Archive for the ‘Appetizer’ Category

Black Bean Paste

March 7th, 2017 No Comments

  Black Bean paste is a Chinese condiment used in many a dish (hoisin sauce, stir fries, Asian BBQ, noodles), and a secret ingredient of those from Team Umami.  It’s bold and tangy and can bump the flavor factor of your sauces manyfold. It can be really difficult to tell if Chinese condiments are gluten free, especially if there is the possibility of soy sauce (containing wheat) and it certainly doesn’t help if the ingredient list seems vague or incomplete.  I’ve been searching for GF

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Herb Egg Butter

February 8th, 2017 4 Comments

  More wax!! For any of you partial to vintage ski paraphernalia here is Something Old and Something New in side-by-side Reds: years ago Swedish wax company Lind-Ex changed their name to SkiGo and here they are together. We bought the new SkiGo Red this year because of impending warm conditions, and Scott found a red Lind-Ex kick wax from the early 1980’s in his wax box. I love the SkiGo ski bag in the background of the SkiGo waxes, and next

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Flax Seed Crisps

January 17th, 2017 3 Comments

  Completely inspired by Magnus Nilsson of Fäviken in Sweden, these crisps are simple with a most intriguing look.  In his cookbook Fäviken, Magnus explains that he started with thicker versions using more types of seeds, then evolved the crisp towards thinner version using only flax.  His cookbook photo shows the delicate see-through results.  Since I was making these as a traveling snack I brought it back to a thicker version so they would be more sturdy and road-worthy.   “Road-worthy”??  Yes!  We are once again pointing our

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Baked Ricotta

January 10th, 2017 No Comments

  Fuzzy diversions! Friends just picked up their chicks for the year and there are few things in this world more adorable than fuzzy babies.  Their nervous peeps filled the room when they first arrived, eventually softening into murmurs as they calmed and settled into to their new surroundings.  They would make a good jigsaw puzzle.   Check out Orange Free Sounds to hear chicks peeping!     Edible diversions. Baked ricotta is an easy dish that feels much more special than the energy it takes to make.

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Curried Red Lentil Fritters

January 3rd, 2017 4 Comments

  Fritter me this. You can make a flavorful mash of nearly anything then fry it up and call it a fritter.  British fritters are often coated in a batter before frying, but U.S. fritters mainly consist of main ingredient with some kind of binder (like egg, flour or cornmeal) then are deep fried or pan fried.  Fritters are hugely popular in Southeast Asia, combinations like squash, chickpea and green onion; or yam and banana; or squid dipped in batter; or a mixture of shredded

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Estonian Buckwheat Blinis

December 13th, 2016 3 Comments

  The Baltic Blitz continues… Blinis are a holiday treat in many traditions hailing from Eastern Europe and Russia.  In older times they were considered a symbol of the sun because of their round shape and were served at the end of winter to celebrate the coming of the new sun.  That ritual was eventually adopted by the Christians and is now known as ‘pancake week’ or ‘pancake day’ and blinis or pancakes are served on Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) before Ash Wednesday.  

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Boursin-style Cheese Spread

November 29th, 2016 5 Comments

  This scrumptious little spread is creamy, buttery, herbalicious and highly snackable for nearly any occasion.  It doesn’t have the crumbly texture of French Boursin but it’s still ding dang delicious and great for any edible vehicle that can transport it to your mouth.  The cracker in the photo is a Mary’s Gone Crackers Super Seed, one of my favorite crunchies.  The seedy ones are high in protein and hold up well.     Blend it all together and serve,

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Mushroom Caviar

September 27th, 2016 4 Comments

  Our monsoon rainfalls in the upper Midwest this summer have resulted in a bumper year for mushrooms….we take those silver linings whenever we can.  The Northeastern U.S. on the other hand has probably experienced a crummy year for the moisture-loving fungi, I believe the Midwest has squeezed every drop of Wetness out of the air and left none for them.  Sorry folks, we would truly love to send some of this excess precipitation your way.   Here we see a pile of adorable Oysters, Miniature Puffballs, Entaloma

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Creamy Jalapeño Sauce

September 13th, 2016 No Comments

  Green and creamy-frothy on the tables of our favorite little Mexican restaurants, we have spent many a delicious moment speculating about the ingredients of this green condiment.  Emulsified oil, figured that out.  Some kind of chile, yep.  And beyond that we weren’t sure if there was lime, vinegar, mayonnaise or avocado…but just kept on eating regardless of the speculations. This is different than a tomatillo salsa verde which is also incredibly yummy but not as creamy.  Sometimes this sauce

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Carolina Gold Rice Grits Cakes

July 19th, 2016 No Comments

  All rice is not equal.   I have had creamy rice before, but this was another branch in the tree of amazing grains. People from Anson Mills in South Carolina were at the Seed Savers Exchange Annual Conference last weekend, and beforehand they offered to mail me their Carolina Gold Rice Grits if I would use it in the conference’s Saturday evening meal.  They sent ‘middlins’, or rice grits, which cook up in a similar manner to a creamy arborio rice.

