In a pickle

This year I decided to spend some time with the grandkids in the garden. I bought packets of seeds from the dollar store. Ollie & I planted them in late March in a seed starter. We waited for the seeds to germinate. Then we moved the seedlings into the dirt. We had a bunch of…

Berry yummy cake

The first fruits of early summer are an undeniable treat. Even though my blackberry bushes in back are prone to running all over the yard, they still earn my undying love each year when they put out the most delicious, sweet and juicy treats. I’m always looking for a new recipe & this ubiquitous berry…

Berry good ice box cake

Once I unlocked the key to icebox cake–use crispy & hard thin cookies–along with whipped cream flavored anyway you like, it was all over but the spoon licking. These are a perfect summer treat, and they’re easy to make. One note of caution though. If you want to make fruity ones like this, serve after…

Spud crud & other Memorial Day delights

Memorial Day–aka the unofficial beginning of summer–heralds the beginning of grilling & BBQ season. And there’s no char-grilled meal that isn’t made better with potato salad. There are as many potato salad variations as there are summer days, but the best beginning is a great potato. Check out you favorite farmers market for year-round fresh-from-the-dirt…

Scenes from Saturday’s market

Fresh, spring garlic is milder than cloves . (Kinda the way green onions are milder than onion bulbs). Great in salads, on top of tiny potatoes, or in stir fried.passion fruit is ripe & sweet when wrinkly. Otherwise it’s astringent & bitter. It’s the juice that gas the amazing flavor.First sign of summer is fresh…

Almost instant crustless sandwiches

Wanna easy tip for fussy kids? Instead of nasty Crustables, make your own crustless sandwiches with a peanut butter jar top. Jif’s is the perfect size. Almost instant crustless sandwiches. 1. Make a sandwich. 2. Place Jif jar top centered in the sandwich like a cookie cutter. 3. Press down and act as though screwing…

Avocados are back!

Remember last year when avocado prices spiked? Restaurants no longer would list an actual dollar amount for the green fruit, instead using the “market price” designation used for especially pricey items. It appears the distribution issues in Mexico, which let to a shutdown of its massive avocado industry, have been resolved. The loss of Mexico’s…

Quiche by any other name

Those of us of a certain age (aka older than dirt) remember the Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche” fad of the early 80s. Author Bruce Feinstein humorously examined societal norms of masculinity. (Yes, kids. The topic has come up before.) Of course, missing the unintended irony, many men wouldn’t– and still won’t–eat the yummy eggy,…

Sunchokes

Sunchokes are my latest farmers market revelation. A root vegetable that tastes like a cross between a potato and an artichoke, they are easy to prepare and yummy. They just need to be washed & scrubbed. Then cut into relatively similar-sized pieces. Dry them before using. Roasted Sunchokes with aioli 1 pound fresh sunchokes 2-3…

Cabbage rolls

Rob works for a local caterer, Dearmore’s BBQ (which makes the best Santa Maria style tri tip around). The chef responsible for the grilled meat is Miguel. Trained on the job and with a self-taught proficiency with flavor, Miguel is always experimenting with good basic food. Because he’s in the food business, he has all…

Ready, set Thanksgiving

A sure sign of the season is the emergence of the kaleidoscope of cauliflower that emerges. It tastes like regular cauliflower , but it’s so much fun. Some roasted cauliflower tossed with butter and toasted breadcrumbs makes a lovely Thanksgiving side dish.   Its also the beginning of citrus season. There are some early tangerines…

Roasted fall meal

For as long as I can remember I’ve been making a roast pork fall meal. It’s always the same. The most inexpensive cut of pork I can find, apples, squash and potatoes. The flavors mingle together with rosemary and thyme, which figure heavily in the seasonings, along with cinnamon to taste like a cool fall…