Devils on Horseback

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If you’re looking for the perfect party bite that everyone will love, look no further. These sweet, salty treats disappear almost immediately. The crunch of the bacon, the creamy filling of the date, no one will be able to resist (ok, maybe the vegetarians…).

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Mini Pork Meatballs

For Christmas dinner at my mom’s house we tried something a little different this year and made a gorgeous fondue spread. We had tons of veggies, some great gluten-free focaccia to go with the cheese and beautiful duck breasts that my mom made a great bone broth to go with. We also tried to make these mini meatballs, and it’s not that we weren’t successful with them, it’s just that we ate them before they could make it to the plate…woops! I’m excited to share these easy, tasty mini meatballs. These meatballs can be tossed with a lovely tomato sauce, eaten by themselves, or, if you’re patient, dipped in your favorite fondue.

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Pork Chops and (Ugly) Pear Chutney

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I stood there aghast watching as the supermarket employee casually pulled up the nearest trash can and plucked pear after pear from the display and threw each one away. Just threw them away. Were they moldy? No. Were they recalled for a health reason? No. Their crime was that they were bruised. Not pretty enough. I couldn’t believe it. He must have thrown away 50 pears before I asked him if I could have a couple. “Sure,” he said, “but they’re ugly”. I told him that was precisely why I wanted them.

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Our food waste statistics in this country are staggering. Feeding America estimates that we waste approximately 70 billion pounds of food in America each year (http://www.feedingamerica.org/about-us/how-we-work/securing-meals/reducing-food-waste.html), and a recent report from UNEP and the World Resources Institute, estimates that “one-third of all food produced worldwide, worth around US$1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems. When this figure is converted to calories, this means that about 1 in 4 calories intended for consumption is never actually eaten” (http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/food_waste_the_facts).

So, what can we do? Start with education. Educate yourselves and your families about cooking, meal planning and how to use fresh foods. Save and reuse leftovers, and craft recipes like this one that use bruised or leftover foods from your fridge. Most importantly though, let’s all work together to craft a community of food consciousness. Let’s work together in our food banks this Thanksgiving, let’s get our hands dirty in the garden and let’s get cooking!

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Rosemary Flatbread with Goat Cheese, Crispy Prosciutto, Fresh Basil and Raspberry Jam

Last weekend we went to see “The 100 Foot Journey” and a major theme in the movie was that “food is memories”. I’ve been thinking about this idea quite a bit, and I completely agree.  Whether your idea of cooking a major meal is putting together a PB&J or whipping up a unique souffle that rises perfectly, everyone has at least one food that reminds them of a place, a time or a person. Raspberries are one of those foods for me. When I was little, our neighbor across the alley had a massive raspberry bush. Penny, our neighbor, made the mistake of inviting me in to try the berries ONCE, and that was it. I climbed the crab apple tree in our backyard, dropped over the fence and pilfered berries whenever I was reasonably sure she couldn’t see me. Of course she knew, but every once in a while she would remark to me about how hungry the birds must be because they kept stealing her berries.finished

Today, instead of stealing from Penny, I go foraging for raspberries every time I’m hiking or camping in the mountains. Wild raspberries are a bit like jelly beans, you never really know what flavor to expect until you bite into one; sometimes they’re intensely tart, sometimes they have giant seeds and sometimes they are perfectly ripe and sweet. Now, raspberries remind me of hiking in our gorgeous mountains and spending weekends with friends circled around the campfire. This flatbread highlights the sweet berry flavor that reminds me of stolen raspberries and mountains and contrasts that sweetness against salty, fresh flavors for a perfect treat.

 

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Cheddar, Bacon and Chive Scones

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While perusing my stash of food blogs (yes, I have a stash of food blogs) I came across these awesome scones by My Favourite Pastime. These were simply too beautiful and my mouth was simply watering too much to pass them by, so I jumped on my next chance to make them. The first time I made these scones I followed the recipe exactly and they were good. Not as pretty as the picture (of course) but still tasty. But the second time I made them I got serious and added some crumbled up bacon, and woah doggy, totally delicious!

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North Carolina Style Pulled Pork

As part of my Jurassic Park party evening, I was looking for a nice, easy summer staple that I could make for 8-10 people without breaking the bank. Since our awesome shindig went down on a Wednesday night, I had to be at work that day and didn’t have the whole day to play in the kitchen. I also had a friend coming who is gluten, soy and dairy intolerant-challenge accepted! All of this led to the awesomeness that is North Carolina style pulled pork done in the slow cooker!

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The complete Jurassic Park party dinner: pulled pork, cantaloupe and prosciutto balls, homemade coleslaw and mini mac and cheeses.

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