Thursday, January 22, 2015


American Harvest: lunch service. 
Tables are set and ready to taste.

Short descriptions below DO NOT do service to the hard work required to create these plates of food.  This is an art. And Chef Shawn Loving is on his game.

Maybe it's this well worn Escoffier...
tasting plate. yes please. after Chef explains it all in detail. Double yea. a bite from all of the following dishes in order to be able to explain to the customers during service.
outstanding charcuterie plate, house made charcuterie, house made accoutrements

lamb plate: merguez, lamb loin, lamb demi glace, lamb confit in a vol-u-vent, pickled cherries and mustard seeds

lake perch: classic, clean, yum

mozzarella in tosca: swimming in a red wine fresh tomato sauce, with broccolini and fried kale

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


365:21 #breakfast before class in an hour. #overnightmuesli, #cherries and a spoonful of french #chestnutspread. #sevensundays #sevensundaysmn #muesli #zegliano365

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Farmer john's pumpkin spice bread 
(Sometimes in muffins) 

2 cups all-purpose flour (can sub half we flour)
1 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans 
1/2 cup raisins 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg 
3/4 teaspoon salt 
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 
3  large eggs 
1 3/4 cups Mashed Pumpkin 
3/4 cup vegetable oil 

Mix wet. Combine dry. Add dry to wet. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Lunch at home
Scrounging the fridge for lunch on the return home from Chicago. #friedegg on #sautéedspinach #bagelcrisps with #whippedcreamcheese and #frizzledsalami makes the kids say #thankyoumom!? 

Saturday, January 17, 2015


Eats from a Chicago excursion 

Lunch at Eataly
We ate and left quickly because it was unbearably crowded.  This speck was delicious and complemented by the cabbage and apple salad.

A sweet afternoon snack at MORE. So many options to choose from!

Blurry shots from the always creative Little Goat Diner, the Girl and the Goat's sister restaurant across the street:
Pork Belly Pancake
Scallion pancake . House hoisin . Bok choy salad . Ginger maple dressing
Breaded pork cutlet . Asian BBQ . Mayo . Cabbage . White bread
Goat Almighty
Goat burger . Braised beef . BBQ pork . Pickled jalapenos . Salsa verde . Onion rings . Cheddar
Crab Rangoon Omelet
Moscow Goat
Bombay London Dry Gin. Ginger beer. Fresh ruby red grapefruit juice. Fresh lime juice

A cleansing pear breakfast for the ride home while studying.

Friday, January 16, 2015


My green thumb gets itchy in the winter. So I pick up little gems like this from around town. A miniature pineapple tree from Trader Joes, a maiden hair fern from English Garden, and a Meyer lemon tree -- are just the ones that I took a quick photo of.  I have an mini olive tree, a collection of orchids, a couple terrariums. I just love green things, especially ones that brighten a room and clean the air in my house. 

My newest experiment is this:
Spicy Nasturtium shoots 

After a week or so under a bulb these seeds shot up into these delicious blue-green leaves of intense peppery bite.   I plan to snip them into salads or onto sandwiches. I'm not quite sure where they'll end up. But I know that just growing then is a perfect way to scratch the itch.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


A very quick dinner: pizzadillas
Multigrain Hacienda tortillas thinly spread with Rao's marinara, pepperoni, and various cheeses. Served with garlic sautéed spinach. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Cauliflower's many personalities ::

A (newly skinny) friend has recently been telling me about all of the creative ways that cauliflower can be used. He inspired me to buy a few heads and experiment.  It's so versatile and can mimic almost any starch depending on how small you process it. Tonight after a whack in the food processor I threw it in a hot cast iron skillet with spray olive oil, salt and pepper. 

With the help of a little carameliZation, it was a wonderful topping for these fish tacos. 

Monday, January 12, 2015


I don't know what happened to my post from yesterday. The internet is so peculiar. Will repost later. In the meantime...

