I've been cooking up a storm this week. We may not eat out very often anymore, but I'm trying to expand our repertoire of deliciousness around the house so that maybe we don't miss it so much.
Two of the highlights included this totally insane apple cake (from Smitten Kitchen), which made the very best use of the big bag of Jonagold apples in my crisper. The recipe is so wonderfully adaptable - I didn't have OJ, so I used a little whole milk, and I wanted to decrease the amount of sugar so I subbed in a little Alaskan fireweed honey. I used a tube pan for the first time to great success; this whole charade where I pretend that I'm never going to be good at baking is starting to crumble. I'm getting good...
Does anybody need an Apple Cake? I'm ready to make it again.
The other home run was the Pumpkin Polenta with Chorizo and Black Beans (from Rachel Ray). Making polenta was as easy as making a pot of couscous, and far more satisfying in this cold weather. It makes me sad for all these long polenta-less years here at my house, when I was still convinced I wouldn't like polenta because it was mushy. I want to top it with everything - mushrooms, red sauce, sauteed fennel, grated cheese, even old shoes. I'd try it.