accessoriesbooksweekly wrap up

Weekly Wrap Up + Short Stack Editions + Giveaway

by Amy Azzarito


A couple of weeks ago, I got a “Check This Out!” email from Grace with a link to the Short Stack Editions Kickstarter Campaign. Short Stack is a series of small-format, single-subject booklets about inspiring ingredients and recipes. Each booklet is a love letter from a celebrated food writer to his or her favorite ingredient. Inspired by mid-century recipe pamphlets, each book is full of illustrations (by creative director Rotem Raffe) and bound by hand with baker’s twine.So far, they’ve released three editions (Eggs, Strawberries and Tomatoes). Next month, just in time for Thanksgiving, they’ll release three more: Buttermilk, Grits and Sweet Potatoes. To whet our appetite, they’re sharing a recipe with us from the Sweet Potato edition.

Short Stack Editions is giving away one set of their lasted editions – Buttermilk, Grits and Sweet Potatoes. To enter, please leave a comment describing your favorite, unique cooking ingredient. The contest closes at midnight on Wednesday, November 11, 2013.Amy

Below is a summary of this week’s highlights:

Get the recipe + enter the contest below the jump!


Sweet Potato–Coconut Milk Soup
from Short Stack Sweet Potatoes by Scott Hocker
Serves 4

This bold soup is so simple to make that it’s nearly absurd. The recipe is inspired by what we in the United States know at many Thai restaurants as tom kha. As David Thompson notes in his superb cookbook Thai Food, this soup is more like a distant member of the tom gati school, a collection of soups that feature boiled coconut cream. It’s fiery, sweet, sour and rich, from both the coconut and the sweet potatoes. I puree the soup for a silkier texture, even though doing so is inauthentic. But then so is using sweet potatoes. —Scott Hocker

  • 2 small Thai or other hot chiles, stemmed
  • 1 large shallot (about 4 ounces), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 3 cilantro roots, scraped with the edge of a knife to remove dirt (cilantro roots are available at some farmers’ markets and Asian markets; if you can’t find any, substitute 1 ⅓ cup coarsely chopped thick cilantro stems)
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 10 ounces), peeled and cut into ½- to 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves

In a mortar, pound the Thai chiles, shallot, garlic and cilantro roots or stems together with a pestle until bruised (alternatively, pulse 3 to 4 times in a food processor).

In a large saucepan, bring the stock and coconut milk to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the chile-garlic mixture, sweet potatoes and ¾ teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are extremely soft, about 15 minutes.

Using a handheld immersion blender (or regular blender), puree the soup until it’s smooth. Strain the soup through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on the solids. Discard the solids and return the liquid to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer and add the brown sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Adjust the seasonings, if needed; the flavor should be boldly sweet, salty and sour. Divide the soup among 4 bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.


Suggested For You


  • I don’t know if it’s unique – but I’m finding more & more uses for mayonnaise than just a sandwich spread!

  • what a fabulous idea! i think my favorite cooking ingredient would have to be the onion. very simple and not very exciting, i know, but nothing really replaces the intoxicating smell and incredible transformative properties of onions. they are fun to chop, beautiful to grow, and are the base of nearly everything i cook, yet nothing ever tastes onion-y. thank you for this post!

  • It’s not exotic, but I really like adding Maldon sea salt flakes as a finisher to things like herb butter, cheese, or chocolate. I don’t use it often, so when I do, my tongue immediately knows and appreciate the flavor.

  • Cinnamon! From sweet to savory, there isn’t much that can’t be improved by cinnamon. Maybe surprising to some, but very true!

  • Wow these are too beautiful. Thanks for the tip. I finally tried cooking with celeriac from our farmer’s market recently, and am now a big fan.

  • I don’t have a specific ingredient that seems so unique but the most recent addiction I have is duck fat! We have a charcoil grill that we turned into a smoker, and smoked a cured rabbit. Then we boiled le lapin in duck fat for four hours and made confit! Such a beautiful fun meal, we got the recipe from the Joe Beef Cookbook.

  • Although it isn’t even original enough to not even be in the above six titles, I am going to have to go with eggs. Eggs are a miracle and I don’t know what I would do without them.

  • Love this! I’d have to say that my favorite sort of unique cooking ingredient are Cherry Tomatoes. I LOVE them in salads, they are great for a quick foil baked fish with a little bit of lemon and butter. I love the sweet yet savory flavors they give off.

