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Favorites November 2017

November 2nd, 2017 No Comments

. . . .   It was a good day for a walk in the woods. This was how the world looked last week before I left for a trip to California: bright leaves, crisp smells, sun on the water.  I came back this week to the grayer and rainier side of Fall.  All good, but feeling cheer is so much easier with bright colors.  This second half of Fall needs the more intentional efforts to cultivate hygge: warm sweaters

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Cookie Monsters

October 24th, 2017 2 Comments

  My sister puts the fun in cookies.  I remember when I was very young the production of Christmas cookies was an all-afternoon artistic blitz.  My older sisters would spend hours on their colorful sculptural creations…or at least the first dozen or two were works of art, then as everyone grew weary (and full of sugar) the remaining cookies became a little more of an assembly line of decoration.  But as a young’en I was always in awe.   These

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Pear Apple Chutney revisited

October 18th, 2017 No Comments

  I’m seeing so many of these ingredients at the Farmer’s Market it seemed like a good time to re-post this little chutney treat from November of 2011.  Enjoy!    Chutneys-–pungent enough to raise your eyebrows, but sweet and savory enough that you close your eyes and let out an involuntary groan of pleasure.  Eaten alone it should be almost too much flavor, and eaten as a condiment to chicken or beans or rice…it should make you glad to be

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Chuck Roast with Moroccan Seasonings

October 12th, 2017 6 Comments

  Patience. I’m finding myself in the middle of numerous catering events and with no time to do a recipe for the post, but I can share with you the lessons that I live and one of those ‘Vague Recipes’.  And some Midwestern autumn images instead of attempts at making beef look photogenic.   In preparation for a large wedding, yesterday was the day to cook off the chuck roasts for the weekend.  I knew because I was working with

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Pasta Salad with Feta, Basil and Tuaca Figs

October 3rd, 2017 2 Comments

  I made this salad for my second-ever wedding that I catered on my own many years ago, it was a good mix and I’m kind of amazed I don’t cater with it more often.  Those first weddings were so memorable—I wanted to provide awesome and spectacular food but was still learning what it meant to haul everything off-site, and calling myself ‘the caterer who goes where no other caterers go’ it’s no surprise that I acquired a few stories

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Riced Cauliflower Salad

September 27th, 2017 6 Comments

  Cauliflower has been experiencing quite the celebrity status over the last few years because of its sturdiness and mild flavor that make it a decent grain-substitute when ‘riced’. Pizza crusts, pilafs, salads, as pasta—cauliflower has found its way into many low-carb experiments.     I wanted to make a saffron-cauliflower pilaf so I simmered the grated cauliflower with saffron, but after tasting it I was not excited. I don’t know if cauliflower and saffron have an inherent clash tendency,

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Eggplant Fritters with Honey

September 19th, 2017 4 Comments

.   My boat!  We found this cutie resting near the shores of Lake Superior in Bayfield, Wisconsin.   There is not much downtime in the summer for Scott and me but we did manage a quick trip to hang out on Lake Superior, our midwestern ocean.  We stayed at a sweet little 50’s era place in Ashland called the Bayview Motel, right on the shores of big lake.  No online reservations—you’ll have to call or email to contact them,

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Tamarind Fig Butter

September 12th, 2017 No Comments

  Oh, just a few more flowers.   And butterflies.   It’s the time of year when summer has peaked and you can feel the pendulum heading the other direction, when sunlight and flowers feel finite.  At least that is what we’re feeling here in the north lands…away from the turmoil of the epic storms all across the south.  So here are a few moments of calm with flowers and sunlight, a breath before diving back into the realities and residuum of

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Favorites August 2017

August 29th, 2017 No Comments

  More fun with Annuals. These are Pinwheel Zinnias–small and ranking high on the adorable scale.  Zinnias are part of the daisy/aster family and are native to Mexico and Central America.  They withstand heat, drought, and can be directly seeded so are considered an awesome low-maintenance flower for any kind of gardener.   I used to think Zinnias were boring, a little too loud and indelicate, like wearing excessive makeup to a picnic.  They were one of the few flowers my mother grew in the farm

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Gluten Free Carrot Cake and Muffins

August 23rd, 2017 No Comments

  Here was another moment where we leaped into producing a large amount (330 servings) of an untested recipe that had been Frankenstein-ed together from multiple other recipes.  Sometimes there just isn’t time and you have to rely on the lessons learned from all the other mistakes you’ve done in the past and go with what seems right. Fortunately for the diners, all went well!   We initially made this as a cake, then a few weeks later I needed muffins so I reduced

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