Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Just have to give a plug for TOMATO MANIA happening this weekend, March 27 - 29, in Encino (and other times and dates all over the place - even on the East coast!) Its a giant sale of heirloom tomato seedlings. Check out their website - link is in the column to the left. We're hopefully gonna make it there in between birthday parties and sports to get help with our Wilt problem...

You may have noticed a new delivery system for the recipes and my … blog. (I really hate that word.) I must be in a good time in my hormonal cycle for technical stuff because I think I actually figured out how to make a workable webpage. But I do welcome your feedback.

Back to food: finally finished “In Defense of Food” by the brilliantly inspiring Michael Pollan but now I can’t find the darn book so inspiring quote will come later. Suffice to say, the man’s got a few points to make.

We have the struggle at our school and sports teams over snacks and treats that I am sure many of you share – how can you make your kids feel like they’re getting a treat without filling them with empty calories and nasty chemicals is one end of the spectrum. The other seems to be that kids need and deserve to be “rewarded” for every little occasion or accomplishment with a trophy and donuts. Anyway, in the search for what to bring for Softball game snack to also celebrate Morgan’s birthday, I tried out this recipe, CARROT CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING. My kids actually like them, though they insist on calling them muffins, and they do have a good deal of sugar in them, but I’m still shy about bringing them to Softball, worried that the team will reject them! Peer pressure at 45.

Again the rutabagas were beautiful at the Weiser Family Farm market stall, so I looked for something to do with them and discovered this recipe for TURNIP & SWEET POTATO SOUP from “Chez Panisse Vegetables”. I have had this cookbook for years but always “forget” about it because she, like my husband, intimidates me as a chef. But this was pretty straightforward, and I really liked it. Great combo of textures and a nice buttery taste. Kids didn’t hate it, didn’t love it. But they have 14 more tries to get the pureed soup thing down!

I am also including directions, I can’t really call it a recipe, for how I make VEGGIE BURRITOS. I never thought it was that interesting until I happened to serve them to other grownups who thought they were great. (One guy actually said he’d pay for it. How much, he didn’t say.) So check it out. Also a recipe for GUACAMOLE. You’ve all probably made it, but my kids like this one.

Finally, I have to share that James made the BEEF & BROCCOLI STIR FRY again this weekend (with the addition of leftover shredded carrot because I shredded too much for the cake recipe! Shredded carrot stores well in water). It was great again, I had it for lunch today, great leftover, but the Amazing thing was that Audrey, in between complaints that she didn’t like it, ATE IT UP. Then I happened to remark that when I ate the pea pods in the stir fry, I got a “double pop”, the pod crunched and then a pea would pop out and crunch again. The girls really got into this and raced to the wok to pick out all the pea pods – I was so happy to turn the girls’ super sensitivity to texture towards good rather than evil. And the next day, during a double play date, 4 girls ate a large bag of fresh pea pods from the garden in about 3 minutes. It was beautiful.

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