I am pleased. I brought out the sourdough starter from the fridge, inspired by several regular bakers, to have another go.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I am pleased. I brought out the sourdough starter from the fridge, inspired by several regular bakers, to have another go.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
So I quickly walked home and searched the cupboard to see what I could come up with in a hurry. Here's what it is:
Raisin Coconut Balls
3 handfuls of raisins
Maybe 10 leftover dried cranberries
1 cup coconut butter, softened by the sun
About 1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes, ground in coffee grinder
1/4 tsp seasalt
A generous sprinkling of sesame seeds
A handful of sunflower seeds
2 tbsp softened butter
1 tsp+ Vitamineral Green* powder
I mixed all ingredients in the food processor at once, scooped them out onto a cookie sheet using a teaspoon measure, and just shaped the blobs enough so that they won't fall apart when picked up. The cookie sheet went into the freezer, and I'll scoop some out into a container as we leave for the airport in the morning!
I have learned that, refreshingly, children do not exhibit that Puritanical determination I have cultivated to eat something "just because it's good for me," even if I don't like it. ; ) So I only added a bit of the green powder - enough to darken the mixture, and a small enough amount that, when tasting it, Anjali asked for more.
It is inspiring for me to have variations that work, as I rarely make something exactly the same twice.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I'm excited that this "news" is making it to the mainstream. I really believe that slowly our cultural tide is turning back to Real Food.
(my side note: if you manage to get to the bottom of this article, he recommends eating by a "nutritional type". I haven't researched his basis for this, though I think it makes a LOT of sense to eat according to your ethnic heritage, ie, what your ancestors evolved eating because of where they lived.. So, though I agree with him on most of his suggestions, I can't vouch for his "nutritional types" theory.)
Saturday, August 07, 2010
I have tried two batches, and the second batch has a great texture and flavor. I didn't write down the amounts as I went because I was just winging it in experimental mode. But I'll try to recount what went into them.
In a large pyrex mixing bowl with filtered water, seasalt and yogurt whey, I soaked for two days:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup flax seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup raw almonds
I drained these, and blended them well in a food processor (the flax seeds remained whole).
probably 1/3 cup dulse flakes
1/2 cup sesame seeds, ground in coffee grinder
2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes, ground in coffee grinder
2 + tsp seasalt
1 tsp kelp powder (I wanted them to be very nourishing, but not fishy tasting)
a splash of organic tamari soy sauce
about 1/2 cup plain whole yogurt
Melted and added:
1 tbsp red palm oil
2-3 tbsp coconut oil
up to a stick of butter
The consistency of the dough before I spread it was of a very workable bread dough ~ not hard to spread. I tried to spread it consistently and square off the edges so that it would bake uniformly, about..1/3 inch thick.
When the dough had baked long enough to evaporate a lot of the liquid ~ maybe an hour? ~ I scored it with a knife, in inch-plus sections, to make breaking it easier when the crackers were done. I let them get firm, but not browned, then turned the oven off and let it cool before taking them out and breaking them apart. If they sit out in the humidity they soften back up even in a matter of hours. You can just crisp them again in the oven. Or not; they're fine soft, too.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 04, 2010
So, sourdough = good; seeds = bad, and I'm really not sure why.
But the photo is nice, don't you think?
Friday, July 02, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
1 can coconut milk
about 1 inch knob of ginger, peeled with spoon, then grated with a Microplane, with about a tsp set aside for pork
1 carrot, sliced
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
about 1/3 pound ground pork
fish sauce (simply of anchovy, salt, and sugar), to taste
1 tbsp rice vinegar
enough rice noodles* for two people
a large handful of sugar snap peas, tips chopped and strings removed
a small handful cilantro, chopped, for garnish
red pepper flakes
This can all be done in pretty rapid succession; the veggies should retain some texture. Heat the broth and coconut milk to boiling. Add ginger, garlic, and carrots, fish sauce and vinegar. Knead the pork with the tsp ginger and a little sea salt, and drop bite-sized pieces into the soup. Add water as necessary to keep it soupy. Wait a few minutes and add the pasta. When the pasta is very close to done, toss in the snap peas and cover while you get the bowls ready; the snap peas should cook only till bright green. Serve in large bowls, with cilantro and red pepper flakes sprinkled on top, to taste.
*Whenever we eat pasta, we use Tinkyada brown rice pasta. Unlike other white and even whole grain pastas, it is a whole product ~ fully available for the body. And it's tasty, with a good texture.
A late-summer variation:
Substitute cubed (unpeeled but scrubbed) sweet potatoes - or my recent favorite discovery: purple yams! - for the carrot and snap peas. Simmer in the broth until soft but still intact.
