Disappearing Party Food: Onion Fig Tartlets


The tarts right out of the oven: Pie in the Woods

Is there anything better than caramelized onions?  The melt in your mouth texture, the sweet/savory flavor—I just love them.  A few years ago I was looking for an appetizer using caramelized onions for a Christmas party; and when I couldn’t find one that suited me, I cobbled one together.  I found one recipe that used figs, another that used Gruyere cheese, and a third that made the onions into small tartlets.  I took these elements and used my go-to pie-crust recipe to make these tartlets using a standard muffin-tin.

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Post-Thanksgiving Post: Ginger-Orange Cranberry Sauce

Molded Ginger-Orange Cranberry Sauce: Pie in the Woods

Did everyone have a tasty (and overly filling) Thanksgiving?  Good.

Since I became a vegetarian, Thanksgiving has lost a lot of its charm.  We always gathered at my Grandma’s house, and like a good Iowa farm-wife, she offered three (count ’em three!) kinds of meat: capon, beef, and ham.  In addition there were mashed potatoes (which I’ve never liked, yes, I do know that this makes me a freak of nature), salad, cranberries, rolls, spinach balls (the best part!), and funeral casserole – a vegetable casserole so-named because a friend of my grandmother always brought it to funerals.  As you can see, limited options for me, although I never was as uncomfortably full as the rest of my family.

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Taste of Autumn: Stuffed Squash with Fennel and Apple

First off, does the word “squash” look really weird to anyone else?  I mean, S-Q?  Who starts a word that way?  

I love fall. Before people who know me call shenanigans, let me clarify that I do not like being cold, so any displays of autumnal dislike can be directly linked to a lack of sweaters.  Moving on.  The sky seems bluer in the fall.  I think it’s that it’s finally cool enough that going outside isn’t torture, and combined with the beautiful fall foliage one can appreciate the sky more.  The natural colors and earthy scents, (leaves, apples, fresh-turned soil) make me feel more connected to the earth than the riotous colors of genetically manipulated summer flowers.  It’s just cold enough that wearing all your cosy clothes and curling up under a blanket with a good book becomes wonderful.  Warming, substantial food suddenly becomes the best thing in the world. And, of course, every kids’ favorite part about fall:

Yes, I will go slightly out of my way to step on that crunchy-looking leaf!

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