I'm not much of a March Madness fan - in fact, sports are usually an excuse to eat junk food while ignoring the action going on in front of me. This week I channeled my non-athletic energies into making a warm, cheesy dip that probably contains so many calories your eyes would cross. Does it help that it includes spinach? This recipe is a spicy, baked rendition of the classic spinach dip sans the package of dried soup mix. After crisping up some smoky bacon, cook onions and chipotles in adobo in the fat, and finish by mixing in spinach, cheese, sour cream, and mayo. Bake until bubbly, then try to wait just a few minutes before diving in so that you don't burn the roof of your mouth with molten dip. Serve with ice-cold beer or my personal favorite, a perfect margarita. (Click "Read More" below for the full recipe.)
You're probably wondering why I'm sharing a recipe for a hard winter squash when spring is right around the corner, but butternut squash is almost always present at Chez Gallary. My daughter loves soups and purées, so it's an easy thing to throw into the shopping cart and whip up. However, there's a limit to how much squash the rest of the family can eat, so I decided to treat it like carrots or zucchini and bake it into a muffin. I've long admired French yogurt cakes, a simple mixture of flour, sugar, eggs, and yogurt, since the cakes are easy to bake and delicious. The yogurt provides moisture and tenderness so you need less fat, and it's chock full of sweet butternut squash and warm spices. Since it's not too sweet, it can do double duty as a grab-and-go breakfast or snack for later in the day. (Click "Read More" below for the full recipe.)
Since San Francisco experienced a polar vortex-free winter, we probably aren't as desperate as the rest of the country for spring to arrive. But it's still exciting to see daylight savings come and asparagus cropping up at the market. This easy soup recipe, a twist on Aida Mollenkamp's leek-and-potato version, is a great bridge between seasons and can even be served hot or cold. Simmer a bunch of asparagus, potatoes, broth, onion, and thyme together, then purée with cream. And if you're wondering if you can save some calories by not using the cream, I'm going to wave my recipe-testing finger at you and tell you to live a little - 1/3 cup of cream in 9 cups of soup is nothing, and your taste buds will thank you for using it. (Click "Read More" below for the full recipe.)
An open bottle of madeira, too good to cook with, has been lingering in the door of the refrigerator for months. I've been a fan of fortified wine cocktails lately, so I started tinkering around and found that it pairs quite nicely with bourbon. In this cocktail recipe, the bourbon and a dash of Creole bitters balance out the sweetness of the madeira and maraschino liqueur, and there's a touch of brightness from an orange twist at the end. It's definitely got a punch but won't knock your socks off, and now you don't have to relegate the rest of your bottle of madeira to the saucepan. Cheers! (Click "Read More" below for the full recipe.)
I'm a food editor and professionally trained recipe developer and food stylist. You'll usually find me in the kitchen tinkering with new ideas and recipes to share with others.