Monday, October 31, 2011


Sugar pie pumpkins are different than jack-o-lantern pumpkins. The former are used for cooking, while the latter are used for ... well ... jack-o-lanterns. I wondered whether pumpkin pie and other goodies would taste better with real pumpkin vs. canned.

I picked up two cuties at the farmer's market, then took them home, sliced them in half and cleaned them. (Yay! More seeds to roast!)

They only needed about 45 minutes in a 350-degree oven to become wonderfully soft and scoopable.

I pureed the pulp, then drained it and popped it in the freezer. Minimal hassle for what, hopefully, will be maximum taste.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Asian Pear Pie

The Asian pears at the farmer's market were so affordable and so beautiful, I could not resist. Figuring out what to do with them was a bit tricky, though. I ended up using this recipe.

Eight pears peeled, cored and sliced. Thank goodness for my food processor.

My first-ever double crust pie - ready for the oven.

Ah, beautiful!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fortune Cookie Chronicles

Adventures in the World of Chinese Food.

Written by longtime New York Times reporter, Jennifer 8. Lee, this is a unique look at the impact of Chinese food in America and elsewhere. That's the quick synopsis, though. It's really much, much more than that. Read it.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Thanks to Louise for introducing me to Chaya. It's a lovely spot on the Embarcadero that's a bit off the beaten path, so not too crowded.

We shared a yummy ahi on a rice cake appetizer.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Outside in the Rain

Listen to Brian's new song and enjoy some lovely Wisconsin scenery in his video.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

I think the Early Girl bounty is just about finished, so Louise and I hit the farmer's market yesterday to load up. She made a savory jam, while I decided to slow-roast mine.

Here they are drizzled with olive oil, basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper and ready to go in the oven - at 200 degrees for 10 hours! Yes, 10 hours! Needless to say, I forgot to take a photo when I popped those babies out at 11 p.m. and stuck them in the freezer. They looked (and smelled!) delicious.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bar Adagio

Pay no attention to the meat. The pizza - topped with kale, pistachios and apples! - was superb!

Even though it's technically a hotel bar, Bar Adagio enjoys a mix of locals and tourists. The bartenders are great and the Brewers won! What more could a girl want?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Summer Bounty

I know I keep saying I don't like tomatoes, then I keep eating them. Something about summer farmer's market tomatoes are so very yummy. Last night, I mixed together Early Girls, cucumbers, dill and feta and added some couscous for a quick and summery supper.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Book Thief

This book by Australian Markus Zusak has ascended to my Top Five Ever list.

While it was not universally loved in my book group, it certainly was roundly respected. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chickpea Cauliflower Curry

I love putting a few ingredients I have at home into the computer to see what kind of recipes pop up. Last night, I made this healthy chickpea cauliflower curry.

I left out the carrot (didn't have any) and the cloves (don't like them) and I increased the curry powder and added a bit of cardamom and garam masala. I couldn't believe how easy it was and how I didn't need any oil. Unlike most Indian dishes, it was very waistline friendly.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Corn Chowder

Soup and Packer games just seem to go together.

Yesterday, I was intend on crafting a menu around the farmer's market, not the other way around. A few friends came over to watch the game and we enjoyed this incredible corn chowder with cobs fresh from the market. (For the record, I used two peppers, not one.) I also made a couscous with fresh cucumbers and Early Girl tomatoes. Delicious!