a very rustic squash pie

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Or, tales from the blogging struggle bus. Seriously, why all of the sudden is my phone taking grainy pictures? Why is the lighting in this house so miserable? Why does it have to be dark BEFORE 5pm? (Winter, I hate you.) I desperately want an SLR camera, but my budget laughs at the idea. I've had at least 4 recipes I've made that the photos depressed me so badly I decided not to post, and more that I was just too tired to photograph.

However, it's about to be Thanksgiving, and so I will give you pie, even though this photo is terrible and calling my crust "rustic" is a bit laughable. Whatever, this pie was delicious. It may look pumpkin, but it's made with acorn squash, although any old fall squash will do here. No puree here, either, just cooked squash mixed into custard, which is the intentionally rustic part of this pie. Here's the thing: this is really no more work than a pumpkin pie, but people will be way more impressed when you tell them it came out of a real squash instead of a can.

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moroccan-style lamb and chickpeas

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Oh how I wish I had the budget to enjoy lamb on a more regular basis. Alas, humanely raised lamb (eating poorly treated baby animals feels just plain wrong) costs a lot more than humanely raised chicken, leading to a tragic absence of lamb chops in my life. However, ground lamb is pretty affordable, and lends itself to many delicious applications, like this Moroccan-inspired lamb and chickpea stew. I dare not call this a tagine, because authenticity is not really what we are after here, although the cinnamon, cumin, and golden raisins are all elements of Moroccan cuisine.

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linkable lists: fall is so legit

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This time of year makes me miss college. I mean, just look at that. Gorgeous. The leaves have been late to change color here in the present, but they're finally in full swing, and it makes the chill weather worth withstanding.

1. Pumpkin tres leches cake??!??!? Stop it.

2. In the post Halloween spirit, a story about zombies in Haiti that's the most compelling writing I've read on the internet all week.

3. The Chicago Reader's moving piece on the tragic death of a cyclist.

4. Chicago-made Co-Op Sauce hot sauces are taking over my fridge. And my life. You may have noticed the Poblano version lurking in my fish taco post.

5. Made this apple cake with salted caramel earlier this week, but was in too much of a hurry to take photos for blogging. A bit tragic, since it was delicious.

6. Cocktail recipes and longform journalism about alcohol? Punch, where have you been all my life?

fish tacos with cabbage slaw and avocado crema

fish tacos

It was one of those days. Before lunch even rolled around, I thought "I need fish tacos tonight." Now, I have made many a fish taco following recipes, and they've mostly been fairly, well, "meh," not delivering the punch of flavor I expect from my fish tacos. Bland fish tacos are basically despair in a tortilla.

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snapshot fridays: annals of brownie recipe testing

I picked up chestnut flour at the farmer's market a few weeks ago, originally for a chestnut pear cake recipe. I've been trying to use the rest in a brownie recipe. The first attempt was a great texture, but I accidentally reached for peppermint instead of vanilla and so you couldn't taste anything but mint. In these, I used all chestnut flour, which gave it a great flavor, but the brownies dried out really quickly. I have enough flour for one more attempt, but I may just go back to the pear cake. That one I know works!