Posts made in September, 2013


Posted by on Sep 18, 2013 in Asian and Vegetarian | 3 comments



It is no surprise that shopping for food while you are hungry is bound to have you wondering, “What was I thinking?"

It would be very French countryside of me to say this is the path to the Farmer’s Market









It rather is—or was--when we were living here for 3 weeks.


Saturdays we drive the freeway headed to the University marketplace in Irvine and then to fuel up at Costco.  Of course, we go inside the creative carton store.  It remains the best place to secure the copious amounts of berries MP eats every week.








“Look at this”, I say as I turn the bag over repeatedly.

It goes in the cart.  Then; it comes out.  I put it back in.  We have a wagon full of vegetables in the car.

The allure?


Baby sized Kale, Spinach, and Swiss chard

Triple washed




Flash forward to Tuesday.  My day was hijacked in the most unusual way (which is a whole other story).








Usually, I am a planner. I arrived home at 6 o'clock having nothing but a drained carton of extra-firm tofu in reach.

This is not a recipe but a happily- ever-after Tofu-licious technique.







Cube the drained tofu and apply a generous Tablespoon of chili powder; a teaspoon of  ground cumin; half-teaspoon ground coriander and salt and pepper.







Heat coconut oil in a skillet or wok and brown the tofu; squeeze the juice of half a lime (at least a tablespoon) over the tofu cubes; set them aside and repeat with the oil.


Stir-fry an onion with garlic.  Now you are ready to add whatever you find delicious in a taco—I piled on the Power Greens and tossed in a handful of yellow pear tomatoes  MP found growing between trailing Jasmine.  The greens shrink.  I wish I had added more.
























Consequently, a recipe is not the boss of me.








Easy Tofu Tacos with Stir-fried Power Greens, homemade Tomatillo Salsa, and Crema.

This is for you--Kiki.

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Fig Frolic

Posted by on Sep 16, 2013 in Breakfast and Brunch | 0 comments

Fig Frolic

Without true disdain, MP called me a “freak”.  He was referring to my latest breakfast jag—just do not call it a kick (a habit or tendency).

The fresh Brown Turkey Fig is a gift from God.  Its reddish brown skin has a purplish hue—the soft flesh is amber pink.  Slicing a precious delicate fig flings me back to France in the autumn of 1996.











We spent a few days at a home in a petite village near the Pyrenees’ that cold wet fall.  A fig tree stood in the center of the garden; dripping with ripe fruit. The air saturated with succulent hits of honey.








The ritual begins with rinsing quinoa and simmering it in water with a pinch of salt.  At the end of 10 minutes after a fluff with a fork, it lands in a porridge bowl lavished with figs and drops of maple syrup.

Sunday morning after the Freak comment, I prepared a more elaborate rendition of the fig frolic.









Ezekiel toast and basted egg sandwich with arugula, fig jam, and fresh turkey figs.








MP left the door painting project long enough to embrace his breakfast.

“This is freaking opera", he said.

Don't rule out bacon and goat cheese.







“Take also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans and lentils and millet, and spelt and put them in one vessel…”

--Ezekiel 4:9

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A Scant Teacup of Flour

Posted by on Sep 13, 2013 in Breakfast and Brunch | 1 comment

A Scant Teacup of Flour


What happened to coffee cake?  In the era of a Starbucks and a Chase Bank on every corner of every street; the idea of gathering for conversation in someone’s home for a coffee klatch (clutch) seems passé.

History gives coffee cake kudos to the Dutch and Germans.  For some; coffee cake recipes were found on the pages of Betty Crocker’s red and white checked binder.








My memories have been touched with a vintage patina—where handwritten recipes on scraps of stained paper and index cards have been handed-down from mothers and aunts to wait for a new generation of bakers to decipher.

MP asked if I would make muffins or “something” for a morning meeting of colleagues at his office.


Hmmm…flashback to the mountain of apricots he painstakingly blanched and vacuum sealed in the early mornings of the June and July harvest!





This coffee cake was pure joy for me to create.  It brought together the bounty of our tree; MP’s hunter gatherer insight, and my hands in the flour bin this September morning.







