Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sweet Potato Coconut Dhal Soup

Soup is my coping mechanism for really cold winter days. We're just ending an extremely cold dry snap where the temperature went as low as 26˚ degrees at night.  I know that may mean nothing to you, where you live, but this is the San Francisco Bay Area and I spent the last week scraping ice from my windshield, and my garden is a frozen mess.  I made lots of soup. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Apple Cranberry Pecan Tart

This Apple Cranberry Pecan Tart is one of my contributions this year to the big family gathering that has become a Thanksgiving tradition.  For the last few years we've all come together for a pot luck, to share our Thanksgiving favorites with four generations of family.  Of course, there is the dish that I must make every year, it's a non negotiable, the candied yams.  But I do always like to try a new dish or two if I can.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sweet Potato Black Bean Pilaf

I also refer to this delicious sweet potato black bean quinoa pilaf as Halloween pilaf.  The bright orange of the sweet potatoes mixed with the black beans and seasoned with sage "butter" make it the perfect Halloween dinner. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Apple Strudel

A few days ago my neighbor asked me if I wanted some apples, because she had so many on her tree that she and her family could eat them all.  Well, of course, I said yes.  I'm never going to turn down free fruit of any kind.  She gave me a big bag of these beautiful apples,  though, I'm not sure of the variety.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Roasted Corn and Mango Salad

Last month Mr RK and I went south for a little anniversary holiday to Baja Mexico.  I had a salad for lunch one day that would have knocked my socks off, had I been wearing any. Filled with fragrant roasted corn and large chunks of fresh avocado and mango, it was topped with a delicate lime cilantro dressing.  It was so delicious that I went back and had it again.  

Friday, September 27, 2013

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Tres Leches or Three Milk Cake

Inma of la Galletika was our Sept. 2013 Daring Bakers' hostess and WOW did she bring us something decadent and delicious!  Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk Cake, creamy yet airy, super moist but not soggy...just plain delish!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Apple Harvest

Our apple harvest came early this year, due to the exceptionally warm and dry spring and early summer weather.  It's a record crop, we've harvested over 50 gala apples from our small espaliered tree.  All organically grown.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Vegan Blackberry Cheesecake Bars

The heatwave we experience in late June and early July has resulted in a bumper crop of blackberries, one of the best in years.  I've been eating them every morning for breakfast and freezing the rest.  Last weekend I took it one step further and made some non dairy blackberry cheesecake bars.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Wedding

I realize that I haven't posted any new recipes in over a month and you may be wondering what up... has she lost interest in blogging? ...lost her kitchen mojo? ... or was she attacked and eaten by psychotic thieving squirrels?  None of the above actually,  I've been crazy busy planning a wedding for my daughter, TC.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Broccoli Mushroom Tofu Frittata

A frittata is, essentially, an Italian baked omelette.  I made this broccoli mushroom tofu frittata as a quicker, lower calorie version of my broccoli mushroom tofu quiche.  A quiche is just an omelette baked in a crust.  Either way, my version is dairy, egg and cholesterol free, and delicious!  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Raspberries and the Spring Garden

I realize that I haven't done a gardening post in quite some time, and I apologize for that.   We have, in fact, been working in the garden non stop, but I haven't taken the time to take pictures.  

Monday, May 27, 2013

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Swedish Princesstårta

Korean of Korena in the Kitchen was our May Daring Bakers' host and she delighted us with this beautiful Swedish Princesstårta!

This amazing layered masterpiece was created in the 1930's by a Swedish home economics teacher named Jenny 
Åkerström, who taught the three Swedish princesses of the time.  She published a series of four cookbooks called "The Princess Cookbooks" and in one of the editions, there was a recipe for "Grön Tårta" (green cake).  One story is that this later became known as "princess cake" (princesstårta) because the three princesses are said to have loved it so much.  Another story is that Ms. Åkerström actually created three very elaborate "princess cake" recipes - a different one for each princess - and that the current version is a simplified combination of all three.  That explains the princess connection, but not the reason that the cake is green.  That seems to be a mystery.  It's so popular today, that the third week in September is officially Princesstårta Week.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Savarin

Natalia of Gatti Fili e Farina challenges us to make a traditional Savarin, complete with soaking syrup and cream filling!  We were to follow the Savarin recipe but were allowed to be creative with the soaking syrup and filling, allowing us to come up with some very delicious cakes!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Brown Rice Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

