Six recipes for eating, drinking merrier

by Terry B on December 7, 2016

This week, we’re featuring six recipes/ideas from the Blue Kitchen archives for entertaining, celebrating and just feeling festive.

Affordable Spanish Cavas

The holidays are upon us. Time for parties, family get-togethers, intimate dinners and even being indulgent on your own. Food—and drink—play a big part in all of it. Let’s start with something to drink. [click to continue…]

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Fresh and dried mushrooms add earthy deliciousness to this filling, satisfying winter soup. Recipe below.

Mushroom Barley Soup

Wintertime when I was a kid in Detroit meant big, hearty, warming dishes—things simmered for a long time over low heat, calming and filling. Pot roasts perfuming the whole house with beefy oniony aromas, braising chickens and, of course, a battery of soups.  Borscht, potato and dill, and my personal favorite, my mother’s mushroom barley soup. For our little careful working class Detroit home, it hit all the necessary markers—aromatic, tasty, filling and, of course, thrifty. [click to continue…]

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Naturally sweet parsnips turn lusciously silky when cooked in cream, milk and butter. Perfect for holiday dinners—or everyday indulgence. Recipe below.

Puréed Parsnips

A few weeks ago, Terry wrote about his duck-filled dinners in Omaha. Well, while he was eating all sorts of duck, I was delving into some of my own favorites—not least, wonderful offal. My first Omaha dinner at La Buvette? Lamb kidneys on a bed of puréed parsnips. I just loved the whole thing—the intense, meaty chunks of kidney, the fluffy bed of parsnips. The dark sauce pooling around the white purée and a hearty big red wine alongside. It was a great meal for an autumn evening after a day on the road. And the parsnips were a marvel: at once sweet and savory and silky and faintly earthy. They were just wonderful, and we knew that when we got home, we would have to make some. [click to continue…]

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An international ingredient list produces a hearty, one-pan dinner big on flavor and comfort. Recipe below.

Pork Chops with Kimchi and Cannellini

With a headline like that, you’re probably expecting a decent backstory. Most of the recipes here at Blue Kitchen come with one. A new cookbook. An old family tradition. A restaurant discovery. Not this one. This recipe came from two simple questions. [click to continue…]

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Reducing red wine adds depth to these duck legs oven-braised with shallots, carrots, parsnip, garlic and thyme. Recipe below.

Red Wine-braised Duck Legs

I ate a lot of duck in Omaha. When we told friends about our plans to spend several days in Nebraska on our recent road trip, everyone told us to be prepared to eat a lot of beef. Nobody mentioned duck. The first night, I ate a duck leg in red wine that inspired this week’s recipe. [click to continue…]

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Weeknight-quick and one-pan simple, braised chicken thighs and potatoes are brightened with lemon juice and capers. Recipe below.

Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk

An impromptu stop on our recent road trip got me thinking about my journey to learning to cook. It was the final day of our trip. The day before, we had driven more than 550 miles, and now we were rocketing across Iowa on I-80, on the last 480-mile leg of our journey. Suddenly, Marion announced that we were not far from the “future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk.” Of course, we were going to stop. [click to continue…]

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Beef Stroganoff was invented in mid-19th-century Russia and embraced in America in the 1950s. Here, this comfort food favorite gets a welcome update/upgrade. Recipe below.

Beef Stroganoff

We are just back from a wonderful road trip that covered almost 2,500 miles and brought us to so many beautiful parts of America and left us dazzled with the natural beauty and grandeur of, well, pretty much everything we saw. [click to continue…]

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Brief, kitchenless notes from the road

by Terry B on October 12, 2016

Wahoo Nebraska

The sign above says it all. For the first time since we bought our new old house more than two years ago, Marion and I are on a road trip. Not just a weekend getaway, but a bonafide, see-things-we-haven’t-seen-before road trip. [click to continue…]

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Fried rounds of store-bought polenta are topped with fresh mozzarella, caramelized onions and apricot jam for lunch on a busy Sunday. Recipe of sorts below.

Fried Polenta with Caramelized Onions, Mozzarella, Apricot Jam

Sunday was yet another of our patented too-busy days. Marion spent much of it digging in the garden of our new old house. As Marion tells it, most of what she is doing now isn’t gardening, but getting ready to garden. Digging up and hauling away tons of debris from the demolition and rehab of the house—nails, shards of glass, wire, chunks of wood and plaster. She’s also unearthed countless marbles, coins of various denominations and vintages (including an Indian Head nickel too ruined to reveal its age), a small (and unfortunately broken) glass bottle shaped like an automobile. And this literate little fellow. [click to continue…]

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Cooking a post-worthy recipe is not happening this week. So instead, we take a look back at what we’ve cooked in some Septembers past.

Fish and Corn Chowder

Fish and Corn Chowder

Marion cooks up a hearty chowder, chock full of potatoes, corn, fish and bacon, giving it a sweet note by substituting corn stock for fish stock. You’ll find the recipe here. [click to continue…]

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