What is it about cooler weather that draws us into the kitchen? I don’t even live somewhere that it’s brutally hot in the summer, so I can’t say that the heat is an excuse for not cooking much during the summer season. Actually I am in the kitchen every night, but I would say that there’s a lot more grilling and salads, and not a lot of baking or foods that require the oven being on for hours. When the temperatures drop and the days shorten I find myself planning menus and dreaming of what I’ll be attempting in the kitchen.
The holidays are looming out there in the future and I’ll be the first to admit that I love giving gifts from my kitchen. Even when I was employed in the retail industry and busier than I care to remember, I still liked to give gifts that I had made myself. Who doesn’t enjoy receiving something to eat? I love giving gifts that can be consumed, bring a little bit of joy into the recipients life and don’t take up any space because once you eat them, they’re gone!
And so I’ve been thinking not only about the holidays, but about what I want to make in the upcoming months.
1. Truffles-I had planned on making the for Christmas last year, but never actually got to it.
2. Biscotti-I normally make them every other week, but have gotten out of this practice and I miss having a steady supply in my kitchen!
3. Caramel sauce-I love pouring this over vanilla ice cream and have a great recipe for a chocolate tart that has a layer of this over the crust.
4. Bread-especially that great “no-knead” recipe from the NY Times that it seems everyone but me has tried.
5. Doughnuts-again-these were delicious-maybe with some type of glaze this time.
6. Coq au Vin and Beef Bourgignon-wonderful stews to warm you up on a cool evening.
7. Chicken and Dumplings-inspired by Judith’s recipe over at Think On It.
8. Curries-I love the subtle heat you get from a good curry and how perfect when the temps drop.
9. Apple crisp-this always scream “fall” to me.
10. Piadinas-I loved these in Arezzo and they are super easy to make!
11. Pizzas done on the grill in the fireplace-these are fun and fabulous!
12. Chutneys-now that I know how to “can”, I can’t wait to try out some new recipes.
I could go on and on, but for now I’m cooking in my east coast Martha’s Vineyard kitchen and it’s all seafood, all the time accompanied by island grown produce. You should taste the scallops here-unbelievable!