cauliflower with golden nutmeg butter

Everything’s Better with Butter

cauliflower with golden nutmeg butter

Mmmm… butter. Every cook knows that adding a bit of fat to a dish makes it fuller and more satisfying, and sure butter’s not exactly a health food, but as long as you use it wisely, I think you’re okay. It also depends on the type of butter you use. All butter is not created equal. For example, European butter. Thanks to the fact that it’s churned longer, it has a slightly higher fat content than your average stick of American butter. Sometimes it can be a bit of a hunt to find this rich, ultra-flavorful butter in your average grocery store, but recently Land O’ Lakes caught onto the trend and now they’re starting to offer European sweet cream butter as part of their product line. I’m down with it.

Since European butter is so rich and flavorful, it’s the perfect fat to use when you’re cooking something simple and you just want that touch of luxury. Case in point, this cauliflower recipe from LOL (haha – Land O’ Lakes – do you think they call themselves LOL? Probably not. lol!), you really don’t need much besides the vegetable, the butter, and a few seasonings. Butter!

Cauliflower with Nutmeg Butter

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Comfort Food Extravaganza: Cauliflower-Pumpkin-Ricotta Gratin

Orange Cauliflower

It’s that time of year again…daylight savings is totally messing with my body and making me crave warm, rich comfort food as soon as I drag my sorry butt home from work. I can’t help it, when it gets dark outside at five pm I just go into hibernation mode, aka sweatpants and cheesy food in front of the TV mode. Fortunately I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve when it comes to fall and winter comfort foods so I don’t actually pack on as much weight as a slumbering bear.

For example, cauliflower! It’s such a versatile vegetable. Use it in place of white, starchy carbs like pasta or potatoes and you have a super indulgent and cozy yet much healthier meal. When I was grocery shopping at Central Market last weekend I found some beautiful orange cauliflower on sale (the color is so fun! And it means that the cauliflower is especially high in beta-carotene, the same reasons carrots have that great orange color). I knew I had to do something with it…then orange made me think of pumpkin…I still had some pumpkin puree and ricotta left over from the pumpkin lasagna I made last week… BAM. This recipe was born. It’s way quicker and easier to make than your traditional gratin (which are traditionally creamy dishes topped with browned cheese), not to mention way healthier. And it’s totally creamy and satisfying! You won’t regret this one.

Cauliflower Gratin

Cauliflower-Pumpkin-Ricotta Gratin

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Putting it all on There: Cauliflower Crust Pizza with BBQ Shrimp and Veggies

BBQ Shrimp Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

I don’t think I had my head on straight when I grocery shopped this week.  The fridge, freezer and pantry are stocked with the most random ingredients.  It’s really working my culinary brain, that’s for sure.

Well, I decided I wanted to use certain things for last night’s dinner and this is what came out of it.  Random, but packed with nutrients and deliciousness.  I just simply couldn’t NOT share this with you!

This is a light option to satisfy pizza cravings without packing on the pounds, but I also made a Shrimp Poboy Pizza, if you want something a bit more indulgent.


BBQ Shrimp & Veggie Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

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This One’s for the Ladies (at Least in My House)


My husband is about the most un-picky eater I know.  While I happily eat down the fridge with alarming regularity (seriously, that and my, um, screw-ups are basically all I write about around here), he has truly mastered the art of eating what’s on hand. No croutons for the salad? Crushed up off-brand-Ritz will work just fine. All out of good cheese? Toss him a well-aged Kraft Single. In five years of marriage, he has enjoyed and endured my culinary successes and failures with an abundance of grace.

So, on the rare occasion that he expresses distaste for a certain food, I typically have no qualms about taking it out of rotation. Usually.

But then, a month or so ago, I made this cauliflower curry and I knew as soon as I tasted it that I had a winner.  Something about the combo of coconut oil (not milk, like my usual curries) and red curry paste and cauliflower just worked. I loved it. After dinner that night, though, the pronouncement came. “You know, this wasn’t bad.  But, well, cauliflower, it’s just not my favorite.” In husband-speak, “not my favorite” is the kiss of death to a dish.  I was sad.

