Archives for category: Food

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Happy Thanksgiving, Smagicians!

It is in the low 90’s in Los Angeles right now, not exactly cozy baking or cooking weather. This fact would have depressed my younger self who was obsessed with everything being as it “should” be. Thanksgiving was supposed to be cozy, with the final leaves blowing off of trees, a big, happy family who all got along, and a faint hint of snow in the air. But, here I am, away from my family, cooking with a friend, and it is a beautiful, beachy day outside.  As I prepped my stuffing this morning, stirring onions and celery with butter before adding it to green chile cornbread, I made a mental list of all that I am grateful for. Towards the top of the list, along with friends and family, I put a level of flexibility that must come with age. I no longer cling to the idea that everything needs to be some certain and correct order to be great. That idea and pressure ruled parts of my life as a youngster and I didn’t realize it. Around the holidays, this desire for perfection and ideals seems to take over the plans of so many who, at any other time of the year, are logical and rational people who know perfection is a myth. So, don’t go there! Appreciate it all, let it be what it is, and laugh when it doesn’t go as planned! It’s all good!

Wishing you and yours a beautiful day!

Want your house to smell like cinnamon and pumpkin? Want super light, flour-free deliciousness? I posted this recipe before but, it’s that good!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Almond Brownies

Ingredients:

1 C almond butter

1.25 C pumpkin purée

2 eggs plus one yolk

1/3 C date syrup (I used maple)

1 t baking soda

1 T cinnamon

1 C semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Mix almond butter and pumpkin until smooth.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.

Pour into a greased 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish, depending on if you like thinner and or thicker.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Cool and/or refrigerate. Can be frozen too.

Enjoy!

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Leaving my Storytelling and Spirituality Class (the best way to spend Saturdays), I head to Grand Central Market for my favorite fancy coffee at G&B Coffee. As I wait at a red light, a car pulls out of its spot just ahead of me. I will the spot to stay empty until the light turns green. It does. There is over an hour left on the meter. This is going well! I cross the street and head into Grand Central Market. Though it's been a fixture in DTLA since 1917, I only recently discovered it. Full of stalls serving everything from bagels, to burritos, falafels, and pizza, it has not only great food but better people watching. I take a seat on a stool at G&B and order my favorite drink, the "Business and Pleasure," (it comes in three parts, because why wouldn't it?!) and a cornmeal and cheddar waffle. I sit, drinking, eating, watching people and think about what a perfect Saturday I am taking part in.
How is yours? Go do something fun, something that makes you smile! If you already are or did, bravo! Life is short, eat the waffle.

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I returned from LA one day ago and have felt epically ungrounded since. With a list of things I should be doing, how to ground and come back to earth after several weeks, months actually, of floating this way and that? 

Chop wood. Haul water. Or, cook, clean, and listen to Bob Marley as the case may be. Tangible, simple, doable things that keep me out of my head and in the present moment. And, I end up with a clean house and delish meal as a result. Bonus! 

Today’s menu is kale and basil pesto over porcini ravioli, thanks to Trader Joe’s, or your local farmer’s market. 

1 bunch kale

1 bunch basil

4-6 cloves garlic

1/2 c olive oil

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup Parmesan

Salt and pepper. 

Put it all in a blender and blend until smooth. 

All measurements are approximate and you should add more or less depending on preference. Bon Apetit. 


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 Sometimes it raining out, you’re just beginning to feel normal after two weeks of being ill, you are going to a potluck the next day, and while playing Words With Friends the word rhubarb, albeit missing an ‘h’, pops up and you decide to put on your apron and bake.

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble.. .Super springy and will make your house smell fantastic. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/strawberry-and-rhubarb-crumble-358595

And it’s a great excuse to put on that apron you don’t wear very often. Or, if you need a new one, check out the vintage inspired ones at  fresastudio.etsy.com

Bon Apetit!

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Yes, another easy and delicious recipe guaranteed to make your house smell good while simmering! Apple Ginger Sauce. Great as a snack, mixed with nuts and grains for breakfast, or on the side of a stack of pancakes. 

I cut up about a dozen smallish Gala apples, a very decent length of ginger and put these in a pot (unpeeled) with the juice from half a lemon, a couple of tablespoons of honey (Curve Ahead Honey from my mom and step-dad’s bees!) two cinnamon sticks and a few tablespoons of water. All of these ingredients can be played with, adding more or less of what you think tastes good. Let it simmer on low heat until the apples are mushy. Serve hot or chilled. 

  
 In case you couldn’t tell, I’m unemployed, it’s winter, I love good food, and I’m on a budget until a new job presents itself… Time to cook!

This is my newest fave recipe, super easy and delish! Black beans, quinoa, sweet potato, avocado, greens, feta, and green chile salsa. I like to mix it all up in a bowl, but it would be just as good in a burrito! 

