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“You Don’t Own Me” PSA from You Don’t Own Me on Vimeo . I’ve been watching the recent presidential debates on Twitter. Well, I’ve been watching them on my TV, but following along on Twitter. The majority of folks I follow usually tweet about food. That changes for those few hours when the debate is taking place and suddenly everyone is talking politics. It is an odd phenomenon. It becomes especially odd when, during the debate, someone tweets about something not related to politics. During one of the debates, Chicago chef Rick Bayless tweeted: A Genius Mix on my iPhone: Black Eyed Peas, Justin Timberlake, Sound of Music & R Kelly from his Christmas album.Called Urban Crossover Which became unintentionally hilarious (though maybe that phrase is inherently funny?) in the middle of an impassioned series of tweets about election issues. Ruth Bourdain responded to Bayless with what everyone may have been thinking: WTF? It’s interesting, in part, because in the middle of a discussion about women’s rights, gay rights (well, sort of), war and the economy, tweets about food, music, or your crappy day seem particularly trite. It is also strange that these public discussions are relegated to two hour blocks of time every four years or so. There isn’t much integration. A similar, but opposite, phenomenon occurs when I write about something political in the middle of posts about food and entertaining, as I’ve been known to do. It seems somehow too serious, or like I’m a spoilsport. There is an expectation that these things remain separate, the political and the private. That doesn’t seem possible to me. How can I write about my wedding without it being political? I wish I could. Our kitchens are not free from politics and this blog never will be. My rights and the rights of millions of people are jeopardized or restricted by politicians and fellow citizens every day and those threats do not disappear when I enter my home or cook dinner or write these words. Here is the thing, I am able to enjoy cooking and keeping a home and writing about it because I currently feel somewhat secure in my role as citizen (as tenuous and unequal as that role may be). It is all connected. My investment in the current political moment is, in part, because my rights and the rights of others may be jeopardized by the Republican party. They (and other conservatives) have repeatedly demonstrated to me that they do not understand women, gay people, sick people, poor people, immigrants, or the environment—and it freaks me out. I alternate between feeling invisible and attacked. It doesn’t feel good. The video above is a lighthearted response to some extremely serious issues that are important to me. It features many of my favorite women, including some friends of L +D. It will fit awkwardly into this website, but not into my life; in the same way that politics sometimes fits awkwardly into dinner conversation, but is important. I stand with these women and with everyone else interested in progress. Go vote, friends. Permalink to i’m free and i love to be free | 51 comments so far


I’m planning to cook Tunku’s (Father of Malaysia) favourite dishes in conjunction to this Merderka (Independence) month. The 1st Merderka meal “ Ayam Golek ” was dedicated to Rebecca a.k.a Chow and Chatter. The 2nd Merderka meal was Daging Bakar (roast turmeric beef) and Air Asam (red chili and lime dipping sauce). This is the 3rd Merderka meal, Tunku would eat his roast beef with Yorkshire pudding. I'm new to Yorkshire pudding, and there is no detail of this Yorkshire puddings recipe written in Flavours food magazine, but luckily i found this recipe in almostbourdain blogspot . Recipe was adapted from AlmostBourdain as she followed to Mary Berry's Complete Cookbook. I changed a bit on the method as I just too lazy and simply mix all ingredients together and added little lemon juice, but the result was good, I like the buttery and milky taste. Yorkshire Puddings *makes 11-12 pcs Ingredients 125 g plain flour 2 eggs 250 ml milk A pinch of salt 1tbsp lemon juice (not in original recipe) Shortening (i changed to butter) 1. Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl, stir and whisk till a smooth batter. 2. Sift the batter into a clean water jar, cover and stand for at least 30mins. 3. Put some butter into each cup of a 12-hole muffin tin and heat in a preheated oven at 200C for 2mins or until very hot. 4. Remove the tin from the oven. Whisk the batter and pour into the cups in the tin(about 80-90% full) 5. Bake the Yorkshire puddings in the oven for 20 minutes at 200C or until well risen, golden, and crisp. 6. Serve immediately with Daging Bakar / roasted turmeric beef. Put some butter/shortening into each cup of a 12-hole muffin tin Sift the batter into a clean water jar Remove the tin from the oven. Whisk the batter and pour into the cups in the tin(about 80-90% full) Hot from the overn, well risen, golden, and crisp.But it shrunk once cooled. I'm going to send this post to Almost Bourdain's Shout Outs. Happy Baking!!


