Super NUTritious Nut Loaf | nut loaf

 Food Memoir, health supportive, nutrient rich  Comments Off on Super NUTritious Nut Loaf | nut loaf
Apr 282017


Nut loaf

A friend who bought a half dozen bottles of Salt of D Earth as holiday gifts wrote to say, “how the RhODy blend really pulled her nut loaf together.”  I wrote back immediately saying, “NUT LOAF, what do you mean nut loaf? How have I never heard of a nut loaf? You’ve gotta talk me through this one.” Within minutes she texted back saying that she’s never used a recipe to make a nut loaf & she’s been making them for years but she did include a link for a recipe in her text none the less.

I checked the recipe in the link knowing full well I too would be ‘Making it my own”.

I hemmed & hawed about whether or not this nut loaf could really constitute being a true Recipe 4 Survival since a majority of the ingredients are not basic staples and some of them are quite expensive, for instance organic nuts.  I knew I’d love it, I wanted to make something I’ve never tried before and the play on words that a nut loaf is NUTritious made it all worthwhile.

Now that I’ve made it, nut loaf is a perfect recipe for survival. So here’s the rough math: the ingredients used to make a 9″ loaf cost about $18. At least 10 hearty slices can be had from the 9″ loaf which I know would suffice a family of 4 with left overs, so YES, nut loaf is a Recipe 4 Survival.  A slice, pan-seared makes a killer sandwich – especially since I used up my ancho chili infused maple syrup roasted butternut squash like a jam on the toast.  It freezes & reheats really well and it’s so NUTritious! IMG_8885

The ingredient’s & quantities called for seemed like overkill to me and I could tell what they were calling for and the final product would be very forgiving short of picking up mushrooms & cottage cheese I made my first nutloaf with basic staples I have at home.

If you happen to have left over or cooked rice, putting a nut loaf together takes almost no time at all. Let’s say 20-30 mins prep & 50-60 mins baking time.

Here’s what I did to make my nut loaf.

Preheat the oven to 350°

2 – 3 Cs cooked (short grain) brown rice – 1 cup of short grain brown rice yielded .

2 Portabello Mushroom tops & 1 stem – chopped.

2 dents of Garlic – minced or diced

1/2 large Onion – diced

sherry – splash/1/4 cup.

1 C Almonds – toasted & 1 C Walnuts – toasted

3 or 4 eggs – beaten

1 C – cottage or pot/farmer’s cheese

1 C Grated cheese – Cheddar or Smoke Gouda

(Pecans, Brazil nuts, cashews – whatever your fancy. I used nuts that are staple ingredients for me and I believe everyone should too)

I cooked 1 cup of short grain brown rice which I let toast lightly in the pan I sautéd the mushrooms in  then I added two cups of water, let that come to a boil for 5 mins. Turn the heat down, put a top on the pan and let the rice steam for a good 20 mins.

I pulsed to a fine chop 2 Portabello mushroom tops & 1 stem in my small food processor then cooked them off in a heavy bottomed pan with just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, 2 good sized dents of garlic roughly chopped  & 1/2 an onion diced.  I added various pinches of dry herbs, primarily thyme & sage which probably equal about a teaspoon each.  When the mushroom liquid evaporated I splashed in some sherry – a staple for me and let that cook off. Turn off the heat & let the mushroom mixture cool in a bowl.

Next I toasted the nuts, 1 C of  almonds & 1 C of walnuts I toasted each separately, a handful at a time in a small saute pan over a medium heat. This takes no time at all, just until you smell the aroma of the nuts by wafting the air over the pan. I tossed those into small food processor and pulsed.

In a large bowl combine the nuts & the cooked rice    IMG_8874

In another bowl beat 4 eggs, & 1 cottage or pot/farmer’s cheese. The recipe called for 5 eggs & 1 Cup of the pot/farmer’s cheese. Believe me, if I hadn’t been able to get the freshest most beautiful farmer’s cheese, I would have left it out. Season with Salt of D Earth or S & P.

