Plum Jam

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When I first read the craigslist ad for our current apartment, I was seduced by all sorts of words and phrases, like “dishwasher,” “washer and drier,” and “backyard,” but the kicker was “fruit trees.”  Oh to live in a house with fruit trees in the backyard!  I was sold.  In reality, it was in our price range, conveniently located, and looked nice online.  But wouldn’t you love to rent a place just for the fruit trees? The plums come in one giant, speedy crop, dropping into our backyard over the course of a week.  That first year we missed the … Continue reading

Polenta from Fresh Corn

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Sometimes a recipe has to be well timed.  I come across dozens of recipes daily.  I pin a handful of them to make later.  If something especially strikes me, I’ll pin it to the “Dinner This Week” board which I consult when writing my grocery list.  This recipe reached out through the Internet and screamed “make me right now” very conveniently on Tuesday morning.  My local farmers’ market is Tuesday afternoon, so I carefully collected corn, tomatoes and eggplant along with my usual haul of eggs, peaches, strawberries and sourdough bread.   Yotam Ottolenghi wrote Plenty, a book which I … Continue reading

Strawberry Peach Crumble

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I adore summer fruit.  Bring on the berries, the peaches, the apricots and cherries and nectarines.  When each arrives at the market, I buy them in massive amounts.  Twenty dollars disappears into a giant paper bag of blueberries, and the blueberries themselves disappear nearly as quickly as the twenty dollars. Early in every summer, I think that summer fruit is just so delicious raw.  I can’t bring myself to make blueberry pancakes or strawberry shortcake or anything that actually requires heating something that is so sweet and perfect in its natural state.  I read a recipe a month ago that … Continue reading

Asparagus and Mushroom Tacos with Quick Pickled Onions

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When I was young, without fail, whenever my mom would ask what we wanted for dinner, my sister and I would chorus “tacos!”  Taco night was our favorite.  There was something about the self-assembly part of taco night that made it extra special.  I usually loaded mine up with extra cheese, only adding lettuce or tomato if strongly encouraged. I still love taco night, but these days vegetables play a starring role instead of being a simple afterthought.  I have written about taco night before, as it’s a favorite in our house.  While I love these zucchini and potato tacos, … Continue reading

Blueberry and Cheddar Cereal Bowl

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Some would argue that Northern California has no seasons.  In my part of Berkeley it is 67 degrees nearly every day with just a few degrees leeway in each direction.  Somehow, my body still senses the seasons, and oatmeal and wheatberry breakfast bowls give way to green juice and smoothies.  J introduced me to this breakfast the first summer we were dating.  I, always quick to jump on any excuse to eat cheese first thing in the morning, quickly added it to my summer rotation.  It reminds him of the summers he spent in Rhode Island with his family.  I … Continue reading

Cannoli Ice Cream Cones

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When I saw these cannoli ice cream cones on Emily’s blog last week, I quickly bookmarked them.  They were cute, but also seemed like they’d be easy to put together while still looking impressive. I heated up 1/3 cup of this chocolate & sea salt caramel sauce in a small saucepan.  You could just as easily use hot fudge or caramel sauce.  Honestly, I just wanted an excuse to have this in the house.  I pulled the chocolate caramel sauce off the heat when it was warm and moved easily when I tilted the pan.  I dipped each cone briefly … Continue reading

Adonia Greek Frozen Yogurt Giveaway!

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It’s time for a new blog mile stone: the first giveaway!  I’ve never hosted a giveaway here on the blog before.  Mostly when I get product pitches, they are for products I wouldn’t use myself, so I decline them.  When I was first contacted by the Ciao Bella team, though, I was thrilled.  I may have done a happy dance at my desk.  I’ve been buying Ciao Bella gelato for myself for years.  The blackberry cabernet and the key lime graham are two of my personal favorite flavors. Their gelato and sorbet is flavorful and intense while still having a … Continue reading

Polenta Crackers

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I have a Pinterest board called “kitchen projects” where I save more in depth culinary experiments that I want to try.  In the past I’ve had good luck with a variety of projects, which is how I’m characterizing recipes that require a little more time or technique than is usually available on a busy weeknight.  Some of my favorite kitchen projects include homemade paneer, corn tortillas, and homemade noodles for this shiitake mushroom soup.  I’ve had a couple of cracker recipes saved for a while, and I finally decided to bite the bullet and see how hard cracker making could … Continue reading

Grilled Vegetables over Polenta

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Last night the ladies took over the grill.  By which I mean my neighbor did all the heavy lifting and fire wielding tasks, and I chopped some veggies.  We wrapped them up in tortillas, topped with feta and avocado, for grilled veggie tacos.  In the winter, I’ll usually make a big batch of roasted veggies on the weekend.  Butternut squash, mushrooms and Brussels sprouts are the usual suspects.  These grilled vegetables must be their summer counterparts. These leftover grilled vegetables can be re-invented in so many ways.  Tonight I had them over polenta (cooked in roasted vegetable stock) with goat … Continue reading

Asparagus Salad with Roasted Potatoes and Hard Boiled Eggs

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In a rather convoluted way, this salad started with garlic aioli.  Months ago now, J and I were eating at Canary Square, a restaurant in Jamaica Plain.  We’d split an order of fries to start, and our waiter offered to bring us a second dip in addition to the house-made ketchup.  A side of garlic aioli came out with the fries.  As I dipped in my first fry, I had to summon massive amounts of willpower not to go at the little container of aioli with my spoon and then my tongue.  Silky smooth and garlicky, the aioli was a … Continue reading