Showing posts from November, 2014

Tortilla Espanola with Charred Red Peppers

A colleague of mine recommended this cookbook, and as I have attested , I love soup. How could I pass up another cookbook devoted to soup? Especially a vegetarian cookbook devoted to soup? Yet the irony is that while I bought the book for the soup, the first recipe I made was for non-soup. I had eggs. I had potatoes. I needed to use both. So Spanish tortilla became a siren sound, and here we are. You might recognize the name Anna Thomas, as she also wrote Vegetarian Epicure   (the bible for vegetarians in the 70s written while Thomas herself was in college)   and The New Vegetarian Epicure. Back in my working in the bookstore days, I shelved both of those books many a times--even in Salt Lake City in the 90s, these vegetarian tomes were hard to keep on the shelf. What's even more fun about Thomas is that in addition to being an accomplished cookbook author, she is also an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and acclaimed film producer--her most famous film being, perh

Pumpkin-Date Loaf with Cream Cheese Swirl

Recently, I became indebted to some wonderful people, and I needed to pass on a small token of my appreciation. What's a better bit of thanks than a loaf of bread? A loaf of bread with cream cheese. How about a loaf of pumpkin bread with cream cheese? And so here we are, relishing the glory of bread, glorious bread, with pumpkin and cream cheese. Greg Patent, our book's author, won second place in the junior division of the Pilsbury Bake-Off, and ever since, he has been baking up a storm. As an adult he became a contributing editor to Cooking Light magazine; in 2002 Patent published this gem of a cookbook where he pored over nearly two centuries worth of American recipes in order to document America's relationship with the baked good. Admittedly, this cookbook has been one of hit and miss for me. I suspect that because this cookbook is a bit on the more traditional side (and I attest that I am not much of a baker (what, with the measuring and all)) that

Thanksgiving Gratitude

And so it goes as it has gone the past four years: Some Thanksgiving Day Gratitude . In no particular order, this is what I have to be grateful for this year-- (In delightful news, many of these are repeats from last year.) 1.  Good friends: While I have no idea who these fine people are in the picture, this is from a trip to the Parkway Theater to watch World Cup soccer with two friends in the Bay Area (who were seated beside us, not in front of us). This past weekend, I was with my mom, and we were talking about friends. I admitted, happily, that my friendships here in my home in California are as wonderful as those I have had in Illinois, Ohio, Utah, and Colorado. I am so grateful to have these friends in my life--and some I have not seen in years, as evidenced by a trip to Utah, where immediately I felt known by and felt like I knew my dear friends. Yes, marriages and children and jobs that pay more than minimum wage and houses have happened. But the friendship rema

Cream Biscuits with Jam Butter

So, the husband turned a prime number in age. We have been meaning to go out for prime rib* in celebration, but life seems to have other plans for us. As in many, big other plans. Those plans include an impromptu trip back to Salt Lake City (a story for another day) and the preparation for a trip to Illinois to see the family. However, to celebrate the husband's entrance into the prime of his life (or at least a year of it), I made him a birthday breakfast, which featured these lovely biscuits. * I am not a huge fan of prime rib, but I am willing to at least go to a steakhouse in honor of entering a prime number year and order a hell of a salad.  These are the sacrifices one makes for marriage. Last month, I happened upon this cookbook while wandering the lovely Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino,  and I snapped it up. While Karen Mordechai and (what seems like delightful) company present a whole host of lovely menus in honor of the spur-of-the-moment gathering of strangers a

Quinces Poached in Syrup

Darn.  This picture is a little blurrier than I would like.  Ah, but isn't the quince a gorgeous color? I love quinces. Pretty much, I love everything about them. Their name (that beautiful q ), their color, their smell, and their taste. I love their history--some even say that they were the "golden apple" of Paris-Aphrodite fame or the ever-tempting apple of garden of paradise lore. I love that they can keep for a while, so if you buy a bunch, you can leave them to sit in a bowl on the kitchen table and they make the whole house smell rosy and sweet and autumnal. Yep, I love quinces. This little dessert is a simple one, and one you (apparently, as I did) can forget about. I guess I need to chalk its forgiving nature up to that catalogue of quince attributes to love. The quince, which I plan to feature again soon in the form of lamb and quince tagine , can generally be found from October to February. And when you find them, snap them up. Because March is ou