The Cheater’s Tortilla Soup

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Why are the fancy pants chefs always trying to complicate things?! Here’s a tip: You don’t always have to do it their way. Especially when it comes to making a pot of tortilla soup. Roughly chop vegetables just to put them in the food processor, cook them separately from the broth, and then puree the whole thing […]

Scrambled Egg Stack with Hash of Chanterelle Mushrooms, Sweet Potato, Onions, and Kale Recipe

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Charlie Trotter died this morning. Suddenly, unexpectedly, and much, much younger than the age my husband is now. (shudder) Mr. Trotter is one of my culinary heroes, and I was very much hoping to meet him someday. [In brighter news, our White Silkie laid her first eggs this week.] You see, Charlie Trotter never went […]

A New Autumn Garden for the RGB | Claro’s Italian Market Zuppa Toscana

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For me, the highlight of last weekend was a solo drive through the mountains, at sunrise, just so I could see the Autumn colors. (And, to take my puppy on his first five-mile mountain hike.) Hands down, it’s my favorite time of year. … Inspired by what I saw, I later roped the kids into […]

Quail Egg and 00 Flour Ravioli with Roasted Butternut Squash, Browned Butter and Fried Sage Leaves

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For me, Meatless Monday is a way to stretch my culinary muscles. Think outside the carnivore box. Mix it up a bit. And, after many weeks of attempting such challenge, I can safely say this: Easier said than done. Problem # 1: I like my swimmers. I definitely like my flyers. And I loooooove my grazers. […]

Packing for Idyllwild | New England Style Clam Chowder with Garden Leeks, Gold Potatoes, and Fresh Chives

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Photo: First Autumn sunset in Idyllwild this year. Also, a bird in flight. I get now why people have second homes. Especially in beautiful places. About once a year, I pack up the whole family (this year, it’s the husband, children, and dogs), and go someplace quiet for an entire week. And I pack an […]

Roasted Butternut Squash Puree with Butter Braised Sage Leaves, and Ground Fennel Seed

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I tried holding onto summer. I really did. But then I spent a week in the mountains, and saw the Halloween paraphernalia. Everywhere. In the pharmacy, the video store (they still exist!), the pizza parlor, the grocery store. Everywhere. Even the latest Williams Sonoma catalog is full of white gourds, orange tureens, gold leaves, and otherwise […]

Putting Together the Vision | Saison Diego Clams with San Marzano Tomatoes and Backyard Garden Leeks Recipe

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And then all of a sudden, I see things differently. Not clearly. Just differently. Since making this announcement, I’m not just thinking about what tastes good anymore. I have to think about what looks good. What smells good. And then it has to be priced good, so I can make a profit. Does it fit […]

California Fig Fest Blog-Hop | Black Mission Fig Jam with Orange Blossom Honey and Meyer Lemon Zest

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For those of you that read about our special announcement in the last blog post, thank you. Thank you for being here, reading along, and following our journey. I still can’t believe this may be happening. We’re still waiting to see if the deal is a go from the owner’s end; we’ll know more in the weeks […]

Sweet Corn Chowder with Roasted Vegetables, Garden Chives and Bolted Cilantro Recipe

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We all have a past life, don’t we? Or is it just me? Every now and again, I think about my past life. I lived in Oregon. It rained a lot. I was (mostly) miserable. And I was convinced I had nothing in common with the food growin’, chicken totin’ hippies that looked like mop dogs […]

Scrambled Egg Stack with Hash of Sweet Potato and Kale

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Let’s call this post: How to impress your house guest with a scrambled egg breakfast. … My spring garden pot with Tuscan kale and purple basil. The husband went out of town this weekend so a girlfriend stopped by to keep me company. In actuality, I begged her to sleep over because I didn’t want […]

New England Style Clam Chowder with Andouille Sausage, Fresh Corn and Mushrooms

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About a month ago, I had the privilege of meeting Chef Johnny Prep while he was in town to teach local kids how to eat healthy. Johnny brought with him (from Michigan via checked luggage) not one, not two, but THREE different soups for us to try. One of them was a delicious New England style […]

Leffe Blonde Beer Mussels with Fennel and Shallots

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Saturday morning, I fought eight aisles of parking lot traffic to score a front-and-center spot. And it was shaded. (!!!) I used every American dollar I had on me to buy two types of hummus, garlic dip, strawberries, and lemongrass. (The lemongrass was $1.50 for a bunch the diameter of a baseball. For those uninitiated, […]

Chipotle and Adobo Spiced Cocktail Meatballs in a Sweet and Sour Sauce

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Backyard parsley in the morning garden light.  Happy Monday! On one hand, time changes suck. But on the other… it means we get more daylight, and more daylight makes both my edible garden and my backyard chickens very, very happy. We’re all very much looking forward to spring. …

Carrot and Yam Puree with Pork Dust and Micro Parsley

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The other day, I made a batch of carnitas. Actually, I made them twice… two days in a row. Both times, I scraped the bottom of the Dutch oven to get out the itsy bitsy pieces of pork that were stuck to the bottom. The #neverwasteanything part of me couldn’t bear to part with it. […]

How to Use Kale Without Making a Salad | Hamachi Tartare with Yuzu and Blood Orange Olive Oil on Fried Garden Kale

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“Bring a dish with kale in it.” I was going to a potluck, so braised kale or sautéed kale was not going to work. Hoping for some inspiration, I turned to the internet. First, the food porn sites. Then, a good old-fashioned Google search. When those failed, I sifted through my archived food magazines, the winter […]

Dessert for a Crowd | Pumpkin Mousse with Gingersnaps and Vanilla Whipped Cream

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The thing about traditional Thanksgiving dinners is that every year, we do more or less the same thing: there’s always a prime-grade rib roast, basic mashed potatoes, a salad, and an [unknown] side dish that someone always brings. (This year’s unknown was a decidedly creamy macaroni and four-cheese, courtesy of my cousin Amy – Thanks […]

Knockin’ Off Whole Foods | Greek Orzo Salad

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Earlier this year, I found myself in a jam and wound up in the Whole Foods prepared foods section. Desperate to quickly feed a crowd, I purchased a 5-pound container of the Greek Orzo Salad. At $9.99/pound, plus tax, this was not a cheap box of… pasta. Really?! Fifty bucks for orzo?!

Sunday Brunch in the Canyon | Jason Schiffer’s Manna Hatta Bourbon Punch

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A week ago, we collected a couple dozen chicken eggs and drove the trusty Volvo down into the canyon. The occasion: Sunday Brunch with friends at the Mayfield Estate. Even before we arrived, I knew it was going to be a beautiful day. What I didn’t realize was how much this afternoon would remind me […]

In Praise of a Big Cookbook | Southern Louisiana Style Biscuits with Breakfast Sausage and Shrimp Gravy

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Of all the cookbooks you own, how many of them are actually good ones? And since we’re on the subject, what’s your definition of a good cookbook? Quite simply, for me, a good cookbook is a big cookbook. So here’s my theory: Nowadays, just about anyone can publish a cookbook (no offense to friends who […]