the morning of your event (or the night before) and just roll them in their toppings right before guests arrive. DRINK PAIRING: Serve with a

festively dark and rich wine like Syrah or Shiraz. WYATT’S MEATY SUGGESTION:

Is bacon ever not the answer? Swap ½ cup crumbled bacon with the chopped pistachio in the Mini Cheeseball recipe to create a bacon and herb coating.


STRATEGY: Pick a mix of colors

This fuss-free board is the perfect way to start any party! Red Wine Caramelized Onion Dip (recipe below) 16 ounces potato chips 3 cups olives 8 ounces marinated artichoke hearts 16 ounces crackers 6 cups raw vegetables (carrot sticks, celery sticks, radish slices, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower pieces, etc.) 36 store-bought breadsticks 48 ounces cheese cubes (I used a mixture of pepper Jack and sharp cheddar cheese for color contrast) 1. Transfer the dip, potato chips, olives and marinated artichoke hearts into small dishes and place them on a large serving tray. Fill in the remaining areas on the tray with crackers, vegetables, breadsticks and cheese cubes. Serve right away with serving spoons and toothpicks.

and shapes for the vegetables and pile them high on top of each other for a stunning presentation. DRINK PAIRING: If you don’t

already have a go-to drink for happy hour, serve a round of simple and classic Old-Fashioned cocktails. To make, mix 2 ounces whiskey with 3 drops Angostura bitters, a splash of club soda and a sugar cube (or a splash of simple syrup) in an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and an orange peel for an extra pop of color. WYATT’S MEATY SUGGESTION:

Red Wine Caramelized Onion Dip

Peeled, cooked shrimp is perfect for parties since it doesn’t require utensils. Serve with store-bought cocktail sauce or Red Wine Caramelized Onion Dip (but make sure to have two bowls—one for dipping shrimp and one for veggies).


1/4 cup olive oil 4 large white onions, finely chopped 1/4 cup red wine 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt plus more as needed 2 cups sour cream 1 cup Greek yogurt 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce dash of freshly ground black pepper 1 . In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown. Add the red wine and sauté until the wine is cooked off, about 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat, add the salt, and let cool. 2. Once cooled, transfer the onions to a cutting board and finely chop. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and fold in the sour cream, yogurt and soy sauce. Season with pepper and more salt, if needed. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


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This spread is like the cookie plate you leave out for Santa but taken to a whole new level. In this collaborative spread, your guests participate in the baking, so you end up with a variety of treats that will change every time you throw a new party. 3 pieces of candy (such as peppermint sticks, gummy bears, Swedish fish, gumdrops, rock candy, etc.) 3 chocolate cookies (such as Soft Chocolate Ginger Cookies, recipe follows) 3 non-chocolate cookies (such as shortbread, linzer cookies or sugar cookies) 1. Place three trays onto your serving table. Add candy to one tray, chocolate cookies to the second and non-chocolate cookies to the third tray. Make sure to explain to guests the system for when they add their contributions to the spread.

Soft Chocolate Ginger Cookies MAKES ABOUT 3 DOZEN COOKIES

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder temperature 2 teaspoons ground ginger 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 egg 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 cup molasses 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup sugar 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. 2. Add the butter and brown sugar to a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until fluffy and light, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, add the egg and mix until combined. Add the vanilla and molasses and mix until combined. 3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. 4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Once the flour is mostly mixed in, turn the speed to medium and mix for 1 minute more, or until completely combined. 5. Put the sugar in a small, shallow dish. Use a 1-inch cookie scoop to grab a heaping scoop of dough and roll it into a 1½-inch ball between your hands. Roll the dough ball in the sugar and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough, spacing the dough balls 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. 6. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating halfway through, until they begin to darken. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before serving. The cookies will crisp up on the outside as they cool and remain gooey soft on the inside. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

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STRATEGY: Ask all your guests

to bring a dozen homemade cookies or treats so that you can make a big spread of homemade sweets without having to spend days baking. My recipe for ginger cookies yields three dozen because I prefer to have too much—especially when it’s something like sweets that will stay good for days. Reserve a small table for the spread and have three large platters to sort the treats: a platter for candies (candy canes, truffles, mints, etc.), chocolate cookies (in case they melt into each other), and a platter for all other cookies and cakes. DRINK PAIRING: Serve a pot each

of decaf coffee, regular coffee and a batch of peppermint tea. This will make sure you are pleasing everyone no matter what their drink of choice is, and they all go wonderfully with sweets.

Hot Honey MAKES 1⁄3 CUP

1⁄3 cup honey 11/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes 1. Combine the honey and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let warm until the honey just begins to simmer. Remove from heat and let steep for at least 30 minutes. Strain out most of the red pepper flakes using a fine-mesh sieve (leaving a few remaining if you like it extra spicy).

