Category Archives: Hurricane Curry
Every October for the last 4 years, I’ve been part of something delicious, fun and worthy: the March of Dimes’ “Signature Chef Auction“.
This event is a huge fundraiser for this organization whose mission is “to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality”. Money is raised by ticket sales, sponsorships, a huge silent auction, a live auction featuring lavish meal and vacation packages, and an old-fashioned raffle.
The draw, undoubtedly, is the food. Read the rest of this entry
I am a lucky girl.
I live in the foothills of the Berkshires, surrounded by farms of all types — produce (veggies, fruits, herbs), pasture-raised meats, apple orchards, free-range chickens, dairy farms that turn out delicious cheeses, and more. For any cook, this is an almost indescribable blessing. I can get the very best AND get to know the people who produce it.
With summer crops at their peak right now, I have a large variety of produce to choose from every week. Doing some menu planning, I called three of my favorite farmers — New Leaf Farm, Hawk Dance Farm, and Honey Dog Farm — to check on what each was harvesting
(Did you know that they all grow different crops — sometimes VERY different? Even when they plant the same vegetables as another farmer, it could be 2 weeks earlier or 3 weeks later, so the harvest times are completely different. AND even when it is the same vegetable at the same time, the VARIETIES of that vegetable can be radically different. I didn’t realize the extent of these differences in farming, until I moved here and got to know them better — amazing how much I was a victim of supermarket ignorance). Read the rest of this entry
Forget what your usual potato salad tastes like…. this is a whole new approach!
You’ve heard that fish can be a valuable part of a healthy diet. It’s naturally low-fat, high in protein, and easy on the calories (depending on how you prepare it). The health benefits read like an alphabet: fish can help to prevent asthma, fuel your brain, stave off some cancers, lower your risk of dementia, and more.
To discover the “quick and tasty”, you will have to take my word for it; for the nutrition, check this out:
Zaatar, za’tar, zatar, zatr, zahatar, zaktar or satar! However you spell it, za’atar is a delicious spice blend with Middle Eastern origins.
Introducing: za’atar by Your Spice of Life!
The same way that there is no set recipe for Italian or Cajun seasoning, there is no standard for za’atar. However, the components of za’atar that are most often found are thyme, oregano, sumac berry, sesame seeds and salt.
I wanted to develop my own za’atar blend, honoring its tradition but also adding my own twist, as I do with all my blends. So I omitted the sesame seeds (mostly because of their very short shelf life) and the salt (because none of my spice blends contain it). Instead, I added some marjoram to intensify the herbiness, and a pinch of lemon peel to brighten the flavor and enhance the lemony flavor inherent in sumac berries.
If you have the time, I encourage everyone to take on the challenge of Julia Child’s infamous duck stuffed with meat, in pastry. But for most people, that is out of the question; you have 15 minutes to get a meal on the table, and if it’s exotic / fabulous / memorable, that’s a bonus.
The idea is simple: sautee tiny squares of salmon that have been heavily coated in spice blend. or a straight spice. You get an intense burst of flavor with each bite, but the salmon can take it and doesn’t get lost. Read the rest of this entry
When my youngest niece was about 6 years old, I got a chance to babysit for the evening, which included making supper for her. I kept it simple, not being sure what 6-year olds eat these days. I did know that I should include at least one green veggie, so I steamed up some healthful broccoli and offered it to her.
She picked up the florets one by one and chomped the tops off, leaving the stalks on her plate. When asked why she only ate half of the broccoli, she said “Aunt Laura! I only like the tree branches, not the trunks!”.
Whether you are a branch-eater or enjoy the whole tree, I’ve got a fantastic summer broccoli recipe for you. It’s easy to make; tastes exotic and fresh; and avoids the use of mayo that is so common in many other summer salads. Read the rest of this entry