Posts tagged ‘lemon’

May 31, 2012

Lemon – Almond Popovers with Homemade Strawberry Butter

Lemon-Almond popovers


homemade strawberry butter

Lemon – Almond Popovers with Homemade Strawberry Butter

It’s been quite a while since I’ve made homemade butter, and I can’t imagine why. It takes no time at all, just one ingredient and a few minutes. There’s something healing and satisfying about making the most basic of staples – butter, jam, pickles, cheese, bread. It always brings me back to the day when this was how things were done, no big deal. Making the butter myself, along with (part) of the flour, feels freeing. We don’t always take time for life’s simple pleasures, when in fact, it’s exactly what life is all about. Your simple pleasures may be planting a garden, knitting socks, molding clay – mine is using my hands to nourish.

April 24, 2012

Roasted Rhubarb and Lemon Frozen Yogurt with Ginger and Pistachios


Food Photography & Styling Workshop

Food Photography & Styling Workshop

I returned from my (amazing, yet extended) road trip just in time to teach another Food Photography and Styling Workshop at Galerie Jenner. Lots of food to photograph (and eat!), everyone left with full bellies and memory cards, what a fun day! I want to thank Jeremiah for sharing his gallery space (and snapping these shots of us!) and all the wonderful students who attended. Also, big thanks to my pal’s Valerie and Catalina for letting me raid your houses for the amazing props!




Road Trip!


I’ve been everywhere, man.
I’ve been everywhere, man.
Crossed the desert’s bare, man.
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man.
Of travel I’ve had my share, man.
I’ve been everywhere.   ~ J. CASH

36 days, 7466 miles, 162 cups of coffee, 373 gallons of gas, 2 oil changes, 13 states (some twice), 68 hotel rooms, 1 fleabag motel, 64 free breakfasts, 3 doggy baths, dodged a few tornadoes, a 2 day dirt storm through Texas followed by snow, 2 packs of allergy pills, towed once, celebrated St. Patrick’s day, visited Elvis, 3 home cooked meals, commandeered a “wash-o-rama” with 18 loads of laundry, more BBQ and tacos than we care to admit, beignets & chicory coffee in the french quarter & a mini Mardi Gras parade, alligators, 2 airplane rides…. ZERO squabbling.

Those of you who didn’t read my last post, (oh, so long ago….) My cousin Tammie, her service dog Robby, our friend Karen and I spent 5 weeks together on an amazing road trip from Santa Cruz, California to Fort Lauderdale, Florida AND back to Santa Cruz. So many sites, stories and memories… too many mention, it’s a trip I will always cherish. Here are a just few highlights.

September 1, 2011

My Summer Favorites – Heirloom Tomatoes, Padron Peppers & Burrata

Method Finely chop 1 bunch of basil with a clove of garlic and a few glugs of good quality olive oil (just
to moisten to basil)
. Slice tomatoes, sprinkle with sea salt and a few cracks of black pepper serve with
Brrata Cheese, basil oil and toasted Sourdough baguette.

Padron Peppers

MethodHeat a large saute pan over high heat. When the pan is very hot, drizzle with some olive oil and
add the
peppers all at once (stand back a little, they might spatter). When the skins begin to blister, squeeze
in some
lemon juice and a generous pinch of sea salt. Remove from pan and serve.

I want to share a few of my favorite farmers market must-haves. Every week a few heirloom tomatoes and a basket of Padron Peppers make it into my bag. I’m enjoying them as much as I can in these final weeks of summer. When fruits and vegetables are this perfect, at the peak of their season, you don’t want to do anything that masks the sun-kissed flavor. A pinch a salt, a drizzle of olive oil and maybe a splash lemon is all they need–if anything at all.

Heirloom Tomatoes are a favorite every year, and every year I’m astonished at how good these are with all the vibrant colors,  different textures and tastes. My favorite is green zebra, what’s yours?
(Actually, green zebra isn’t an heirloom, they are bred from 4 different heirloom varieties…go figure).

Padron Peppers are new to me this year (where have I been!). Mostly mild and sweet, but occasionally you’ll get a hot and spicy one in the batch. I noticed this weeks peppers were more spicy than the early summer ones – apparently they get spicier towards the end of summer. But not to spicy to thoroughly enjoy!

Another thing I’ve been enjoying is Burrata Cheese, I’m seeing it on a lot of menus around the Bay Area this summer. Burrata is a fresh Mozzarella that’s stuffed with a mixture of cream and mozzarella, giving it a beautiful, soft inner texture while having the familiar, firm outer shell. This is best served at room temperature.


