A Mandolin and Homemade Sweet Potato Chip Nachos

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I've never been a fan of a cooking with excessive gadgets. Instead, I prefer to simplify, manipulate, and create equal results with a few essential tools. I lived for almost a year without a hand mixer, and instead mixed things with the brute force of my arm muscles. I don't own a grater, but I do have a mini food processor and an appropriate amount of sharp knives. Tasty food gets cooked; nobody complains. So I surprised myself last week when I found myself setting out ...

Neither a Chick Nor a Pea; Definitely a Fabulous Snack

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Scene: A ten-year-old Ruthie stands in the middle of her kitchen in rural Minnesota  holding what may have been the first can of chickpeas she'd ever seen. She begins to recite in the loud, obnoxious voice only a ten-year-old could possess, "It's neither a CHICK, nor a PEA! Neither a CHICK nor a PEA!" repeatedly, not realizing she was quoting a Saturday Night Live skit she'd never seen but somehow overheard, simply fascinated by the fact that this legume really was really neither a chick nor ...

Breaking Rules for Sriracha-Cheddar Kale Chips

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Five years ago, did we even know kale existed? If we did, we certainly crinkled our noses at a vegetable so deep green and so curly. Bring out the iceberg lettuce, man. Little did me know, today kale reigns supreme in the vegetal world. In New York City, there's hardly a hit restaurant without some "unique" kale salad on their menu. Trader Joe's has literal floor-to-ceiling displays of different kinds of kale chips. There are entire booths at farmers' markets dedicated to this green madness. And ...

Curried Cauliflower “Popcorn”

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I have been known to spend my free time in New York City wandering aimlessly through new areas, looking for nothing but a good dose of adventure, a few interesting sights, a little sunshine, and a ravenous appetite. We all know food tastes better when hungry, and let me tell you, Curried Cauliflower "Popcorn" tastes darn good after a day of aimless New York City wandering. (The leftovers tasted pretty great the next day when I wasn't as hungry, too.) These bite-sized florets look and taste just ...

Falling Into Pumpkin Pie Granola

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It's impossible to express in writing how special fall is to me. Fall is not a list of adjectives or a series of temperature readings, but rather a feeling that eeks out just as the late summer air begins to crisp. Maybe it's that I prefer cooler temperatures and my body finally feels like it can breathe, maybe it's the coziness of putting on my favorite sweater, or maybe it's the reminder that nature is a stronger force than I--but I've felt this powerful connection ...

As You Like It: Homemade Granola

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One of my favorite parts of cooking at home is having the freedom to make something taste exactly the way I want it to. I know precisely how rounded a spoonful of honey I like in my coffee and how thick a layer of peanut butter I want on my sandwich. I'm not ashamed to run back to the salt and pepper grinders several times to get the seasoning of my pasta sauce just right. I like my food to taste really good, so I'm always glad ...

The tRuth About Almond Butter

In second grade, I was an Elite Member of the Peanut Butter & Jelly Club. It was the thing to do as an elementary school child. My Membership was revered; it gave me all kinds of status. Well, at least it did in my household, among the Club's one other member, my brother. Becoming a member of the PB&J Club was easy. All you had to do was commit to eating a PB&J for breakfast every day of the school week (for the entire school year/until ...