Turkey Meatballs

It has been an incredibly stormy day here…flash flood warnings and blustery winds.  No one told me winter had arrived, but I’m preparing just the right foods in case the power goes out (again): applesauce, chicken stock, and pasta with meatballs.

With the last of summer tomatoes to use (I know, I’m covering almost every season here!)…and my frozen ground turkey about to thaw, I thought it would be a perfect time to start rolling the meat and pull an old classic together.

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Heirloom Tomato Tart with Cilantro Goat Cheese

There are tons of deals to be had on tomatoes at the farmers’ markets, even heirloom varieties.  I recently purchased a box for $1/lb. because the fruit was either blemished or going a little soft.  That’s a savings of up to $10!  The flavor was intensely sweet and juicy, but with enough acid for balance. And some were just perfect for slicing…which is how we used them last night.

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End-of-Summer One-Dish-Wonder

I am still craving fresh, sweet corn (and from the looks of it…Indian Summer is in the forecast!) and through my friend Steve at Rancho Gordo, I found a recipe which combines another favorite food – beans.  Tomatoes are finally in their prime, and put them all together for a wonderful side dish (to ribs) or along with a salad as a main course.  For the health benefits, you get lots of fiber (beans and corn), vitamin C (tomatoes) and antioxidants from the garlic.  All in, this dish costs about $1.25 per serving!

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Homemade BBQ Sauce

I wanted to get this in before the end of summer.  Here in Napa, the weather has been purdy strange.  It was almost 100 degrees yesterday, and this morning we woke up to rain and thunder! But last night we had a hankerin’ for baby back ribs with BBQ sauce.  Trouble is, store bought sauces are usually loaded with corn syrup and can be overly sweet for my taste.  So, I played around with some recipes, changed and reduced the sugar, and came up with this kickass homemade version…

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Scallops in a Pocket

We have the best fish vendor at the farmers’ market.  They offer local, sustainable catches at extremely reasonable prices.  I am hooked on wild salmon (excuse the pun) but every now and then I’ll cross the double yellow line and try something different.  This week it was scallops.  Tender, plump pillows of seafood goodness.  Since I was already playing outside my comfort zone, I decided to get creative with the preparation, too…

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Curry Confetti Rice

For our midterms in chef class, we were given a bag of mystery ingredients and tasked to produce magic with one dish in ninety minutes. (Note to self: withdraw any requests to be on “Iron Chef.”)  Actually, there’s another show on the Food Network called “Chopped which challenges chefs to do something similar in much less time.  They compete amongst each other and whoever doesn’t pass muster with the judges, goes on the ‘chopping block.’  Thankfully, we all ‘made the grade’ and produced some pretty tasty dishes… Click to continue reading »

Tempeh Tacos

I originally called this post “Siete de Mayo,” but the search engines would undoubtedly take it to a place in history which would get lost in translation.  So for those of you who still have some Mexican fixins’ on hand and are looking for a fast weeknight option with flair…this recipe is for you.  Click to continue reading »

The Stinking Rose

Now I don’t know about your flowers from Valentine’s Day, but there’s another ‘rose’ which is much appreciated in the food family: garlic.  You could say our kitchen has become a makeshift ‘florist’ lately!

Known for its cardiovascular benefits, garlic is also a powerful immune booster which is particularly timely in the thick of cold and flu season.  It is also a ‘strong’ antioxidant, ‘strong’ coming from the organic compound allicin, which is what offers us its ‘fragrance.’ Click to continue reading »

To Health, With Love

I’ve been a little under the weather lately (and yay! the weather has finally arrived in Napa!) Even with the healthy diet I consume (future post,) I, too, can succumb to the bugaboos that infiltrate our systems. While I wasn’t in much of a mood to cook recently (now you know I’m not well),  I was able to access a nice assemblage of still-fresh items and pull them together for two nourishing entrees. Click to continue reading »