Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2020

Bioluminescence + Cafecitos y Mallorcas #FoodieReads

  I was sitting at the tire place, waiting for my car to get new shoes and had brought along my Kindle to pass the time. I started to read my husband's book group pick, managed about ten pages before I closed it, and moved on to the next book in my list:  Life and Other Near-Death Experiences by Camille Pagán.* I knew nothing about this book and was unfamiliar with the author. So, I clicked on the title and started to read. When I realized, on the very first page, that it was about a woman with an incurable cancer, I almost closed it as well.  Three friends are battling cancer right now; one lost his battle this month; and several others are currently in remission, but their lives still involve periodic tests and stressful times as they wait for the results. So, though I don't use this word often, I can honestly say that I hate cancer. Still, I decided to stick with this book because Pagán has a way of addressing hard topics - cancer and divorce in this case - while still writ

Homemade Vanilla Bean Extract

Near the beginning of our shelter-in-place orders, a friend posed the question on social media: "So, vanilla is the new toilet paper?!? Why is this flying off the shelves AND ridiculously overpriced?" I decided to make my own since I had a bunch of vanilla beans from a previous project or event. And when it was finished, I delivered a bottle to my friend. Homemade vanilla extract only requires two ingredients: vanilla beans and vodka. Oh, and a lot of patience. This batch infused for four months, but the longer you let it steep, the better. I did a batch previously that sat for eight months. I have read that you can begin to use it after as little as 8 weeks, but it didn't have that deep mahogany color that I like nor the heady scent of vanilla. Ingredients makes approximately 750 ml, but the rule of thumb is 5 to 6 vanilla beans per 250 ml vodka. So adjust as needed. 15 to 18 vanilla beans 750 ml vodka jar with a tight seal Procedure Using a sharp pari

Roasted Watermelon Radish with Maple-Kissed Tahini Sauce

I love this unassuming root. It looks like a turnip, but then you slice into it... And it looks just like a watermelon! I picked up a few watermelon radishes at the recently opened Elroy's Fine Foods market here in town and wanted to do something other than slice them thin or pickle them. And I got to thinking about turnips. One of my favorites ways to prepare those is to roast them. So, I decided to try that preparation with these watermelon radishes. Ingredients serves 4 Radishes 4 cups watermelon radishes, scrubbed clean and thickly sliced 2 Tablespoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I used the local-to-me Morada salt blend from Big Sur Salts) 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper Also needed: baking sheet lined with parchment paper, freshly squeezed lemon juice for serving Tahini Sauce 1/4 cup tahini 2 Tablespoons olive oil 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice  2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed 1 Tablespoon maple syrup 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I used t

Chicha Morada (Peruvian Purple Corn Drink) #FoodieReads

  Earlier this year I discovered the writing of George Mahood when I came across  Not Tonight, Josephine: A Road Trip Through Small-Town America . You can read my thoughts about that book in my post -  Road Trip Food + Jake's Scrambled Eggs . In any case, that cemented my admiration of Mahood's writing.  Then, earlier this month, I read  Free Country: A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain  by George Mahood and made a California Chip Butty . So, when  Travels with Rachel: In Search of South America  by George Mahood* popped up in my Kindle suggestions, I ordered it immediately. On the Page photo from As usual Mahood seamlessly fuses the informative and the hilarious when he recounts his and Rachel's belated honeymoon through South America. In typical Mahood-fashion, much of the hilarity ensues through the couple being frugal in their spending. One example was then they wanted to save three dollars on a tour which had them hunting for anacondas wearing flip f

Feijoada To Delight a Carnivore #SoupSwappers

Here we are at the September Soup Saturday Swappers event. Wendy of  A Day in the Life on the Farm  started this event and, every month, I get a new array of soup recipes to put in my to-try pile. This month, Rebekah Making Miracles is hosting as we explore beef soups and stews. She urged us to "Use any cut of beef to create a soup or stew to share! The options are endless." Here's the line-up of beef soup and stew recipes from the #SoupSwappers... Beef & Vegetable Stew by Sneha's Recipe Beef Tongue Stew  by A Day in the Life on the Farm Chunky Beef and Vegetable Soup by Making Miracles Feijoada To Delight a Carnivore by Culinary Adventures with Camilla Ground Beef and Butternut Squash Soup by Sid's Sea Palm Cooking Guinness Beef Stew by Karen's Kitchen Stories Nikujaga - Japanese Beef Stew  by Pandemonium Noshery One Pot Frozen Vegetable Ground Beef Stew by Faith Hope Love & Luck Pantry Beef Vegetable Soup by Palata

Sourdough Gouda Toasts #FoodieReads

No matter what your political lean, Becoming by Michelle Obama* is a candid memoir that will leave you in awe of this articulate, elegant, and accomplished former First Lady. On the Page This has been on my bookshelf for several weeks - maybe months. And on the Labor Day holiday, I picked it up and retreated to a chair on the patio. Between cooking meals for the day, I read and read and read some more. When the sun went down, it was still sweltering inside my house. I retrieved my booklight and continued to read on the patio until it was time for bed. She's articulate. We know that. She's Ivy League-educated - Princeton undergrad, Harvard law - but her parents insisted on proper language. On one family vacation, she recounts: "At one point, one of the girls, a second, third, or fourth cousin of mine, gave me a sideways look and said, just a touch hotly, 'How come you talk like a white girl?' The question was pointed, meant as an insult or at least a cha

A Trio of Côtes du Rhône Pairings #Winophiles

This month, I am leading the French Winophiles discussion on Côtes du Rhône wines. You can see my preview post here . If you are reading this early enough, join in our live Twitter chat on Saturday, September 19th at 8am Pacific time. Follow the hashtag #Winophiles and be sure to add them to any tweets you post so we can see them. Here are the #Winophiles' Côtes du Rhône explorations, tastings, and pairings. These articles will be live between Friday, September 17th and early morning Saturday, September 19th... A Côtes du Rhône from Franck Balthazar and A Deconstructed Pairing by Crushed Grape Chronicles A Côtes du Rhône Tasting by Keep the Peas All the Colors of Côtes du Rhône with Famille Perrin by Somm's Table A Trio of Côtes du Rhône Pairings by Culinary Adventures with Camilla A Window Into The Côtes du Rhône Through Maison M. Chapoutier by Avvinare Back on the Rhône Again by Christy Majors Beef Tongue Stew with a Côtes du Rhône Gigondas by A Day in the