Dec 132013
 
Triple Lemon Rosemary Polenta Cookies, and some notes on cookie presentation

  I made this cookie yesterday for Slow Food Santa Cruz‘s Annual Holiday Party, which this year featured not only a fantastic pour of wines from Vinocruz, but also a holiday cookie exchange. Never one to let this sort of opportunity pass without making things as stressful as possible on myself, I decided to try out a brand-new recipe, one I’d only just devised and was basing on someone else’s recipe, located on the internet, which I’d never before tested. 2 hours before the party. What could go wrong? I will temper the suspense a bit by mentioning that by […]

Dec 102013
 
Cranberry Cardamom Bread with Satsuma Caramel Glaze

  So– Thanksgiving, aka High Holy Day for Cooks, has come and gone. And you are left with, shall we say, an imbalance of leftovers. The guests fell upon the remains of the Maple Jalapeno Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts like vultures; the turkey and mashed potatoes were swiftly packaged up for later; the sweet potato crisp was claimed in the spirit of a conquering nation setting flags upon distant shores. But the remainders of the cranberry sauce, of which you admittedly make too much each year, sit alone and unclaimed upon the table, despite the tart and citrus-infused deliciousness. It’s […]

Nov 192013
 
Persimmon Pumpkin Hazelnut Bread, with tips on choosing persimmons and peeling hazelnuts

I’ve adapted this recipe from one my mom made for years when I was a kid– she followed it faithfully every autumn.  The house filled with wonderful aromas while it baked. My dad still has her recipe card from the 70’s; true to the era, it calls for canned pineapple. (I feel like half the recipes of my childhood involved canned pineapple.) I love the design on this recipe card. In this updated recipe, I use this pumpkin bread palette to highlight seasonal ingredients, so I drop the canned pineapple, raisins, and walnuts and swap in diced Fuyu persimmon, pureed Hachiya persimmon, […]

Oct 032013
 
Three Bean Chorizo Chili, and Some Tips on Building and Layering Flavor in Your Own Recipe

I understand from my Facebook feed that something called “football season” has begun. My interest in the sport starts and stops with the prospect of making something yummy to be eaten during a Super Bowl party in January. To this end, I am aware that chili (robust, spicy, pairs well with beer, can be made in advance) is a popular food to accompany football viewing. There are those who say beans have no place in chili. These people are wrong. Beans add contrasting texture, body, flavor, and color. And they go spectacularly well with cheese. You want to cover your […]

Jul 082013
 
A Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Shortbread Tart

This recipe was developed for Slow Food Santa Cruz. We are flush with berries here on the Central Coast, and it’s been strawberry season for well over a month now. If you’re a local, you’ve eaten them fresh, out of hand. You’ve had them over yogurt, and in salads. Now, it’s time to get indulgent. With our local strawberries still at the peak of ripeness, make a Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Shortbread Tart. In this formulation, you will crown crisp, buttery shortbread with glistening strawberries, nestling them into a rich, dark chocolate ganache. The strawberries used in developing this recipe are […]

Jul 012013
 
Spicy Bourbon Shrimp, and how to formulate a pan sauce

I had a plate of spicy, boozy glazed shrimp substantially similar to these in a restaurant a few years ago; after using bread to sop up every last remainder of the sauce, I thought, “I must reverse-engineer these.” (The restaurant is now closed, else I’d link them here; I guess word about these shrimp never got out.) I don’t know how similar my final formulation is to the erstwhile restaurant’s, but I’ve grown inordinately fond of this dish and I’m  done revising the sauce– this is a winner. The sauce is created following general, popular steps for a modern-day pan […]

Jun 102013
 
Braised Peanut Curry Chicken with Thai Gremolata

I used to make my Thai curry paste from scratch; it was an afternoon-long affair, (longer, if you count the time I spent running down all the ingredients), but I was smug in my commitment to authentic flavor. I had learned to make green, red, and Panang curry pastes at the Somphet Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai, Thailand, from the wonderful chef who runs the school out of a six-station kitchen attached to her home. She was adamant that using a food processor ruined the taste and soul of the curry paste, and that it must be done with […]

May 242013
 
The Coco Tamarindo - A Summer Cocktail

Just in time for the start of summer, I give you– The Coco Tamarindo. I developed this recipe for a Food52 contest, too– the theme was coconut. It didn’t make it into the finals over there, but it sure made its way into our hearts around the indieculinary household. It spawned a joke– “when marital projects collide.” My wife came home from work– intending an entire evening of more work– only to find that I was in the middle of a cocktail photo shoot on the deck. My project won. My write-up from Food52, below: The journey to my new […]

May 182013
 
Strawberry Balsamic and Olive Oil Breakfast Cake

Every so often I step out on this site and develop a recipe for Food52.com instead. (There are contests! It’s fun!) But I’m thinking about my main site, this one, the whole time… really, I am. Don’t be like that. Anyhow, I came up with this cake for Food52 last month. Now that the whole contest it was involved in is over, I figured I’d post it here too.  They took some gorgeous shots of the cake while they were testing it. (Check them out.) The recipe ended up being a “Community Pick” on the site. Read up on the genesis of […]

Apr 082013
 
Building the Better (For You) Flapjack

  I love a good pancake/flapjack for Sunday morning breakfast as much as the next girl, but unless I want to lose a whole weekend day to lethargy, napping, and regret, I tend to avoid them. Simple carbs soaked in maple syrup are no way to start a productive day. Yesterday, I was at the Westside Santa Cruz Farmer’s Market and discovered that the strawberry crop has arrived! I bought 3 baskets of local, organic, peak-of-red-ripeness strawberries and happily carted them home. I then became fixated on the idea of serving them over pancakes with whipped cream for Sunday morning […]