Little did I know, when Maggy Keet of Three Many Cooks. invited me on a trip to Redwood Hill Farm and Creamery, that I would meet some of the loveliest people I know. One of those folks was Jess Goldman Foung of Sodium Girl. Jess and I sat across from one another at my favorite Thai Restaurant, Lers Ros, but Jess wasn’t eating. You see, Jess was diagnosed with Lupus in 2004 and the disease attacked her kidneys. She was supposed to be on dialysis for the rest of her days, but with healthy lifestyle changes, Jess is living it up, to her heart (and kidney’s) content. Eating almost no sodium at all, Jess still manages to make gorgeous and tasty food.
Jess’s fantastic cookbook Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook was released today! When she asked me to participate in a sodium-free recipe rally, I was all over it. Joshua and I eat a pretty clean diet and since we don’t eat processed foods, neither of us has a huge taste for the salty stuff. That being said, I do use a variety of sea salts and natural mineral-rich salt in my cooking. It’s an easy crutch to just add a bit of salt to perk up the flavor of a dish. Was I up for the challenge? Of course, I’m up for it- I decided to push myself and makeover one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Buffalo Chicken- and not just lower sodium, I’m going for lower … get the recipe
Maggy and I are both getting a little sweaty in the heat of Becky’s Salt Lake City Kitchen. The tomatoes are roasting, the olives have been pulsed into garlicky, briny, tapenades, and Becky is snapping away as Maggy and I work the dough for our two tomato tarts.
It started as an idea to highlight summer’s best seasonal ingredient (the tomato, duh!), a way for a few food-blogging girl friends to make lunch together, and then Becky (of The Vintage Mixer fame) had to go suggesting we turn this thing into a competition. Friends/Judges were called, lines were drawn in the sand, and the tomato tart-off was invented.
With the competition heating up, Maggy and I worked feverishly, tasting each component of our tomato tarts. A little salt here, a smidge more vinegar there. I kept my eye on her making sure she wasn’t bribing the judge when I turned my back. I mean, I wouldn’t put anything past her. She may be adorable, but that girl is one fierce competitor. Luckily Becky was monitoring both of us- who can say whether I may have winked once or twice at our friendly judge, Mike, if she hadn’t been keeping tabs.
Maggy’s tart crust was blind baking and the smell of butter wafted its golden scent from the oven. Sealing the empty shell with an egg wash prevented the dreaded soggy bottom and readied the crust for a glorious creamy chevre interior. When I snuck a taste of the … get the recipe
Last weekend, was one of the most joy-filled, sweet, beautiful, energetic, weekends I’ve had in a good long while. Thanks in no small part to Miss Maggy Keet of Three Many Cooks who organized a trip to Redwood Hill Farm with friends old and new. I’m feeling full of life (and goat cheese). I won’t talk too much, just yet, about my trip to the farm or the ADORABLE baby goats because, well, it’s day three of Cinco De Mayo Week and we have recipes to get to, right?
So far, we’ve had Strawberry Rhubarb Salsa which was (of course) gluten free, vegan, and lactose free. Yesterday, we did DIY homemade lox with a Latin kick. I’m not exaggerating when I say they are the best lox ever and I’m never buying lox again unless it’s a lox emergency. I’ve been known to have those.
Today’s recipe is inspired by my weekend; it’s a smoked goat cheddar quesadilla with shitake mushrooms and wilted spinach with green garlic and cilantro crema. Here’s where the inspiration comes in: I fell in love with Redwood Hill Farm’s smoked goat cheddar. I have rarely loved a smoked cheese this much- I often find them unpleasantly chewy. Also I was inspired by my people, this is a dish that is vegetarian, gluten free, and lactose free, I also didn’t add any salt after a conversation with my new friend Jess of Sodium Girl (the cutest ever) about how spinach can be salty. Shauna of … get the recipe
I know you hear this from an awful lot of girls (and boys), but I have to say it anyway. I am in love with you. But, California, before you dismiss me as just another of your millions of admirers or, worse yet. one of those interloping social climbers, please hear me out.
While many are seduced by your Hollywood glamour or your Silicon Valley connections, don’t worry, California, I know that’s not what makes you tick. I am rather attracted to your curves and those sheer… cliffs you’ve got going on but how can you blame me? I’m only human? You sure have a fabulous way with food and wine, and these things I definitely find appealing.
There are certain things that drive me wild, California, like when you seem to spring into your full bloom while everyone else is still half asleep. How you’re simply radiant and glowing and every hill, mountain, stream, and tiny flower reflects that brilliant glow. How when you’re grey and misty, that misty fog seems expansive and enveloping all at once.
