Carrot-ginger-coconut risotto with carrot-top pesto

Friends, I was positively desperate for some creative time in the kitchen last night and am glad I put my foot down to putter and cook.

I'd gone to the market earlier and picked up a gorgeous bunch of fresh carrots with an excess of feathery green tops as well as a can of coconut milk for no good reason except that it was on sale. When I got home, I came across the lone ghost pepper I'd bought last week.

Jack is fascinated by ghost peppers' second-place ranking on the Scoville heat index. You don't often see ghost peppers around here, so when I saw it, I snapped it up for fun. He circled it warily for a few days before deciding exploration, much less a straight taste, wasn't worth it. 

As I made dinner for the boys and then started on our squash-based side dish, I noodled on the carrots and coconut milk and it being Monday which I like to try and make meatless. 


I washed and spun the carrot tops as well as the greens from a bunch of radishes I'd bought for Oliver.


And then it all coalesced into a coconut-carrot-ginger risotto with a bit of heat from the ghost pepper and a cool, colorful bit of zip from a fresh carrot top pesto. 

I was thrilled. This dish is hearty but not weighty, comforting but still sunny. I loved enjoying the small bowl of leftovers today for lunch.

Holy Cow! 71 years and a win

Ooh ahh!! After 71 long, faithful years, Cubs' fans watched with joy tonight as the Cubbies clenched the National League pennant in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. We're going to the World Series for the first time since 1945!

During the summer of 1990, my dad took me on a daddy-daughter trip. He told me I could choose anywhere in the world, and I chose Chicago and New York, to see the Cubs and Yankees play. 

"Are you sure, Em? We can go anywhere."

"I'm sure!"

My sister was shaking her head with disbelief, and muttering, "I'm going to Italy" under her breath.

To Chicago and NYC Dad and I went, weathering an epic heat stroke in both cities to watch the Cubs play and, in NY, the damn Mets (of whom I'm no fan) because the Yanks were out of town. While in Chicago, Dad suggested we mosey up to Evanston to visit Northwestern. "I mean, we're here. We might as well."

I wasn't terribly interested in college yet but I went. Kimberly Williams had just starred in Father of the Bride and, because she was an NU student, her picture was all over campus. Northwestern is a beautiful school, and summertime shows the Chicago area at its best. 

I was smitten. And 8 years later, I entered Northwestern as a proud freshman who still loved the Cubs. And they kept on losing.

So imagine my joy tonight as I returned home from dinner with girlfriends to find game 6 of the NL championship under way with the Cubs, up three games to two, in the lead. Rizzo homered, Hendricks was on fire, Chapman pitched solid relief, and Baez-Rizzo turned a double play for the final two outs.

Cubs win! 5-0!!! The curse is broken (interestingly enough, on the very day (10/22/70) Sianis died).

Squash love, smart people

Today has been as calm as Wednesday was busy. Both wonderful, and three cheers for balance!

I found this morning that a recipe of mine, Roasted Delicata Squash with Bacon-Shallots, Pomegranate, and Yogurt Sauce, was chosen as a community pick on Food52. I adore this new photo of it. Thank you F52 and Mark Weinberg. 

As awful as this election has been, I have to say that there are some out there making hilarious lemonade out of the preponderance of lemons DT is throwing at us. Observe, should you need/want a laugh.

Pretty much everything Alexandra Petri has written for the Washington Post.

And, the fact that someone purchased the URL which links DIRECTLY to GENIUS!