Sunday, September 29, 2013

A very pretty Sunday in September

A good day for a small dinner party for a visiting writer.

To start, tomatillo-avocado salsa. Rick Bayless recipe.

And two kinds of bread, the oatmeal loaf and the beer bread.

I made a green salad (no pic) and grilled lots of vegetables to go with farro. 

And a cranberry cheesecake for dessert. I've made a lot of cheesecakes. This was one of the best, by far.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


A nice, productive Sunday.

Here are some lovely tartlets: blue cheese, figs, walnuts. Delicious. And no, I did not make the puff pastry. Maybe next time. The recipe is from Williams-Sonoma.

And for dinner, caramel chicken with sprouted brown rice. The recipe is from Food & Wine. Theirs are generally excellent. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Oh, and it rained all day

I meant to say that. And maybe the rain accounts for the porridge. Both out of a fairy tale.


That's a word you don't hear every day. Or at least I don't. But here's some Irish Porridge Bread. After looking at a few options, I went with the KAF recipe. And yes, it's quite similar to my favorite oatmeal bread. That one is probably a tad sweeter. Honey (oatmeal) vs. dark brown sugar (porridge)—? In any case, the major difference is that for porridge bread you actually make the oatmeal and then add it to the other ingredients. Interesting.

One note: I left out the KAF whole grain bread improver (or whatever it's called) because I didn't have it. As you can see, it was not needed: these loaves rose just fine, or, if anything, too much.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Bread

—by which I mean the honey-oatmeal bread, of course. This week, it really rose. Bread is interesting that way: every time is different. There are reasons, of course and, also, I think, no good reason. I like that.

Note the bags of flours and sugar in the background. I have a fear of running out. And my hummingbird, Pedro, who it seems has now left, was really going through sugar for a while there. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Asian pears

... from the WVU organic farm are the star here. With mixed greens and gorgonzola. And a filet. And asparagus. More grilling.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

This and that...

Today is a day for catching up.

Here are some figs, grilled with olive oil and goat cheese. Tis the very brief season.

The photo doesn't do them justice.


My new favorite bread recipe, made last week and again today, is an oatmeal loaf. The recipe is from Red Star yeast and can be found here. I used honey instead of molasses. And I don't use Red Star yeast, though I'm sure it's just wonderful. In any case, the bread is very easy, rises nicely, has a good crust and  soft interior.


I recently got some new dish towels from Sur La Table. Very charming, as you might expect from them.

Note how the pig is almost smiling. This is often the case with pigs. Recall that in Richard Scarry books, the butcher is always a pig, happily selling sausage. Strange.


Finally, a simple but very pleasing dinner: grilled chicken and zucchini and summer squash quesadillas. With brown rice and some pretty little tomatoes.

More pizza

Four this time. Really good, once again, though shaping the dough is challenging. Luckily, my friend Laura did that job.

Tomato and summer squash with parmesan and mozzarella:


Sautéed mushrooms, spinach/arugula, onions and goat cheese:

And my favorite: fig with onions, goat cheese, mixed greens:

King Mackerel

Caught off the North Carolina coast. Prepared two ways. First with a lime butter...

And then just with olive oil and salt and pepper...

Delicious both ways.


I hosted the annual MFA meet-and-greet—two weeks ago now—and here, at last, are the photos.

First, flank steak, already marinated in low sodium soy sauce, mirin, ginger, garlic, lime juice.

And grilled... along with some chicken that had been marinated in Greek yogurt, etc.

And some salads: watermelon with tomatoes and feta... 

and orzo with baby kale, chick peas, feta, red onions...

and a chopped salad with pears, gorgonzola, pecans and a homemade poppyseed dressing...

Finally, here's a pic of the table.. 

And yes, a good time was had by all.