Sunday, August 20, 2017

Chris Baker at Chala's Tonight

Best Seats :)

Chris Baker at Chala's now

Tuesday, August 01, 2017


Week 2, Dish 3: Ratatouille Verde
with Basil Gremolata and Polenta

The gremolata garnish adds a very nice tang to the ratatoille and polenta.

The next morning, the remaining serving was an easy brunch of chilled veggie polenta, with pecans and pumpkin seeds.

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Friday, July 28, 2017


Week 2, Dish2: Mango Poke Bowl
with Red Beans and Sea Lettuce Dressing

Wonderful textures and flavor... I love the seaweed flakes and tamari with mango, avocado, and cucumber.

Even though the fish taste in this poke is an illusion, you should probably still say ‘poh-keh’.*

For the remaining serving, I added sautéed fresh corn and jalapeño that I bought this morning from my neighbor, Bustamante Farm.

The edamame was even better the next day. I recommend marinating it earlier than the recipe calls for.

I'm loving TB12 Performance Meals; the kits are like getting a cookbook that shopped ;>} .

* See "HOW TO PRONOUNCE POKE" by KaiKalaPro:

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Thursday, July 27, 2017


Week 2, Dish 1: Niçoise Salad
with Walnut Lentils & Warm Tarragon Vinaigrette

The kit made two 2-cup servings. The second serving was delicious served chilled the next day.

I used the mandolin slicer on the yams, rather than dicing them. I also sliced them into a steamer basket, rather than boiling them in water. Instead of draining the water, rinsing, and refilling the saucepan to boil the green beans, I simply removed the cooked yams from the steamer basket and replaced them with the green beans. After the yams and beans had been steamed, I reserved the steaming liquid for broth.

[Time elapsed from starting the lentils and slicing yams to a plated salad: 1 hour.]

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Mealkit, Week 2

This week's TB12 box arrived at 5pm, and the ice packs were still cold. This time, I sorted and logged the delivery — all accounted for.

First dish up: Niçoise Salad...

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

OMG, it's all here!

Week 1, Dish 3: White Bean Keftedes
with Skordalia and Dill Sauce


1. These vegan 'meatballs' are very nice. When I make this again (!), I'll add carmelized onions for a meatier taste.
(One of my favorite sports: going to vegetarian potlucks with vegan dishes so meaty-tasting they fool everyone ;>}.)

2. The japanese-yam skordalia is under the dill sauce — and it's delicious! My keftedes aren't spherical — I mistakenly added liquid from the canned beans — but the mint, parsely, white bean mix is still brilliant.

3. Note: the time elapsed from the photo below to the finished meal in the photo above: 1hour 20min. Yeah, we're slow cookin' now!

4. I used a hand-held chopper instead of a food processor on both the keftedes and the skordalia.

5. The little faux meatballs fit nicely in a toaster oven — perfect for summer cooking.

6. This mealkit was a lovely introduction to foods I wouldn't normally buy. In spite of problems with two out of three of the kits I got this week, I'm looking forward to three new kits next week.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Where the hell is the kohlrabi?! *

Week 1, Dish 2: Quinoa Fried Rice
With Charred Scallion Butter and Kohlrabi Salad

Yikes! just the kind of stress I was trying to avoid when I ordered the TB12 Performance Meal by Purple Carrot. Only 2 mealkits in and I'm beginning to think subscription might not be the way to go...
maybe inventory-controlled limited editions which would be completely stocked, rather than delivered without some essential ingredients.

1. Without the kohlrabi, the kit made two 2-cup servings.

2. I had one serving hot, the second as cold leftovers the next morning — I recommend making this ahead to chill.

3. This meal came with an extra packet of sugar snaps, perhaps as a substitution for the missing kohlrabi... ?

4. Btw, the time elapsed between this and the photo of the serving above is about 1hour 10minutes.

5. In spite of the missing ingredient, the fried quinoa was nevertheless a reasonable diversion from my usual cooking rut.

* UPDATE 26 July 2017
Purple Carrot applied a $20 credit to my account for the two missing ingredients. I'm a very happy customer!

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Apple- and Raisin-Sweetened Rice with Coconut Milk

A not-too-sweet dessert.

Serve, hot or chilled, in a small desert bowl.

