There are two schools of thought on pie crusts: One is that the crust should be a neutral vessel that adds a little texture and flavor, but otherwise supports the filling. The other thought is that the crust is the real star—flakey, nutty, sweet, salty, spicy—whatever the flavor profile, the filling supports the crust, not the other way around. Read more ›
I have a vivid memory from when I was a little girl of hiding beneath a long row of plants in my Mother’s garden. It was a very hot day and these tall plants made a good shady place to sit. Plate-sized leaves floated above my head and huge yellow flowers dotted the foliage. I felt like Alice in Wonderland, except I was sitting in the okra patch. Read more ›
During these last gasps of winter, I’ve been cultivating sourdough starter. Making sourdough is a comforting, familiar routine for me. My current sourdough is a frugal, unfussy affair that ferments with just about any kind of starch. Instead of fretting about a consistent flavor profile, I worked with what was on-hand. I began with equal parts of spelt flour and water that I left to ferment on my kitchen counter. Read more ›
What to have for Christmas dinner? Ah, the eternal question. It should be special, communal and hearty, but not so complicated that you can not enjoy the day. Ham is traditional fare in our family, but we were a small group this year and I already made ham for our Winter Solstice Party. Read more ›
I’ve been a little hard on kefir. As a kid I thought it was something only “health food nuts” would buy it at the co-op along with wheat grass juice and granola. Our neighbors, who lived off the grid back in the 1970s, made kefir with milk from their goats. Goat’s milk I could almost handle as a kid, but fermented goat’s milk? No way. I’ve been rather bias against kefir ever since.
In December I had the opportunity to host a lovely dinner party as well as cook a birthday celebration dinner for my mother. For both dinners I wanted a jewel of a dessert that was small, yet luscious and satisfying. Panna cotta was my choice for both settings, but I changed up the fruit component and presentation. I had never made panna cotta before, but I’ve eaten it plenty. I never realized how easy it was to make at home. Read more ›
I was not in charge of the Thanksgiving holiday dinner this year. That wonderful job was left up to my friends Christopher & Mehgan, who hosted a 30 person, friends and family gathering at their little house in South Minneapolis. Their table spanned the length of two rooms, plus a kid’s table. It was wonderful. My contribution to the Thanksgiving feast was sliced bresaola, tomato jam and goat cheese toasts, and apple tart. Read more ›
Yep, my dad is a bona fide cowboy. I grew up on a ranch with horses and cows, rodeos and hay. Dad was always a pretty good cook, especially for BBQs, big family get togethers and branding round ups. Now he can add “Chile Champ” to list, winning a local cook-off in the Fresno, California area. He made about 2 gallons of chili and not a drop was left. The judges agreed. Read more ›