Add the egg & cottage cheese and the sautéd mushrooms to the nut & rice mixture and stir to incorporate well.  This is when I added about a 1/4# of grated smoked Gouda & handful of dried cranberries.  I think apple chunks would work nicely in the mix. Maybe in place of a cup of nuts?  There’s sO much one can do to make this dish their own it’s NUTS.

Pour the mixture into a greased 9″ Pyrex loaf dish IMG_8877and decorated the top of the loaf. I used slices of apple. IMG_8881 Sliced mushrooms, a sprig of thyme, would look beautiful. I slid this into the preheated oven and let it cook for 50 minutes, turned the heat off & left the loaf in the oven another good 10 minutes.

Nut loaf is so great on so many levels. It travels well. It’s a great pot luck dish for a party, it’s filling and again, oh so NUTritious. The first time I made the nut loaf  it was so well received I scored big time as it took center field on the grazing table at a Superbowl party amongst a huge pot of vegetarian chili, cheesy nachos, traditional toppings, 2 different bowls of guacamole  & various dipping chips.

You too will score big time with this one. YUM.



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Passover – Seasonal eats | Passover seasonal vegetarian eats

 Food Memoir  Comments Off on Passover – Seasonal eats | Passover seasonal vegetarian eats
Apr 122017

Keep it seasonal, keep it green, keep it light

My arsenal of Passover eats are:

 cauliflower crust ‘pizza’, nut loaf and my sweet potato & string bean salad  They’re perfect dishes I hope will sustain you through the Passover week.

May these days of joy, rejuvenation, connecting with friends & family carry us through the year

Chag sameach, חַג שָׂמֵחַ, Happy holidays

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Mushroom Barley Soup – Oh My | mushroom barley soup

 Food Memoir, health supportive, nutrient rich  Comments Off on Mushroom Barley Soup – Oh My | mushroom barley soup
Apr 042017


Snow Day and Mushroom Barley soup go together well

I strategically made my way to the last car of the subway so that when I would emerge from being underground I’d be only a few yards from the entrance to the Whole Foods on Bowery & Houston.  Gathering the ingredients for my first ever, mushroom barley soup was all that was on my mind the entire subway ride but for some reason it was the carrots that were the standout ingredient for me.  I picked a perfect carrot for my soup from a heap of fantastic organic carrots & a handful each of: shiitake, cremini & button mushrooms. Then I was on to the bulk grain area to procure the barley. Being that this was the first time I was making mushroom barley soup, I was thrilled to find organic barley among the plethora of plastic silos filled with various rices, grains, beans, granola, etc.  that I did not know to look for pearl barley vs the barley that I happily watched fill the bag in the palm of my hand. At the cash register I declare the contents of the bag as hulled barley since I’d forgotten to weigh & price it at the bulk grains area.

The hulled barley took much longer to cook than pearl barley would which was a bit disappointing and reminded me of wild rice , which has never been a favorite of mine. One of my friends really liked the soup and liked the ‘snap’ of the very whole barley. Talk about a whole meal in a bowl. I toasted a thick slice of a good sour dough bread and rubbed that with a fresh garlic clove. I had this with pineapple juice & a splash of ginger beer  Very nutritional and comforting.

Here’s what I did to make the soup:


1 – 2 Cs – mushroom stock/broth

1/2 # sliced mushrooms

1/2 a lg onion

2 Ts flour

1 C barley

4 – 6 Cs – veg broth

Baguette slices toasted & rubbed w/a garlic clove

What I did to make this: 

I brought at least about 6 cups of water to a boil in my kettle

I pencil cut the carrot. Very organic shape, quick & easy.

Sliced the stems of the shiitake and a fewmushrmstockpot of the button mushrooms and brought that to a simmer in about 2 cups of water and let that reduce over a medium to high flame or heat.

Then I methodically sliced the mushrooms.

Diced the medium sized onion.

Added the boiling water to a bowl with one all vegetarian bullion cube in it. Stir that around to make the broth.

Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a heavy bottomed pot. Add the carrots & onions and stir well and cook for about 5 mins to soften these ingredients. I find this is best done with a top on between the ‘stirs’. Then add about a cup of dried barley and the 2 Ts of flour. Mix well to coat all ingredients in the pot. Lower the heat. Top on.

