Pickeled Grapes 4Like life, a charcuterie plate needs variety and balance, yes?  Smooth, bumpy, strong, mellow.  Savory and spicy.  A little tartness to help you appreciate the sweet.  Pickled Flames and Thompsons, marinated grapes, add the zing [click to continue…]

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Chinese Chicken CasseroleSomehow, starting back to school generates excitement.  Maybe it’s anticipation – new classmates, different schools and schedules, crowded calendars  - so many changes!

One thing that stays constant is Mom’s Chicken Casserole, a one-pot Cantonese dish.  Whether for lunch or a light snack, it starts in the kitchen with Mom cutting chicken pieces with a gleaming cleaver.  There is then the [click to continue…]

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Grape Focaccia

It comes up too fast.  No matter how much preparation, there’s last minute details.  Vineyards don’t wait.  The birds keep eating their share.  Friends and family have rearranged their social calendars.  Wine grape harvest is here!

Before the red wine grapes hit the rollers, snag a couple of large clusters and make a crunchy outside-tender inside focaccia filled with juicy grapes, Schiacciata all’uva.  [click to continue…]

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Russian Chicken SoupIt was a day was full of contrasts.  Drizzly and humid.  Crowded yet stark.  Gold-gilded opulence, then simple homey comfort.

Traffic was heavy at confusing intersections in Saint Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia.  Late model autos crowded the streets, mainly European (Benz and BMWs) or Japanese (Nissan and Toyotas).  Sharing the road were very few Russian-manufactured cars, which we later learned that the Russians have learned that [click to continue…]

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Sourdough Biscuits with JamBraised buffalo humps, Elderflower wine, and sourdough – these are all tried and true culinary staples in Bob Peckinpah’s first cookbook “Recipes from Peckinpah Mountain.”  Bob, an avid horseman who was at home on the range, was known to deliver effortless meals cooked over a campfire (often for large, rowdy groups) that included [click to continue…]

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Almond Float

Almond Float. Almond Velvet Pudding. In Cantonese, this refreshing treat is called hing-yun tofu, almond tofu.

Culinary history points to almond tofu originating in China.  Originally, agar-agar was used as the coagulating agent to which finely ground almonds were added resulting in a silky gelatinous pudding similar in [click to continue…]

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