Category Archives: Food

Cool new shaker!!

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I’ve been meaning to share with you my new shaker I ordered! It repurposes a Mason Jar into a cocktail shaker! How cool is that?
Once Lent is over I will give it a whirl..I mean shake!
Two guys from the South, who now live in Brooklyn, organized a Kickstarter for their invention. You can read more about it here.

Here is the link to order! Bottoms up! Cheers to the Mason Shaker

February is Fabulous

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First, has anyone ever had a dog that absolutely loved kale? As you see here, my 2 doxies are extremely anxious to get these greens…licked lips and the stares! Crazy pups!

I have been knitting…not as focused as I would like but have been knitting. On a recent TEDtalk I viewed the other day Matt Cutts talks about doing something for 30 days. It could be anything…but the end result will be something learned, happiness and motivation will result…interesting talk and here’s the linkTry Something For 30 Days

I would love to knit an Icelandic sweater or lopapeysa. See here from Wikipedia…

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I’ve been eyeing them all over ravelry. The use of colors and patterns strike awe and delight when I catch someone wearing one. So for 30 days I will work on my lopi sweater. If I miss a stitch I will rip out until perfect. I have a bad habit of knitting as I go, however it turns out should be fine. However, since following a pattern with various bobbins of yarn throughout the pattern must be followed to arrive at the final result…So here I go…lets lopi!

When the going gets tough the tough gets cooking…

I heard on the radio today that the third Monday in January is called Blue Mondayhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2265639/Most-depressing-day-year-Feeling-Blame-Blue-Monday-2013.html. Often people are low because the holidays are past. Resolutions have been made and not being practiced…etc…So if you are feeling a little low today it’s alright, everyone knows… It will be better tomorrow.

Here’s a sweet little posy I picked from my yard today…

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I did some gardening today. We are getting ready to add lavender and white sage to our plot. My husband dug out a narly root. The sun was out, the dogs mowed down the kale patch. Yes my dogs love kale and arugula! Crazy dachshunds!

I admit I was felling a little blue at times today but cooking really changes my mental state. Maybe it’s the act of creating something nourishing. The smells from browning sausage permeate throughout the house…mmm…I follow a great blog called Tartlette.
Being gluten free, I do need to be careful following some recipes, however Tarlette is great inspiration to me. And I make recipes up too. There are sweet and savory recipes on Tartlette. Check it out. I’m making Ratatouille tonight.
Heres the recipehttp://www.tarteletteblog.com/2009/03/recipe-ratatouille-in-kitchen-with-mom.html?m=1

Over gluten free penne, it’s divine!
Also on the back burner , literally is a sausage, mushroom, pesto sauce which I’ll serve over penne as well, that I just made up, I used my favorite prepared pesto. Here’s how it’s done…
Brown 1 lb Italian sausage, I used hot
Drain fat, sauté sliced mushrooms, 1cup
Boil and drain 1lb pasta
Combine pesto, mushrooms and sausage. Sprinkle cheese if you want.
Eat up!

Have a great week friends!
My pups felt a little blue too today:-)

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Ratatouille stewing…

Home For The Holidays

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Winter break is coming to an end for my boy. Although I worked more than I wanted to while he was home, I loved him and kissed him and laughed along with him as much as I could.
We all enjoyed a day down in Big Sur last week. As a child my family would go down to Big Sur and it would be cold, dreary and gray. The last two times we visited the sky was blue and clear!
The weather could not have been any better for a winter day in Big Sur!

We parked on the side of the road and hiked a half mile to Partington Cove.The water was turquoise! I immediately felt the urge to jump in! Of course I did not…The California Coastal waters are frigid…we decided I would quickly catch hypothermia…

The link above is great if you were ever planning a trip to Big Sur. If you are a rock hound, naturally occurring jade is all over the coast. It’s fun to sift through and find the beautiful hues of green jade on the beaches in Big Sur!

Because I knew we were going to be out all day, I planned ahead by putting a pork loin into the slow cooker for BBQ sammies when we returned home.