Persimmons from Meijer

These beauties looked stunning in the late afternoon sunlight that snuck into my kitchen. If you haven't bought any produce at the Meijer on Jackson Road lately, you should check it out.  The variety is amazing. I even saw cardoons today! But these little guys are on dock and headed for the freezer.  According to my new Alice Waters book, they can be frozen and grated for a quick sorbet.  Genius!

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Searing cherry tomatoes is a fun winter trick. The cast iron pan is a great way to impart flavor.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Today's lunch salad. A bed of romaine and arugula topped with roasted eggplant slices, Broiled feta, Toasted pinenuts, and pickled red onion slices.And last but not least a quickly fried caper- my favorite garnish. Dressed with balsamic and smoked olive oil.

Some turned their eggplant slices into Paninis with prosciutto and pesto. But they didn't get the fried capers. Suckers.

Friday, January 09, 2015


Lunch for a "cold day". We only have three free snow days after this. Cue ominous music. 
Note a few things here that make me happy: 
1. Grilled cheese on marble. See how some of the cheeses melt out and create a cheesy crisp. I love that part. 
2. Tomato soup: two things about this. First I made it with half of a jar or Rao's marinara sauce which I had in the fridge already open. Why waste it and open a jar of tomatoes? I added one quart of stock to the one pint of sauce, salt, hot sauce, black pepper.  Gave it a little whiz with the immersion blender. Second we topped it with a homemade everything spice mix I recently created. Imagine your favorite part of a bagel sprinkled on the soup, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, toasted onion, toasted garlic, black pepper and salt.
3. A salad for the fridge: Lately I've been spending a few extra minutes on a Sunday afternoon or evening prepping a grain salad for the fridge. Sometimes they are idyllically healthy, like quinoa citrus kale, or chili black bean & brown rice. Sometimes it's just an old fashioned potato salad. It's nice to have something with a sandwich when you're home on the weekend, or also great to throw a deli container of it in the high schooler's lunch box with an apple. This week it was blackened bow ties, with celery and soy protein, kind of a spicy creole twist on macaroni salad. When I ate it as my only lunch yesterday, I threw some blue cheese crumbles and pickled red onion slices on it, onto a bed of baby arugula. It was delicious!
(From our picnic at matthaei botanical gardens yesterday)
Isn't it cool how a vanilla plant grows up the side of another tree? 

Or how a bromeliad saves water for thirsty days? 

Thursday, January 08, 2015


It looks like this outside. All of my windows are frosted. Marginal snow but frigid temps. It was -2 when I took my high schooler to school. But my little ones don't have school because it's s "cold day". So we started a fire and made this. Simple. Comfort. 

What's better than two "perfectly" (according to my son) poached eggs and wheat toast for a cold day breakfast? Nothing.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015


Ms. Greenspan's book Baking is one that I often come back to when i want something simple and easy to please. I once even participated for several months in Baking with Dorie where every other week food bloggers would choose two recipes and post them. 

Tonight's quick dessert was Swedish visiting cake. Named so because it goes together quickly enough to start it when you see someone coming down the driveway for a visit. 

It tastes like warm marzipan, in the best way, and went perfect after a dinner of mushroom bisque and pretzel grilled cheese. 

Swedish visiting cake
Thanks to Dorie Greenspan 

Mix one cup sugar and the zest of a lemon until zest is thoroughly combined. Whisk in 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp almond extract. Fold in one cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add one 1/2 cup melted cooled butter. 

Pour into buttered pie dish or 9" cast iron skillet. (Cast iron is more traditional and will create a better bottom crust, but mine was too big.) Sprinkle with 1/3 cup sliced almonds and 1/4 cup sugar. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 deg, until edges are golden brown and slightly crispy. Center should still be soft. 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015


Setting up dinner for M pop in the oven when he gets home

Chicken stuffed with lemons and herbs on a bed of baby reds and leeks 

Monday, January 05, 2015


Sometimes we eat at Culver's. It's true. Today I got a fish sandwich and mooched the kid's fries.

No matter what we order someone always saved up their scoopie tokens for free ice cream. Wait is that it? Or is it Scoopie tokens for gear? I forget. ;) 

Sunday, January 04, 2015