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Food / Dining

Savory pumpkin soup is one way to use the mighty pumpkin other than in a standard pie. (Hillary Levin/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)

Pumpin’ up the pumpkin — and making more than pie

Friday, October 31, 2014

Behold the pumpkin, plump harbinger of autumn, a bright-orange beacon for us all to blah blah blah, yada yada yada. Look, I was going to write a nice story about pumpkin, everybody’s favorite winter squash, a gourd that is beloved in both pie and jack-o’-lantern forms. I was going to discuss how it spans both Halloween and Thanksgiving and how it is particularly appropriate for Thanksgiving because it is native to North America. But then I made some Salted Caramel-Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars, and now all I want to write about are Salted Caramel-Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars. These things are so good, dentists leave them …

A wine to try

Friday, October 31, 2014

2012 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Region: Sonoma County, Russian River Valley Price: From $50 to $55 Style: Rich and full-bodied Goes with: Roast duck, seared duck breasts, braised meats, cheese This is a glorious full-bodied, velvety Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley that tastes of Santa Rosa plums, sweet spices and a …

Friday, October 31, 2014

I’ve been immersed in Yotam Ottolenghi’s new “Plenty More” cookbook. It is a revelation, though not a surprise. It follows on the heels of his other recent masterpieces, “Plenty” and “Jerusalem.” I have both those brilliant collections and have cooked from them plenty (as it were). In case you’ve been living under a rock or a $50,000 La Cornue Grand Palais Range, Ottolenghi …

Pumpkin pie spice isn’t just for fall lattes

Friday, October 10, 2014

It’s officially fall. And for many, the seasonal change has nothing to do with the weather or a date on the calendar. Fall is here because Starbucks is once again offering its signature pumpkin spice latte. Never mind …

Break out of your dinner rut

Friday, October 10, 2014

On Sunday nights this summer, I would often stare at a blank sheet of paper as I tried to plan a week’s worth of meals. I would try to think up something new to cook for dinner. Often …

Wine to try: 2012 Chateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly

Friday, October 10, 2014

A WINE TO TRY 2012 Chateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly Region: Beaujolais, France Price: $20 to $25 Style: Supple and nuanced What it goes with: Grilled steaks, pork chops, sausages Year in and year out, the Geoffray family …

Spiced Candied Pecans

Friday, October 10, 2014

1 hour, 15 minutes. Makes about 1 1/2 quarts candied nuts 4 cups sugar, divided 3 cups water 1 pound raw pecan halves 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1½ teaspoons ground ginger 1½ teaspoons ground nutmeg ¾ teaspoon ground allspice 1. Heat the oven to 275 degrees. 2. In …

Recipe: Pumpkin-Spiced French Toast

Friday, October 10, 2014

25 minutes. Serves 4 3 eggs 3/4 cup heavy cream ½ cup pumpkin puree ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 3 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon nutmeg ½ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon ground allspice 8 (1-inch thick) slices bread, such as challah or brioche, somewhat stale ¼ …

Recipe: Pumpkin-spiced egg nog

Friday, October 10, 2014

20 minutes. Serves 12 ¾ cup heavy cream 6 eggs, separated ½ cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided 1 cup dark rum 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground allspice ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon finely ground ginger ¾ cup milk ½ cup pumpkin puree Cinnamon sticks …

Recipe: Spiced Pork Tenderloin With Roasted Apples And Pumpkin Risotto

Friday, October 10, 2014

1 hour, 10 minutes. Serves 4 to 8 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed 3 cloves garlic, mashed or finely minced ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon ground allspice 1¼ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon maple syrup 2 (1-pound) …

This week’s local wine and beer tastings

Friday, October 10, 2014

TASTINGS Liquors 44, 458-9 Campus Plaza (Route 9), Hadley Today, Liquors 44, 238 King St., Northampton Friday, 4 to 7 p.m., Monsieur Touton French wine sampling Provisions, 30 Crafts Ave., Northampton Friday, 5 p.m., Emerson Stevens Cafe Europa wines WEEKLY EVENTS: Cooper’s Corner Liquors, 31 Main St., Florence: …

Valley Bounty: Cauliflower

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cauliflower All hail the cotton-headed brassica! Cauliflower, cousin to broccoli, is having a fabulous year here in the Valley. The cooler summer allowed heads to size up as big as your own, and farmers are growing more than …

Tim Driscoll’s Barhopping: Cool Hand Cuke

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Noreen, a friend of mine and the bar manager at Roberto’s, had been on my case for weeks. “When are you coming to visit me?” she asked. “I make some pretty mean cocktails.” So on a hot, muggy …