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite... I wanted to post this recipe on the odd chance you have not yet tried Maida Heatter's Chocolate Mint Brownies. While they are delicious at any time, their layer of mint cream makes them especially appropriate for the St.Patrick's Day holiday. This is a layered treat. It begins with a dense fudgy brownie that is covered with peppermint cream and then coated with a gleaming, dark chocolate glaze. The peppermint cream can, of course, be tinted for those who wear the green and love overt symbols of the holiday. Brownies are one of the easiest dessert that can be made in our kitchens. They rarely require special equipment and this recipe can be made with a couple of bowls and a wooden spoon. Despite the ease with which these can be made, I promise you they are delicious. Just don't overbake them. While these can be made several days ahead of serving, they lose their sheen when refrigerated. I love the chocolate-mint combination and use it often. It works especially well here. If you need a dessert for St. Patrick's Day, I think you'll love this one. Here's the recipe. Double Chocolate Mint Brownies ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Maida Heatter Ingredients: Brownie Layer 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped 1-1/4 cups granulated white sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs 1/2 cup all purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt Mint Layer 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract or 1 to 2 tablespoons creme de menthe Green food coloring (optional) Chocolate Glaze 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped 1 tablespoon unsalted butter Directions: 1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place the rack in the center of the oven. 2) Line a 9 x 9-inch pan with aluminum foil, covering bottom and two opposite sides of pan. Foil is used to lift brownies from pan. Set aside. 3) In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt butter and chocolate. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla extract. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition. Stir in flour and salt and beat, with a wooden spoon, until batter is smooth and glossy and comes away from sides of pan (about one minute). Pour batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until brownies start to pull away from the sides of pan and the edges of brownies are just beginning to brown. A toothpick inserted in center of brownies will come out almost clean. Remove from oven and place on a rack to completely cool. 4) To make mint layer, combine butter, confectioners' sugar, heavy cream, peppermint extract in a small bowl and beat until smooth. Add a few drops of green food coloring if you wish. If frosting is too thick, add a little extra cream. (Frosting should be just thin enough to spread.) Spread frosting evenly over cooled brownie layer. Place in refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes, or until firm. 5) To make chocolate glaze, melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Spread over mint filling and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until chocolate glaze starts to dull. 6) To serve, remove brownies from pan by lifting with ends of foil and transfer to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut into 30 squares. These brownies can be refrigerated for several days or else frozen. Yield: 30 squares. You might also enjoy these recipes: Chocolate Mint Brownies - David Lebovitz Salted Fudge Brownies - Verses from My Kitchen Peanut Butter Brownies - Being Suzy Homemaker Cakey Chocolate Brownies - Cookerati Chocolate Brownie - The Purple Foodie Quick and Easy Mocha Fudge Brownies - The Perfect Pantry Oreo Brownies with Buttercream Frosting - Love from the Oven Pecan Caramel Fudge Brownies - The Art of Baking Hot Chocolate Brownies - Sugar Plum Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie - Almost Bourdain Kahlua Brownies - Simply Recipes Iced Butterscotch Brownies - Culinary in the Dessert Mexican Chocolate Brownies - One Perfect Bite Bittersweets:The Ultimate Brownie - One Perfect Bite Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies - Baking Bites


4 tablespoons butter 8 leeks , white part only, cleaned and thinly sliced 2 medium potatoes , cut into small cubes 2 cups chicken stock 2 cups heavy cream 4 fresh chives , finely chopped 1 pinch nutmeg salt and fresh pepper 1 I a large, heavy bottom pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Once butter is melted, add the leeks and sweat for 5 minutes, making sure they do not take on any color. 2 Add potatoes and cook for a minute or two, stirring a few times. 3 Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. 4 Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook on low heat, gently simmering for 35 minutes, or until the leeks and potatoes are very soft. Allow to cool for a few minutes. 5 Slowly, and in SMALL batches, puree the soup at a high speed in the blender. Do this bit by bit, never filling the blender too high. Make sure the benders lid is on, and lean on the top when you turn on. If not the burn you will get is awful, and a most frequent accident in even professional kitchens. 6 Return soup to the cooking pot and whisk in cream and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Return to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook 5 minutes. If you want to thin soup out, add more broth, if needed. 7 Transfer soup to the mixing bowl an chill over the ice bath, stirring occasionally. When soup is at Room temperature, and only at room temperature, cover in plastic wrap and put int the refrigerator to cool. 8 Check seasoning, sprinkle with chives and serve in chilled bowls. 9 This soup DOES get better over time. Keep covered with plastic, not foil in the refrigerator, or it will pick up other tastes.


2 lbs pork belly, cut into 2 in cubes (5 cm) 1 lb pork shoulder, cut into 2 in cubes (5cm) 4 cups water 1 bouquet garni (1 sprig flat parsley, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf -all tied with a string so its easy to ret) 1 teaspoon salt 1 pinch black pepper 1 lb pork fat, cut into thin slices 1 Place the pork belly and shoulder in a heavy bottomed pot. Add water and the bouquet garni and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally. 2 After 6 hours, stir in the salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Discard the bouquet garni. 3 Once the meat is cooled enough to handle, transfer it to a mixing bowl, using forks, shred the meat (not mush, SHREDS is the key) 4 Shovel some still warm pork into your mouth -- you know you want to. 5 Divide the mixture among several small containers. Top each portion with a slice or two of pork fat to completely cover it, fold the mixture together a bit then wrap each container in plastic wrap. 6 Place in the refrigerator and let them sit for 3 days before serving. Don't cheat on the 3 days because it just gets better as the flavors marry up!


