Are you clinging to these last few days of summer with everything you’ve got or already leaping eagerly into fall? Either way, we’ve got something for you! Want summer? We have one last riff on the tomato salad for your dinner tonight. Enjoy it on the porch with a sparkling cojito cocktail. Want fall? Make this hearty King Ranch Casserole or a batch of pierogi to stash in the freezer. And no matter what, you have to make these grown-up jello shots for your Labor Day party!
Item: Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker
Overall Impression: This electric pressure cooker is a safe, easy, and economical tool to introduce cooks to home cooking. Its small size and lower maximum pressure, however, may prompt cooks who adopt pressure cooking to eventually graduate up to larger, more powerful stovetop models.
While Anjali and Dana reviewed their Kuhn Rikon and Fissler pressure cookers for you, I went a different direction and tried out an electric model of pressure cooker. Stovetop pressure cookers are more common and versatile, as they use the burner as their heat source and can be used as regular pots as well as pressure cookers. But the electric model is a self-contained, all-in-one cooking appliance that has a lot of advantages (and some drawbacks too).
I have vivid memories of Turkey Gravy Day. And Pepperoni Pizza Fridays. My mom always packed our lunches growing up, but she did let us choose a day we’d like to get hot lunch, and those were my go-to favorites. Looking back, I realize that the nutrition factor was low although the flavor factor was, apparently, quite high. Today there are still Pepperoni Pizza Fridays, to be certain. But things are slowly changing in school cafeterias as well. For the better.
Maybe vegetables aren’t the first thing to jump to mind when you think of Italian cuisine, but that’s about to change. After all, what goes on top of our pizzas, gets tossed with our pastas, and is stirred into our risottos? That’s right: fresh, seasonal vegetables. Domenica Marchetti is here with her latest book of Italian cuisine to make sure we don’t forget about all the beautiful — nay, glorious! — vegetables that make our favorite Italian dishes so very good.
Did you know that you can make your own couscous? We’re talking making couscous from scratch, as in starting with semolina. Really! It’s a fairly easy process involving semolina, a bit of water, and lots of handling. But have you ever tried it?
I refuse to jump on the fall casserole bandwagon just yet. Rest assured: we’ve still got tomatoes and corn and warm Indian summer evenings to look forward to around here. But that being said, the reality of back to school and no more summer Fridays changes things a bit for some of us, and early morning school traffic changes things for the rest of us (at least here in Seattle). So I thought it was a good time to pause and think about quick ways to guarantee early fall dinner success.
[It’s the last chapter of Popsicle Week, wherein I admitted that I had something of a popsicle incident this summer, wherein incident = gotta a little carried away, made too many and couldn’t let summer end without sharing the queue with you. This is Popsicle 3 of 3.]
I began this summer of accidental popsicle obsession by saying that growing up, we made popsicles by pouring orange juice (created with or without manual labor) into these molds, letting them freeze and eating them outside so we didn’t sticky up the kitchen floor. And yet, when I first bought my popsicles molds a year ago, did I put juice in them? No. I had to make things really, really complicated. Banana purees, Nutella and salted pistachios. Strawberries, lime, black pepper and sometimes white tequila. Key lime pie filling rolled in graham cracker crumbs. Butterscotch. Pudding. Pops.
It seems only right and proper that I end* Popsicle Week with a riff on the same frozen juice popsicle. But, you know, I couldn’t use just any juice, it had to be lemonade, which to me is the quintessential sitting at a picnic table in a beach town icy drink to slurp through a straw while being unable to consider a single other thing on this earth that previously felt urgent, as we did yesterday afternoon on our Maine vacation.
My family’s farm has plum trees that become laden and misshapen this time of year. My mother dutifully picks the black fruits and cans them in sweet syrup — a welcome treat in winter for topping oatmeal or just eating by itself, warmed. But one can only make so much jam! Here are some ideas for using up a surplus of plums.
We’ve been rolling out posts on pressure cooking these past two weeks, looking at what a pressure does and how it cooks. Today let’s take a minute to compare pressure cookers with an appliance a lot of us are more familiar with: the slow cooker. Is there a need for both in the kitchen? What if you only had to choose one? Here are some situations where a pressure cooker might actually beat out the slow cooker.