Kale, Sausage, and Potato Soup


With all this political strife, comfort food can make the churning stomach a little happier.

I amended this from the NYTimes.


1 lb uncured sausage links
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
2 large russet potatoes, chopped
1 large bunch kale
4 cups quality or home-made broth + 2 c water
1 T lemon juice
1 t salt
1 hot pepper, chopped
Dash of red pepper flakes


First, heat a soup pot to medium heat. Add the oil. Add the chopped link sausage, and brown on both sides, or about 5 minutes. Pour sausage and oil onto a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the extra grease. Put the pan directly back on the heat, and add the chopped onion for 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and potatoes and pepper. Next add the broth and water and potatoes. While this is heating to a boil, chop the kale. Remove the middle vein and chop the rest. Add the kale, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and salt to the soup. Simmer for an hour, and serve.

Curry Cauliflower Soup


New year, new recipes! But just as my little garden was coming into its prime this past week, the last two night’s deep frost set it back. That’s life, eh? But, it’s good to be thankful for what you’re given. When life gives you cauliflower, make cauliflower soup.


1 head cauliflower
2 T olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 potato, chopped
1 t chopped ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 cayenne pepper, chopped (or other hot pepper)
1 can (16 oz) chopped tomatoes
3 T curry powder (I always cheat here; you can add cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili power, ect.)
1 c broth
3 c water


Chop all ingredients. In a big soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and chopped ginger and garlic for about 3-4 minutes. Add the curry power (careful not to let it burn), and potatoes, cauliflower, and carrots. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Add broth, water, and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper and chopped cayenne. Simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. When finished, garnish with a dollop of yogurt and chopped cilantro. Eat with warm naan.

Orange Pistachio Fudge


December is the time of year when our oranges are ripe. Like in years past, I’ve used our oranges to make something sweet for holiday gifts. This year, though, I made my umpteen batches of fudge while wearing a little 8 month old in a front carrier. Little fingers and wiggly legs are a distraction, yes, but they added extra sweetness to my Christmas gifts.


1 package (16oz) Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can evaporated milk
1 orange, zested
1/4 c pistachios, chopped
sea salt


First, line a pan with parchment paper. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Add the evaporated milk when the chocolate is fully melted. Stir in zested orange peel and chopped pistachios. (You can leave some for sprinkling on the top, or add more zest and pistachios to your liking.) Sprinkle with sea salt. Put in fridge for at least 6 hours to harden. Cut into small squares before serving.

Sweet Potato Gratin




I’ve been remiss in posting lately; this actually has less to do with the fact we have an active and wiggly kid, but more that I only have seedlings in my garden at the moment. My oranges are almost ripe, and radishes are ready to be eaten, so maybe new recipes will inspire me soon.

Alas, I couldn’t skip posting about my favorite holiday: Thanksgiving! We had 18 friends share our table, and like any potluck around here, the food was divine. I made sweet potato gratin, not from our potatoes, but from Gary’s parents’ potatoes which were lovingly mailed to us through the USPS. Although they were unable to join us, the sweet potatoes on our plate were a little taste of our Midwestern family.


3 sweet potatoes, peeled
3 Yukon potatoes, peeled
2 c heavy whipping cream
1/4 c butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 t fine sea salt
3/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 c (packed) coarsely grated Gruyére cheese


Heat the oven to 400 degrees. After peeling the potatoes, use a mandolin to finely slice them (although beware of fingers!). Slice them into a bowl of water so they won’t brown. After this is finished, combine the cream, butter, garlic, salt and pepper in a small pan, heat on the stovetop and bring to a simmer. Take off from heat and set aside.

In a 13×9 baking dish (or large dutch oven, like I used), layer the potatoes, chopped rosemary, and cheese. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes. Bake uncovered for one hour, or until the top becomes golden brown.

Salmon with Parsley and Lime




Our friend Sam’s October birthday starts the beginning of eating outside again after a long, hot Florida summer indoors. Celebration on all accounts!


