Gloria, the Chicken Who Wouldn’t Give Up

Books on dogs are a dime a dozen. Dogs as companions. Dogs as amazing creatures that rescue. Dogs as goofy creatures that bring joy to our lives. Not to belittle canines, because I love them, too. But what about books on chickens, not as commodities but feathered friends? Haven’t seen too many titles. It’s not often you walk into someone’s house and find a chicken running around. (They poop everywhere, so if you’re going to do this, invest in some chicken diapers.) Or one in a basket. The one I had in a basket would gently kiss me on the nose with her chopped-off beak when I leaned toward her. That was Gloria. Alas, she is no longer with us. […]

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Mango, Daikon, and Avocado Spring Rolls with Ume Lime Dip

I promised myself when I updated my website a couple of months ago that I would start to blog regularly and fill my site with recipes. I am guilty of not keeping my promise. Part of the problem is that I am not a naturally inclined photographer, so that no matter how many dishes I may come up with, pictures don’t get taken. My teens bemoan the lack of photos from certain key moments in their lives when their Japanese mom, who due to her ethnicity alone should have a camera dangling from her neck at all times, forgot to bring the camera. Even with my smartphone, I often forget to snap a photo. Each time I see a another […]

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Of Figs and Tempeh and Fancy Culinary Terms Like “Sear”

In some pools, you swim up to the bar. In my pool, you swim up to the fig tree.  The Musing: Seared ahi or some other sea creature – a delicacy on so many menus. Do you know that according to scientists there will be no fish left in the sea in 50 years if we keep eating them at this rate? True — and truly frightening. Hard to enjoy that tuna after reading this, huh? Luckily, there’s a bounty of other things — of plant origin — that can be seared to delicious heights. The Recipe: When we moved to our house about 6 years ago, I was delighted to find two very prolific fig trees. Every fall, I am […]

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Just Two Little Words: Chocolate Mousse

The Musing: Chocolate Mousse. Two words that speak to just about everybody, across all ethnic groups, dietary proclivities, age groups and religious beliefs. No one complains about having to eat chocolate mousse. It’s practically a unifier. Serve chocolate mousse, and red and blue cross over to make purple.  The Recipe: So I jump back in after months of not blogging (never had a good track record for blogging consistency, anyway) with these two little words. Why? Because they need no explanation. But also because blogger Miso for Breakfast recently asked about my recipe for the Chocolate Dream Mousse I published in the New Now and Zen Epicure 10 years ago, and I thought it was indeed a great subject.       […]

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Intensely Cooking

So, after a week of whipping up buttercremes, stacks of cake layers and tarts galore, I embarked on a week-long culinary journey with nine brave students, four of whom had gone through the baking intensive the week prior. On the first day, we tackled stocks — not just your ordinary vegetable stock, but a chickenless chicken stock and a “seafood” stock (yes, sea vegetables are food from the sea, and hence “seafood”) from which we made bouillabaisse, the famous saffron-laced French fisherman’s stew.   I introduced uses for ingredients such as yuba, the skin that forms on soy milk when heated, that can be transformed into “meaty” textures like vegan fish and chicken, all without using isolated soy protein or […]

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The Perfect Summer Starter

Summertime…and the livin’ is easy.  Especially if you can imagine being in Italy and feasting under a grape-covered arbor filtering the Mediterranean sun.  The table would be graced with all of summer’s bounty, including the signature summer salad, insalata di Carprese, made with slices of succulently ripe tomatoes, Buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil, drizzled with just enough fragrant olive oil to make the going down even easier. Alas, these are those rare instances when even I have wished I could just have a bite of those tomatoes with the creamy cheese… I don’t know about you, but I have found few vegan cheese substitutes that truly satisfy. Daiya comes the closest for grilled cheese sandwiches and pizza, but their two flavors, […]

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