6 tablespoons butter 1 onion , thinly sliced 12 ounces button mushrooms , halved 4 cups chicken stock 1 sprig parsley 2 ounces sherry wine salt and pepper 1 Over medium heat, melt two tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan. Toss in the onion and cook until soft but not browned. 2 Toss in the remaining butter and then add the mushrooms. Cook for 8 minutes. 3 Pour in the chicken stock, add the parsley, and bring to a boil. When bubbling, reduce to a simmer and cook for an hour. 4 Pour soup into a blender (you might need to do this in stages), and process until smooth. Return to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour in the sherry, and season with salt and pepper.


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite... What do these pictures have in common? They capture a moment in time that I want to share with you. On the way to meet a cook who had graciously agreed to walk us through the basics of Spanish home cooking, the Silver Fox and I came across a band of gypsy troubadours performing the flamenco for onlookers in the town square. These squares are usually ringed with tapas bars and today's recipe is for a tapa that was being served at the time we stopped to watch and listen to the flamenco performance. The recipe and a recommendation for the books came later that day. I ordered the books you see as soon a we got home, and following their delivery this morning, I spent the better part of the day paging through them. Wow! Jose Pizarro is a chef and a restaurateur, and if you are at all interested in Spanish cooking, do try to get these books. I was able to purchase mine on Amazon at bargain basement prices, and I've already put together a list of recipes that I want to try. They are easy to follow, made with readily available ingredients and the photography perfectly captures the vibrancy of Spanish cooking. You can almost taste these dishes as you turn the pages. It is hard to duplicate Anthony Bourdain's Spanish experience in tourist hotels and restaurants, but books like these make it possible to create that experience in your own kitchen should you want to try. I hope you'll stay tuned. Tonight's recipes, which come from a home cook, are for two frequently served tapas. Either of them makes a delightful mouthful, if, and it is a big if, you assemble them just before serving. They get soggy quickly, so do be forewarned. I personally love the pepper and anchovy combination, while the Silver Fox, who loves Manchego cheese, prefers the tomato version. I do hope you'll give them a try. If you enjoy bruschetta, I know you'll like these Spanish tostadas. Here is how they are made. Tostadas - Tomato and Pepper Toasts ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite Ingredients: 1 large loaf Italian bread 1/2 cup shaved manchego cheese 2 (2-oz.) tins anchovy fillets, drained 1/3 cup olive oil Tomato Topping 5 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped 2 tablespoons chopped parsley Pepper Topping 2 large roasted red peppers, skinned, stemmed, seeded, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar Directions: 1) Cut bread into 1/2-inch slices. Toast half of slices on both sides. 2) For tomato topping: Combine tomato, olive oil, garlic and parsley in a small bowl. Spread toasted bread slices with tomato mixture, then top with cheese. 3) For pepper topping: Combine peppers, oil and vinegar in a bowl. Cover un-toasted bread slices with pepper mixture, then top with an anchovy fillet. 4) Serve immediately. Yield: 40 tostadas Older Posts One Year Ago Today: Two Years Ago Today: Turkey and Corn Quesidillas Peruvian Chancay Bread Three Years Ago Today: Four Years Ago Today: Carrot and Fennel Soup Masala Chai


