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Newsletter: In the kitchen: Colorful beets and pie crust tips

Cut beets.
Cut beets.
(Andy Manis / For The Times)

Happy November. If you’re like me, you may just be getting over the sugar rush from all the candy you indulged in just a couple of days ago. Regardless, you’ve made it through Halloween and Thanksgiving is on the horizon. Sometimes, it probably feels as if the holidays are a marathon, but you just take it one step — or day — at a time. And don’t forget to have fun.

This week, we check out the colorful variety of beets at the market. Perhaps you’re already a fan — or maybe you simply haven’t had them prepared the right way. Regardless, we share plenty of recipes perfect for regular meals, as well as holiday menu-planning.

Noelle Carter

WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THE BEETS IN SEASON RIGHT NOW

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From deep purple to vibrant gold, white and the candy-striped Chiogga variety, you can count on beets to lend plenty of color to your fall table spread. Grate the beets to add to soups and stews, or use in place of potatoes for latkes, or roast the beets for a simple side dish or to add color to salads. And don’t forget to save the beet greens. Check out these recipe ideas.

Roasted beet salad with citrus, fennel and ricotta salata
Roasted beet salad with citrus, fennel and ricotta salata
(Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times )

HOMEMADE CANDY BAR IDEAS

Halloween may have come and gone, but homemade candy is a fun holiday project, particularly if you’re looking for homemade gift ideas. We came up with four recipes inspired by a few of our favorite candy bars: peppermint patties, Twix bars, peanut butter cups and Almond Joy bars.

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Shortbread bars with caramel and chocolate.
Shortbread bars with caramel and chocolate.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times )

GET FANCY WITH YOUR PIE CRUST BORDERS

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Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter shows how to make your pie crust borders stand out.

THE ULTIMATE BEER-BAKED MAC ‘N’ CHEESE RECIPE?

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Mac ‘n’ cheese is one of those quintessential comfort foods, particularly at this time of year when everything seems to taste better baked in a casserole dish. With this recipe, combine five kinds of cheese with a cup of ale for a rich base tossed with penne pasta and baked under a crisp crust of panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

Beer-baked mac 'n' cheese.
Beer-baked mac ‘n’ cheese.
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times )

TREAT YOURSELF TO A VERY BLOODY MARY

This week, Food editor Amy Scattergood reviews “The Monster’s Cookbook,” a collection of recipes from Hoxton Street Monster Supplies shop in London. And while you may be thinking this book is only for Halloween, simply look beyond the recipe titles and creative headnotes for some great recipes you can use all year, from gingerbread cookies to a crunchy toffee popcorn recipe you just might find yourself making again and again. And if you’re on the quest for the perfect bloody Mary recipe, you’ll have to check out the book’s “Very bloody Mary.”

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Very bloody Mary.
Very bloody Mary.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times )

Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants, the authoritative annual guide to local dining, is online for subscribers and now features his 2016 Best Restaurants. Check it out today.

Love cooking as much as I do? Follow me @noellecarter

Check us out on Instagram @latimesfood

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Feedback? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at food@latimes.com.


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