It's spring and the beets are in bloom. I harvested most of the beets from the garden this weekend and decided to pickle and can them. You can freeze the beet greens for soup or saute them as a side dish with olive oil, garlic, raisins and pine nuts. Pickled beets and onions are wonderful with goat cheese on a crostini, as a topping for hamburgers or hot dogs, or simply as a snack right out of the jar.
Pickled Hot Peppers
July 29, 2012
You may have guessed by now that I'm crazy about pickling things. I have pickled peppers here, but this is a classic recipe that you could use to pickle any vegetable that you want to make crunchy, sour, salty and sweet. Use with a cheese plate, or on burgers and hot dogs. To can them for long-term storage, use my Honey-Ginger Grapefruit Marmalade recipe and start at step #6. Otherwise, keep in the fridge and use within 2-3 weeks.
Chocolate Covered “Bacon”
July 18, 2010
Well I know I said I'd be off today, but I was doing my weekly post for Davis Life Magazine (called the Early Girl Foodie Weekend) and I covered the California State Fair that opened last Wednesday. Every year they announce a new food item, usually a greasy, fried abomination. This year was no different (for example, fried scorpions are a new menu item), but I was quite intrigued by the chocolate covered bacon. I had heard of people making bacon ice cream so this seemed interesting. I made my own, veggie style, and I have to say the results were not that bad. I added some creative enhancements - freshly cracked salt, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and banana. I would have to say, remembering what bacon used to taste like, that unless you are a veggie, go with the real stuff. The fakin' bacon just doesn't have the fat and salt punch. Nevertheless, it's a fun little dessert.
Blistered Sweet Peppers
July 7, 2013
Summer peppers are here in every color and heat! I've been enjoying a similar version of this dish at Bistro 33 in Davis. I couldn't find the shishito peppers they used - these are Italian frying peppers. Other mild peppers you might try are anaheim, banana, gypsy, cherry or cubanelle - they all are significantly lower on the Scoville scale than a jalapeño. An easy go-to appetizer all summer long...
Mushroom Rosemary Parmesan Breakfast Muffins
April 15, 2012
Think you can't get in veggies before 8am? Try making a savory breakfast muffin over the weekend and have a grab-n-go treat every morning for weeks. This combo is sherry mushrooms, fresh rosemary and grated parmesan, but the sky's the limit here. Try spinach and feta, faux sausage and mozz, sage and mushrooms, scallions and red pepper - get creative and then get to work with a healthy breakfast in your belly!
February 2, 2014
I successfully completed my first week at culinary school (with only one very minor knife incident). All week long we made stock - the flavor base for everything from soups and sauces to rice and grains. After about 30 minutes of the stock simmering, you'll be thankful you spent all that time chopping - an amazing, comfort aroma filled my kitchen! This recipe makes one gallon - can it or divide up and freeze. Cup for cup it's 150% cheaper and has almost 600% less sodium. Go forth and flavor the world!
Mushroom Onion Rillettes
November 3, 2013
I've been seeing rillettes on a lot of menus lately - perhaps I'm noticing because I'm taking an intro French class! Rillettes is traditionally made by cooking pork over a low temperature for a long time. The fat renders out of the meat and it's packed in jars for winter storage. Here I use the same technique with beautiful portobello and shiitake mushrooms and onions. In place of the natural pork fat, I packed some in butter and some in olive oil. This would be a fantastic Thanksgiving appetizer.
August 7, 2011
This recipe is heavily based on Gourmet magazine's take, and well worth the hours it takes. Dedicate a lazy summer afternoon and you will be rewarded. You must use the best milk you can find - here a local dairy that sits right on the Pacific Coast less than 100 miles away called Straus Creamery. Paired with tomatoes and basil from the garden - just perfection.
June 23, 2013
Kirby cucumbers, the pickling ones, are in full season so I thought I'd try my hand at homemade pickles. They are twice 'dill-ed' with both dill seed and fresh dill, and packed with a mild vinegar-garlic-pepper brine. Perfect for snacking out of the jar or sliced on your favorite sandwich. These take a week in the fridge, but if you want faster pickles, slice them before they go in the jar. I found that the fridge was far superior to processing the jars in a hot bath. The pickles were brighter and crisper.
Quinoa Spinach Salad
June 24, 2012
A work colleague, Fadia D., shared her recipe for this flavor-packed salad that would be a great addition at any 4th of July barbecue or picnic. Quinoa brings protein and fiber to this salad party of spinach, almonds, dried apricots, feta, and shallots topped with a tangy-tart dressing made with apricot preserves, lemon and honey. Highly versatile - you can substitute dried cranberries for the apricots, walnuts for the almonds, and add other veggies like tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus or beets.
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