Author Archive

Balsamic Maple Walnuts

September 24th, 2013 3 Comments

  It’s time for a little image-tribute to the last days of summer and the radiant color of its bounty.  These are two photos from my friend David Cavagnaro of Pepperfield Project.  I never tire of looking at his pictures.  He photographs using only natural light, calling himself “stubbornly anti-technological” but the results are brilliant.     “We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.” .

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Homestyle Tomato Soup

September 17th, 2013 No Comments

  A pile of ripe tomatoes and a drizzly day remind me of another soup we used to make in the deli.  This creamy tomato soup is simple and homey, and if it doesn’t bring up good childhood memories hopefully it will create warm fuzzy new ones.     This year I planted climbing beans next to the tomatoes so the tomatoes would benefit from the nitrogen fixing wonders of the leggy legumes, and they completely merged and intermingled on

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Sumac Basil Tea

September 10th, 2013 1 Comment

    Tis the season of these fuzzy tart rubies. The cicadas are buzzing, the days are steamy, but the nearly-sharp chill of the early morning gives away that secret I’ve been aching to hear…that fall is knocking at the door.   Sumac is often used in shawarma seasonings or ground up and sprinkled over hummus and Mediterranean meats, but this year the warm days make me want a refreshing cool drink that’s like a Midwestern lemonade.   . Staghorn

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Savory Sweet Potato Pie

September 3rd, 2013 2 Comments

  Years ago we used to organize an all-day street festival called Live on Winnebago, and one of my roles was to feed the numerous bands that were playing during the day and night.  Many of them were on tour across the country or world, and that meant they depended on the venues to provide their meals.  Often the road food provided by venues is much less than amazing… so my goal was to give them road food d’bliss!  I served savory

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Favorites August 2013

August 28th, 2013 2 Comments

  In this late-summer heat the largest organ of my body has been working hard—my skin.  Opening up those pores and flushing out toxins, there has been no shortage of the that salty substance flowing forth.  I am not one of those who adore summer (when I’m especially crabby from the heat my snarky opinion is that the people who say they love summer all have air conditioning….sorry…it’s the cranky speaking) but I’ve been working on the zen of giving

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Scott’s Waldorf Slaw

August 20th, 2013 1 Comment

. Cabbage.  Magnificent.   This is an easy-to-make Waldorf-Coleslaw hybrid that Scott created and I love it.  The cabbage is already at Farmers Market and the early apples are coming in so it seemed like a perfect time to share this salad with you.   The dressing is sweet-tart and the curry powder is subtle but essential—-great for a warm summer’s day. Not bad for a fall day either.   . Such beauty!  I suppose summer does have a few

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Green Coriander Seed Paste

August 13th, 2013 No Comments

  If you’re growing cilantro in your garden it probably looks like this right now: a mass of beautiful little flowers and bulbous green seeds.  Usually I don’t have time to deal with them and just wait until they dry in the garden then harvest the coriander seeds for use in the winter, but sometimes I catch them at this perfect stage when they have flavors of both fresh cilantro AND coriander seed. I know that there is an ant-cilantro

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Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

August 6th, 2013 1 Comment

  Figs and Balsamic Vinegar…a match made in heaven! Rich, Deep Flavors with Sweet and Tangy, together they tango.   Balsamic Vinegar Balsamic originates from the word ‘balm’ and years ago this rich caramel liquid was used for medicinal purposes such as curing colds and aiding heart conditions, not for cooking as we use it today.   Traditionally it was aged for decades, sometimes up to 100 years, in a series of wooden barrels (mulberry, ash, cherry, chestnut, and oak)

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Marinated Potato Salad

July 23rd, 2013 2 Comments

  Potato salad you can take to a picnic and not worry about the mayo.   I recently made this for an outdoor meal with 340 people.  It held up well and tasted even better after it rested for a few hours.  Because of the rainy spring and late plantings there weren’t many local potatoes ready yet so I added zucchini to bulk it up to the 14 gallons that I needed to make.  We’re just beginning the season where

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Preserved Lemons (and Kumquats)

July 16th, 2013 No Comments

    YELLOW! With the summer sun blazing every day, it seems like the season of yellow.   Preserved lemons, a.k.a. lemon pickles, are known as a North African condiment but they appear in dishes all over the region. The entire lemon is preserved in a bed of salt and lemon juice to keep it usable for many months and the result is a distinct lemon flavor that adds a surprising sparkle… yet is also kind of mellow.  I’ve often

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