I’m a big fan of theme parties and dinners. My friend Leslie incorporates thematic details into every aspect of her parties. Hearty French fare tastes so right on a brisk November night, and her “Autumn, Fondue and You” party last weekend masterfully played upon the dual Fall/Frenchie genre. Edith Piaf sang her little heart out as guests arrived and were greeted by the gracious host, looking Parisian in a long black fitted skirt, lacy black top and peep-toe black pumps. The deep, warm and vibrant paint choices in her renovated Victorian (more…)
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 1 12 oz. package couscous
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- ⅓ cup mint leaves, coarsely shopped.
- fine sea salt to taste
- Boil couscous in chicken stock and cook according to package directions.
- Drain off any excess liquid.
- Toast pine nuts on cookie sheet in 250 degree oven for 8 minutes.
- Toss couscous with olive oil and lemon juice.
- Add cranberries, pine nuts, and mint. Stir together and serve.
- ginger syrup, to taste
- 4-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1-1/2 cups water
- Martini Ingredients
- 1 cup whole cranberries, mottled with the juice of one lime
- 1 cup ginger syrup
- 2 cups vodka
- 2 cups cranberry juice
- Simmer sugar, ginger, and water together for 20 minutes, cool before making the cocktail.
- Combine all of the martini ingredients together.
- Pour into chilled martini glasses.
- Garnish with a twist of lime.
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 5 Tablespoons maple syrup (divided)
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespooons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 apples cut into ½ inch pieces
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 ½ cups walnuts, chopped
- 3 cups baby arugula
- Pulse cranberries with cinnamon and 2 tablespoons maple syrup.
- Let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Whisk together 3 Tablespoons maple syrup with vinegar and Dijon mustard. Drizzle olive oil into mixture while you continue whisking.
- Toss together apples, nuts, celery, and cranberries.
- Add vinaigrette and mix together.
- Serve on top a bed of greens.
- 1 can cranberry sauce (or use 1 cup bourbon cranberry sauce)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup minced onion
- 2 tablespoons horseradish
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 package cream cheese
- fresh cranberries to garnish
- Combine cranberry sauce, sugar, minced onion, horseradish and sea salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- Pour into a glass bowl, cool, and then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Top cream cheese with Cranberry-Horseradish Sauce.
- Serve with crackers and smoked salmon.
SCENE: The anomalously named Top Star Donut, North Beach, San Francisco
SPY: Handsome bachelor leisurely reading Sunday paper over donut and coffee, the Grafoni coffee being the real draw here.*
* My husband’s weekend routine before I wreaked havoc upon his life
Chinese owner: That very nice bag. Where you buy?
Cambodian customer: Everything 99 Cents!
Owner: That very good price!! Where you buy?
Customer: Everything 99 Cents!
Owner: Yes, you get very good bargain. But where you buy? (shouting for greater clarity)
Customer: Everything 99 Cents! (shouting even louder for greater clarity)
Recipes that use hard boiled eggs?
or perhaps you’d like some inspiration for your family brunch?
We’ve collected some of our favorite egg recipes… all in one basket just for you!
Recipes with hard boiled eggs:
Egg recipes for your holiday brunch:
I realize we are getting to the end of soup season in Colorado. But, I’m sure there is one more snow storm left in the system … so run out and get these ingredients so that you can hunker down and make some soup (if and when the snow finally comes). And if it doesn’t snow, make some anyway. I just had some leftovers for lunch, cold, and it was still very tasty.
- ½ head of cauliflower, cleaned and cut into florets
- olive oil and sea salt for roasting cauliflower
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 medium size onion, minced
- 1 stalk of celery, minced
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 organic cinnamon sticks
- 1-2 organic bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons organic ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon organic ground cayenne
- 1 teaspoon organic ground cumin
- fine sea salt to taste
- organic fresh organic ground black pepper to taste
- cholula sauce to taste
- Toss the cauliflower with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and roast in oven at 425°F for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, saute the onion and celery in olive oil until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).
- Add lentils and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add chicken stock, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove and discard cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Add turmeric, cayenne, and cumin.
- Add roasted cauliflower to the lentils, along with water and blend together either with an immersion blender, or in small batches in a blender … (make sure soup is cool, don’t burn yourself!) I think this soup is better after it sits for a bit to let the flavors meld together.
