Cassoulet with White Beans, Sausage & Turkey 1

Cassoulet with White Beans, Sausage & Turkey

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I don’t know how I managed to make it through 20-some years of life without trying cassoulet, but I have a feeling I’ll eat enough this fall and winter to make up for it. I made the one pictured here about two weeks ago, and I’ve been dying to have it again ever since. I actually have another one in the oven as I write this post.

Don’t let the fancy French name scare you off. When it comes down to it, cassoulet is nothing more than a white bean and tomato stew. A fragrant sauce flavored with fresh herbs cooks quickly on the stove before being mixed with the rest of the ingredients and baking in the oven. It’s pure stick-to-your-ribs comfort food full of rich and delicious flavors typical of the French countryside.

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This dish takes a little longer to make than most of my recipes, requiring about 20 minutes of active time and an hour or so in the oven, but with a little planning it can definitely be made on a weeknight. Go ahead and make a big batch — it tastes even better the next day.

Traditional cassoulet uses duck or goose confit, but since that can be difficult to find (not to mention expensive!) I’ve taken the liberty of using turkey instead. I like the flavor that using some poultry gives the cassoulet, but you can leave it out and use only sausage just as easily.

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Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

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Life has been insane lately and I haven’t had the time or energy to post, but I couldn’t wait any longer to post these.

I hadn’t had pineapple upside down cake in forever. I actually kind of forgot that it existed! But a few months ago, a little pineapple upside down bundt cake at Panera caught my eye. i bought one and was happily surprised when the cakes were fully of crunchy little poppy seeds. I loved the texture that they gave the cake! I immediately knew that I wanted to recreate them at home.

These came out great! The pineapple reminds me of summer and makes even the dreariest winter day seem immediately tropical. The pineapple and brown sugar almost melts into the cake, which is moist and doughy with the great crunch. [….]

San Francisco and the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival

WOW.

That’s all I can say. Thank you so much to Bertolli and Foodbuzz for this incredible experience! I had the best weekend – full of wonderful new friends, amazing opportunities, and delicious food. The entire weekend was surreal and I had a blast!!

The weekend was so jam-packed that I can’t even imagine trying to fit it all into one blog post. But since I really want to share the experience with you all, I’ll do my best. 🙂 This post is pretty heavy on the photos, but tons more can be found HERE.

porchetta sandwich

Daring Cooks: Quick and Easy Chicken Pho (Pho Ba)

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The October 2009 Daring Cooks’ challenge was brought to us by Jaden of the blog Steamy Kitchen. The recipes are from her new cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook. I’ll be honest here – I wasn’t particularly excited about this challenge. I’ve made pho before, and I love it, but I didn’t want to do a second post on it. Plus, the main recipe presented to us was for chicken pho, and I don’t usually care for chicken soups. So I dragged my feet on completing this challenge and didn’t make it until last night. I’m glad I did though, because it was really good, and really EASY. Crazy easy. 90% of the ingredients are things that I generally have on hand (and the other 10% could be omitted or swapped) so this is a great recipe to keep in the back of your mind for when dinner hasn’t been planned. And the best part is that it makes very few dishes, so cleanup is a breeze![….]

Onion Jam

Simply put, this onion jam was so good that I just can’t wait any longer to post it. Which means you’re all getting a special Sunday night post. 🙂 [….]