This story has happy ending, though.  In the following weeks, I looked for any opportunity to make my new favorite dish for others. Fortunately, not all my friends feel as negatively toward cauliflower as that BFF who shares my bed.  My vegan friend Katie appreciated the animal-free heartiness.  My friend Kate (yes, all my friends really have the same name) declared it delicious, spicy but not too spicy, after warning me that she probably wouldn’t like it because she doesn’t like a lot of things.  It’s my new go-to for any night my darling cauliflower-hater has to work late or is otherwise indisposed at the dinner hour, and I don’t have to feel guilty for making his favorite on a night he’s not home.

Oh, and just case you were wondering, what culinary delicacy does he and my son turn to when I am not home for dinner?  Why, frozen pizza, of course.  Or, if that’s not available, maybe some Ritz crackers with Kraft singles.

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April Fools: TOT-ally Delicious Cauliflower Tots

Cheesy Cauliflower Tots

Well, April Fools’ Day is around the corner.  Does anyone have any tricks or pranks in mind to pull on your loved ones?

I wish I did, but I am notoriously bad at pranks.  Even something as simple as saying something is true when it’s not sends me into a fit of childish giggles.  I also cannot keep a secret, so if I’m planning on pranking you, I’ll probably spill the beans way before it happens.

It’s sad, really.

I’m a grown woman.  You would think I could keep a straight face for a little white lie…but no.

So, I’m NOT going to tell you these are tater tots.  I will NOT boast their incredible potato-y flavor and their spud-like texture.

Because then I’d look like a fool.

These cheesy, slightly gooey in the middle and crisp on the outside tots are all cauliflower.  And as hard as it tries, cauliflower will never be a potato.

It’s cool, though, because cauliflower has its own thing going on.  I promise you these are healthy and delicious!

Trust me.  It’s not like I’d lie to you.

Cauliflower Tots

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The Endless Road Trip: Copenhagen, the Prettiest Food in the World

So, I could tell you guys all about my recent trip to Denmark, and all of the ways that Copenhagen totally deserves its status as the darling of the local-foraged-organic food movement. But really, there’s no need to say anything about the food here, because all you have to do is look at it. Seriously—how the hell do they get all of their food to look so goddamn beautiful???


As previously mentioned on ES, these people know how to make a freaking sandwich for serious. These avant garde smørrebrød (how cool are øs?) are from Aamans sandwich shop, which actually just opened a branch in NYC. Left: smoked salmon with flower-pickled carrots(!),smoked cream cheese, shallots and watercress. Right: New potatoes with tarragon emulsion, chives, radish, and crisp potato chip strands.

more sandwiches

They taste even better in the park! Venison pate with juniper and schnapps, plus apple/celery salad and “bacon-nut crunch.” Sirloin with horseradish, remoulade and crispy onions.

hot dog sign

If you thought Danish people aare all fancy foodies, you may be surprised to know they loooooove hot dogs. Artisan, gourmet hot dogs, obviously, with helpful signs that graphically explain that they come served in standard buns, weird fransk buns that have the ketchup or mayo stuffed inside, or on a plate.

hot dog

We went plate. Can’t resist more crispy onions.

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No Such Thing as Too Much Pumpkin…or Goat Cheese

Even though Thanksgiving feels like it was ages ago by this point, I”m still in the process of using up all the leftovers. Evidently I”m not alone; my ES sistas have been working through the same issue by creating their delicious Pumpkin Stuffed Shells and Turkey Parmesan recipes.

Anyway, I ended up with a lot of leftover canned pumpkin, which was great for me because I happen to loooove pumpkin in both sweet and savory dishes. Still riding my fried sage leaves craze, I dreamed up this savory and secretly quite healthy pasta dish, which combines spiced, roasted cauliflower, chicken breast chunks, and gobetti pasta as a base. That combo is then smothered in a creamy goat cheese pumpkin sauce, then topped with paprika, roasted pumpkin seeds, fried sage leaves, and yet more goat cheese. This pasta was a good way to use up leftover pumpkin, but stands on its own; you don”t need leftovers as an excuse to whip this up for dinner!

Roasted Cauliflower-Pumpkin Pasta with Goat Cheese, Pepitas, and Sage

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