Recently, I synched my Apple TV with my Flickr account so that when the screensaver comes on, all of my pictures on there–over 28,000–dance across the screen. And, wouldn’t you know it, most of those pictures are pictures of food. In fact, when I open my iPhoto and try to find pictures of me and Craig or me and my family, I have to fight my way through a tangled web of food imagery; portraits of dinners and lunches and breakfasts past. Recently, though, as I watched these images scan past on the TV in my living room, I began to have a thought: these pictures of the food that I make actually reveal something about me. But what, exactly? Well, for starters, I think these pictures show that I’m not fussy. This salad, for example, isn’t molded or mounded or presented in a martini glass. It’s not overly worked; it’s just a jumble of good ingredients that I thought would taste good together. Still, there’s thought that went into it, a certain amount of editing: fennel and apples pair nicely, arugula and Parmesan help things along. But the radishes I got in my CSA wouldn’t really fit in here, would they, so I left them out. I guess that’s not apparent in the picture, but it’s something that helps explain what you’re seeing. Toasted walnuts make sense here, peanuts probably not. So add “thoughtfulness” to “not fussy” and you get two character traits that you can learn about me from this salad picture. I can see how this exercise might teeter over into the absurd: Oh mussels and clams? That must mean I love the sea, that I’ve disavowed my Jewish heritage (shellfish! not Kosher), that I’m experimenting with bisexuality because of the vaginal implications. Ahem. Yeah, I see how that’s taking things too far. And yet I can’t help but think that this big pot of mollusks you see in the picture above does reveal something about me and my style of cooking; it’s loose, it’s exciting (note the red chile), it’s comforting, it’s slightly exotic (hey, those are cockles). It’s a cool moment when your food begins to reflect who you are. Which raises the question: can you change who you are by changing how you cook? I certainly think so. For example, are you a penny pincher? Is it hard to justify buying the farmer’s market heirloom tomatoes when the supermarket tomatoes are half the price? Well, buy the heirloom tomatoes anyway and see if that loosens you up a bit. Or, conversely, if you’re a spendthrift, buying way more than you need for every meal, try cooking out of your refrigerator or pantry one night and see what you come up with. Being resourceful in the kitchen may spill over into other areas of your life. Same goes for how you handle fat and salt: if you’ve been stingy with it in the past, for fear of gaining weight, be more generous next time around to see how it improves your cooking (and your spirit and the spirit of everyone eating your food); if, on the other hand, you’re a little heavy handed with the butter, pull back to see if you can get away with less to achieve the same result. Maybe that discipline will lead you to the gym and you’ll have six pack abs and a record deal before you know it. Character is revealed through action (I learned that in drama school) and cooking is nothing if not a series of physical actions shaped by character. Paula Deen and Anthony Bourdain both know how to whip cream by hand, but how they go about it will be totally different because of who they are as people; and I think the resulting whipped cream will taste and maybe even look different because of it. So remember, as you cook, this isn’t something to take lightly; every dish that you make is an edible self-portrait. How do you want to be remembered when people look back on the meals you’ve made over the course of your lifetime. As a bowl of Lucky Charms floating in expired milk? Or something a little grander, a little more ambitious, something a little more you.


