Showing posts from April, 2015

Figgy Mostarda

I have such an affection for canning, for my grandmother was a champion canner (which I have detailed here ). Thus, it has been with great plea sure that this year I have entered into the sweaty world of canning myself. (My lord, canning is hot work!) Such an entrance is a new challenge that I have set for myself and I have loved it. My first batch of goodies came from  Food in Jars   (from which I made this little chocolate cake for my mom and an unposted round of Cara Cara Orange and Ginger Marmalade). Ever willing to try new things, I snapped up this cookbook (yes, yet another from the used bookstore mere blocks from my house--I think they know me by name there), excited to can under the gentle yet firm tutelage of  Pam Corbin , also known as Pam the Jam, and  River Cottage . (Further, Corbin penned this cookbook and then swiftly followed it up with  another volume , making for a handy encyclopedia of jams and preserves.) This recipe, firmly in the grips of page

Spring Pea and Cilantro Soup

I have long celebrated the culinary chops of Yotom Ottolenghi on this here website, and Ottolenghi has gotten oodles of international attention for his amazing cookbook Plenty (which I'll admit I have crowed about time and again on this website). However, fellow British chef Diana Henry has her own cookbook Plenty that can stand sentinel on its own. I am delighted to crow about her as well. Certainly, in England, Henry is well known and well beloved; however, stateside, she doesn't (yet) seem to have the same following. Which is a shame, for her cooking is downright pleasurable in that wonderfully, simply satisfying way. Diana Henry, who originally hails from Northern Ireland, is a transplant to London, where she writes for  The Telegraph   and maintains her own luscious  website . Additionally, she has penned eight cookbooks (!) and has a brand spanking new one out that I am dying for someone to drop into my hands at just the right moment. This par

Ottolenghi's Fried Lima Beans with Feta, Sorrel and Sumac

Shall I tell you all the plans I had for this past weekend?  They included a run with my dear friend last Friday, a fabulous fortieth birthday party for a pair of dear friends on Saturday (which would have included baby holding), and many hours watching Giants baseball on all three days (thankfully, they seem to have gotten out of their slump with this Dodgers series!).  Instead, my weekend was spent in bed, beneath a mountain of blankets and beside an equally high mountain of kleenex. After almost two years of avoiding one, I got a cold. And not just any cold. A spring cold.  The only thing worse than a spring cold is a summer cold. Remember that fortieth birthday party I was scheduled to attend? Well, it was an outdoor one in a park complete with potluck dishes. There were to be babies that I could hold and nuzzle. Instead, I opted out of it, because I didn't want to hold and nuzzle babies and subsequently pass on this cold. Further, this fabulous lima bean dish is

Orange Liqueur

Time to get your hooch on. I am over the moon about the arrival of this book for so many reasons. First and foremost, the husband has taken it upon himself to learn how to brew beer. Provided that his first batch does not turn out to be swill, I will be sipping his beer while reclining in a wooden lounger in the backyard this summer. Second, I vowed to add more booze to this blog. Lucky for me, John Wright (via River Cottage) is here to guide me with his amusing tone and knowledgeable hand. Welcome to the blog, Mr. Wright. This cookbook highlights the four mainstays one might brew at home: infusions, wine, beer, and cider. Distillation of alcohol remains illegal, so no making any moonshine out there, my friends. (However, I have stories from the Prohibition Era that such illegal activities may have been prevalent in my family, on both sides .  People, that's probably the only commonality that both sides of my family share!) Infusions are the easiest to do

Spring Tart with Asparagus and Red Onions

April in the Bay Area can be tricky. Just in the past week alone, it has rained, fogged over, and shot up to 80 degrees (luckily, not all on the same day). Thus, when planning a wedding in Golden Gate Park, you must call in all of your favors from the gods in order to get an appropriately sun-drenched meadow surrounded by a bower of leafy, bright green trees and bushes. Lucky for my dear friend, the gods owed her some favors, and her little patch of grass practically glowed for her wedding. Converging the top three things I love about spring weddings (good love, good friends, and good food), this San Francisco wedding ended with a reception at one of my favorite places in the world (as detailed here , here , and here , yes here , even here , and finally here ), Greens Restaurant in the city.* There, the sunlight kept pouring into this beautiful room overlooking the Bay and affording a spectacular sunset view. Even more wonderful, the light seemed to follow my friend aroun

Herbed Falafel Bowl

I am a fan of Sara Forte and Hugh Forte and their beautifully presented blog , The Sprouted Kitch en . Even more so, I am a fan of my friend who gifted me with the Forte's first cook book, simpl y entit led The Sprouted Kitchen . Thus, I was looking forward to this sophomore cookbook from Sara Forte. It meant good food, beautiful pictures, and a nostalgic return to her first. Th i s new cookbook combines  the pragmatism of the first book (healthy, whole  foods) with the charm of a single dish.  While the book reads almost like a vegetarian cookbook, Forte tucks in recipes for turkey meatballs, seared tuna, jerk-seasoned white fish, roasted salmon, and seared scallops. Forte is no simpleton when it comes to healthy food, for such a qualifying moniker doesn't always mean food without poultry or seafood. Further, Forte admits that one must not get too literal with the bowl and spoon , even encouraging you to branch out  to the fork and plate as needed. However,