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Showing posts from 2015

My Most Viewed Recipes of 2015

I saw another blogger round-up her most viewed recipes of the year and it got me thinking: what do my readers actually click to read? Here goes...from number ten to number one. My most viewed recipes of the year. Click on the title to go to the recipe post. Number Ten Le Tourin Gascon a la Tomate Number Nine  Polpi in Purgatorio Number Eight Matcha-Yuzu Cheesecake Number Seven Salacia's Sensational Surprise   (Salmon Burger on a Cuttlefish Ink Burger) Number Six  Oat Chata Number Five Triple Seeded Oat Bread Number 4 Grilled Gruyère on Rye with Crisped Sage and Pink Lady Slices Number Three Yam Nuea Yang (Spicy Thai Beef Salad) Number Two Olive Oil-Poached Salmon with Pickled Cherry Salsa Number One  Creamy Baked Pork Chops I have to admit that I was surprised by the list. I was definitely surprised by number one!  So, I'll ask you: what would you like to see more of in 2016?  I'm gam

Hedging Our Bets with New Year's Eve Traditions from Around the World

We always ring in the new year as a family. Jake and I have our date nights all year long. We figure: New Year's Eve should be about forging fun memories with our boys; we should end the year - and start a new one - with our favorite people, right?! Do you have any New Year's Eve traditions - food or otherwise - meant to bring good luck in the coming year? I'll be posting about our 2015 to 2016 transition tomorrow. We like to hedge our bets for good luck and do a lot of different things! Over the years, we've embraced several traditions from around the world. There are many, many different traditions from all around the world but the reasoning behind their lucky foods are oddly similar. Here are some of the overlapping auspiscious attributes: food that’s round (the shape of coins), food that's yellow or orange (the color of gold), food that's green (the color of spring leaves and paper money), fish (symbol of bounty), pork (prosperity and an animal th

Kale-Stuffed Acorn Squash

This is a mostly hands-off dinner that we love. My husband said to me, "How long have we been together?" Almost eighteen years.  "It only took me eighteen years to come around to your way of eating." That is to say - lots of vegetables and a little meat. What does that mean? You've always eaten what I've cooked. "Well, I haven't always liked it. But now I like it." Ingredients serves 4 2 organic acorn squash olive oil 1 C diced fennel bulb 1 C diced onion 4 C chopped kale 1/2 C dried cranberries freshly ground salt freshly ground pepper freshly squeezed lemon juice Procedure Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle the squash halves with olive oil and place them, cut-side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes until tender. While the squash roasts, add a splash of olive oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Sauté fennel and onion until soften and beginning

Aliment: Tasting Notes

al·i·ment ˈaləmənt noun, archaic - food; nourishment. verb - provide with nourishment or sustenance Our Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf's birthday celebration had to involve a great restaurant, right? Less than three blocks from our hotel in San Francisco, we found Aliment . Well, I found it online ahead of time and made reservations. So, after a full day at the Cal Academy of Sciences, we cleaned up, bundled up, and headed out the door and down the hill. I think, at first, our waiter was dubious about us being in there with two kids. But as soon as D opened his mouth and ordered, our little foodie won him over. He even brought D a complimentary dessert once he heard we were celebrating. Here's what we had... We started with salads: beet salad and squash salad. The squash salad had roasted kabocha squash, crushed hazelnuts, and a curry vinaigrette. We ordered two of their bar bites: riblets with kimchi and roasted Brussels sprouts with fish s

Bon Appetit's Food Lover's Cleanse

from When I saw a link to this posted on a friend's Facebook feed, I laughed. Out loud. For a long time. I'm glad I was alone in the office. "Food Lover" and "cleanse" do not belong in the same sentence. However, I trust her, so I clicked. And I was instantly intrigued. Here's a link to the  cleanse , to the  menu , and to the  recipe .pdf . I'm horrible at following a meal plan to the letter, but a lot of this looks like what we eat anyway. So, I might give it a go. Thanks for the nudge, Andi.

