Author Archive

Jerk Guacamole

May 23rd, 2017 4 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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Pickled Cumin Carrots

May 16th, 2017 3 Comments

  I referred to this pickling recipe in the Carrot Flowers post a few years ago and the Quick-Pickled Vegetable Salad last year, but I thought these beauties deserve their own page.  These are one of my favorite stand-byes for antipasto trays—they’re surprisingly bright and zesty, and the cheery orange is great next to the often dull brown hues of olives, mushrooms and meat.   This recipe is also from one of my favorite cookbooks ever, Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.  I made

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5-Spice Tofu

May 9th, 2017 3 Comments

  I used to make a similar tofu at the deli, crusted with ground pumpkin seeds, cornmeal and 5-spice.  I simplified it in this version but it still has that hint of exotic with the Big Five to add to your sandwich or stir fry. In the past I would often treat tofu like fish, it has a similar wetness and needs to be handled delicately.  At the Loring Café with we used to make Chef Lenny Russo’s 5-spice grilled trout served

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Curried Spinach w/ Gluten Free Gnocchi

May 3rd, 2017 2 Comments

  Superpowers? I sometimes wish my superpowers were more exciting.  List-making is not terribly sexy or awe-inspiring.  I visualize what needs to happen then scribble (with .09 lead pencil and paper) the amounts then compile all the amounts into another list, then figure out the day and order in which things need to happen. It might take numerous drafts to achieve something understandable and useable.  I may even teeter into OCD moments of how a proper list should look and I

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Favorites April 2017

April 25th, 2017 2 Comments

  The Oxbow Hotel of Eau Claire, Wisconsin   Fun, swank, and simply beautiful this hotel is a collaborative effort of a group of visionaries helping to keep the revitalization of downtown Eau Claire in full swing.  We toured the place in March on our way back from the northland, here is a bit of their story from the website:   “Since the booming logging days of the Chippewa Valley, the ground beneath the Oxbow has always been home to a boarding house

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Socca

April 19th, 2017 2 Comments

  Every culture has their flatbread—tortillas, crepes, roti, pita, gözleme, mana’eesh, msemmen, naan—the list of edible wraps from around the world goes on and on.  This garbanzo flatbread, a.k.a. farinata, socca, torta di ceci or cecina, is common in Italy, France and northern Africa where garbanzos abound.  They’re gluten free, full of protein, and provide a great vehicle to get your favorite toppings into your mouth.     It takes a while for the garbanzo flour to be absorbed into the water so begin early in the

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Shichimi

April 12th, 2017 2 Comments

Also known as ‘Seven Flavor Chile” because there are usually seven ingredients (shichi = seven), shichimi is a Japanese dried-spice mixture that can be cooked into dishes or added at the end for a complex punch of flavor.  Though regions and families have their own ingredient combinations and proportions, most shichimi contains chiles, citrus peel, sesame seeds, and nori.  Other ingredients may include Szechuan peppercorn, black or white poppyseeds, hemp seeds, paprika, salt, ginger and garlic.   I recently picked up a bag of pre-mixed shichimi and was reminded how

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Another photo flashback

April 4th, 2017 2 Comments

    The word for the day is Mirabilia: miracles, marvels.   Rob Brezney describes Mirabilia such: “events that inspire wonder, marvelous phenomena, small  miracles, beguiling ephemera, inexplicable joys, changes that inspire quiet  awe, eccentric enchantments, unplanned jubilations, sudden deliverance  from boring evils”    Here are some examples of Mirabilia he shared this week: *The National Center for Atmospheric Research reports that the average  cloud is the same weight as 100 elephants. * The seeds of some trees are so

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Pickled Deviled Eggs

March 21st, 2017 No Comments

  Sanskrit scriptures describe the universe as being birthed from an egg. The term Brahmanda is from two words: Brahm (ब्रह्म) = ‘cosmos’ or ‘expanding’, and ‘anda‘ (अण्ड) = ‘egg’.  The Brahmanda Purana, an ancient Indian text, explains this fascinating concept in great detail.  Good reading while you wait for the weather to warm as we muck through this season of mudliness.    Eggs and Spring.   Along with symbolizing life and new birth, in earlier times eggs were one of the few things available

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Gluten Free Ricotta Gnocchi

March 14th, 2017 No Comments

  Spring veggies are not far off and these miniature bites of goodness will go well with all of them.  Spinach, garlic scapes, asparagus, kale, green onions, peas, watercress, fiddlehead ferns, morel mushrooms—-mix any or all of these delicacies with ricotta gnocchi (and butter!) and you’ll have a seasonal celebration on your table. Gnocchi is traditionally made with cooked potatoes, which are also delicious and a great way to use up your leftover mash, but this version gives more protein

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