Bourbon Butterscotch SauceI don’t like cliques (unless I’m part of it, of course…) and I have to say, one that I’m happy to be a part of is the brotherhood, and sisterhood, of ice cream makers. I wasn’t the first person to write a book, The Perfect Scoop, about making ice cream. But it landed on the cusp of something that was happening: People were rediscovering ice cream. I’ve always dreamed of opening an ice cream shop. And while that ship has probably passed, I’m so happy to see that a lot of people have done so, and quite successfully, I might add.When I first met Doug Quint, he was manning anΒ ice cream truck next to Union Square in Manhattan. Even though another ship has passed – namely, I’ve gotten older – like a couple of millennials, we had chatted via social media and I thought it’d be fun to meet. When I arrived, the lineΒ stretched halfway down the block. And in Manhattan, that’s a city block between two avenues, which is huge, mind you. I waited 20 minutes and barely moved.Because I have zero patience, twenty minutes to me is an eternity and hopefully you’re never stuck nextΒ to me on an airplane, because things get a little weird in my row after that twenty-minute mark. So I decided to head back another time. However I could not leave without saying hi and took a moment to knock on the back window of the truck, where Doug was swamped, scooping and saucing like a madman.He leaned out and gave me a big hug, and told me to meet him at the shop that he and Bryan Petroff they were just finishing and he gave me a massive slap across the face. I figured that was the initiation to the brotherhood (or sisterhood) of ice cream makers. So if you want to know how you can join, plan to have some painkillers nearby. It was the slap that was heard around the world and now Doug and Bryan no longer roll around inΒ their ice cream truck, but instead are swirling it up in one of their unicorn and rainbow-filledΒ Big Gay Ice Cream shopsΒ in New York City, with another in Philadelphia, and more planned in other cities to spread the word of superiorΒ soft-serve ice cream. Yes, those fiery preachers were right: These guys are out toΒ recruit!AfterΒ the swelling had gone down, I realized my initiation – or perhaps hazing – was complete. And I was happy to visit the store now that it’s open, and thriving. I spent an afternoon behind the counter with Doug, who got his master’s degree fromΒ Julliard music school as a bassoonist, and people of all ilks came in: gangs of teenagers after school, businessmen in grey suits, moms with kids in strollers, tourist couples with cameras around their necks, some guy who looked like a famous movie producer, and a few other assorted New York characters.Bryan and Doug just came out with their first book, Big Gay Ice Cream. It’s not just a recipe book (as Doug, jokingly – I think, told me, “We just took all your recipes, and used ’em…”) butΒ a fun-filled romp high, written like a high school yearbook, the kind we all wish we had, instead of the ones we ended up with. There’s no talk of hazing in the book, although I did lend a quote for it. As didΒ notables like Rachael Ray, Anthony Bourdain, Anne Burrell (who was at the opening party for the book, as was I, whereΒ I was truly astounded by her gravity-defyingΒ hair in person – you go girl!), Tommy Lee, and Gail Simmons,Β although none of them mentioned “soft serve” and “Viagra” together, like I did. Which makes me think that that’s why I don’t have my own television show, come to think of it.With this book, you can make a Magic Shell sauce that crackles when it hardens on top of your ice cream, with no dubious ingredients. You can learn the secrets of their famous Salty Pimp Sundae to make at home. You can whip up a batch Awesomeness Sauce with two kinds of chili powder. I wanted that Rocky Roadhouse sundaeΒ up above, but it was being handed off to a customer and didn’t think it would be polite if I grabbed it out of his hand. And IΒ didn’t want to get slapped again by the owner.The shop uses a special dairy blend for their ice cream fromΒ Ronnybrook farms, a local organic dairy, which also supplies their heavy cream. They try to use as many high-quality products as possible, even going so far as to mix up their own special blend of rainbow sprinkles, going less-heavy on the yellow, and dialing up the other colors, until they are exactly the right proportions to ensure thatΒ each customer gets a beautiful, and well-curated, rainbow of happiness with each cone.This bourbon butterscotch sauce is one of their most popular toppings. And it’s easy to see why.Β It contains two of my favorite ingredients: butterscotch and bourbon, melded together in one creamy-rich sauce, spiked with a big hit of bourbon. It’s thickΒ enough to beΒ the perfect, sweet-boozy topping for a scoop – or swirl – of your favorite ice cream.To make it at home, if you don’t have magic unicorns looking out for you, it’s important to use a very large potΒ to make this. Doug perhaps trustsΒ in the magic of his unicornsΒ and used a regular large saucepanΒ for the sauce, that bubbled up furiously to the top, but settled down after a bit and didn’t overflow. Because this pro knew exactly how high it would go.But to avoid spills, I’d use a Dutch oven or similar-sized pot. It makes a lot of sauce, but any extra could be jarred up and given as gifts. And next time you’re in New York City or Philadelphia, I recommend stopping in one of their shops. Bryan and Doug have made ice cream fun again, not that it ever wasn’t, but they’veΒ definitely taken it to another level. Which is whereΒ this sauce took me, when I hadΒ my first lickΒ of it. Adapted from Big Gay Ice Cream by Bryan Petroff and Doug QuintThis makes a big batch of sauce. But in case you’re not running an ice cream truck, feel free to cut it in half. It’s really wonderful spooned over – well, everything. Even spooned up right out of the bowl once it’s cooled down. For those who’d like to try it with another liquor, dark rum or another favorite could take it in a different direction. For those wanting to omit the alcohol, you can add a vanilla bean split lengthwise in addition to the vanilla extract. A splash more cream (or water) might be necessary at the end, to thin it out.Sauces such as this tend to boil up, so although Doug used a large saucepan, I recommend a bigger pot, such as a Dutch oven. And watch it closely while it cooks. If it threatens to boil up and over, remove it from the heat and let it simmer down before continuing to cook it further.8 ounces (225g) unsalted butter cubed1 pound (2ΒΌ packed cups, 450g) dark brown sugar1/4 cup (60ml) dark corn syrup, or rice, malt, or golden syrup1 cup (250ml) heavy cream1/2 teaspoon flaky sea or kosher salt1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/2 cup (125ml) bourbon, plus additional for finishing the sauce. In a large pot, heat the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, heavy cream, salt, vanilla and Β½ cup bourbon, stirring until smooth. Continue to cook the sauce over medium-low heat, stirring frequently with a heatproof spatula, until the brown sugar has melted. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes, watching it carefully and stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and reduced. It’s done when the sauce is thick enough to coat a spatula when you lift it.2. Remove from heat and when it’s cooled down enough to taste, add additional bourbon, and more salt if necessary, to taste. Adding bourbon to very hot butterscotch may cause it to boil up so it’s best to wait until it’s cooled down a bit. And you don’t want to burn your tongue, so please be patient – although I know it’s hard. Serving and Storage: Serve warm over ice cream. The butterscotch sauce can be refrigerated for up to two weeks. Rewarm over low heat in a saucepan, stirring constantly.You might also like Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream recipe Chocolate Ice Cream Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream Categories: Dining & Travel Extras Ice Cream New York City RecipesTags: Big Gay Ice Cream bourbon butterscotch Doug Quint heavy cream ice cream New York City Ronnybrook sauce