Pink Hummus MAKES 11/4 CUPS

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained 1/4 cup pickled beet juice 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for garnish 1/4 cup tahini 1 garlic clove 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt plus more as needed freshly ground black pepper chopped fresh parsley, for garnish 1. In a food processor, place the chickpeas, beet juice, olive oil, tahini, garlic and salt and process until completely smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with pepper and more salt. Transfer to a shallow serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with parsley. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 



QUICK CROSTINI: PER SERVING: CALORIES 39 (21 from fat); FAT 2g (sat. 0g); CHOL 0mg; SODIUM 91mg; CARB 4g; FIBER 0g; PROTEIN 1g

LAGER MUSTARD: PER SERVING: CALORIES 9 (2 from fat); FAT 0g (sat. 0g); CHOL 0mg; SODIUM 0mg; CARB 1g; FIBER 0g; PROTEIN 0g

MINI CHEESEBALLS: PER SERVING: CALORIES 93 (72 from fat); FAT 8g (sat. 4g); CHOL 16mg; SODIUM 90mg; CARB 2g; FIBER 1g; PROTEIN 3g


RED WINE ONION DIP: PER SERVING: CALORIES 37 (27 from fat); FAT 3g (sat. 1g); CHOL 6mg; SODIUM 50mg; CARB 2g; FIBER 0g; PROTEIN 1g

CHOC. GINGER COOKIES: PER SERVING: CALORIES 99 (36 from fat); FAT 4g (sat. 3g); CHOL 15mg; SODIUM 56mg; CARB 15g; FIBER 1g; PROTEIN 1g

PINK HUMMUS: PER SERVING: CALORIES 99 (57 from fat); FAT 7g (sat. 1g); CHOL 0mg; SODIUM 205mg; CARB 8g; FIBER 2g; PROTEIN 3g

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Savoring Life’s Lessons Rachael Ray’s hard-working mother and personal work ethic have helped the star shine


or many women working in the entertainment industry, turning 50 isn’t something to advertise. Rachael Ray, however, has no qualms about announcing it to the world, as she has with her new book, “Rachael Ray 50: Memories and Meals from a Sweet and Savory Life.” “I’ve never been weird about my age,” she says. “You know, they say 50 is the new 40 and all that, but all my life I rounded up so that by the time I got to be 30 or 40 or 50, I wouldn’t really care.” However, when her husband turned 50 two years ago—and a year before she did—it got her thinking about how to mark her halfcentury. He had a huge party, which she hated (“It overwhelmed me”), so she decided to do something more inward looking: to reflect on how she got to where she is today. Despite Ray’s constant smile and cheery voice, “Rachael Ray 50” makes it clear it wasn’t easy. This is a woman who went from dropping out of college and offering up samples of her food in grocery-store aisles to having an empire that includes Emmy Award-winning television shows, a magazine, more than 20 cookbooks, and companies dedicated to pet food (Nutrish), housewares (PulteGroup), handbags (Convalore) and an online shop dedicated to femalefounded brands (Moxie Made). Together with her husband, John Cusimano, lead vocalist of the Cringe, she started Feedback,

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an annual food-and-music party that’s been a fixture of Austin’s South by Southwest since 2007. She also runs Yum-O, a nonprofit organization supporting cooking education for children and families, as well as the Rachael Ray Foundation. The list goes on, and she did it all without professional training, much less money or connections. What she did have—and still has—is a formidable mother. Elsa Providenzia Scuderi plays a major part in nearly every chapter of the book and Ray’s life; indeed, for a large part of Ray’s childhood, she raised Ray on her own. The daughter of a Sicilian stonemason, Scuderi had what Ray describes in her cookbook as a fairy-tale upbringing in a house on the edge of Lake Champlain in Ticonderoga, New York, filled with scenes of Sunday Sauce (a hearty meat sauce) bubbling on the stove and large salad bowls filled with greens picked fresh from the garden, and of a father who lavished love on his daughter as generously as he piled scoops of vanilla ice cream into the melons he would slice off the vine with the knife on his belt. Scuderi’s origin story has colored Ray’s whole life. With every retelling, the tale gave Ray a feeling of warmth and love, and Ray has strived to give that same feeling to others in all that she does. Ray’s mother also has a formidable work ethic, which Ray internalized early on. “To be

like Mom you had to work like Mom, and no one worked harder,” she writes in her new cookbook. In Ray’s early days, her parents ran a chain of restaurants in Cape Cod called the Carvery, and industrial kitchens became like a second home. When she was two, she reached up to grab a spatula near the stovetop, wanting to be like her mother, and ended up grilling her thumb on the flattop. The scar is still visible—“a mark of my destiny,” she calls it. After the chain closed and her parents split up, Scuderi moved with the kids back to upstate New York, managing other people’s restaurants. Ray writes of her repeatedly with unguarded admiration: “She looked like the Statue of Liberty come to life,” she writes,



