- When I decided to join the Gluten Free for 30 day challenge with my gym, I didn’t do a great job at looking at my calendar ahead. With Saint Patrick’s Day (Goodbye Beer ….), a weekend excursion to Washington D.C. and my first big dinner party at our house planned, I had my work cut out for me. But, I survived the month and managed to stay on track.
There’s something about short ribs that just encompasses the true meaning of comfort food. I’ve cooked it quite a few different ways (take a look at this BTP recipe from last winter for another inspirational idea) and yet it always transforms the dish into a stick to your ribs, hearty dinner. It could be the way that the meat becomes melt in your mouth tender when slow cooked. It could also be that the beef provides another dimension of flavor in any sauce you cook it in. It could also be that it tends to be best served over scrumptious starchy sides like polenta, potatoes and pasta. But whatever the reason may be I have found that short ribs are quickly becoming my crowd pleaser weekend meal for all occasions.
It’s pumpkin season which means all pumpkin everything! I know, pumpkin fever is such a fad and pretty much every product imaginable comes in some pumpkin spice variation these days, but I love it! As soon as October hits (Alright, you got me… it may have been September this year) my pumpkin candles and recipes come out for the season. Today’s recipe is my first pumpkin inspired meal for the Fall (it will certainly not be the last!).
Ten months ago I was listening to my favorite podcast on my drive home, The Splendid Table . As a quick side note, If you have never listened to the show I highly recommend it for anyone who loves food culture or cooking. The host, Lynn Rossetto Kasper, is an acclaimed food writer and cooking teacher. Her wealth of knowledge is infectious. Getting back to the story, during my weekly listen on that drive I heard a call that would spark my idea for today’s recipe. There is a segment where listeners can call in to ask food science, cooking or baking questions to the host (which by the way, she ALWAYS has an answer, it’s impressive). One listener said she had an idea to make a Thai basil pesto and asked if using Thai basil, coconut oil, cashews, and chili peppers sounded too outside the box for a dish. Before Lynn could even answer I was mentally taking note. I have been a Thai food addict for a few years now but have not attempted too many of my own dishes at home. After hearing confirmation that this ingredient combination sounded fantastic I rushed home, wrote down the four ingredients so I would not forget, and put it on my refrigerator.
This year I embarked on the adventure of starting my own herb garden. I was excited to try out my green thumb skills. Gardening seems like the perfect hobby for a foodie. Who wouldn’t want to grow their own produce or herbs? It makes your meals feel so much more personal because you know in some small way you worked for it. I had this fear that I would never see the fruits of my “labor” because I’ve never been able to keep a house plant alive, let alone multiple outdoor ones! I read up on herbs and found that they are pretty forgiving for novice gardeners like me. Based on this fact, herbs seemed like the right place to start for gardening. There is also the fact that my backyard is pretty much non-existent so potted plants were really my only option.
Spaghetti was a regular dish in my household growing up. The big pot of sauce simmering all day and wafting delicious home cooked scents throughout the house was my favorite part. And although my Mom’s will always be my favorite, I wanted to highlight another pasta dish that has recently captivated my attention.
Now that I have gotten a little more into the groove of this whole gluten-free thing I have started to brainstorm meal ideas. I think I may have mentioned a few times that I don’t enjoy eating the same things over and over. Instead, I’m always trying to think of an entirely new creation I have never tried before. Today’s recipe is the result of that overactive of mind of mine.