September: Zucchini Burgers

I have been given several monstrous zucchinis this summer from people who have overflowing gardens! These plants grow in most temperate climates, and are low-maintenance enough to easily grow huge zucchinis in your own backyard. I have been looking up tons of zucchini recipes to find a way to cook these enormous vegetables, because loaves of zucchini bread get tiresome after a while!

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November: Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna

I don’t have a love affair with cheese. I use it in cooking sometimes and I love cheese pizza, but up until a few years ago, you would never see me add more than one kind to a dish. I’ve only recently started exploring blending cheeses and using them more frequently, so I figured it’s about time for me to dive in and use all the cheese as I can get my hands on to make this hearty lasagna!

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September: Barley Soup and Brussels Sprouts with B├ęchamel

It’s 11 AM on the morning of September 1, which means that the Hogwarts Express is leaving Kings Cross station right now, bringing eager young witches and wizards to another year of school. One of the ways J.K. Rowling is able to paint such a rich, detailed picture of this fictitious universe is by using food – Harry, who has never known an abundance of food, suddenly experiences sumptuous feasts, holiday treats and hearty meals. I love this cookbook because it emphasizes how intertwined food and literature are, and the best meals are made with love and shared with others.

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August: Chai-Spiced Yam Bruschetta with Crunchy Kale

I first encountered Plum when I was volunteering at KEXP 90.3 FM: before the radio station’s new home was built at Seattle Center, the major giving offices were located upstairs in the Armory, where the food court is. I stopped by Plum Pantry for pre-made salads and sandwiches on my way to my other job, but at the time I didn’t know it was part of a larger group of restaurants owned by Makini Howell. Today, the Plum brand encompasses a vegan bistro, bakery, food truck, pantry, catering and a cookbook. Although the Plum Pantry food is delicious, I’m excited to try something more elaborate.

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February: Peanut Stew with Winter Vegetables & Cornmeal Dumplings

This peanut stew looked delicious when I was flipping through “Afro-Vegan,” and it turned out to be just that. I hadn’t attempted cooking African cuisine before, but the friends who graciously agreed to be my taste-testers for the evening really enjoyed it. One had even traveled to Africa several times for work, and claimed that this recipe tasted almost exactly like an authentic peanut stew!

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January: Thai Curry

Living in Seattle has allowed me to become exposed to a lot of amazing Thai food. Although I’ve tried cooking some before, with mixed reviews, this curry seemed fairly foolproof because of how few ingredients it requires. I always love a recipe that calls for “whatever you happen to have in your fridge.” It might not end up with the most authentically Thai ingredients, but I’m guaranteed to like it!

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