Saturday, March 17, 2018

Time to get out in the garden

It's time to plant peas!!!!!  Sugar snap, snow or shelling.  St. Patrick's day is the rule of thumb whether in California, Washington or Denver.  It's predicted to snow tomorrow but today was a good day to get the peas in to the ground.  My five year old chicken, Zinnia, was right at my pitchfork's edge.  I had forgotten that she is my garden helper.  Why?  There are juicy worms in each turn of the fork.  Zinnia has a full chicken belly tonight and my peas are planted.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Hotel silver- old and shiny

partial collection

I have been on an early Spring cleaning marathon.  Maybe I just wish it were Spring and get this Winter over with.  These last two weeks I have spent in the kitchen cleaning out and organizing the pantry, pulling out the stove and cleaning behind it followed by a fresh coat of paint on the walls and most recently going through my buffet and sifting through the treasures I have collected through my years knowing that it is time to part with some of this stuff.  I came across my collection of hotel silver and decided to give it some love and use it again.  Hotel silver was used in the 19th century in hotels.  The flatware is silver plated and was often marked with the hotel logos.

simple to elaborate

Sheffield, England

Most of the pieces were made in Sheffield, England but not all of them.

German stamping

Here is one from the Jefferson Hotel in St. Louis and one for Louise:
Louise, St. Louis- Jefferson

A couple of years ago I did a watercolor of these beauties:


Even the backs are beautifully designed:

I love the horse on this handle:

and a few more.  One with the letter "K"  I bet this one finds its way to my Kate.
"K" for Kate

beautiful design

No  I'm not letting go of any of these today.  I have about 50 more to polish and tidy up and then I plan on using them for every meal.   I'm happy with washing them by hand.

Hotel silver

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

These two flavors marry together so fresh, lightly sweet and tangy.  When I saw rhubarb in the produce section the other day I was inspired to make this dessert.
strawberry rhubarb crisp

Start with fresh rhubarb-usually fresh in the spring...I got lucky.  I followed Ina Garten's recipe.  I thought about a crostata; a pie would have been nice; but I came back to Ina's recipe:

strawberry rhubarb crisp filling mise en place

Strawberry rhubarb crisp:
4 cups rhubarb, cut into about 1" pieces
4 cup strawberries, use whole if small, cut in half or quarters if large
3/4 cup sugar
zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 Tbs cornstarch

Put rhubarb, strawberries, orange zest and sugar in a bowl and toss.

strawberries, rhubarb and sugar

fruit macerated in sugar
This is what it should look like after the sugar has drawn out the juices of the fruit

Add 1 Tbs of cornstarch to 1/2 cup orange juice.  Mix well and add to the fruit mixture.
Pour into an 8" by 8" baking dish.  This is a gorgeous heart baking dish from Williams-Sonoma

fruit in baking dish, heart

OK Ready for the crisp topping:

crisp topping mise en place
 Topping recipe:

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal ( not instant)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
12 Tbs butter, cold
1 tsp salt

In your Kitchenaid fitted with the paddle add all ingredients except for butter.  After well mixed and the 12 Tbs butter in small pieces and blend with the paddle.  This will render a lumping consistency with larger pieces of butter still in mixture.  Sprinkle all ( or some if you want fewer calories) over the filling.

ready for the oven

Place the baking sheet on a parchment lined baking sheet. This will bubble over.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

crisp complete!

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream while still warm.
Bon Appetit!!
Kate's special
Kate and I made an additional crisp - gluten free.  We had only one cup of rhubarb so our math brains had to go to work and down size to one fourth of all the ingredients.  First we found the right size pan.
Use all purpose gluten free flour and gluten free oatmeal instead of regular..  That's all!
How do you divide a tablespoon or a fourth of a cup by 4?!?----Math rocks!

ready for ice cream

footnote: This did bubble over and left a thin layer of syrup on the parchment paper.  It peeled off like a fruit leather.  Delish.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Chipotle Deviled Eggs---Yum

Who doesn't love deviled eggs?  I am so lucky to have fresh eggs every day even when it's zero degrees outside and am always looking for new ways to use them.  A couple of weeks ago I taught a cookbook class on the Instant Pot at Williams-Sonoma and one of the recipes was for Srirachi deviled eggs. They were delicious.  So I decided to give this recipe a try with really fresh eggs.
Fresh eggs are hard to peel once they are hard boiled.  The Instant Pot corrects this problem by cooking them under the pressure cooker mode- 5 minutes.  But honestly I don't have an Instant Pot and thanks to the research of Cooks Illustrated I have resolved that problem without one.   Solution: steam the eggs for 11 minutes.  This allows both the yolks and the whites to cook evenly and release the tight bond from the white to the shell.  Then plunge them into an ice bath and they are simple to peel.