Strain the mushroom broth over a bowl and add this to the pot of veg, barley & flour mixture. msuhrmbarleypot

Then add another 2 or 3 cups of the broth. Stir well, lower the heat, Salt of D.Earth to taste, top on. Simmer. Stir occasionally. This soup took over an hour to cook before the barley was soft enough to serve & eat.

Most likely I’ll try this ‘recipe’ with pearl barley to see if it may cook in less time and to see how it tastes but I’m happy with another happy accident because I think working with the ‘hulled barley’ which has not been polished added a very earthy, hearty element to the dish. Pretty nice for a dish many expect to find & relish having short-ribs, flanken or brisket in.

Try it, you’ll like it!



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Nov 272016

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Imagine, if you wish, how many food -blogs, chef & restaurant newsletters, foodie magazines and the sorts that I get on any given day – suffice to say,  “A LOT” and I peruse pretty much all of them, but then when something catches my eye, say in the subject line or when I scroll down through the pictures, then I zero in and clap on. Such was the case when I read the Lucky Peach subject line: What You Need to Know About the Trendiest Beer, Squash, and Opening a Restaurant. All I saw was: What You Need to Know About Squash then I scrolled down through the email until I stopped at this picture & recipe:  img_0252Fettuccine with Butternut Squash and Red Poblano Crema. So I clapped onto this glorious looking dish, pictured in a pot just like my favorite pot. My initial impetus to go to the farmers market was because I was going make a soup, I now call my November #1 soup and red pablanos which I learned can only be had about two weeks a year so I was out the door and off to the Union Square Farmers Market like a shot. 

I picked up a batch of the Falls bounty to make my November #1 soup. This consisted of everything pictured here sans the top of the butternut squash.   img_1470  To make the November #1 soup I tossed the whole delicata squash and the bulb/bottom half of the butternut squash, (because it’s the neck part that is used to make the fettuccine and red Pablano dish) in the oven after pricking the skin randomly w/a fork and rubbing it w/a drizzle of olive oil. After about a half hour of cooking time in a 375 degree oven slice it in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and return to the oven cut side down on a parchment or aluminum foil lined tray.img_1496 While this is baking prepare the other vegetables, peel & dice the carrot & an onion, peel and core the apple. Cut the sunchokes in half lengthwise then across into medium chunks.img_1479   img_1489

Get a heavy bottom pot hot . Coat the bottom w/oil and a pinch of salt. I added the carrots and onions to braise. img_1485I put water up to boil in my kettle – about 5 cups. Once you feel the veg are braised enough, say 5-7 mins or so, stirring pretty consistently, toss in a bullion cube, the apple, sunchokes and 4-5 cups of hot water. When I was digging around in my ‘spice cabinet’ for the bullion cube I came across a piece of a dried ancho chili, so this made it into ‘the soup’. Stir and bring the flame/heat down to a simmer.  Remove the squash from the oven and scrape the pulp into the soup. Mix occasionally and cook off for about 40 mins until the sunchokes are tender. Blend – you’ve got soup.

It was nightmare Wednesday the 9th that I made my first batch of my all time favorite dish, SpecialD now – Rick Bayless’ Fettuccine with Butternut Squash and Red Poblano Crema 


First things first- roast the peppers and 3 or 4 garlic cloves in their skin. You’ll have to shake the pan under the flame or turn them over to thoroughly char the pepper’s skins. While this is cooking prepare the neck of the butternut squash into1/8″ planks img_1571

img_1573 img_1575

Then into ribbons.

