A world of food in one city

A world of food in one city

On the recent occasion of my first-ever evening in London: I walked down a street named for the patron saint of travelers. Walked past Lebanese, Chinese, Mexican, and Turkish restaurants, past sushi and tapas and burgers, before eating French and Italian food served by a Spanish woman named Melina. I thought I’d gotten around a bit for a girl raised in the heartland. Alaska and Hawaii, Canada and Mexico, France and Italy. I thought I understood “diversity.” But London! London is in a class of its own. London showed me what “multicultural” really looks like.

Curried celery root soup

Curried celery root soup

A fabulous warming winter root vegetable soup recipe with celeriac and curry – my delicious and divine interpretation of a Nepenthe soup. Easily adaptable to a vegetarian diet and completely gluten-free. Enjoy! Click through for recipe and photos.

“Breaking Bad” – inspired “Bacon Bad” chocolate chip cookies

“Breaking Bad” – inspired “Bacon Bad” chocolate chip cookies

In Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 7, there’s a mid- show caper that begins with a character bringing a batch of chocolate chip cookies to the safety deposit box woman at the bank. They’ve got bacon bits, he tells her. Makes the taste pop. She replies that now she probably won’t share them with anyone, takes the package, and leaves him alone to his nefarious tasks. Bacon and chocolate chip cookies written into the script for Breaking Bad? Wishful thinking, or a sly nod to the plethora of odd bacon-laced foodieness out there these days? Didn’t matter. I was compelled. Had to Go There. And so I began. I stared at a basic Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe and wondered what I could to to really make it Bad – bacon bad. Bacon makes me think of breakfast and homey, rustic meals, so swapping honey out for granulated sugar seemed to be a natural. And using spelt flour instead of all-purpose would lend a bit of a toothy, rustic flavor. But how to make it really bad? I rummaged through the spices, contemplating cayenne, then landed something really worth trying . . . cardamom. It’s zingy, strong and highly aromatic, so I snuck in just a little to give it some kick. Very nice. A few thoughts: It worked out best to refrigerate the dough for an hour, since the honey makes a wetter dough than the granulated sugar. Baked cookies are less doughy, flatter, and more chewy than the traditional recipe The honey flavor in these cookies is more pronounced than I expected and the cardamom not...

Bacon: the infographic

Even though the concept of infographics has been around since prehistoric man started painting on cave walls, I love the path they’ve taken over the last year or two; people integrating typography and color to come up with attention-grabbing ways of presenting information. I was telling my boys I wouldn’t be surprised if teachers started asking them to organize data in infographic format instead of PowerPoint. Here’s one I saw today about bacon; there are enough interesting and odd facts to amuse you. Enjoy! Via: Restaurant Coupons...
Bacon for dessert!

Bacon for dessert!

I took a small, happy gang – the boys, their visiting cousin, Mija, and her little sister – to Marini’s for ice cream last Friday night before the GLOW fire art festival started.   Marini’s is a great candy store – they’ve been making saltwater taffy on the Boardwalk for almost a hundred years. The shop is lined with lights and mirrors, all color and candy and energy. Stuffed animals and jellybean dispensers, Pez dispensers and crunchy pale necklaces, homemade fudge and saltwater taffy. Caramel apples. Even espresso and creamy cappuccino if you prefer your kick from caffeine. It’s one of those places where you smile just walking in the door.   Even a candy shop needs a secret to long-term success. Marini’s doesn’t just have great old-fashioned salt water taffy – I’m certain they’ve been in business since 1915 because they evolve to meet currents tastes and trends. Witness their newest creation: (drum roll on the desk, please . . . ) the Bacon Sensation Sundae. Can you even imagine such a thing? Featuring Vegan’s Nightmare Ice Cream – chocolate covered bacon strips mixed with maple ice cream – and topped with bacon, bacon, and more bacon. Mmm . . . bacon.     If you ever have one, be sure to and let me know how it tastes. (And while you’re in Santa Cruz, look me up, I’ll meet you to document it!) I appreciate the idea but it sounds as good to me as bacon lip gloss or bacon frosting. We got all sugared up on chocolate cub ice cream and mochas and then went to watch people play...