I love that in all the years I’ve known you, I still haven’t gotten to know you all the way. I’ve seen your highest peaks and your lowest valleys (take this as you will), but I have so much more to explore. Others have given up on you, California, saying it’s too hard to be with you. There’s no denying, you’re one expensive love affair to maintain, but I am … get the recipe
Participating in the Burwell General Store Vintage Recipe Swap is one of the highlights of my month. In addition to working with a fantastic community of bloggers, I also get to push my creativity. If you’re not familiar with our swap, I’ll explain. Each month, Christianna chooses a recipe from a vintage recipe book, and we, the bloggers, re-imagine it.
The re-imagining is my favorite part. I have gone from Potato Donuts to Donut Vodka- from Hot Slaw to Bacon and Escarole Custard and from Maple Cake to Savory Maple & Sausage Pies. This month’s vintage recipe is Wild Rice Dressing. It was meant to be stuffed into a turkey.
Three things about the recipe stood out:
- 1. stuffing
- 2. turkey
- 3. curry powder
As I began to brainstorm about this one- I thought turkey, stuffing, thanksgiving, pumpkins… The first thought was to do a turkey sausage and lentil curry in little pumpkins, perhaps with some hand-harvested wild rice. Fate intervened at my butcher shop, when some ground lamb called my name.
Right then and there, I thought of one of my favorite dishes, Kaddo Bourani. It is an Afghani specialty of sweet pumpkin, covered in meat sauce, then topped in yogurt sauce. So, that’s how these little guys came to be. I’ve used potimarron squash (also known as red kuri squash) because the skin is thin and edible. The flesh is dark orange red and tastes rather mapley and of chestnuts which is … get the recipe
My closest people would say that I rarely repeat a dish twice, and in a way it’s true. Once I’ve poked and prodded and looked at a recipe from the inside out, I’m ready to let it go.
But there is another type of dish, the dish that is not really a recipe, the one that comes naturally- without thought. These are the dishes Joshua and I eat throughout the week. Packed off to work in Mason jars, shared with friends who stop by unexpectedly. Never precious, never fancy, always satisfying… these are the meals that warrant lunchtime texts of “Mmmm… thanks for lunch. Soo good. Do we have leftovers?”
In case you were wondering, Hanukkah begins on Tuesday the 20th at sundown, this year (I had to Google it). While I am half Jewish (technically the wrong half), my mother was raised Catholic, but was a practicing Za Zen Buddhist when I was born. To make things all the more confusing, I went to Catholic school, but never had to go to church. I was raised to be very proud of my Jewish heritage on both sides. Yep, both.
So, while we celebrated Christmas, we also celebrated Jewishness. Not Jewish holidays, or customs really. I was happy to be a Jewish girl at Catholic school. Proud that my great grand uncle was Alfred Dreyfus, the Frenchman falsely accused of treason and the subject of one of France’s great political scandal’s known as The Dreyfus Affair. Aunts and uncles spoke in hushed tones of how I didn’t get The Jewish Nose. This made me sad, but appeared to make them happy.
Our Jewishness revolved mostly around food, Yiddish words, and the odd piece of jewelry- a Star of David here, a Mezuzah there. But if I’m honest, it was mostly about the food. Saturdays were deli days. My dad, my brother, and I would go to Mo Greenburg’s Jewish Delicatessen and get knishes, pickles, corned beef or pastrami sandwiches, latkes & pickled Beets. This was as close as I ever got to a temple until I entered high school. This was all I knew of Jewish holidays until my … get the recipe
When you cook with the seasons, it is not just the farms, the environment, your pocketbook, & the community the benefits. Your tastebuds reap the good too. This simple dish came about from walking around my local market and talking to some farmers. The squash is from Capay Organic, the sage from Phan’s Farms. The pancetta was selected as a compliment by speaking to my local butcher who makes it in house. The result? Something truly spectacular yet so easy to make- it reminds me of mac and cheese. It is sophisticated in a rustic way.
We enjoyed this as part of a harvest supper with friends and family. I hope you can enjoy it as much as we did.
- INGREDIENTS BUTTERNUT SQUASH & PANCETTA PASTA
- 1 package orichiette, cooked al dente, drained and 2 cups of cooking liquid, saved
- 1 butternut squash
- olive oil for roasting
- ¼ lb pancetta diced
- 6 leaves sage diced
- 3 oz Parmesano Reggiano cheese shredded
- Salt and pepper as needed.
- INSTRUCTIONS BUTTERNUT SQUASH & PANCETTA PASTA
- Preheat oven to 425º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Halve and seed a medium butternut squash and rub with olive oil
- Roast on baking sheet for 35 minutes until golden brown and bubbly
- While squash is roasting, sauté pancetta in a large chef’s pan over medium-low heat and discard most of the fat – keeping 1 tablespoon in the pan (saving it should you choose)
- Scoop the butternut squash from the skin and
… get the recipe