Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dinner tonight was excellent.


Roasted carrot soup (I added a beet, a healthy bunch of kale and some miso)

For dessert, pumpkin pudding with sour cream

Sunday, September 11, 2011

When life gives you lemons...

I love the produce California's Central Valley, and right now it is raining down on us. But we're leaving for a week-long trip to Minnesota tomorrow, so I've been doing my best to use up all the good stuff in our fridge.

When your husband gives you a huge bag of key limes ("Only a dollar at Pedrick's!"), you go out and buy eggs and milk, if you happen to be out, and make Sara's sponge pudding and two key lime coconut cakes. The pudding got eaten for dessert last night and then with iced coffee this afternoon. The cakes are in the freezer, waiting for an appropriate event when we get home.

When your husband also gives you a nice big bag of sweet cherries, which have been sitting out and are starting to get a little moldy, you make a cherry clafouti. This will be dessert tonight (and breakfast tomorrow).

And when your neighbors give you 20 pounds of luscious tomatoes from their garden, you stock up on jalapenos and serranos and make lots and lots of salsa. We made (and canned) four quarts the first afternoon, which used up just under half the tomatoes. We liked the salsa so much, we made another four quarts the following afternoon. We roasted all the vegetables. WIN.

 A big bowl of roasted tomato puree, and two cups of roasted pepper and onion puree.

The fruits of our labor!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Heart & ribs

I made these ribs the other day. I think they would have been delicious if I'd set the oven at a lower temperature. I did 350... Jack suggested 275 would have been better.


  • 3 lbs. beef short ribs (grass-finished if you can get ‘em)
  • Sea Salt & freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Cooking Oil of your choice (we used bacon lard)
  • 1 Cup of Dry White Wine
  • 1 Cup of Strong Brewed Coffee
  • 1 large Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon dried Oregano


  • Season the short ribs with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Warm the oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  • Add the ribs and brown until golden, turning them once, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Transfer the ribs to a paper-towel lined plate.
  • Pour the wine and coffee into the skillet. Cook over high heat, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom, until the sauce is reduced by one forth, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Put the ribs, onion, garlic, 2 teaspoons Sea Salt, chili powder, and oregano in a slow cooker. Pour in the wine sauce and cook, covered, on high for 2.5 hours. Transfer the ribs and sauce to a serving dish and serve.

Also, I found the top half of a cow heart in our freezer, so I stewed that up. Briefly:
Sautee diced bacon in a Dutch oven, and add in some veggies (red jalpenos and mushrooms). Remove the bacon & veggies with a slotted spoon, and brown the heart (trimmed of fat and cut into cubes!) in the fat. Add the veggies back in, and enough water to cover everything. Season as you see fit. We put in salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, etc. at first, and then we added some soy sauce, fish sauce and miso later on when it seemed to need a little extra something.

It turned out pretty well, but it was really oily - too much bacon grease? Not enough fat trimmed off the heart? Anyways, the top of the heart muscle seems to be tougher than the bottom, so stewing it was a good way to soften it up. The meat turned out to have great texture!

Simple simple truffles

I made truffles as a belated Valentine's gift for Scott. Easy & really good!
Inspired by Mark Bittman.

Heat 7/8 c cream on the stove until it's steaming .(I had half-and-half on hand.)
Stir in 8 oz chocolate until it's melted. (I used half unsweetened and half semisweet.)
Stir in whatever flavors you like. (Rind from half an orange, a teaspoon of rum, a little cinnamon.)

Refrigerate until it's solid.

Scoop out truffle-sized amounts, shape into balls, and roll in cocoa powder (mixed with cinnamon) to coat. Store in the fridge.

I love that it's essentially a 2-ingredient recipe (cream + chocolate) with lots of flexibility!

I also want to try this chocolate custard (1 can coconut milk + 1 cup chocolate chips + flavorings) sometime soon.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Pepparkakor - *awesomely* spiced cookies

My sister found this recipe and baked up a batch before Christmas. I got my first taste in their car, as she and Ugur and Scott and I drove north to Duluth. They are really, really fantastic.

A note of caution - Google Translator does a pretty good job, but it converts deciliters to cups, when the actually conversion is more like 1 dl = 0.4 cups. The volumes below should be correct.


1 cup sugar
7 oz butter
2/3 cup light syrup (I substituted maple syrup)

Zests from two lemons (I used 1 lemon and 1 orange)
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon orange peel (ground)
1 tablespoon cardamom

3 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon baking soda

Approximately 1/2 cup almonds (optional but recommended)


Melt the butter in a saucepan with the syrup and sugar.
Remove from heat and let it cool a bit, and stir in all the spices.

Combine the flour and baking soda, and stir into the batter. Stir in almonds.

Shape the dough into two logs and wrap each one in plastic wrap. (If the dough is too warm to shape, just put it in the fridge for a little while, and then try making logs.)

Put the logs in the fridge if you plan to use them within a week - otherwise they can go in the freezer.

Slice the log (half inch slices or less) and bake on a baking sheet at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Heartiest chili EVER

We purchased an eigth of a grassfed cow in November, and we requested some hearts in our order. We got three! The first one, we just sliced and fried. Not bad, but a little tough, so we decided to slow cook the next one. Chili fit the bill. We made this about a week ago and have been really enjoying leftovers since then.

Saute an onion (diced) with some bacon (about 4 thick-cut pieces, also diced) in a big pot.
Once everything is soft and greasy, throw in cubed meat. We only used about half of the heart - it was 4.5 lbs total!

Chop up some peppers (we used one jalapeno and one serrano) and toast them with spices in a dry (nonstick) skillet. (Cumin, mustard, thyme, sage, rosemary, salt, pepper, and maybe some other stuff that Scott can't remember). When the peppers start to blister, add them to the pot.

Add liquid. We used a big can of diced tomatoes, a little can of tomato paste and a cup or two of water.

Add squash. We peeled and diced half of a blue hokkaido pumpkin that we had lying around.

Add other stuff... a few tablespoons of cornmeal (for thickening), some diced chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, some vegan broth powder (mostly yeast extract) to help add depth, some chopped avocados. I think that's it.

Let it simmer for the afternoon. We were happy with how it thickened up - the squash pretty much dissolved. Like most chilis, it tasted better the next day!