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Broccomole

July 13th, 2016 2 Comments

  Last weekend we ventured up to the old haunts of Minneapolis to help my dear friend Julie JAO with an evening of speed painting performance in her studio.  Some of you may have seen her speed painting the signature stick figures but now she’s moved onto Celtic creatures….not exactly a simple choice for painting with abandon. These are a few from the evening, soon I can give you links to the live videos so you can watch them being born

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Thai Chicken Patties

June 7th, 2016 1 Comment

    It’s true, there was a similar post last year about lemongrass pork patties, but when something tastes this good it’s okay to do variations on a theme. I made these buddies small for a tapas-style potluck, but you could make them larger for full servings or into little balls served on skewers.  The small ones were handy for post-meal snacking, tasty even when they were cold.   Outdoor dinners, they might be the best part about summer.  Serve

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Plantain Cracker-Chips

May 31st, 2016 4 Comments

  Nothing like trying out new recipes on a few hundred people…   There was a request for plantains at a large graduation party a couple of weeks ago.  I’ve made simple chips before by slicing the starchy fruit and either frying or baking the cute seasoned circles as a side dish.  A friend recommended I try these which were a whole new territory and more like a cracker.  The recipe she sent to me is from the blog Paleo Mom,

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Sweet Bean Hummus

May 24th, 2016 2 Comments

  My little Sweet Bean. A few weeks ago a friend asked if I would concoct a hummus out of local ingredients for a celebration at the Farmer’s Market.  They wanted to serve hummus in lettuce leaves which is a traditional Iranian dish of spring, but because the group intended to bring focus to reduction in fossil fuels we looked for ingredients we could use from our region.  This took a little pondering.   Basic Hummus is made from garbanzo

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Peppermint Coconut Oil Snacks

April 20th, 2016 4 Comments

 photo by Roy Hampton It has been so fun going through my father’s photos of our times in Mexico.  Good memories of a slower life, and my oh my we all looked so young. This is a print of two nopales (prickly pear cactus) growing on a hilltop.  One grey day while taking a walk on the mesa my father noticed he could see these dancers when he was at a very particular place in the road.  A few feet either

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Boxty Cakes

March 15th, 2016 4 Comments

  An Irish potato pancake just in time for St. Patrick’s day. These are hearty buddies for any kind of meal and a great way to use your leftover mashed potatoes. The basic idea is to mix mashed potatoes with grated raw potatoes and an egg, but there are infinite possibilities of variables that could be introduced.  Herbs, garlic, curry, jalapeños, horseradish, siracha, yams, caraway, saffron…   The origin of the name is likely the Irish phrase arán bocht tí meaning “poor-house bread”.  

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust

March 9th, 2016 No Comments

  A crust should be both a snack by itself as well as a vehicle to transport delicious toppings to your salivating mouth.  I’ve known of recipes using cauliflower for various crusts but had never tried it until recently.  This recipe has no grain but there is cheese which helps bind everything.  Why cauliflower?  It has a light texture and a mild flavor so it should blend well with whatever toppings you want to add.     Squeezing out the

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Feta Jalapeño Dip

March 2nd, 2016 4 Comments

    I love dips.  I love spreadable flavor that I can eat on a cracker.  Maybe it’s the social aspect of which it hints—Spreadable and Dip-able concoctions often mean time with friends and wine…and that just sounds like fun. We first tried a version of this in Washington D.C. and the salty-with-a-bite was a combination worth exploring.  It’s simple and could be used as a dip, spread, or enchilada filling.  There are many variations you could do with this

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Seedy Crackers

February 2nd, 2016 4 Comments

photo by Coleen Sullins This is our cute little neighbor having lunch at the ABR Rock Fence Cabin, a red squirrel who hung out atop the stack of firewood to better peek in our window.  Here he was eating his own snack…but he was also extremely interested in chewing through the top of our freezer-cooler outside the door.  Not so cute.  I’m sure he would have been more than happy to have a pile of these tasty seedy crackers.  

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Lemon Parmesan Dip

December 21st, 2015 3 Comments

  Last week my friend Frances hosted an afternoon of German star-making at her studio in the country.   These crafty projects can be so relaxing and even addicting. You need to concentrate enough to follow the steps in the correct order, and this necessary focus means you cannot easily think about anything else.  There is no room in the brain for daily or worldly concerns.  If you start fretting about your to-do list or the car that needs repairs you’ll accidentally rotate the star clockwise

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