It was Christmas morning. There was a few inches of snow blanketing everything and big fluffy flakes were still falling from the sky. There was a fire blazing in the fireplace. <Okay, ours is a gas fireplace with a switch to flip on the wall next to the mantle, so it’s not exactly a production.> Christmas music was blasting. The dining table was decked out to the nines. I’d made fabulously fragrant monkey bread, and Jacques Pépin’s quiche, and gotten those onto the table along with nice strong coffee and kicked-up mimosas. I just had to finish up my strawberry Santas. I’d taken a shortcut and bought whipped cream in a can. It comes with its own dispenser. Genius, right?! Read More
#ottolenghi #ottolenghisimple #tenspeedpress
I was flipping through the book, flagging recipes to try, and read, “This is the dish Patrick Dempsey’s character tells Renee Zellweger’s Bridget Jones that he would have brought her on their imaginary date in Bridget Jones’s Baby. “From Ottolenghi,” says Dempsey, “delicious and healthy!” And easy we might add! What sounded like a bit of product placement on our part was in fact no such thing. The recipe didn’t even exist on our menu, so this is a retrospective acknowledgment.” Okay, I was trying to steer clear of it, and cook absolutely everything else in the book, because it sounds like a one-liner. Curiosity got the better of me. Wowza! Bridget Jones’ Pan-Fried Salmon with Pine Nut Salsa is an amazing salmon dish. lol! Read More
Summer’s on its way! I saw a recipe for a strawberry spinach salad in a Penzey’s catalog years ago. I loved it. It’s the most friendly salad ever. I’ve played with it to make the dressing a little lighter, added grilled orange chicken, and changed the pistachios to candied pecans. It’s perfect with Pellegrino with lime if the kids have talked you into playing outside after dinner, or with a lovely Pinot Grigio if you’re planning to relax.
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We eat everything, but I end up with a lot of vegetarian and vegan books because I’m a massive produce-head. I stumbled upon a recipe in The Simply Vegan Cookbook: Easy, Healthy, Fun, and Filling Plant-Based Recipes Anyone Can Cook by Dustin Harder (Great book – at the very healthy end of the vegan spectrum and super easy), where sweet potatoes stood in for the bread in avocado toast. I loved the idea. A total vitamin punch with twice as much vegetables in breakfast – I’m in! I wanted stronger flavors and enjoy a little protein in the morning, so I started playing with the idea.
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Greek Salad is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world. I love it filled with chopped vegetables, some sort of topping, and usually skip the romaine. The kids love it, too, but I always saw dishes in the sink with raw onions framing the empty plates. In salads all over Latin America, onions are soaked in vinegar to cut their sharpness. I started tweaking my notes. The plates in the sink are totally naked now.
Below, I’ll give all my variations, starting with my seasoning blend, a raw or grilled salad base, then 5 toppers to pick from. Two are vegetarian, two are for carnivores, and one for pescatarians.
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We read Stephen King’s It for bookclub, and I was inspired by Pennywise the Clown to make a nice little produce sculpture to take with. Veggiewise the Clown. I cracked up when my friends were really hesitant to sample my little crudite display. He is a little bit more off-putting than our treats of Halloweens past…..