this is such a perfect august soup... just cool enough for the last of the hot summer days & a sweet not so distant welcome into fall...zucchini are so abundant right now and mint..even the handful that this requires adds such a fancy tea time feeling...i made this soup 3 times this week..with a renaissance mama, as a thank you gift & for my family...it's simple on the prep and if you are home for about 45 minutes it can cook down into the broth, then you wait for it to cool and puree. i have sipped it warm and cold. both ways are so good. here is the recipe. look forward to hearing what you think....see you in the kitchenxxx
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
we have a few more weeks before all the stone fruit take a deep rest until next summer... so to kick off the good-bye celebration i wanted to share this honey caramel peach pie... oh yeah, you feel it...one word: divine (and if there was another word allowed it would be oh so sweet)...from 'X'ing the peaches tooshies to putting them in boiling water for a minute to ice cubes then to waxing their thin fuzzy skins off...(people pay a lot of money for this same kind of thing to happen to them with fancier words for the procedures) they call this blanching in the recipe....it could have also passed as korean spa for peaches.....anyway, analogies aside...then you slice all 3 lb. of them (about 7) & they hang out together in a bowl of corn starch, lemon juice, cinnamon, flour & salt....you can find the entire recipe here. it comes out of gourmet magazine which is an awesome resource for inspiring & exciting recipes coming out of their test kitchen on a weekly basis. i will be posting a few farewell posts to those gorgeous fruits & veggies that are leaving us in the next few weeks...big love & see you in the kitchenxxx
Monday, August 24, 2009
simple, beautiful, not too fishy...i guess you could call it just right. or maybe it's just what the renaissance mama ordered.. well whatever you want to call it.. it's easy & gorge. so get ready to rock this one out on your saute pan. it's sea trout! and it's been on special for the last few weeks at the hollywood market.. and i have been celebrating each time. i start with putting the eye on medium and adding butter (which is going to make it amazing whatever i do) and an herb or two. this first one was probably pretty mellow maybe some parsley & dill... then i wait till the pan heats a bit.. add some citrus juice.. tangerine worked beautifully here.. then i added cut up figs & cherry tomatoes.... put the top on it and let it sit a bit... give them all some time to get to know each other... as they are doing their stare down thing... i pan roast some super thin green beans with a little walnut oil...wait till the pan gets pretty hot (about 4-5 minutes) and add some water, turn it doen to med-low & put the top on slightly so they can steam a bit (about 15-20 minutes with being aware of them every few minutes.. checking in, moving them about etc..) back to the sea trout... turn it over if you want or let it bake in the pan.. either way once it's ready to move on.. i placed it on a bed on paella rice.. added the green beans with a little more walnut oil & voila...the connection between the figs & the tomatoes was almost electric :)
as for the next one...it's the same 'frame' as the first one (meaning all the same steps)... this time with zebra heirloom tomatoes & purple basil.. tomatoes with butter and basil.. stewed for a while with the fish.. oy it was another way to heaven. so light yet substantial. try it and tell me what happens...ps: there were pomegranates at the market today.. i almost fainted.. fall is here and i am going to write about it next..see you in the kitchenxxx
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
any herb with milk, butter, sugar, eggs & whole cream is bound for the up and up. i mean.. how can you go wrong? and....there is something amazing about basil that is just plain ol' fancy pants.. (still on the fancy trip..) and yet grounding in an italian boot with your heels in the soil and you just don't care kind of way. this calls for clear skies and sparkling sun kind of weather...which is what i had the day i experimented with one of my clients ice cream makers... this recipe is originally from gourmet which came to me from a blog called 17 & baking... yep, you got it.. the young ones know how to bake it and make it....put aside....
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of sugar (in 2 (1/4) batches)
1/4 cup chopped basil
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup of whole cream
combine basil, milk, 1/4 sugar in medium saucepan...boil for a second
and put on simmer for about 30 minutes...with top half on, half off...
like phantom of the opera.
mix egg yolks with sugar for about a minute
after 30 minute sauce pan cools...blend it. then stir a mellow stream of the
blended mixture into the eggs mixture...mix it a bit then put it back in the sauce pan.
stir it. stir it constantly & consistently until you begin to see this...a film
over your wooden spoon...and yes, stir with a wooden spoon please.
then strain it into a stainless steel bowl in a ice cube bath.
how i was feeling :)
once it's cooled... place in ice cream maker (which is completely frozen inside), add whole cream
and churn, churn away! check in with it after about 15 minutes.. then 20.. then 25..
