Apple Pie Spice, Pumpkin Spice, Chai Spice. They’re not all the same, yet at this time of year, people will slap any old label on a spice blend with a lot of cinnamon in it to make it sound new. We’re keeping it honest today — this is Apple Pie-spiced thanks to a Penzeys sample, but what makes this oatmeal so a-ha! is what’s mixed into it.
Coconut milk cut with vanilla almond milk is one of my faves in oatmeal, but if you can’t do with that much fat, head in this direction — vanilla almond milk and apple cider. On second thought, I don’t know if it’s so much an a-ha! as a duh! Go 50/50 for strong apple flavor, top with chopped Honeycrisps, toasted walnuts and a dash of Apple Pie spice. Done and done. Enjoy.
Popcorn is due for a comeback. An aluminum tub of slightly stale popcorn — plain, cheddar and caramel — was an ‘80s Christmas staple. Now, it just seems like a cheap office gift ordered from some terrible catalog. Long before kettle corn took over the popcorn scene, there were “gourmet” popcorn shops at the mall. After picking up some jeans at Miller’s Outpost, you could pick up popcorn dusted in flavors like Barbecue, Sour Cream and Onion, and Ranch. Ah, the good ol’ days.
With kettle corn overshadowing everything else in the popcorn universe, it’s been easy to forget about good ol’ caramel corn. The thing is you don’t have to go to the mall or wait for Christmas. Making caramel corn at home isn’t that hard and it’s just not that expensive. Let’s make some caramel corn with salty peanuts. It’s time.
Something about a bellini feels infinitely more luxurious than your usual mimosa. You can get pretty decent freshly squeezed orange juice almost year round, which makes a mimosa standard. But the bellini is something special, something summer, something more than, especially with your own peach syrup.
After this, you’ll never want a can of peach nectar again.
The door’s open and I’m staring into the fridge. What’ve I got that might make a good, simple flatbread? No time for sauce, what can I throw on there for a quick snack? What did I get at the farmers market? Zucchini. Corn. Chiles. A basket of grape tomatoes. The dough was already stretched out on the board, so I needed to be fast. I took out the zucchini and remembered that julienne peeler I bought a couple of years ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time, the whole zucchini noodle thing. The truth is, I made “zoodles” about three times before that peeler went in to the drawer, got shoved to the back, and didn’t come out again.
Turns out, it’s the perfect tool for shaving down a medium zucchini so it’ll cook up quickly without making a watery mess of your pizza. In celebration of actually using that damn peeler again, this week’s Friday Night Slice is the Zucchini Cherry Bomb. It’s vegetarian, it’s sauceless and it’s delicious.
The gas burners are just flaming on under tumbling piles of green chiles and already I’m in overdrive. Every year as chile season rolls around, it’s a new challenge. What can I put green chile in this year? My first answer this year: Zucchini Green Chile Fritters.