People always ask, do we ever fight in the kitchen? The short answer is yes. The long answer is that we have been together for fifteen years so any disagreements we have quickly disappear. It is difficult to hold a grudge against your husband for dropping a plate of pancakes on the floor, and ridiculous to be arguing about why the shot works better with the blue napkin next to the sliced apples instead of the green napkin. As silly as it may be, conversations like this happen, but even when it’s more serious we always work it out. We also have a great time in the kitchen, especially when things turn out as successfully as they did today with this new recipe. This creamy roasted butternut squash risotto is pure autumn bliss with not a thing to argue about.
Thanksgiving dinner without pecan pie is like Christmas without presents. Or a birthday party with no cake. Or ringing in the new year without sipping on something bubbly. The holiday just wouldn’t be the same without one, sitting side-by-side with its autumnal pumpkin and apple companions. And have you noticed that every year when dessert time arrives, there is always a family member who doesn’t like one of the flavors? It’s true. Pay close attention to the comments at the table this year and you are bound to hear someone confessing their distaste for either the apple, pecan, or pumpkin. There seems to be an equal divide amongst everyone’s personal pie preferences, and we have come to accept that this will never change. But this confusion has its benefits: more pies are made so everyone is content. We believe that all pies are equal, and every Thanksgiving our dessert plates proudly display a slice of each one! This year though, we have something extra special to bring to the Fall feast. We’ve added a secret ingredient that has transformed this southern classic into an irresistible treat that everyone at the table will agree on.
Appetizers are an essential part of our nightly dinner routine. These spontaneous whatever’s-in-the-fridge creations are usually nothing fancy, just a little something to nibble on while we prepare the main course. We also like to set the mood, so we’ll pick out music, lower the lights, and—when the weather is cool—light a few candles. Sometimes these snacks are as simple as a bowl of edamame tossed with soy sauce and aleppo pepper, and when we are feeling spicy, we’ll slice beets and dress them with fresh-squeezed lime juice, cayenne pepper, and flaky sea salt. One night last week, the hors d’oeuvres menu at The Husbands’ house was crackers with goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. A light went off in our heads and we immediately began thinking of ways we to turn this simple snack into an elegant baked treat. So we got right to it: made a pie crust, caramelized shallots until sweet and golden brown, selected seasonings and fresh herbs, and welcomed these delicious and adorable tarts into the world.
Our trip to New York was unforgettable. We took a red-eye flight and left for the airport right after Ryan’s choir concert on Sunday night. The musical event took place in a historic church in Los Angeles, home to the second largest pipe organ in the world, and known for its dramatic architecture and colorful stained-glass windows. The harmonies were lush, the songs were moving, and a portion of the after-show snacks were provided by none other than yours truly! The night before, in between packing our bags, we somehow found time to make over two hundred triple chocolate fudge brownies (our most-requested recipe!) and one hundred fifty 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies (replacing the caramelized banana with sprinkle of flaky sea salt), and the multiple trays of baked goods barely fit in the car with all our luggage.
The time has come! This Tuesday evening is the 2016 Saveur Blog Awards in New York City, and things are starting to get pretty exciting around here. Husbands That Cook has been nominated for the Best-How-To Blog, so tomorrow night we are flying in for the event to attend the ceremony in person. Ryan has a choir concert in the early evening and immediately after the show, we will be driving to the airport to take a red-eye flight to the Big Apple. We have a full week ahead of us and we invite you to follow along on Instagram where we will be documenting all our adventures, including a pasta-making workshop that we will be taking with Chef Tim Cushman of Covina. Over the past year we have met so many new friends and cooking bloggers through social media, many whom live in New York, so this trip will be the first time we get to meet many of them face to face. Oh, and you didn’t think we would depart without leaving you something celebratory, did you? Of course not! In fact, we specifically planned to post something extra special for the occasion. So before we start packing our bags, allow us to introduce you to this terrific tart, a salted caramel apple tart with a toasted hazelnut crust. And with this, Fall has officially begun.