Spiced Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts & Goat Cheese

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Today was a day that just felt long. Nothing particularly interesting or noteworthy happened, it was not even particularly stressful, just long for a reason of undeterminable origin. The only reason I could come up with was that I didn’t eat breakfast this morning, and by the time I got home I was ravenous. I’d eaten a large salad for lunch, snacked on a couple pieces of babybel cheese, and even threw in a banana to try and quench the hunger. Nothing was working.

Then I keyed on to something I had heard earlier in the day – use vegetables for volume. I had already planned on eating poached chicken with roasted zucchini and tomatoes, but fearing I would decide after dinner to add in some needless carbs, I thought it best to add in another veggie instead. (Tennessee being a land of meat and threes – this was really quite a logical leap for me.) I’d had this side in mind for a while and thought it a perfect night to execute and sure enough I can say in full confidence, I am finally full.

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Cauliflower and Red Pepper Soup

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I’ve got a confession that might put my marriage in jeopardy – I’ve been carrying on a long and torrid affair…with soup.  For years, I’ve been engaged in an intensely passionate side relationship that borders on obsessive. I wade with my love in a deep river of emotion and in the immortal words of Emma Thompson “true love lasts a lifetime.” (Extra points to anyone who can identify what movie that is from.)

Soup season is tragically coming to an end. As the temps pick up, making a big steaming pot of anything is sadly losing a bit of its allure. I’m not sure how many recipes I write up that consist of me entertaining friends on the fly and having to utilize what’s readily on hand. It’s a reoccurring theme on Roxie Ginger and really why would this be any different?  Continue reading

Apple Ginger Muffins

Apple Ginger Muffins

I do not get full-blown sick very often, usually around once a year or so. Since I’m not a huge fan of taking medication, I try to beat any oncoming illness, the way my gramma would; as soon as I get the telltale sneeze, cough, or sniffle, I hit the hay earlier than usual and try to drown it in fluids. Broth, OJ, tea, water – the works – and before you know it, the impending sickness seems to go away before it hits full force. Unfortunately, our schedule lately hasn’t really allowed for any such nursing, so here I am on the couch with a blanket, thick socks and chamomile. My record 2 year healthiness streak is shattered.

Luckily for me, I had made muffins for breakfast this week and therefore, don’t have to make anything for breakfast/lunch and we don’t have to order in or leave the house. Huzzah! Double luckily, they’re freaking delicious. Hopefully after a big broth dinner, I think I might just be able to turn the curve on this thing.

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Chicago-style Baked Polenta

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Pizza and I have a bit of a history together. One of my first jobs as a teenager was in a big chain pizza restaurant, and I grew up making homemade thin crust pizzas with my dad. I had no concept of deep dish anything really. Even more so, that it could be such a varied dish. The weather this past February was brutal; it was so windy and cold tights became a necessity, and my mind inevitably went to Chicago.

The last time we were in Chicago, Davis and I were attending the Pitchfork Music Festival in 2011. We found the city in the middle of a heat wave so intense my pasty self turned lobster red, even sitting in the shade. I enjoyed hearing Beach House’s set as I lay down like a grassland lion and napped under an umbrella in the harsh sun. We got to see some old friends and see all the landmarks from one of my top five all time favorite movies – High Fidelity. Even despite injuring my foot on a 4 mile run and Michael Bay cutting off most of the city due to filming Transformers 3, I had a fantastic time.

Upon our return, I even took virtual real estate tours of available rentals to try and imagine a life where we lived there. It wasn’t a bad life, but I have moved on to imaginary real estate tours of other areas of fine nature when a little downtime leads me into a geographical daydream.

Culinarily, I fell in love with the vegetable, meat and sauce-laden pile of deliciousness that is the Chicago Deep-Dish style pizza. Things are finally starting to move beyond the freezing temperatures we saw earlier in the year, but hopefully this dish can warm up your day.

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Mustard Roasted Potatoes with Smoked Salmon & a Poached Egg

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Brunch – is there another word that evokes such delectable promise? Technically, it’s different from its lesser-known and more-awkwardly-pronounced first cousin “brinner,” by only by the time of day in which it is eaten. Still, I think we’d all agree that brunch is an event all of its own. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not knocking on brinner by any stretch of the imagination. Cholesterol be damned, I love eggs.

This is something I thought of when, in typical Roxie Ginger fashion, I had several ingredients that didn’t seem to go together and needed to figure out a way to make them mesh. Davis being the outspoken mustard hater that he is, it’s hard to sneak the condiment in. Topping that off with smoked salmon – another less than lauded ingredient in our house – and I figured this one would be a tough sell. Luckily though, we had company over for an impromptu movie night and this turned to be a quick, hearty winning dish. Maybe I’m a bigger brinner fan than I thought.

