Quote of the Week

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”
John Muir

 

Summer Salads

July 26th, 2017 No Comments

  More Willow!   Here are a few photos from two other sessions of the Willow Gathering that I catered, a “bird’s nest” technique giving some sculptural freedoms, and a traditional Danish rectangular basket technique.             I’m spending the week at Scattergood Friends School, my alma mater alternative high school and where I am spending more time these days.  This is the place where I fell in love with stainless steel and learned to cook on a large scale— each

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Cashew Horchata

July 18th, 2017 2 Comments

  Horchata The horchata we had in Mexico was made from rice, sugar, and cinnamon, and maybe rice milk added in.  Many a Mexican restaurant will have the churning white liquid in a countertop fountain dispenser, mesmerizing to watch as you wait for your tacos de asada.  Originating in Spain using tiger nuts, horchata can also be made with almonds, barley, sesame seeds, morro seeds, or peanuts depending where in the world you might be. I found an interesting recipe at oneingredientchef.com that includes

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Black Bean Burgers

July 11th, 2017 2 Comments

  The Weavers were back! June is a full and demanding month for me but I get to end it by providing meals for a lovely group of basket weavers from around the world at the Willow Gathering.  This session I peeked in on traditional basket styles from the Catalan region of Spain, and I’ll post the photos from two other sessions later…         The fresh willow is soaked in water so it bends easily, then kept wrapped in plastic

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Sesame Chicken Salad

July 4th, 2017 1 Comment

  I really didn’t intend to make a Chicken Salad, it just happened. It started because I wanted to make a chili-lime slaw as a trial run for something I might do for a catering event this summer.  I then saw the toasted sesame oil in the cupboard so I let it shift the flavors into that direction.  Rice vinegar, garlic chili paste, ginger—the dressing was tasty, but I shredded a hard green cabbage and it was not-quite-right, tasting almost bitter, and too intense for what I wanted. What to do?  Add noodles?

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Favorites June 2017

June 27th, 2017 No Comments

    Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado—-of course this is where one would find a store packed with intricately designed and cut wooden puzzles.  I had an hour to wander the ped mall before my meeting a few weeks ago and puzzle-gravity pulled me into the Liberty Puzzles store at the corner of 15th and Pearl.  It was difficult to not just plant myself in a corner for hours and play with these works of art.   These beauties are made in Boulder not far from the

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Sparkling Jasmine Iced Tea

June 20th, 2017 2 Comments

  In honor of the first day of summer here is a refreshing green tea with a light sparkle.  Give yourself the gift of an afternoon to sit in the shade, sip this delicate treat, listen to the birds, and enjoy the day.   (and no, those are not jasmine flowers in the photo…)     For centuries jasmine tea has been made by infusing tea leaves with jasmine flower petals letting the tea leaves absorb the sweet flower scent.  The tea leaves

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Carrot Quinoa Salad

June 14th, 2017 No Comments

  Cute tiny grains.  Bright orange carrots.  Summer days.  Good.   Quinoa is a relatively forgiving grain to cook.  I loosely measure 2 parts liquid to 1 part quinoa, but if you rinse it well and pour a random large amount of water into the pot you can drain off whatever liquid is left when it is cooked to your liking, or you can add more water during the cooking process if needed.  Beautifully un-fussy and un-intimidating—but ONE EXCEPTION is that you

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Rosemary Mixed Nuts

June 6th, 2017 No Comments

  Nuts! Always a handy item for snacks or an appetizer table.  The many crevices of walnuts and pecans hold the herbs and sugar nicely so very little of the good stuff falls away.  I tried these without the cayenne and they seemed a bit weak—the red pepper gives not only a background of warmth, but it’s amazing how it both builds the base flavor and brings a little brightness.  You can be creative with other herbs and spices as well.

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Sonoran Tortillas Sobaqueras

May 30th, 2017 2 Comments

  In northern Mexico tortillas are commonly made with white flour instead of corn masa like most of Latin America.  In the state of Sonora the tortillas have taken on a life of their own and are made way, way, way bigger than your head, called tortillas sobaqueras.  “Sobaquera” (holster) is a slang term for armpit—these tortillas are made by slinging and stretching them over your arm like pizza dough resulting (if you’re good) in a tortilla the length of  your arm.  These delicate blankets are also referred

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Jerk Guacamole

May 23rd, 2017 8 Comments

  A quick jaunt to Colorado on Amtrak helped me remember that trains are an awesome way to travel.  Everyone is relaxed, friendly, unparanoid, and relatively diverse.  The leg room in coach is luxurious and the small stations have free long term parking.  Perhaps it’s time you consider an Amtrak adventure?     A sun rising over Nebraska was enjoyed by a few of us in the observation lounge.  There wasn’t much talking in that pre-dawn reverie but the appreciation was palpable as we waited for the downstairs

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