By the time you’re done with this the peppers and garlic should be ready to be removed from the oven. When they’re cool enough to handle, remove the skin and seeds. img_1581 Cut the best looking pepper into ribbons, these will be used as a garnish. Coursely chop the two other peppers and toss them into a food processor with the roasted garlic dents.  Season to taste with S&P.  Then you add about a cup of Mexican crema which can easily be substituted w/sour cream or creme fraiche. img_1585

Cook the butternut squash ribbons off in well salted water for about 4 minutes. Pour the red poblano creme sauce into a pan over a medium flame/temperature. With a slotted spoon or tongs add the cooked off squash to the crime sauce and add 8 oz of fettuccine to the boiling salted water. I used fresh pasta which cooked off in about 5 – 8 minutes. Always reserve at least a cup of cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the creme sauce & mix in the roasted pepper ribbons and about a 1/4 cup of Parmesan.

img_1586 Top with finely chopped cilantro- if you have it. Dish out, eat up!. Who ever doesn’t think this is the most Dlicious meal, dish, food, sustenance, cibo,  they’ve eaten in a long time, ya gotta let me know.

After making the Butternut Fettuccine for a second time I roughly chopped up the leftover bottom, cleaned out the seeds and steamed that off.  While this steamed off I tossed a can of Trader Joe’s smoked trout and a dollop of olive oil mayo w/a grated apple which I slathered onto a toasted baguette wedge and ate w/the steamed butternut squash chunks.

Last but certainly not least I whipped up probably the best Butternut squash (& leek) risotto I’ve ever made.  Back at ya with that very simple recipe.  

Husk Tomato,Ground-Cherry Jam

 Food Memoir, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Husk Tomato,Ground-Cherry Jam
Sep 292016

IMG_5127 IMG_5123

I was invited to the Harvest Festival at The Sylvester Manor on Shelter Island one of the most glorious weekends this year.

About a dozen or so EZ-UP, pop-up tents manned by local vendors and food artisans offered up various delicacies from smoked turkey or brisket sandwiches, brick oven grilled pizza, all organic – kale, sweet potato & chic pea style soups and coleslaw to local wines, squashes, and Sylvester Manor eggs, husk tomatoes, breads, flower wreaths and cutting boards. The tents lined one edge of the farm’s ‘center field’ where a small stage was platform to a number of folk acts that played the last few hours of the weekend’s festivities.

My friend’s blanket was laid out just to the right of the EZ-UP tent where the ‘sound board’ was in the center of the ‘center field’.  As we were finishing lemonades and kettle chips and getting into our sweatshirts as the warm sun set for the day when another friend showed up w/a brown paper bag half full of husk tomatoes, grown on The Sylvester Manor farm. No sooner had he sat down when I had one of these yellow marble sized morsels pinched from it’s husk in my mouth. OOoos, ahas and yums drifted and filled our space as hands of adults and kids dove into that bag with little restraint.

Husk Tomatoes or Ground Cherries look like a mini heirloom tomatoes but taste like a cherry and tomato mixed into one bite. Pretty Dlectable if you ask me. Immediately I thought to myself, “this would make one killer tomato jam.” One of my all time favorite delicacies.

Concerned that the two pint baskets I got would yield very little I thought adding my next favorite delicacy, Peppadews, would bulk up the yield while also adding so much to the flavor and body of the jam on a whole.

After photographing these most gorgeous and interesting husk tomatoes or ground cherries for way to long I got that sauce pot on the stove.

What I used:

2-3 T of olive oil – enough to coat the bottom of a pot with a thin coating of oil.

1 T mustard seeds

1 t of red pepper flakes

3 good sized garlic dents – minced & sliced

2 baskets of Husk Tomatoes – husked & washed – some cut in half

6 – 8 Peppadews – sliced and good splash of their liquid

1/2″ fresh ginger root – finely grated

2T tomato paste,

1-2 T sugar and or maple syrup.

What to do:

Add the red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, garlic and ginger to the olive oil heating over a medium to low heat to infuse the oil with these savory flavors. Then I added the washed husk tomatoes and the sliced Peppadews and their liquid. Stir well, lower the heat.

If the mixture might be to spicy which it was the first time I made it, it can be toned down by added the juice of a wedge of lime, a bit more sugar or the maple syrup.  I also added some freshly ground nutmeg*

*Nutmeg is hardly a staple ingredient but I keep it around because a sangha member who’s authored a book on natural healing mentioned my using nutmeg when he noticed I was trying to suppress my cough during a Dharma teaching.