- Return soup to pot and heat.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Top with a dash of Cholula hot sauce (and a spash of chimichurri sauce if you are so inclined) before serving.
While my original intent for Jenny’s Journal had been to relay what great suburban food finds I can unearth (in hopes that the phrase is not an oxymoron)… last weekend we went camping…
Not very serious camping, though. Car-camping, so after a day hike we could enjoy time at the base camp, with great food and wine.
My husband I were assigned breakfasts, with much input given as to how much bacon was devoured last year. Food for 11. What to do for breakfast, when there’s no place to plug in the waffle iron? We landed upon these menus, and stocked up appropriately:
We’ve put together a Valentine’s Day menu that will transport you to the Mediterranean, as you experience the sultry complexity of contrasting flavors, aromatics that arouse the senses, the seduction of flavors so intense… who knows what passion they’ll bring.
“Will you be needing a bag?” This once perfunctory question is now loaded with accusation and charged with political meaning here in San Francisco. Especially with this particular clerk at Walgreens, the one that chides me for not bringing my photo claim slip when she darn well knows my name by now and the prints are sitting right there in view. The man standing in front of me at Walgreens looks at the seven purchased items on the counter and attempts to gather them all in his hands at once without success. She stares at him, challenging him to say yes and risk rebuke, making no motion towards handing him the bag. After several awkward attempts he answers meekly, “well, it’s just that with this many items, (more…)
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- 2 rustic bread loaves, cut into 1″ pieces (about 10 cups)
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions
- 1½ cups ¼” slices celery
- ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- ½ tablespoon dried rosemary
- ½ tablespoon dried thyme
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2½ cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
- 1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 250°F. Place bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until dried out, about 1 hour. Let cool. Transfer to large bowl.
- Melt ½ cup butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and celery. Stirring often, cook until soft and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Toss bread with onions and celery mixture. Stir in herbs, salt, and pepper. Drizzle in 1¼ cups broth and toss gently, until bread cubes are evenly coated. Let cool. Dressing can be made 1 day ahead – cover and chill.
- Whisk remaining 1¼ cups broth and eggs in a small bowl. Add to bread mixture, folding gently until thoroughly combined.
- Loosely spoon stuffing into the cavities of the bird – front and back – being careful not to stuff too tightly.
- Place remaining stuffing in greased casserole and cover. Bake at 325° for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake 15 minutes longer.
The only problem with cookies is controlling how many get eaten, especially if you have a cookie monster in the house. Slice and Bakes are the perfect answer. Just make the dough and freeze it in a log. Then, just slice off a couple and bake them. You gotta love portion control! Did I forget to mention how great these taste? Last night I served ginger-snaps with fresh strawberries and whipped cream to our dinner guests. They are the perfect desert for entertaining. Just through them in the oven while you are clearing the table. Nothing like cookies fresh from the oven!
- 1 cup butter
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 1⅓ cup molasses
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoons Smith & Truslow organic Ginger Spice Blend
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups flour
- 2¼ cup ground oatmeal flour
- To make batter
- cream butter and sugar together until well blended
- add egg and beat on high for 4 minutes
- add molasses and mix until blended
- combine flour, oat flour, salt, Ginger Spice Blend and baking soda
- add to butter mixture in small increments and mix until incorporated
- roll batter in to a log; wrap in tin foil and freeze
- To bake cookies
- preheat oven to 375°F
- slice log into ¼ in slices
- place on a cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes
Driving through the sleepy little town of Petaluma, California, known for its eggs and dairy, you might see no reason to pull into an undistinguished strip mall. Way in the back left corner of the parking lot, near Leo’s Vacuum Cleaners and a deserted nail salon, sits a diamond in the rough called Dempsy’s Brewery. First surprise—the charming atmosphere. If it’s warm, sit outside overlooking the Petaluma River. In inclement weather, my first choice is the comfortable worn wooden booth directly across from the kitchen window, permitting a preview of outgoing dishes punctuated with lively shouts of “mas papas fritas, por favor!” and “con tomate!” Second, the beer rocks, with a selection of ales including their classic Red Rooster, Irish Ale and Ugly Dog Stout plus a variety of intriguing seasonal offerings. Stop by the bar and refill your jug for later that evening. We did. What more can you expect from a brewery—perhaps a pile of Buffalo wings or potato skins? That’s where the tertiary layer of this unassuming treasure comes in; the food transcends brew pub fare and rises to the level of some of the best restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Seasonal produce from the owner’s own farm star in imaginative combinations from all ethnicities. The menu changes daily, and might include a Mexican posole, a Greek hummus plate, or a mixed plate of little gems like fresh caperberries, home made flat bread and beet salad. Determined to recreate a orange/chipolte pork sandwich served with cole slaw on soft potato bread I interrogated various waiters and cooking staff, extracting one or two ingredients from each. We improvised the rest, and although it’s not an exact recreation, came up with this equally flavorful rendition.
