moroccan carrot and chickpea tagine

tagine ready to serve

You don’t need a fancy tagine to make this easy and delicious Moroccan dish. Since it is vegetarian, it cooks quickly and any large covered pot in your kitchen will work! Tagines are the original slow-cookers, and these African clay pots are traditionally used to simmer stews for hours over hot coals, using the cone-shaped lid to enhance the flavors by trapping steam and returning the condensation back into the pot. If you do decide to buy one, they are widely available at kitchen stores and online. But either way you can still prepare this exotic delicacy, in which sliced carrots and tender chickpeas are simmered with onions, freshly chopped garlic, and blended with aromatic spices of turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon, creating a deliciously satisfying dish with the irresistible fragrances and distinctive tastes of Morocco.

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snobby joes

snobby joes

We were thrilled to find a vegetarian version of this family favorite. When we were growing up, we were always excited to have sloppy joes for dinner, and every time it felt like a special treat. But what made them so appealing? Perhaps it was the tangy sauce, with a sweetness that felt indulgent and almost dessert-like. Maybe it was the silly name, or that they were just so messy and fun to eat. Whatever it was, they were so good that you couldn’t help eating more than one. Hats off to the Veganomicon for creating this tasty alternative that has the same smoky, tangy, sweet, and savory flavor as the classic recipe, but simply without the meat.

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sangria

sangria

We make this traditional sangria recipe any chance we get during the summer, and every time it is a huge hit. This cool and refreshing Spanish drink made an appearance at every outdoor party and family event when Ryan was growing up, as it is one of his dad’s signature specialties. The deep burgundy wine blends with freshly-squeezed oranges and lemons, a splash of sparkling club soda, slices of colorful fruit, and just a hint of sugar to make an irresistibly delicious beverage that is so satisfying on a hot summer day.

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peach melba

peach melba

We are writing this to you from 38,000 feet, returning from our cousin’s wedding in Bilbao, which lies on the beautiful coast of northern Spain. It was a festive weekend with lots of music, dancing, family, and delicious Spanish cuisine. Just before we left for this trip, we made a dessert and planned to write about it on our way back to Los Angeles, since we knew there would be plenty of time on the ten-hour flight home. Imagine our surprise when the in-flight meal included the exact same dessert: Peach Melba!

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artichoke-stuffed shells with lemon ricotta béchamel

artichoke-stuffed shells with lemon-ricotta béchamel

Any dish that has the word artichoke in the title is sure to capture our attention. It is one of our favorite vegetables, from globe artichokes hearty enough to feature in a meal to bite-sized marinated hearts on a classic Italian deli sandwich. So when we discovered this great recipe we were immediately intrigued, especially since these baked shells are not filled with the usual ricotta, but rather with brighter and more interesting ingredients. With caramelized onions and artichoke hearts sautéed in browned butter, a splash of white wine, and savory parmesan and pecorino cheeses, this delectable filling is complemented by a silky lemon béchamel enhanced with a touch of fresh ricotta, making an elegant baked dish that is unique and delicious.

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