remembering how formidable her mother looked on the job, “a beacon in the chaos, guiding her team to shore and back to order.” Growing up, Ray would do nearly anything to try to impress her mom. In the book, she describes a disastrous attempt at baking her a birthday cake at age 10 that put her off of baking for years. (Today, the void in her repertoire doesn’t bother her because, she explains, she doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, and what she lacks in baking aptitude her older sister, Maria, makes up for in spades.) The next year, she tried another birthday dish: spinach and mushroom lasagna with hazelnuts and a Gorgonzola sauce, asparagus, and a mimosa wine pairing. Sweet or savory, everything Ray made

growing up was from watching those around her and learning on the fly. “When you grow up in an Italian family, people don’t really tell you how to do anything,” she says. “One day you’re told ‘peel the potatoes,’ and everyone just assumes you’ve been watching them peel potatoes. It’s not rocket science, but I don't remember my mother or my grandfather or anyone in our family kitchen ever saying, ‘This is how you do this.’ ” Clearly, however, Ray had an aptitude for cooking. When she was still in high school, she launched a food business called Delicious Liaisons, a play on the film title, “Dangerous Liaisons.” “I drew by hand the entire catalog, and I would make themed gift baskets. … I’d have ‘The Wind in the Willows’ basket, and

it would have, like, little felt toys and the actual book. And then homemade cookies. I was selling all this wildly illegally from my home kitchen,” she says. Ray tried college for a couple of years, going to Pace University in Westchester, New York, but she was drawn back to the food world, heading into the heart of New York City to work in Macy’s food department and then at Agata & Valentina, a well-known Italian gourmet food store in its day. After being mugged (twice!), she left the Big Apple for Albany, where she landed at the gourmet store Cowan & Lobel. It’s here that her career began to take off. First she launched a series of classes on 30-minute meals. Then, when she started

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—Rachael Ray

the scenes, Ray is nothing if not disciplined. As she reveals in her “Rachael Ray 50,” she records every meal she and her husband eat in Decomposition Notebooks. She makes lists obsessively, detailing menus and grocery needs in pale blue Normann Copenhagen notebooks. When she goes on her annual vacation in Tuscany, she lugs suitcases of ingredients from home, sometimes even re-importing Italian goods, to make sure she has exactly what she needs. Like her mother, working is Ray’s preferred mode of existence. “I'm not a spa person,” she tells me. “I’ve been gifted millions of massages and treatments and stuff in life that I’ve never taken.” Her one indulgence is to watch movies with her husband when they can’t sleep (and she has the popcorn recipes to prove it). Despite her admittance that she can’t really relax, she shakes off any suggestion that she might have work issues. “My mom loves to work. My grandfather loved to work and when he was done with work you’d go home and work some more. He tended his gardens and cooked the family meal in between 12- to 14-hour days. We’re just people that enjoy being busy.” And there’s the key: She’s “being busy” instead of “doing work.” Her book, for instance, is full of recipes, but Ray also added her own colorful sketches throughout it as well. “I love




“I love to draw and doodle, and I love to be in the kitchen. Those are the things that make me happy, so that’s what I do.”

demonstrating her recipes in the local Price Chopper grocery chain, she became something of a local celebrity. At the urging of customers, she put together “Rachael Ray’s 30-Minute Meals.” Published in 1999 with the help of a small regional publisher, the book sold 3,000 copies in four days—a stunning amount for even a well-known author. All along, Ray’s mother was by her side, so the day she got a call from the “Today Show” asking her to fill in for some guests who had cancelled because of a snowstorm, Ray’s mom wasn’t about to let her daughter miss the chance. She helped Ray pack her pots into a car and they drove, white knuckled, through the snow to make chicken and dumplings for Al Roker. In an incredible confluence of luck, timing and the fruits of hard work, a honcho at the Food Network saw the segment and called her in, where she managed to secure a spot despite setting a small fire on Emeril’s set while taping her pilot. “Thirty-Minute Meals” premiered in 2001 and lasted until 2012, earning two Emmys along the way, and now it’s being relaunched. Meanwhile, the “Rachael Ray Show,” which first aired in 2006, is now in its 14th season. Each show is powered by Ray’s eternally friendly, energetic character—somewhere between cheerleader and mother figure to nervous home cooks across America—but behind

Classic Prime Rib au Jus MAKES 8 SERVINGS

Like my Grandpa Emmanuel, my mom loves to roast meats and whole fish at very high temps, then let the oven slowly cool for carry-over roasting. You will need a probe thermometer that can be inserted in the meat and read from outside the oven. And before roasting, let your meat stand for 2 to 4 hours, until it comes to room temperature.


