For anyone who didn't previously know, I am a cookbook-a-holic. I horde very few things, but cookbooks and food magazines are one of those things I will hang onto even when all reasonable chance of actually cooking anything from them has passed. Anything weird, new, interesting, or arcane when it comes to cooking just draws me right in; and my brain - with it's habit of retaining frivolous trivia - has a field day storing up bits of information it hopes might come in handy one day. Hey, you never know when it might be a good thing to know why you should use sea salt instead of kosher salt on that steak you're grilling.
Yesterday, Mom Turner inadvertently fed this particular addition by bringing over a small pile of Martha Stewart "Food" magazines. I almost didn't get anything useful done today. They're deceptively small, about the size of those miniature little booklet magazines you find at dentist offices and other such places. I was pretty fascinated by the recipes, though, because true to Martha Stewart's nature, there was quite an assortment of strange and interesting ideas. Lentil-Grape Salad, anyone? How about Beet Pancake with Goat Cheese and Chives? Hazelnut Semifreddo? ("Semi-freddo". What on Earth is that? A dessert or a pasta sauce?) Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower? ("Just add a little milk and you can make a wonderfully silky and satisfying soup," the latter recipe notes.)
Some other gems I picked up:
Need a healthier alternative to plain ol' baked potatoes? Make it a sweet potato; and instead of butter used mashed avacado; instead of sour cream, use a little goat cheese; and maybe a zesty twist of lime will liven the whole thing up so you don't notice it's low in fat!
I'm trying to picture serving baked sweet potato with mashed avacado on it. The colors alone make me pause, but like any recipe-a-holic, I can't help the sneaking thought, "What if that really tasted good after all?"
There was also a mushroom and leek gratin. It sounded good when you read the ingredients, but honestly, the casserole looked like rubber in a pan. Seriously! It was all textured and black and...rubber like. Ew.
And Martha apparently loves kale. I lost count of how many recipes used it. Of course, some of them looked downright tasty. Still, I found myself lowering the magazine and frowning in thought...have I ever actually EATEN kale or just used it as a pretty decoration? In some weird way, it's sort of like suggesting that since carnations aren't poisonous, they might be a tasty addition to your next fruit salad.
It is also apparently out of fashion to use salted butter. As I explained to Mom later, unsalted butter really does have some different properties from salted - whisked into a hot sauce, for example, unsalted butter will incorporate while salted butter separates. Still, always specifying unsalted butter really is just the kind of slightly snobby touch that always seems to permeate Martha Stewart products.
Joking aside, some recipes really caught my eye, especially an enchilada casserole that actually utilizes leftover rotisserie chicken (we have half of one right now) and those strangely fascinating little things called tomatillos that I keep eyeing at the grocery story wondering whether I can figure out something to do with them. I don't even know what they taste like, but they are very intriguing with their papery skins and bright green fruit. Ben has requested "anything Mexican" for his birthday dinner and I just may try that one. I'll have to come up with something more American since we'll probably be feeding both grandmas dinner that evening and neither one is into exotic and spicy; but looking through this little pile of magazines I notice I've got quite a few pages tabbed for later review.
Hm. Hearty Kale and Bean Soup, anyone?
Wife of Benjamin and mother to two wonderful little girls who are getting bigger every day. Enjoys writing down thoughts and discussions we are having within the family and sharing them with whoever is interested in reading.
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