Substitute cooked brown rice for rice noodles.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I had a craving and made late-night Jali-won't-sleep muffins! And she helped! We had a blast. I threw them together as quickly as possible to ensure I actually got to eat one before Little Person made it obvious that bedtime had come! We finally trotted up to bed (with a second muffin in fist) at 9:45. Whew!
Saturday, April 24, 2010
We got a huge bag of "cosmetically challenged" apples at the farmers' market from the end of the cellar-apple season - there ended up being a lot of Fujis. So I froze some after baking, and made a quart-plus of apple butter with the rest. We wish I'd made more!
Lacto-fermented Apple Butter
- a quart-plus (wish I could tell you how many apples, but you'll
have to figure it out for yourself...)
Bake, covered, at 400:
Apples- quartered and cored - not peeled
Once they are soft, take off the lid and bake another 15 mins, then
turn off the oven and let them sit until their edges are browned and
crisp (this is usually just me forgetting about them...).
Blend cooled apples in a food processor with:
1/4 cup of whey - drained from plain, live-active organic yogurt
1 tbsp seasalt
1.5 tbsp raw honey
Pour into a clean jar and cover with a sterile lid.
Let sit at room temperature for 3 days, then refrigerate.
Will last 2-3 months.
You might as well go ahead and plan to make more than one batch...!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
prepared lamb; more than once, I've ordered it out and been
disappointed with the tough gaminess of what was called lamb. We love
ground lamb from Marin Sun Farms and Highland Hills about as well as
any nice cut. It is just so flavorful and juicy!
Here is a guideline for lamburgers I've seasoned and Sealion has
fashioned and grilled several times with mouth-watering results. It
could easily be a kebab recipe, but Sealion pats them into sphere-ish
patties which don't need skewers, or aluminum foil to prevent them
from being sacrificed to the grill god. ;-)
These would go nicely with a Greek salad or a light couscous pilaf-
type dish. Tonight we grilled beets, onions, and garlic with olive
oil, seasalt and pepper. and sesame seeds. Um. Yum.
Lamburgers - makes 3 or 4 patties
Marinate 1 lb pasture-raised lamb* with
5 med garlic cloves - pressed
1tsp red pepper flakes
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1tsp cumin and
1tsp coriander - both freshly toasted (toasting in a dry skillet
brings out the flavor!)
2+tbsp mint - minced
2+tbsp red onion - minced
Whole grain sourdough bread crumbs
Feta on top
Yogurt for dipping
Pat into thick, rounded patties. Grill to your liking, or fry in a
cast-iron skillet. Melt feta on top in the last minute or so.
Serve with yogurt for dipping.
*I've heard that all lamb is pastured, but it's always best to buy
from someone you trust.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
This is how I've been preparing them - with bacon grease and sauteed onion. Of course you can use another fat, but bacon grease really counters the bitterness nicely. Nutritionally, the fat helps make the green goodness available to your body; just as importantly, it tastes good!
2 tbsp bacon grease*
One onion - chopped
1 tsp seasalt, to taste
1 bunch dandelion greens, chopped no wider than my pinky
In a cast iron skillet, sauté the onion in the bacon grease until very soft. Chop the greens before soaking - cut the whole bunch off above the twist tie. Then start at the tips and chop down, making sure the pieces are very small. To clean, soak in a bowl of water. Then, pull them out of the soaking water by the handful directly into the skillet so that some water comes with the greens to help with cooking. Fold the greens in with the onions and cover at medium-high heat. Stir occasionally. Cook until the greens are soft, and serve piping hot. I've been enjoying them by the bowlful with a little bit of brown rice. Here's to Spring - Salud!
* about bacon grease ~ Only use nitrate- and nitrite-free bacon that has been humanely raised. It's worth the occasional splurge! Lately we have been loving Prather Ranch bacon. Makes my mouth water just to type it! Here's how to save the delicious grease: after frying the bacon while the skillet is still very hot, rubber band a clean kitchen cloth (like an already-stained kitchen towel or napkin) over the mouth of a clean jar. Then slowly and carefully pour the bacon grease through the napkin. This will strain out all the bits so that the grease can be used again. Refrigerate until you're ready to enjoy it in another meal. Yum!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Three Stone Hearth included this little song in their weekly newsletter. Now this is a song I can relate to -one that passionately waxes poetic about good food. I love the lilt you can hear in the "Yes you did.." line. Makes me wanna be Irish. And eat a big pile of Colcannon. Or at least mashed potatoes with cream and butter...
Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?
Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it sure the nearer I'm to cry.
Oh, wasn't it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot?
