Archive for the ‘Appetizer’ Category

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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Roasted Garlic

October 20th, 2015 No Comments

  There is something about the slow cook that sweetens everyone.  Roasted garlic becomes less sharp, deeper, sweeter, and in some ways more powerful of a flavor in dishes— a more enduring flavor.   Roasting is also a way you can preserve garlic to extend its life.  Maybe you grew some or scored an awesome deal on a pile of garlic from your Farmer’s Market but you’re not sure if it will keep long enough to use it—roasting and freezing is a great way

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Lemongrass Pork Patties

September 22nd, 2015 1 Comment

    How do you learn about a culture?  Travel to the region and wander around indulging in street food. Street-vendor food in Mexico like the carne asada tacos in Hermosillo and churros in Tepic shaped some of my greatest food memories ever and have influenced my food choices my whole life.  Street food is always what people miss about their home countries, and after tasting these lemongrass wonders I would almost make the monumental effort to overcome my fear of flying over an ocean to experience real

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Ancho BBQ Sauce… or is it Chutney?

September 1st, 2015 No Comments

  It’s kind of a chutney, kind of a móle, kind of a ketchup…don’t let the label inhibit you.  It’s tasty and it goes well with warm things, that’s the most important thing to remember.   Anchos are dried Poblano peppers.  They generally have only the mildest of heat, but exhibit a rich depth that is almost sweet and even fruit-like.  Scott and I sometimes use them puréed in chocolate cakes as a secret ingredient to give a bit of warmth but without overpowering the experience.

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Tomato Dill Salad

August 18th, 2015 2 Comments

    Purple lisianthus from the Canoe Creek Produce at the Farmer’s Market.  I hear they’re difficult to grow because they are slow to germinate, but it is so worth the wait.  I’ve found myself sitting and just staring at them over the last week and a half that they’ve lived on the table.           In these August days we’re so free with how we use fresh produce here in the midwest, vegetables are mounded into salads because they

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Summer Relish

July 28th, 2015 2 Comments

  It’s amazing to eat produce when it is still warm from the sun.   These ingredients of summer that I’m finding in my garden or the Farmer’s Market—cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro, onion—there is just nothing like fresh and connected to the vine or the soil sometime in the last 24 hours.   photo by David Cavagnaro   It’s been a busy summer of catering with back-to-back and mid-week events crammed into the first two months of summer, but this is the flip-side payback

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Yellow Pepper Pesto

July 14th, 2015 No Comments

  Colorful tasty vegetables or herbs ground into a paste…’pesto’ is a loosely used term.  The word pesto comes from the Italian word ‘pestare’ meaning to pound or crush.  Texture has such an impact on the way we perceive and taste a dish, and crushing or pureeing helps create a silky coating that adheres well to sauce-vehicles like pastas and vegetables.     This is a light and lovely spread that could be served over fish, noodles, vegetables, or chicken and has the extra bonus of being

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Celery Snack

July 7th, 2015 2 Comments

  A ridiculously simple snack it is, yet it’s been a (sometimes daily) staple for us when we need a no-grain high-protein crunch.  If you’ve ever done a cleanse-diet or a few weeks of eliminating sugars and grains and reducing carbs, you know the near-desparation that can set in as you search for something you can eat.  This provides a satisfaction that is hard to describe if you’ve never experienced that frantic hunt for foods that are not sugars or grains—it’s fast to make, fulfilling with

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