Archive for the ‘Side Dish’ Category

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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Coconut Ginger Lime Rice

April 10th, 2014 6 Comments

  This is a little recipe from Food Renegade with a few adaptations.  Light but a tad rich, it will be a great one for an evening meal on a hot summer’s day.  I used canned coconut milk but if you have access to fresh I’m sure it would be divine.   A person could also make this into a sweet lime rice by adding honey, nuts, a fruit puree or dried fruit. A person could eat that for dessert,

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Mushroom Wild Rice Soup

March 26th, 2014 No Comments

  This was a Comfort Meal in the deli, a bowlful of both Brothy and Filling.   It’s another soup with the tangy buttermilk-secret-ingredient, added at the end when the soup has cooled slightly (so it won’t curdle) and with the addition of a little baking soda to reduce the acidity (so it won’t curdle). The baking soda trick can also be used is to make beans more easily (and quietly) digestible.       Tamari is a great addition

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Fuul in Spring

March 20th, 2014 No Comments

  Question: What does one eat when coming home after weeks on a ski sabbatical? Answer: Whatever is in the house because the catering has not yet begun and we blew our wad for the winter.  I think it’s time to revisit pintos and Pinto Fuul because my sister fed it to us on our way home, and since then I’ve been utilizing my big bag of pintos making various versions of it.  Today it was with feta cheese, yesterday

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Red and Green Potato Croquettes

March 10th, 2014 1 Comment

    Croquettes enable you to eat mashed potatoes with one hand and no fork. Isn’t that what everyone has been asking for?   Last week we found ourselves driving home in the midst of another blizzard, perfectly bookending the trip with driving north in the snowstorm at the beginning.  I suppose we did yearn for the snow to come with us and prolong our skiing affair…and this was another reminder to be careful what we ask for!  Countless times

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White Bean Dip with Rosemary and Sage

February 17th, 2014 4 Comments

  Racing is a curious thing.  To the observer it makes no sense at all—people spend loads of money to travel to a location, sleep on floors (or wherever), rise early after not sleeping well, venture out into often uncomfortable conditions, stress and adrenaline courses through their veins, then they push themselves beyond their limits until weary, cramping, frostbit or nauseous….this has never has looked very fun to me.   But there is something about pushing, something about stretching beyond

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Creamy Pinto Chipotle Sauce

January 28th, 2014 5 Comments

  Packing into ABR‘s remote cabin with cubes and a pulk and a sherpa.  As my cousin says…why travel light when you can travel well?   . For the most part the absence of internet access is welcomed when we travel or stay in remote locations.  But posting these recipes and staying in touch with family and catering clients means finding creative ways to turn everything into a digital form, including sitting in the car in church parking lots and pirating

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German Onion Pie

January 14th, 2014 4 Comments

  This may sound a little like ‘stone soup’ or just a way to use up loads of onions in a pie but it really is scrumptious, summer or winter.   These tangy squares will be our travel food—snacking in the car or popping it in the oven to heat as we unpack the hundreds of pounds of gear and food into the home-base cabin.  It seems fitting to eat this caraway-sour-cream-onion pie in heart of Old Bohemian northern Wisconsin.

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Creamy Mexican Potato Soup

January 8th, 2014 5 Comments

  Hot soup in the cold days of January—it’s never a bad idea.       We are knee deep in the process of prepping and amassing supplies for the annual trek north.  Pulling skis out of hibernation for waxing, dragging out sleeping bags and the camping stove, changing oil on the vehicle, finding catsitters, taking inventory of canned and frozen foods so I can make the menu plans for the cabins, and cooking piles of dishes to be frozen

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Hoppin’ John

December 26th, 2013 No Comments

    Eat Good Luck for your New Year!   There was an idyllic snow on Christmas eve, and after walking home from a Norwegian Jule dinner on quiet streets in the falling flakes, we awoke to more snow and a perfect day for a beginning-of-season ski on that slippery powder.  As we skied through the woods we watched a gorgeous orange sunset through dark silhouettes of bare trees—but I forgot to take a camera!  So no photos from me,

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Smoked Sweet Potato Puree

December 17th, 2013 1 Comment

  Nearly everyone who eats this deep orange treat asks for the recipe, it is yet another dish that will convince even the anti-yam-ites to change sides and join my Orange-Love Camp.  The original recipe was from Scott’s family and has seen adaptations along the way, the most recent alteration being to smoke the yams to give it extra depth.  It is of course delicious without the smoking, but occasionally it’s fun to do something different.       I

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Bacon & Liver Pâté

December 11th, 2013 2 Comments

  Two liver posts in one year?!?  I must really have a need to push your boundaries, and this time there is no conclusion to the cliff-hanger story.  Just think of it as another tasty grey spread….creamy and rich and great on a cracker. Step outside your comfort zone in this life. Eat Liver.   You can’t get any more powerhouse than liver. They say liver contains more nutrients than any other food, gram for gram.  Protein, iron, folate, calcium,

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Polenta Pancetta Dressing

November 25th, 2013 1 Comment

  This is another recipe that appears the November/December edition of The IOWAN magazine.  They asked for “Iowa-Sourced” holiday recipes so polenta seemed like a good direction to take the classic dish since organic polenta is grown and produced near Cresco.  It resembles cornbread stuffing—flavorful and hearty as the night is long.  La Quercia pancetta was an obvious addition to the mix, rich with a hint of juniper berries….and from Iowa.   The polenta can be made a couple days in

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Holiday Chutney

November 5th, 2013 No Comments

      This should probably be labeled “Tart Super-Fruit Chutney” or “Antioxidant Chutney“.  Some of these tart fruits are not available right now unless you happen to have frozen them or dried them, but this gets our juices flowing for ways to use this northerly bounty next year.   Cranberries The cheeriest looking staple to your holiday table.  They are used also medicinally to treat UTI’s—their proanthocyanidin prevents the bacteria from latching to the urinary tract, and studies show

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Potatoes with Cumin (Aloo Jeera)

October 23rd, 2013 No Comments

  Aloo = Potato,   Jeera = Cumin  Aloo + Jeera = Yum   It’s been a while since I’ve had time to sit down and ramble on about food, I’ve been too busy catering.  It seems the more I cook the food the less I have time to write about it. We’re heading into a slowing-down time of year.  Late October and November are often overcast and drizzly, and the brilliant leaves are on their way out leaving dull

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