Since the recipe evolved from the original concept-- the cast was expanded as I went along.

Flour, almond meal,  buttermilk, egg, vanilla, butter, sugar, spices and leavening.








It doesn't get much simpler than combining the dry ingredients in a bowl and the wet in another.








Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture just until combined.

Load the batter into a buttered 8 x 8 square baking pan.

I was so excited I forgot to take each picture but you get the idea...



Top the batter with the apricot halves (or any other soft ripe fruit).  I had 16-18 halves.




At this moment I took an intuitive leap-- by topping the  fruit with crumbles remaining from the almond oat tart!








Not just for church ladies--warm and aromatic; each comfy bite  is studded with crunchy nuggets and bejeweled bright fruit.








Do you have a favorite coffee cake recipe?





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Where Were You?

Posted by on Sep 11, 2013 in New | 2 comments

Where Were You?


Ty and Britt were remodeling their new home.

They were living with us.

It was Madelynne's first day of preschool.

Maddy and I were making breakfast.

MP left early for his Tuesday Bible study--he called.

"Turn on the Television".

He spoke in a prophetic tone that I knew by heart.

This time it smelled of terror instead of chlorine.

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

--John 15:13 NLT

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Bigger Ball Jars

Posted by on Sep 9, 2013 in Desserts | 2 comments

Bigger Ball Jars



I wanted to title this post; Confessions of a Recipe Tweaker. The connotation left a sour taste everywhere.  The matter remains I have been cooking and baking long enough to know when a recipe needs a “little” help if it wants to stay here.




I enjoy reading the award winning Green Kitchen Stories, The healthy vegetarian recipe blog.  David and Luise share recipes and gorgeous food styled photography from their home in Sweden.

--Photo Source:

Gooseberries aside; it was the crust that had me completely enamored.








The ingredients are a splendid and simple mix of oats, almond meal, cornstarch, maple syrup or honey, vanilla, and coconut oil.








The dry ingredients  are








mixed with the wet.








I could have added a touch of cinnamon and eaten it with the fork.








Wrap and chill.  The initial try had me flummoxed because I couldn’t imagine it could transfer to a tart pan easily.








There wasn't enough of the mixture to fill the tart pan--but I was able to press it into 3 small tarts which I baked to a golden brown and filled with fresh berries and a scoop of ice cream.








Try number Two:

I combined the equivalent of 1 ½ times the ingredients and Voilà—








I pressed the tart dough onto parchment paper, chilled it; and did a reverse flip right there on the island.








It needed a little patching and was ready to bake.

Another hot day required another twist.








I broke up the baked tart and layered the precious crumbles with lemon curd, berries and whipped cream.

The pretty little parfaits have been eaten; but there remains a container of crumbles to stash in the freezer.

You will find the printable recipe here.

The next transformation took the beauties from patio to portable!
















Bigger Ball Jars—please.

Berry, Almond and Oat Tart


  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup ground almond flour
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4 sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Combine the oat with almond flour, corn starch and sea salt in a bowl. Add the coconut oil and maple syrup. With your hands, work the dry ingredients towards the centre until a dough forms. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in clingfilm, then chill for about 30 minutes. This is important to make the dough less crumbly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Combine the oat with almond flour, corn starch and sea salt in a bowl. Add the coconut oil and maple syrup. With your hands, work the dry ingredients towards the centre until a dough forms. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in clingfilm, then chill for about 30 minutes. This is important to make the dough less crumbly.
  3. Toss the berries with maple syrup, lemon and mint in a medium size bowl and set aside for a while to help the flavors develop.
  4. Press the dough evenly into an 8 inch / 20 cm tart pan. Trim the dough flush with the edge of the pan, or leave the edges uneven for a more rustic look. Prick the bottom with a fork and pre-bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and add 2 cups of the maple tossed berries. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the crust is golden and the berry filling is bubbly and juicy. Remove from the oven and add the rest of the berries on top. Serve as it is or with a scoop of turkish yogurt, mascarpone or ice cream.
  5. Adapted from--Green Kitchen Stories








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