Quote of the Week

“If you are going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance.”

Inuit Saying

 

 

Favorites August 2014

August 28th, 2014 4 Comments

  On the way home from a conference this summer my sister and I stopped in at the house of a friend.  She proceeded to lead us around her town of Mt. Vernon to inspect milkweed leaves and search for monarch eggs or larvae that could be brought in for safer incubation.  A few hours later each of us packaged up a little critter and instructions on how to be a good foster parent to a monarch then went our ways homeward.

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Iced Nutmeg Cucumber Tea

August 22nd, 2014 No Comments

Nutmeg Iced Tea is great for a summer’s day, so here are photos of a divine location to relax with a glass—a gazebo co-created by Scott and metal-master friend Hung Van Pham.   This is the initial design in miniature, before it took an evolutionary turn to include metal.   The top…not in miniature   The frame upside down under construction in Hung’s shop, with bracings . Hand-beveled boards for the sides of the gazebo   The awesome stainless steel centerpiece hanging from the crossbeams   Looking

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Sweet Potato Falafel

August 6th, 2014 No Comments

  These orange lumps turned out to be great munchables.  We served them at an event as a gyro substitute with yogurt tzatziki, then the next day we ate them as leftovers, and the day after that I packed a few along for a road trip and they held up well to the trials of travel.  Moist, not quite as intense as falafel, easy because they are baked, and best of all… ORANGE…I am definitely adding these to the catering repertoire.    

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Beetroot Salad with Juniper Berries

July 30th, 2014 No Comments

  How is ‘beetroot’ different from a beet?  Not.   You’ve already heard me say what I’ve said for decades….beets are back.  They are back stronger than ever and people are asking for them—I even served a beet salad at a wedding last summer.  Don’t be afraid of your root vegetables.   I (not a Scandihoovian) was posed with cooking another ‘Norwegian’ dinner last April and I wanted intriguing flavors to share with the group….but not too interesting since most diners were in

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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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Favorites June 2014

June 25th, 2014 No Comments

 .   The Montreal Botanical Gardens—if you ever visit, remember that they deserve more than one day of your attention.  I will now try to refrain from cluttering the page with unnecessary words so you can just enjoy the images.  It’s summer!           Bonsai trees—from 25-350 years old.           A resident.         Favorites June 2014   How to Grow a Mandala .  . Cycle-passion art  . . I want to try these gluten

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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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Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

May 29th, 2014 No Comments

  With cooking I find it easy to maneuver my way around, look at recipes to get ideas then going my own route by having a basic understanding of the ‘laws of cooking’.  Baking, however, is another story entirely.  I seem to have the need to relearn the lesson that I am not very adept at the chemistry of sugar or flours or eggs, and that I still need to behave and have patience and follow some recipes to get a better understanding.  I

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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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Horseradish Dill Sauce

May 15th, 2014 2 Comments

  Sour cream–it’s the perfect dip starter: a bit tart, a bit creamy, and it ‘plays well with others‘, merging and melding with most herbs or flavors.  Lightly fermented dairy similar to crème fraîche but is more tangy and often made with less fat…I say yes.  If you’re feeling the need for more scrumptious fats in your cream, try this little method of a non-cultured sour cream:   Quick Sour Cream:  pour 1 cup heavy whipping cream into a bowl and add 1 teaspoon (or a little

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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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Favorites April 2014

April 30th, 2014 No Comments

  The Creative Entrepreneur by Lisa Sonora Beam “A Do-It-Yourself Visual Guidebook for Making Business Ideas Real”   My friend Frances introduced this book to a small group of us and it became incredible art therapy for us all.  Lisa has created a method of writing a business plan that is unlike anything you’ve done…it’s fun, creative, messy, deep, challenging, rewarding.  Get to the game plan, yes, but the path is an incredible journey…   She writes: “The Creative Entrepreneur offers a dynamic left/right brain

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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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Laundry Soap

April 2nd, 2014 4 Comments

  This past weekend was the annual sisters get-together, and though we ate heartily and well…I have no photos or recipes from it to share with you.   We were totally undocumented! We spent our days and nights eating, joking, laughing, nibbling, shopping, imbibing, laughing some more, and sharing (but not much sleeping), and life was good.  Returning to our day-to-day lives is never easy and as we each travel homeward the melancholy can seep in.  This brought to my

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