December 10, 2015

Pitch: Check Your Butter Label.





My daughter made butter in Kindergarten. You put heavy cream into a lidded jar and shake, and shake and shake and shake until it forms a lump of butter. Simple. Just heavy cream and a little salt, if you like that.

But guess what I recently noticed? Many butters in the grocery store contain more than that. They contain "flavorings". Seriously? How can heavy cream be improved? Can it be made more buttery? 

November 18, 2015

Dig In




My soup post is featured in Tidal Labs round-up of Thanksgiving recipes (one of which is a delicious sounding Rosemary Mushroom Stuffing) so Bear and I shared a few potato chips to celebrate. Then he pulled the bag out of the garbage to make sure all crumbs were consumed. Waste not, want not.

November 12, 2015

Roasted Carrot Salad


Roasted Carrot Salad with Yogurt Dressing and Pepitas



Have you been seeing the effects of the California drought in the produce aisle like I have? The heads of romaine have been leggy and pale for months now. I'm so used to getting whatever I want, vegetable-wise, whenever I want it that having to adjust my meal to account for it has been a shift. Traditional Caesar salad becomes kale salad, spinach stands in for romaine and beet greens for arugula. Not ideal but it works and reminds me that more than ever we're all affected by what's going on in other parts of the country (or world). Now I hear they're in for massive rain so that will pose its own hazards to farmers. My heart and stomach go out to them.

So increasingly I look to what's being grown around here and carrots are an easy one. These are from Featherstone Farms and they are so good. You can usually find them at local co-ops. I got a winter farm share from them last year and while I'll admit I got sick of turnips and rutabagas, I never got tired of their delicious carrots.

Here's how I'll use them this Thanksgiving—roasted with cumin and maple syrup and served on a bed of whatever looks good (hoping for arugula but these would also be good without any greens at all) with crunchy pepitas and a cool creamy yogurt dressing. A more interesting salad to add to the healthier sides that are, increasingly, what our crowd loads on their holiday plates.


Roasted Carrot Salad


serves 8 as a side dish

2 lbs small carrots (about 10 medium)
2 teaspoons cumin
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Arugula
Handful of roasted, salted pepitas


Dressing
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil


Preheat oven to 400º.
Peel and trim carrots then cut lengthwise into halves or quarters (depending on size). Toss with cumin, salt, maple syrup and olive oil and place on a sheet pan so they don't touch. Drizzle any remaining syrup/oil mixture over top. Roast for 25 minutes or until tender and a little brown (cooking time will depend on carrot size).

Cool to room temperature and place on a bed on bite-sized greens. Sprinkle with pepitas and spoon dressing over the top.






October 26, 2015

Curried Squash Soup with Whipped Yogurt

Curried Squash Soup with Whipped Yogurt



"Thanksgiving in Nantucket" was the title to the glossy spread in my November, 1993 Bon Appetit and it played right into the preppy fantasy I had been nurturing since reading The Preppy Handbook in seventh grade and The Great Gatsby in ninth. God help me.

October 19, 2015

Mojo Verde




This super-flavorful, bright and mildy spicy mojo is comprised of cilantro, chilies, cumin, garlic and lime. It's excellent on roasted meats, potatoes, eggs, tacos and my dear old dog's dinner.

September 29, 2015

Pitch: Hit the Farmers Market on a Tuesday


Here in Minneapolis we have a huge Farmers Market that on weekends has three blocks of vendors offering vegetables, fruit, plants, cheese, meat, eggs, flowers, olives and all kinds of crafts and local foods. It's awesome, no secret and attracts mobs of people, so many that it can be hard to walk down the aisles.

September 17, 2015

8 Bananas




There they were. Waiting patiently on the counter. Perfectly ripe. Forgotten. Ignored. Thrown over for watermelon, berries and that rare bird—affordable organic grapes. 

August 25, 2015

Roasted Corn and Tomato Crostata

Roasted Corn and Tomato Crostada




Fall is time for fresh starts. Back-to-...well, not school anymore for me although that's a tempting option with its tidy structure and respectable nature. If only it were that simple.

August 15, 2015

Pitch: The Best Way to Reheat Leftover Pizza

The Best Way to Reheat Leftover Pizza


Best Way to Reheat Leftover Pizza


I don't usually use the word "best". It sounds arrogant and I'm always open to the possibility that there might be a better way to do things. I'm open-minded that way. Give me a well-reasoned explanation for your perspective and I might very well change my mind. 

August 8, 2015

Pitch: Salt Your Watermelon


Salt Your Watermelon


Last spring break we rented a house in Hawaii with some good friends and spent a week beaching and sunning and eating lots of fresh fish and shave ice. They have two sons that are roughly the same age as our daughters so it's like a family vacation but with less bickering.

