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Favorites June 2013

June 25th, 2013 2 Comments

. These are a few pictures of canapés-with-a-Scandinavian-twist (smørrebrød) from a recent Norwegian Independence Day (Syttende Mai) dinner.  They were cute and tasty so I think I’ll add them to my list of Regulars. From the outside in: Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Parsley Shallot Butter and Star Anise Pickled Red Onions on Roasted Garlic Baguette Pickled Asparagus with Anchovy Butter and Shredded Egg Yolk on Pumpernickel Applewood Smoked Shrimp with Lemon Dill Cream Cheese on a Sourdough Crostini   . Apple wood was

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Cajun Tofu

June 18th, 2013 1 Comment

  I used to cook with tofu like I might cook a fish.  Tofu is somewhat bland and fleshy but with a delicate texture…so I started using it as a blank slate for other flavors.  This concoction became a Deli sandwich, served with a Lemon Caper Aioli, tomatoes and lettuce.   . Let the tofu sit for a few minutes to let the liquids soak in, then sprinkle with the spices.   .. . I like my tofu crispy or chewy,

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Turkey Pinole Soup

June 11th, 2013 No Comments

  Last fall we bought an extra turkey —we love turkey and can’t figure out why we don’t eat it all year round.  This week we cooked it because it’s been so cold and rainy that the idea of a warm oven and turkey aromas sounded cozy and appealing.  The day after turkey-roasting came the stock-making ritual, and we awoke to another rainy chilly day so I was doubly glad to have a that flame and good smell in the

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Rhubarb Chutney

June 4th, 2013 2 Comments

  Mmm..more things to make with the rhubarb that is popping up all over. You can make almost anything into a chutney.  Chutneys are either raw or cooked, but since this one includes rhubarb it will definitely be cooked! . . . . . Last week’s post had lots of words, this week has very few! .  .   I made a version of this for a small wedding years ago, serving it alongside slices roasted pork loin.   Rhubarb

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Seasoning Basics and the Flavor Spectrum

May 28th, 2013 2 Comments

  My little mantra after each recipe is “Taste and Adjust” but people often ask me “How do you  know what to add?  How can I taste and adjust if I don’t know what will help?”.   So here are a few basics about seasoning, hopefully they will help.   Think of a dish as a painting or a picture: the palette of colors are your seasonings, the medium is food. What is the story?  What are the main colors?  Is there balance?

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Watercress Pepita Pesto

May 21st, 2013 No Comments

  Green green green—after numerous May snowfalls, finally Spring has erupted into GREEN around here!  And with it I want to eat more green.  I found watercress in a store recently and it seemed like the perfect addition to a Spring dinner.   Watercress grows in our local streams and in the past I have picked it from ones that I think (and hope) are clean (no ‘hot’ manure, no field runoff).  Commercial greens are usually grown hydroponically in alkaline

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Mini Spinach Frittatas

May 14th, 2013 No Comments

  These little buddies are great for parties (graduation season is approaching…) or you could make them as larger patties and serve them for supper.  They’re even good as leftovers and road food.  Because they have a medium-mild flavor I often serve them with a garlic aioli or a Middle Eastern lemon-garlic dip.  Vehicles for big flavor! . . . As spinach cooks it releases an enormous amount of water.  The spinach needs to be as dry as possible so

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Orange Quinoa Salad with Chicken

May 7th, 2013 1 Comment

  My sister made this dish for our sister’s weekend and we devoured it—she said that even her finicky teenage boys love it.  The chicken makes it a meal but I’ve also made it without the chicken and it was scrumptious.  When my sister started her new job she found in her office a pile of recipes that someone left behind so we have no idea where the recipe originated, we’re just grateful for this little gem that was in

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Favorites April 2013

April 30th, 2013 2 Comments

  I needed to stop and stretch my legs on a recent road trip, and stumbled upon this Miniature Museum near the Amana Colonies in Iowa.   There were more than a few moments of Twilight Zone flashbacks…   . Mini-Americana and the dream of Henry Moore, this is the largest miniature replica collection built by one man: Barn Museum  . . One inch to one foot.   . The episode ended and I was allowed to leave the Twilight Zone.  Whew.