  • Mine is wild ramps! I was introduced to it by my boyfriend who is a ramp forager. It makes any dish taste more delicious with its sweet garlicy-leek-onion taste.

  • The booklets are so adorable!
    My favorite unique cooking ingredient is rosemary infused simple syrup. I grow the rosemary in my garden, and use the simple syrup in anything from cocktails, to desserts, to savory dishes like a fig and rosemary glazed pork loin.

  • I love dates! I guess they’re not that weird, but most people I know (who aren’t crunchy hippies, granted) don’t use them very often. I’m surprised our national chain grocery store even carries them! They’re versatile and delicious and pair well with other sweet things, grains or savory embellishments.

  • Yogurt. In place of milk when baking muffins, cakes, pancakes. In savoury sauces and in smoothies. It just makes all things creamy, slightly tangy, and full of tender yumminess.

    These books look great!

  • Wow, these are amazing and such a great gift idea for the holidays! Great design. Love. My favorite, unique cooking ingredient? Chorizo. =)

  • For me, nothing beats the fresh taste and aroma of cilantro. It’s not just a garnish, it can make the dish :)

  • Cinnamon! Not only is it great in a cup of hot chocolate, it adds warmth to just about anything — sprinkled on top of your coffee grounds before brewing, added to a creamy butternut squash soup or used as a rub on chicken. It instantly reminds me of the holiday seasons I love so much!

  • I recently purchased tamarind pulp – sweet, sour, and tangy. I’ll definitely be researching more ways to use it.

  • My favorite ingredient to use is butternut squash. So versatile, delicious and can be used in so many different things. I absolutely love it as a substitute for all things pumpkin, which I surprised my family with last Thanksgiving instead of the traditional canned pumpkin pie and they loved it even more. Plus it’s relatively easy to grow so I have a whole crop to use all year round.

  • While not entirely obscure or unique I have found vast and delicious uses for Thai Basil. My favorite iteration was my homemade Thai basil ice cream sweetened with clover honey. A splash of a rum-scented Hatian vanilla extract rounded out the exquisitely earthy and subtly sweet treat.

  • I know raw Garlic is one of the most common ingredients out there…but I think how aggressively I use it makes it unique. Steam it with brussel sprouts and make it a bread spread, stuff it inside of chicken or pork, chop it with eggs, pickle it for a tasty treat… It’s my go to remedy for every flawed recipe. It is a wonder I still smell as fresh as a petunia.

  • BEER. Whether I’m using it to make a light and fluffy batter, a bubbly orange & ale vinaigrette, or a tasty bratwurst, a bottle (or 2) of beer makes all the difference. Don’t tell anyone my secret though ;)

  • When I make pie crust, I add a little bit of vodka. I learned it from those wizards at Cook’s Country, and use it every time. The crust ends up so much flakier and more tender!

  • My not so unique ingredient is raisins. I frequently make a weeknight white beans and hearty greens over pasta dish that includes normal Italian ingredients like olive oil, crushed red pepper, capers and Parmesan cheese. The secret to the recipe though is that the first think I do when making “Beans and Greens” is I pour some boiling water over about a quarter cup of raisins, and then at then pour the raisins and raisin water over the beans and greens while the canned beans are heating up and the greens are cooking. It would be a fine dinner without the raisins, but goodness, the raisins make it amazing! And if you haven’t made rum raisin rice pudding yet… well you just should.

  • I love grits!We ate it all the time growing up along with cornmeal mush which now goes by the fancy name polenta. And one of my favorite unique cooking ingredients is homemade nectarine chutney.

  • I think that peanut butter has got to be one of my favorite things to use in recipes. The number of delicious desserts and unique sauces that I’ve made has really made it a must-have in our cupboards!

  • Seriously, no one has posted about this yet?!? My favorite is butter by a mile. It may not be completely unique, but my kitchen comes to a grinding halt without it. I love that it’s smoke point is high enough to sauté most everything to perfection but not high enough to roast with. It’s delicate in that sense. Also, all butter is not created equal. Kerrygold is my pick, it’s so rich and smooth, full of flavor and just the best I’ve found.

    I didn’t always love butter. As a child of the 80s, I grew up on margarine and had to be taught of butter’s beauty. Fortunately, Julia Child came into my life in my mid 20’s and praised butter for doing all the things other cooking oils weren’t able to do.

    If I had to choose one recipe, it would be bechamel sauce. My appreciation for this sauce grew immensely when my son starting eating solids. It’s the perfect addition to nearly any dish that seems too challenging or dry for him. And the key to a great bechamel? Great, delicious butter.

