I grew up in Southern California, and lived there up until about 10 years ago. At one of my last jobs before I left, I was often gifted with a Porto’s Bakery fruit tart, which was (and I’m sure still is) delectable. 16-32: Glazed Fresh Fruit Cake reminds me of those fruit tarts, and makes me excited for warmer weather days ahead (check with me again about that when we’re in the middle of summer).
I got into making my own plant-based meats a few years ago, mostly because the options available in the markets at the time were A) expensive; B) hard to find; and C) not very good. B and C have mostly been rectified in the last few years, so I find myself buying more of that and making less of my own (proving that time is money).
However, I had at one point stocked up my freezer with a lot of the homemade stuff, so 8-38: Brandy Two-Pepper Beef Steak is another one of those recipes where I was using up what was left of that stash.
It’s been challenging to figure out how to tackle these meat-focused recipes when I don’t really eat it anymore, so a lot of these have ended up being more “adaptations” rather than full replications of the given recipe. There’s so many cooking travesties on social media and the internet these days–this feels like a drop in the bucket at this point.
We’re barely into spring, so what better way to celebrate that than to jump ahead to summer with 16-19: Midsummer Cake? We’ll call it being super proactive–you’re already thinking ahead for summer. Like when you go shopping for spring clothes and the summer stuff is already on the shelves. Look at you being so productive. Such a trendsetter!
There’s no rule saying you HAVE to make this in summer–it could be a great spring dessert as well. In fact, strawberries are generally considered more of a “spring fruit” more so than a summer one (depending on where you live), so maybe we should update this to be a “Spring Cake”? I can’t go with “Mid-Spring Cake” because that sounds like something you make in the middle of a jump.
I’m a day late, but had intended to post 14-28: “Hot Love” for Valentine’s Day, because how could you not? Apologies for procrastinating on it, but at least it’s there for Valentine’s Day 2024 (and beyond).
This one used to make me giggle every time I looked at the card as a kid–it felt cheesy to me even back then (but also sort of intriguing in that “is this what grown-ups do?” kind of way). I pretty much still feel the same way about it (grown-up question and all).
What is the plate in the picture above resting on (besides a book)? A cabinet on its side? A locked trunk? What’s in the box!?
A wise man once said, ” You don’t win friends with salad.” I’m not sure how many friends you’ll be winning with 2-1: West Coast Salad, but if you’re looking for something keto-friendly (we used to call that low-carb or “Atkins-friendly” back in the day, kids) and you need a break from the cookies and candies that are EVERYWHERE around this time of year, this might be the ticket.
By Western shore/West Coast, we’re referring to the western coast of the United States which includes the states of California (where I live and am from), Oregon, and Washington. The seafood is in fact different in the Pacific versus the Atlantic–you won’t find a lot of lobster here, but you will find an abundance of crab and mussels.
Because it takes me a while to get around to writing these, it often works out that I’m writing about winter recipes in the summer and vice versa. Sticking with that theme, I present to you (in December) 15-24: Monterosso Ice Cream. Hey, at least it’ll be timely if you’re in the Southern hemisphere. I bet you guys are tired of everything being geared towards the Northern hemisphere anyway, so this one’s for you.
In case you were wondering, Monterosso is a coastal village in Italy, and it looks very nice. Totally giving me White LotusS2 vibes. I can’t seem to find anything that associates a certain type of dessert or ice cream with the town, but I did find some recommendations for gelato in case you’re ever in the area.
Autumn is just around the corner, but here’s another recipe you can try before you put the grill away for the season (unless you live somewhere that you can grill all year round). 11-15: Grilled Salmon with Thyme uses salmon steaks which can be tough to locate depending on where/when you look for them, but if you are able to snag some it’s a nice change from the same old burgers and hot dogs.
Here where I live, it’s not only still 90+ degrees each day, it’s also salmon season, so I’ve been seeing it on sale a lot at our local grocery stores. Warm nights + fresh salmon on the grill = good times.
Since it’s summer, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share my summer garden with you, courtesy of 19-6: Fresh Herbs. This one came from the new book, and is the prequel (of sorts) to 19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs. I had lamented not being able to easily find fresh tarragon back when I wrote that one–well, now I grow it myself in my own backyard.
Growing my own herbs in my own garden for use in cooking was one of the top reasons I wanted to buy my own place, and the garden situation outside was one of my main factors when selecting a house (back when you could have preferences about things like that and didn’t just have to overpay for whatever was available).
I use my homegrown herbs for cooking all year round, and it’s quite the pleasure to be able to use just the amount needed fresh from my own backyard rather than buy overpriced herbs at the grocery store and then watch them wilt and die in my fridge.
Happy New Year, and welcome to 2022! I’m going to start this year off with a redo–although you didn’t know that it was such. I cooked 11-10: French Scallops early last year (2021), but did such a terrible job of it that I didn’t even want to share the pictures of it with you. I’ve had it hanging out in my queue for almost a year, and it’s time to fix that–when you know better, you should do better.
I took far too many liberties with my first attempt, not realizing that this dish was somewhat specific in its design and not just “up for interpretation”. Coquilles St. Jacques (note Simply Delicious misspelled it) is a French preparation of scallops, hence their abridged title of “French Scallops”. There’s lots ofversionsof it out there, most somewhat similar to this one.
Happy New Years’ Eve! 2021 has not been my favorite year (probably not yours either), and so I’m not sad to see it go–in fact, we’re going to celebrate its departure with a holiday-ish dessert today: 15-34: White Chocolate Strawberry Soufflé. This soufflé is not baked, but does include meringue being folded in. I’m not sure if that makes it “not a soufflé,” but at this point, does it matter?
“Dramatic” is definitely a good way to describe this past year, so perhaps this is the perfect dessert/recipe for today. However your 2021 has been, I hope that 2022 is a safe and prosperous year for you and yours.?
Now–let’s get off the heavy stuff and into something much lighter–discussion of this “soufflé”.