- pork roast, about 3 lb.
- mesquite chips
- SPICE BLEND FOR PORK
- 2 teaspoons organic granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon organic ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon organic ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon organic orange peel
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon organic ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon organic ground cayenne
- FOR SAUCE
- ½ gallon orange juice
- ½ can or bottle Guiness Stout or other dark beer
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- canned chipotles, from 1-3 depending on your heat tolerance or addiction, pureed
- 1 cup brown sugar
- Wash and pat dry pork roast.
- Massage spice mixture into pork.
- Grill pork on indirect heat, using mesquite chips. This takes several hours. Use a meat thermometer.
- Combine sauce ingredients and bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer until reduced and thickened.
- Let pork roast cool. Cut as thinly as possible. It may just come apart in shreds, which is fine.
- Place pork in sauce and let the sauce soak in until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches.
- Serve on soft white rolls, with enough fortitude to absorb the sauce, and with
- Coleslaw with Fennel.
Scene: Vicky’s Veggies Farm Stand – Montauk Highway, Amagansett, NY
Local Woman who claims not to be impressed by celebrities – i.e. my mother – is picking through the corn. Black square Mercedes Benz pulls up.
Meryl Streep (in long tiered skirt and sun hat): Hello!
Local Woman: Oh, hello (continues fiddling with corn, to show not impressed)
Streep: Isn’t it beautiful weather!
Local Woman: Yes.
Streep: The corn has been wonderful this year.
Local Woman: Fabulous.
What else did she buy?
Local Woman: I don’t know…I finished my shopping and drove away. These celebrities come out here in droves. (Obviously not impressed.)
- 3 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
- 2 Tablespoons unrefined virgin coconut oil, melted, or olive oil (I just use olive oil)
- 1¼ teaspoon Smith & Truslow sweet potato seasoning.
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss the sweet potatoes with coconut oil until they are evenly coated.
- Sprinkle spice mixture over the potatoes and toss again until evenly coated.
- Place the sweet potatoes in a single layer on the prepared pan and roast for 40 minutes until tender.
- This recipe is from Rebecca Katz’s cookbook,
- The Cancer Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery (reprinted with permission). To find out more about cancer-fighting ingredients, go to www.rebeccakatz.com
At the playground, I pointed out a little girl dressed in high white boots, golden arm bands and a cape.
“Look, Cleo, she’s Wonder Woman!”
“Oh….because she wonders where her mama is?”
She’s obviously going through a little separation anxiety issue right now. So she’s at my side most of the time, especially in the kitchen, asking “Can I help you, mama?” She’s the Robin to my Batman. One thing she can do is reach all the spices in the pantry and bring them to me. Since recent studies suggest that many spices truly have super powers, I’ve kept her pretty busy finding and sprinkling these little powerhouses:
Super Hero: CINNAMON *new: our Vietnamese variety
Powers: Lowers cholesterol
To the Rescue: Sprinkle it in your morning coffee for a snappy start.
Super Hero: TURMERIC
Power: Preserves mental function (Alzheimer’s is extremely rare in India!)
To the Rescue: Toss cauliflower with curry powder (contains turmeric) and roast for golden goodness.
Super Hero: OREGANO
Powers: Antioxidant (45x more than apples!) and one of the best bacteria killers
To the Rescue: Add an earthy lilt to sliced tomatoes, tomato sauce and pizza.
Super Hero: GINGER
Powers: Anti-inflammatory; relives arthritis
To the Rescue: A teaspoon or two adds an Asian twist to ordinary chicken soup.
Hmmm….I wonder…what else can I do with these super-spices? Any ideas out there? Please – all of you Wonder Women out there – write in and school us with your own tips.