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.
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.
Adam: I used to hate cooking. I didn’t like making a mess, I didn’t like having to clean up dishes, and I was never good at following instructions (not to mention my patience would expire after being in the kitchen for more than ten minutes). Before I met Ryan, if I was making pasta, I would buy a jar of pre-made sauce, a box of spaghetti, and nothing more—anything else would mean more time, more work, and of course more dishes. So I learned some handy tricks along the way. To save washing an extra pan, I wouldn’t even heat the sauce. Instead, I would just pour it over the hot noodles and let them warm it up. And to avoid washing a bowl, I would eat the pasta straight from the pan! Following this savvy method, the only things that needed to be cleaned were one pot and one fork! But things have changed: now I find washing dishes to be relaxing, and cleaning satisfies my obsessive-compulsive ways. Well, this easy 4-ingredient tomato sauce we are sharing today would have been completely acceptable if I had discovered it during my bachelor days, and it would have tasted much better than those fifteen-cent-packages-of-instant-ramen-filled dinners spent alone before meeting Ryan. This delicious sauce requires no effort, little cleaning, and is an ideal dinner for busy work days, yet elegant enough for a relaxing date night in.
We love throwing dinner parties. Sometimes we’ll prepare an entire evening based around a particular place in the world. Ryan grew up eating Cuban food, and we have often chosen that theme since we have so many wonderful family recipes. A typical dinner party menu would include black beans and rice, our 20-clove garlicky yuca, a side of crispy tostones, a pitcher of sangria, and the silkiest flan for dessert—a simple classic recipe that Ryan’s abuelita and mother would make when he was growing up. One night a few years ago, we were fortunate to be invited to a dinner party where our friend Sarosh cooked a feast of delicious Pakistani dishes from her childhood. Everything she prepared was so incredibly flavorful that we asked for a few of the recipes and have been enjoying them ever since. These cooler fall breezes inspired us to make this traditional spicy daal the other night and we realized that it had to be shared with the world. So with the permission of our dear friend, we invite you to try this authentic masoor daal, a simple South Asian delicacy here to welcome September with its spicy, warm, and comforting flavors and beautifully appropriate fall color.