Feb 142019

Chocolate Dipped Orange Macaroons

Sweet, citrusy coconut macaroons dipped in dark chocolate for an everyday-is-a-special-day treat. Since everyone else is posting chocolate coated everything for Valentine’s day, so I suppose I should get on the bandwagon. But because it’s me, it definitely isn’t going to be heart shaped! I did actually make these for H (and sent them just in time for Valentine’s day), who is off in the middle of nowhere for a couple months. Since he’s lacking my cooking (and worse, I’ve been lacking someone who will eat all my random creations), I’ve been sending a few packages of treats. He really…Continue Reading

Feb 122019

Cauliflower and Parsnip Soup

An earthy, wintery soup with cauliflower and parsnip that is rich and creamy, highlighting the subtle sweetness of parsnip as an under-appreciated vegetable. What would winter be without creamy vegetable soups? Especially when they don’t even include cream. Inspired by the ingredients I had in the fridge at the time, this parsnip and cauliflower is wonderfully warm when it gets so frosty out that the dog is refusing to go outside. Dyson really will do anything to avoid the outdoors when it is cold or rainy. We haven’t tried introducing him to snow yet, but that may have to be…Continue Reading

Jan 282019

Mandarin Ginger Mochi

Sweet cakes with a perfectly crusty exterior, chewy center, hint of spicy ginger, and zing of fresh citrus. These butter mochi derivations are worth the wait for them to cool. Conveniently dairy and gluten free. I have an extreme fondness for chewy/gummy sweets. And since the other day I ran out and didn’t want to go to the store – it was a good time to get creative. I’ve made chocolate mochi bites in the past, but I wanted something different. I started with this butter mochi recipe from Miss Hangry Pants, but since I had some coconut milk open,…Continue Reading

Jan 222019

Watermelon Radish and Pomelo Salad

Watermelon radish salad side view

Baby lettuces with colourful watermelon radishes and pomelo are dressed with a sweet maple balsamic vinaigrette and almonds for a light salad that works beautifully in winter to counter all those rich dishes that cold weather invites. I started getting a new CSA box recently which I have been quite pleased with. There have been some interesting finds that have shown up, like these small lettuce heads which came as part of the “stir fry mix”. They were just the sort of thing that would look amazing on a plate as part of simple salad. Within the same week we…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

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

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 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