Here’s how I do it…
Chop 1 onion
Crush 2 garlic cloves
Put in slow cooker
I used a 2-3 lb pork loin or shoulder, low fat.
Add into slow cooker on top of onions.
Pour 1 cup Coca Cola and 1 cup orange juice onto the pork.
Add 3 T BBQ sauce to slow cooker.
Set slow cooker on low for 8 hours.

When time is up, take out and shred with more BBQ sauce.
Mmmm so good! Since I can no longer tolerate gluten, it’s been a challenge to find a roll or bread that is tolerable. I’m such a lucky girl because after trying Mariposa’s sandwich rolls last week from the farmers market, I’m hooked! They offer breads and sweets, pizza crusts and more …all gluten free. Check out their website…here.Mariposa Bakery
So I piled the pork high with a few homemade pickles I canned last summer. So yummy!

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Happy New Year!

Every year we have a New Years Party. The night revolves around eating and drinking, dancing and eating more. We have a great group of friends who make the trek from Sacramento to bring in the New Year with us. They stay the night and when we all wake up, we go on a New Years hike then back to the house for breakfast.

In case you would like to have a Non New Years Eve party/sleepover here’s the menu I created…
For starters
Black Bean Chrorizo dip the biggest hit among the friends
Onion Dip
Guacamole
Tomatillo-Arbol Pepper Salsa
Kale Chips

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For Eats
I got lots of help from a website called Mexico In My Kitchen and a great suggestion from a friend to make beef tacos.
Pozole
Chicken Enchiladas
Shredded Beef Soft Tacos
Making shredded beef tacos is way easy in the slow cooker. I learned a cooking tip from a friend of mine when making meat in the slow cooker…add dark soda as part of the liquid. I used 1/2 cup Coca Cola and a 1/2 c chicken broth for a 4lb sirloin roast. I browned the roast on all sides first in a Dutch oven, then cooked on low for 8-10 hours and voila!

For Dessert
My dearest friend Mark, brought me a gluten free cake, and a Red Velvet cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes

The signature drinks of the night were Tequila Mojitos and the Urban Bourbon.

New Years Day Breakfast
Beer
Breakfast Burritos
Chorizo and Papas
Tons of Bacon
Triple Berry Scones-gluten free

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Happy New Year Friends!!

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Little Lady Luck

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On the morning of December 31 I went out to my garden and found this little ladybug. Snug as a bug, on my piquito pepper plant. First, I love ladybugs. I always have, ever since I was a little. Im not sure why. They were spotted, red and cute.
In the 70’s my parents belonged to a CB Radio club and my ‘handle’ was even Ladybug…true story.
This past week, the Bay Area finally got it’s winter. The temperatures have dropped to the 20’s at night and in the mornings it’s COLD…So I was a bit surprised when I peeked in my garden and saw this cute little beauty. I took it as a good luck sign for things to come.
Little Lady Luck got me thinking about my garden in 2013. What should I plant?
I’ve been scanning over my seed exchange catalog. Lamenting what to do…
While I haven’t placed my order yet, I’ve made some decisions which i’ll share with you all a little later once my order arrives.
Any suggestions?
What do you grow?

Well until next time, Good Luck in 2013!!

Organic fresh cucumbers…in Fall! Really?

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I’m such a lucky girl! I was at the local farmers market and they had fresh persian cucumbers. It’s December and there’s still tomatoes and cucumbers…unreal! So I had to buy half a dozen cucumbers along with some leeks, garlic, 3 kinds of mushrooms, a loaf of jalapeno bread, a gooey sweet roll for my mom and a loaf of ciabatta for my dad! There is a local baker that sells her bread. I stood there admiring all her wares. Beautiful shapes and types and full of gluten too. Maybe some day someone will invent a pill to allow me and all the other thousands of others who are gluten intolerant to eat freshly baked bread…Hopefully someday…

Usually on one of my days off I Powercook. That is cooking many things all at once so you can enjoy throughout the week or freeze for later. My normal workday including commute is 12-14 hours long. The last thing I want to think of when I get home is what to do for dinner. I heard of Powercooking years ago from some show on TV.