How do you cook quinoa? I was recently asked. The answer is simple. Easy. Fast. Rockin'. I cook it in a rice cooker. In fact, quinoa is the easiest no-fuss "grain" you'll ever cook. It's healthy fast food. Cook up a batch ahead of time and you can stir up a fabulous light lunch (like the Lime Quinoa Salad with Mint ) in a New York minute. Well, maybe a Los Angeles minute. No wait. A Venice Beach minute. How to cook quinoa in a rice cooker: 1. Using a fine mesh sieve rinse 1 cup of organic quinoa in cold water. Drain. 2. Dump rinsed quinoa into your rice cooker. 3. Add 2 cups fresh water* see notes. 4. Turn on your rice cooker. That's it. In about fifteen minutes* you'll have hot fluffy quinoa to play with. Quinoa is rather bland on its own and loves flavor spikes. So add herbs etc. My favorite thing to do is stir-fry cooked quinoa with various seasonings- herbs, garlic, spices, onion, etc. I add in fresh veggies and whatever else I might have on hand. Quinoa makes delicious and hearty pilaf, sprightly salads, or a warm and grainy side dish in place of rice. I've even used it to stuff cabbage, acorn squash, peppers and portobello mushroom caps. For those of you without a rice cooker: Add the cup of rinsed organic quinoa to a saucepan add 2 cups fresh water; bring to a boil, lower the heat to low; cover and simmer until cooked. Fluff with a fork. Season while warm and use in salads or stuffing recipes, Store covered, in the fridge, for almost instant meals. Use within three days for best taste. Notes* Start with 2 cups water in a rice cooker. At higher altitudes , use more water-- 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups water. High altitude also requires a longer cooking time, generally. If the quinoa turns out too crunchy or nubby you need to up the ratio of water to grain; start by adding another 1/4 cup liquid. I prefer my quinoa soft and tender, fluffed with a fork. Note- r ed and black quinoa may require extra water- especially if it turns out more crunchy than fluffy. Sometimes I add broth to the liquid to boost the flavor of the quinoa- this works especially well when making a savory pilaf or winter quinoa with hearty flavors- onion, mushrooms, eggplant, etc. I don't use broth in my lighter salad style quinoa dishes- but that's my personal taste. Why you might want to try quinoa... Quinoa is very laid back and not full of itself at all. It's not upper crust or snobby, or ultra-cool and exclusive. I imagine Tony Bourdain hates it (he likes to mock vegetarians, you know, which spurs him to demonstrate just how much by eating blow fish, animal tongues and roasted insects on camera fresh from the writhing snake blood tonic and chewing on various goat parts buried in a pit for two days). If it were a movie, quinoa would star a flip-flop wearing Jeff Bridges and insist you call it Dude. Or Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing. Besides its worth-its-weight-in-gold gluten-free status, quinoa (sounds like: keen-wa) is a superb source of balanced vegetable protein (so important for vegans) that packs a nutty nutritional punch. It contains nine amino acids- making it a complete vegetable protein. Some call it a super grain (I always envision a blazing red Q and a windswept cape when the word super is touted- a testimony to my visual thinking process) but quinoa, I have to tell you is not a cereal grain, Bubela. It's actually a seed from a plant family that includes beets and spinach. That might- technically- make it a Super Faux Grain. Or Faux Super Grain. I know. It doesn't have the same ring. Do we care? Here are some of my favorite quinoa recipes: Kale Salad with Quinoa, Tangerines and Roasted Almonds Lime Quinoa Salad with Mint Quinoa with Fresh Summer Vegetables Quinoa with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Leeks, and Slivered Almonds Quinoa Salad with Blueberries, Strawberries, and Watermelon Quinoa Salad with Pears, Baby Spinach, Chick Peas in Maple Vinaigrette Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Chick Peas + Orange Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms Quinoa Mushroom Pilaf Quinoa Taco Salad Red Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash + Pecans Stuffed Cabbage with Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Summer Quinoa Salad with Kalamatas and Mint Warm Spinach and Quinoa Salad with Grape Tomatoes Quinoa In Baking: Peanut Butter Quinoa Cookies Quinoa Pumpkin Cookies Quinoa Breakfast Bars with Blueberries Quinoa Breakfast Brownies Quinoa Breakfast Cake Quinoa Chocolate Brownies Quinoa Muffins with Pecans + Dark Chocolate More quinoa recipes from food blogs: At Lydia's Perfect Pantry Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta and Parsley Susan's Quinoa Vegetable Paella at FatFree Vegan Kitchen Ilva's Quinoa Apple Cake with Cinnamon and Coconut at Lucullian Delights All images & content are copyright protected, all rights reserved. Please do not use our images or content without prior permission. Thank you.


