I live in San Francisco, so someone is always going on a cleanse. I hear of people drinking nothing but lemonade for ten to 40 days. Juice cleanses are super popular and admittedly delicious. I even watched a video of a woman who did three back to back 40-day water fasts. Well, she called it a cleanse, I call it starvation. Poor thing looked like she was about to die at the end.
Everyone has their own reasons for doing a cleanse. Some people site health, fitness goals, or the hope of relieving a particular ailment. My story is a little different. A couple of months ago, I was browsing through some photos on my computer, and a picture came up from when I was on tour with my band. I noticed that my skin looked fabulous. Now, mind you, I’d been in an RV with four boys and two pit bulls for a number of days. I’d been staying up late and doing my share of drinking. The only difference was that I’d been eating incredibly healthy foods and had cut out meat entirely. I thought to myself, “It’s time for another little bout of veggie time.” The very next day, Groupon had a great deal on a vegan cleanse with a nutritionist at the helm, and I bit.
Now, some people may be content to eat plain lentils and quinoa with steamed kale, but not this tart. I can cleanse and still enjoy it. If I’m cutting out … get the recipe
The Girls from eco.love winery, the girls of VCO, and lil ol’ me decided at our first wine night, that we had to have a second girls night and and third and a fourth. We even named it. Jane kindly opened her (GORGEOUS) home for the occasion, so I offered to do the cooking and of course, eco.love provided the oh so delicious sauvignon blanc and reisling wine.
This group of girls is so fun and eclectic; interior designers, foodies, winemakers, yogis, editors, and marathon runners just to mention a few. Our little group expanded to nine for this party- even though two of our original group were unable to make it and were very sorely missed.
I knew the food had to be super simple since I’d only have about two hours to prepare it before our gathering. Normally I’d do shopping and prep the day before, but I’d just had another dinner party the previous evening as well! Laissez les bons temps roullez.
I decided to do a build your own crostini bar because it’s fun, and interactive, and allows people to eat to their own tastes and dietary restrictions. For this, I toasted and sliced ciabatta. I made toasted pecans with a little salt, sugar, and pepper. I put out two kinds of cheeses, gorgonzola and honeyed chevre. The true stars of the bar though, were, my homemade blueberry, ginger, vanilla jam and the candied rosemary vanilla bacon! Since all of the ingredients worked together, it … get the recipe
I am about to begin a vegan cleanse. I’ve been stepping down- adding more vegan meals to our weekly routine. Recently, I’ve even been hard at work practicing some tofu cooking techniques that make tofu truly loveable rather than just reliable.
But still, I had a lovely little pescatarian tartine (open faced sandwich) for lunch yesterday. It was inspired by Captain Mike’s Holy Smoke at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market which is appropriate, because it featured their naturally sweet and earthy smoked albacore* along with fresh red beets, avocado, and some special touches to make a lunch for one seem really sweet and special even though it takes all of five minutes to make. I had a cup of green tea and a little salad with this and sat in the window watching the rain pour down. The blush of the albacore, with the deep jewel tone of the beets and the creamy green of the avocado provided a welcome punch of color on a dreary day.
- 1 slice slightly toasted ciabatta
- 2 teaspoons cream cheese
- 2 thin slices red beet
- 1 leaf Belgian endive
- 4 slices smoked fish
- 1 slice avocado
- drizzle of olive oil
- few grains fleur du sel (optional)
- sprinkle of lavender sugar (optional)
Top toasted ciabatta with ingredients in the order listed and enjoy.
What is your favorite lunch for one? Is there something special you make just for you? A rainy-day trick you have to make the world seem a little bit brighter? … get the recipe
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love pickles. When I was a little girl, I was endlessly entertained by Vlassic commercials, you know, the one with the stork, That’s the Best Pickle I Ever Ate. But in truth, I preferred the snap of a Claussen Pickle “always cold, never cooked”.
Saturdays, my dad would take us to Moe Greenburg’s New York Deli located in sunny, Millbrae, California. This was the coolest thing in the world because my dad’s name was Moe and he was from New York. We’d get kasha knishes, patata (potato) knishes, lox, corn beef sandwiches, bagel dogs, and of course creamed herring, but the best was when Moe would let me reach into the barrel with the tongs and get my own GIANT kosher dill. These days, on Saturdays, my husband and I tend to trek up to Bernal Heights to 331 where we pick up a jar of garlic dills from Paulie’s Pickling and then I proceed to eat the entire thing by Monday morning!
