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Fruits of the Garden: Gazpacho

2 Sep

Gazpacho12Don’t be shocked. Another blog so close on the heels of the last one? I know. I’ve even shocked myself.

Another thing that has distracted me from my blog recently is my garden. Man, it’s been great growing all sorts of produce! My favorite part has been going to the farmers market and saying to myself: “Oh, I don’t need that….that….or that. Got it at home.”

A little smug, maybe, but there’s nothing like pulling some fresh lettuce for a salad, kale for a smoothie or tomatoes for gazpacho. I’m pretty sure the second-best place to eat gazpacho is in California, as we’ve so many similarities to Spain. And, if I look out from my backyard and squint as the sun is setting, Santa Barbara’s downtown does look a lot like a Spanish town on a picturesque hillside. (Have I mentioned lately how much I freaking love this place?) Continue reading

Spaghetti Squash Chorizo Bake

12 Mar
Yes, this was just my first serving...

Yes, this was just my first serving…

Well, it has been hard finding time for this blog since I moved into the new house. I have to admit it’s because we’ve been so wonderfully spoiled with our new home! First of all, we’ve got the landlord to beat all landlords, a ridiculously big lot perfect for planting a garden and letting the dog run like crazy, a spare room for guests, plenty of storage space for bikes and a spare freezer…oh, the list goes on. Sorry to go on about it, but after living in what now feels like a cave for five years, I’m more than a little excited about what I’ve got now!

And between having our lovely friends drop in for visits, digging and planting the garden, training for a half-marathon and actually working, it’s been hard to sit down and get some of the recipes on to the blog. This is one that I conjured up with stuff out of the fridge a few weeks ago when The Husband was back down in Laguna on business and I was all on my lonesome.

I put it down for breakfast, lunch and dinner categories because I actually ate it for all three meals. That’s how good it was! I made it with my favorite sausage—Mulay’s all the way—but if my vegan friends wanted to sub Soyrizo and use some vegan cheeze, you’d have a mighty tasty meal. Seriously. This was hard to share with The Husband when he got home. Actually, he’s lucky there was any left!

This is a great thing to make with spaghetti squash, especially if you need a cold-weather dish of comfort food. And a tip I learned recently—stop trying to cut the squash in half! If you’ve got the time, bake it whole. Stab it a few times (carefully) with a knife, then stick the whole thing in the oven on a baking tray for 40 minutes at 350°F. At that point, cut the stem end off, then slice in half. See if it’s fully cooked; if not, roast it open faced for about 10 more minutes.

Also, I only cooked the squash al dente, as this gets cooked a little more at the end. Enjoy! Continue reading

Triple-Green Zucchini Pasta With Broccoli-Arugula Pesto

15 Aug

I think I already mentioned that I’d taken a blood test to finally figure out what my food sensitivities are. It turns out that all grains are off the menu, as are soy, beans, legumes and dairy. Well, we knew about dairy already, so no surprises there.

But it made me think seriously about my diet. Beans, legumes (i.e. lentils, my absolute FAVES) and soy are some of the first things I reach for when I’m going for a vegetarian or vegan alternative. Er, those are out the window. Basically I’ve found out that my diet falls under the “Paleo” title, which makes it easier as there’s some cookbooks out there to inspire me.

Now, please don’t think that I’ve fallen for this whole “pre-agriculture everyone was healthy and that’s how we should eat now to avoid every ailment” theory. I know it’s not scientifically accurate, but that’s not what was bothering me. It was reintroducing meat into my diet.

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

A Recipe for More Than Just Taco Tuesday

28 Feb

A great taco, and not just for Tuesdays.

Here in Southern California, Mexican food is everywhere, and frankly, we love it. There are a few transplants from the east coast who do not like cilantro (or coriander, for my UK readers), which in my book is sacrilege. My favorite cuisines are the ones that use cilantro, like Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and Mexican.And we must love alliteration with our Mexican food, as Taco Tuesday is a weekly fixture, certainly in the Orange County culinary sphere. Like we need an excuse to eat tacos—I mean, c’mon. I’ve featured about three taco recipes in this blog already!

Well, get ready for another one. Continue reading

More Tacos—Stuffed with Chorizo, or Soyrizo

4 Feb

Waiting for the final touches of cilantro and avocado.

The Husband found our favorite sausage brand back at Whole Foods a few weeks ago, and there was much rejoicing. It was a brand that we found while on our wedding trip/honeymoon in Kauai called Mulay’s. They’re in Colorado. Go figure. But we did find it, cook it and discovered that it was a very, very good tasting chorizo. We’ve since tried some of their other flavors, like the breakfast sausage and hot Italian, and all have been delicious.

Then one day, in their infinite wisdom, Whole Foods stopped carrying it, both up in West Hollywood where our friends (also sausage lovers) live, and down here at our local. Now, we’re not sure exactly why—maybe Mulay’s stopped distributing, or maybe it wasn’t selling (which would be a shame!).

We were upset. It’s not like we eat sausage every day (although we’d like to, in some fantasy world where sausages were low fat and healthy), but when we do eat sausage, we want it to be quality. We considered ordering direct from the company, but there’s a minimum shipment, and we just didn’t have room for that amount of food in our freezer. Really, where would the vodka go?

So The Husband was elated when he saw the packages back in the local Whole Foods, and bought a selection, including chorizo. I responded to his excited email with “I guess it’s chorizo for dinner tonight?” The Husband replied that he always thought of chorizo as a breakfast item, not a dinner item. Seeing a challenge, I quickly found an online recipe that sounded both delicious and dinnerish. And here it is, with a few improvements. Continue reading

Is It a Day for Soup, or What?

20 Nov

This is NOT my photo. This is by Heidi Swanson, who also created the recipe.

I cannot take any credit for this recipe at all—it’s all down to one of my absolute favorite recipe sources, 101cookbooks.com. Basically, I want Heidi Swanson’s life. She lives in San Francisco, has had two wildly successful cookbooks, travels all over the world, is a rock-star food photographer. NO, I’m not jealous. NOT ONE LITTLE BIT. Continue reading