  • I am beyond excited about this. I wish I had a unique ingredient to share, but I’m smitten with Mexican vanilla. It makes every baked good so much better.

  • Frangelico…The key ingredient to a delicious cream sauce that I make to put on top of duck or almond-encrusted fish.

  • My favorite unique ingredient is cardamom. It adds a subtle flavor to cakes that cinnamon overpowers and better yet, you can make your own chai!!

  • One of my favorite ingredients is ginger. As an Ayurvedic ingredient, I find it brings balance to my own balance as well as to other ingredients. I like adding it in soups to add a little heat and give them a fresh kick, sliced thinly on top of salmon, or I’ll boil a few pieces to make ginger tea.

  • I like cooking with ginger and will add onions to anything I can get away with. The books look cute. I struggle to not be a hoarder of cook books.

  • i have 2 favorite ingredients to use in cooking – oats and peanut butter. oats give such great texture to ground meat for meatballs, make delicious breakfast bars and oatmeal cookies, and of course you can never go wrong with a classic bowl of oatmeal. peanut butter gives the perfect flavor to sweets and mixes so perfectly with curries and spices for savory stir fries!

  • I love using fish sauce. I have two kinds – Korean and Vietnamese. While I enjoy using them in their traditional context (say in Kimchi or vermicelli), there are so many other usages! I love adding couple tablespoonfuls of fish sauce in chowders to give richer body and tangyness. I frequently use it with lemon to cook seafood to achieve bright but substantive flavor. I don’t know what I’d do without them!

  • My favorite ingredient is love. Maaan, that so cheesey, I must correct myself. My favorite ingredient is obviously cheese :D

  • Lemons: invaluable in our kitchen, especially when joined by its superhero sidekick, garlic! We use it in roasted chicken, in stock, when roasting fish, zesting over pasta, in vinaigrette, and I could just go on in endless Bubba-style …

  • If I wrote a book like this, it would be a love letter to cilantro. It ties in my favorite cuisines – thai food, mexican – and even features in my aunt’s unique take on chicken noodle soup. I would wear it as a perfume I love it so much!

  • I love to cook with garlic scapes when I can find them. They’re awesome on pizza, in pasta, incorporated into a chutney, or cooked down and smeared on crusty bread.

  • My favorite cooking ingredient right now would have to be pecans…toasted on top of salads and soups they add another depth of flavor and texture. Delicious eaten raw, in cookies, brownies, wonderful with roasted vegetables and pancetta!

  • Vanilla certainly is not unique but I do love to use it in my baking … and the upside is that the house always smells so good.

  • Apple banana, unique in that I’ve only ever seen them in Hawaii. They are littler than standard Chiquita fair, plumper than finger bananas and have a firm, never mealy, texture. They are sweet and tart in just the right balance. They are supremely good eating right out of the skin AND…when their skin is blotched and spotted, even all the way to black, they are still delish and wonderful to use in baking. You will never have a better bread, muffin or pie than one made with these babies!

  • It may be cliche this time of year… But squash! Spaghetti, butternut, pumpkin, acorn! I love this ingredient become it’s versatile – you can use it as a starter, soup, salad or side. But when it really shines is as the main ingredient in the main course. My secret squash use is roast a bunch of mixed types together and serve for breakfast! A healthy and sweet way to start the day!

  • My friend brought me a big jar of za’atar home from Palestine. It’s great on just about anything roasted!

  • I love using fresh huckleberries when I can get them. I spent a summer a short walk away from a huckleberry patch and for two months straight it was huckleberry oatmeal in the morning and huckleberries and cheese on crackers for lunch. I still have a coveted jar of jam from that summer that I can’t bring myself to open.

  • I love this idea!!! I could see collecting these books for sure!! Thanks for introducing them!! I love to cook and haven’t been in the kitchen lately as much as I would like due to my schedule. But when I am in there my favorite ingredients to cook with is locally made infused olive oils (Temecula Olive Oil Co.) and Penzeys Spices. I know these are not foods but they are so fun to work with and I use them in every dish I make. :)

  • I don’t know if it’s a “secret” ingredient, but smoked Spanish paprika I swear is actually crack cocaine, it is SO good. You can’t use it in *everything*, but man oh man it sends a Denver omelet right into Heaven; of course it’s wonderful in cassoulet, and I’ve even sprinkled tiny amounts on buttered pasta }swoon!{

  • What would cooking be without the brilliant yellow lemon? Fragrant, bright and fresh, its the juice, rind, pith and zest that makes so many sauces zing and gives tart freshness to creamy avocado, pale slabs of poached salmon or hunks of juicy roast chicken. What’s better than lemon zest in pound cake or lemony saffron rice with nuts and preserved lemons? And how on earth does one contemplate salad without the fresh acidity lemons impart on any vinaigrette? Maybe not unique, but always delicious, failsafe, essential. My favourite. Its lemons, lemons, lemons.

