roasted porcini with gremolata gluten-free chocolate chip cookies venison with morel sauce herb and floral pasta


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archive for March 2009

kitchen tour: alosha’s kitchen/white on rice couple

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Are you ready for your weekly dose of blogger kitchens? We are now entering week 4 of the tour and both of the kitchens featured this week are located in sunny, Southern California. While I don’t really miss the kitchens I had in So Cal, I certainly miss all of the fine produce and access to awesome ethnic foods, and that weather (as long as it didn’t get too hot)… ANYTHING grows in that weather! In contrast, I had a little victory of my own this week when I planted some mint in my window sill. Did I mentioned we’re supposed to get 3-7 inches of snow today?

blog: Alosha’s Kitchen
blogger: Melissa
location: Orange County, California
house: apartment, 35 years old
kitchen footprint: 12′x12′ (estimate)
photos: all photos of Alosha’s Kitchen are courtesy of Melissa

Our first stop is Alosha’s Kitchen where Melissa chronicles her culinary journeys from her apartment kitchen. I first became aware of her blog when she was picked on by the giant machinery that is Cooks Illustrated (America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Country) and the food blogging community rallied behind Melissa. [Personally, I am rather underwhelmed by their Chinese recipes.] What I love about Melissa’s cooking is that she is learning and exploring and sharing with others – it’s what makes cooking so fun. What I love about Melissa is that she has a lot of heart.

Tell me, what is your motivation for cooking?

Two reasons. One is that it’s a challenge for me. Cooking doesn’t come easily for me and until a year and a half ago when I started my blog, I knew very, very little. So it keeps my brain busy because I get to learn new things and expand my horizons almost every day. The second reason is for our health. Eating out every day or getting fast food just isn’t an option. I won’t put that junk into our bodies. So cooking means I am taking care of us.


enter the kitchen



How much time do you spend in your kitchen?

An hour or two per night usually, whether that’s making dinner or making lunches for the next workday. On the weekends, I’ve been trying to make more time-intensive meals. So that can mean 3 or 4 hours in the kitchen, making a soup in addition to a more complicated recipe for dinner. That’s if I’m lucky though. I work a lot, including overtime on the weekends, and I don’t spend as much time in there as I would like because of that.

Melissa had expressed some nervousness about showcasing her kitchen. Afterall, she told me, it’s a tiny apartment kitchen. But I reassured her that there are so many apartment kitchen cooks out there – and I had my fair share of apartment kitchen cooking until I was 34! When I got her pictures, I nearly fell out of my chair – I would have loved such a nice space when I was living in apartments. She is pragmatic about her kitchen and also keeps things incredibly tidy, another big plus in my book.


the range



**Jump for more butter**

oh.ma.gah

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Recipe: sticky toffee pudding

Several months ago, I met up with Manisha and Kitt for the first time. We had a food blogger food- and photo-fest at The Kitchen in Boulder. I don’t typically dig on dessert despite making dessert (what seems like) all of the time, but I am always curious to see how restaurants make and plate their desserts, so I am usually willing to split an order with my companions. We agreed on the sticky toffee pudding, something I had heard raves about from others who have dined at The Kitchen. Rich. Delicious. I’m not a big chocolate fan, but I will shove little old ladies out of the way for toffee (not really, but you get my point).


i like dates, dried dates, lunch dates, ski dates, play dates…



I was perusing The Kitchen’s website the other day, in search of their phone number to make a reservation for my dear Kell’s visit in April (she’s coming allllll the way from Oz!) when I noticed a recipes link. Huh. Click. Click click. Click. STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING?! You know I had to try it.

choped dates in the food processor



**Jump for more butter**

you asked for it

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Recipe: roasted potato and green chile salad

Do you watch the weather? I do. It all started because my mother and grandmother constantly watched the news for the weather report when I was little. Then with the arrival of cable and The Weather Channel, that channel became the default when there was nothing better to watch. My father also watched the weather because he wanted any excuse to go sailing (oh the days of sitting adrift in the middle of James River with nary a breeze to lift our sails). This is a habit I’ve had for nearly all of my life, to check the weather. We don’t own a television now, but this obsession has become worse for me, you know. In graduate school we were required to have a minor outside of our field, so I chose two: planetary radar astronomy and… atmospheric science. These days I completely geek out reading atmospheric science blogs (yes, they blog about global climate models and it’s really bloody complicated and fascinating stuff) and sitting on NOAA weather forecasts – all in the name of recreation. Ski, climb, hike, whatever it is, I always want to know the weather because in the mountains, it can kill you.

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous. Sunny, warm, pleasant. And that means skiers are in a panic. My girlfriend told me “Luke is losing his shit!” Translation: Luke is upset that the base is disappearing on the mountains and that his ski season will be truncated. We are all worried about that not just for our ski season, but also the implications for the snow pack, our water supply, and fire danger. And yet! Look at the forecast this week:




Our skis are at the ready. We have our ski day routine pretty much dialed in. But today… today felt like late April instead of late March, so we took to exploring a new trail with Miss Kaweah, who desperately needed a hike (and a bath afterward, which she didn’t really want). We found a cool makeshift teepee!

room enough for two three

kaweah is unimpressed

**Jump for more butter**