creating the thickness you want... then place in the freezer in glass container until
ready to serve with GOLDEN RASBERRIES... this combo = lethal love.
here it is... another vacation on a spoon. enjoy and let me know how it goes!! see you soonxxx
Monday, August 17, 2009
introducing... the first renaissance mama product! there is nothing like a little sprinkle of fancy around the kitchen to not only get inspired but to stay inspired in your kitchen!! it's all about what you have to create beautiful meals....and i love fancy... especially in glass jars on the counter. you can use this lavender sugar for pancakes, tea, coffee, cakes, confections... anything you want to put sugar in and add a little something special. these sweet cuties were inspired (word of that day) by the talk i did at belly sprout last week...christy funk (owner, mama, amazing hostess of fullerton) invited me to her sweet eco baby & mama boutique to share what i am up to with renaissance mamas. it was beautiful to start the conversation there... we sat in a circle & shared about how we 'do it', what our kitchen culture is, how we eat & what it's all about.... cooking for our families and/or wanting that....fighting the food marketers, the convenience stores, the sugar in everything (not this fancy sugar of course), the freezing in plastic etc... searching for a spine in (our lack of a) culture to support living well, eating well & consciously consuming...to create memories from scratch & feed our babes local & alive foods.....and of course i had to bring something fancy... so i did... let's keep talking, cooking & learning from each other...see you soonxxx
Sunday, August 9, 2009
welcome to the black rasberry... have you ever seen this before? it was a first for me... yes, blackeberries, blueberries, and all the other dark berries out there... but black rasberries?!?! for one thing... you do not want to be the one picking these incredibly delicate honeycomb like art pieces as they grow on stems covered in little sharp thorns...i mean...a ton of thorns.... tiny, prickly, protectors of paws and the like... anyway my sweet farmer jose (the only berry farmer) at south pasadena's market on thursday afternoon had these a month ago & they were to die for... i mean it... that's why i bowed down to his pickers (if that is the right term) and tasted one... i closed my eyes and went to a place only a black rasberry can take you... it was amber love, lavender fields, stained glass sacred, something fierce...there was no baking needed with this little bad boy... just steeping in this rare moment....i needed nothing else but to watch my son's teeth turn blacker and blacker with each one that popped into his sweet black & beautiful mouth. see you soonxxx
Friday, August 7, 2009
simply roasted sweet potatoes...i love that you can make a geometric art piece on some parchment paper with olive oil and dill look like a 70's art piece... or at least i think it looks like some trendy architecture piece from eames & wrights time (maybe i have been in the kitchen too long?).. these babies are so easy to make and they can be a sweet addition to any meal (quinoa & lentils OR skirt steak & bhutanese rice)...massage them with love, olive oil (or any oil you like) & sea salt (fleur de sal or kosher salt)....i am into using dill these days....it does not over power the taste & it adds a different flavor to it....i am also on a bit of a mini-mission to make dill a bit more trendy than it's usual stint with salmon & capers...bake on 350 or 400 for about 30 - 40 minutes... start checking them around 25 minutes as everyone's oven is different...and enjoyxxx
Thursday, August 6, 2009
i LOVE this photo and wanted to share it with you... it gives me that inside smile as it's definitely a piece of my heaven...i have a few clients going away on their summer vacations this week and during our last time in the kitchen we were creating their lists of what to take with them (they are renting homes for a week or two)... we started with glass pitchers, big wooden bowl, big all-clad sauce pan, basic pantry list, wooden spoons, bread knife.... and a few more things depending on where they are renting etc...and with all that said...bring your desire to cook with flexibility, humor, & fun.... gather your family around to help bring all the pieces together because love in the food (no matter how it's cooked) is what makes it so good! relax, eat & enjoy...xxx
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
ok... so much has happened since the last time we shared...for starters.. we are now in august which is a huge shocker in terms of how fast the time is flying..... i mean are you feeling this and yet....there is still time to create something sweet, green & delicious for the liver chi... here is a very mellow arugula & dandelion salad with pistachios & strawberries...the dressing is simple with 3 ingredients...macadamia nut oil or flax seed oil (or both), rice vinegar & a citrus of your choice... i used a juicy tangerine for this one. the sweet of the strawberry inspires the peppery taste of the arugula & the slight bitter love coming from the dandelion. when it's bathed in a simple sweet dressing.. it feels doable, light & perfect for a hot summer day. more to come....and soon tooxxx