  • I like to use cinnamon in every chocolate thing I make. Also, roasted garlic is a nice treat! (not in chocolate things though!)

  • Hmm. Perhaps I should go with my last “wing it” recipe rescuer–a spoonful of molasses to curb acidity and add depth.

  • Tomatoes are my favorite vegetable but i love it mostly fresh in salad.
    when int comes to cooking chicken breast is my favorite cooking i ingredient.
    There are so many options to work with , from European style to Asiatic with fresh herbs like thyme to spicy like green curry , and it has low fat too

  • I love to add caramelized onions to unexpected dishes…they work in so many dishes to make it special

  • I grew up with sauerkraut and still make it from scratch (sliced cabbage, kosher salt, caraway seeds–in a small stoneware crock with a clean rock pressing down on top–and in a week–voila!–sauerkraut. I use it in pierogi, as stuffing for roasting chicken, braised in duck fat as a side. And lots more. It is great in winter but also as a salad (with thinly sliced sweet onions) in summer

  • Oh, those booklets are so cute. Worth it even if I never make anything from them. Wish I had a unusual ingredient, but I’m a pretty boring cook.

  • I love the idea of the Short Stack editions of single ingredients! My favorite “unique” cooking ingredient is fresh nutmeg. I grate some of this in all my meat dishes, hot tea, and various other recipes.

  • Shallots! They add an extra pungent, but sweet kick to dishes that onion just doesn’t do justice to.

  • Wow, those graphics are killer! #nevernotjudgingabookbyit’scover…

    My favourite unique ingredient on the planet that I cannot find for love nor money here in NY (I’m from New Zealand) is the feijoa or pineapple guava. Make it into a simple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and call it a night! Or (if your mum is prolific canner like mine) when you’re home break into your mothers stash of preserves when she’s not looking and enjoy straight from the jar.

  • I love cooking with soft goats cheese, or just serving it straight up with some lovely bread and crackers. It honestly goes with everything – sweet and savoury! :)

  • I love adding just a touch of brown sugar to spicy, savory dishes, like chili. It adds depth & contrast to the acidic & spicy ingredients. This recipe sounds delicious, I’ll have to try it soon.

  • My favourite unique cooking ingredient is the Australian gurnard fish. It’s as ugly as hell, with a bony knuckle-head, googly eyes and blunt nose. It also apparently makes a grunting sound when removed from the water. However… it has beautiful sweet, firm, white flesh which holds its shape well for curries and soups; it is plentiful (and therefore sustainable) and very cheap! It is on our menu often.

  • My single favorite ingredient to cook with is the humble onion. Onion tart, onion marmalade to have with charcuterie, onions on a burger, sauteed onions with gruyere omelette, French onion soup, risotto, I hope there’ll be a Short Stack Onion title soon.

  • It’s not really a unique ingredient, but I love cooking with butter. However, I guess my favorite more “unique” ingredient is whole grain dijon mustard. It’s amazing with roasted potatoes and just as good in chili.

  • My new favorite thing to cook with is preserved lemons. I had been eyeing them every time I went to the store but was being silly about trying something new. I am so glad I finally picked up a jar! They will probably stay my favorite for at least a month before I move on to something else, I am a fickle lover when it comes to favorite foods.

  • My favorite unique cooking ingredient is curry powder. I use it in EVERYTHING from Chicken Salad, scrambled eggs to hamburgers. It enhances flavors so well!

  • My favorite secret ingredient is flaxseed! I hide it in everything I feed my kids- from pumpkin bread to smoothies.

  • My favorite unique cooking ingredient? Anchovies. Not the crappy ones in cans, but the amazing ones sold out of huge cans in Greek specialty shops. They perk up any kind of tuna/salmon salad, they are amazing on pasta, and perk up roasted lamb or chicken as part of the roasting process.

