Tag Archives: from my kitchen

through the lens 12.6.14

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blueberry crumb cake

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Blueberries are local and abundant. The weather had finally cooled enough to allow for some baking without causing the paint to peel in the kitchen from the heat of an oven.

I’ve baked many things in my time, but nothing has been quite as dreamy as this cake.

Perfect lightness to the cake.
Delicious crumbliness to the topping.
The blueberries throughout adding just the right amount of delight to the palate.

Mmmm… highly recommended.

grilling season

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The grill is back upstairs on the balcony. With it just outside the back door, and the weather becoming summerlike once again, I can’t help myself – I’ve been grilling up a storm this past week.
So… some simple (measurement free) recipes for you:
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Veggies in Foil on the BarB: broccoli but into florets, golden turnips sliced, yellow tiny potatoes sliced, brussels sprouts sliced, red onion sliced; sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, add generous glugs of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar; finger toss until all veggies are coated with oil, vinegar and spices; wrap tightly in multiple layers of foil and toss on grill set to medium high for 25 minutes.

Halibut, ocean-wild, fresh caught; generous dabs of butter, salt & pepper to taste, crumble a handful of light brown sugar and drizzle with spiced rum and birch (or maple) syrup; sprinkle with ground coriander; wrap in several layers of foil and throw on medium-high grill for 25 minutes.

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Alternate (non-grill) preparation: salt and pepper fish; melt lots o’ butter in a pan over medium high heat; pan sear halibut; deglaze pan once fish has been flipped once and is almost cooked with a generous splash of spiced rum; add syrup, brown sugar, coriander and let sauce reduce so it thickens to a glaze.

Some after thoughts: garnish fish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and grated lime rind.

As Julia would say…. bon appétit!

Birthdays… and the boy with the refined palate…

Sweet mercies that my child loves food that is not mainly focused on mechanically pulverized and breaded chicken meat and french fries. He turned 13 today and his meal request was baked salmon, rice and wilted garlic-y spinach/arugula with pine nuts. I love my Calphalon cookware.

Oh… if you are curious about the spinach/arugula dish: a wooden spoon scoop of ghee (clarified butter) and a good dash of olive oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan once melted, at medium heat, toss a couple of thinly sliced shallots, a couple of handful of pine nuts and a few cloves of garlic (chopped) into the oil; stir until shallots are transparent; pour in about a half cup of white wine, several dashes of soy sauce, stirring until somewhat reduced, and add a half package each of rinsed baby spinach and arugula, stirring until wilted. Season with salt & pepper to taste. I like to accompany this with yukon gold (roasted) garlic -with a touch of wasabi- smashed potatoes. If you’ve got something in the oven (roast, fish…) you can add a head of garlic (with the top chopped off to expose the cloves), generously doused in olive oil and foil wrapped, to roast along with the meat for use with the smashed potatoes. The trick to really good (and unlumpy) mashed potatoes is to thoroughly mash the potatoes prior to adding any butter and/or milk, unless of course you want it chunky.

And… do as you wish, but I will buy organic produce over “traditionally farmed” produce any day. I may be deluding myself, but I think that there is a good possibility that the flavor of the produce, as well as the nutritional value, is superior in organically grown foods.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

What a day it’s been… looooong… but I was so tickled this morning when I got a call to go down to the lobby to pick up a vase of red roses from Steve. I can’t remember when the last time it was that he got me a dozen red roses… and the card moved me to tears. A busy day ensued at work and then I left to pick up some things at the store for a very special Valentine’s day feast I was planning… by the time I got all of the shopping done and dinner cooked, it was very late… like 10 o’clock late. *sigh* I tried… but it was all delish, and the photo above is the aftermath, replete with empty dessert plates.

Breakfasts, birthday bashes and other revelry

This morning I awoke and headed over to the Gypsy Den in Santa Ana to have breakfast with my pal Kelly Kilmer. Kelly and I don’t get to see much of each other since she lives in West L.A. and I don’t get out much, so when ever she teaches a class at The Art Bar in Santa Ana, we take advantage of meeting up and chowing down on some eggs and bagels together… and the mug of hot chocolate… to die for!

We shot the breeze for a couple of hours and then exchanged birthday goodies… Kelly’s birthday was at the end of October but I missed meeting with her around that time so I brought her giftie along with me to breakfast… she have me my birthday present as well, so we had fun opening and perusing.

The afternoon was spent at Boomers, celebrating Gabriel’s 12th birthday. We tried to have the party at the bowling alley, but by the time I called, the only party package for the day that was available was a 10:30am timeslot. The boys had fun playing in the arcade and running around the park. While they did that, I sat at a table and sketched a gargoyle.Let me elaborate on the significance of the gargoyle. I had my first coaching session with my KMCC coach on Saturday morning. I’m glad I waited to start until after the holidays, since havoc reigned from much of November through the beginning of January. I now am able to re-focus on The Gothica Project, which has lain unattended to for several months now. Bonnie and I decided that I needed to inject some “fun” energy into this project, because I’ve been taking it so seriously and my perfectionism was keeping me from moving forward, and some “Arnold” energy to act as a protective force when I was stalled by my inner critic… so I decided that gargoyles would embody both aspects of these energies, acting both as a protective force, and also, in their “impish” incarnations, embody a “fun” energy. I decided that I would sketch a plethora of gargoyles and they would impishly appear throughout the pages of the Gothica book.

Later on Saturday, my friend Bonnie and I went to an English tearoom in Costa Mesa for afternoon tea. The place is called the Tea & Sympathy Cafe… the teas were very lovely and we had a three-tiered tray of quiche, finger sandwiches and some tiny desserts… one was a chocolate covered petit-four with chocolate cake and raspberry mousse filling which tasted wonderful!