Entries Tagged 'Vegetarian'

Fall Fest: Spinach Pomegranate Salad with Apples and Walnuts

Spinach Pomegranate Salad with Apples and Walnuts

Fall has finally arrived here in California, bringing thunder, rain, and the cooler temperatures I’ve been waiting for.  While these cool gray skies have me dreaming of hearty soups and warm baked goods, the theme this week for Fall Fest is fall salads.  I’ll save the soup-making and bread-baking for next week since my kitchen is still only half unpacked – an easy fall salad was the perfect thing for me to make this week.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Continue reading →

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Honey Lemon Olive Oil Muffins with Lemon Glaze

Honey Lemon Olive Oil Muffins in Basket

I woke up this morning thinking about Sicily. I miss the first house we lived in with the fig, olive, and lemon trees.  The figs should be ripe now. There were two olive trees and my dog would constantly chew up then spit out the olives that fell to the ground.  They tasted terrible and I don’t know why he kept trying, but he kept it up.

My landlord taught me how to cure the green olives by cracking them with a hammer and submerging them in salted water for weeks.  My cutting board is still stained in one spot from cracking olives that afternoon six years ago.  He also taught me to pick the ripe and nearly-ripe olives and cure them by layering olives with salt in a basket and letting them sit for a few weeks until they were shriveled and pungent and delicious.  I didn’t speak much Italian, he spoke no English, but we figured it out. Continue reading →

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Summer Fest: Potato Taquitos

Taquitos Stuffed with Mashed Potatoes

When I realized that we are celebrating potatoes this week for Summer Fest, I wasn’t sure where to even begin.  Potatoes are so versatile that when I was trying to think of a recipe to write about, I just couldn’t narrow it down.  So when my good friend Ruby mentioned on Facebook that she was planning on frying up some Taquitos de Papa for dinner yesterday, I though it perfectly natural to invite myself over for dinner in honor of Summer Fest Potato Week.

For many people, potatoes mean comfort food.  For me, it’s my mom’s Potato Leek Soup and my grandmother’s Mashed Potato Casserole with cream cheese and sour cream. And these taquitos stuffed with leftover mashed potatoes and cheese are comfort food for Ruby because her grandmother used to make them for her when she was young.  They were absolutely delicious – crisp on the outside, soft and creamy inside.  I’m glad I invited myself over for dinner because now I can add Taquitos de Papa to my list of comfort foods as well. Continue reading →

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Food Blog Friday: Spicy Tomato Jam from Divina Cucina

Spicy Tomato Jam with Goat Cheese

There are tons of tomato jam recipes floating around right now, but the first time I remember reading about it was last summer at Over a Tuscan Stove.  Although Judy cooks, teaches, and blogs from Tuscany, the recipe for tomato jam came from a brochure that a friend mailed her from Sicily.  Like all of my favorite Sicilian recipes, the jam recipe is very simple – just tomatoes, sugar, lemon juice, and a bit of fresh basil.  I bookmarked it back then, but didn’t get around to trying it until recently. Continue reading →

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Summer Fest: Spicy Pickled Garlic

Pickled Garlic in Jars

This past weekend might have marked the unofficial end of summer, but Summer Fest is still in full swing over here.  This week we’re celebrating garlic and it’s perfect timing for me because my friend Ruby recently sent me home with a big bag of garlic from her mom’s garden.

Garlic Bulbs

I wasn’t sure what to do with all the garlic and I toyed with the idea of roasting a huge batch and perhaps freezing it in small portions to use throughout the fall and winter.  But then I remembered the pickled garlic that my grandmother used to buy and serve alongside other appetizers during the holidays.  It was really good and I wondered if I could make something similar myself. Continue reading →

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Summer Fest: Pickled Serrano Chile Peppers

Pickled Peppers in Jars

Surprise!  Summer Fest is still on!  Response and participation have been so great during the last five weeks, we decided to extend Summer Fest through mid-September and then roll right into a Fall Fest.  We’ll even have a fun new Fall Fest pumpkin badge thanks to Matt of Matt Bites! Visit Margaret at A Way to Garden for all the new details and schedule.

This week we’re celebrating peppers, both sweet and spicy.  I decided to try my hand at pickling some hot peppers since I happened to have a basket of serrano chiles sitting on the counter (I picked them up for a dollar at the Farmer’s Market last Saturday).  I love pickled jalapenos, but I always end up using the store-bought kind.  I thought it would be nice to have some home-pickled peppers on hand for once!  And since I won’t go through them very fast on my own, one basket of peppers seemed like the perfect amount to pickle. Continue reading →

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Melon and Mozzarella Salad with Honey, Lime, and Mint

Melon and Mozzarella Salad with Lime and Mint

I bought a delicious Crenshaw melon at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and after eating a few slices for breakfast yesterday morning, decided to turn the rest of it into melon balls.  I had no particular reason for wanting to do this, it just seemed like a fun thing to do.  And we all know that food tastes better when it’s cut into fun shapes, right?

As I was scooping out the flesh with the antique melon baller that has been in my family for as long as I can remember, I thought about the half-empty container of fresh mini mozzarella balls in the refrigerator.  I had never combined melon with mozzarella before, but the melon balls and mozzarella balls were the same size and shape and the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like they were destined to end up in the same bowl. Continue reading →

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Summer Fest: A Celebration of Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Bruschetta with Chevre and Slow Roasted Tomatoes

The Summer Fest theme this week is tomatoes and I can’t think of a better thing to talk about than slow-roasted tomatoes.  I made these for the first time last September and they were absolutely amazing.  Although I made them a few more times throughout the year with grocery store cherry tomatoes, I’ve been waiting for some good summer tomatoes to roast. Continue reading →

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