1 lb salmon fillet
2 T melted butter
3 cloves garlic
1 T fresh parsley, chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 T freshly squeezed lime juice (plus lime wedges for garnish)


Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the butter, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, lime juice and S&P in a bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and put the salmon skin down onto the paper. Spoon the mixture over the salmon. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Garnish with lime wedges.


Shrimp Scampi




My spouse spent last Sunday successfully shrimping. Unsurprisingly, the shrimp made the scampi superb!


1 lb shrimp, de-headed but shells kept on
3 T olive oil
1/2 t dried pepper flakes
1/2 c dry white wine
1 t salt
4 T unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 package linguini
1/2 c chopped parsley


First, get a pot of boiling water ready. Have all your ingredients chopped and ready, and then start cooking the pasta. While it’s cooking, heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add the olive oil. Add the garlic and pepper flakes, and saute for about one minute. Add butter. Then add shrimp. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until all the shrimp are pink. Take off heat. When the pasta is cooked, drain all pasta water except one cup. Add the shrimp and butter liquid to the pasta (add the pasta water if it’s still a little “dry”, or drizzle with olive oil), and add parsley. Enjoy!

Apple Pie




I spent a glorious long weekend back in Iowa, with family love, ripe apples, and the smell of fall. When home, I asked my sweet grandma to teach me her “Blue Ribbon” pie recipe, and I mean “Blue Ribbon” quite literally–she’s won numerous for this pie at the Iowa State Fair. This pie is neither gluten nor calorie free–in fact, its secret ingredient is lard–but the thing about Grandma’s Apple Pie is that none of that matters. It’s just sheer delicious flakey goodness made with my uncle’s home-grown apples that tastes like love any way you slice it.



2 c flour
1/4 t salt
2/3 c lard
5 T ice cold water
1/2 t vinegar
6 cups peeled and cored apples
1/2 c sugar
1 T cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
3 T butter


In a bowl, first mix together the flour and salt. Next, add half the lard with a pastry blender to make fine crumbs. Then add the rest of the lard to make crumbs the size of peas (see picture above). As my grandma says, “If you have bigger crumbs in the second blending, the flakier the crust will be.” Next add the vinegar to the water, and add the water to the flour mixture a little at a time, blending about a tablespoon at a time with a fork all along the edge of the bowl.

Next, lightly coat hands with flour, and separate dough into two balls, being careful to not over-mix or over-handle. Just put the ball together lightly. Put each loose ball in saran wrap, and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Turn on your oven to 425 degrees now. While waiting, peal and chop your apples. (Apples should be the good sturdy kind, that holds up to baking.) Put in a bowl. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix together.

Take one ball of dough out of the fridge, and place on a lightly floured hard surface. Cut a piece of parchment or wax paper larger than the size of the pie pan, and place over the flour. Roll in one direction gradually coming out from all sides. Do not over-roll! If the dough appears to be sticking, use a long knife (or cake decorating icing knife) to dislodge the dough from the top and bottom. Roll again, until the dough is large enough to fit in the lightly greased pie pan. Once large enough, unstick from the bottom and use your hand on the parchment to guide the dough onto the pan. Put the dough-side down, and slowly take the parchment apart from the dough on the top. Lightly pat down into the shape of the pan. Cut the dough off around the exterior and set aside in flat pieces. If there are holes or tears in the dough, fill a small bowl with water and dip your finger in to wet the edges of the tear. Use an extra piece that was cut off the edges to patch the hole. Then add your apple mixture to the pie. Cut the tablespoons of butter into small pats, and place inside the

For the top, roll out the same as you did the inner section. Once finished, lay over the apples in the pan. Cut the extras around the exterior, and patch in the same way you patched the interior crust. Pinch the edges by using a thumb and index finger in one hand with your index finger in your other to make the crimp. Cut any design on the top you’d like.

Add a little bit of cream to a bowl, then using your fingers, dab the top. (When asked if I should use my fingers, Grandma said, sure, they were made before spoons.) Sprinkle the cream dabbed top with a little sugar.

