Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2020

Brandy-Laced Chicken Liver Pâté with Balsamicy Onions #FoodieReads

Murder in the South of France by Susan Kiernan-Lewis* was the first in a series about character Maggie Newberry, an American who heads to France to identify the body of her sister who has purported died from a drug overdose. I blazed through this one in a couple of hours and jumped right in to the second book Murder à la Carte , actually preferring the second to the first. However, after reading these two, I think I'm done with the chick-lit mystery genre for awhile. On the Page image from As I already mentioned Maggie heads to France to identify the body of her sister only to discover that she also has a niece about whom no one knew. Maggie makes some rather unbelievable choices and decisions, especially regarding Laurent. The Newberrys seems oddly detached from the death of their daughter Elise even though they end up taking custody of the granddaughter. And the authorities were written as uncaring and incompetent. I think the only thing that kept me

Butter-Braised Leeks with Parmesan-Sourdough Crumb Topping

This summer, my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf is working as an apprentice at a local organic farm. He absolutely loves it. And I adore that's he's such a sponge for knowledge. He comes home every day that he works and explains to Jake what kind of flowers they need to plant as pest indicators; he shares with us how to plant multiple crops together to balance the nutrients in the soil. This really is the perfect summer job for him! One Saturday he invited me to join him and I was put on weeding a row of red cabbage seedlings. Then we pulled up some leeks to take home. I'll be honest: getting paid in vegetables makes me so happy. This is a really simple preparation that renders the leeks silky smooth. Ingredients  serves 4 to 6 Leeks 3 to 4 organic leeks, trimmed, cleaned, and halved lengthwise 1 Tablespoon olive oil 1 Tablespoon butter Topping 1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used leftover sourdough whirled in a food processor) 2 Tablespoons grated pa

Za'atar Manakeesh (Made with Sourdough Starter)

I have always called this Man’oushe. The Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf saw this on the table and said, "Oh, Mom! You made Manakeesh . I love Manakeesh ." Turns out that some of his classmates had made and brought a za'atar-laden flatbread to a class potluck and called it Manakeesh . Fine. Whatever you want to call it, it's easy to make and delicious. You can eat this just as is, but you can serve it as an appetizer with olives and feta cheese. Or it can be part of a heavier Middle Eastern meal composed of hummus, baba ganoush, meatballs, and salad. For this lunch, I actually served it with Fattoush , a chopped salad made with veggies and herbs. That recipe will follow! Ingredients  makes 4 large flatbreads Za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice mixture that I always have on hand. It's a breeze to make and adds something fabulous to olive oil for dipping and - I've just discovered - as a spice rub on any kind of meat! My za'atar recipe make

Unapologetic About My Food Beliefs + Fresh Picked Cherry Cobbler #FoodieRead #LitHappens

Denise and Angie suggested American Harvest: God, Country, and Farming in the Heartland by Marie Mutsuki Mockett* for our Lit Happens book group. It seemed very timely in this topsy turvey world as Mockett pursues her roots and asks questions about faith, farming, and identity. While this is not a cook-from-the-book group, I am almost always inspired into the kitchen in whatever I'm reading or watching. This was no exception. On the Page American Harvest  is one of the books that I took out to the back patio one weekend. And between cooking and serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner to my hungry family, I dug into this book for several hours at a stretch. By the time the next meal came around, I had more discussion prompts for my teens and my husband. And because I spend a lot of time reading, thinking, writing about, and discussing our food system, my trio didn't even bat an eyelash. They just, gamely, answered my questions. In American Harvest , Mockett docume

The #FoodNFlix Bloggers Kick Off the Summer With a Virtual Hawaiian Vacation

This month, I hosted the Food'N'Flix group, asking them to watch something that was either set in Hawaii or filmed in Hawaii. You can read my invitation - here - where I offered some suggestions. I also didn't limit the picks to movies. Television shows were fair game, too. I know that as my household is entering our fifteenth week of being sheltered in place to try and flatten the curve of the coronavirus, and after our family vacation to the Big Island was canceled, I definitely needed a vacation. Even if it were only a virtual escape. This month, because of the flexible theme, we had inspiration from a short, from an animated film, from a rom-com, from an action movie, and even a television series. I'm grateful to the bloggers who joined in the party!  Mahalo plenty ! Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm whipped up Blue Hawaii Cocktails   inspired by watching Pearl Harbor. "I decided on the 2001 film Pearl Harbor starring Ben Affleck, Cuba Gooding

Sour Cream Lemon Muffins with a Rosemary Glaze #MuffinMonday

Earlier in the year I saw a post from one of my favorite bloggers - Wendy at  A Day in the Life on the Farm  - and I realized that they've been having a muffin party for years without me. LOL. I emailed the host, Stacy of  Food Lust People Love  and got the scoop: "...last Monday of the month and no themes. We've been baking together since August 2015! Only one rule, you must use the muffin method (folding wet ingredients with dry - no creaming butter and sugar, etc.) to bake muffins." Oh, my  that  the muffin rule? That makes total sense. But I had no idea.  In my house we've always said that if it's 'naked' as in frosting-free, it's a muffin; if there's frosting, then it's a cupcake. Turns out there's more to it than that. In any case, I jumped in. This is my fourth month participating with the #MuffinMonday bloggers. Berry Oatmeal Muffin from Passion Kneaded Chocolate Banana Mini Muffins from Food Lus

Super Tuscans, Take-Out Pizza, and a Spicy Summer Salad #ItalianFWT

For the month of July the Italian Food Wine Travel bloggers are looking at Super Tuscans with Jill of L'Occasion at the lead. You can read her invitation here . If you are reading this early enough, feel free to join us for a live Twitter chat on Saturday, June 27th. Follow the hashtag #ItalianFWT and be sure to add that to any tweets you post so that we can see it, too. Because our usual posting date - the first Saturday of the month - would have conflicted with the American Independence Day holiday, we pushed our posting up a week. So, all of these will be live by early morning on Saturday, June 27th. Naming Rights + Super Tuscans |  We get the scoop from our host at L'Occasion. Super Tuscans, Take-Out Pizza, and a Spicy Summer Salad | This post comes to you from the kitchen magician behind Culinary Adventures with Camilla. Super Tuscans: What's It All About? | This question will be answered by the founder of #ItalianFWT, VinoTravels. A Stop at Brancaia an

Herbed Sourdough Fougasse #FoodieReads

Murder à la Carte  by Susan Kiernan-Lewis* is actually the second book in a series. Though I read the first two in order, I ended up inspired into the kitchen out of order! This book picks up where Murder in the South of France  leaves off. On the Page Maggie Newberry and her French newly reformed criminal boyfriend, Laurent, leave Atlanta, Georgia (her hometown) to relocate to a mas (traditional French country home) and vineyard that he has just inherited in St-Buvard, a completely fictional village, Provence, France.  Their plan is to spend a year in France, harvest the grapes, make some wine, then decide what to do with the land and the house. They quickly discover that the property was the scene of a grisly murder of four during WWII. The motley crew of characters include Maggie who almost flat-out refuses to learn the language or the customs of her new country (as someone who has lived in other countries, this grated on my nerves. Just try!); Laurent who, having g