Sunday, March 07, 2010
1 large sweet potato
1/2 red onion, chopped small
A large cereal bowlful of greens, chopped fine
Fat for sauteeing (such as butter or bacon grease)
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup milk
Chevre - a goodly amount
Sea salt - a 1/2 tsp each for greens and custard mixture
Freshly ground pepper
I sauteed the onion and the pile of greens - dandelion and kale
mainly - while I baked a large sweet potato. I cracked 8 eggs into a
mixing bowl with 1/4 cup cream and 1/4 cup milk, then added the peeled
sweet potato, sea salt and ground pepper, and took the immersion
blender to it to mix it till frothy (a blender would work fine).
Filled buttered muffin cups with a layer of the sauteed greens, then
topped off with the custard mixture up to maybe 1/4 inch from the top.
Then! I plopped generous spoonfuls of chevre into the center of each.
Baked at 350 until golden and firm. They came out all puffed up and
beautiful, but quickly fell as any other puffed egg thing does. Still
delicious!! I have an earthenware muffin cup dish with extra-large
cups. I'd say it would've been 8 regular-sized muffins.
But then there was a lot of the custard left over. So I poured it into
buttered (cast iron) mini-muffin cups that baked up to look and taste
just like popovers! With a really nice sweetness and color from the
sweet potato. A pat of butter that inevitably slid down the piping hot
muffin onto my fingers just meant that they were literally finger-
And both were a hit with the adults as well as the wee one of the
house, so they score extra stars.
In the future I might either use fewer eggs to make fewer muffins,
or saute' more greens to fill all the muffins. But as it was, I
enjoyed having some more meal-like muffins and some treat-like ones.
Experiment amongst yourselves and get back with me.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
It has been such fun for me to have this lovely email conversation with you while you were gone.! As much as I look forward to your return, I will miss the ritual it has become to write you a letter as I'm nursing Jali to sleep at night. You have been an inspiring and gentle muse. In the kitchen, as well, not a meal gets prepared for which I'm not thinking about how I will report to you about it: "yes, greens again," or: "I bet I wouldn't be cooking yet another hotdog if Austin were here," or, the best: "I should save some of this so Austin can try it.!" I actually did jar up and freeze some soup I made that I thought was extra tasty, but I think Sealion ended up taking it to work for lunch...
So, one last food report:
What happens when Tiffanie uses her discipline to avoid eating a delectable white-flour biscuit at Venus yesterday??She gets to eat a Whole Batch of homemade sprouted spelt biscuits at home!! I win! I followed the recipe in The Art of Simple Food, by Alice Waters (my gift to myself the time we ate a Chez Panisse dinner!), which calls for 3/4 cup heavy cream (!) as the liquid, and used sprouted spelt for the flour. I think I rolled them too thin, however I employed the technique I learned from Porsche and Misa to just barely mix the ingredients, and then fold it a few times, to create a flakey crispy pastry essentially. They could've been a pie crust - and that's a compliment.! Last night Sealion was off-kilter after getting home from a nightshift, so he wasn't hungry. I did something uncharacteristic of our meals here at the Pope house - I just made biscuits. And I had a big bowl of baked apples that I happened to cook that afternoon to take advantage of the end of the season at the farmers' market - "cosmetically challenged" apples. So one by one I spread butter on biscuit and perched a baked apple quarter on top. Hello? Better than apple pie. Austin, it was so good. What's almost as good as having fresh biscuits and butter and baked apples for dinner? Having leftovers for breakfast! I scored.
The other night I made an impromptu Indian dish that rocked. If you lean toward Asian in your cooking, I go for Indian these days. I love the artful way they prepare spices.. And I love the rich, slow-cooked sauces. It was coconut curry with potatoes and sweet potatoes. Anjali scarfed it down despite it being pretty heavy on the cayenne. I was pleasantly surprised.
Ok! I imagine you'll actually be home by the time you read this, but I just wanted to be in this space one more time.
Monday, March 01, 2010
And now on to the recipe.
Last night I had a craving for comforting Indian-style creamy sauce. I had in my cabinet:
a large sweet potato,
two small white potatoes,
a large onion,
and a jar of coconut milk.
I also had brown rice.