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Blueberry Crumb Cake

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Every year, Davis and I try to take a trip on our anniversary. I’m not talking a big European vacation or anything, but we try to do something special and spend a few days out of the city. A few years ago, Davis and I took our anniversary trip on a road trip to Burlington, Vermont and Montreal.

We found an amazing bed and breakfast outside of Burlington that had beautiful grounds, with what felt like acres of beautifully designed and cared-for gardens. It was a place of what felt like eternal growth and abundance. Not only were the location and grounds absolutely perfect, we were greeted by our incredibly gracious hosts and their silly sweet dogs. Time stood still for a little bit and you felt like summer wouldn’t end.

Our second day there, we were served the worlds most amazing crumb cake. I would not exaggerate on crumb cake, but my oh my. As I couldn’t stop raving about it, our host actually pulled down the cookbook she got the recipe from and gave me a photocopy. I’ve carried that copy around in my recipe box ever since. I’ve changed it just a bit to make it my own, and although I think it’s second to none in its simplicity and flavor – it doesn’t quite live up to my memory of the first bite.

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Roasted Parsnips & Carrots with Dill

Roasted Parsnips & Carrots with Dill

As we roll into mid-December, with its cooler temps and spatters of rain, I feel I missed New York’s most perfect season, fall. Luckily for me, some steaming root vegetables are right at home in the cold and wet.

This recipe actually makes a lot and is perfect on a colder day. Pair it with anything you want, or just eat it on its own. Due to the brevity of the ingredient list, it’s important you use really good olive oil and fresh dill. Otherwise, it’ll come out a bit meh-tastic. Nobody needs that; the weather’s “meh” enough on its own.

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Blue Cheese Biscuits

 

Let me state off the front that I don’t just use blue cheese in everything, I promise. That said, in the not-so-distant past I bought a huge wedge of blue cheese to help with a small obsession of mine. Would it be weird to say that I often have fantasies of spinach salads topped with craisins and crumbly blue cheese? Yeah, it’s weird. I thought so too.

After making all of those salad fever dreams come true, I had an obscene amount of blue cheese left over and had to find different ways to use it; I put some on zucchini, I stuffed some red peppers with it, and even melted it over apple slices for a tasty sandwich filling.  Even after making all of these entrees, I still had cheese leftover. I.am.not.a.cheese.waster. 

As I had recently acquired the Art of French Cooking, I once again went to Julia for guidance. “What should I do with this leftover cheese?” I asked her ever so nicely, and she responded in kind with her Galettes au Roquefort, which, being the cook that I am, I decided to add a few tweaks here and there. Be warned, this recipe makes quite a few if you keep them small and cook quickly.

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Homemade Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

 

My Gramma Ginger is one of the best conversationalists in the world, in my opinion (she’s also one of the namesakes to this blog). This is probably due to the fact that she never sits down with a group of people without a list of prepared questions for any lull in the dialogue. Although she has never asked me this specific question, it came up during a recent get-together with friends. This certainly seems like a question that is quintessentially Ginger-esque – “what would you cook for the president if they came over for dinner?”

While I’m not 100% sure this my go-to presidential dish, it’s definitely in my top 5 contenders. I got the idea to add raisins from eating at Frankie’s Sputino in Brooklyn a few years ago, and their inclusion has been the only change to my recipe in the past 8 years. I make this dish at least once a month, and I consider these the perfect potluck or impromptu dinner party food.

You gotta get your hands a wee bit dirty here and allow yourself the time to let the flavors sit, but how long has it been since you’ve played with a big bowl of tomato chunks? C’mon, it’s fun.  Keep in mind – this takes a full 3 hours to make the sauce, but I promise you, the result is worth the wait.

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Cream of Mushroom Soup

For my birthday this year, Davis bought me my long coveted The Art of French Cooking by the larger than life, Julia Child. I have had this on my Christmas list for about 5 years and at a certain point, I became determined that this must be a gift to me given to my by someone else and not something I would buy for myself. This year, I received an Amazon gift card from my father in law and decided “well heck, this is close enough” and resolved to purchase it for myself. Before I got a chance, true gem that he is, Davis had already picked me up a copy on a recent business trip in New York.

I have been dog-earring recipes to try all week. First on my list was Cream of Mushroom soup, which has been a long-standing contender on my favorite soup list. This version is definitely decadent but it made my husband, a former non-mushroom eater, actually ask for seconds. Not something Campbell’s can claim.

This recipe makes a lot for a two-person household, which is for the best considering our upcoming move. The frenzy has our household in a total tizzy, and we could benefit from some leftovers.

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