Tuesday, June 19, 2012


AWWW.... the good old days....Built in 1937 and distributed to members of London's Chelsea Baby Club, the baby cage was meant for families without a backyard, garden or terrace. Suspended from the side of the building, the baby would have access to fresh air and sunlight through the wire frame, and have sufficient room to play. Patented in 1922 by Emma Read of Spokane, WA, it doubled as a summer sleeping spot, with curtains and roof.

Sunday, June 10, 2012



From my Mother's Garden

All these I picked with my Mother in her garden. The colors are so vibrant and beautiful. The freshness and flavor were my muses for all the wonderful things I made with them.
Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened" ~ Anatole France


I was organizing my freezer and found 4 loaves of artisan bread and some King Hawaiian rolls. If you are anything like me. I freeze the bread so it wont go to waste, but never in a million years acttually thaw it and use it. So it ends up taking up valuable space. I pulvarized the bread in my food processor and made bread crumbs. Bread crumbs are something I try to have on hand as a staple. Here I have Kalamata Olive Bread, Pumpernickel Rye and Hawaiian bread crumbs. These crumbs will make great crusts, topping and fillers for a ton of recipes.


Caponata alla Siciliana Recipe

5 pounds eggplants
1/2 pound black olives packed in brine, pitted
6 ounces brined capers, rinsed
1 1/4 pounds celery ribs
1 cup tomato sauce (optional)
1 pound onions
1 pound tomatoes
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Cups sugar
Basil , rosemary,parsley ,garlic
Olive oil
Continuing with the introduction, caponata is much too good to abandon after the summer and is now made year round, in an infinite variety of forms. Some are purely vegetarian, whereas what's made in Palermo can also contain fish, as you will see from the variations below.

Begin by stripping the filaments from the celery sticks, then blanch them in lightly salted water for five minutes. Drain them, cut them into bite-size pieces, sauté them in a little oil, and set them aside.

Wash the eggplant, dice them, put the pieces in a strainer, sprinkle them liberally with salt, and let them sit for several hours to draw out the bitter juices. While they're sitting, blanch, peel, seed and chop the tomatoes.

Once the eggplant has sat, rinse away the salt and pat the pieces dry. Finely slice the onion and sauté them in olive oil; once they have turned translucent add the capers, pine nuts, olives, and tomatoes. Continue cooking, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the tomatoes are done, about 15 minutes, and then remove the pot from the fire.

While the tomatoes are cooking heat a second pot of oil and fry the diced eggplant, in several batches to keep the oil from getting chilled. When the last batch is done, return the tomato pot to the fire and stir in the eggplant, together with the previously sautéed celery. Cook for several minutes over a low flame, stirring gently, then stir in the vinegar and the sugar; when the vinegar has almost completely evaporated remove the pot from the fire and let it cool.

Serve the caponata cold with a garnish of fresh basil. There will be a lot, but don't worry, because it keeps for several days in the fridge, and I find that it improves with time.


Heirloom Tomato Pie


1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons shredded manchego cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 1/4 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes
Kosher salt
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Freshly ground pepper
Make the crust: Pulse the flour, cornmeal and fine salt in a food processor to combine. Add the butter and 3 tablespoons manchego; pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with pea-size bits of butter. Drizzle in 4 tablespoons ice water and pulse until the dough comes together; add 1 more tablespoon ice water if necessary. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.

Put the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll into a 13-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate. Fold the overhang under itself and crimp the edges. Pierce the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line the crust with foil, then fill with dried beans. Bake until the edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and continue baking until golden all over, 10 to 15 more minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Make the filling: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Meanwhile, thinly slice the tomatoes; toss with 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a colander. Let drain, gently tossing occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Combine the remaining 3/4 cup manchego, the mozzarella, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons each chives and parsley, the thyme, 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper, and the sauteed onion in a bowl. Spread in the crust. Arrange the tomatoes on top. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with pepper. Bake until the tomatoes are browned, about 50 minutes. Top with the remaining 1 tablespoon each chives and parsley.

Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes

Roasted Grape Tomatoes
4 cups grape tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl add the grape tomatoes and 3 garlic cloves. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper.

In a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish, place the tomatoes and garlic cloves, ensuring they are in just 1 layer. Roast for 20 minutes, and then stir. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of hot water, if too dry in appearance. Return to the oven and cook for 20 to 30 more minutes.

When ready, the tomatoes will have begun to shrivel and the liquid in the dish should have thickened. Serve hot from oven.

I serve this with toasted herb bread , or fresh soft Italian bread

Governor’s Mansion Summer Peach Tea Punch

Governor’s Mansion Summer Peach Tea Punch

6 cups water
3 family-size (1 ounce) tea bags
2 cups fresh mint, loosely packed
1 small can (6 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate
1 bottle (32 ounces) R.W. Knudsen Peach Nectar (it has the most flavor)
1/2 to 1 cup simple syrup
1 liter ginger ale
1 liter club soda

Bring water to a boil and add tea and mint. Remove tea bags after 10 minutes, but let mint continue to steep. When water has cooled to room temperature, strain into 2-gallon container. Add lemonade, peach nectar, and simple syrup to taste. Chill thoroughly and pour into punch bowl. Add chilled ginger ale and club soda just before serving. (To make simple syrup, add 2 cups sugar to 1 cup water and boil slowly until clear, about 4 minutes.) Makes approximately forty 4-ounce cups, or about 1 1/4 gallons.

The recipe is taken from the “official cookbook of the City of Austin,” the Junior League of Austin’s

Austin Entertains.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I am so proud of my little chicky.
She does her egg song and lays like clockwork
every other day between 3pm and 330pm.


 Margarita Pops
1 can Lima a Rita divided between 6 molds
flavored water enough to top off molds
1 lime sliced thin for garnish
freeze til solid

 Lemon Drop Pops
Lemon Drop Mixer-fill mold 3/4ths full
Agave Syrup- 1 tsp per mold
Limoncello- 1 cap full per mold
flavored water enough to top off
I used lemon zest, very thin lemon slices and min sprigs for garnish
Freeze til solid

Cooks note: I have these in the freezer, They have not frozen solid yet. Hopefully when I check them in the morning they will be. There is a science to getting the ratio correct so they will freeze. Unfortunately I am no scientist and do the trial and error method. one recipe I saw called for 4 cups juice and 1 tsp booze--if that's the case then why bother.
update: The pops did freeze well with the alcohol. The trick is to run the mold under warm water so the pop slips out, if you just try to pull it out the stick will come out and pop stays in mold.

To Serve:

Once pop is out of mold dip Margarita pop tip into coarse sea salt to garnish
for Lemon Drop Pop dip it in coarse sugar any pretty color