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Paleo Pho With Seared Spiced Duck

28 Oct

Photos - 7236I’m a big fan of any cuisine that uses cilantro—Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Mexican. I know that there are people out there that taste soap when they eat cilantro, and if you’re one of those people, you have my heartfelt condolences. I’m so so sorry. Apparently there’s some enzyme that this section of the populous lacks that causes the cilantro-soap conundrum. I must say that I’m glad I’m not one of them. I heart cilantro. I really, really do.

Now, traditional pho doesn’t necessarily feature cilantro, so I’ll get back on track here. I’m not even sure if you can go to a pho restaurant and get a version with duck. Well, in my house you can. Clearly I’m just making it up as I go along. BTW, my first cookbook will be proudly titled: “Cooking By the Seat of My Pants” and the working subtitle is: “Was That the Oven Timer? And Why Is My Martini Glass Empty?” Continue reading

The Best Picnic Sandwich Ever

6 Oct

Sandwich09This is not your regular sandwich. This is The Sandwich. It’s so wonderfully great for picnics, tailgate parties, pre-concert snacks—basically, it’s your best bet for a portable meal.

And, might I add, it’s awesome.

I’m featuring this recipe for a few reasons: First, we’re having such unseasonably warm weather here in California, it may as well be summer and perfect for picnicking. Second, it’s football season and I hear a lot of people go in for that. The Sandwich would rock a Monday Night Football Party, or weekend game party, for sure. Lastly, it’s so good I don’t want to keep the recipe to myself. Continue reading

Pork Burgers and Green Bean Fries

28 Jul

We are usually addicted to bison burgers on a Friday night—they’re just so good we can’t seem to deviate. Until that Friday when there was no bison to be had at the Whole Foods. PANIC! I called The Husband to see if he wanted a turkey burger, which he initially poo-pooed until he realized he had no choice.

Then I spotted the ground pork—hey, I could mix the ground turkey with the pork to give it more flavor! No, said The Husband. I want an all-pork burger. And so he shall, I decided, but of course I need to make it spicy like my bison burgers. So off to the chili section for some serranos, and the store actually managed to have some jalapeño-cheddar burger buns. Result! Grab some arugula and we’re good to go. Continue reading

Today is My Blog-aversary!

18 Jul

I can’t believe it’s been a year already since The Husband’s needling me about starting my own blog finally sunk in, and Tiny Kitchen Stories was born. And thanks to all of you who have nicknamed it “TKS” and read, like and comment often. It is truly, deeply appreciated.

So instead of a round-up of the year, I thought I’d round up my little jaunt up to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles for my birthday, which was full of fun, lots of eating and friends old and new. I was eating for gold that week, as I knew when I returned I was going to do a seven-day raw food cleanse and then change my diet. Right now I’m off gluten, corn, grains, potatoes, eggs, soy, dairy….yes, some of you may ask—What the hell is left? What will happen to TKS? Continue reading

The Father, The Husband and the Holy Carnitas

24 Jun

The finished product. Mmmm….pork.

It’s no secret: The Husband is a huge fan of pork. He seriously can’t get enough, and will eat it any chance he gets.

We used to drive three cities away to San Clemente to get carnitas at La Siesta. Their carnitas are seriously good, and the restaurant itself is quite cool. No outside seating, but inside it’s like a Baja beach shack with margaritas. We fell a little out of love with it when Carmen, our favorite waitress—seriously, she was the best waitress in the world—was fired because the other girls were jealous that every customer wanted to sit in her section if she was working. Continue reading

It’s Snacktime, and South of the Border

15 Jan

The crumpet pan is perfect for cooking these taquito-type snacks, but a frying pan will work just as well.

Every once in a while, we get down to La Siesta in San Clemente, where they have the best carnitas we’ve found in Orange County. There might be better somewhere in Santa Ana, but the drive there is not so scenic, so we rarely go. We used to love their huevos rancheros, but it seems to have gone downhill—it seemed to do so right after our favorite waitress, Carmen, left the restaurant.

We miss Carmen. She was the best waitress ever! Remembered your name, made you feel welcome, would ask questions about your life. A light went out of the restaurant after Carmen left. I hope she’s happy and making some other restaurant very special somewhere!

La Siesta also has this amazing red salsa. It’s not a pico de gallo, but a real salsa, with some smoky chili in there that’s not a chipotle. We ALWAYS get some of this to go. It’s just too good on Continue reading

And Now For Something Not Made From Thanksgiving Turkey. Maybe.

25 Nov

We’re going down to The Husband’s family’s house in San Diego this year, as I mentioned. Since we don’t cook for the big day (besides the pie, and The Husband has requested one for himself, so we’re fine for apple-pie leftovers), we won’t have a lot of turkey that will last for days. I’m writing this to post post-Thanksgiving so there’s an anti-turkey recipe out there for people to use, if they feel so inclined.

We used to have turkey for days after T-Day when I was a kid, and we’d have turkey sandwiches for the whole next week, creamed turkey on toast, and some weird thing my Mom called “turkey tetrazini”. I think. I just remember something strange with spaghetti and a cream sauce. Wasn’t one of Mom’s more gourmet moments. I miss The Twilight Zone marathons that they used to play on Thanksgiving, but I don’t miss that dish. Or—sorry Mom, the candied yams.

Again, I digress. This is also a pasta dish, but it’s nothing like what I described above. It was a nice combination of some fridge standards that we always try to keep in the door, capers and kalamata olives, and some fresh items, like Swiss chard. I can’t help myself when I get to the pasta area in Whole Foods—that quinoa linguine is just so tasty. I keep buying it because I still can’t believe it’s gluten free.

And to all my vegans and vegetarians out there—this one’s for you. Play around with the recipe; it’s pretty easy to change up and still be delicious. We served with homemade garlic bread and a little salad, But, come to think of it, you could probably throw some shredded turkey into this and it would work very well. It probably wouldn’t even taste like Thanksgiving leftovers. And that’s something to be thankful for.

Oh, and sorry for the lack of photos! I’ll add some later.

Continue reading