Jan 012019

Winter Syrups and Liqueurs: Part 1

To make use of the bounty of lemons the tree provided this year – and just because I wanted to – I started making some liqueurs this year. But since it’s me, I couldn’t stick to a simple limoncello or even doing one recipe at a time. So we got a lemon and black tea liqueur and a pomegranate spice liqueur (I had some pomegranate arils that need to be used). But then I realized I hadn’t done enough gifts for people I was about to see before the holidays (the bourbon caramels from a previous post) – liqueurs to…Continue Reading

Dec 262018

A Radish Green Sauce for Fish

Often, I like to work with the pieces of produce and meat that don’t get much use. The tops of root vegetables, hock bones, and peels. Radish greens don’t get a lot of love, except as the occasional odd pesto variant. Here I used that same principle but made it a little saucier to complement the fish I was working with (it would also work very well on chicken).  I don’t cook or eat much fish. I didn’t use to like it at all, but I’ve since realized that is mostly because of how it was prepared/varieties that were very…Continue Reading

Dec 182018

Bourbon Old-fashioned Caramels

A bourbon old-fashioned. In a caramel form. Covered in dark chocolate. Step aside simple bourbon caramels, you have been upstaged. You and your kitchen will get messy making these. It’s best just to resign yourself to it,keep the dog away from the chocolate splatters and clean up later. Cleaning up while working with the chocolate leaves you at the risk of getting water into the chocolate which throws off the crystalline structure, leading to blooming –that crumbly, light texture that happens. And I wouldn’t recommend trying to make these if the temperature in your kitchen is over 75F. I do…Continue Reading

Nov 242018

Fall Kale Salad

Now that we are back to being between holidays (so everyone is not going crazy over turkey and sweet potato everything), it’s definitely time to enjoy some of the other flavors of fall. Kale is definitely one of those flavors. I know it was all the rage several years ago and has fallen somewhat out of favor (to be replaced by avocado for the moment), but I really like using it in salads. It gives the salad a much heartier flavor and meatier mouthfeel that makes you feel like you are eating more. It also balances very well with the…Continue Reading

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