Gnocchi alla Romana

Hey there–I’ve missed you all!  Sorry for the long hiatus, and many thanks to Miss Eva for holding down the fort. Where have I been? Criss-crossing the country on a job hunt, and finishing my dissertation. I’m starting to get my feet back on the ground after all of that though, and I have something I’d like to share.

Up today is a semolina dumpling called gnocchi alla romana. I made it for my husband this week, in celebration of our anniversary. It tastes absolutely sinful, and if I hadn’t made it myself, I would never have believed it was vegan. The dish gets its twinkle from the contrast of textures: crisp edges, chewy crust, and ultra-creamy interior. This is the best comfort food you’ve never tasted.

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Florentine Cookies

Have you ever had a florentine?  A lacy, crisp little cookie with caramelized sugar, almonds, and a swirl of dark chocolate. These are one of my husband’s all-time favorite cookies. They sell them in a quaint little bakery in Boston’s Italian North End neighborhood that is both a local favorite and a magnet for tourists.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Okay, okay, so you probably already have a favorite banana bread. I know I do. (See Veganomicon p. 228.)  But you have room in your repertoire for one more.  If you try this recipe, you will understand.

While traditional banana bread is dense and chewy, these muffins are fluffy, tender, and they melt in your mouth a little. Instead of the usual assertive banana bread spice blend, these have a light vanilla scent, a little tang, and a hint of zest. They are hovering dangerously on the border with a cupcake. Muffcake? Cupkin? Whatever, just give me another one!

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Winter Squash Kibbeh

You might have thought I was all done with the winter squash. But then you must not have peeked into my pantry lately. If you were to take a look, you would have spied 4 giant butternut squash, 2 sugar pumpkins, 1 acorn squash, 1 delicata squash, and a splendid blue hubbard.  That is how our lovely CSA ends with an October bounty that will last us until January, if I manage to store them correctly. So forgive me for continuing the squash journey.  I brought you a warming Tex-Mex inspired butternut soup, and that Pumpkin Maple Spice ice cream that detoured through China.  Today, we’re heading to Lebanon.

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Pumpkin Maple Spice Ice Cream

I have a new favorite ice cream flavor for fall. Rich and nutty winter squash gets the royal treatment with sweet maple and a kick of five spice. The weather has been hovering on the brink here: one day will be sunny and warm, the next will turn grey and cold. This ice cream bridges the gap. It’s got a warming blend of fall flavors delivered in the cold smoothness of an ice cream.

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