Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Recession Kitchen is Featured on "the Kitchn"

Earlier this week, Kathryn Hill from Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn came to my house to photograph my kitchen and garden for their website.  This was our daughter’s idea, she’s a long time reader of Apartment Therapy’s website, which is really five websites in one: home design, technology, children, green living and cooking.  
So if you’re interested in taking a peak of my kitchen and garden, click on the link above and have a look for yourself. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Daring Bakers' Challenge: French Macarons

Vegan French Macarons, from the left: Plain with white chocolate cranberry filling; chocolate with chocolate filling; goji berry with chocolate filling; barley malt with chocolate filling.

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S.  She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of the Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pear Chocolate Brownie Tarts

I’ve been trying to find a really good eggless brownie recipe for some time now.  I’ve looked through countless cook books, read pages and pages of google searches and tested many recipes over the years, only to be disappointed with the final result.  They were either too gooey, too cakey or too dry.   Eggs seem to be a very important component to really good brownies, but due to my allergy, they’re just not an option.  Tofu doesn’t work for me either.  I love tofu, but I just don’t like that soy under tone in a dessert.  Plus, I think tofu gives them a rubbery texture.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What's Going on Behind the Garden Today

We have a bumper crop of acorns this year from the valley oak tree in the alley behind our house.  I read that It takes 50 years for an oak tree to get it’s acorns and can drop 50,000 of them yearly.  The most amazing fact is that one oak tree can provide enough oxygen for eight people for a year!  

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pumpkin Risotto with Caramelized Onion and Hazelnuts

It’s raining again so when it comes time to make dinner, I start thinking about comfort foods.  Something warm and creamy.  I had some left over canned pumpkin, from a failed pumpkin cookie attempt, that I needed to use, a pumpkin risotto came to mind.  I don’t usually plan, to far in advance, what I’m going to cook for dinner. It’s a question of what leftovers need to be used or what veggies need to be picked in the garden or what looks good at the farmer’s market.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Big Rain Storm Has Passed

My garden supervisor is out inspecting the yard after the biggest mid-October rain storm in forty years. The storm has passed, leaving behind over 4 inches of rain in a 24 hour period.  There were also 40-90 mile an hour winds.  Needless to say, there was some flooding, downed trees, and loss of power in the Bay Area, but we didn’t experience any problems.  We’d put away all of the summer yard furniture and covered the tomatoes with plastic sheeting, hoping to prevent them from splitting.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chili Cups

While helping my mother unpack some of the boxes she never got to after her move, I came across two boxes of cookbooks, accordion files and newspaper clippings of recipes that she had collected since she was married in the 40’s.  If you’re like me, this is like finding a treasure chest!  You can see some of the other things I found in her kitchen by clicking here.
This recipe was cut from a newspaper (probably the Oakland Tribune) some time in the early 60’s.  I guessing this from an ad on the back of the recipe that show a man and a woman shopping for groceries in suits, hat’s and gloves...yeah... no one has dressed like that to go grocery shopping in 50 years.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cranberry Pecan Cornbread Muffins

 Cranberries and pecans are a perfect fall food combination in my kitchen.  I love them in oatmeal, salads, rice, and any type of baked goods.  I’ve been thinking about putting this combo into cornbread for sometime, today was the day.   Instead of making the cornbread in an eight by eight pan, I decided to make them in my mother’s little jello molds.  I love their shape, and wanted to make them a little crispier.  I’m that person that likes to eat the outside edge of something, that part that gets a little crunchy.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Growing Goji Berries

A few years ago I bought a goji berry plant.  I was researching goji berry suppliers on the internet for a raw food project my company was launching when I discovered the Timpanogos Nursery in Colorado was selling the plants.  Goji berries are incredible antioxidant fruits but they’re also very expensive so I ordered a plant.  I was also interested in trying them fresh.  The berries are very delicate and bruise easily which is why you usually find them dried.   According to the nursery, these are the true goji berry plants, not the wolfberry variety.  The true goji berry plants, known as Lycium barbarum, come from Tibet and Mongolia and the fruit is sweeter than the wolfberry.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October Harvest Moon

Harvest moon: The full moon closest to the autumn equinox.  The October full moon that rises within a half hour of sun set, giving farmers light to extend their harvest.

Once every four years the Harvest Moon occurs in October, this is one of those years.  The short time between the sun setting and the moon rising gives farmers extra light to extend their day/harvest.  It’s also called the Hunter’s Moon because it gives hunters more time to chase their prey...but as an almost vegan, I’d rather not think about that.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lemon Rice with Chickpeas and Pistachios

It’s October and the weather is starting to cool.  We’ve had a long summer here with 100˚ weather until last week.  Now that fall has finally arrived, it makes me think differently about dinner.  Instead of salads, I start thinking about warmer, comfort foods.  Soups, casseroles, grains and beans. This dish is a perfect summer to fall transitional meal because it can be eaten warm or cold.