Food from the past couple of weeks...starting with 9pm supper for one.

  • 9pm supper for one: fried purple potatoes with onions, rosemary and smoked chicken sausage, plus a salad of dandelion greens, fancy radishes, heirloom tomatoes, pine nuts, brie cheese and Vidalia onion dressing
  • Peach picking at Farmer's Daughter: hanging out by the barn with a picnic under a big tree (that's the life!), stone fruit galette I made with the spoils
  • Dumpling-making: like old ladies around a kitchen table.  Pork potstickers steam-fried.
  • 'Off the Grid' roaming mobile food party: tuna and pickled eggplant rice balls from Onigilly, assortment of tacos from Kung Fu Tacos, pork belly and spicy chicken from Chairman Bao
  • Artful dinner at Jules': sesame panna cotta topped with blackberry mousse, seared figs and bananas, mediterranean chicken stewed with prunes and potatoes, broccoli rabe, and couscous.

S/He called me baby...all night long

I just really like this song ("Kandi, by One Eskimo).  It's sad and sexy all at the same time.

Did some digging and learned it is sampled off this lovely, soulful rendition of "He Called Me Baby" by Candi Stanton:

Which in turn was a cover of this country song that's been covered within an inch of its life by the likes of Patsy Cline (originally by Harlan Howard), which sounds like a really bad karaoke song:

I definitely think we're making progress.

Dear Mom and Dad, hope you enjoy these oatmeal cranberry cookies. Love, Steph

Adapted from this Allrecipes recipe.  Mostly I reduced the sugar.

1c butter, softened
3/4 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c dried cranberries (or mix of raisins and cranberries. Or chocolate chips)
3 c rolled oats (use quick-cooking if you prefer)
2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 c. sliced almonds or chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat butter with the sugars, eggs, and vanilla, until fluffy (about 5 min).  Stir in dried fruit.

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing each time. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart.  Bake 12-14 min or until light golden brown.  Makes, I dunno, about 30-32.

Nice to see Charice all growns up (and ushering in a new era of R&B)

Maybe you've heard of this pocket-sized girl with a larger-than-life voice, plucked out of obscurity from some backwater Phillippine island and given the most influential patrons a young artist could hope for - David "The Hit Man" Foster and Oprah.  I won't belabor the point; if you're interested you can check out the oodles of YouTube videos tracking Charice's journey from singing local contests in the Phillippines to her dream duets with Andrea Bocelli in Tuscany and Celine Dion in Madison Square Garden.

I wasn't particularly paying attention to her album release, but release it did, a couple months ago, and I just read about Charice joining the Glee cast for season 2, and started poking around the interwebs, and found her first single, which I find impressively well-produced and well-performed.

I also for some reason really love this other song on her album, "In Love So Deep."  Not so terribly deep, despite its name, skirting the edge of bubblegum pop, but somehow it gets under your skin because in reality it's so much richer in emotion than a lot of the vacuous dredge that passes for R&B on the radio these days.  It's great to see Charice older, more confident, trying to find her own style and niche rather than riding coattails and imitating the greats that came before her (Mariah, Celine, Whitney...).  I hope she gets some decent airplay and takes the world by storm!

Oh and um, if you feel like watching the BEST YOUTUBE WEBCAM COVER SONG EVARRR, check out Charice nailing the song by Justin Bieber, "Baby."  She's amazing to watch, especially the part where she raps.  Anerable.

Summer in Lake Tahoe

I can think of few places more gorgeous than the Lake Tahoe area in the summertime.  


    • Sand Harbor Beach (on the NW side in Nevada)
    • Sunset on the South Lake shore
    • Hiking up past Eagle Falls to Eagle Lake
    I'll definitely be going back this summer, hopefully 2-3 times!

    Why yes, that IS a beautiful bread pudding I just made.

    The secret's out... Paula Deen has the best basic bread pudding recipe in existence.  Except if you don't want to contract instant diabetes type II (or get fat), you might want to cut the FOUR CUPS OF SUGAR down to 1.5 cups.  It's really enough, I promise.

    Oh all right, if you really want more sugar, you can drizzle the brandy-butter sauce on top.
    Also, I added two sliced bananas, about a cup of golden raisins, and some extra walnuts (instead of pecans).

    10:30 supper for one: I am an f-ing genius.

    Avocado + prosciutto.  Hand-shelled buttered English sweet peas.  Pan-fried red snapper.

    The genius part was the idea I had for preparing the fish.  As you may know, one usually breads fish (or any meat) by dusting in flour, then dipping in beaten egg, then covering with breading.  This adds unnecessary starch and fat, methinks, plus it requires you salt the fish separately.

    So I decided to streamline the process by using sticky miso paste (which inexplicably does NOT freeze even when I store it in my freezer - really low freezing point?) which adheres easily to the fish, captures breadcrumbs, AND adds flavor and salt, all in one fell swoop.  It fried up really nicely in some olive oil and tasted deeeee-licious.  * Bow *