This Husk Tomato/Ground Cherry Jam is about the best conDiment to serve this time of year if you ask me. It’s a real trick or treat, sweet yet with a nice spicy bite at the same time & boy does the color work. It’s great as a topping on baked potatoes, scrambled eggs, on buttered toast of any kind, and any protein.  Make it, it’s great. A little goes a long way.

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The best Pot Luck dish – Sweet potato salad – | The best pot luck dish

 Food Memoir, health supportive, nutrient rich, Recipe for survival  Comments Off on The best Pot Luck dish – Sweet potato salad – | The best pot luck dish
Sep 092016
Sweet potato and haricot vert/green bean salad

Sweet potato and haricot vert/green bean saladIMG_2552

The first time I made this sweet potato salad was for a college reunion, pot-luck dinner party, cook-out for a group of about 15 friends, former roommates, their spouses, significant others, all of whom short of 1 or 2 of the wives are mad ass foodies. The dish is so colorful, with varied textures, wonderfully bright & earthy flavors as well, it’s sweet & savory, smooth & crunchy, easy to prepare & it travels well so it’s my go to dish when the invite to go to pot luck party comes my way and I’m going the Storytellers Pot Luck Picnic this Sunday in Brooklyn Bridge Park. This is also a staple dish when I’m on charter.

The recipe I first stumbled upon dresses the warm sweet potato salad with a bit of thinned out whole milk Greek yogurt. Typically I served the salad both ways, one bowl with just the vinaigrette, the other dressed with the plain yogurt.


3 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1” chunks

½ pound haricot vert cut to 1″ pieces, then quickly blanched
Salt – for the boiling water
1 T raw or coconut sugar
1 shallot, minced
½ cup golden balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of spicy mustard
¼ cup olive oil
a handful of chiffonade basil leaves
Black pepper, to taste (I like a lot)
¾ cup of Greek yogurt


While you bringing water to a boil to blanch the haricot vert prepare the shallot vinaigrette in to which the blanched haricot vert will marinate.  In a bowl, mix the finely minced shallots, vinegar, spicy mustard into which you’ll slowly drizzle in the olive oil & whisk until the dressing is well emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir in the basil leaves.

Blanch the haricot vert – very quickly which helps to enhance their color as well as bringing a bit of subtlety to their bite.  Add the haricot vert to the dressing and let it marinate in a bowl w/a tea towel on top.

Prepping hericot vert & shallots for the vinaigrette marinade

Prepping hericot vert & shallots for the vinaigrette marinade

Put the cubed sweet potatoes in a large pot of cold water.  Bring the water to a boil. As the water heats up add enough salt to make the water taste almost salty then the Tablespoon of sugar. Once the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook the potatoes cook until tender, about 8 minutes. This technique for cooking potatoes that keep there shape is fail proof.

drained boiled sweet potatoes

drained boiled sweet potatoes

When the potatoes are tender, drain them from the water and put in a large bowl. While still hot, fold in the green beans vinaigrette. The longer the potatoes marinate in the dressing – the better.


warm potatoes with haricot vert vinaigrette

Before serving, fold in the yogurt and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper & paprika. IMG_2552

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Skillet Pizza – A Real SpecialD | clam & kale skillet pizza

 Food Memoir, Recipe for survival  Comments Off on Skillet Pizza – A Real SpecialD | clam & kale skillet pizza
Jul 132016


I have a can of Iggy’s chopped clams with the cutest label of a smiling clam staring at me from a shelf in my pantry cabinet now for way to long so I was hell bent on making a clam & kale skillet pizza. I was on a rampage to use up ingredients to ‘Free up Space’.   I picked up a fresh, all organic pizza dough for a whopping $3 from Two Boot Pizza – hands down one of my favorite pizzas in our serious pizza town.

Such a perfect Recipe 4 Survival



1 prepared organic pizza dough

1/4 bunch of (red leaf) Kale (or swiss chard) – center stem removed and roughly chop the leaves. Wash well in cold water.