Shares 38We’ve always loved the Northern California Bay Area and over the past 20 years, we’ve made many trips back to eat and explore. But this last trip back withΒ Fairmont Hotels and ResortsΒ was a dream because we had the opportunity to discover so many new jewels of the Bay Area in one swoop with guidance and recommendations from area experts.Β  It really helps to have the folks who live in the area to show us their favorite local spots! And in our case, it was three different regions, each with their own unique flavors. It was pretty much like a road trip through the San Francisco Bay area, exploring it with new, open eyes. The amazing team at the 3 Fairmont Hotels and Resorts in the Bay area guided us through our food journey and provided us with world class accommodations at three of their bay area hotels:Β Fairmont Sonoma Mission InnΒ & Spa,Β Claremont Club &Β SpaΒ andΒ Fairmont San Francisco. We ate, photographed, filmed, ate way more than we should have but because we’re truly food obsessed, we considered it food research. We’re good at that. Fall is a gorgeous time of year to visit Sonoma wine country Our trip started with a gorgeous stay at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. This beautiful and serene resort is nestled in the heart of California Wine Country. We visited in late October and it was a beautiful time, with harvest just finishing off and the vines were in their Fall color glory. And they’re already on our favorites list because they’re dog friendly! Lexi and Sierra didn’t get to indulge on this trip and not sure if we’d want to bring them because they’re too many cute squirrels around. They’d be wanting to chase every critter they see. They’re famous for their natural mineral hot springs in Sonoma Valley, whichΒ sets the perfect setting to their Willow Stream Spa which is one of the only luxury spa resorts in the country with its own source of thermal mineral water. They even have their own championship Sonoma Golf Course, which is super cool to be golfing across the street from beautiful and tranquil vineyards. Dreamy wine, cheese and Michelin Star dinner.Β  Dinner was at their signature restaurant, the Michelin award winningΒ SantΓ© Restaurant. Our tasting menu dinner was outstanding and paired with perfect wines from local wineries. The roasted ribeye of free range lamb was one of the best lamb dishes we ever had. Topped with tabbouleh, eggplant, minted yogurt and bordelaise aioli it was hard to not lick the plate clean. And to top off this amazing dinner experience, during out stay we were able to visit Kendall Mini Farm and Linda, who provide the micro greens for SantΓ©. It was amazing to taste, experience and film this whole farm to table experience. You can watch it on Facebook here. Chef Andrew Cain and Linda of Kenwood Mini Farm talk fresh produce Here’s a video of that great day: Benziger Family WineryΒ was another eye-opener visit because it was our first time visiting a biodynamic winery. Jill Benziger led us through an education and tour about their family winery and their passion on making wines that are certified Biodynamic, organic and by using sustainable farming methods. Their quality wines taste even better knowing that they’re being made by folks who care about the land and the sustainable future of wine making. Their super cool wine cave was spectacular for our lunch stop. After a dreamy two days in Sonoma, we hopped in the car and drove to the latest addition to the Fairmont family of hotels and resorts: the historic Claremont Club &Β Spa. Literally nestled between Berkley and Oakland (one portion of the property lies in Oakland, the other in Berkley). The Claremont is full of character and lore. From one of its owners winning the property in a game of checkers to being nearly caught up in the 1991 Oakland fire. Frank Lloyd Wright called the Claremont β€œOne of the few hotels in the world with warmth, character, and charm.” the best view of San Francisco from our room at The Claremont and at their restaurant LimewoodΒ  Following the Fairmont’s acquisition of the Claremont and a beautiful remodel, you can add β€œswank” to that description. The visual lines leading from the front door to the lobby pulls you into the hotel, which suddenly opens up like a breath of fresh ocean air. Steer towards the lobby bar with the massive windows with views overlooking both the Bay and Golden Gate bridges and we found ourselves drawn into the Hillary-Tenzing Room. Named and remodeled after explorer Edmund Hillary, his sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, and their adventures, the stunning rich blue room is seeped with mountaineering and Nepalese artifacts. With cocktail in hand, we could spend days on end in that room and never tire of its charm. It’s a great thing that the Claremont’s guests have exclusive access to The Club at the Claremont. With its beautiful lap pools, tennis courts, daily fitness classes, and TechnoGym equipment, we needed some calorie burning activities to help balance all the food we ate while we were there. Meals at bothΒ MeritageΒ andΒ LimewoodΒ restaurantΒ were insanely deliciousΒ  Whether it was the great food, cocktails, and wine at the Limewood Bar and Restaurant, great bites in the Lobby Lounge and Hillary-Tenzing Room, to the meals at Meritage, we found ourselves clearing plate after plate. How can you not? They do a great job sourcing from the exceptional regional cuisine, and prepare the dishes to highlight how good it is. After spendingΒ  a couple days with stunning views of San Francisco from the Claremont, we headed across the bridge into the city itself. Perched atop Nob Hill, the Fairmont San Francisco welcomed us with open arms. For over a century it’s been known for its elegance and impeccable service, and is the perfect launching point for excursions into the city. Step out the door and head down the hill to one of the great food cities in the world. You can even hop on an iconic San Francisco trolley just outside the hotel. The Penthouse Suite and inspired cocktails from theΒ Tonga Room &Β Hurricane Bar Here’s a snippet of our own little Penthouse Suite party: Not that we needed to leave the Fairmont to have a good time. The Fairmont San Francisco may be elegant and grand, but don’t mistake it for stuffy. They love to have a good time. We arrived in perfect time to see their departments’ Jack β€˜o Lantern carving contest entries displayed in the lobby for all to vote, while at the same time in the lobby their annual 2-story gingerbread house was being build brick-by-gingerbread-brick by their culinary team. Head on over to the Tonga Room in the hotel and you’ll find a place Anthony Bourdain declared, β€œIf you have no love in your heart for this place, you are a sick, twisted lonely…” (we’’ll leave it at that but you get the point, it has Bourdain’s love). The Tonga room is the oldest continuously operating tiki bar in North America and shows no signs of slowing down and we could agree more with Bourdain’s sentiment. Within these same hotel walls, if you head up to the The Penthouse Suite, you’ll find 6,000 square feet of luxury. It’s housed royalty to rock stars and has more than a fair share of unforgettable parties and history changing events. There’s even a secret passageway in the suite’s library. This a place with so many stories to tell. It’s certain both JFK and Mick Jagger added to its legendary history. One of the best food tours we had withΒ Foodie ChapΒ and Fairmont San FranciscoΒ  Our experiences across the Fairmont Hotel family in the Bay area was extraordinary. Each location is reflective of the variety of character the region epitomizes. From the relaxed wine country, amazing artisan food producers, elegant and historic settings, spectacular views, an iconic bustling city, it was wonderful to experience the diversity in their character. They were all remarkable in each of their own individual ways. Epic thanks toΒ Fairmont Hotels & ResortsΒ for sponsoring us on this project supporting our love on culture, travel and food discoveries!Β  Shares 38 Get new recipes and updates by email:


