Posts made in September, 2012

Farmers’ Market Salads and Sides

Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in Salad | 2 comments

She said with a tone of conviction, “Creating a radiant repast from the local produce is pure pleasure!"








Green Bean Salad with Red Onion, Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, Feta, and Red Wine Viniagrette








Baked Spicy Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Home Made Catsup








Marinated Grilled Shishito Peppers











Radish,Parsley, and Avocado with Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette








Red Cabbage, Tomato, Shredded Carrot, Edamame, Avocado, and Fresh Thyme with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette








Composed Salad of Green Leaf, Roasted Beets and Rainbow Carrots, Cucumber, Tomato, Edamame, Red Cabbage, Cucumber, and Feta







Baby Golden Beets, Heirloom Tomato, Chinese Winter Melon, and Arugula with Grilled Goat Cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette







Winter Melon is an acquired taste... Glad the slice of a 40 pounder was a gift from the farmer.

He told me to peel, slice and boil the melon.  Purists line up to purchase a slice for a soup.

Are you taking food adventures?

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September Stuffed

Posted by on Sep 10, 2012 in Vegetables | 1 comment

September Stuffed

Most of the tomatoes are gone and the new plants are playing beat–the-clock in late summer garden.

Bell peppers have become the hardy bumper crop for now.  They are swiftly changing from green to red as they mature in the hot sun.

Alternately, I grill or stuff them.















I have become very fond of Quinoa because of its light texture and nutty flavor.

After a good rinse it only takes 10 minutes to cook.

Quinoa is high in protein and also contains some fat.  It is more like a seed than a grain so it needs to be stored in the refrigerator.

Quinoa Factoid: Botanically, quinoa is not a grain, but a seed belonging to the Goosefoot family. We cook and eat it like a grain, so that's why it's known as a grain.

Is Red Better Than White? White quinoa is most common, red is less common and more expensive. Red quinoa is harder and holds its shape better, and it has a stronger more earthy taste. Some people think it's more nutritious but as far as I can tell that's not necessarily so.

--savvy vegetatian








I cooked the quinoa in vegetable stock, seasoned and cooled it before adding fresh herbs and cherry tomatoes.















Do you think they are as pretty as I do?








I covered the stuffed peppers with foil and baked them until the peppers were tender.

A slice of fresh Mozzarella topped each one.








A skillet of lemon and garlicky, peel and eat shrimp made dinner heavenly.








Some of the good things in life.











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Back to School Black and White Brownies

Posted by on Sep 6, 2012 in Cookies | 3 comments

Izzy loved the idea of my Brookster Bar.











Except like many children, the walnuts in the brownie layer were a deal breaker.

One of my baking jags is creating two bite desserts in a heavy duty square baking pan with a removable bottom.

I like to lift out the whole treat and divide it with a big old knife—no mess and no damage to the pan.

The best lemon bars and brownies emerge showing off four razor-sharp sides.

First day of school brings it all back~

I wanted to bake a two tone treat to slip into our granddaughters lunch boxes.

On hand:








A Lindt white chocolate bar merged with chocolate chips to move the party forward.








I melted the chocolates in separate bowls.








I put the butter and brown sugar into my food processor.  You might wonder why not the stand mixer... I have no clue.  My brain was somewhere else.








After creaming the butter and sugar, the vanilla a little salt, and eggs go in--one at a time.
















Divide the finished batter in half.








Each half gets one of the chocolate infusions.








After preparing the pan and lining it with parchment "handles" the darker chocolate grounded the combo.








The white chocolate layer was carefully added with a few cocoa nibs and flaked sea salt before baking.








MP named these:

Back to School Girlies Brownies

The dense chocolate layer was a subtle foundation for the gooey smooth white chocolate tier.

I wondered what Izzy thought?

Black and White Brownies with Cocoa Nibs and Flaked Salt


  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 (1 ounce) squares white chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Flaked Sea Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Cocoa Nibs (roasted and shelled cocoa beans)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper and spray again.
  2. In separate small microwave safe bowls, melt the chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring frequently, until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the brown sugar with the butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla, kosher salt, and flour.
  4. Divide the batter in half. Add the melted chocolate to one and the melted white chocolate to the other.
  5. Spread the chocolate batter into the prepared pan. Carefully dollop the white chocolate layer over the chocolate batter. Using a small offset spatula spread the batter evenly. Sprinkle the top with flaked salt and cocoa nibs.
  6. Bake the brownies 30-35 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and the center tests done.
  7. Allow to cool in the pan, then using the parchment paper lift the brownies out of the pan.
  8. Cut into 16 squares.
  9. © Copyright 2012 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  10. All Rights Reserved



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To Mexico, No Rush. Guest blogger

Posted by on Sep 3, 2012 in Wild Game | 5 comments

To Mexico, No Rush.  Guest blogger

MP is a morning person.  I am not.

“Dracula is a morning person compared to me.”
― Kim Dallmeier

The pleasure received is the pure quiet that begins his day.  Reading the newspaper inside out has always been a genetic passion.  One thing I did not know is that it includes the –LIFEFOOD section.








On Saturday morning he cajoled me to going to the early market.

It was








Too, too























Sunday has become his day to cook...

Mr. Hunter Gatherer wrote to the Food Editor.


After reading your article “To Mexico, No Rush”, I was inspired to make the Chile Verde Pork in Green Chili Salsa.

Last year I took one of your favorite chefs, Alessandro Pirozzi wild boar hunting in Paso Robles.



The picture of Alessandro shows the 300 pound “mega sow” I harvested on the hunt near Paso Robles on a large cattle ranch. One big shoulder roast produced the meat for the recipe.



My wife, Peggy and I went to the Saturday morning farmers’ market at UCI and purchased all the peppers for the recipe.








On Sunday afternoon I prepared the recipe and left it simmering in a seven quart Le Creuset Dutch oven on our vintage Wolf range.








We left for church at 3:15 and returned home at 5:30 to a house with an amazing south of the border aroma.

The Wild Boar Chile Verde was tender, fragrant, and delicious with a depth of flavor only fresh peppers and tomatillos could impart.








Thanks Deborah! Thanks Cathy!

I’m going to try this recipe with some alfalfa fed venison and will let you know how it turns out.




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