Triple Celery Soup with Parmesan, Parsley & Garlic Croutons & Parsley Oil

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I grew up on Campbell’s Cream of Celery Soup. It was always in the cupboard, because I put it in Mom’s shopping cart every Saturday at the local market. Combined with the cream-rich milk that Mom bought from a one-woman dairy nearby, it was more like a velvet cream sauce than soup. I loved its […]

Sweet Corn & Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Sweet Corn & Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Spiced Caramel Apple Sauce & Gingersnap Crumble

Never heard of sweet corn ice cream? Well then, you’re in for an ice cream flavor revelation. As my collection of American Southwest and Mexican cookbooks grew over the years, I occasionally encountered this “oddity” in one or another of the dessert chapters. Finally, I searched the web and lo and behold, the word is out.

Spiced Caramel Apple Sauce

Spiced Caramel Apple Sauce

You know the flavor contrast you get when you bite into a perfect caramel apple—first rich, creamy, sweet caramel, and then bracingly tart, juicy apple? Add half a dozen spices and that’s what this caramel sauce tastes like. At first, you think, “Oh yeah, luxuriously rich, wonderfully spiced caramel,” and then POW, the acidity of the reduced apple cider kicks in and your mouth goes, “Hey, whoa, what’s happening here?” I love this double-punch effect.

Mostaccioli with Sweet Rainbow Peppers

Mostaccioli with Sweet Rainbow Peppers

Every Saturday morning, from April through December, whether in Seattle or Portland, I head to one of the many world-class Northwest farmers markets. You might think I would become jaded after awhile, but it hasn’t happened.

Every week, I’m blown away by the gorgeous, tantalizing offerings, and every week I buy way more than I can cook over the weekend. I do this even though there is this strange man following me around, intermittently interjecting, “Enough already! You can’t cook all that.” I pretend to have no idea who he is, but of course it’s none other than MauiJim.

Roasting Peppers Step-By-Step

Pepper Skins Removed After Roasting

When Columbus first set foot on the Caribbean island that is now shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, he was hoping to find black pepper, the world’s most costly spice. Instead he found the genus Capsicum which the native inhabitants called aji. Probably a little frantic that his expedition was going unexpectedly awry, he quickly renamed the spicy vegetable, pepper, and while he was at it, the Arawak natives, Indians, to support the idea that he had indeed found a western trade route to India.

Pumpkin Spice Hot White Chocolate

Pumpkin Spice Hot White Chocolate

There must be a hundred posts on the web on the topic of Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte. Amazing! Would you believe I have NEVER had a Pumpkin Spice Latte? I’m not quite sure how that happened. However, in perusing all of the copycat recipes, it appears that there is little if any actual pumpkin in this wildly popular autumnal concoction; just a teaspoon of Pumpkin Spice Syrup. Hmmm…

Caramelized Pear Salad with Gorgonzola, Candied Spiced Walnuts & Spicy Orange Vinaigrette

Carmelized Pear Salad with Gorgonzola and Candied Spiced Walnuts

Pears have a flavor affinity with creamy blue cheeses, such as Cambozola, Gorgonzola, Stilton, and Roquefort, as well as with balsamic vinegar, red wine, oranges, toasted walnuts, and the caramelization technique. I’m exploring these marvelous affinities this fall as new-season local pears fill the farmers markets.

If you are interested likewise in exploring the wide range of possible flavor affinities with pears as the star, I highly recommend The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. I use the lists in this book constantly to push myself into new directions.

Candied Spiced Walnuts or Pecans

Candied Spiced Walnuts

I drove through the Cascade foothills today and was delighted that the leaves are beginning their yearly show. It’s not the full show yet. That will take another week or two. But the few trees that are turning now are the most glorious shades of crimson, burgundy, orange and gold. Surreal! I also passed several large pumpkin fields and corn mazes. I rolled down the car window to hear the hordes of squealing, laughing kids in the fields. I even thought I smelled apple cider, but it’s still too early for fresh pressed, unpasteurized cider.

Linguine with Balsamic Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes

Linguine with Balsamic Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes

As often happens in the OtherWorldly Kitchen, I see a picture of an interesting dish in a culinary magazine and then can’t locate it when I actually want to try the dish. I can’t bear to discard a great magazine, so there are stacks everywhere. That’s how this quick and easy midweek supper dish came to be: a vague memory of a picture in a magazine, several heirloom tomatoes on the counter begging to be used, and raging hunger.

As often happens in the OtherWorldly Kitchen, I see a picture of an interesting dish in a culinary magazine and then can’t locate it when I actually want to try the dish. I can’t bear to discard a great magazine, so there are stacks everywhere. That’s how this quick and easy midweek supper dish came to be: a vague memory of a picture in a magazine, several heirloom tomatoes on the counter begging to be used, and raging hunger.

I was intrigued by the idea of intensifying the flavor of the tomatoes by roasting them with herbs and aromatics and then simply laying them on top of cooked pasta. I confess that I did not expect the resulting dish to taste this divine. I merely wanted to throw together a quick meal after a demanding day at work. Isn’t it great when results EXCEED expectations?

Spicy Eggplant Tomato Sauce

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This hearty, almost meaty, sauce is one of the first dishes I make each fall in the Northwest. In September, farmers markets are overflowing with eggplant, bell peppers, and ripe heirloom tomatoes. The colors and flavors are amazing together.

Eat. Boston. Clio.

Boston, Clio, Heirloom Tomato Salad

We’re in Boston this week, and the first restaurant we head to when we’re in Boston is Clio. I’ll share more of the food pics we’ve taken at Clio over the past few visits in an upcoming Boston Fresh post, but for now, let’s focus on the experience we had in the restaurant last night. Oh. My. God.

Luscious Candied Lemon Sage Tea Cake

Luscious Candied Lemon Sage Tea Cake

Sometimes I get lucky. I have been working on the quintessential lemon cake for years, and although I have encountered a couple of formulas that are quite lovely in their own right, they are not exactly what I have in mind.