Category Archives: Foodery

eating like this

My interweb friends Caroline and Jen have both been being all buzzy about this Whole30 thing, so I looked into it and got intrigued by this promise: “improved body composition, energy levels, sleep quality, attention span, mental attitude and athletic performance.”

Curiouser and curiouser I got, so I told The David and we decided to give it a shot.

What “it” is, is a diet comprised solely of lean meats, vegetables, healthy fats and some fruit.  Which means no grains, no beans, no sugar, no soy, no alcohol.  For 30 days.

Today’s my 11th day and aside from some added sugar in some jerky, I think I’ve kept to it pretty accurately.

So far, I’d say that I’m feeling about the same as usual, although I do notice that I’m not getting slumpy in the afternoons.  I still have regular tired laziness as per usual.  And no magic sleeping.  So the jury’s still out – maybe my magic moment is just around the bend.

Also, around the bend, I’ve just arrived in Salt Lake City for Alt Design Summit. Where my meals are going to be provided for me, which means the plan is probably out the window.  (Please let there be pasta)  Oh, the sacrifices for bloggery…


chorizo, sweet potato and spinach hash, with a soft boiled egg


romaine and spinach salad, with chicken, avocado, broccoli slaw, and macadamia nuts


sweet potato stuffed with brussels sprouts, pecans, and bacon

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green juice

Saturdays are my long run days.
As I run around and around the lake, interminably, I just keep thinking about the juice I will get from the juice booth at the market afterwards.

Mmm… the frothy, kale-y, $7.50-for-12-ounces goodness.

After a dozen years, I feel like I’ve finally gone full-on California.

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consuming the CSA box


The box of vegetables that’s delivered to my door every other week is a daunting prospect of consumption when there are two eaters.  At the moment, I am 11 days in to a 25 day bout of life sans The David (who is somewhere between 15 and 17,000 feet up on Mount Acancagua in Argentina, and also probably not dead.)

So only one eater will be consuming:
4 humongous leeks
1 bunch of dinosaur kale
1 bunch of chard
1 bunch of collard greens
2 stems of broccoli
1 romanesco (that’s the neato spirally one)
1 green leaf lettuce
4 little endives
1 bunch of celery
A bag full of baby bok choy

I read once that fats are an important part of our diet, not only because we need them for proper very scientific functioning, but also because they make things like vegetables taste good and us more likely to eat them.
Exactly right, sez I.
So most likely, much of the leafy green things will get chopped and then sautéed up in a bit of bacon fat and then mixed up with the crunched up bacony bits.  But how many days of bacony greens are we talking here?  4?  5?
And the leeks?
Man.  I like leeks fine, but this is leekier than I feel the ordinary girl is expected to get.

If you’ve got any great recipes or cooking recommendations for this lot, please share!

Also, come over and eat some?


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what’s for lunch: wheatberry salad

I made an obscene amount of wheatberry salad for my lunches this week.  But I may be eating it for the rest of the month if it doesn’t disintegrate into sludge.

wheatberry salad with kale, fennel, hazelnuts and orange

Does this picture give you a sense of the epic proportions of this salad?
I started out mixing things in my largest glass mixing bowl.  But had to resort to the bad mama-jama salad bowl to finish.

It’s chock full of good, seasonal, good-for-you ingredients, though… there’s no such thing as too much of it.  And it’s pretty awesome.
Wheatberries are hardy little buggers, so this salad really should hold up.  You can change up the ingredients to reflect what you like best, or what’s in season, but it’s generally easy to put together and once you’ve created a vat of it, it’s a happy little lunch.

look at all the goodness!

What Goes In
2 cups of dried wheatberries (you can find in the bulk section of Whole Foods)
2 bunches of dinosaur kale (that’s the nubbly, pebbly one – what a dinosaur hide might look like)
2 oranges, zest the rinds and then cut up segments of both
1 cup of hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped in the food processor
1 bulb of fennel, cut into eighths and then thinly sliced
1/8th of a red onion, thinly sliced
6 ounces of goat cheese
1/4 cup of white wine or champagne vinegar
1/4 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper

What to do
– Cook the wheatberries – it takes kind of a long time.  Berries and about 8 cups of water go into a medium pot.  Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to simmer.  Give it about 45 minutes to an hour.  Keep an eye out and make sure  you don’t run out of water.  The wheatberries are done when they are chewy, but should not be too hard.  But you decide how done you like them.
– Chop up kale.  I was feeling meticulous and I removed the ribs of the kale, but you could potentially leave them in.
– If you’re not familiar with segmenting citrus, you may want to skip this element and maybe just squeeze the juice as a part of the dressing.  Segmenting citrus can be messy and is a pain in the tuchis, but is something that a Maggie will do anyway.  But definitely use the orange zest!
– Thinly slice your fennel and the red onion.
– Toast the hazelnuts if they came raw, and give the hazelnuts a chop chop in the processor.   Other nuts would also totally work.
– Start dumping stuff in the biggest bowl you have.  Break up the goat cheese into little globs and start mixing.  The cheese should start to break up and turn into more of a coating than little separate cheese bits.
– Add your vinegar and oil, salt and pepper, and mix.  Taste it and add more salt.  Taste some more, reflect, and add more seasoning if you need to.

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you eat one piece…


I don’t do a lot of baked good making.  I already spend enough time in the very small kitchen making the meals that are necessary for the daily hoopty.  And if you’re gonna eat some snacktastic calories, it’s cheese, people.  Cheese.

Most meals we make leave behind a lunch or two’s worth of leftovers.  But baked goods? Weeks of tempting treatlets to consider.  If you don’t eat the whole kitten at once.

And yet.

Make this cake anyway.