  • Maple syrup is one of my favorite ingredients, because you get to be so creative with it and use it in just about anything! It is a tasty, healthy alternative to sugar — that goo is packed with antioxidant! — and makes glazed meat so yummy! Plus, it does remind me of my childhood in Quebec, going to my great-uncle’s sugar shack in March each year, drinking maple water from the buckets when he’s not watching (hee hee!), helping my grandfather make sucre à la crème (some kind of toffee — but even better ;))…

  • Love the short stacks books. My favorite cooking ingredient of the moment is probably apple cider vinegar-I’ve been adding a dash of it to all of my veggies to kick up the flavor!

  • I think my favorite cooking unique ingredient would have to be orange zest. I find I use it a lot in dressings, savory dishes and stir fries! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  • How are there no comments yet?! This looks like a great little series of books. Love the design.

    My fave cooking ingredient? Maple syrup. Maybe it’s the Canadian in me. I like to add a splash to salad dressings to cut the acidity of the vinegar, and combine it with cut apples and Maker’s Mark to cook pork chops.

  • I can not even think about cooking with out ONIONS!!!
    I should really say anything in the Allium (this includes garlic) family: Leeks, Vidalia onions, scallions, shallots, chives.
    Love them !

  • The combo of lavender and cardamom, especially in breads and cakes. I also love using lavender for mixing cocktails and teas – already planning experiments with some wintry cardamom infusions for the holidays.

    The Short Stack catalog looks amazing, I’d definitely be interested in a series subscription if they offer one in the future. Too often cooking magazines are less about cooking and more about the gadgets or dining destinations, glad the Short Stack crew is bringing it back to basics.

  • My favorite ingredient to add to almost any meal is pecans! A little crunch can always brighten a meal. I would love these booklets!

  • My favorite unique cooking ingredient is cilantro. Maybe that’s not that unique but it definitely doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Every time I cook, I find that somehow cilantro shows up in my dish. Not only is it amazing in all Mexican dishes, but also in Indian and Asian. It is my favorite taste at this point and makes so many dishes more exciting.

  • Funnily enough, I’m going to say eggs. I’m actually working with eggs and egg recipes as part of a children’s cookbook! They’re just lovely. I might be a little biased seeing as we have a small group of chickens back at home :)

  • It’s not very unique, but has far more uses than most people think: Cardamom.
    I used to burn through a jar of cinnamon a month before I started branching out. It can be used anywhere cinnamon can, and also can be great used in a rub for lamb. It’s also great to make people scratch their heads trying to figure out what flavor of cookie they just ate.

  • The Thai soup is on my to do list for next week. I am living in the Midwest and there is NO Thai food anywhere to be found! Can’t wait to slurp this down.

  • I know it’s not unique but I love garlic! I love how it complements so many different foods but I especially love it with tomatoes.

  • My favorite ingredient is garlic. Growing up, I learned how to cook from my grandma and mom. They hardly made anything without a few cloves of garlic, or ‘teeth’ as they called them. From simmering in olive oil to roasting in the oven until buttery soft, garlic is intoxicating and essential. It is an ever present ingredient in my kitchen in its own reverent garlic jar.

  • I love to add a little masa harina to chili. And rice vinegar is great for certain things — cucumbers, in particular. Beautiful books!

  • nettles….for pesto, soup, ravioli, on pizza, and made into a refreshing and iron rich tea…..and they are free, as my Aunt would say, eat 3 feeds of nettles in May.

  • I am really into finding ways to use green chiles and I find myself using ground mustard in almost every recipe.

  • Smoked paprika. It adds depth to many dishes and the earthy aroma always seems to transport me into a little kitchen in the countryside of Spain. I simply adore it.

  • My favorite unique ingredient is vinegar. It helps make great potato salad & a moist chocolate cake! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Potatoes are my new favourite ingredient. Lovely waxy potatoes. I can no longer digest gluten, and I do not like the substitute pastas and such, so potatoes provide a filling form of carbohydrate while remaining as flavour-neutral as the wheaten foods I used to enjoy (pasta, couscous, bread).

  • My favourite ingredient is Jamon Iberico a spanish ham made with black pigs that feed on acorns… It’s a bit of a nutty idea (pun: very intentional)

    Whenever I can splurge and spend the $500-per-kilo smack in the face; I like to get a few slices and make gourmet sandwiches for my family – let’s just say i’m pretty loved for the few days after that!

  • Currently, it’s crème fraîche. Silky in texture, full-fat and satiating, less sour than sour cream but still delivering that sought-after zip, it’s equally perfect for finishing off my garlic and spinach potatoes with fried chickpeas OR with honey on top of lemon cake.
    And it makes me feel French and therefore superior.