So today I made a couple dishes to use for lunches this week. I love to cook on my days off. It makes me feel accomplished and prepared.

Mushroom, Leek and Kale Soup

Heres the recipe:

  • 3 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Sherry
  • 6 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Sweat out onions and leeks until tender.

Add mushrooms, saute until tender.

Add sherry cook until liquid is reduced by half.

Add stock, bring to a low boil, reduce heat to simmer.

Cook for 10 minutes.

Add chopped kale, cook for 5-7 minutes until kale wilts slightly

Add pepper to taste. I add a pinch of red pepper flakes…Save half and freeze for a rainy day, serve the rest hot.

Portabello, Oyster, Brown Buttons

Portabello, Oyster, Brown Buttons

*** I forgot to write that after tasting the finished soup I felt it needed to be brightened a bit. I squeezed the juice of a whole lemon into the pot and that made the soup perfectly heaven like…
Enjoy!

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Quinoa with Black Bean, Persimmons, Leeks and Cucumbers

Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and cooked (I think quinoa is a great grain. It doesn’t upset my stomach and is full of nutrition. It powered the Mayans for centuries!)
  • 1 leeks, chopped and sautéed slightly browned
  • 3 small cucumbers or 1 English cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 2 small Fuyu persimmons, chopped
  • 1 can Black Beans, rinsed well

Vinaigrette

  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 4 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 c cilantro, chopped

Combine quinoa, cooked leek, cucumbers, beans and persimmons. In a separate bowl combine lime juice, garlic, mustard, vinegar, oil and cilantro. Whisk to emulsify. What is emulsify? Click here.

Add to quinoa, combine well and eat!

I make this salad often. I most often add chopped avocado before I eat or to add a greek flair, feta cheese and kalamata olives. It’s easy, healthy and gluten-free.

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Persimmon Apricot Marmalade

I have been overjoyed looking at all the persimmons we picked the other day. I have looked for persimmon recipes and honestly haven’t found very many that are gluten-free or interesting .
I did find however this recipe for persimmon apricot marmalade that turned out so good I made a second batch already. The jars will be going to my family for Xmas gifts.
I made some adjustments to what I had on hand. I used juice from 2 limes, I added a dash of cinnamon and dropped in 3 cloves instead of using ground. Before I canned the marmalade I removed the cloves.
My husband had a leek and bacon scramble with Food for Life Raisin Pecan Toast and used an entire jar of Marmalade! Mmmmm….good!

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Fall is here…

60 lbs of Persimmons!

60 lbs of Persimmons!

Our nice new neighbor invited us over to pick as many as we could, ripe fuyu persimmons! He doesn’t like the things! So now I have 60 lbs of persimmons to use within the next two weeks.

I really learned to cook when I was 30. I grew up in the 70’s when moms had to go to work and what was for dinner was straight from a box or can. I learned alot from the FoodNetwork and from a subscription to CookingLight magazine. I belong to the church of Fanny Farmer too! From her cookbook, I learned how to boil water and roast pumpkin seeds, make butter toffee and banana bread. Her recipes are simple and tried and true. It was a wonderful foundation to learn how to cook.

I’m adventurous in the kitchen. I will try anything, although watching Julie & Julia recently I would have second thoughts stabbing a lobster between the eyes! So what I have planned for the persimmons…definately Apricot Persimmon Marmalade, Persimmon Bread and I found a recipe for Persimmon Chutney to use with pork. I will share recipes as I go along…

Bon Apetit!

Hello Baby

Meet my Baby butternut

Organic and mellow colored. Meet my baby butternut.
My summer garden was a BUST this year, except for this beauty. I’ll be making Chaana Masala with her.
I put in kale, beets and carrots for my winter garden. I also started a lettuce box also. There really is nothing like going in your yard and picking fresh herbs and veggies to consume. I am a believer in growing something even if its in a bucket or on a windowsill. It feels good to grow food and to share your bounty with your neighbors doesn’t hurt either.

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