Avocado Citrus Chili Shooters

I have spent a fair amount of time this week considering the avocado. Unlike anything else, avocados can really make a dish. Whether in a taco, paired with a sticky, Asian grilled meat and rice or wrapped around a beautiful piece of raw fish, they are able to transform a good dish into something really spectacular. And it is painfully obvious when they are missing and you eat each bite thinking….if only. During this avocado ponder, I thought about the various pairings that were the best and how I could isolate them in a way that showcased the avocado itself … Continue reading

    Adventures in VB6: Day 2

    This morning I woke up to a velvety bowl of steel cut oats that had cooked slowly overnight in the crock pot. I had made it with almond milk and water and stirred in some almond butter and maple syrup. I know the diet says no white sugar and I’m hoping a touch of maple syrup is ok and if it is not, so be it. I can’t eat oatmeal or other breakfast porridges without some sort of sweetness though I am willing to try weening to just fresh fruit. And I put milk in my coffee again and that … Continue reading

      From Chinese New Year to Chowdah

      We feasted at our house again this Chinese New Year and while the meal and company was delicious, the leftovers were the bonus treat. Aside from a platter of soup dumplings (which still tasted good but had absorbed their soup), tofu fritters, tasty riblets a friend so kindly brought, tangerine fried ribeye and crab noodles was a vat of jellied, gingered fish stock. Once the guests had left, we had thrown the remains of the picked-over yelloweye which had been steamed with chilis, ginger, garlic and green onions into a pot to simmer with some remaining aromatics. Once strained and … Continue reading

        Mushroom Broth with Smoked Eggplant Dumplings

        Years ago I had a bowl of dreamy soup at Aqua in San Francisco. It was a lightly-hued lobster broth with eggplant dumplings, peas and tiny, perfectly round carrots. While I don’t remember exactly what the eggplant flavorings were, I do remember that the earthiness of the filling paired so nicely with the slightly sweet broth and I am pretty sure I made happy noises through that entire bowl. I have often wanted to try to recreate that dish, or at least make something similar. And in looking through the vegetable bin I opted for a mushroom broth which I … Continue reading

          Sweet Potato Hummus Soup with Gremolata and Lamb Sausage

          If I were a cartoon, I think I’d be depicted walking around, living life, sleeping, with various ingredients and recipe ideas fluttering around my head like a swarm of butterflies. With all the cooking magazines, cookbooks and social media feeds I browse, these butterflies carry ingredients, methods, and techniques and often collide into what eventually becomes our next dinner. And that is exactly what happened last night. It started with a slow stroll through Whole Foods looking at produce and pondering a couple meals for the week. I passed some sweet potato hummus and was tempted to get it for … Continue reading

            A Return to the Mundane

            All hail November 7th! Though I am still getting just as many political emails as ever (ignoring) it is nice to have the elections behind us. A friend on Facebook pleaded for a return to the mundane. Photos of kids in silly outfits, cute baby animals, food we are cooking or eating. Anything but red and blue maps, infographics, finger-pointing, bragging and blaming. I hear that loud and clear and so here is what I ate today (so far)… Breakfast: cracker eggs. A weird “specialty” my Uncle Herb used to make for me when I was a little kid visiting … Continue reading

              Earthy White Fall Soup

              From my office window I see Fall the way Colorado does it best. Vibrant blue skies, trees covered in amber and copper leaves and a chilly, crisp, beautiful morning turning into an 80 degree day. It’s that last part that can mess with you and it happens in every season. You can sit comfortably in a t-shirt on a sunny day following a blizzard, have it dump snow the day before your wedding in May (yup, that was us) and approach Fall and Spring in a zig-zag of temperatures. And I love it. Even if it means hunkering down to … Continue reading

                Roasted Cauliflower Farro Chicken Soup with Kale

                Last year, my friend Andra of Fork and Pen (and momma to my daughter’s BFF) decided to host a soup swap. The idea was to gather six moms who would each bring six servings of soup to swap for our kids’ lunches. As a bonus, we each got to meet a couple new lovely ladies and spend some time once a month sipping cocktails, nibbling hors d’oeuvres and commiserating or celebrating as life dictates. Summer brought a bit of a hiatus, but with school back in session and some fall crisp in the air, Wassoup was back and I was … Continue reading

                  Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon and Eggs

                  I opened the latest Saveur magazine which was featuring 101 classic dishes. The very first recipe was salmorejo, a chilled, blended tomato soup topped with chopped, hard-boiled egg and serrano or ibĂ©rico ham. I knew immediately I would be making a version with sweet potatoes to go with that night’s brined, grilled chicken. I did not even read the ingredients, but went straight downstairs and began peeling sweet potatoes. As I was peeling, and then chopping them into large chunks, I was remembering a few other memorable sweet potato soups. The first was a sweet potato, chipotle soup I had … Continue reading

                    Satisfying Summer Soup

                    I had a ripe plantain. I had black beans. It seemed obvious to pair them in fried and soupy matrimony. But then I browsed the garden and came in with a zucchini and arm load of kale. Once the notion of soup fluttered through my brain, there was no more brainstorming. I envisioned caldo de bolas, a complex, brothy soup with plantain dumplings stuffed with richly seasoned beef. But it is too summery for something that brown and beefy so I decided to lighten it up with chicken and lime and green vegetables. And this is my not-very-good photo of … Continue reading