  • My favourite cooking ingredient would have to be nutmeg – there’s a certain allure and mystique when you add it to a dish. Never add too much though – subtle is always more provocative!!

  • We certainly go through a fair share of garlic in our house. Thanksgiving turkey, curries, chili, chicken carbonara…I use it in nearly everything!

  • Beautiful booklets! It might not be super unique, but my favorite thing to cook with is garlic. As soon as it hits the pan, the whole room smells like home.

  • I can’t help but go simple here: Homegrown Garlic. (But the other three would be olive oil, sea salt, and shallots). Brings the best out of most ingredients.

  • I have to have all 3 of the new editions. Born and raised in the South all 3 subject matters were staples in our kitchen. Can’t wait to read! My unique ingredient is cooking Sweet Potatoes with Gingerale- the sugar caramelizes and adds the sweetness of brown sugar.

  • ever since my husband swore off eggs, I am finding the banana to be my new best friend. I can bake with it and there is hardly any difference in the consistency of the good.

  • HONEY. I use it as a healthier substitute for sugar in ALL my baking (muffins, apple crumb cake), but I also use it in smoothies, salads and sweet n’sour chicken. Plus, my kids can’t tell the difference when they’re munching :)

  • Pomegranate concentrate is lovely for adding depth and rounding out soups and sauces, and for glazing veggies in the oven. These books look lovely!

  • Black raspberries. A tragically short season, but fabulous in everything from tea to jam to many desserts.

  • One of my favorite ingredients to use is grapes in savory dishes. They’re great roasted and added to other veggie dishes, sauteed with wine and chicken broth for a sweet savory sauce for chicken. Add them to pizza and they roast down like sweet tomatoes. Chop them fresh and add to a green salad for a sweet juicy crunch. I’ve found both green and red grapes work in different ways!

  • I usually only cook for one, so quite often I will just bake a piece of chicken or fish wrapped in foil. I love to add some spices and ALWAYS include some spicy mustard. I love mustard and it seems to keep the poultry or fish more moist.
    Besides being practical, these books are just precious!

  • Apples. Of course there are the pies, tarts and crumbles but apples really shine when used in savory dishes. I use them with leeks as a base for squash soup. Thinly sliced, they add a crisp crunch to grilled cheese. Braised with cabbage, shredded with beets or curried in a coconut sauce, apples add a tart sweetness and add complexity to the flavors.

  • Not unique, but if I was writing one of these books it would be on dried beans. (Garbanzos, great northern, black, pinto, mung, kidney etc.) I’m a big advocate for soaking and cooking your own beans!

  • I LOVE cooking with cumin – it really does it for Latin American, North African and Mediterranean foods. Cumin braised chicken is such a versatile and delicious food.

  • I just can’t live without rhubarb. From stewed rhubarb with tapioca, an Appalachian childhood favorite, to strawberry rhubarb pie, to peach rhubarb pie and lately we’ve been experimenting with rhubarb in savory dishes. Goat cheese, pine nut, rhubarb galette anyone? It was so good!!

  • HA! SO perfect for anyone who loves cute and food. These are AMAZING!!

    …almost as amazing as my unique ingredient. I like to use smoked paprika in a lot of things – it adds a touch of smokey and a real depth of flavor – especially if you’re trying to simulate a more meaty or deeper depth of flavor. But be careful – it can quickly over power a dish.

    Thanks for the contest – crossing my fingers :)

  • Balsamic vinegar on everything! Pizza, salad, ice cream , fried dough with Nutella and confectioners sugar!!

  • arugula flowers….beautiful, four-petal white flowers that are nutty and delicious! makes a great finishing to salads, pizzas or wild rice.

  • Fresh lemon juice in everything! It brightens & intensifies the flavors of everything. As for exotic ingredients, I recently became addicted to Pumpkin Chipotle Roasting Sauce by American Spoon–what a way to take a Panini to new heights!

  • Here in Florida, there is, of course, a lot of Cuban influence in our cooking. I have found that the fresh sour orange that is used to such remarkable effect in roast pork is an amazing ingredient in many recipes, combining typical citric zest with an unexpected deepening of floral notes. Beautiful books, thank you.

  • Two things: I literally use browned butter and yogurt in any and every thing that would allow it. You cannot go wrong with either of those ingredients!!

  • I love cardamom in all kinds of dishes. It’s good in combination with other spices, but I love scandinavian baked goods that profile it individually, and in savory dishes from the middle east that put it front and center.

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