Monday, December 5, 2011

When Was Thanksgiving?

Oh...right, almost two weeks ago. Can you even believe that? When I was little, I never understood why my mother was so stressed out around the Holdiays (even more so than usual). She would always sigh and say how time went too fast and there weren't enough days in a year, and I would think "How silly! I have all the time in the world, and Christmas just can't come fast enough!" ...Well, here I am at twenty-three and time seems to just be flying past me and spinning me in circles as it does so. A day seems to be over in a matter of hours, and a weekend in even less. If this is how time moves for me now, I can hardly imagine what it was like for my mother having four children and a husband to take care of!

But enough about time, let's get back to the subject at hand: Thanksgiving. I meant to write a Thanksgiving post that weekend, but the days ran away from me. But I've finally received the beautiful photographs via email (which my sister had graciously agreed to take for me), and it's time to talk about some Pumpkin Manicotti with Gorgonzola Creme Sauce (hey, you've got drool on your face).

Monday, November 21, 2011


Dear Lizzie,
It's been over a month now since we've posted and I think we're in need of a little foodspiration - just a nudge, or maybe a push, in the right direction. I know it isn't the desire to cook or bake that we lack (I made an Indian-inspired meal on Friday that I was quite thrilled about!), but maybe it's something different. I'm hoping this letter will be that little nudge that puts us back on our feet, back in the kitchen(with a camera), and back on the blog.

So the other day, I 15 or 20 years when VH1 makes hologram TV specials "I Love the First 11 Years of the 2000s" (it's a working title), will there be a featurette on blogging? Just imagine some washed up celebrity or reality show star (yes, there will be a featurette on them, too!) talking about how blogs exploded in the early 2000s, and undermine the whole world of blogging as if it were the computer equivalent to the pet rock. They'll laugh and joke about how everyone and their grandmother had a blog. Blogs about everything from crafts to coffee to the contents of womens' purses. And in my pondering, I imagined myself in front of my hologram television thinking about how offended I was that they would make fun of blogging and also how happy I was to have been a part of that world. Now, if we never keep up with this, we can never feel personally affronted by VH1 for exploiting our twenty-something hobby slash creative outlet, right?

How accomplished do you feel after writing a post? Don't you want to tell all your friends and co-workers to read it? to see your wonderfully creative recipes? to let them in on that little part of your life, however scary it may be to put yourself out there for the cyberworld to judge, to love, or ignore? Let's think back to that excitement we had the weekend we created Nectar at the Roadside. Recreate it! Don't lose it! Let's be foodspired and fashionspried poemspried and worldspired! Okay?


just remember...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How to Be Fancy

1. Roast some fresh squash with a little bit of olive oil and sea salt.

2. Chop up some pretty green lettuce (or just grab some arugula...arugula is always fancy).

3. Put thinly sliced Honeycrisp apples on your turkey and cheese panino (and use the correct Italian verbage).

4. Surround yourself with strawberry and parsley plants at dinner time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Autumn Overload (and some soup)

Is anybody else as excited as I am about fall? I love everything about this season. The cool, crisp air that smells of spice and crunching leaves. Wrapping myself in a scarf and wearing boots, going pumpkin picking (even if it happens to just be at a roadside stand), and scooping the guts out of the pumpkin for carving. And maybe most of all, I love the food. Pumpkins, apples, pies, sweet potatoes. I've said it before, but I'm not sure I've truly gotten across my love of Autumn. If I could be any spice, I'd be cinnamon, and then I could eternally live in Autumn. It's so warm and comforting, but it also packs some heat. Sweet and sassy!

*Courtesy of Bailey Joyce

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Had a Bad Day So I Baked Cookies and Ate Too Many

Today was just one of those days. You know when one thing goes wrong and then everything else seems to go wrong and the phones seem to ring off the hook and you want to yell at everybody? Well, I had one of those days today. By noon, all I wanted was my fuzzy slippers, my kitty, and a glass of wine.

I had actually planned on posting my brother's birthday brownie bars tonight, but when I started writing the post, I could still feel the pangs of the day poking at my sides. So why fight this? If I find baking to be cathartic and writing even more so, why not let out exactly how I feel...and sugar coat it, both metaphorically and literally?

So here goes...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Love Letter to Kale

Dear Kale,
Thank you for being so delicious and also so nutritious. Because you are a super food (it's true, go look yourself up on the Whole Foods webpage!) I do not feel bad about shoveling handfuls of your roasted crispy goodness into my mouth as if you were buttered movie popcorn (which, in my opinion, does not taste nearly as good). Tonight, I roasted you in the oven with a pinch of salt and olive oil and lamented seeing the bottom of my bowl. Maybe tomorrow, I will sautee you alongside scambled eggs and mozzarella cheese. Or maybe I'll juice you. Either way, we will both be happy.
Forever and ever,

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Let's Talk About Stuff!

Stuff that I am totally into right now? Natural remedies. My three current obsessions are baking soda, coconut oil, and molasses. These are three things you probably have in your pantry (and if you don't, I strongly suggest you get them. Nudge, nudge.) So what's so special about these three things? I'm so glad you asked!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pumpkin Baked Ziti

When I told my boss I was making pumpkin baked ziti for dinner he looked at me as if I'd just told him I was making beer flavored cookies. I assured him, "No no no...this will be good!" but he was not hearin' it. 
Well, maybe I can't convince my boss, but I certainly convinced my friends that pumpkin + cheese + pasta = greatness. And maybe you guys will be believers, too!

