Category Archives: Food

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

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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