Cool Cucumber Soup Meets Dry Roasted Shrimp

Three thousand years ago the English called it “cowcumber”.  Charlemagne grew them in his 9th century french garden.  I grow them in my Sacramento, California garden and call them cucks.  I never thought I’d make soup out of cucumbers. When I was a kid, we had tomato cucumber salad with olive oil and red wine […]

Summer Syrup Fun with Cocktails & Drinks

Summer is time for experimenting.  Stepping out and trying new things.  Whether travel, food, adventure related- you name it- changing things up can inject the spirit with excitement. My recent interest is connected with liquid food: shrubs and syrups. Not being one who consumes much hard alcohol, I don’t know a thing about mixed drinks.  […]

In a Jam For BBQ

I walked in the kitchen, groggy from reading late into the night.  Greeted by peaches and mangos, they end up in a bowl together.  A squeeze of lime juice, sprinkling of granola, and spoonful of vanilla yogurt.  I have a taste.  Wow!  The combo’s a sensation of flavors.  My now un-clogged brain is thinking jam. I love […]

Cherry Adventures

Cherries are abundant now.  As with many seasonal fruits, I get them while I can, process, and enjoy in various forms throughout the year.  These brandied cherries, a recent kitchen adventure are something special. Don’t think florescent red maraschino with artificial food coloring.   These are home made gems.  One could argue they’re better than say […]

A Different Benedict

This is not your typical Benedict, which to me can be formal and boring.  Like vanilla cake with butter cream icing- mostly boring.  Here an artichoke’s soft belly cradles a poached egg, securing it for sauce and a crunchy topping with aged cheese.  This is Artichoke Benny. It took me a while to appreciate artichokes.  […]

Getting Ready for Salsa

Chiles were abundant in my garden last year- pasilla, long green, japona, piquillo and Hatch.  I’m particularly enamored with the Hatch, a slender, medium green pepper that can be mild or hot.  So much so it’s in the ground again this year.  Planning ahead now for salsa and fire roasted preserved chilies. Hatch, New Mexico, […]

Roasted Beets and Feta

Roasted beets aren’t anything new.  They proudly made hands red and puckered faces for the longest time then their cousins showed up and stole the show.  Along came the golden one and not far behind, the heirloom Chioggia.  These two made an impression but there’s just something about the rich garnet color of the workhorse; […]

Baby Artichokes, Preserved

On a recent sunny morning after three hours of clamming in Bodega Bay, I partook in a sampling of preserved foods with ten other folks.  Sweet, funky, sour and savory flavors filled that morning with a periodic wave of salty mist.  The standout jar (for me) was filled with preserved baby artichokes. We’ve all probably […]

Candied Sunflower Seeds

Just sweet enough but not over done. That’s how I describe these candied sunflower seeds. When we were in Madrid last year I purchased such seeds from a market vendor.  I’m not one for candied nuts but what possessed me was never having seen them.  I went back five or six times before we left […]

Breakfast Radish, Not Just For Breakfast

As a kid, we always had a garden. My dad cleverly utilized all available yard, planting things about and in between.  The thing I do now, which he didn’t, is garden year around.  Another thing he didn’t do is make pesto with radish greens. February was the start of my late-winter garden.  What didn’t happen […]

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