Archive for the ‘Side Dish’ Category

Carrot Flower Garnish

July 24th, 2014 2 Comments

  Maybe not something you do every night, but these gems are stunning on a plate.  I recently made these as a garnish for a wedding dinner to be set atop the saffron rice pilaf next to the pesto green beans.  Color!!  We eat with our eyes as well so why not occasionally feed our oculars a feast.   Accessorize. Garnishes are like the perfect pair of earrings, condensed nuggets of beauty. They are about enriching and augmenting, enhancement of the senses is a wonderful thing.  Adding contrasting

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Cucumber White Gazpacho

July 15th, 2014 2 Comments

  Before we get to refreshing cucumbers, here are more photos from the Willow Gathering in June.  These are from classes led by the two Danish instructors Ane Lyngsgaard and Eva Seidenfaden.         You can see the soaked willow on the floor in the background.               The booklet describes Baskets4Life, a group of Danish weavers that converge twice a year for one week to stretch themselves to new dimensions of their art and to thoroughly enjoy

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Stuffed Mushrooms with Caramelized Onions, Bacon and Gouda

July 8th, 2014 1 Comment

  The plan seemed doable. I wanted a photo of the stuffed mushrooms resting on a serving tray mere minutes before they would be introduced to the hungry post-wedding crowd.  Anyone who is or has been involved with catering or restaurants will know how incredibly funny that notion was.  Over and over I bring a camera to events telling myself THIS time I will have the presence of mind to snap the shutter at that moment the delicacies are perfect, and two moments before they vanish or become not so perfect. The

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Garbanzo Raisin Salad

July 1st, 2014 4 Comments

  My friend Robin gave me this recipe from the Real Simple magazine—she said that it has repeatedly been her potluck smash hit.  I made a couple of little changes, but not much.  Hearty yet lightly sweet-and-sour with a hint of cumin, this could do well in summer or winter.   All beans take a while to absorb the flavors of the marinade so it is a good one to prep ahead then add the greenery at the end.  If you’re starting with dry garbanzos,

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Lettuce Wrap BL(A)T’s

June 17th, 2014 1 Comment

  Gluten Free and Low Carb—perfect for summer!  You can put nearly anything in a lettuce leaf and it provides a handy shell to hold the flavors.  I often am looking for edible vehicles that can deliver the punch line and in the summer lettuce leaves are a refreshing meal-holding-husk.  But they can be a little messy so watch out for those after-Memorial-Day white pants.    . Fillings can be as simple or complex as you want to create.  A vegan alternative to bacon could be

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Orange Rice Salad

June 5th, 2014 No Comments

  It’s amazing how much trust is involved in cooking for groups of people.  Individuals allow a complete stranger to set comestibles before them that will soon become a part of their bodies, ingested and integrated into their cells.  How crazy is that?  I am humbled by the confidence that is given to me.  The palette is the flavors and colors of the harvest, then it is activated to become a living part of the willing recipient.  This art may not last long

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Revisiting Roasted Tofu with Spicy Peanut Sauce

May 22nd, 2014 No Comments

    Skewered roasted tofu with a peanut sauce is one of my all time favorites for catering, and it’s pretty awesome for eating at home too. When I began this site I wanted to start with some of my crowd-pleaser recipes, dishes that I knew and loved so you could get a feel for my style of cooking.  Two and a half years later seems like a good time to dig up and recirculate a few, just for fun.  This was

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Smoked Salmon Cakes

May 8th, 2014 No Comments

  These buddies were a scrumptious success at a luncheon I recently catered.  You can make them without smoking the salmon, of course, but smokiness adds a rich depth, a ‘something extra’, oooh I could even say “je ne sais quoi”…whatever you want to call it, it will compel you to eat at least ten of them.   Do you need a smoker?  No, a charcoal grill works splendidly.  My grill-guru cousin swears by the Weber grill for all of his smoking activities.  There are smoker boxes for

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Spinach Artichoke Pesto

April 23rd, 2014 1 Comment

  While we were in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in February we ate lunch at a little place called Steep Creek Cafe (and White Cap Kayak Trips) in the Ironwood and I seem to recall we licked out the bowl that this dip was served in.  Having only the three ingredients listed in the title to go on, I came home and ran with it making a slightly different rendition that is very green and not half bad. Is it hummus?  Is it pesto?  Is

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Pickled Asparagus

April 16th, 2014 3 Comments

  Despite the occasional April snowstorm our landscape is about to explode into electric GREEN.  It’s been patiently waiting and waiting and the time is nigh.  Later this week I’ll plant my onion sets for green onions —I keep harvesting the shoots throughout the spring and the bulbs keep producing more.  But I rely on others with more space for growing the asparagus, especially since I don’t know where the secret ditch patches are around these hills.   A few

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