1 can of Iggy’s chopped clams – drained

Shallots – 1 good sized & 2 dents of garlic – thinly sliced

Corn meal, olive oil – for the pan

S&P or Salt of D Earth – to taste

That’s it! From prep to plating, it’s less than 30 minutes

Here’s’ what TO DO:

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

Since I was working with a fresh ball of pizza dough – enough for a good 10 inch pizza I began by prepping the kale.  I prepped 4 good sized stems, slicing the leaves off the center stem then a rough chop through that, scoop that up and wash well in a bowl of cold water.

Then I thinly sliced a good sized shallot & 2 dents of garlic.

Coat the pan or skillet with a thin layer of oil & season that with S&P or Salt of D Earth and saute the shallots & garlic – this may take two minutes. shallotsgarlicsautePop 2 hand fulls of the well washed kale on top of the sauteed shallots & garlic. SautedingredientsShake the pan well to saute the contents. Beware of flames – water & oil. Let this wilt & toss well w/tongs – if you have them. That’s it. In the time it took to read this you could have cooked this.

Add the drained chopped clams to the sauteed kale, shallots & onions. Mix around to heat thoroughly and turn the cooked contents of the pan out into a bowl which you can cover with a pot top or a plate while you roll out the pizza dough. (Sorry I forgot to snap a pic of this step)

Wipe the pan clean. The pan must be perfectly dry w/no oil residue. Put this back on the heat and sprinkle the bottom of the pan with corn meal. Lay the rolled out pizza dough right into pan. With the heat medium to high let the dough settle in for a minute to form a crust then begin to shake the pan & lift the dough working with a wooden spatula so as to avoid hot spots/burning. Brush or coat the dough with olive oil – however you like.  Another reason I’m so into skillet pizza is because its SO hands on.

Top your skillet pizza with the ingredients (of your choice.) The Bon Appetite recipe calls for rendered bacon as a topping & Parmesan. I can not bring myself to include cheese with seafood! Almost as appalling to me as having a cappuccino after dinner.

Put the pizza skillet into the 500 degree oven and let it cook another 6-8 minutes

The pan & the pizza are screaming hot.
Let them cool.
The pizza will come right out of the pan, cut & serve.

Red, white, Rose’, beer, juice for kids whatever…
Skillet pizza is definitely a specialD.

I think it would be nice to serve this pizza with a side of slow baked fish and a fresh salad. I slow baked a blue fish filet with a light layer of  mayo & a corn & radish salad with a light lime & olive oil dressing. NICE meal & making this meal was the perfect example of ‘Build it and they will come’. Two friends called out of the blue & joined me for the pizza & the corn and radish salad.

Share some toppings w/me that you use.



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The Domino Effect and Cooking Inspiration

 Food Memoir  Comments Off on The Domino Effect and Cooking Inspiration
Feb 082016


Just like learning a new word & then you hear it almost immediately, I find this is what happens to me when it comes to what I’m inspired to cook.  Here’s a recent example.

A friend who stayed at my place while I was on a road trip left a few basic staples behind, one of which was a medium size wheel of Brie.  I was ecstatic to see the Brie because it reminded me that I had about a pound or more of fresh cranberries in the freezer I never used at Thanksgiving and I had recently seen a recipe on Food52 for a Dutch Baby, which (if you ask me) is a fancy name for nothing more than an oven pancake, served with a cranberry & orange compote. So between seeing this recipe cranberries in the freezer and having a wealth of tangerine marmalade, I knew just what I’d be making this weekend.

What a luxury it was to be thinking only of making a Brie-en-croute  & Dutch Baby, oven pancake, served with a cranberry & orange compote over the weekend that the weather word was all about the impending Blizzard of 2016. All I needed to pick up would be a package of puff pastry. Even tho I heard about the storm I was still taken by surprise when I swung ’round the corner from Third Avenue on to 14th Street, the line to get in at 9:30 in the morning looked like a Depression bread line with people standing 4 abreast from the front door of Trader Joe’s extended west past three store fronts. I’d set out early Friday morning en route to my babysitting duties with enough time to jump into Trader Joe’s to pick up a package of puff pastry. I walked right by as tho I’d never even thought of going in there.

