Sunday Dinner

Slow Cooked Cuban Pork

May 23, 2011
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As I’ve mentioned, last year we bought a whole pig from a farm in Oregon. And while I love pork in all its forms, the one thing I could live without is a traditional cured ham. I’m talking about the kind of ham that’s served for Christmas dinner or the kind of ham on a sandwich. This poses a bit of a problem because our pig came with no fewer than 4 pieces of “fresh ham” ranging from about 4 to over 6 lbs each. What to do with the hams?

Basically, the cuts labeled fresh ham are just smaller pieces from the whole leg and can be cooked as a typical pork roast. Fortunately, one is not required to cover it with pineapple slices and cloves, and serve it on a platter while wearing pearls and a frilly apron. No, my ham is going to get down and dirty, …

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Chocolate Banana Bread with Flax and Whole Wheat

March 29, 2011
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Do you associate banana bread with the 1970′s? I know I do. In that era of hippies and free love, there was a push toward eating healthy and that’s when natural food stores, macrobiotics and crimes against nature like carob came into vogue. But banana bread actually became popular in the 1930′s during the depression as a way to salvage over ripe bananas, along with a rise in the use of baking powder in recipes to create such things as “quick breads.” Regardless of association, banana bread is often thought of as healthy, though it can be loaded with fat and cholesterol and in general is not exactly good for you despite the addition of fruit.

Banana bread is not always my favorite because it’s usually loaded with walnuts (which I loathe). However, remove the walnuts and add chocolate and I’m a happy girl. I wanted to see if …

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Apple and Cranberry Crisp

November 24, 2010
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This post will be short and sweet because I know we all (at least here in the US) are getting ready for the biggest foodie holiday of the year, Thanksgiving. I simply wanted to illustrate that substitution can be the backbone of any good cook’s repertoire. When you find a good basic recipe, you can switch out ingredients and easily create something new to fit the season.

Case in point; this Apple and Cranberry Crisp. All you need is to do is take my Strawberry and Nectarine Crisp recipe and replace the nectarines with 4 pounds of apples (I used Granny Smiths and Fujis), peeled and sliced. Then replace the strawberries with 3/4 of a cup of dried cranberries and follow the rest of the recipe. That’s it! You could use fresh cranberries if you want, but you may want to add a bit more sugar if you do so.…

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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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Goat Cheese and Spinach Ravioli with Creamy Mixed Mushrooms

February 4, 2010
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When I was a kid and into my early twenties, my mother and I would make home-made ravioli a couple of times a year, especially at Christmas. She would make the dough herself and we’d roll it out by hand into giant circles, with me holding one side of the stretchy dough to keep it from springing back. I’m not sure why, but it’s been a long time since we’ve made ravioli and I had a hankering to do it again. This time though, I wasn’t in the mood though to roll out the dough by hand. Plus, I wanted a new kitchen toy; the KitchenAid Pasta Roller Attachment for Stand Mixers

So, being the ever frugal one in my house, I went around and gathered up all my husband’s change. The man leaves it everywhere; in jars, on counter tops, in his pants pockets. Does he think it …

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Braised Boneless Short Ribs with Leeks and Mushrooms

October 27, 2009

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Sometimes the best laid plans for a meal never quite work out the way you want.
I wanted to make lamb. I had it all planned out; yogurt marinated lamb kabobs, home-made tzatzki, pita, a greek salad, some marinated eggplant~ the whole kit and kaboodle. My uncle was in town and my aunt, who had never been to LA the entire 35 years we’ve lived here, was finally here with him. They were coming to my house for dinner and…and I couldn’t find lamb for kabobs anywhere.

First, I was at Costco, buying things one buys there like paper towels and 36 count packages of AA batteries and they had no lamb. Sure, they had expensive chops and a whole boned leg of lamb, but nothing for kabobs. But that’s ok, I wasn’t really expecting to find it there. Then I went to my local “…

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