Zucchini "Pasta" with Pesto

zuke noodles

I have fun with food.  Love bringing home fresh veggies from the farmers’ market and whipping up new dishes based on what’s in season.  I love gadgets, too – not the fancy ones, but those that make our lives easier in the kitchen.  Of course, there’s the food processor, and the blender, the Microplane, and the mandoline.  Now if you haven’t played with one yet…making noodles is a great way to start…

Click to continue reading »

Local Food Revolution

local bike

In case you haven’t heard…there’s a revolution going on!  It starts in the ground, is grown to feed the earth and to nourish its inhabitants. Food.  A precious yet vital source and the key to sustainable health.  For some, access to food is more difficult than others.  Here in the Napa Valley, we live in a climate that is temperate and suitable for planting a variety of crops.  Sure, we’re known for our grapes, but there are so many possibilities for additional food production that we are just beginning to uncover…

Click to continue reading »

Lemony Broccoli Soup

broccoli soupPhoto source

In my CSA box this week was a beautiful bunch of broccoli.  Add that to the beautiful bunch I got at the farmers’ market, and another soup was in the making.  I love blender soups – you steam the veggies, saute some onions, measure the stock, pull out the Vitamix and voila!  Dinner is served…and lunch the next day.

Click to continue reading »

Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew

lentils1

I always have a drawer full of sweet potatoes on hand and have been using them in everything from sweet to savory.  This recipe from Delicious Living Magazine (the free one you get at health food stores) intrigued me with its addition of almonds and yogurt, for both added texture and subtle creaminess.  The pairing of lentils and sweet potatoes is lovely, and the garnishes did not disappoint.  This stew is a great way to warm up the palate on a cold winters’ night.

Click to continue reading »

Sweet Potato Portabellos

mush2

Many nights I forage in my kitchen looking for inspiration to make dinner.  When I can’t find her, I rely on Plan B: “go with what ya got.”  Yesterday I pulled out some portabello mushrooms I had been wanting to use for just this type of dish.  Like baked potatoes. portabellos are great for filling with all types of flavors.  They are quite meaty and absorb whatever liquids you use for marinade.  I paired them with the sweet potatoes I had left over from Thanksgiving, and another main course was born.

Click to continue reading »

Goat Cheese with Cumin and Mint

goat cheese pom

I am part of something new and exciting this week.  Seven fellow food writers are joining together for a “Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner Party”  and you are invited to attend!  Each of us will be offering recipes every day this week comprising an entire holiday meal. You will have several options for each category, depending on taste and food combinations.  Yesterday we started with beverages at Whole Life Nutrition and Gluten Free Organics.  Today I will be presenting an appetizer, along with two more from Book of Yum and Gluten Free Organics.

Click to continue reading »

Esalen Greens with Orange-Ginger Sauce

Pinch me. I think I was dreaming. This past week I was in the most beautiful place on Earth.  I had the good fortune of assisting with a cooking class at Esalen in Big Sur, CA, for five days.  I had fully intended to write from my perch, but there was no internet service so, alas, I was ‘forced’ to kick back and become a sponge. Click to continue reading »

Dairy Free Corn Chowda

I have many posts to share  – and quickly – as the summer produce transitions into fall.  As mentioned in previous notes, here in Napa we are finding the last of heirloom tomatoes, corn and pears…along with new crops of pumpkins, apples and figs.  At the St Helena Farmers’ Market, I bought some of the sweetest corn I have had all ‘summer’ from Long Meadow Ranch.  As the weather provides a bit of chill in the air, I thought it was time for soup.  And so this version of corn chowder was born…

Click to continue reading »

Panna Cotta with Nectarine Coulis

Hike in Pagosa Springs

Hike in Pagosa Springs, CO

I’m back!  Thanks for sticking around.  We had a glorious trip through Colorado.  Did you know they have 54 mountains with an elevation of 14,000 feet or more?  Quite impressive.  I’d like to say we hiked them, but just tackling 9500 feet was ‘breathtaking.’  We ate very well along the way, even scored a few farmers’ markets.  Let me know if any of you are planning to travel there; I have plenty of suggestions on where to eat – from Boulder and Telluride, to Crested Butte and Aspen.

Speaking of food (that’s why you’re here, right?)…a few weeks ago I mentioned a dish I made for my final presentation at Bauman College. It was a Coconut Chai Panna Cotta with a Nectarine Coulis and Orange Tuile.  As you know, I don’t usually post complicated recipes, but while this one may have one or two more steps, believe me when I tell you it is out.of.this.world.

Click to continue reading »