Revelations of the Kitchen Freezer (Or: Hot Homemade Cookies, Biscuits & Dinner Rolls Whenever You Want Them)

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Sometimes we think we know things, but we don’t really know them.

For example: for a long time I’ve known that you can put unbaked cookies, biscuits and/or dinner rolls in the freezer, instead of the oven, and that after letting them freeze on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets, you can put them in Ziplock bags and conserve them for later use. Even though I knew that, I didn’t really know that; if I’d really known that, I would’ve realized, in all caps: “HOLY CRAP! I CAN HAVE HOT HOMEMADE COOKIES, BISCUITS AND/OR DINNER ROLLS WHENEVER I WANT THEM!” And even though I knew it as a fact, I hadn’t lived it; but now that I’ve lived it–I’ve been there and smelled the hot biscuits–I can share with you what I saw at the top of the mountain, the revelations of the kitchen freezer.

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Very Last Minute Thanksgiving Recipes: Butterhorns, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Port Wine Cranberry Sauce & Food Processor Apple Pie

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There are crafty food bloggers out there (one might call them “smart” food bloggers, or “food bloggers who actually know what they’re doing”) who see a holiday coming and WHAM BLAM they have 1,000 holiday recipes posted weeks ahead of time so by the time the holiday rolls around you’re saturated with great holiday content. As you may have noticed (except for this post) I’m not such a “smart” food blogger. I did all my Thanksgiving post cooking so last minute that now it’s a day before the big holiday and here I am sharing with you a bunch of recipes that are probably coming 48 hours too late. But for those of you who are last minute planners (and I hope there are at least SOME of you), perhaps this will come as some sort of Thanksgiving lifeline? And even if not, these recipes are delicious even when it’s not Thanksgiving. So come with me and look at these Thanksgiving recipes, even if they’re a little tardy.

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A Walk to Chinatown (Lunch at Sheng Wang)

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I recently read an interview with my favorite food writer, Calvin Trillin, in which he said that when guests come to town, he walks them from Greenwich Village (where he lives) to Chinatown. Since I live in Greenwich Village, and since Saturday was beautiful and Craig was busy editing, I decided to follow Trillin’s lead and to walk to Chinatown myself. Granted, I had a leg up on the Trillin walk to Chinatown because once, as part of The New Yorker Festival, I attended Calvin Trillin’s “Come Hungry” tour (an event that sells out faster than you can blink) in which he leads hungry New Yorker readers on a walk from–you guessed it–Greenwich Village to Chinatown. So this was a walk I felt confident taking.

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Two Exciting Bits of News

Guess what folks? This week I’m in New York Magazine’s “Everything Guide to Deliveries: New York Food Experts Pick Their Favorite Neighborhood Delivery Options.” One of my suggestions is based on a tip from a reader; so whoever out there turned me on to Tue Thai, thanks! I really do love their duck noodles. The other exciting bit of news is that Amanda Hesser, Merrill Stubbs and and Charlotte Druckman have asked me to M.C. Food52‘s Piglet Party! For those who don’t know about The Piglet, it’s a tournament of cookbooks featuring distinguished judges (Mario Batali, Ezra Klein, Susan Orlean) who select among the best cookbooks of 2010. At the end, one cookbook is declared the winner and that’s announced at The Piglet Party. So get your tickets here and I’ll see you there!

Sunday Morning Oatmeal

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Sunday Morning Oatmeal is not your average, every day oatmeal. It’s an oatmeal that, if you ate it every day, might kill you. But on Sunday morning, death is the furthest thing from your mind; you’ve got the Sunday Times Magazine crossword puzzle open on the table next to you (you look for all the food clues first, naturally) and Bon Iver playing on iTunes (well, Craig does, I just liked it and asked “What is this?” and he said “Bon Iver.”) There’s no set formula for this Sunday Morning Oatmeal, you just wing it as you go. But it’s best if you start the night before, right before you go to bed.

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A Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

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Yesterday morning I Tweeted the following Tweet: “Should I get a medal for not having any Thanksgiving content on my blog (minus the banner?) Or should I cave and make some turkey & pie?”

Several followers felt I deserved a medal (“Don’t cave! It’s a welcome respite from the ‘holiday spirit,'” wrote @laujk; “Please no Thanksgiving stuff. I haven’t bought a food magazine all month. Super boring. (especially for us Canadians,” wrote @emmawaverman.”) Ultimately, though, enough people DID want Thanksgiving content (“Embrace the festivities,” wrote @5_minutespeace; “Cave–it’s fun to see everyone’s take/ideas,” wrote @FreshTartSteph) that I decided to do a round-up of all the recipes from my blog’s archives that’d be perfect at your Thanksgiving table.

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My iTunes Celebrity Playlist

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night, in a cold sweat, wondering what 23 songs The Amateur Gourmet would put on his iTunes Celebrity Playlist if he was ever invited to make one? Relief is on the way! I just made my (imaginary) iTunes Celebrity Playlist and posted it here on my Not Food blog. If you like that post, you may also like this Beginner’s Guide to Stephen Sondheim I did a few weeks earlier. And if you want to stay apprised of all my “Not Food” blog posts, you can subscribe to its RSS feed here.

The Easiest Pasta Dinner in the World

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There are certain readers of my blog–and I know they exist, I’ve met them in real life–who see the food I make as aspirational. Instead of thinking, “Oooh, that’s easy, I can make that” (as many of you think when you read my posts), they think, “Oooh, that looks tasty, I wonder if someone will make that for me?”

To those readers, then, who think these recipes are outside of your reach (and, again, I acknowledge that I’m not describing most of you) I have a recipe for you. It’s Penne with Brown Butter, Nutmeg and Parmesan and I used to write about it all the time on the blog when I was a bachelor; it’s a dinner you can whip up easily for yourself after coming home from work. All you need is a pot, a pan, a box of penne, a stick (or less) of butter, whole nutmeg (so much better than the pre-ground stuff), a hunk of Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. This is comfort food with a sophisticated flair.

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