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Pumpkin Ginger Smoothie (made with pumpkin scrapings)

Pumpkin Ginger Smoothie (made with pumpkin scrapings)

Pumpkin cooking 101: first you scrape out the seeds and all the stringy stuff, right? Well…that’s what every recipe I have read says, with the exception of one. A few years back my sister gave me a book originally printed in 1833, The American Frugal Housewife.  I love reading old cookbooks; even if the recipes...
Creepy Coconut Kiwi Panna Cotta

Creepy Coconut Kiwi Panna Cotta

I’m usually not one for gore. I hate scary movies (almost always). But if there was ever a time for a little gross-out fun it is October. And I’m not such a scrooge that I can’t enjoy a little Halloween silliness. So why not make a good dish, while you’re at it? The elements of...
Popcorn pop-up cards

Popcorn pop-up cards

Popcorn is definitely a rock star in the world of thrifty foods. It’s quick to prepare, it’s super-cheap and (depending on what you add to season it) it can be pretty virtuous in the nutrition front, too. Oh, and it is also delicious. Once you start buying microwave popcorn bags, though, these virtues evaporate. The...
Roasted Red Plum & Thyme Jam

Roasted Red Plum & Thyme Jam

I did a double take at the farmer’s market this weekend– were those this year’s apples? And grapes- already?!? If labor day and the start of school were not enough to let me know summer is on its way out, those apples sure were. I was instantly overcome with the urge stuff myself with stone...
3 Simple Tangy Creamy Popsicles

3 Simple Tangy Creamy Popsicles

I’m usually not one to be lazy in the kitchen. But even I can admit that there are times when it is just too blasted hot to cook. Too hot to turn on a burner, too hot to run the dishwasher, and too hot to eat pretty much anything that isn’t a frozen. Enter: popsicles....
Luminous Watermelon Salad

Luminous Watermelon Salad

  This week, I’ve created a refreshing, chilled summer salad that is visually striking in both daylight and in ultraviolet light. And though the plating makes it look complicated, the elements are incredibly simple. Cucumber and watermelon, when they are cut carefully, look like precious little crystalline gems. The tonic granita is unusual for a...

Ultraviolet Foods

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Lavender Blueberry Semifreddo

Lavender Blueberry Semifreddo

We’re right smack dab in the middle of blueberry season. And though they look blue when you pick them, a few minutes of simmering turns those blueberries unmistakeably purple.  I love using fragrant lavender as a seasoning (also in season now), but enough lavender to color this dish would have made it inedible. Luckily for...
Purple Food Roundup!

Purple Food Roundup!

There are lots of misnomers in the world of plant food colors. “Red” cabbage and onions, and lettuce definitely look purple, purple potatoes can look blue. (And cooked blueberries are definitely purple.) Lots of “black” fruit and grains turn out purple: black rice, black mission figs, black grapes, blackberries. Perhaps I ought to forgive whoever...
Blue Moon Tart

Blue Moon Tart

The purple/blue potatoes make this tart visually striking, but the real star is the bluefoot mushrooms.   Bluefoot mushrooms are hard to find, whether you are foraging in a forest, or picking through high end grocers. But the result is well worth the hunting.  Intensely woody, rich and meaty the cooked bluefoots give off an intoxicating,...
Blue Food Roundup!

Blue Food Roundup!

Blue is notoriously scarce in the palette of natural foods. And among foods that are called blue, few of them have a purely blue (not purplish or greenish) pigment. But with the scarcity of naturally blue foods, you have to take what you can get, so forgive me if some of the foods on my...
Green Rice with Fava Beans and Garlic Scapes

Green Rice with Fava Beans and Garlic Scapes

Sabzi polo, the meticulously cooked Persian rice and herb dish seemed like a perfect choice for my green recipe. Not only is it unique (tons of herbs!) it is also a celebratory dish, traditionally cooked for the Persian (springtime) new year.  Not that I don’t like my mom’s trifle and lentil soup  to celebrate the...