Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Sonoran Tortillas Sobaqueras

May 30th, 2017 2 Comments

  In northern Mexico tortillas are commonly made with white flour instead of corn masa like most of Latin America.  In the state of Sonora the tortillas have taken on a life of their own and are made way, way, way bigger than your head, called tortillas sobaqueras.  “Sobaquera” (holster) is a slang term for armpit—these tortillas are made by slinging and stretching them over your arm like pizza dough resulting (if you’re good) in a tortilla the length of  your arm.  These delicate blankets are also referred

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Jerk Guacamole

May 23rd, 2017 8 Comments

  A quick jaunt to Colorado on Amtrak helped me remember that trains are an awesome way to travel.  Everyone is relaxed, friendly, unparanoid, and relatively diverse.  The leg room in coach is luxurious and the small stations have free long term parking.  Perhaps it’s time you consider an Amtrak adventure?     A sun rising over Nebraska was enjoyed by a few of us in the observation lounge.  There wasn’t much talking in that pre-dawn reverie but the appreciation was palpable as we waited for the downstairs

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5-Spice Tofu

May 9th, 2017 3 Comments

  I used to make a similar tofu at the deli, crusted with ground pumpkin seeds, cornmeal and 5-spice.  I simplified it in this version but it still has that hint of exotic with the Big Five to add to your sandwich or stir fry. In the past I would often treat tofu like fish, it has a similar wetness and needs to be handled delicately.  At the Loring Café with we used to make Chef Lenny Russo’s 5-spice grilled trout served

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Favorites April 2017

April 25th, 2017 2 Comments

  The Oxbow Hotel of Eau Claire, Wisconsin   Fun, swank, and simply beautiful this hotel is a collaborative effort of a group of visionaries helping to keep the revitalization of downtown Eau Claire in full swing.  We toured the place in March on our way back from the northland, here is a bit of their story from the website:   “Since the booming logging days of the Chippewa Valley, the ground beneath the Oxbow has always been home to a boarding house

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Another photo flashback

April 4th, 2017 2 Comments

    The word for the day is Mirabilia: miracles, marvels.   Rob Brezney describes Mirabilia such: “events that inspire wonder, marvelous phenomena, small  miracles, beguiling ephemera, inexplicable joys, changes that inspire quiet  awe, eccentric enchantments, unplanned jubilations, sudden deliverance  from boring evils”    Here are some examples of Mirabilia he shared this week: *The National Center for Atmospheric Research reports that the average  cloud is the same weight as 100 elephants. * The seeds of some trees are so

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Pickled Deviled Eggs

March 21st, 2017 No Comments

  Sanskrit scriptures describe the universe as being birthed from an egg. The term Brahmanda is from two words: Brahm (ब्रह्म) = ‘cosmos’ or ‘expanding’, and ‘anda‘ (अण्ड) = ‘egg’.  The Brahmanda Purana, an ancient Indian text, explains this fascinating concept in great detail.  Good reading while you wait for the weather to warm as we muck through this season of mudliness.    Eggs and Spring.   Along with symbolizing life and new birth, in earlier times eggs were one of the few things available

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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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Favorites February 2017

February 28th, 2017 3 Comments

  Can you name me another sport where a major race is cancelled yet thousands of people still show up?   The 2017 American Birkebiener Ski Marathon, largest cross country ski race in North America and part of the reason we trek northward for the season, was cancelled this year due to lack of snow.  Around 10,000 people annually participate in the numerous Birkie races and events, the majority of them venturing the long haul of 50-55 kilometers through the rolling

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Cinnamon

January 31st, 2017 5 Comments

photo by Coleen Sullins A visit from a flying squirrel in the evening, he waited for the cover of darkness to check out our supplies and scampered up our skis when we arrived after the sauna.  He apparently likes cheese.     A visit from the daily groomer in the morning–it was too warm to set tracks but they would drag the skate lanes to break up the ice.  I don’t know if he likes cheese.     photo by

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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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