Three Olive Tapenade Plus How to Roast a Pepper

October 18, 2010
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All of my friends like olives. It’s a bit odd, but I think I could have a dinner party with nothing but bread, wine, and olives and everyone would be perfectly content. When I recently made a batch of this tapenade for a Sunday dinner at my mother’s house it was as if I’d brought a pot of gold instead of a small crock of olive spread. Call it olive crack.
In fact, while I was in Cambodia, my husband posted this on Facebook, “Kristina has only been in Cambodia since Saturday, so it looks like cold chicken and olive tapenade on english muffins for dinner tonight. What will I do when there’s no more tapenade?”
Sigh. Really? That’s what he eats when I’m gone?

I’ve been making a version of this for at least the last 15 years and for some reason it fell of …

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Japanese Pork and Shrimp Pot Stickers (Gyoza)

January 18, 2010

They say that men have better spatial ability than women. The feminist side of me (yes, I just used the “f” word) says “bosh!” to that theory. Ok the feminist side of me would never use a word like “bosh“, but you get my meaning… Anyway, every time I do something which requires reading a diagram and I get frustrated, my husband likes to remind of this fascinating tidbit. It just infuriates me further.

In my previous life as a chef I made many pot stickers, these little savory packages filled with meat and vegetables, which are both fried to give a nice crispy texture to the bottom, and then steamed to complete the cooking. However, I’m sure I did not use an authentic folding method to create them and it’s been almost a decade since I made them from scratch. Armed with a recent gift of Andrea …

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Red Curry Shrimp Skewers

November 30, 2009

December 1st is World Aids Day. Every year, I get out my red ribbon pin, and put it on in acknowledgement and remembrance. But in reality, I remember every single day. I have watched people I love die slowly from this horrible disease, and know that others I cherish still live with it. I have not forgotten. It is impossible for me to forget. I think about the wonderful people both here and now gone, every day.

Unfortunately, at least in the US, the AIDS crisis has taken a back seat to other issues in the public eye. It has not gone away. The drugs have gotten better, but there is no cure. Lack of attention means that people are still becoming infected. In other parts of the world, the crisis has reached epidemic proportions, leaving millions to die needlessly because they don’t have access to education or the type …

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Makin' My Own Bacon

September 7, 2009

 cooked bacon

A while back I came across Michael Ruhlman’s blog post on making your own pancetta . I mentioned this to my mom and we decided to try and make our own bacon. We started with Ruhlman’s basic recipe and instructions and added our own choice of spices for the finish.  Mom chose the addition of juniper berries and star anise because these are spices she often uses with roast pork. The recipe is on the link, but Ruhlman has also written an entire book about curing meat called Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing  which I think I’m going to have to get soon because we may try and make sausage next! 

I’d never made bacon before so I read up a little on it. Basically, from what I can tell, the difference between pancetta (Italian bacon) and what we’re used to as “American” bacon, is that pancetta …

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Fava, Arugula and Mint Crostini

May 25, 2009


I have a confession. I get too many magazines. So many that some are still in their plastic wrappers, waiting to be read, months after arriving in my mailbox. I used to get even more, but I pared down, now only getting one of each type; food, travel, home & garden, and National Geographic. I love my magazines, but I rarely have time to read them and for some reason, almost never cook from them.

A couple of weeks ago I made a vow to myself that I would not order or renew any magazines until I had a) finished reading all the ones I have and b) made at least a few recipes out of my current food magazine of choice, Gourmet. My Gourmet subscription ran out this month, so I’d better get crackin’.

Last weekend I was in one of my favorite markets and they had fava beans. …

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