I have a love-hate relationship with cherries. I love to eat them and I hate to pick and pit them. Back on the farm in Iowa, we had a sour cherry tree that represented countless hours of pure drudgery to a child. I endured the pain for the taste of my mother’s perfectly latticed tart cherry pie.
After moving to Los Angeles I started craving freshly harvested sour cherries – despite the memories of pitting them. Luckily I discovered Bing cherries. These dark lusciousness gems are sweeter, easier to pick (at the grocery store) and as delicious as cherries from our farm. Unlike the sour cherries, you can pop these sweet treats in your mouth, or cook them in a sweet or savory dish. Continue reading
This month’s LA Food Bloggers Meet Up is dedicated to ethnic heritage, and we are to bring a dish that relates to ours. Since I am Swedish, I set out to find a yummy dish to showcase my cultural background and make my Swedish Grandma proud.
Growing up in Iowa – which is full of Scandinavians – my Grandma Nelson led the pack when she made krumkake, fattigman and rosettes. I wanted to make one of these specialties, but I realized they all require
scary special equipment.
(If you haven’t seen these before, there a good chance your not Scandinavian)
I love simple recipes that reproduce the flavors you adore in high-end eateries, especially when I am entertaining. So I was delighted to be a part of a cooking demonstration/tasting with other LA based food bloggers featuring Chef Johnny Prep. This Detroit based chef & cooking coach is committed to helping the home cook with simple recipes that are restaurant quality.
In his book “The Five Star Casual Entertaining Cookbook”, Chef Johnny offers tips and simple recipes for making entertaining stress-free. Continue reading
Mexican cuisine is considered one of the most diverse in the world, and traditionally passed down through the generations in an unwritten form. This cuisine relies more on intuitive cooking skills, so today’s class was more of a “watch and learn, then do” lesson.
Techniques for Mexican cooking are basically the same across the country of Mexico, but it’s the ingredients that differ by region. Contributing factors are Mexico’s vast size, diverse climates, geography, and different levels of influence by the Mayas, Aztecs and Spaniards
Typical herbs and spices used in Mexican cuisine are chili powder, oregano, cilantro, coriander, cumin, epazote, cinnamon, and cocoa.
The grain staples are corn and rice. Other popular items are pinto beans in Northern Mexico and black beans towards the south.
The one ingredient that seems to make its way into more Mexican recipes is chilies. They are grown in every state, there are over 150 varieties, and each one has its own distinct flavor. Continue reading
Recipes & Ramblings from Chef School
What a huge learning curve I had this week with shellfish. If you read last week’s blog, you know that I am a Midwest farm girl who had no experience with fins, scales, and particularly things that carry a house on their back! After this week’s class however, I am shocked at how easy most shellfish are to cook.
Shellfish are categorized according their skeletal structure:
- Univalves – Single-shelled mollusks
e.g. abalone, sea urchins, conch, escargot
- Bivalves – Mollusks with two shells joined by a hinge
e.g. clams, mussels, oysters, scallops
- Crustaceans – Jointed exterior skeletons or shells
e.g. lobster, crawfish, shrimp, crab
- Cephalopods – Mollusks with tentacles attached directly to the head
e.g. octopus, squid/calamari, cuttlefish
When buying live crab or lobsters, look for movement. If you buy them frozen or pre-packaged and they are still moving—run.