May 15, 2011

Baby Artichokes Stuffed with Bread Crumbs, Anchovy, Lemon and Garlic Chives

Baby Artichokes aren’t really “baby Artichokes”  they are fully mature artichokes – just smaller with a big artichoke flavor. It’s still a bit of work to prepare, but not as much as the larger variety, and you don’t have to remove the choke because they haven’t developed one. If you’ve been wanting to venture out and try these little beauties, this is the recipe to use. They are bursting with flavors and textures and a lot of fun to eat. I really like anchovies and garlic, so I loaded the stuffing with them, but feel free to adjust the amounts to your own liking. My husband is the guy who orders Anchovies on his pizza (you were wondering who this person was, weren’t you?). Back when I was just 24, I was horrified to learn that he would eat such a thing on his pizza. I actually couldn’t think of a worse thing to put on a pizza. We would have to order two separate pizzas, I didn’t want his anywhere near mine. But boy, was I wrong. Now that I’m a bit older (ok, quite a bit older) I like to think he was way ahead of his time. Anchovies are one of those secret ingredients that is usually in the background of a dish, think Caesar Salad dressing, Olive Tapenade and Pasta Puttanesca. Most people who say they don’t like anchovies have probably eaten and liked them and not even known it. So, if you are one on those who scrunch up their nose at the thought of anchovies, give them a try. If you can’t imaging the thought of handling a whole anchovy (probably most of my family, xoxo), start with anchovy paste, although in my opinion isn’t quite the same, but it’s a good start. While you’re at it, add a little into your next batch of tomato sauce, unbelievably good.


April 29, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Lamb Chops, Green Tea Noodles with Wild Mushrooms, Shrimp Stuffed Broccoli Rabe with Hoisin BBQ Sauce

click recipe to enlarge

Click recipe to enlarge

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Lamb Chops with Radicchio Slaw
This is a perfect early spring dish. Hopefully your weather allows you to get outside and light up the grill. Radicchio is a tad too bitter to eat on it’s own, at least for my liking. I thinly sliced and soaked it in ice water to get rid of some of the bitterness, then added a mild cabbage. With the lime and honey it had just the right amount of bitterness to complement the sweet and spicy lamb chops. I marinated the lamb overnight, but if you’re pressed for time marinade it for at least an hour, it gets better the longer it sits in the marinade. Assemble the slaw before you cook the lamb. Pre heat the grill to high, and grill for about 10 minutes turning once or twice. Lower one section of the grill to low and cook the lamb indirectly for another 5 minutes or until it’s cooked to your liking, then transfer it back to high, and brush with the reserved marinade while turning on all sides allowing the sugars to caramelize. I know this is a lot to ask given the smell and crispy goodness, let the lamb rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting in to it (yes, even just a little piece). Trust me, it’ll be well worth it!

I’m crazy for Japanese noodles. Any flavor, shape, size, or form – stir fried, in soups, hot, cold, sweet, spicy or tangy – I could eat them everyday, definitely my happy food. If you were to sit down with me to eat a bowl of noodles, I would probably embarrass you. Because of this, only my dearest, non judging, mutual noodle crazed friends join me to eat in public (yes, I’m talking about you V.V. & M.I.). We sit down, giddy with anticipation, roll up our sleeves, load up on napkins, and go at it. Aren’t friends like this the best! This Cha Soba (Green Tea Soba) with wild mushrooms is a tasty little dish I’ve been making for several years now. It comes together in a snap and is really good served at room temperature, so its perfect party fare. Overcooked noodles make me sad, so it’s important to cook the noodles first and shock them in cold water. Sauté the mushrooms and quickly combine everything in the hot pan, then into the serving dish. You can eat it on it’s own or serve it with grilled meats.

Shrimp Stuffed Broccoli Rabe
I ran across this on a Chinese takeout menu a while back and instantly thought…how the heck do you stuff a piece of broccoli? Of course I ordered it; couldn’t imagine what it would be like.  It was shaped like dim sum (oooh, another thing I can’t seem to get enough of, focus), but tasted like a stir fry in bite size pieces. This restaurant served it with a simple teriyaki sauce.  I immediately knew that I wanted to re-create it. My version has broccoli rabe, shrimp speckled with bits of lemon zest, cilantro and scallions. I made a super flavorful, lightweight Hoisin BBQ sauce to go with it. Definitely a keeper.

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