Category Archives: Vegetarian

Tomato Jam

Monday, 09 October 2017

Tomato jam? Weird right? I have heard about the stuff for years but even in the years when we have had a glut of tomatoes I have never ventured down the tomato jam road. Then, a few weeks ago my step-son Jared mentioned that he had tasted some delicious tomato jam in Montecito and that he loved it. Sparked my curiosity and I thought I’d best get right on it. A little research led me to believe that Roma tomatoes would be the best – at least for my first endeavor. I grasped the basic spices used and off I went. My first batch was very flavorful but probably too much heat for most people. My second batch did not have as much heat as the first but it was maybe a little too stiff (unlike fruit jams which are easy to read in...

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Couscous Salad

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

I have been making this recipe for so long that I have no recollection where it came from. It has been a family and friends favorite for years and years and goes well with so many things. I usually make it in the summer time to take on a picnic or for a BBQ (although I have made it for my step-son many times in other seasons). It is versatile and can be made with chicken stock, vegetable stock or just plain water. I always double the recipe so that there are leftovers. Couscous Salad Ingredients: 2/3 cup currants 3 Tsp butter 1 ½ cups stock 1 ½ cups couscous 1 ½ cups diced celery 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts 1/4 cup parsley (coarsely chopped) 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/4 cup...

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Peach Polenta Cake

Monday, 19 June 2017

I found this cake in an email that I received from the Gourmandise School. The Gourmandise school is a sweet little cooking school at the top of the new Mall in Santa Monica. I’ve taken a few classes there and I always enjoy myself. This recipe grabbed me. It’s the perfect summer dessert recipe and it’s a very special cake. Stone-fruit – peaches, olive oil, polenta and almond flour. It’s a beautiful, dense cake with a wonderful depth of flavor and texture. The addition of honey that sinks to the bottom makes it all so delicious and decadent. It’s really one of my very favorite cakes (although the family favorite remains the orange, olive-oil, cornmeal cake that I wrote about on April 30, 2014. I highly recommend...

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Cabbage and Potato Gratin

Thursday, 30 March 2017

My friend Theresa is a really good cook. She’s ‘by the book’ and has an eye for a good recipe. I can be somewhat haphazard in my cooking. For instance, if I am missing an ingredient that I consider ‘optional,’ I might just go ahead and make the recipe anyway or replace the missing ingredient with something that I think might be similar. I am pretty sure that sometimes what I think is ‘optional’ is not. Theresa would likely consider this behavior heresy and I’m sure she would be right – she’s usually right about stuff. Theresa would not skip or replace an ingredient. Theresa would go to the store and procure the missing ingredient and of course her meal would turn out better than mine. Perhaps. Maybe....

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Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad

Friday, 10 February 2017

Yotam Ottolenghi, the darling of London’s contemporary culinary world, brings us amazing, delicious, and not too complicated recipes with a Middle-Eastern sensibility, along with delightful cookbook banter. His cookbooks, “Plenty,” “Ottolenghi,” “Jerusalem,” and “Nopi,” are among my favorites. I find something new and interesting to make every time I pick up one of the books. Yesterday I was looking around in the refrigerator to see what I could pull together for dinner and I found myself with a head of cauliflower. I looked through my old stand-by cauliflower recipes and just felt like I needed some inspiration. Yotam and Sami Tamimi (his partner and co-author of “Jerusalem”) hit the nail on the head...

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Farro With Roasted Squash, Feta and Mint

Saturday, 07 January 2017

Every year on January 1st, we have a big New Year’s Day party and celebration of Jared’s birthday. We feed the crowd traditional New Year’s Day foods including Hoppin’ John (Black-eyed peas) and collard greens and cornbread with butter and honey and a variety of desserts including of course, a birthday cake for Jared. The cake is typically carrot – his favorite – and this year it was really delicious and moist and wonderful AND Disa Fink (See, Batch-33, July 20, 2012 for information about Disa and Wintercoat Brewery), who is in town, frosted it so it was also VERY PRETTY! (See, Batch-33.com, September 18, 2012 for carrot cake recipe). I love the day because so many of my friends are together and over the years they have...

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Roasted Carrots with Currant Relish

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

‘Tis the Season but somehow it doesn’t have the normal pizzazz it usually has. The Promenade was kind of low-key. The stores weren’t crowded. The bookstore had some folks in it but it wasn’t crazy. Main Street and Abbot Kinney were a little pokey. Not overwhelmed with parties. It’s just a weird year. Perhaps something to do with the election and fear and sadness and anxiety and fatigue? Just not festive. Notwithstanding, we have had a nice pre-holiday period. Although it’s not usual to make a new friend at our advancing ages, we somehow did. Marianne Kooimans and her husband Steven Woods and amazing daughter Oona Woods. The family of the wonderful shop on Main Street (previously on Abbot Kinney) called Koko....

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Classic Pumpkin Pie

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

My grandmother used to make a delicious pumpkin chiffon pie. I started making it when I started making Thanksgiving but it was never quite as good my grandma's pie.  Also, it is a pie that takes a long time to make and gelatin is involved which, as a vegetarian is kind of a no-no as gelatin comes from critters.  I have tried several pumpkin pie recipes over the years looking for a good one that does not involve gelatin and that’s a bit easier than my Grandma’s.  Until now, I have had little success with the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. I am now a self-proclaimed pumpkin pie wizard.  Here's my secret - do not use fresh pumpkin.  In the past, I would buy a sugar pumpkin and roast it and mash it, and use it for the pie but the thing...

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Chocolate Pecan Pie

Sunday, 11 December 2016

My younger brother Phillip asked for a chocolate pecan pie one Thanksgiving. I can never say ‘no’ to him. I spent the first few years combining recipes for pecan pie and chocolate bourbon pie and like that. I finally found a Martha Stewart chocolate pecan tart that was pretty good but every year I looked and looked for something else. This year, I found it. It’s really good. I highly recommend it. Chocolate Pecan Pie (- from the New York Times) For the Crust Ingredients: 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (150 grams) ¼ tsp fine sea salt 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, high fat is the best (like a European style) chilled and cubed 2 to 4 Tbsp ice water, as needed Directions for the Crust: In a food...

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Thanksgiving Stuffing

Monday, 05 December 2016

Thanksgiving has always been an important holiday to me. First because it’s a day to reflect on the scores of reasons we have to be thankful and to acknowledge those we are thankful for. Thanksgiving isn’t the only day of reflection in this regard but it’s a big day for that. I also love it because family and friends are together and we get to eat amazing food. There are foods that are traditional in my family and I love to make them the way we always have. There are other foods I experiment with. My Mother was an amazing cook and I have her recipes. Although she doesn’t cook much any more she can still tell me what I do wrong with her recipes. I think last year was the last time for an Ellen made Crumble Top Apple Pie....

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