Nov 112018

Fig Cheese Cake Bars

We spent the last several weeks in Italy, hence the lack of posts (I didn’t get enough ready before we left). But I have come back with many ideas for flavor combinations: turmeric, shrimp, and caramelized onions, a nut meringue custard cake, and an extra long layover in Stockholm meant we tried a moose burger with lingon berry ketchup. I will also have to perfect some sweet and sour onions I had with a lightly cooked tuna. But on to today’s recipe. I had been seriously desiring some sort of creamy dessert for a couple days – but not something…Continue Reading

Oct 132018

Caponata

When the garden started producing lots of eggplant, I started experimenting with caponata since I really like vegetable chutneys. But since it’s me, I failed to follow a recipe in any way. So this is a very non-traditional caponata that tastes excellent on crusty bread or pita. I did start with recipes from Smitten Kitchen and Bon Appetit, augmenting them for the flavors I like. I really liked Smitten Kitchen’s inclusion of pine nuts for some textural contrast, but I didn’t have celery or olives, so I included peppers for flavor and reduced the onion a bit. I also changed…Continue Reading

Oct 072018

Roasted Vegetables and Chickpeas with Pita

A couple months ago, I gave you a multitude of ways to make pita/flatbread, but no serving ideas. So now I’m remedying that with some lightly roasted vegetables, seasoned with olive oil and paprika for a Mediterranean flair. I hate to use the terms easy or quick too frequently as others might associate dishes with a different difficult level than I do, but this is something that can be put together in under 30 minutes (assuming you already have the bread made or bought). When we ate this it was without any extras, but there are certainly things you could…Continue Reading

Oct 012018

Creamy Squash Blossom and Corn with Chicken

One of the disadvantages to writing a food blog from a growing region California is that my food seasons are different than so many other people’s. While I want to write things that people can make now, what I can make is different. While I’m seeing other bloggers post everything fall (so much pumpkin spice and winter squash!) we are still seeing squash blossoms at the farmer’s market and delicata squash hasn’t even shown up at the local farm stands yet. I haven’t worked much with squash blossoms previously as I though them too fussy and most of the recipes…Continue Reading

Sep 252018

Chickpeas with Egg, Grapes, and Tomatoes

Sometimes subtle flavors can be some of the best. You don’t need to drown something in sauce to make it taste good. That’s not to say there aren’t delicious sauces that you might want to put on everything. But there are times when you don’t want to put a bunch of effort into a dish, and that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor. This is one of those quick to throw together dishes which tastes delicious. I tend to keep cooked chickpeas and hard-boiled eggs available as much as possible because they are such easy additions to a salad…Continue Reading

Sep 142018

Bittersweet Jewel

I was going to make tequila variant on a negroni the other day to accompany grilling some chicken (a nice mustard 5-spice marinade I need to work on perfecting). Unfortunately I discovered that we did not have enough Campari. But I still wanted something bitter and vegetal, so time to come up with something different. I kept with the light smokiness of the tequila to complement the grilling and the mustard. A little bit of Campari kept the bitter notes present on the mid palate and the Yellow Chartreuse added to the herbal notes while putting a little sweetness to…Continue Reading

Sep 042018

Turmeric Pickled Deviled Eggs

A few months ago I went to Blind Tiger in Oakland with a friend. One of the items we tried was a trio of pickled deviled eggs (beet ginger, turmeric garlic, black tea shoyu). We both really liked the beet ginger, and well, all of them, so I wanted to create something similar. The garlic was a little much with the turmeric to eat several of, but you can’t really go wrong with the combination of turmeric and ginger so I started from there. I ended up creating a giant platter of them for a party held recently, and they…Continue Reading

Aug 252018

Sweet Corn and Tomato Gazpacho

This corn gazpacho is the soup entry I did for the Fairfield Tomato Festival cooking competition, and actually the recipe I was most please with. It may have only gotten second place in its category, but it is an amazing summer soup. For one thing: gazpacho = no cooking, which is great when there have been too many 90F + days. This was actually my first attempt at gazpacho. In true me fashion, I ended up trying multiple batches at once, both this and a cherry and tarragon version. I’ve had a cherry gazpacho before when I was working in…Continue Reading

Aug 212018

Tomato Coconut Chicken

Continuing on the trend of contest entries, I participated in the cooking competition hosted by Il Fiorello as part of this last weekend’s Fairfield Tomato Festival. Obviously, the parameters involved tomatoes. I did several entries as there were multiple categories and I wanted to push myself. For the soup I did a sweet corn and tomato gazpacho, as a salad I did a fried eggplant, tomato, and onion, and for the sauce category I did this tomato coconut chicken – which won the sauce category (even though I think it kind of stretches the definition of sauce). I will post…Continue Reading

Aug 162018

Rummun – A Cocktail

I really like using competitions as a way to spark creativity in cooking an cocktail making. Unfortunately, most cocktail competitions require that you are working at least part time at a regular bar establishment – which rather excludes me these days. What I really hate with these competitions is when they don’t announce this fact until the application process. I even went looking for the competition rules and regulations to determine if there was this kind of limitation before I started designing for the competition. But I suppose all is well that ends with a good cocktail. While many people…Continue Reading