Category: Winter

Bittersweet Grapefruit Marmalade

{Two Ingredient Tuesday}

Catherine McClelland - Bittersweet marmalade

My birthday this year came during a very bittersweet week: My parents and brother are in the process of moving to Phoenix; I’m staying here. My birthday dinner was the last time we would ever sit down together for a meal in that house.

Helping to pack up and sell off the contents of my childhood house over the past few months has been full of sad pangs and heart-wrenches. We picked through all my childhood books, tore up the vegetable garden where my dad and I had spent happy summer hours, bid farewell to the woods where I played as a child. Nostalgia strikes in strange moments. We held a yard sale and I was nearly moved to tears over the little footstool from our bathroom, a permanent fixture in my daily routine now looking oddly out of place in the hands of a stranger who was bargaining over the one-dollar price tag.

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Pastina + big news!

{Two Ingredient Tuesday}

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Today we’re going to make pastina, or as my bolognese host mother Adele called it, stelline (“tiny stars”). Modern Italians don’t always have time for the languid multi-course dinners of the old days, but Adele always made sure that the evening meal was separated into the distinct courses of primo (pasta or starch), secondo (meat), contorni (sides), and a little sweet treat or an end of cheese for the dolce, always with a clean plate in between courses, despite her dishwasher that was about the size of an American toaster. Stelline was one of her go-to dishes for the starch course: quick and easy, warm, comforting, familiar. Continue reading

Hungarian Chicken Heart Stew

Photo (c) Catherine McClelland - Hungarian chicken heart gizzard stew in bowl

I could have posted something spooky-adorable for Halloween, but instead I offer something more…visceral. The weather is turning colder, our thoughts are turning away from salads and ice cream to warmer meals. This stew happens to fit the theme of the day, but it’s not a holiday gimmick–it’s genuinely delicious. I cook it from October until the geese fly home in the spring. Continue reading

Moroccan Preserved Lemons

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I’m not part of the mason jar parade. Some people jelly everything, right down to corn cobs. There are businesses that stake their livelihoods on the bottomless and rich inspiration of the Ball jar, from homemade soap dispensers and wine glasses to thousand-dollar hipster chandeliers. Continue reading

Tarte au Chocolat à la Parisienne

{Fancy French Desserts}

New series! I’m cooking my way through a laundry list of gorgeous French desserts. This was the final destination for the candied mandarins I made earlier in the week.

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I showed my love for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ this week by OBLITERATING the competition at the annual church bake-off. The centerpiece of this contest is the chili cook-off, but since the intensely competitive family spirit prevents me from competing against my mother’s chili, I opted for the dessert category instead. This never-fail tart won me first prize. Continue reading

Candied Mandarins

{Two Ingredient Tuesday}

Aren’t they just a gallon of sunshine in a one-pint jar?

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The Lord in his kindness granted us citrus fruits during the grey and unloved month of February. Just when we can’t stomach one more casserole, one more out-of-season New Years’ Resolution salad, the markets blossom with blood oranges, grapefruit, lemons, Valencia oranges, and mandarins. It’s all the sunshine that we summer-starved New Yorkers have been craving. Continue reading

Spice and Fire Broth

Once you get past the polar vortexes, outbreaks of norovirus, black ice, triple layers of thermal socks, puffy unflattering winter clothes, snow-shovelling-induced backaches, toddlers determined to share their microbes with everyone, and oh-my-goodness-that’s-what-34-degrees-below-freezing-feels-like, winter is really quite a pleasant season.

Especially because of soup!

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