Rainbow Guacamole with Beets and Apples

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I was a bride of one night when Tim and I packed up our bags, bought a sourdough sandwich at O'Hare Airport and boarded an American Airlines jet for our eight-hour nonstop flight to Honolulu. The day before had been filled with nonstop activity: his going to the car rental place, my fussing with my hair over and over again, his driving with the photographer to Morton Arboretum, my being denied access because the gate attendant saw my wedding dress but no $300 photography permit to go along with it. Before the wedding, there were people all over my parents' house: members of the bridal party staying there, hanging out in the dining room, eating with us in the kitchen. During the wedding, there was a crisis when the lone violinist didn't show and the relief when my friend Becky stepped in. When we stepped out of the church, greeting people for the first time as man and wife, there was a frantic 15 minutes pulling together family for pictures and my giving orders for who to come where and … [Read more...]

Creamy Red Roasted Beet Soup

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Posting a red roasted beet soup the week after Valentine's Day is a little like posting a pumpkin pie the month after Thanksgiving, but we're going ahead and bringing you this rosy red romance in a bowl today instead of two weeks ago because it demonstrates the versatility of the basic cream soup. Like the last post, which showcased a velvety carrot soup with amaretti crumble, this creamy red roasted beet soup is beautiful simplicity---a quick and easy sauté-cook-purée-and-strain kind of job. The only added step with this method is roasting the vegetables (in this case, beets) ahead of time, which not only speeds up the soup-cooking process, but also imparts the deepened flavor that roasting vegetables brings. Also worth mentioning is the fact that you could do the same thing with many other vegetables, as demonstrated in the links below, so once you have the method down you have a ready dinner in your back pocket. In terms of taste, this beet soup is earthy and slightly sweet, with … [Read more...]

Beet and Lettuce Salad with Green Onion Vinaigrette

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Tim and I got a new bathroom ceiling this week. First, we got a massive ceiling bubble that Tim had to pop with a knife, straddling the toilet and the tub, a five-gallon bucket in his other hand while water shot from the ceiling cyst like milk from a cow; but then, beginning Wednesday and ending, hopefully, right around the time this post publishes, a nice handyman named Jim patched and worked and painted things, and our ceiling looked like a ceiling again. I'm not afraid to use the bathroom anymore, and I don't have to drive down the street to White Castle to sneak into the ladies' room, so obviously things are looking up. Also, Monday night and Tuesday night, like rewards for the days we'd survived and laughed through, the two of us sat down to matching plates piled high with salads like this one. Even I have to admit it's hard to complain when your plate is full of this. … [Read more...]

bears. beets. Battlestar Gallactica.

Last night, I had dinner with my friend Jacqui, someone I first met through an editorial internship three years ago, but later came to know through our food blogs (started on the exact same day last August, would you believe it?) and who inspires me, with simple-enough-for-me-to-try fried green tomatoes and stories about her family that give me chills right in the middle of my day and, lately, stories about beets, the purple root vegetable I have never, ever before tried or bought or held, even, but found a bunch of in my Saturday CSA box. And while Jacqui regularly amazes me with phrases like, But I don't have a baking sheet, or We don't keep sugar in the apartment, or Could I bake that in a casserole dish instead?, she also possesses an attitude toward vegetables---and all food, really---that is as open-minded and I-will-try-that-too as I could ever hope to be, without making me feel silly for ordering something called a chicken puff at the Thai restaurant she took me to, after I … [Read more...]