Posts made in March, 2015

Carrot Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Desserts | 2 comments

I revisited these fragrant carrot cupcakes as a sweet finale to a Sunday salad bar using Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour.  Rather than Cream Cheese Icing I swirled a simple buttercream over the cupcakes using  coconut milk to smooth out the frosting to piping consistency. Bake these for Easter and please all your pint-sized “peeps”!


Coconut Buttercream


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon pure coconut extract
  • 1-2 Tablespoons coconut milk


  1. Whip the softened butter and salt in a stand mixer at medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the Confectioners’ sugar and vanilla or coconut extract; mix until well incorporated. Whip the icing at high speed while adding the coconut milk for 2 more minutes until it is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed.
  2. © Copyright 2015 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  3. All Rights Reserved

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On Golden Beet

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 in Salad | 0 comments

Stacked up on unadorned tables are piles of muddy beets—deep purple and bright golden usually coated with clumps of dried dirt. Crazy Mike’s no nonsense heap is one of our last stops on Saturday.  Although the beets, kale, and carrot varieties are available year round; spring beets are sweet and earthy and we love them.








Food and Wine’s Salad of the Month featured a seemingly wild pairing of roasted vegetables and Kale-Buttermilk Dressing created by San Francisco’s, Courtney Burns of Bar Tartine.  The photograph lured me into the dazzling jewel box like a loose storybook rabbit. A gift of kale from Jason’s garden and fleshy baby lettuces from MP’s, the time was right to blitz this madcap mixture into a springtime salad platter.









I wilted the kale in the microwave for easier and simpler clean-up.








Squeeze excess water from the kale and load the food processor with all the ingredients except the olive oil.








Pulse to combine;








then add oil in a steady stream until thick dressing forms in the bowl








With the texture of pesto or chimichurri and a brilliant backbone of smooth tang and heat this dressing becomes beguilingly versatile.

You gotta try it!








The salmon wasn't bad either...


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Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Asian and Vegetarian | 0 comments

If my father wasn’t working the swing shift, on payday our family drove to Tang Hall Chinese Restaurant somewhere in the San Fernando Valley for dinner.  As a family of six we scored when we ordered the ‘package’ for six or more.  We dove into the tidbits and then bowls of steaming Chow Mein; portions of Egg Fu Yung were divided and my favorite cloyingly sweet nuggets of chicken (also dubbed sour) coated with a glossy red something.




It was by far my favorite and I hadn’t thought about it in years—yesterday, inspired by Cooking Light, I took a modern plunge when I cooked up Sweet and Sour Tofu –Vegetable Stir-Fry.








My collection of vegetables was not quite the same lineup and the directions for the sauce were convoluted. But, lucky for you I will clear them up.








This sweet and sour sauce was Haochi!








In a small saucepan, combine

  •  1/2 cup of water
  •  1/3 cup rice vinegar
  •  2 tablespoons sugar
  •  2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  •  2 tablespoons dry sherry
  •  2 tablespoons ketchup
  •  sliced mild to hot pepper. (I used a green Fresno Chili).

Stir together,

  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  •  1 ½ tablespoons reduced-sodium soy or tamari sauce.

Bring the pepper mixture to a boil.








When the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat, whisk in the soy sauce mixture.  Set the sauce aside.








Cube or slice  well-drained tofu into squares and cook until lightly browned; season and reserve.








Heat a large cast iron skillet or wok over high heat.








Add 1 tablespoon coconut oil and stir fry vegetables beginning with an onion.   Add 2 more cloves of chopped garlic and cook for a few seconds longer.  Now, add vegetables beginning with firmer ones; pour in up to a half cup of water now and then to the sizzling veggies. Cook until they are tender and bright.








Lastly, stir in the sweet and sour sauce and combine to coat. Toss in the tofu and serve over rice.








Not just another Tofu Tuesday!







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More from Ina

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Meat | 0 comments

Ending a week of whirlwind cooking assignments’ and the opportunity to be wings and two additional ears to hear encouraging news at a friend’s oncology appointment,








Saturday I tested yet another recipe for a grand event in May. Ina’s, Herbed Pork Tenderloins were tasty and juicy even without the chutney—but I will use a lot less salt—the prosciutto is salty by nature.

Grind together fresh tender thyme and rosemary with kosher salt to produce a finer blend.















The pork tenderloins I found at Costco were smaller than those called for so I adjusted to the mini roasts.  Tuck thinner tails under each end if necessary for more even cooking.








Pat the meat dry with paper towels; then the herb crust adheres to a fresh coating of olive oil.

Massage the mixture onto oiled meat before








wrapping and tying the roasts into little packages.  I love that this can be done the day before.








Set the meat out to take off the chill before a fast, quick roast in a very hot oven.








The loins emerge with bountiful crispiness to rest before snipping the strings and slicing on a board.  Extra pork will find its way into sandwiches on another day--








Now, what shall we serve alongside for a spring supper at church?


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Watch Closely

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in New | 0 comments

It may be the closest you’ll ever get to God.

Watch closely.

It could very well be that the hand that extends itself to lead you out of the fog is a pierced one.

Max Lucado—No Wonder They Call Him the Savior

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