Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jan 20, 2008 at 5:28pm

Oh Good Lord it’s cold out there, too cold for just about anything, really. You know what that means – get busy in the kitchen! Build a roaring fire, sip hot cocoa, take a long fragrant bath, watch movies in bed, read a book in your sweats… Ooh, some of my very favorite things, I’m not complaining, not one bit. Bring it on, Old Man Winter, bring it on.

Hunting for spicy inspiration? An apparently 20-year-old Suz had me over for lunch on Friday to taste a delicious recipe for Cashew Chili. Completely vegetarian (vegan, in fact), it’s as spicy as you want it to be, with a hint of crunch and sweetness to keep it interesting. Such a perfect girlie lunch on a bitterly cold Friday! Warmed by lots of hot coffee, and date/chocolate chip snack cake for dessert, we chatted the afternoon away. Ahhh…how I love my girlfriends, yay! (The other pic, below? The slab of nuked meatloaf smothered with American cheese and ketchup? That is called contrast, my friends, and was what Suz’s hubby The Coreman ate for his lunch while making fun of our picture-perfect, healthy eats. Noooo, Coreman, noooo, don’t eat it! Not that I don’t love meatloaf, because sometimes I do. It’s the American cheese-ketchup combo on top that sticks in my craw, eek.)

Hunting for sweet inspiration? My stepmom Susanna made the perfect Apple Crisp for dessert a few weeks ago – tender apples under a buttery, cinnamony crust. Served warm (of course), with a scoop of melty vanilla ice creammmm… Her mom Shirley affectionately called it Apple Crapple, but I call it Apple Heaven. (Recipes posted in comments, below.)

Or, you could send your beloved out for tempting Thai takeout, from True Thai in Minneapolis, which is where I met my former boss Jim Toscano’s daughter Dania for lunch yesterday. It’s her spot and I’m very grateful for the introduction. Cozy and friendly, and full of regulars well after the Saturday lunch hour (good sign!), the food is absolutely delicious. We shared a red curry ofsquash and mock duck, stir-fried cashews (dangerously addictive), and fried rice with beef. I woke this morning with True Thai dreams on my lips (smack!), wishing to go back again today… But no such luck (closed on Sundays), sniff. Luckily we had some leftover cashews to carry us over a bit, but it’s not the same as a whole meal of savory Thai delights… Very soon. I’ve awakened a sleeping Thai monster in this household with my leftovers, stay tuned…

And so! Enjoy heating up (wink!) your cold Sunday! And frigid Monday! And frosty Tuesday…

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Older Comments

  1. By Anonymous on January 29, 2008 at 3:57PM

    I don't know, that slab of cheese/meat with the ketchup topper looks mighty fine to me!!!


  2. By Stephanie on January 20, 2008 at 7:22PM

    Cashew Chili
    Susie Shubert via her friend Dawn
    Serves 6

    Vegetarian and packed with delicious flavors and texture. The cashews and raisins add a crunchy-sweetness to the moderate spiciness.

    2 T olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    1 green pepper, chopped
    2 stalks celery, chopped
    2 C canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
    1 1/2 C tomato sauce
    2 C canned chopped tomatoes
    2 C frozen corn
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    Add more of any of these if you prefer more heat:
    1 t ancho chili powder
    1 t cumin
    1 t basil
    1 t oregano
    1 bay leaf
    1/2 t cayenne pepper
    1 c raisins
    1 c raw cashews
    sour cream
    grated cheddar

    Saute onion, pepper and celery in olive oil 10 min. Add all ingredients except raisins and cashews. Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer 30 mins. Add raisins and cashews and simmer until raisins are plump and cashews tender, 10 mins. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Serve with garnishes.

  3. By Stephanie on January 20, 2008 at 7:21PM

    Apple Crisp
    Susanna Meyer via the Taste of South Washington County Cookbook
    Serves 6

    Or, as Susanna’s mom Shirley always called it, Apple Crapple. Serve with ice cream.

    Enough apples to fill an 8X8 inch pan 3/4 full (I think I used about 5 large Fuji apples)
    1/2 c. sugar
    1 tsp. cinnamon

    3/4 cup oatmeal (I used quick cooking - Quaker Oats 1 minute)
    3/4 cup flour
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 stick butter

    Peel and slice apples into buttered pan. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Mix oatmeal, flour, brown sugar and butter. Spread on top of apples. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.