I suppose pickles play into my family history from my mother’s side as well. When my godfather, Henri Cardinaux, moved to this country from France in the early 1950s, he worked for a convent. His English was, shall we say, spotty. The nuns were preparing for a celebration and they asked Monsieur Cardinaux to procure twelve dozen carnations. “Twelve dozen? Mon Dieu! So many?” he asked- making sure he understood. This seemed like a very large number. “Twelve dozen.” … get the recipe
I may not be the typical girl when it comes to romance. I told my husband early on that hearts and roses were not the way to woo me. This may not be entirely true. The night I met my husband, I saw a tattoo peeking out of the top of his work shirt, I unbuttoned the top button to get a better peek. (I was much bolder in my younger years). The tattoo was an anatomical heart right over his heart. I just so happen to be a lover of vintage medical drawings, so I really liked this tattoo (and the chest it was festooning by the way).
Fast forward quite a few years (ahem like 10) and my husband bought me the best present EVER for my birthday last year. It was a solid silver anatomical heart necklace- handmade by an amazing jewelry maker. If you have met me, chances are, you’ve seen and noticed this odd and beautiful piece of jewelry. It’s certainly a conversation starter. He knows my taste so well, and I know his. This dinner was made just for him and features almost all of his favorite foods prepared in a way that might raise a few eyebrows as well.
I suspect you’re thinking of something sweet right now… maybe in the candy family? Well not quite. These, mi amor, mi corazon, are literally hearts- anticuchos de corazon- or grilled beef hearts. This is a Peruvian style street food dish with my … get the recipe
A couple of years ago, one of the editors at Care (the website where I work) asked if I ever made non-traditional Thanksgiving desserts. Funny thing was, I had never made a pumpkin pie. Truth, be told, I still haven’t made one, even though I love it. Anyway, I had just made an Autumn cake for a dinner party, which was really delicious and again, out of character since it was rare for me to bake and even more rare for me to make something up and have a success.
I think this was based on some buttery, sour creamy, pumpkin pound cake I found in one of my mother’s old cookbooks, but I have never been able to find the original recipe. It was probably filled with canned pumpkin and white sugar and premixed pumpkin pie spice or even sweetened pumpkin filling! Anyway, I went to town on it, replacing all of the butter with grape seed oil and all of the sugar with maple syrup. There is low fat Greek yoghurt and fresh pureed butternut squash and a whole lot of delicious spice in the cake.
Here’s what happened next. Care2 published my little cake on the website and I was pretty excited to see one of my recipes on the web; it was my very first! Then, a little while later, a woman named Laura C. Martin contacted me asking if she could use my recipe in a book to be published by Sterling Press called Green … get the recipe
I met Christianna, CM for short, the amazing woman behind Burwell General Store on Twitter and that was it, we were instant friends. I am fond of this type of irony- our blossoming friendship which is based on something old-fashioned and real and honest namely, the shared love of real food and recipes was built on such a thoroughly modern platform. Anyway, upon meeting CM, I loved the name of her blog, I loved the food she was cooking, her literary voice, and the real feeling of community she fostered. Right away, she introduced me to Lindsay from Rosemarried and I was hooked on another new blog written by an incredibly talented and very sweet woman. When she invited me to join her recipe swap in January, it was just a little too close to the deadline, plus she hit upon my secret fear of frying with the fritter challenge.
The recipe swap involves bloggers creating our own versions of recipes from a funny little book Christianna picked up at a junk store, All-Day Singin’ and Dinner on the Ground. This month’s recipe was “Company Time Lemon Cake” which totally spoke to me. I love citrus of any kind, but especially lemons. Friends bring me lemons off of their trees, I buy lemons practically by the gross, I’ll make lemon marmalade, lemon curd, lemon syrup, custard, cake, pancakes, preserved lemons, well you get the picture. As far as desserts go, I’d rather have lemon than chocolate any day and I … get the recipe