Quote of the Week

“When we are no longer able to change a situation ... we are challenged to change ourselves.”        
Viktor Frankl (1905–1997)

 

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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Favorites August 2015

August 26th, 2015 2 Comments

    “A single, ordinary person still can make a difference – and single, ordinary people are doing precisely that every day.”                                                                                                                    — Chris

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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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Avocados—another Helper

August 4th, 2015 2 Comments

  Creamy, silky AND healthy, the Alligator pear, aquacate, manzana del invierno, palta, or avocado, is one of those incredible fruits we should be getting down on our knees and giving thanks for every day. A Superstar. A Helper.   Limes and avocados are two of the main reasons I simply cannot eat only locally here in the Upper Midwest of the United States.  They are two of my favorite entities on this planet and no one I know except my friend David Cavagnaro, a

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