A Few Words About Charlie Trotter | 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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Braised Pork Belly Banh Mi with Garlic Confit, Tart Green Apple and Crunchy Red Cabbage

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Someone should smack me. In my excitement of developing and executing a special banh mi recipe that I could share with my group of food blogger friends, I sort of forgot to leave a sample at home for my husband. I should also confess that because I was running short on time, I also asked […]

Roasted Butternut Squash Puree with Apple Cranberry Relish

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I prefer a rustic kind of lifestyle: I collect dishes in my sink, flour on my apron and chicken poop under my shoes. I like my edges sharp, my lines wavy and my dots splashed. I believe in guesstimates and rough chops. In handfuls I trust. Most of the time, I can get away with it. My […]

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

It’s a calm, still… almost warm Thursday night in Southern California. Hard to believe that in a few hours, a storm full of rain is supposed to drench us all. It has been a long, long year. We’ve renovated a home, raised a flock of chickens and adopted a second dog. I’m ready to close this baby out. Lucky […]

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel | We Can’t All Be Winners

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Let me tell you a story about my dog. I have a beautiful dog. She’s sweet, tender, kind, and… famous. Friday comes from a pedigree of outstanding Weimaraner dogs and Weimaraner people. When she was a puppy, William Wegman photographed her for the cover of the Weimaraner Puppies Calendar. At six months old, she obtained […]

Baked Eggs on Sourdough with Garden Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella and Basil-Mint Pesto

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We’re surrounded by chickens… because the eight baby chicks we picked up in June have somehow multiplied into eighteen. I don’t know how it happened. We officially fail at chicken math. Sunday was a big morning at the RGB: it was the day fifteen baby chicks were old enough to move from the brooders in […]

Cream of Chanterelle Soup with Fresh Fennel Sprouts

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November 3, 2013: Over the summer, I let the volunteer fennel in our backyard go to seed. (There’s a picture of the 6-foot-tall shrub in this post.) It didn’t occur to me then that letting this happen might cause a problem with more volunteer fennel. The husband had to point out to me that recently, […]

Meyer Lemon Scones with Dried Cranberries and Blueberries

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This weekend was the first we’d been at home in awhile. So of course, Saturday morning’s refrigerator contents were mostly empty. We still had good eggs and cream. No yogurt, no bread, no orange juice, no fresh blueberries…  Ah, but we did have them dried. And we had a package of dried cranberries, too. And […]

Roast Chicken with Lemon, Rosemary, Thyme, and Russet Potatoes

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A peek at the Santa Barbara coast from the Major’s family room. Like most families, everyone in ours plays a different role: The Pilot adheres to a routine, the English major (the Major) is great with words, the Nurse showers us with hugs and kisses and the Architect keeps the humor fresh. And we cook. […]

Max’s Spaghetti with Meatballs and Marinara | RSVP Redux for October, 2010

Max's Spaghetti with Meatballs and Marinara

It just-so-happened that the first thing I noticed when we checked into the B&B over the weekend was the May 2010 issue of Bon Appétit lying on the coffee table. While waiting for Barry to get dressed for the wedding, I leafed through it and found… spaghetti and meatballs. But not just any spaghetti and […]

Wolfgang Puck’s Tortilla Soup

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“Cook from the heart, and with love.” – Wolfgang Puck As summer turns to fall and the days get shorter and shorter, I struggle with the strain of not being at home as much as I’d like to. It’s not that I’m spending more hours at the office; it’s just dark on both ends of […]