Category Archives: Side Dishes

Thanksgiving 2017 – Dinner Rolls

Saturday, 02 December 2017

To say that my family is quirky is probably generous (just ask my older brother Eric). I won’t go into the gruesome details of the craziness but here’s one weird thing: My husband is Alan; my Father, Allen; my step-daughter’s boyfriend, Alan; our daughter-in-law’s Father, Allen. My son is Alex; his girlfriend is Alex; my step-daughter is Alex. It’s weird right? Maybe a bit confusing at times. Anyway - this year, my year to have Thanksgiving at my house, we had just one Alan (my husband) and all of the Alexes. My son’s girlfriend Alex brought her parents Craig and Barbara and they’re lovely. Also, my dear dear neighbor Pam and her son Owen graced our table as did my Mother. It was a sweet, lovely day for a small...

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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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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,, 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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Cranberry Sauce

Saturday, 24 December 2016

One of the many reasons I look forward to Thanksgiving is the cranberry sauce. I love making it and I love eating it. For years I have been on the hunt for a perfect cooked sauce (I have a favorite raw relish that I will post as well). I found this gem as part of a Food52 contest. It was not the winner but as far as I’m concerned it is far above the rest! It is slightly modified. The original recipe called for a pinch of cayenne pepper but I have not been able to bring myself to include that one ingredient. Maybe next year. Cranberry Sauce Ingredients: 1 Tbsp butter 1 honeycrisp apple, finely chopped 1 tsp found cinnamon 12 to 14 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and the uglies culled out 1 cup real maple...

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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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Glazed Carrots

Monday, 05 September 2016

There’s this really great beach house in Santa Monica that a whole bunch of folks own together (not us). Sometimes we get lucky and friends, who are members, invite us to join them for dinner. This past weekend Dennis and Lauri invited us to join them along with Alan and Theresa (there you are again T) for dinner at the beach house. So nice. We really enjoy all of these folks and their beach house is a nice place to see each other. Of course we would love to see them anywhere! But the beach house is nice for sure. We all contributed to the meal with Dennis and Lauri doing the heavy lifting - the most amazing food including these delicious carrots which Dennis grilled on site and then glazed. I love them. I made them the...

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Roasted Beet Quarters with Mustardy Crumbles

Saturday, 02 July 2016

Summer time. Baby beets. Or big beets cut. The topping on these beets is the key to this recipe and you’ll think of other things to sprinkle them on. They’re unusual and delicious. Roasted Beet Quarters with Mustardy Crumbles (-Vegetarian Times Magazine June 2016) Ingredients: 2 ½ Tbsp olive oil, divided ½ cup panko breadcrumbs 1 ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard 6 small golden beets 6 small red beets leafy top of beets washed and chopped Directions: Preheat oven to 375°. Peel and quarter the beets. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Toss golden beets with ½ Tbsp oil in a bowl and spread on half of the baking sheet. Toss the red beets with ½ Tbsp oil in a bowl and spread on the other half of the...

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