As I went through my 2015 receipts recently, I was shocked at the amount of money I spent on supplements. Hundreds spent on iron, zinc, vitamin D, Bs, C, and dozens more. And, I’m not really convinced they did anything. So, I’m making a new resolution and am determined to try to get my vitamins and minerals from my food instead of bottles. 

Bon Apetit! 

 Sometimes (like on a Monday in January when the costuming job you thought you were about to start falls through, and you just watched Downton Abbey’s characters smear butter onto thick cut teatime slices of bread, and it’s really cold outside) all you can do is put an apron on over your overalls and bake some bread!

I’d never actually made bread until today, though I remember the smell from childhood. My friend Alethea’s Artisan Boulè recipe has been sitting in my inbox for over a year and turned out to be simple, delicious, and is guaranteed to make your house smell good while baking, in all of its gluteny goodness.

 Alethea’s Artisan Boulé

(For free form round dinner loaves and pizza crust)
1.5 TBS dry active yeast

1.5 TBS sea salt

1 TBS honey

3 c. Lukewarm water

Stir

Add 6.5 c unbleached white flour

Stir w/ wooden spoon

Cover not airtight for 2 hours

Once the dough has risen, you can refrigerate in an airtight container for about 2 weeks. If you refrigerate, let the dough you are using sit out for 1/2 hr, then bake. You can also freeze loaves for months.

This batch makes about 2 dinner loaves and 1 pizza or  2 big loaves.

When I make the boulé loaves,  wet hands, take the chunk you want to use and toss back and forth and dust with flour till round.

For pizza cover pizza stone with cornmeal.

At about 30 min I cover the top of the bread in butter

Bake 375 for 50 minutes.

Smear with butter, jam, avocado or whatever sounds good. Enjoy!

 

  

I started 2016 off with a bang, by heading to Tulum, Mexico, for a week of great food, warm turquoise water, and exploring, with a friend. 

Flying into Cancun, we headed south to Playa del Carmen for the night. I hadn’t been to the area in six years and, though I remember it being built up, the mall filled with American spring-breaker stores, which now took up the middle of Avenida 5 Norte, came as a bit of a shock. Time to head farther south, farther from Cancun. 

The next morning we took a bus one hour south to Tulum. Tulum- built up in its own Eco Chic way, full of tourists, expensive, gorgeous, but where you can still find great tacos and practice  your Spanish…all that I want in a quick, beach getaway. 

   
 
We rented two places ahead of time, for two nights each, out of fear that showing up without a reservation, during the post- holidays high season, might leave us sleeping under a palm somewhere. 

The first, Las Palmas Maya, would have been great for a third of the price.  But, Tulum at high season is something I am not used to, so it was what it was. We used the provided earplugs to shut out the generator noise, payed the nearby hotels to use their beaches, and overall had a splendid time. And we met Ben and Lucy, a British couple staying there. The four of us shared a taxi to two different Cenotes where we snorkeled through underground caves. That was followed by lunch at  Chamico, an outdoor grill on the beach, serving ceviche, grilled fish and lobster. With cold beer. That lunch was a highlight of the trip. 

The second of our two hotels, Mi Amor, went above and beyond our expectations and, from now on, all of my traveling will be capped off by splurging on one or two nights in the kind of hotel you see pictures of in Vogue and Rolling Stone. 

  
Biking to get get fish tacos, walking along the beach to the beautiful stone ruins of Tulum, reading on our daybed, fresh fish daily (The Kitchen Table was excellent!), negotiating with taxi drivers, eating tacos and shopping for embroidered dresses in the town of Tulum, and feeling my skin rehydrate from its normal desert existence, all made for a truly exceptional week away and for a spectacular start to 2016. 

  
And, just when I thought it was perfect… Food poisoning on our last night in Playa deal Carmen, which made for a very long and almost impossible day of traveling back to the States. 

Now, as I sit in a cafe, wearing a puffy jacket, it is January outside. Piles of snow lie next to the road and my lip is numb from the two fillings I just got. I am on my way to buy something to unclog my tub and then to start my taxes. But, it’s all good. I’ll think about that turquoise water and, at least for another few weeks, I’ll have a tan. 

Making the best of my 4 hour drive home, I took I-10 East from Deming, instead of the usual Highway 26 towards Hatch. I’d heard about a sweet little village just south of Las Cruces called La Mesilla and decided it was the perfect place to stop for coffee, huevos rancheros at Cafe Mesilla, and a quick walk around the plaza. Passing the building which originally housed the capital of Arizona and New Mexico, and where Billy the Kid was tried and sentenced to hang, I was struck by the history that had taken place in this village I’d only briefly heard of. It was the perfect way to end my most recent crazy job in the desert of southwest New Mexico.

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