I've had this package of spring roll wrappers in my kitchen cabinet for months now,  being slightly intimidated by the process of making spring rolls,  I've been avoiding them.  But, really, how hard can it be?  It's spring now and the weather is warm, so I've run out of excuses like "the weather is too cold for spring rolls".  I was especially excited about these wrappers because they're made from whole grain brown rice rather than white rice, as are most wrappers.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Hidden Veggies

Ruth from Makey-Cakey was our March 2013 Daring Bakers' challenge host.  She encouraged us all to get experimental in the kitchen and sneak some hidden veggies into our baking, with surprising and delicious results!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sweet Potato Hash

This is not your ordinary breakfast hash, this is a dressed up, one pot meal kind of hash.  It's made with roasted sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, mushrooms and meatless sausage.  I threw a few cups of spinach in at the end to complete it and drizzled the top with an aged sweet balsamic vinegar.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Raincoast Crisp Crackers

Sarah from All Our Fingers in the Pie was our February 2013 Daring Bakers' host and she challenges us to use our creativity in making our own Crisp Flatbreads and Crackers!

I was very excited about this challenge because Sarah provided us with a recipe for one of my all time favorite crackers, Leslie Stowe's Raincoast Crisps.  I discovered these amazing crackers years ago while working in Canada.  At that time, I had to bring several boxes home with me in my suitcase because they weren't available in this country.  We had the option to get creative with the flavor combinations but I chose to copy Leslie's Rosemary Raisin Pecan flavor because it's my favorite.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Whole Grain Brown Sugar Banana Scones

When I have weekend guests, I like to make something special for Sunday breakfast.  A treat they can enjoy with coffee and the Sunday paper.  Last weekend I made these whole grain brown sugar banana scones.  Sometimes, whole grain pastries can be dry compared with those made with white flour, but these were tender with a wonderful nutty flavor that complemented the bananas.  My guests had seconds.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Almond Blossoms - First Sign of Spring

Every year around this time we experience some exceptionally warm weather, that causes the primroses to bloom and then this happens.  Almond blossoms!  It's the first tree to bloom in my garden and it's a signal that spring is just around the corner.  I just hope that it doesn't start raining again before the tree has time to fully bloom and the bees can pollinate it.  

Almond blooms also tell me that it's time to plant peas.  The next sign to watch for is asparagus shoots.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Tomboy Cake

When I saw a picture of this "Tomboy" cake on the front of the Miette Cookbook I knew it was the perfect Valentines Day treat for Mr. RK.  It's a combination of chocolate and raspberry, two of his favorite foods.  I couldn't use the Miette recipe because it's filled with butter and eggs so I worked out my own dairy and egg free vegan version.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Healthier Superbowl Foods

I know that "billions" of people will be parking their butts on the couch tomorrow to watch the Superbowl and snacking on some on very questionable foods.  I'm going to offer some healthier alternatives in hopes that some of you may choose to go in that direction. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Winter Garden Harvest

Yesterday I harvested some broccoli, carrots and beets from my garden  for  dinner.  I love that, even in the winter months, I can walk out into my yard and pick food for dinner.  I have to say that the broccoli was amazing.  It was so fresh and tender that I only needed to steam it for a few minutes.  My beets and carrots don't get that large, I'm working on loosening up the soil a bit this year with some sand.  

We're also eating green onions, cilantro, parsley, kale and spinach from our winter garden.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Gevulde Speculaas

Francijn of Koken in de Brouwerij was our January 2013 Daring Bakers' Hostess and she challenged us to make the traditional Dutch pastry, Gevulde Speculaas from scratch!  That includes making our own spice mix, almond paste and dough! Delicious!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Banana Coconut Muffins

It's January, and like many people, I've made a New Years resolution to avoid unhealthy foods this year.  I've been trying to eat less wheat and sugar.  Wheat and sugar are very inflammatory and I've been having some trouble with tendonitis.  But then, I had this large bunch of very ripe bananas that needed attention.  They were demanding to be made into muffins.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Black-Eyed Pea Tacos

The southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Years Day dates back to pre-Civil War times but the actual origins of this tradition date back to somewhere around the year 500.   It's mentioned in Babylonian Talmud writings at the time that it was "good luck" to eat black-eyed peas on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.