Cover the entire pie loosely with foil, and carefully cut out the center leaving the crust covered in foil. This will prevent the crust from becoming too done too early. Bake for around 40-50 minutes, or until the apple mixture starts bubbling out of the cut areas in the top crust. If the center looks like it’s getting too brown, put the center foil ring you cut out on top. Around 40 minutes, you may want to reverse the foil, too; take off the foil on the crust, and put the center ring on the area where it has been without foil.

Eat with vanilla ice cream and dear folks who love you.

Jerk Pork with Grilled Pineapple




Two sweet things that took long to ripen happened this week: our pineapple was ready for picking, and our little Leo was officially adopted. It took two years for the pineapple to grow, and it took two years waiting on an adoption list to finally be chosen. Obviously one of these is far sweeter than the other, but that doesn’t mean that the grilled pineapple was any less tasty.


2 pork chops
1 1/2 t ground allspice
1 t dried thyme
1 t curry powder
2 t paprika
1 t sugar
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t cinnamon
1 red onion, chopped in sections for skewering
1 red pepper
1 pineapple
Coconut oil


First, mix the spices together and set aside. Cut the vegetables into large chunks, and skewer the vegetables. Drizzle coconut oil on the vegetables and both sides of the pork. Then sprinkle the rub on both the vegetables and meat. Grill on medium high until cooked; 5 minutes per side for the pork, and 7 minutes per side with the skewers. Serve with rice.

Chanterelle Mushroom Quiche




These golden chanterelle mushrooms look more otherworldly than edible, but man are they good. They were found by my friend Rayne on her run here in town; she promises to bring me to her prized spot where they grow someday soon. I’m holding her to it.


For the dough:
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 c butter (cold, chopped in small pieces)
2-3 T cold water

For the quiche:
1 lb chanterelle mushrooms (or shittakes or other edible mushrooms)
2 onions, chopped
2 T butter
3 eggs
1 1/2 c whole milk
1/4 c swiss cheese, grated
1 T Dijon mustard


First start with the crust. Combine the flour and salt in a food processor. Add the butter pieces at a time. Add the water. Pulse until mixed. Remove the dough and form it into a ball. Chill it for at least half an hour. When ready, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the crust in a pie tin, and bake for 8-9 minutes, or until golden. Set aside.

To make the quiche. In a medium skillet, heat the butter on medium low heat. Add the onions. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until they start to brown. Add the mushrooms. Cook for another 10 or so minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked and the onions have caramelized. Add more butter if the mushrooms are dry. Next, in a small bowl, mix the eggs, milk, mustard, and S&P together. Pour this in the dough crust. Add the mushroom and onion sautee to this, and top then with the grated cheese.

If you don’t want the sides of the crust to get too brown, line the exterior with foil. Cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Enjoy!

Scallop Gratin




After working long hours lately, Gary took a break to go scalloping. The water was clear, the scallops were abundant, and they got their limit in record time–less than two hours!

Our friend Parker cooked them divinely. We ate them with toothpicks and savored the taste of the sea.


1 lemon, cut into wedges
¼ lb. shucked bay scallops or enough to cover bottom of skillet in a single layer
Olive oil
Butter, softened
1/3 cup prepared seasoned breadcrumbs
1 clove minced garlic


First, combine prepared seasoned breadcrumbs, minced garlic, 1 tsp butter, 1 tsp olive oil in small bowl. Breadcrumbs should be evenly moistened. Next, place oven rack on 2nd highest level and turn on over broiler. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and add 1 tbsp. olive oil and a ½” thick slice of butter. Once butter has melted and foaming has subsided, place scallops in a single layer on bottom of the skillet. Season very lightly with salt and pepper, and do not disturb cooking scallops. Cook on the stovetop for approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute or until scallops appear to be halfway cooked. Sprinkle moderately heavy layer of seasoned breadcrumbs over scallops. Finally, transfer pan under broiler and cook until breadcrumbs turn golden and scallops are cooked through approximately 2 minutes. Keep an eye on the pan and rotate as needed to prevent breadcrumbs from burning. Remove from oven, squirt fresh lemon over, and serve immediately.


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