  • 3/4 cup, Lundberg's Organic Brown Short Grain Rice*
  • 1 1/2 cups, water
  • 1/2 teaspoon, salt
  • 2 teaspoons, oil
  • 4 small green apples. (Mine were foraged.)
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 3/4 cup, raisins
  • 1 teaspoon, crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon, cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon, nutmeg
  • 11 ounce box of So Delicious Culinary Coconut Milk*
  • 2 teaspoons, Madhava Organic Amber Raw Blue Agave Syrup*
  • 1-2 tablespooons, peanut oil
(*not pictured below.)

1. Rinse rice. Add water, salt, oil. Cook as Directed.

2. While rice is cooking, quarter and core apples.

3. Put a drop of lime juice on each cored apple quarter.

4. Cover the bottom of a 3-quart pan with peanut oil.

5. With a mandolin slicer, thinly slice the apple quarters onto the oil in the pan.

6. Add raisins, crushed red pepper, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg. Stir well.

7. Cover apple-mixture. Heat on high; lower heat to simmer until apples are tender.

8. Add 11oz of So Delicious Culinary Coconut Milk.

9. Simmer mixture.

10. Stir in hot brown rice from step 1.

11. Stir in agave syrup. Serve hot or chilled.

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Where's the bok choy? *

Week 1, Dish 1: Summer Ramen
with Coconut Lime Broth and Sweet Corn

Imagine the panic: no bok choy!
Fortunately, I had enough greens in my failing garden to make a substitution -- but, dAmN!

Next, I was reminded why I like to use frozen corn....

Of course, fresh-off-the-cob is absolutely the way to go. So... I found that a mandolin-slicer made de-kernelling the sweet corn a little easier. Admittedly, the texture is different, since the kernels aren't cut off the cob whole this way. Nevertheless, I suspect they're easier to digest, and maybe tastier.

The finished dish was delicious, but I'm wondering what it was supposed to taste like had I not had to make a substitution.

This first mealkit (out of three) made about 4 bowls this size. I had 2 1/2 bowls hot for dinner, and the remaining 1 1/2 bowls cold for breakfast this morning. Nice.

[btw, the time elapsed from the first photo (start of first task) to second photo (hot bowl of yummy): 1 hour and 13 minutes. but you are undoubtedly better in the kitchen than i am. :>)}]

* UPDATE 26 July 2017
Purple Carrot applied a $20 credit to my account for the two missing ingredients. I'm a very happy customer!

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Sink Hole

This actually looks rather cavernous.

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Rotting Timber Abatement, Phase I

Scary timber in the process of being removed by Javier Bonillo.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

More Arbor Drama

It's rained heavily for a few days. The arbor timbers are soaked. The one directly over the back door is quite threatening.

[See also entry for 30.September.2016, tImBeR!

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The Meal Kit

I hate to shop, so I've been curious about meal kits. I finally found one that's gluten-free and vegan: Tom Brady's TB12 Performance Meals.

One 14-inch cube weighing 22 pounds arrives at 2pm. It's not as hot as it has been, only 85° at 2pm, and fortunately I was home when it arrived.

A countries-of-origins list is exciting.
#eatlikeagoat, i.e., #stayLowOnTheFoodChain.

The box is insulated. The 3 big ice bags at the bottom had melted -- the contents were room temp, but not as hot as they could have been.

Inside the box: 6-dinners worth of produce and step-by-step meal-prep instructions for 3 different dishes. (See Purple Carrot's Plant-Based Recipes online.)

It's kind of nice having someone encourage me to cook ;) -- we'll see how it goes...

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Friday, July 07, 2017

Organic Bug Zapper

A toad in my Thai peppers.

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Thursday, July 06, 2017

Fluid Dynamics

Morning sun glinting on irrigation water.

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Saturday, May 06, 2017

Cat's Prey

Kes cornered this non-venomous Mexican Garter Snake (Thamnophis eques), in the backyard.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Four Twenty, Twenty Seventeen

How I celebrated.

Garlic fries and brown ale at The Spotted Dog Brewery.

A reading.
  • Past: Ten cups (hearts).
  • Present: Four pentacles (diamonds).
  • Future: Four wands (clubs).

