a five-dollar meal

a-five-dollar-meal

I did a little thrift store shopping this week and scored three excellent finds at places within minutes of our house. It was great because I’m not a hard-core shop-’til-you-drop type of person. I want to walk into the store, find what I need, and take it home. The rule for me tends to be that the harder I search for something, the less success I tend to have. Instead, the bounty appears, unexpectedly, when I’m simply browsing. In truth, the only endurance shopping I’m willing to do these days is usually food-related. It might be hunting down inexpensive vanilla beans, or discovering a deal on saffron or extra virgin olive oil. Discovering some new culinary delight, one that causes you to sigh with deep satisfaction, makes it worth the difficulty. 

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bison burger with alderwood smoked salt and muenster cheese

If you crave a good burger, but don’t want to eat beef, a bison burger is a great alternative to traditional ground beef. Bison, also known as buffalo, is leaner in fat than beef and turkey, lower in cholesterol, and higher in protein. You can buy bison pre-ground, but to make the best burger, I choose a boneless chuck roast cut of bison and grind it at home. I’ve included a variety of suggestions here that will hopefully give you a juicy homemade burger and help to prep your tastebuds for those many summertime meals.

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sweet potato & parsnip gnocchi with sage lemon butter sauce

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I’ve been watching my mailbox with anticipation lately, waiting for my first issue of Food&Wine® magazine to arrive. I bought a year subscription a couple of months ago from the neighborhood kids who were selling magazines to raise money for their school. Whenever I go grocery shopping or am at the bookstore, I see F&W’s tantalizing covers and want to grab an issue to take home. I know, though, as soon as I buy a copy, that same day my first issue will arrive in the mail. In the meantime, about a month ago I received a Favorite Italian Recipes booklet which included a delicious-looking carrot-potato gnocchi by F&W’s senior recipe developer Grace Parisi. 

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variety is the spice of life…

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I’m a few days away from the end of the detox diet, and really, it hasn’t been a bleak food existence for me. I’ll admit, though, as an omnivore (rough translation-I like to eat all kinds of food), I have had…cravings. What’s on the list of things I’ve missed? First, I’d say my homemade yeast breads, which I’ve missed as much for the therapeutic process of making them as eating them. I’d add cheese, that all-purpose food enhancer, as a close second. Hmmm…bread, cheese…okay, third would be pizza. Finishing the list is wine, and of course, chocolate.

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