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Showing posts from June, 2016

Japanese Ginger and Garlic Chicken with Smashed Cucumber

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I am a big fan of Diana Henry (and have written about her here and here). She is cheeky yet thoughtful, sophisticated yet simple. This cookbook (A Change of Appetite), one I turn to time and again to up my salad game, is her gander at healthy eating.  

Her take is simple:  More veggies, less meat. Heavy on freshness, light on processed foods. 

And Henry takes us on a whirlwind tour of healthy food from across the world. From Scandinavia to Cambodia, North Africa to Peru, this cookbook opens up a world of possibilities for the healthy palate. 



I have been thinking about my diet more these days.  One of the most important people in my whole life is in the midst of a health crisis, and we have been talking a lot about food that is good for you. There's a lot of misinformation out there. A lot of advice that contradicts itself. I just want something that is simple and easy to follow.

Enter Diana Henry.

She just advises to eat well, to enjoy the process, and to be aware of what you put in y…

Goat Cheese and Cherry Salad with Almond and Basil Gremolata

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The husband has been learning how to make cheese. I am learning how to gain weight.  Last week it was chevre, as featured here.  Then it was feta.  Now it's Valencay.

I approve of his new hobby.


Our refrigerator is filled with jugs of goat milk, our counter is covered in cheeses in the beginnings of their aging process, our shelves are becoming stacked with cheese molds, and the cooler rotates cheeses in and out, depending on their needed temperature.

And I am filling out my pants even further.

Enter salad for dinner.


His chevre is a beauty--creamy and slightly sweet--perfect for pairing with cherries.  And cherries are everywhere right now. So I have been soaking them in alcohol to make my own maraschino cherries, pitting them to make jam, and eating them in the backyard (spitting the pits into the grass in hopes that maybe one will sprout).


Add spinach, arugula, basil, and almonds, and people this salad is bitter, sweet, crunchy, and creamy.

Whether your cheese is homemade or…

Roasted Potato Salad

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I have posted about potato salad in the past. 
I get it, I really do, this current moment you're having. Why, oh why, is she posting about potato salad?  Does potato salad deserve not one but two posts?
I am here to confirm that as we're now firmly ensconced in summer and summer barbecues and trips to the beach and picnics and backporch swing sitting, potato salad needs to be posted at least once a month.

The first potato salad was your basic potato salad, tweaked and gussied up to be satisfying for all palates--young, old, picky, and adventurous--for it strikes the right note of Americana backyard.  That one is a standard salad that promises to be a hit with just about everyone.

But this more recent potato salad is more for your gourmand. For those who want something predictable (potato salad) with a surprising twist (roasted veggies) that strikes just the right balance.
The simple change of roasting your potatoes before putting them in potato salad ratchets this salad into f…

Marinated Mushrooms with Vermouth and Garlic from The Basque Book

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It is a miracle, my friends, that I am still standing. Finishing out a school year is hard work. But standing I am.

In an abrupt transition, let's just say I am big fan of Basque Country, if only because of Ernest Hemingway. When I was in college, I took a literary criticism course with a reading list of precisely one book: The Sun Also Rises, which for years I knew of as Fiesta, the title under which this book is published in Europe. We read and wrote about this book under a feminist lens, a Marxist viewpoint, a Formalist approach, a Structuralist lens, and a Psychoanalytic approach. People, I know this book really well.

And in this book, Jake and his buddy Bill do some fishing in a little town, Burguete in the Navarre region of Spain, on the Irati River. But on their way, they ride in a crowded bus filled with Basque people. Jake, Bill, and these strangers pass around and share their wine, and Jake learns the proper way to drink wine from a wineskin. The fishing trip becomes a…