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Sunday, April 02, 2017

Zucchini Joes

Top a toasted Glutino English Muffin with sliced cheese, zucchini filling*, and more cheese. Heat until gooey. Serve with plain goat yogurt.

* Zucchini Filling
Saute the following in small sauce pan:
  • 1/2 Medium Purple Onion
  • 1/2 Medium Jalapeno
  • 1 Small Zucchini
  • 1/3 Can Muir Glen Pizza Sauce

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Two Cats In The Yard

Chica's cat Kes has a boyFriend -- we're calling him orangeBoy.

The title of this post is a reference to the song Our House by Graham Nash.
I'll light the fire, you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today.
Staring at the fire for hours and hours while I listen to you
Play your love songs all night long for me, only for me.

Come to me now and rest your head for just five minutes, everything is good.
Such a cozy room,
The windows are illuminated by the evening sunshine through them,
Fiery gems for you, only for you.

Our house is a very, very, very fine house with two cats in the yard,
Life used to be so hard,
Now everything is easy 'cause of you and our—

La, la, la

Our house is a very, very, very fine house with two cats in the yard,
Life used to be so hard,
Now everything is easy 'cause of you and our—

I'll light the fire, while you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2017

(# - tag) + Brownie

Infused Gluten-Free Caffeinated Gingerbread Brownies
A packaged-mix hack for the complicated palate.

Whisk 4 eggs in a large mixing bowl. (2 will do.)

Heat the following in a small saucepan, while constantly stirring:
  • 1/2 cup, peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons, Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk
  • 1 tablespoon, dried cannabis flowers (needs more!)
  • 1 teaspoon, crushed red pepper
  • 1 heaping teaspoon, Cafe Bustelo Instant Espresso
  • 2 teaspoons, St Dalfour Chocolate Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon, fresh grated ginger (needs more?)
Remove from heat when bubbly around the edge.

Cover saucepan; allow oil mixture to cool.

Add cooled oil mixture to eggs, and mix well.

Stir in one package, King Arthur Gluten-Free Brownie Mix. (no XanthanGum, yay! btw, ~$2 less at Walmart.)

Stir in 1/2 cup, semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Stir in Bob's Coconut Flour until a thick batter consistency.

Pour batter into greased 9x9 glass baking dish.

Bake at 325° for 50 minutes.

Serve hot or chilled, topped with Organic Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Making 'kay sawzzz' in the breakfast nook:
  • For one quesa, use 2 corn tortillas. Spread each with bean paste (I used hummus on these) and slices of chipotle cheddar.
  • For filling, cook diced onions, jalapenos, tomatoes, fan leaves, and spinach in hot oil in a small sauce pan. Add scrambled egg. Cook together until egg is set.
Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry one tortilla with bean paste and cheese, until cheese starts to melt. Set aside. Fry the second prepared tortilla, spoon on filling mixture, top with first fried tortilla.

Serve hot, with plain goat yogurt.

[See also Wikipedia's entry: Quesadilla.]

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The End of Trim

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Best-Textured Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Yet!

  • 4 Eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 Cup, Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 Can, Organic Coconut Milk
  • 16 Ounces, Pumpkin Puree
Whisk until smooth.
Fold in the following dry ingredients, and beat for 2 minutes on medium with mixer.
  • 1 Bag, Pamela's Spice Cake Mix
  • 1 Teaspoon, Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon, Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon, Baking Soda
  • 3 Teaspoons, Guar Gum
  • 1/3 Cup, Coconut Flour
Mixture should be stiff. Pour batter into greased baking dishes. (Makes 1 and 1/2 loaves.) Bake ~35-40 minutes in oven preheated to 350°.

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Lunar Libration

worthThe eyes0n. [seeAlso Libration.]


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Savory Smoothie

In 1-quart pan, sauté and sweat the following:
  • 1 Tablespoon Peanut Oil
  • 1/2 Medium-sized Red Onion, Thinly Sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Parsely, Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, Shaved with Peeler

Add the following, and purée all the ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Potato Broth (seasoned liquid reserved from steaming potatoes)
  • 1 Cup Biotta Beet Juice
  • 1/4 Cup of Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk

Add 4 teaspoons of cornstarch.
Bring to boil while stirring.
Serve warm with salt and pepper.

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