My first order of duties for the family I help w/childcare and cooking was to bone up on the very specific shopping list the length of my arm from wrist to elbow. The last item on the list was a case of water which meant I’d be taking the expandable, folding wagon to Whole Foods. The frenzy of people ‘stocking up’ on food for the blizzard was nuts. I remained very calm, collected knowing just where to go to get the very specific foods my friend needed. This is when I grabbed a package of puff pastry.

I couldn’t’ get home fast enough Friday night. The first thing I made was my extra special cranberry sauce. Aside for a few of the ingredients which I’ll keep secret the one secret I will share about my extra special cranberry sauce is that I make it the oven. The cranberries are roasted. Saturday morning I made the Dutch Baby/oven pancake served with the cranberry sauce which I warmed in a pot & added 2 heaping table spoons of marmalade to. Sunday I rolled out 1 sheet of puff pastry, 1,2,3, slathered the whole wheel of Brie with the cranberry sauce, sprinkled it with some summer blend Salt of D Earth, wrapped it in the puff pastry, then in Saran Wrap & into the freezer.

It’s the Dutch Baby Oven Pancake recipe I’m going to share now since there’s a link to my Brie-en-croute earlier in this piece.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Melt 2 Ts Butter in an oven proof pan or skillet

Mix up 3 eggs, 1 C of milk & a scant cup of unbleached flour – until very smooth.

Remove the hot pan from the oven, with a mitt, and pour the batter into the melted butter in the pan. Cook for 20-25 minutes.

You’ll remove an absolutely beautiful, puffy warm oven pancake. Spread with the cranberry & orange compote, serve directly from the pan. IMG_2887While the Dutch Baby cooked I boiled water to prepare a real treat, a blooming chrysanthemum tea my bestie Downunder sent me, out of the blue. This helped to curtail the fact that I didn’t have yogurt or fresh fruit with this.  All things considered, I had a lovely breakfast after having been away for nearly a week.




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Smack’n Good Marmalade Made

 Food Memoir  Comments Off on Smack’n Good Marmalade Made
Dec 222015


I bought a 3# bag of tangerines vs a crate of clementines at the cost of three times the amount of the tangerines. The only problem with the tangerines is the mad frustration I found eating them because of the copious amount of seeds they have. Now I think I know why tangerine juice is such a hard to find commodity.

What made me think of making marmalade I have no idea except for maybe being out of mind with frustration at trying to get pulp through the seeds – so I found myself note to the keyboard researching recipes for marmalade. First & foremost I knew I was not going to go thru some crazy procedure to make marmalade. I found the easiest, most efficient recipe, forgoing juicing & grinding of pulp recipe & went with it. Of course I tweaked the recipe to use ingredients I had and techniques I felt comfortable working with so I feel confident you to will relish in this fabulous delicacy.  It’s really easy to make. Way easier than pie.

Here’s what I used: 

Cutting board & serrated knife

Good sized mixing bowl

1 heavy bottomed pot

whisk or slotted spoon

Candy thermometer – not absolutely necessary. I happen to have one so I kept an eye on the temperature read to be between 210 – 220 degrees. Doing my best to maintain a medium boil at the 2nd stage when it had the sugar in it.

2#s of Tangerines – cut into quartered wedges

1 lemon – cut into a quartered wedge

5 Cs – water*

3.5 Cs – sugar

**nutmeg, cinnamon & a teaspoon of star anise

What I did:

With a serrated knife I cut the top & bottom of the tangerine off. Cut into quartered wedges then across the wedges removing any pith and or seeds. image I retained the tangerine ends pits & pith thinking I would gather this up in a cheese cloth ball and hang in the mixture when it boiled but as timing would have it I never did this step for my first ever batch of tangerine marmalade

When you’ve successfully cut and sliced through all the tangerines and you’ve got them into a good sized mixing bowl cover them with 5 cups of liquid as called for in the recipe BUT I used 1 cup of tangerine juice, 3/4C of pineapple juice because I had it in the house & the remaining 3 Cs of water I used from my infusion pitcher which I had just freshened the night before with lemon & pineapple. The tangerine & lemon slices sit at room temperature for a day in the 5Cs of liquid in the bowl covered with Saran plastic wrap. Looks like I forgot to take a snap of this step

The next day transfer the fruit & the liquid they soaked in to a heavy bottomed pot and bring this to a boil the reduce heat to a simmer for at least an hour and a half. Cook until rinds dare tender & the fruit is falls away from the rind.