Chipotle deviled eggs

Here's the recipe for Srirachi deviled eggs - actually Chipotle since that's what I had


  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) mayonnaise
  • 5 tsp. sriracha sauce (or chipotle hot sauce)
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

For the bread crumbs:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz./185 g) fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Peel and half lengthwise each hard boiled egg
Use a spoon to scoop the yolks into a bowl
Set the egg white halves on a serving platter
******** the one in the picture is from Target, Magnolia farms spring

To the yolks, add mayonnaise, hot sauce, mustard, and vinegar and whisk until no limps remain.
Season with salt and pepper

Bread crumbs:
In a frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil
Add the bread crumbs, garlic, paprika, cayenne, and parsley and cook, stirring constantly until the crumbs are well toasted - about 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool.

Either with a spoon or in a pastry bag ( this puts a professional touch on these beauties) with a large star tip pipe about 1 heaping tablespoon into each egg white half.  
Top with bread crumbs and a sprinkle of parsley and serve.

Bon appetit!!

Deviled eggs are so perfect at Easter after the Easter egg hunt is over and you have plenty of eggs to eat.  They are also great for a summer picnic.  It is almost a luxury to have a platter just for deviled eggs but when I saw this one at Target for a reasonable price I brought it home.  Williams-Sonoma also has a pretty good affordable one and also one with a place to put ice in the lower bowl to keep the eggs cool on a summer picnic.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day

Gabriela and Reina
I hope your day is filled with lots of love, cookies, chocolates and fun.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Life is good on a farm

Even if it is a city farm
Kids like to sleep in their food bowls when they are tiny.  It must feel like a big hug and it most likely keeps them warm on a cold day.  LuLu (Eloise when she's in trouble- but she never is) still loves her food bowl.  This is a big bowl- 3 feet long.  Well breakfast is over and LuLu is settling in for a winter nap:
New kids coming in May.  This adorable LuLu will be a MaMa herself

Monday, January 22, 2018

Two favorite salads

Happy New Year!!! Time to think about nutritious and low calorie salads:  Here are two of my favorites:
Purple cabbage slaw:

purple cabbage slaw
This is perfect for adding to a yummy taco or a stand alone salad.  One of these great salads that doesn't wilt the next day.  Choose purple cabbage over green, red bell peppers over green.....yellow or orange would be good too. Choose red onion over white.  The more colorful the vegetable the more antioxidants they provide.  Purple=anthocyanin and resveratrol.  The red bell pepper=beta carotene!!! Even the cilantro has quercetin.
Here's the recipe:

purple cabbage - 1/2 head- sliced thin - by hand is better than by a food processor
red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
red onion, about 1/4 or two slices, then chopped
cilantro, 5-6 sprigs chopped fine
your favorite vinaigrette*  here's mine:
                                           1/3 cup lemon juice
                                           2/3 cup good olive oil
                                           2 cloves garlic minced
                                           1 tsp Dijon mustard

Toss the vegetables with the dressing lightly. You can always add more later

mise en place

Salad #2  Carrot salad - sometimes I just call this my orange salad because of the color.
The only dressing is the citrus juice flavored by fresh ginger.  Absolutely no fat or salt in this recipe.  January is a great month for California citrus: oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, blood and cara cara oranges, kumquats.  Use any of these that you have or like.  The grocery stores have a great selection.  Or if you're lucky enough to live in California you can go outside and pick your own.   SOOOOO jealous right now. (It's 17 degrees outside in Denver)
If everything is perfect I choose rainbow carrots, tangerine juice, fresh blood and cara cara orange segments, fresh ginger,  dried blueberries and crystallized ginger.
Antioxidants: anthocyanin, beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, gingerol, lycopene!!!

carrot salad

mise en place
try adding dried apricots ( another orange ingredient) or Trader Joe's dried mandarins

orange segments, crystallized ginger pieces and dried berries
Segments of one blood orange and one cara cara orange, about 4 pieces of crystallized ginger cut bite size and a small handful of dried berries

Here's the recipe:

The only essentials are carrots, citrus juice and ginger

rainbow carrots - pound grated...use your food processor
oranges- 2 segmented ( tangerine, blood orange or cara cara) 
orange juice - 1/2 cup
fresh ginger, about 1 inch grated on a fine rasp or grater
crystallized ginger- 4-5 pieces, cut bite size
dried berries - 1/2 cup 

Toss all together...add more juice if too dry.  The juice helps to reconstitute the dried fruit.

This salad will keep about a week
carrot salad serving
I made both of these salads today.  They will last me all week both lunch and dinner.
Tonight I'll add the slaw to my short rib tacos
I'm sure I'll be healthier by the end of the day!!!