Recipes Chocolate Fondue the Lazy Way

Feeling rushed this week? Broke? Out of ideas for something special you might want to do for the Valentine’s Day holiday? Consider the Lazy Cook’s Chocolate Fondue , a recipe that’s easy, cheap, fun to do, a little out of the ordinary and supremely decadent — all at the same time. The nice thing about this recipe (other than the fact that it’s dead simple, cheap and reliably tasty) is that it’s so very flexible .

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Recipes Lemon-Ginger Fairy Cakes

I think I’ve mentioned before that J is an alien creature who often resembles a normal fellow but occasionally exposes his true color (green, naturally). One of his little oddities I discovered recently is a propensity to refer to cupcakes as “fairy cakes.” Though there’s a little friendly debate about what constitutes a proper fairy cake in the comments over at Becks & Posh and Cupcakes Take the Cake, the Wikipedia lumps cupcakes and fairy cakes together on the same page.

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Recipes How I Fell in Love with Brussels Sprouts

I grew up with Brussels Sprouts prejudice. My dad didn’t like ‘em. He’d only ever known the sprightly sprout under poor conditions — namely, my grandmother’s vicious habit of boiling veggies into submission. They were bitter and mushy at the same time. Wretched pale lumps. I didn’t blame him for loathing them, and with his opinionated introduction, I never even considered experimenting with sprouts. Later on, (much later, to my great dismay these days) I discovered the Brussels Sprout the way it was meant to be: roasted.

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Recipes A Wintery Short Rib Braise

I’m always thrilled to find something that’s so satisfying and nourishing, it becomes a new addition to the lineup of household favorites. That’s a rare occasion. But I think we have a winner, folks. This is a braise made up of beef short ribs, mushrooms and the hearty winter greens of your choice. There’s a little fuss involved in browning the short ribs before they head into the oven for a slow-cook, but it’s worth it for the rich flavor and falling-off-the-bone tenderness.

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Recipes Wild Rice Porridge 2.0

Last January, I posted my personal take on the Mahnomin Porridge that the groovy Minneapolis restaurant Hell’s Kitchen makes for their funky brunch menu. That recipe was pretty rich, and it takes a while to make, so it’s not exactly easy to produce on chilly midweek mornings. Thus, I’ve made a new version that’s more quick and flexible. The secret, as with many things, is planning ahead. If you cook the grains for this porridge in the evening (maybe do it while you’re making dinner), it’s easy to wake up all zombie-like the next day, scoop it into bowls and microwave for a quick and hearty whole-grain brekkie.

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Recipes Food history Recession Proof: Rumsford’s Soup

If you read much food writing, you may have encountered writer MFK Fisher’s notes on thrifty cuisine. In her 1942 recession-proof tome, How to Cook a Wolf she wrote of an inexpensive, nutritious meat-grain subsistence loaf (writer Jeffrey Steingarten later taste-tested that very recipe in The Man Who Ate Everything). But far earlier than that, in the late 1700s, a remarkably multi-talented scientist/inventor named Benjamin Thompson (later known as Count von Rumford) was also interested in nutritious subsistence food, which led him to the creation of Rumford Soup.

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Recipes Resolution #3: Get Cultured

There’s nothing like the zeal of the convert, and ever since I started getting regular doses of probiotics in my diet, I can’t shut up about ‘em. After years of having a constantly grumpy tummy, the belly is soothed and I feel my overall health is better. Thank you, gut flora. Fermented milk products like yogurt or kefir are an obvious way to get the probiotic party started, but not everyone eats dairy, so those folks can look to fermented plant products like pickled vegetables, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, miso and kombucha for their healthy bacteria.

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Video Treat: Saxelby’s Snazzy Cheese Sandwich
Recipes Video Treat: Saxelby’s Snazzy Cheese Sandwich

This savory little treat is overdue, but tasty nevertheless… and since it’s an ideal choice for New Year’s Eve appetizers, I think now’s the right time to unveil it. Behold! Snazzy grilled cheese as done by Anne Saxelby, charming monger of the Essex Street Market. This video was captured at this year’s NYC International Pickle Festival, back when short sleeved shirts and light summer dresses were appropriate attire. (Oh, how I pine for the sun!

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Candy Cane Crunch Ice Cream with Shortbread Stars
Recipes Candy Cane Crunch Ice Cream with Shortbread Stars

*This post marks Day 24 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. Merry Christmas Eve! If the weather outside is frightful, the first thing you’re thinking of might not be ice cream. But die-hards (like me) think about ice cream year-round — the holidays are no exception. I haven’t done an ice cream recipe in a few months, but I wanted to make this one a little more snazzy and festive for Christmas Eve — thus, the addition of those stripey little canes.

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Recipes Day 23: Christmas Gumbo

*This post marks Day 23 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. In my neighborhood, ‘tis the season of the big carp slaughter. Apparently it’s traditional for Polish folks to eat fresh carp for Christmas (part of the traditional “fish on holy days” tradition, no doubt) so the fishes are currently swimming about in cold-water pools waiting to be chopped up for dinners across the ‘hood. Likewise, in Italy, southern folks celebrate the feast of the seven fishes over the holidays.

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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