Because of my schedule after this stage I put the pot into fridge until the next stage which is when you add the sugar, mixing until the sugar dissolves before it goes back onto any heat. This is when I added a few nutmegs, a stick of cinnamon & a teaspoon of star anise in an infuser – to the mix. Bring the mixture to a medium boil, 210 -220 degrees on a candy thermometer if you have one for about an hour & 20 minutes.

Let the marmalade cool before pouring it off into bottles. Store in the refrigerator.

The next step is all up to you.

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Thanksgiving sides that take Front & Center

 Food Memoir  Comments Off on Thanksgiving sides that take Front & Center
Nov 302015


I’m thinking the corn pudding recipe I posted here a few months ago may have prompted the invite and helped secure my place at a ‘friends like family’ Thanksgiving dinner table just outside the Philadelphia area this year. The simple, 3 hour commute via the quiet, civil NJ Transit & SEPTA trains versus being a particle in the mass exodus up the New England corridor at the mercy of public transportation which is such a nightmare to navigate definitely paved the way for a Thanksgiving I’m truly grateful for on many levels.

I noticed a few procedural actions that needed clarification and a typo or two were corrected.


1 C – creamed corn*

1/4C Turbinado sugar

3T – all organic fine ground corn meal  – the recipe called for all purpose flour

2t – baking powder 

1.5 t – salt

4 – eggs**

2 Cs – milk – the recipe I used as a spring board called for 2 Cs whipping cream

3 Ts – melted butter.  The recipe I used as a spring board called for 1/2 C of butter – melted

2 Cs – all organic corn, cooked, – 1 C yellow kernels & 1 C white kernels

What I DID:

*For the creamed corn: I cooked off 2 Cs of all organic Whole Foods brand of frozen corn, 1 C yellow kernels & 1 C white kernels. I cooked this off over a medium heat in about a 1/4 C of water. While this cooked off I prepared the roux with about 3 Ts of butter & 3 Ts of King Arthur organic unbleached all purpose flour mixed with a whisk until the flour taste is gone and just before the butter begins to brown. Then add the milk, stirring all the while in a steady pour and at least a half cup or more of the corn cooking liquid. NO brainer. Add the drained warmed corn. Incorporate well through the cream sauce. Puree in an appropriate blender or food processor.

For the corn pudding:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Combined the sugar, the corn meal , baking powder & salt in a mixing bowl.

In another bowl whisked the eggs**, I beat 3 of the eggs & separated one – beating that yolk into the 3 beaten eggs and whipped the whites to soft peaks – one recipe I used as a spring board called for 6 lg eggs. Another called for 3 eggs, separated, working with whipped egg whites and beaten yolks.

Add the milk & temper the melted butter into the beaten eggs then gradually add this to the dry ingredients, the sugar, cornmeal, baking powder & salt and whisked until smooth.

Then I added 1 C of  creamed corn & 2 Cs of the yellow & white cooked corn into the batter then fold the egg whites into the batter, mixing gently but thoroughly.Tgvingcornpudding

A note here: I found that the egg whites here are stiff peaks. Softer peaks will mix better into the batter, take less time to whip up and work just fine.

I poured this into a prepared, butter greased, 9″ glass pie dish. I fit the glass pie dish over a pan half filled w/water. It cooked for a good 60 minutes. I turned the heat off and let everything stay in place another 15 mins.

In addition to my corn pudding I made a shaved Brussels sprout salad, (half of which I blanched, the other half was left raw) with thinly sliced watermelon radish discs I made from coring the radish. Here’s a pic of the salad as a work in progress. TgivingradishTgvingBsproutsalad

I added the diced honeycrisp apple and lightly coated the salad with a Mirin, orange juice reduction, vinaigrette at the house where our feast went down. 

What I’m most proud of is that one of our dinner guests had my Brussels sprout salad for her first dish at our Friday brunch grazing session.



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