1 (6-pound, 4-bone) prime rib (each rib is 2 portions), boned and tied (your butcher should be able to do this for you) 2 tablespoons kosher salt 1½ tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped 1 tablespoon (1 palmful) dried oregano or marjoram 1 tablespoon (1 palmful) granulated onion 1 tablespoon (1 palmful) granulated garlic EVOO [extra virgin olive oil] for liberal drizzling chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and Au Jus (recipe follows), to serve

to draw because of my aunt, Cheech,” Ray says. “She would paint private homes to look like the Sistine chapel—incredible. She would do tea sets that looked like the three bears and Goldilocks—like, the chairs were painted to be bears and Goldilocks. … And I love being near her. So I love to draw and doodle, and I love to be in the kitchen. Those are the things that make me happy, so that’s what I do.” And that’s what she wants her readers and watchers to do, too: Make the things that will make them happy. “For me and my immediate family, we have largely Mediterranean diets. Good tuna and sardines are staples in our pantry. Olive oil, of course, canned tomatoes, dry beans, you know, the basics—grains, pastas, short grain rice, dried mushrooms, you know, baseline spice blends,” she says. “But honestly, if you love Tex-Mex, that’s what you should have in your pantry. All kinds of canned tomatoes and beans and chilies and dry chilies. And you should really base [your pantry] around how you like to eat. You’ll cook more if you surround yourself with possibilities.” And dinner doesn’t have to be hard. She offers up this recipe for prime rib as an example for the holidays: It takes about 5 minutes to assemble, and then you can pretty much ignore it for the next few hours as it roasts and get on to other things. Whether that’s preparing popovers, painting a picture or whatever else you like to do that makes you happy is up to you. 

Au Jus (Makes about 2 cups) 3 to 4 tablespoons beef drippings 2 tablespoons flour 2 cups beef stock or consommé 1 teaspoon granulated garlic 1 teaspoon soy sauce 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Horseradish Sour Cream (Makes about 2 cups) 1½ cups sour cream about ¼ cup prepared or freshly grated horseradish about ¼ cup minced fresh chives 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce 2 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper salt, to taste

1. Position the oven rack one rung up from the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F. 2. Place the roast, bones down, in a large cast-iron skillet or in a roasting pan. The ribs make a natural rack for beef. 3. Combine the salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, oregano, granulated onion and granulated garlic. Place a meat thermometer in the center of the roast. Slather the roast with EVOO and rub all of the beef—the top and sides—with the mixture. Place in the oven and roast 5 minutes per pound. Turn the oven off and DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR. Roast the beef this way for 2 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 135°F. (If your oven doesn’t retain heat well, roast the meat at 325°F to an internal temperature of 125°F, then flash-broil it to crisp the fat.) Let the beef stand for about 15 minutes, or cover it with foil and dishtowels to keep it warm. Carve 2 portions per rib. Serve with Au Jus and parsley and pass Horseradish Sour Cream (instructions follow) at the table. 4. Make the Au Jus: Place the drippings in a small sauce pot and heat over mediumhigh heat. Whisk in the flour and then the stock. Season the gravy with granulated garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat, cover, and reheat over medium heat to serve. 5. Make the Horseradish Sour Cream: Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and chill to serve.

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FoodFriendly Fizz

Sparkling wine takes you from appetizers to dessert BY MARY SUBIALKA


parkling wine is flowing at festive celebrations throughout the holidays. And if you are sipping a glass with a classic cheese selection—such as colby, Edam, Gouda, chèvre, cheddar and brie—and charcuterie, it moves easily with you to the dinner table. Keep your sparkling wine glass filled with brut—the most common type, which is very dry—or extra dry, which is actually slightly sweeter than brut, and enjoy alongside turkey, pork and seafood. Salty snacks including popcorn, chips and deep-fried foods also make a match with the drier styles. When it’s time to bring out the sweets, pair a sweeter style of sparkler alongside almond flavored cookies or fruity desserts. These styles, from medium-sweet to very sweet are sec, demi-sec and doux. Demi-sec and doux are best as dessert wines or on their own. Keep these different styles from dry to sweet in mind to best complement a particular food’s flavors so you can fully enjoy a world of sparklers from France’s Champagne and Italy’s Prosecco to Spain’s Cava and domestic sparkling wine. 


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the spirit of Minnesota on December 4, 2019, from 6-9 p.m. at Aria in Downtown Minneapolis. Live music from local artists. Food and beverage from Minnesota’s best. Prizes, games and fun! One night, one experience, one spirit of Minnesota. General admission tickets: $50 For more details and to purchase tickets, visit

THIS EVENT IS 21+. We cannot admit anyone under the age of 21 or without a valid ID.

When your home is a priority, quality craftsmanship and diligent attention to detail are what create a distinctive experience. We are the creators of that experience.

TOM HENDRICKSON 952.401.4300 LC#BC004898


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