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August 21st, 2011

Summertime, and the entertaining is easy…

sbfarmersmarket

People often ask how often I cook for myself (or others) and the answer is: every single day, but it doesn’t have to be a gourmet 5-course meal. I get inspired by my travels and visiting with friends and their favorite local vendors and markets. Recently, I was dazzled by the scents and colors of the Santa Barbara Farmers Market. Fresh Lavender, Sungold Tomatoes, Cranberry Beans, White Peaches, Purple Onions, and more inspired an impromptu get together at the beach. First, we headed to the Santa Barbara Fish Market where we picked up fresh Santa Barbara uni (we couldn’t help cracking one open on the spot and scooping out the fresh, sweet roe) sbuniand a whole black cod, “the Darth Vader of the Sea”, as my friend Myles described. sbfishmarket.
We wrapped peaches in prosciutto di Parma and tossed up a few salads while Darth got warmed up on the grill.
peaches
Here are three salads I made up, using produce from local dairies and farmers:
3salads
1) heirloom tomatoes, spring onions, feta cheese, cucumbers, mint, and basil, olive oil
2) cranberry beans, cilantro, green garlic, jalapeño, olive oil and lemon
3) New potatoes, lots of fresh dill, spring onion, creme fraiche, and yogurt

Everyone brought something and no one was stressed about having a perfect and elaborate dish, my recipe for simple, summer entertaining at its best!

What’s your go-to recipe for an impromptu get-together?

August 12th, 2011

Bob Moore, the Red Mill, and a Model A Roadster

I recently visited Portland, OR and was lucky enough to get a grand tour of Bob’s Red Mill by the One and Only Bob Moore himself. Bob has a fascinating story and is one of the most passionate people in the industry. More than that, he is beloved by his staff (who share company ownership) and makes the rounds of his 7-acre facility at least several times a day, stopping to say hello to various employees. I’m several decades younger and work out regularly, but keeping up with Bob, who just turned 82, was not an easy task.

Before and during the tour, Bob played the piano, and talked about everything from his love of books and mechanical engineering to his antique mills. He also made me promise to tell everyone to “make sure to store Bob’s Red Mill flours in a cool place so they stay fresh.” Bob’s Red Mill now offers over 400 grains, seeds, flours, and more, including gluten-free and certified organic products. Some products that I personally love and always have stocked in my kitchen are the Steel Cut Oats (for muesli), Almond Flour, 7-Grain Hot Cereal, Organic Medium Grind Cornmeal, and Coconut Flakes (great in banana bread and chocolate chip cookies). I’m also eager to try the newer products like Teff, Organic Amaranth and Chia Seeds.

After our tour, Bob insisted on taking me to the Whole Grain Store for lunch in his Ford Model A Roadster.

I was sad to leave but will be back soon to judge the SPAR FOR THE SPURTLE CONTEST, the Ultimate Oatmeal Throwdown.
bobandfordmodel

quinoapackage
I love this quinoa salad, which is also gluten-free; free toss to in the best from your garden.

shunI love the Shun Chef’s Knife.

Quinoa Salad

Organic Quinoa Salad


Combine 1 cup cooked quinoa, to package directions with a cucumber, peeled and chopped, 1 spring onion or red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh chopped mint, basil, and/or flat-leaf parsley, and
1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped. Stir in good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, sea salt, and a crack of pepper. You can always add a few chopped tomatoes, and snow peas (as I did here), or whatever you have fresh on hand. Serve as a light main course or with grilled fish or chicken.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BOB’S RED MILL PRODUCT AND WHY?

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