To better explain the experience, I must first introduce you to Elyse. I know her by way of mutual friends; our paths have crossed a handful of times, but ever since I started listening to her new podcast project, I knew she would be someone I would really enjoy. She has the kind of personality that draws people in - warm, confident, intentional, wise, assertive. She has a crazy story herself, one that could lead you towards darkness, but she exudes light. And consequently has the easiest and best laugh I've ever heard. She's a trained therapist, so you expect some of that, but to experience her is different. An extensive education doesn't compare to someones natural strengths. Like I said, I knew I liked her before I attended her retreat last weekend, but what she is building - creating a space for people to feel vulnerable and seen and to be moved out of their own way - is remarkable.

It was essentially two days, with a group of five other women, while Elyse led us through her curriculum of, as she puts it, "looking at a practical evaluation of your history, and the current repercussions of your experiences and core beliefs." We wrote a letter to our younger selves, broke down a timeline of our own lives, shared stories with each other that near broke us - stories of loss and abuse and silence and shame - each woman had something to share from such different perspectives and circumstance. I left feeling like I had untangled a few things that were leaving callouses on my heart. I left feeling motivated about how to practically move towards what I need - both professionally and personally. One of the exercises had a line that stuck with me: "you are already the woman you want to be." I needed a push out of my head, out of some old stories and self doubt to believe that. Go for it! Do it! Have the conversation. Engage in the conflict instead of always keeping peace. Start the business.

On the heels of the terrible loss of Anthony Bourdain, I feel responsible to point you towards soul food just as much as I do literal food. This past weekend was that for me. In my experience, pulling things out of your head, into the light and looking at them with another perspective, goes a long way towards putting them back under your control rather than the other way around. The internet sells us things all day long; promising things to fix our insecurities. There is quieter messaging about seeking connection, so I'll say this for whomever may need to hear it - invest in the friendships, invite people over, say what you need, spend the money on a therapist, ditch the life sucking boyfriend, take the risk, get down and play.

It's actually pretty difficult to put it all to words honestly, but I'm still riding my high of bringing some power back to me, and I want to give some of that to you. You are enough. You are capable. You are smart and beautiful and worthy.“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”


Serves 2-4

I'm into having a salad special and eating a few days in a row. I prep the components, then it is just ready to throw together with little fuss. In this case, I double up the dressing, cherries pitted and halved, lentils marinated, clean lettuce stocked. Then when it comes to making a salad, it takes 2 minutes instead of starting from scratch.

Swap in peaches for cherries as needed, their seasonal window is short. Grilled salmon or chicken works on here too, otherwise it's great and easy as is.

 INGREDIENTSmaple mustard vinaigrette1 Tbsp. dijon mustard1 Tbsp. maple syrup1 small shallot, minced1/4 cup apple cider vinegar1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil1/2 tsp. sea salt and peppertip of dried herbs - basil, oregano, Italian blend, whatever 1 cup cooked lentils1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar1/3 cup chopped parsley1 garlic clove, mincedsalt and pepper 4 cups/5 oz. baby kale1 cup pitted and halved cherries4 ounces soft goats cheese1/2 cup toasted almonds INSTRUCTIONS

Put all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake it all together (I clean out old nut butter and jam jars to store condiments). Set aside.

Mix the lentils, oil, vinegar, parsley, garlic and a generous pinch of salt and pepper together and stir to mix. This can be done a day or two in advance and kept covered in the fridge.

Toss the greens and cherries in desired amount of dressing. Top with a scoop of the lentils, goat cheese and almonds.


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