Raggedy Awards – Year Two

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Maybe 5% of the time?

How time flies when you’re having fun!  And we are (at least 95% of the time 🙂 )  Lots of our readers ask us how much time we devote to this blog, and all I can say is “you don’t want to know and we’re not about to tell you!”

The good, the bad, and the ugly: the least fun part is definitely figuring out recipes that work well – and then entering them onto the blog, which is labor intensive.  We’re not recipe writers at heart.  And I’ve definitely figured out I don’t like developing recipes.  But we both like to cook; we really enjoy good home-cooked food; and we love sharing our enthusiasm for dining in with others.

What we’ve discovered over the past two years is that we have just as much fun sharing stories about our dogs, cats, family, plants, and escapades as we do writing about food.  As our daughter, Sara, says, “It’s all so random!”

And now to the Awards Ceremony:

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The Raggedy for THE BEST ANDY’S CORNER goes toWhat If Fortuna Is More Than Just a Clever Name for a Cat?

Fortuna was a Roman goddess who controlled fortune and capriciousness in human affairs.  She must have had a hand in the sequence of events leading up to Andy’s induction into the army in 1967.

The Runner up for THE BEST ANDY’S CORNER goes to: In the Beginning Was Raggedy

So, we named our first cat “Raggedy.”  Does that make us  pretentious, attention-grabbing posers?

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The Raggedy for Ann’s BEST BLOG goes to: On our Journey to Ithaca

A lot of heart and soul went into that blog – about our move to Baton Rouge and our Baton Rouge neighbor Katie and about her childhood in Franklin Parish, Louisiana.  The recipes are unique and delicious.

The Runner up for Ann’s BEST BLOG is What If?

“Mayor Pete” Buttigieg just suggested a year of universal service; does he know that I already recommended it way back in January?  But what region’s food would he pick as best?  The Midwest’s???!

The Raggedy for BEST RECIPE (according to Andy) goes to: Jook Chicken

This has become one of my go-to “comfort” dishes.  And, it is just as delicious warmed up a few days later.  Just be sure to add the garnishes.

The Raggedy for BEST RECIPE (according to Ann) goes to: Carrot and Beet Slaw

I’m addicted to this fabulous, different, and healthy slaw.  I love its unique color and its YUM factor; better yet, it keeps in the fridge beautifully for 3 to 4 days.

The Runners-up for BEST RECIPE goes to: how can we possibly choose?  We love them all!  But Japanese Cheesecake and Plattar – Little Swedish Pancakes are clearly family favorites.

The Raggedy for FOOD FOR THOUGHT goes to: Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch  

Michael Pollan, our favorite food journalist, hits the nail on the head for why we are doing our BigLittleMeals blog.  His entertaining and insightful NY Times article explains why home cooking is on the wain and urges us to get back into the kitchen.

 The Raggedy for the BEST VIDEO DOCUMENTARY goes to: A Tale of Two Kitties

Ann wrote about our sociopathic cat.  Here is cinematographic verification.

The Raggedy for OUR FAVORITE FOOD ITEM OF THE YEAR goes to: Miso

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I don’t think we ever bought miso until the last year or so.  Now we routinely have both white miso (sometimes called sweet) and red (sometimes called brown) miso in our refrigerator (where it will keep almost forever).  The darker the miso the more intense the flavor.

Bon Appetit’s write-up will give you a great overview of how miso is made, why it’s unique, and how to use it.  Remember – it’s umami rich!  Plus, it’s good for the gut (as long as it’s not boiled – so be sure to add it at the last minute to soups, etc.).

We’ve added two new miso recipes and linked two previous recipes with miso.  Enjoy.

Grilled Miso-marinated Steak.  The steak is delicious hot off the grill and fabulous thinly sliced and used in a quickly-assembled salad such as this (Asian-inspired) or this (Mexican inspired).

Dandelion Greens, Sweet Potato, and Pumpkin Seed Salad with Miso Dressing.  The dressing would also be delicious on roasted vegetables, noodle salads, or even plain rice.  Use it as a dip for fresh vegetables.  If you cut back on the oil a little, try it on top of grilled salmon.  Yum.

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Pale yellow Japanese Sweet Potatoes atop the Miso-Tahini Sauce

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Miso-Tahini Sauce

The dressing can also be used as a delicious dip for rice crackers and various fresh vegetables – carrots, celery, radishes.

  • 3 large sweet potatoes (we like Japanese sweet potatoes – even though their color isn’t as lovely – but any variety will work), peeled and cut into 2″ cubes or thin 2″ lengths
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 T tahini
  • 2 T white miso
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T water
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 3 thinly-sliced green onions (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss potatoes with the 2 T oil and 1/2 tsp salt; place on a baking sheet and roast, tossing several times, for about 30 minutes.

Combine the tahini, miso, vinegar, and water in a small bowl.  Mix with a fork until blended.  Spread on the bottom of a serving dish and then top with the hot roasted potatoes.  Garnish with the sesame seeds and green onions, if you’re using them.  Serve immediately.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.
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Miso-PB Dip

Three Miso Dips for Veggies and Crackers

Pick your dip; then simply mix all of the ingredients together with a fork, and serve with carrots, cucs, celery, radishes, rice crackers – you name it.  If you add a couple of tablespoons of oil to any one of these, the recipe will be great on a salad or on noodles.  Toasted sesame seeds are nice sprinkled on the top, if you want to get fancy.

Miso-Mayo Dip

  • 2 T red miso
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger (optional)

Miso-PB Dip

  • 3 T white miso
  • 1 T maple syrup or honey
  • 3 T peanut butter
  • water or sake or mirin added until desired consistency is reached

SuperSimple Miso Dip

  • 3 T white miso
  • 2 T rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp maple syrup or honey

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.



  1. Helen Weaver says:

    I love reading your blog & looking at your photos. It makes me hungry & leaves a big smile on my face at the same time. I did notice that who ever cut up the carrots didn’t cut them straight Andy. Congratulations to all the winners. h

    Liked by 1 person

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