Month: January 2016

Here’s to Apple Frankie

When I started Kitchen Kat in 2007, I wasn’t thinking about social media followers, book contracts or sundry other motivators that drive bloggers today. My intention was, and remains, to share favorite food stories, photographs and recipes. Frequently the posts have been inspired by travel. Equally often they have originated from conversations and experiences with my old neighbor and friend Frank P. Wilmer Jr. a/k/a Apple Frankie. As is the case with many of our encounters, my earliest memory of Frank involves food. In my early 20s, newly married and new to Southeastern Pennsylvania, I was surprised when a cherubic faced, stout man with a shock of white hair on his head and a plastic grocery bag in his hand showed up on our doorstep one spring evening. Introducing himself as our next-door neighbor, Frank handed over the bag and prompted me to open it. Peeking inside, I saw a jumble of long, beige, honeycombed mushrooms. Wild morels, Frank explained, plucked from the woods behind his farmhouse. A product of the suburbs, I had never …

Honeyed Fruit and Whole Wheat Couscous

Over the years I’ve prattled on about my fascination with couscous, my unwise decision to drag a couscousiere across North Africa and my ongoing dabbling with these granules of semolina. Light yet hearty, savory yet sweet and toothsome whether hot, room temperature or chilled, couscous’s almost incongruous nature is what keeps me hooked. I’d like to see spaghetti pair as smoothly with such disparate ingredients as cinnamon, cumin, cilantro, dill, cucumbers, dried cherries, balsamic vinegar or almond milk. Yeah, it’s a versatile food. Before the holidays I started tinkering with an old favorite, Sweet & Nutty Couscous, transforming it into the following dish. To some, the name “Honeyed Fruit and Whole Wheat Couscous” might sound redundant. After all, couscous comes from durum wheat so all couscous could be considered wheat couscous. However, this recipe works best when you use the mildly nutty whole wheat, pearl couscous. If you have a couscousiere collecting dust on your kitchen shelf, by all means wipe it off and put it to work. Otherwise, instant or quick cooking whole wheat …