Tag Archives: condiment

glazed vermont ham with pineapple mustard sauce

True to form, I’ve told you about dessert before dinner.  What can I say, I was really excited about that key lime coconut cake! But the dinner definitely held up to the dessert that followed. We didn’t really have any plans for Easter dinner, but wanted something that was easy and celebrated spring. We had planned to make an asparagus and bacon quiche with a goat cheese and strawberry topped salad, but things took a turn when we got to the Whole Foods and saw that Vermont Smoke and Cure had a table set up with a bunch of different samples. We love their pepperoni but had never tried any of their other products. We both tried the ham, took one look at each other, nodded, and I picked out the smallest ham they had while Joseph returned the quiche ingredients that we no longer needed.

I hadn’t even known that ham was a classical Easter dish until about a week ago. I have no real memory of Easter dinner growing up. My Easter memories revolve entirely around the chocolate cake with green coconut grass and peeps that my mom made, and the absolute best Easter egg hunt you could imagine. Our good family friends had a cabin in the Shenandoah’s and we would all head out there for the weekend. After a hearty scrambled egg breakfast, we would venture out into the woods where the “Easter Bunny” (aka our fathers) had hidden eggs. As the youngest, Stanley and I would get a head start before our older sisters raced past us and got all the eggs in the higher branches.

The eggs were a mixture of hard boiled eggs that we had dyed the day before and plastic and metal (yeah, really old school) eggs filled with candy.  After we scoured the woods for eggs, we would sit on the floor, decide who had won the biggest loot prize, and commence trading of candy for our favorites.  Every year there was a “winner” of the special egg: a plastic egg with a carrot or piece of broccoli in it to the great delight of our mothers.  We were considerably less amused. Continue reading


guacamole

It seems to me that almost every conversation about guacamole has at least one or two people claim that they make the best guacamole ever.  I mean, the thing about guacamole is that it is always pretty darn delicious.  But, not to toot my own horn or anything, I’ve had several people try my guacamole and proclaim that even though they thought they made a pretty mean guacamole, mine was even better than theirs.  Ok, I know, I am tooting my own horn.

avocado, lime, jalapeno, cilantro, tomatoes

de-seeding tomatoes

I think the thing that makes my guacamole so good is that I try it out as I go along and add more of things as I see fit. I had never, ever measured quantities until last night when I made this.  But the thing is that avocados seem to have this neutralizing power.  You can put a whole lot of jalapeño in there and barely get any spice.  So I will often try the guacamole and decide that it needs more garlic, more cilantro, more jalapeño, and more salt.  It always needs more salt than I think it will and the heat level of peppers can really vary.  So I add more stuff in and then try it again.  I know, it’s lot to ask to keep trying the guacamole.  But it’s in your best interest in the long run, so soldier up and grab a chip (or two, or three, or four, or…).

guacamole ingredients

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smoky chipotle salsa with pan-roasted tomatillos

chipotle salsa

I LOVE this salsa.  It’s amazing how 4 little ingredients make something so good.  The chipotle chiles give it a smokiness, the tomatillo lends it some tang, and then the roasted garlic…well, it’s roasted garlic!!  Fantastic.  I poured it all over my red chile chicken and rice with black beans, it would be great over eggs, with chips, in a burrito, really, with just about anything.

tomatillos

sliced tomatillo

Not only is it delicious, but it’s really easy to make.  Just husk the tomatillos, cut them in half and throw them in a skillet with the garlic to brown on both sides.  You don’t even need to mince the garlic!  Then you just throw it all in a blender with a couple chipotle peppers, whirl it around, toss in some salt, pour it in a bowl and you’re good to go! Continue reading


apple butter

I love fall foods so much.  I have so many great memories of getting apple cider and making apple pie growing up.  Apple stuff just reminds me of my childhood.  I’ve always loved apple butter, but I had never considered making it until last year when I was suddenly curious how hard it would be to make it.  Then I forgot all about it, but stumbled across a recipe recently and it looked pretty easy.

Yes, it is in fact very easy.  The hardest part is peeling the apples.  And it is ohhh so very good.  I’m afraid we’re going to finish this batch pretty quickly, but no worries!  We’ll just make more! Continue reading