A Taste Dressed To Impress

A Taste Dressed To Impress

It’s the full moon stretching its golden arms toward the indigo sea. The long, searing notes of John Coltrane piercing your heartstrings in a crowded, dusky club. It’s the haute couture of cake; the Botticelli of bread; the ultimate apologia for a midday treat. It’s a taste that demands a soundtrack. It’s earthy, heavy, aromatic, and completely enticing . . . it’s the Rosemary Olive Oil Cake from 101 Cookbooks. I adore the aroma of rosemary. It first fell into my radar many years ago at, of all places, the beauty shop. My hairdresser used Aveda’s rosemary mint shampoo, and it smelled so luscious I went out and planted a patch of both herbs under my kitchen window hoping to catch the wafting aromas while washing dishes. I occasionally snip it to wrap around kebobs, season a soup, or put in a marinade for chicken, but most often I just enjoy watching it thrive. Ophelia pointed out that rosemary is for remembrance. My Aromatherapy Decoder says it’s also good for the heart and liver, for sight and speech. So I mix a few drops of the oil with grapefruit and lavender oils and broadcast the mixture into my office in hopes of channeling some combination of creativity and calm into my work. Does it work? I like to think, at the very least, I draw some inspiration from the aroma. At least my office smells nice – like my garden. So, even though I’m not a cake kind of a girl, when this recipe popped up in a Facebook status update it caught my attention. Spelt flour and bittersweet chocolate aren’t the usual...
Fresh crab from the Gayle R

Fresh crab from the Gayle R

Freshly steamed Dungeness crab tastes like the early-morning air smells at low tide, succulent and moist and just fantastic. Let go of the fear and mystery involved in getting a big live pinching creature from the ocean to your plate and learn to duplicate this taste. All you need is bucket full of live crabs, a meat cleaver, and a bamboo steamer – this will tell you how.

Caesar dressing recipe

Yesterday, fresh off the plane from 24 hours in Las Vegas, I drove straight to the harbor to meet my mother and father-in-law. They brought sandwiches and bottles of water, and as we sat and watched Kid Two’s sailing lessons it dawned on me that the Santa Cruz Harbor is probably the exact opposite of Las Vegas. As we walked, tracking the progress of Kid Two’s Coronado 15 out into the bay, my father-in-law told me he would be making dinner that night following his favorite Caesar salad recipe. Here is how he got it: one day, years ago, after thoroughly enjoying a tableside Caesar preparation in Carmel Valley by a server, he asked for the recipe. The server was very forthcoming, writing it down and giving instructions on the finer points of the prep. It’s the first entry into my “secret” family recipe file so I’m eager to post it. This recipe stands as was written, but Grandpa C. said he adjusts to use an entire can of anchovies because that’s the way Grandma likes it. Looking at the recipe, I realize there’s lots of room for adjustments – I recommend starting with 1/4 tsp mustard and 1 crushed clove garlic and go from there. Turn it into an entree by adding grilled chicken, shrimp, tofu, or whatever floats your particular boat; whatever your twist, I’m curious to hear how it turns out: Grandpa C’s Caesar dressing recipe: smash 6 fillets anchovies add crushed garlic add dry mustard add 1/2 tsp worchescester add 2 tbsp wine vinegar add 1/4 cup olive oil add 1 tsp mayo Tear the leaves...
Homemade soft pretzels

Homemade soft pretzels

Too lazy to go to the grocery and get a box of frozen soft pretzels, we spent an afternoon experimenting with making them from scratch. It turns out homemade soft pretzels are not at all difficult and totally delicious – epecially when you spend the afternoon making them with your son. Come take a peek at our day and get the recipe to try yourself.

Texas toast

Texas toast

Kid Two has formally requested I share my recipe for Texas Toast with you, which makes me realize that the process of preparing a simple breakfast isn’t so simple after all – it’s also part of the process of creating his childhood food memories. Here it is.