Black Pepper Cauliflower Salad
Black Pepper Cauliflower Salad Black Pepper Cauliflower Salad

Black Pepper Cauliflower Salad


Fridays have unofficially become guest lunch days around here. It wasn't something planned, Fridays just seem to be the day people swing by with deliveries for the shop, or the day everyone has a bit of extra time. Adele came by last, and Dave from Jacob May before that. I like it. We'll often break out a bit of wine, pull a few things together (along with whatever leftovers from the week are in the refrigerator), chat, throw ideas around, and generally enjoy each other's company. Today's black pepper cauliflower is one of the things that has landed on the table in various guises over the past couple of months. The florets are doused in a warm black pepper and red onion vinaigrette, and tossed with nuts, apples, olives, and a bit of feta. The version with broccoli was also popular (simply swap out the cauliflower for broccoli)...Continue>>

 
 
Deviled Eggs
Deviled Eggs Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs


This past weekend I saw coastal wildflowers blooming purple and yellow, misty morning vistas, colorful buoys and wave-whipped fishing boats. I saw a friendly covey of quail, flashy red-winged blackbirds, sleek, needle-nosed blue herons, and a single jack rabbit with ears tall and straight. There was crystallized honey the color of creamy butterscotch, and seals bobbing amidst the rocks at the surf line. I was visiting friends in Bolinas - the perfect overnight. We had a tasty dinner of mostly leftovers, morning coffee by a fire. When it came time to fall asleep, it was so quiet compared to nights in San Francisco, all I could hear was my heart beating. Even better than the peace and quiet, I came home with a sack of fruits from a monstrous avocado tree. These deviled eggs were part of our dinner spread, leftover from Friday's lunch they made the trip north with me. The filling is mixed, mashed, and fluffed into a light herb-flecked dollop. Toasted almonds add the crunch, chive flowers bring the pretty. They're not technically deviled, as there is no paprika or mustard in this version, but you can always tweak the filling to your liking with either.Continue>>

 
 
Olive Oil Braised Spring Vegetables
Olive Oil Braised Spring Vegetables Olive Oil Braised Spring Vegetables

Olive Oil Braised Spring Vegetables


Back in the late 90's Vogue Entertaining + Travel was the Australia-based magazine I splurged for any time I came across it on the news stand. It was gorgeously produced with the likes of Mikkel Vang, Petrina Tinslay, David Loftus, Quentin Bacon, and Con Poulos filling the pages - imagery that was modern, aspirational, and (often) lit naturally. About that time, they started publishing a series of little seasonal Vogue Entertaining Cookbooks. Over the years I collected five of the volumes, and all of them have survived multiple moves (and brazen cookbook purges). Paperback, and roughly 160 pages in length, their simplicity is inviting, and a straight-forward mix of recipes and idea lists are everyday approachable. Each ingredient-led chapter is filled with simple, short-order techniques and ideas. Sometimes I'll sit on the floor of my pantry while a laundry cycle is finishing and flip through them. Which is what was happening when I came across a spring-fabulous shot of olive oil-braised leeks. I used the general idea as a jumping off point, and proceeded to have olive oil braised vegetables for the next five meals in a row (Wayne was out of town, and I tend to slip into easy ruts). Spring is the perfect season for olive oil braising baby vegetables into silky tenderness - you can pick and choose the best baby vegetables as you come across them. Continue>>

 
 
 
 
Mung Yoga Bowl
Mung Yoga Bowl Mung Yoga Bowl

Mung Yoga Bowl


I thought I'd show you how I took a favorite component of a recent recipe, made a minor tweak, and turned it into something completely different. Do you remember the herb-packed coconut milk from this green curry porridge? Well, it's good. Good in its own right. And if you have some on hand, it's a nice jumping off point for a meal. The luxe, cilantro-ginger creaminess makes it brilliant as a dressing, drizzle, or sandwich spread...add some eggs and you have an easy tart filling. For today's recipe I thought I'd try a version with yogurt, in place of the coconut milk, and it did not disappoint. Lobbing dollops of it over a simple bowl of mung beans and quinoa made for the sort of clean, nutritious lunch I aim for (but don't always achieve ;). Some toasted nuts and a drizzle of paprika oil bring the flair and a bit of textural contrast.Continue>>

 
 
Favorites List (3.25.14)

Favorites List (3.25.14)


Apologies in advance, I feel like I should be posting this favorites list prior to the weekend, when people have a bit more time to stretch out and read longer-format pieces. I came across a lot of great articles this month, and put a selection of them into this list. I also couldn't resist a handful of recipes that caught my attention, and a few wildcards. Enjoy! -h

- The Dalai Lama's Ski Trip

- Arms Wide Open

- Trouble

- Sarah Kersten Fermentation Crocks (thx for the custom glaze SK!)

- 4-2-1 Vegetable Soup

- Reading: Finished this, starting this. Looking forward to this.

Continue>>

 
 
Giant Lemon Fennel Beans
Giant Lemon Fennel Beans Giant Lemon Fennel Beans

Giant Lemon Fennel Beans


Baby fennel, big white beans, sliced lemon, a honey-kissed in-pan white wine sauce, all finished with a shower of chopped dill. If any of you are in a side-dish rut, I'm going to lobby for trying this. It's fast, it's good, and as a base idea, it's flexible. You can make the beans as instructed below, or use the recipe as a jumping off point. Add a poached egg on top to make a complete one bowl meal. Or, add a few cups of water (or herby broth), season well, and you have a bright, substantial stew. If you make it in an oven-proof skillet, you can top it with feta, chopped olives, and breadcrumbs, and bake it into a crunchy-topped gratin.Continue>>

 
 
Bay Leaf Pound Cake
Bay Leaf Pound Cake Bay Leaf Pound Cake

Bay Leaf Pound Cake


An impromptu road trip happened over the weekend. We hopped in the car and decided to drive south to Los Angeles. It felt great. I packed a small weekend bag, a single pair of shoes, a hot thermos of White Peony Bai Mudan, and a small cake. I think we've talked about this before, but I like the combination of road trips and cake. Tiny, tasty, unfussy, resilient cakes. The sort of cakes you can slice from with a pocket knife while taking in those little moments that make traveling by car instead of plane worth it. Like when you're looking at the sunrise illuminating the painterly palm-lined hills west of the interstate, or stretching in the bright sun at a rest stop. For me, the definition of a special occasion. This time I made the Bay Leaf Pound Cake from David Lebovitz's new book.Continue>>

 
 
 
 

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