June 19, 2015

Food52 Community Pick




Well, this makes my day. My favorite food site in the world, Food52, picked one of my recipes as a "Community Favorite". I'm thrilled because I love this site and the wonderful people who put it together. It's a true cooking community, stylishly presented, without the ragtag look and annoying ads and pop-up videos of some other sites. The articles and recipes are smart, inventive, real and fun. Yes, I'm a fan.

And just look at that great photo of my recipe, Puttanesca Panzanella!



June 7, 2015

Salmon with Cilantro Sauce and Cauliflower "Rice"


Grilled Salmon with Cilantro Jalapeño Sauce and Cauliflower "Rice"



I don't know what other people's experience is caring for someone with cancer but mine has been a surprise. I think I expected Mike to be pensive while the two of us have misty-eyed meaningful discussions. But our actual conversations have been kind of one-sided with Mike being, frankly, crabby, demanding and not necessarily um...linear in his thinking.

May 15, 2015

Raw Beet Salad

Raw Beet and Quinoa Salad


I don't know how it happens but sometimes a little extra sneaks up on me. OK, that's a lie. I know how it happens. Pretzel bread, raspberry pie, creamy curried pasta and my enjoyment of them have left me with a bit more around my waist. Not a big deal in the whole scheme of my life these days, but an irritation when my pants are tight and the zipper won't stay up because my stomach is fighting for a little more room. So I increase my running and consumption of things like this, a raw beet salad.

May 12, 2015

See you later, toast.




My husband Mike has cancer. Nasty MF @#$%&! esophageal cancer. Are you clear on what the initials MF stand for? Not My Favorite. Not Mon Frere. The other one. The one that feels so good to say. So appropriate. It deserves it for doing it's nasty work inside his body before announcing itself via a little fatigue, pain and weight loss. Clever bastard.

April 29, 2015

Puttanesca Panzanella—AKA Croutons with a Little Salad

Homemade croutons

Puttanesca Panzanella

Have you ever made fresh croutons? Big, fat, crispy, soft croutons fried in olive oil and made from the good bread you have to make an extra stop for? If not, this is my plug. Do it. Just do it (unless you're gluten-intolerant in which case I have made delicious croutons from cornbread too. If you're paleo, I can't help you. My ancestors are french and I'm sure they were eating something bread-like in their knuckle dragging days....maybe with flour from seeds they ground in their teeth in disgust over the visiting cave people's hideous taste in loincloths). 

April 15, 2015

Mustard greens and other discoveries


Re. mustard greens—I don't like them. This was hard for me to admit since I usually love bitter greens (arugula, dandelion) but these beauties are too strong and mustardy. I tried them raw. I tried them sauteed Asian-style then I gave up. I want to like this health-packed food. Anyone have ideas?



April 8, 2015

Pasta with Cauliflower, Ricotta and Spiced Oil




I found the bones of this recipe in a People magazine, one I felt lucky to get my grubby paws on in a doctor's waiting room. I've been spending more time in various medical offices around town —a story for another post. But I will say that most of these places have the saddest assortment of reading materials. They should stock the most outrageous celebrity rags and travel magazines to help people get their minds off whatever worry sent them there in the first place. 

April 1, 2015

Spring on the salad!




This weekend I'll attend Passover dinner on Saturday and Easter brunch on Sunday. My family is Catholic so Passover is relatively new for us, a gift, if you will, from my mother's Bronx born and raised Jewish husband, Marty. He loves a good opera and a good sandwich (quite possibly in equal measure), celebrates Christmas with us enthusiastically (especially the tree) and makes handmade wooden toys for all the grandkids. He is without Midwestern reserve and often blurts out what's on his mind. Scared us a little at first until we got a gander at his heart—which is huge and hangs off his sleeve for all to see. So on Saturday we'll all put on the little pita bread hats and take turns reading from worn booklets reciting passages from the Torah that Marty explains to us, eat the matzo, the bitter herbs and all the rest. The kids groan when I tell them we're going to Passover dinner at Grandma and Papoo's but it always ends up being a good time with plenty of laughter and tasty food. We're always glad we went.


March 13, 2015

Roasted Pepper Crostini and a Rant





I've been blogging for a few years now and it's an impulse I can't fully explain. My stock answer is that blogging is a creative outlet, which is true. Taking pictures, writing and cooking are relaxing and an opportunity for expression. Connecting with others in the food blogging community has been nice too and there are many compelling blogs with creative food and photos and narratives written by people who have thought-provoking, informative or funny things to say.

March 8, 2015

Oops!

Here are my latest duds. Or at least the ones I took pictures of...




Crispy Meat Accessories in honor of fashion week—not a bad idea just not enough of an idea. Good snacking though and the dogs were appreciative. 
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