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Who has leftover roasted turkey in their freezer from the holidays? I do. For the past few years, I’ve turned some of those leftovers into cheesy baked buffalo turkey dip, and it generally coincides with a TV event that calls for extra snacks. Of course, baked dips don’t require any particular occasion – Netflix is a totally legit excuse to make a gooey, cheesy dip too. It’s so fantastic—the very best kind of curl-up-on-the-couch food.

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‘Tis the season for garden parties. My neighbour-friend has one of the very best back yards in the world – small and brimming with herbs, food and flowers, a fence made of repurposed pallets, hung with old tires with waterfalls of flowers cascading out of them. But mostly it’s the lights she strung up that start to glow as it gets dark, and the friends with guitars, chatting and strumming, and the tables covered with food because everyone brought something to eat. When I have to bring something to a party, I lean toward baked cheese dips, because they’re the very best to share with friends. And because S lives just two doors down, I baked mine in my cast iron pan and walked it over with a tea towel wrapped around the handle. It was devoured in under five minutes, was perfect with gin and tonics and prosecco drizzled with rhubarb syrup, and I came home to email everyone the recipe.

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Spoke at a retired teacher’s convention today, and demoed, among other things, a high-reward-for-minimal-effort romesco dip. Twice. Plus made a few batches to sample out. As always, I ended up with too much. As food goes, it’s a good thing to have too much of. Romesco is made from roasted red peppers, toasted almonds, garlic, olive oil and toasted bread. (Yes, toast – you tear it up and blend it in, and it adds body and bulk to the dip without adding much in the way of fat and calories. I mean yes bread has calories, but it’s better than adding a cup of sour cream or mayo.) It’s fantastic, intensely flavoured stuff, and makes a great substitute for mayo on sandwiches (especially roast chicken, salami or roasted/grilled veg sandwiches) or dip for shrimp with their tails. Perhaps its best feature is its ability to improve with age – a little like Leonardo DiCaprio – so you can do up a batch to dip intoContinue reading

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It occurs to me now that I haven’t been keeping you up to date on our dining habits. They haven’t been that thrilling of late, really. I’m not much of a Shepherd’s Pie person. I have nothing against it, but it always reminds me of the $1 frozen ones a co-worker used to bring for lunch to heat up in the microwave every day when I was about 20. And yet a few days ago when I cleaned out my freezer (so that I could fill it again, in preparation for a brutal 2 week shooting schedule starting on Sunday) I thought the package of lean ground beef would be best used in a Shepherd’s Pie, along with several of the potatoes that are growing eyes in the backs of their heads in my root vegetable cubbyhole. But a serendipitous coming together of recipes resulted in a bit of a twist on something not so new and exciting: I needed a photo of caramelized onionContinue reading

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