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Hmong Market Soup

April 23rd, 2013 3 Comments

  I know I keep saying this…but this soup really truly was one of the favorites at the Deli.  The silky broth texture was such a treat.   My friend Kristen shared many a great recipe with the Deli and Hmong Market Soup was no exception.  It was adapted from a recipe she brought us from Savoring the Seasons Of the Northern Heartland. . .  Fresh ginger is available these days in most grocery stores, but unless you have creative

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Asparagus with Ginger and Cumin

April 16th, 2013 3 Comments

  I remember years ago on spring mornings my mother and some configuration of us daughters would take walks along the gravel road, making our way to the hallowed spots where asparagus grew wild along the field fencelines.  In late summer the asparagus would of course mature into the tell-tale towering green wisps making these spots NOT so secret, and if passers-by paid attention they might come back the next spring and have their own harvest party.  But in my

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Sweet Potato Pancakes

April 9th, 2013 No Comments

  In 2009 my friend Liz gave me the book The Artist’s Way.  It was the perfect moment in my life for such an undertaking and I dove into it headfirst, letting it do its magic on me. .   The Artist’s Way is a workbook by Julia Cameron (author, teacher, playwright, filmmaker, composer) about unblocking the Creative—a 12-week program of readings and art-homework to help people retrieve and nourish their inner Artist.  The backbone of her process is the practice

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Parsley—The Helper

April 2nd, 2013 7 Comments

. Let’s start with a few images from a weekend in a cabin with my sisters…as you can see it was full of hardship and suffering!  My favorite is the top photo taken by my sister. .   Girls with blow torches! .   This is a post about the Little Guys—ingredients that tirelessly support the whole, the oft Unsung Heroes of our culinary quests, the Ameliorators. I try to have near me at all times what I call The

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Beef Nihari GF Samosas

March 26th, 2013 2 Comments

  Here is the second part to the GF Samosa post I did last year after the Edible Alien Theatre performance: “In Profundus“.   The first post was the vegetarian version and here is the beef option we served on these awesome Rorschach inkblot triangular plates that were made by The Clay Studio and members of DArtCo. . Originating in Muslim kitchens for a meal after the morning prayers, Nihari is a beef stew that is slow cooked with garlic, ginger, chilis

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Good Green Soup

March 19th, 2013 No Comments

  Spring!   It’s here, complete with snow that will soon turn to muddy slush.   I don’t have anything poking through in the garden yet, but our local hoop house gardeners soon will and I’m ready for some good greenery.   This soup was another favorite in the Deli and a great one for spring.  When I started working there in the 90’s it was a tiny operation and I was making things up as I went along.  My

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Beet Feta Salad

March 12th, 2013 3 Comments

  Recovering from the trip and waiting out the minimal income of the pre-catering season, I’ve been trying to not go to the store unless absolutely necessary (coffee, cream…).   This means scrounging through cupboards, ransacking the refrigerator and rummaging through the freezer to use up whatever inventory can be found. Fortunately I still have a bag of (slightly wrinkly) beets from last fall’s farmer’s market spree, and a block of feta cheese…I wonder how well it will pair with

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Favorites February 2013

March 5th, 2013 No Comments

  We arrived home last week from our Northwoods sabbatical and the skis are now tucked away into their bags and rack, waiting patiently for the next snowfall or the next season.   The trick now is to somehow maintain those warm-fuzzies of a less complicated life and the rock-hard glutes from daily skiing as we re-enter the routines of the working life. The top photo is a pile of coals in the cabin’s woodstove, to keep our memory embers burning

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Messmör (Swedish Whey Butter) and Hyggelig

February 20th, 2013 14 Comments

  I often call myself a 1/4 Extrovert and 3/4 Introvert and being alone most of the time is fine with me.  But once in a while I love a gathering, the Exchange.   My friend Dennis recently taught me a Danish word with no direct English translation, and I think it describes what I love about little gatherings.  The word is Hyggelig (pronounced hoogly): the art of creating intimacy…that feeling after dinner with friends when you hang out for

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Rice Porridge

February 14th, 2013 Comments Off on Rice Porridge

    One-Dish-Wonders The Art of cooking with limited cookware; or having cookware but not a great way to wash it; or just wanting to keep it simple so you don’t spend precious ski time washing dishes.  Sometimes it’s a great combination of tasty individual items that becomes a hearty meal and does NOT turn to a mucky mush.  Or sometimes it does become a mucky mush…but if you’re hungry and it tastes good, much can be forgiven.   Just

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Liver & Onions and Dog Story Part 2

February 6th, 2013 11 Comments

. How else other than combining it with the sequel to the story would I get you to look at a post about Liver and Onions?? . The final morning at the Sandstone cabin arrived so we packed up our supplies and readied them to be hauled out to the car parked about 130 feet away.  I took the first load out.  When they heard the cabin door creak the dogs came running out of the bird blind, bounding towards

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