Single Origin Chocolate Tasting

Do you get chocolate in your stocking? When I found the Single Origin Chocolate Taster Kit at Mouth , I knew someone who would love it. Whether he'd share it, or not, was undetermined. But he did, in fact, decide to share. So, last night, after dinner, he unwrapped the chocolates and we tasted, savored, and commented. Just a quick note about "single origin chocolate." The term is pretty self-explanatory and it's a simple idea. Single. Origin. It’s chocolate produced from one variety of cacao that's harvested in one region. Think about terroir in wine. Same idea. Cacao, like grapes, is a plant whose flavor profiles are affected by the characteristics of the soil, the climate, and more. And, just like wine, many terms used to describe single-origin chocolate will be familiar to wine lovers. Think earthy, floral, herbal and berry. What we tried... Ritual Chocolate 's Madagascar Bar. It's a 75% cacao, harvested in 2014. This was from the batch numbe

Moules Frites with Fennel Cream

The Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf requested Moules Frites for his birthday dinner. It ended up being a day late as we were stuck in traffic coming back from San Francisco. But, we did it and D was happy. After dinner he also got his wish of a birthday Bûche de Noël . Moules Ingredients 1 C organic heavy cream 1 t fennel pollen 2 pounds mussels, soaked, scrubbed, and dried 1 stick of butter, divided in half splash of olive oil 3 to 4 whole juniper berries, crushed 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced (approximately 1 C) 2 leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced (approximately 1 C) 1 C white wine (I used a Pinot Gris) freshly ground salt freshly ground pepper 1/2 C fresh chopped herbs (I used a mixture of parsley, oregano, and thyme) Procedure Place the cream in a small sauce pan and stir in the fennel pollen. Warm the cream until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, but do not bring it to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and let come to room temperature while the

After-Star-Wars Salt-N-Pepper Lobster

After opening all of our Star Wars-themed Christmas presents (think Star Wars shirts, Star Wars books, Star Wars games, and more), we definitely had Star Wars on the brain. I, casually, asked "Which Star Wars should we watch?"  I got a resounding and definitive answer: EPISODE 7!! Wait! Really? Truth be told: I was thinking more along the lines of popping in a DVD while sitting in front of the fire. But, we went with it. It was 8 o'clock; the first showing was at 9:30am. I still had time to finish my coffee without feeling rushed. So, this happened on Christmas morning... And they were all so happy. More truth: my husband and our eldest son had already seen it twice before. Our youngest and I had only seen it once before. It only opened a week ago. You can say that we're huge fans. If you're wondering when I'm going to stop writing about Star Wars and give you a recipe. You made it. We came back from the movie and I knew we were he

A #WinePW Invitation: Celebrating the New Year with Something New

Though this theme was originally chosen by Martin at  Enoflyz Wine Blog   - due to an unforseen trip he needs to make abroad -    I'm stepping in to extend the invitation for next month's adventure.  For January 2016's iteration of #WinePW, I'm inviting all my wine-pouring and food-loving blogging pals to get out of their comfort zones. Let's celebrate the new year with a new wine. January's Wine Pairing Weekend will be all about "Celebrating the New Year with Something New." It's happening on Saturday, January 9, 2016. Hope to see you at the table! Let me say another word about what we're looking for on this theme. Pick a wine from a new-to-you country; recently someone asked if I have ever tried a Canadian wine. I might have to go that route because I haven't. Pick a wine from a new-to-you varietal; through this group and some other groups to which I belong, I have been exposed to grape varietals that were complete unknown

The Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf's Nutty Bûche de Noël

Every year I make a Bûche de Noël for my almost-Christmas baby's birthday cake. This year we were a day late because this week has been crazy busy. The Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf made all of the marzipan fungi for the decorations. This bûche had at least four different kinds of marzipan mushrooms. I'll have to check with him on what types he actually made. While he created the marzipans, I baked the cake and made the filling and frosting. I use Nick Malgieri's recipe in  Perfect Cakes  as my starting point. You can also find  his recipe on the FoodNetwork website . His chocolate genoise is, well, perfect. Actually his book is aptly named; there is not a recipe in there that I've made that hasn't turned out just divine. I did opt for a chestnut puree-whipped cream filling instead of the traditional coffee filling. Chocolate Genoise Sheet 3 large eggs 3 large egg yolks Pinch of salt 3/4 C organic granulated sugar 1/3 C flour (spoon flour into dry-meas