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the best pastry you can’t pronounce

Of all the things I thought I’d learn about from Alt Summit, a fancy pastry was definitely not one of them.

But on the last day, I got to go on a foodie tour of Salt Lake City  with 7 other ladies from the summit, led by Lindsey Johnson.

The first place we went to was Les Madeleines, a bakery that’s best known for something called kouing-aman, which was featured on The Food Network.  Romina Rasmussen, the totally adorable pastry chef, came out to speak to us about her obscure and wonderful little bundle of awesome.

Romina Rasmussen, maker of the kouing aman

And more importantly, she gave us each one to sample.

It’s crispy, almost crunchy on the outside.  Pulling the bun apart with your fingers, the inside is flakey and airy, like a croissant, but then the center is gooey and carmelly.  It’s an gorgeous triumvirate of textures, with a flavor that’s both sweet and a bit salty.
I immediately wanted to scarf about three more of them.  (Which was not on offer.)

You can special order these overnight directly from Les Madeleines, but there do seem to be a few other places in the country that make them.

Starter Baker – sells to various cafes and bakeries in the Bay Area

Bouchon Bakery – in Los Angeles

Dominique Ansel – in New York

If you want to ask around in your neck of the woods, you should be saying something like “cooing” or “queen uh-MON.”  You may also see it spelled kouign amann. It’s not a French word, but Breton, so kind of like something viking-leprechauns would say.

Romina says it takes her about 9 hours to make them, so maybe you could just make some yourself.  And then send me some.

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I hardly ever go to one of my most favorite restaurants in San Francisco.  Getting a reservation there is an exercise in remaining diligent in the face of constant rejection.  But every once in a while, I get in one of those really stubborn moods and start checking for open reservations on a religious, daily basis.

This past November was one of those times and last night we went to Frances.


bacon beignets and romanesco salad

If you find yourself with a pending journey to SF, start thinking about getting yourself a table now.  If you ask me for recommendations for your trip once you’re already here, I will release one sad little tear and tell you that you should have gone to Frances. But it’s too late for you now.

On a positive note, those hot dogs wrapped in bacon from a food cart in the Mission?  You could totally check those out.

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You can serve people an unholy amount of finger foods comprised of primarily cheese and/or bacon, provided you also offer a subsidy of veg.

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my favorite day of the year

couch pyjamas

The Friday after Thanksgiving is a marvelous day.  It has no purpose.  No agenda.  There’s still a whole weekend after that I can push the chores and errands into it.   It’s a day that seems specifically engineered to pay homage to pyjamas and movies on tv.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thanksgiving is a pretty good day, too.

The David and I ran a 10K Turkey Trot in the morning.  He ran the whole way with me, which I loved.  Thankful doesn’t begin to describe what it feels like to have a person who’ll do that.

My head rationalizes that 6 miles isn’t really that far, but it sure feels like an epic saga while you’re in it.  An hour and fifteen minutes is a big chunk of time!  There was a good amount of trudgery struggledy.  And an unholy number of uphills.  But the recollection of that yuck seems vague and fuzzy now.  What I do remember was the incredible rainbow that we saw for much of the way in between miles 3 and 4.  And I remember the vanilla It’s-it I got at the finish.

Race bling in a tree

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

And then there’s the wonderful gluttonous feasting of Thanksgiving.  Oh the fabulous feasting!

My friends-who-are-family set up a deep fryer in their little backyard every year.  If you’ve never had deep fried turkey before, it’s not like what you get from a bucket at KFC.  Mostly it’s the same as everyone else’s turkey, but it cooks in about half an hour.  And because it cooks so quickly, it tends to be moister than roasted birds.

But it is pretty feckin terrifying to watch.

the turkey goes into a vat of boiling oil

We had a an impressive spread.  The David and I made Smitten Kitchen’s Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin and Thomas Keller’s Creamed Pearl Onions.

plate full of yum

We also made a Pumpkin Panna Cotta with pomegranate seeds for dessert.  I had no idea how easy panna cotta was to make.  Seriously.  It’s like making Jell-o.  I highly recommend trying it out.
The hardest part really was getting the extra ramekins we needed to serve 8 since I’m Maggie and I needed to have the fancy porcelain ones from France.

pretty dessert

And now I’m eating too much popcorn, half way paying attention to movies and deepening the ass divit in my couch.

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soup for you

I was just talking about the slave-like dependency I have on recipes in my kitchen.  Tell me what to do!  I need instruction and structure!

Except when it comes to one thing…  soup.  In the realm of soups, I’m the daddy.

This kale and sausage soup takes a bit of a trick I learned from Mark Bittman:  using meat as a seasoning.  So rather than using slices of precooked sausage, I used loose sausage meat.  That way you get little meaty bits thoroughly mixed through the soup, giving a lot of flavor.

To do it:
-saute up the sausage meat (I used 3/4 lb mild italian) with a bit of olive oil over medium high heat.  stir it well to get it nice and crumbly and let brown a bit.
-remove the meat with a slotted spoon and then dump in a finely diced onion and 2 or 3 cloves of crushed garlic.
-after the onions are soft, throw the meat back in and then add a bit of white wine and scrape up any fond from the bottom of your pot.
-add a carton of chicken broth.
-throw in your kale – destemmed and cut or ripped into small bits.  Nobody wants long dangly bits of kale hanging off their spoons and flapping about on their chins.  Good prep work is important if you’re a uptight little weasel like me.
-add other stuff.  I included a can of cannelini beans, about a half cup (cooked) of forbidden rice, one grated zucchini, and an eighth of a head of cabbage thinly sliced. because of the amount of veg, we needed more broth to keep it soupy.
-salt.  pepper.  red pepper flakes.

Conjure up some nice chilliness and get cozy.


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