This weekend, I hosted a little dinner party for a couple of my friends. The whole week I debated what to make. Initially, I wanted to make crock pot chili with a chipotle cornbread, but there were time restraints, and waiting 6 hours for chili to cook, while on a cold, leisurely day, sounds amazing (and you bet your bacon I'll be doing that soon!) for Friday night after work, that just wasn't going to cut it. So I had to regroup and brainstorm. 

Obviously, I've been on an Autumn kick, so I thought why not make an all-in-one, roasty, toasty, savory dish to celebrate the month of October? So that's exactly what I did!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lady Sage Dressing

Have you heard of Joy the Baker? She's amazing. And, well, it's no secret that I follow her blog religiously and have made at least half of the recipes she's posted. But as much as I love her, I have to stray away from her recipes just a bit and give them my own little twist (and'll see)

So Joy has this Green Goddess dressing that has always looked so fresh and tasty to me, and, although I love
plain yogurt and use it for just about everything, I'd never ventured to try her dressing...until last night. (and boy, am I happy that I did!) I slathered my corn and avocado salad in it last night, and doused my arugula and chicken salad in it for dinner tonight.

So Joy's dressing is called "Green Goddess Dressing", and since I tweaked the recipe, I only thought it fair to create my own name, right? And Lady Sage seemed fitting. I'm a lady. I love sage (and, yes, I use it in the dressing).

If you eat a lot of salads. or if you don't. Even if you hate salads (really? you hate salads!?) You must try this dressing! It's so easy to make, and even easier to change it to your liking (the only rule is that you have to come up with a creative new name...I just made that rule up now).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Let's Talk About Sweet Potatoes!

Since Lizzie started us off with an Autumnal post, I'd like to keep the theme going.

Do you love sweet potatoes? Your answer should be a resounding YES! Sweet potatoes are wonderful. They're tasty just alone, baked in the oven (if you have the patience), delicious in pie, great as baked "fries", mashed, whipped, fried... really, I could go on forever...
Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite autumnal foods! ...along with pumpkins, of course, and honeycrisp apples (jeeze, oh man are they good! But I'll post about them later...)

Guess what I had with my salmon burger last night? Spicy sweet potato fries! And for dinner the night before? Goat cheese whipped sweet potatoes. And what I made for my friend Lisa for her birthday? Sweet potato granola bars. Are you sensing a pattern here?

Sweet potatoes are a staple food around the world from China, to Africa, to the Caribbean. They're super nutritious, versatile, and did I mention delicious?

Last Christmas, my darling mother gave me a sweet potato cookbook which has a ton of great recipes involving my favorite root vegetable. I've actually only tried a few, but this season, I'm going to make a point of sharing many of them with you. ...but not today. Today, I'm wingin' it!

How does Cinnamon Spiced Sweet Potato Chips sound? (...sorry brevity isn't really my thing.)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sweet Heat Pumpkin Soup

Have you noticed that pumpkin season is here?!

Cooks go a bit pumpkin crazy this time of year, but for good reason. Pumpkin is such a diverse fruit because it can be served sweet or savory. Not to mention it's delicious, healthy, and should be the official flavor of Autumn. So if you haven't jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon yet, I urge you to join us!

To kick off Nectar at the Roadside's first pumpkin recipe, I am making my Sweet Heat Pumpkin Soup. I love plain pumpkin soup, I do. There is something very special about its simplicity, it usually being seasoned with only salt and pepper.  But, if you're a spice/flavor addict like me, then you will probably prefer my amped up version.

Recreating Recipes: Gimme Coffee!'s Orange Ginger Molasses Cookie Edition

If you haven't heard of Gimme Coffee!, don't fret, most people haven't. Gimme Coffee! is a small cafe chain that claims its roots in Ithaca, NY and has slowly trickled down to NYC.  Ithacans are extremely proud of their Gimme Coffee! digs and if you have ever been to Ithaca, you may have noticed a Subaru wagon or Volvo 240 with Gimme Coffee!'s red exclamation point sticker on its backside. Gimme Coffee! is a really great place. Pretentious? Absolutely. You may not get a smile from one of their employees, but you will get outstanding beverages and baked goods. I recommend the chai! Super spicy and not sickeningly sweet. I digress.

Anywho, I now come to the point of this post: cookies. Orange ginger molasses cookies to be more precise. A little more than a year ago, I was at the Trumansburg, NY location ordering my cup of fair trade coffee, when I saw a delicious looking cookie in a glass jar on the counter. I decided to give it a try. It looked like a large ginger snap, but to my astonishment, it was moist and soft. It also tasted as it ought to, strongly of ginger and orange (too many so called "ginger" cookies do NOT taste like ginger). I had a new obsession, but unfortunately, it was short lived. A few months after my discovery, Gimme Coffee! changed bakers, and I was left to lament my loss.

Sunday Spiced Banana Bread

Hi there! Rebecca here.
For my first recipe here on Nectar at the Roadside, I’ve decided to share my tasty Sunday breakfast.
Sometimes I wake up wanting something super-delicious, warm and toasty...don't you? And banana bread seemed like just the thing.

So let’s get started!

First, gather your ingredients, and watch out for the kitty in the background. He loves to help...not really, though.

I always keep overripe bananas in the freezer for times like these. So if you’re like me, take those out of the freezer and let them thaw.