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Carrots Roasted with Rose Harissa and drizzled with Garlic Tahini Sauce

Carrots Roasted with Rose Harissa and drizzled with Garlic Tahini Sauce

Yotam Ottolenghi is my muse. I love his bold flavors, energetic spirit and infectious love for food. This is a rather radical modification of a recipe in his latest book, Simple. Rose harissa is somewhat hard to find (I get it at the Cheese Importers in Longmont, Colorado), but regular harissa that you make yourself or buy will be totally delicious. This is great as a side dish, something to bring to a dinner party (whenever that happens again…), or to add a little heft to a night when all your serving is a big salad. I find this intensely flavorful dish to be totally craveable. And for me, as long as it’s healthy, I don’t think we should make/eat any food that’s not in the category of craveable. Life is too damn short to spend time making and eating food that’s just meh.

Luscious Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Luscious Curried Butternut Squash Soup

This deeply satisfying soup is super simple to make. Please use the full-fat coconut milk — don’t use the “light/lite” unless you want this to taste meh. I also love this recipe because I nearly always have every ingredient on hand, especially in the fall when the butternut squash are in season. The curry powder is from Savory Spice — it’s called Mild Curry Powder (link below). But I call it the “Hippy Curry Powder” because it tastes like every curry I ever had from “vegetarian restaurants” versus actual Indian restaurants. It’s just pretty much a generic, run of the mill Americanized curry powder.

Putting Up Tomatoes

Putting Up Tomatoes

When I was really young my mom would spend hours every August blanching, peeling, de-seeding and then canning mountains of tomatoes in our oh-so humid Missouri home. Her unruly curly hair would be pinned back with multiple bobby pins as she carefully lowered the tomatoes into the massive black tin stock pot water with the Ball canning jar insert. Not sure what happened, but after a few years she stopped canning and started just putting whole tomatoes in panty hose in the freezer. Each tomato was knotted off from the other, sausage link style, to apparently prevent bruising. It was always a little alarming to open the freezer to see the frozen red globes bound by old pairs of L’eggs pantyhose, but it worked for her. In 1994 I got Marcella Hazan’s, Essentials of Italian Cooking and started making her to-die-for classic sauce Tomato Sauce and Onion and Butter in batches to freeze. After one mid-winter visit where we served my mom the sauce three different ways: over pasta, as tomato soup and the base for our grilled pizzas, she never went back to her old ways of preserving tomatoes.

I generally have two ways I put up tomatoes for the winter: whole cherry tomatoes and pureed sauce. I don’t believe in taking the skin off or de-seeding, as I think it adds to the overall flavor.

Classic Gazpacho with Smoked Paprika Oil

Classic Gazpacho with Smoked Paprika Oil

If you have about 15 minutes and a kitchen full of summer produce, you will love this gazpacho. It’s silky smooth and bursting with flavor. One key is to make it the day before to let it sit in the fridge overnight so those flavors can develop and be able to serve it super chilled. For those gluten-phobes out there, this one is for you. Yes, I know a lot of gazpacho is made with stale bread, but you won’t miss it in this version.
The Smoked Paprika Oil is a recent find from my favorite cooking mag, Milk Street. Ever since I started making it a few weeks ago, I have been drizzling it on everything from hummus to avocado toast to grilled/roasted veggies and more. It’s downright addictive!

Cold Asian Herby Noodles

Cold Asian Herby Noodles

This is a riff on a Cambodian noodle salad I found a few months ago. I’ve changed it up quite a bit by substituting shrimp and fish sauce with marinated organic tofu and soy sauce. In the the past five weeks I’ve made it four times. I think it’s absolutely craveable, especially when the temperatures are in the 90s… The key ingredients that really make this stand out are lots of herbs and salty peanuts. Delish! It’s a perfect dish for summer picnics.

Sassafras Sarah’s Cloth Napkins, Tea Towels and Pillowcases

Sassafras Sarah’s Cloth Napkins, Tea Towels and Pillowcases

I love cloth napkins, I mean, I really love them. Growing up each of us kids had our own personal napkin ring. Each week a new, freshly laundered cloth napkin would greet me at Monday’s dinner — always a highlight of the start of the […]