Fennel seeds, and
So I put the brown rice, water, and a tablespoon of coconut oil in a pot to cook, following the instructions on the package (takes an hour). I chopped the onion into pieces about as big as my thumbnail, and cut the potatoes into slices about the width of my pinky, and then quartered the bigger slices. I put a couple tablespoons of butter in a cast iron Dutch oven and turned the heat to medium-low. For time's sake, I threw all the veggies in at once. Then I bathed my daughter (you can skip this step; it's optional (-; ). Since they were on a pretty low heat, I didn't worry, and just glanced in to see them steaming every now and then. When Anjali was dry and in her favorite handed-down bubblegum pink bathrobe (which, in reference to your blog, Randi, I never would've kept if she hadn't dragged it from the bag and insisted I zip it up on her and then wouldn't take off for two days), I turned up the heat to medium, stirred the veggies, and stirred in: a tsp seasalt, a tsp cumin, a tsp coriander, a tsp powdered ginger, a tsp turmeric, a 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp fennel seeds, and ... a thorough sprinkle of cayenne (less than 1/8 tsp). I let these cook for about five minutes and then poured in a can of coconut milk (don't use "lite" - use the real deal! Delicious *and* good for you!!). I brought it up to an enthusiastic simmer and put the lid on. Stirring occasionally, I let this cook until the potatoes were tender. At the end I added about 1/3 pound of ground lamb that I had seasoned with salt and pepper, and browned in a skillet with butter. But this could be a delicious and filling vegetarian meal, easily. You could even add some canned chick peas during the simmer, and/or a couple handfuls of chopped greens such as kale.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Oh- reminds me I need to check the kombucha.. The last batch with citron oolong keeps getting rave reviews. I guess I'll have to do it again..
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I took this photo just for you. (kinda dark but you get the idea.)
A recap of good food:Having Teresa here was such rejuvenation for me. ! She left yesterday morning. We had sooo much girly fun, food fun, and just old-friend fun. I love her. I was inspired to make new recipes and create new dishes several times while she was here, and we ate out many times and had some killer food. The last day we got into the city and spent the bulk of he afternoon in Dolores Park - the weather smiled on us so that we even had some sun. We found several yummy-looking restaurants in the Mission that we want to go back to! Yippee!
Cheers! Or as Anjali would say, "tziizz!"For Valentine's Day I made flourless almond waffles with decadent dark n spicy chocolate sauce, then for dinner - Valentine Soup- roasted b-nut squash and beets pureed in a soup with greens. One day I made butternut squash pancakes that were stellar and delectable. That day we went to sonoma wine country and had a picnic at a vineyard. A gorgeous day! Friday night we had a progressive meal starting at Cesar for cocktails and appetizers- the highlight being the butternut-sage-stuffed cannelloni drenched in bechamel sauce!! Jesus!!! And an early dinner at Corso. We had a fresh mozzarella salad with The Most Delicious housemade mozzarella I've Ever Eaten!!! Cream was folded into it. I could've eaten the whole ball myself, but not much more because it was so rich. We really did it up right. Saturday we went to an authentic crepe place called Ti Couz in the Mission. I'd love to take you there. Then for dinner we ate at a place called Luna Park Cafe, where they served housemade corndogs (!) stuffed with three different sausages! It inspired me to try to perfect my own corndog concoction because I Loved corndogs when I was a kid! So get ready. ;-)For our last home breakfast I created what I called Teresa Breakfast Salad - fried eggs atop a salad of bitter and spicy greens, (cold) sliced roasted beets, and toasted walnuts with a tangy creme fraiche dressing. Um... Yum!!! A weeklong feast! And now I can begin counting the days till you return to our kitchen. :-)
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Dear Austin -I'm having such a fabulous time with Teresa. So far lots of giggling, and food event after food event! The wine bottles are stacking up in the bin. Today we had the now-usual second-Monday breakfast at Venus. We all ordered the Winter Scramble - it had butternut squash in it.
We girls went for a picnic today - the weather was Gorgeous! We took take- out from Imperial Tea Court (delicious take out) -- pork -and -pumpkin- stuffed dumplings, yellow curry chicken, and handpulled noodles -- to Live Oak Park, and held down the root of a tree while Anjali showed us just how quickly she can run out of our sight - over and over again! It was amazing! One minute within an easy few steps and a grab, the next minute I'm literally running to catch up with her before she dips her toes in the creek clear across the park! Wow.!I have not thrown my food principles totally to the wind, but have been dangling them casually out the window as we eat not 100%whole grain sourdough, chocolate (chocolate chocolate), and even let Anjali have more than one taste of Teresa's gelato today! She bacame an instant addict, as you could imagine.For Valentine's Day Troy was working, but I tweaked the (flourless) almond -egg muffin recipe to become a waffle recipe - so it had almonds, eggs, sweet potato, butter and about half a pint of cream! Then the real kicker was a chocolate sauce of cream milk butter and very dark chocolate with more than a little kick of cayenne. I named it Decadent Dark and Hot Chocolate Sauce. Austin, we ate enough waffles with enough of that sauce to make our hearts beat techno! The chocolate was so intense! Then for dinner I made a soup I have named Valentine Soup: roasted butternut squash with roasted beets pureed with broth onions and garlic to a thick creamy blend the color of ... A valentine. With greens added. Sourdough walnut bread with mounds of butter. Delicioso if I do say so myself.Tonight T and I watched Julie and Julia on the projector screen . We agree that we could do without the Julie character and have a full-length film just of Julia. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and Meryl Streep does a superb job in the role! Ok! Downstairs to finish dinner.