Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Yam Puree with Chipotle

November 10th, 2015 1 Comment

.   My friend Annette made this up years ago, served it at a potluck, and little did she know that I would promptly take her idea and run with it for the next fifteen years.  It’s simple, delicious, and the perfect combination of sweet-spicy-tangy-creamy and has been successful in converting people and to discard their “I hate yams” stance. It could be an interesting twist on aThanksgiving favorite—still a little sweet from the natural sugars of the sweet potatoes, both creamy and

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Cure-All Chicken Soup

November 3rd, 2015 4 Comments

  I cannot stop eating this soup.  It’s brothy, spicy, and loaded with all the good things. I suppose I have to include a disclaimer about the name so I’m not practicing medicine without a license …but you’ll want to be stocked with ingredients as the cold winds of November blow in, especially for anyone north of the 40 degrees latitude.  Just sayin’.  Boil those chicken bones and freeze the stock, you’ll be glad you did.  They’ve been doing studies to determine what

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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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Coconut Pumpkin Freeze

October 13th, 2015 4 Comments

    If I called this ice cream you wouldn’t even want to try it because you don’t have an ice cream maker or churn.  It’s too thick to be called a smoothie.  Whatever the name might be, here it is and it’s tasty as-is or could be amended with your favorite additions like cocoa powder, cardamom, clove, ginger, lemon, other frozen fruit, or the countless smoothie options.     My friend gave me a bunch of organic bananas that were on the

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Za’atar Carrots

October 6th, 2015 3 Comments

  Za’atar is a delicious and versatile condiment originating in the fertile crescent of the Middle East.  It generally is made from oregano, sesame seeds and salt, and variations may include other herbs like sumac, savory, cumin, coriander, fennel or caraway.  Like so many regional condiments or sauces, families would have their own versions and protect these inherited recipes.   I love the tanginess of sumac so I definitely wanted a version with this dark red ‘berry’. The furry berries on the right are from bushes growing

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Picadillo Stuffed Peppers

September 29th, 2015 No Comments

  Picadillo is a traditional Spanish and Latin American dish that one could call a ‘hash’.  Ground meat, olives, dried fruit, and veggies sautéed together and served with rice or in tacos.  How handy is that?  A way to use your regional ingredients in a delicious one-dish wonder with rice, or as a filling for tacos or savory pastry empanadas.  The word Picadillo comes from the Spanish word ‘picar’ which can mean to grind, chop, sting or peck.   Though the hash is generally made with meat

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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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Herbed Fruit

September 15th, 2015 No Comments

  Is ‘herb’ a verb? It is now.     I was recently asked to provide some desserts for a party in late September, a request I usually decline because I’m not baking-inclined, but they wanted the entire event to be gluten free so my empathetic streak took over.  A chocolate chile cake was of course on my menu but then I stumbled upon gluten free angelfood cake recipes online, and on chow.com found the idea of combining strawberries mixed with fresh herbs as a topping.  What

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Black Bean Salad

September 8th, 2015 No Comments

  First a little blast of color from local edible flowers.     These are a pile of late summer flowers grown by my friends at Canoe Creek Produce that I used as garnish on salads and an appetizer for a wedding a couple of weeks ago.  I see runner bean flowers, calendula petals, bachelor buttons, snapdragons, and I’m not sure what else.  They were so stunning I had to share them with you.       And even more stunning color brought to

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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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Creamy Herb Sauce with Pasta and Salmon

August 11th, 2015 1 Comment

  Fresh herbs are amazing.  A-mazing.   I’ve been putting Thai Basil in my drinking water lately, just leaving it in the glass and refilling to let it mildly steep throughout the day.  It’s such a refreshing beverage that my curiosity was aroused of the medicinal properties of basil, so off to ask the Wizard of Google with this question I went .     Anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant—and these are just are just a few of its superpowers! I then looked up all

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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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Cardamom Chicken

June 23rd, 2015 No Comments

  How do you describe cardamom?  Such an curious flavor, ‘A hint of camphor, eucalyptus, and lemon’, it is one spice that does not hide—like dill, saffron and caraway you really must intend to add this flavor, it will not go quietly.  But that’s okay, because there’s no need to be quiet when you taste like cardamom.   Originating in southern India, it’s a key ingredient of garam masala and is used in many Indian dishes both sweet and savory, even in coffee.

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Salsa Verde…version 564

June 17th, 2015 No Comments

  Spending time in Mexico led me to believe that all salsa verdes included tomatillos.  But no…if you follow the latin-based language back across the ocean salsa verde looks a tad different.  Still ground into a potent green sauce, Italian and Spanish salsa verde usually involves anchovies, parsley and capers.  Garlic and lemon are a friendly addition to this mix as well.     Capers are the pickled edible flower buds of the caper bush (or Flinder Rose), though there are other seeds that can be used.  What’s

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Ginger Beet Lemonade

June 10th, 2015 7 Comments

  Once again I find myself wrapped tightly in the schedule of catering events and I’m not able to do justice in writing the experiences of the last ten days on our adventure into the south.  This sunset tells the story much better than I ever could, it was the gift given as our group gathered to celebrate our friend, teacher, family, mentor, writer and artist Mary Kay Parker Deen. .       . These angels are trees in Bay St. Louis, resurrected

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Avocado Strawberry Salad

June 4th, 2015 No Comments

    NOLA a.k.a. the Rebirth City. I’m traveling with friends this week to New Orleans and Bay St. Louis, visiting friends and eating delectable dinners everywhere we go.  Not much time for words so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.         A sweet morning on the porch while we visited my friend Beatriz who owns the Fairchild House B&B on Prytania in the Lower Garden District.     It was recommended we take the ferry across to Algiers and

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Asparagus Kale Salad

May 26th, 2015 3 Comments

  It’s Spring and there is no getting away from recipes about spinach, kale, eggs, nettles, peas and asparagus…so just get used to it.  Embrace the green.  Green is good.  There’s a lot of green activity going on right now by that greenifying chlorophyll, absorbing the blue and red then reflecting the green to our eyes.  But its most amazing superpower—maybe the most amazing superpower ever—-it converts sunlight into food, trapping the solar energy which excites an electron in the chlorophyll that transforms carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen.

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