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Black-eyed Pea Stew with Chefs Toys & Tips

Black-eyed Pea Stew | She Paused 4 Thought

I love kitchen gadgets. The right ones can make cooking so much more fun, and efficient! Whether it is a great knife or some obscure tool that only serves one purpose, like a carrot sharpener, they all have a place in my heart (& in my kitchen drawer). Continue Reading →

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Everyday Eggplant & “In a French Kitchen” Review

Everyday Eggplant & "In A French Kitchen" Review | She Paused 4 Thought

I have always dreamed of taking a cooking class in France. So when a milestone birthday came along, my husband took me to Paris. That was when I first met Susan Herrmann Loomis.

I enrolled in her Market Cooking Class. We began the class by learning to shop at the local farmer’s market for the best produce of the season. Once in the kitchen, we got our “hands in the dough” transforming all the goodies into a fabulous, fresh, French meal.

susan loomis cooking class Paris | She Paused 4 ThoughtShopping at Marché Raspail & plating Duck Breast a l’Orange with Braised Asparagus.

I was in heaven. You can read about my adventure here. When Susan mentioned she was teaching French cooking classes in the Black Hills of South Dakota in a few months, I jumped at the opportunity. It was fabulous as we learned and lived food for four days. Continue Reading →

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Blueberry Bliss

blueberry | She Paused 4 Thought

Blueberries are just not my favorite fruit… simply because they’re not. I buy them because I love their color and I want to love their flavor, but… sometimes they’re bland and mushy.

So why did I find myself with twenty pounds of blueberries in my kitchen last week, enough to almost fill my bathtub? Well, let me tell you something, blueberries in season, fresh from the farm, are another matter entirely. If you have ever eaten a blueberry fresh from the bush, you will understand.

blueberries Fairfield Farms Pauma Valley ca

When I popped my first, off-the-bush berry into my mouth it burst with a wonderful tart flavor that ended on a sweet, blue note. The texture was firm, with no hint of that mushy-ness I have known. I became immediately addicted, and didn’t stop tasting until my mouth, hands, and palate were blue. Continue Reading →

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Artichoke Appreciation at Baroda Farms

artichokes at Barado Farms

April is artichoke season and there is something magical about seeing purple artichokes standing at attention, ready for harvest. You don’t have to be a farmer to appreciate the bountiful crop before you, or an artist to appreciate the sheer beauty.

A couple of food bloggers and I had the privilege to visit Steve Jordan, president and owner of Baroda Farms in Lompoc, CA recently, a perennial artichoke grower and developer 29 different varieties. Special thanks to Frieda’s Produce, the distributor of these spectacular artichokes, for a unique private tour.

artichokes at Barado Farms

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Egg Salad with Pepper Relish from “The Great Pepper Cookbook”

Egg Salad with Pepper Relish | She Paused 4 Thought

Fresh and dried peppers are essential ingredients the world over. Yet while growing up in the Midwest, I could remember only eating sweet bell peppers. This meant that I had a lot to learn about one of the most popular, unique and diverse foods on our planet. As luck would have it, I was invited to a special cookbook event at Melissa’s Produce to launch their latest cookbook “The Great Pepper Cookbook”. This was the perfect opportunity for me to begin exploring all these exciting flavors and have some fun! Continue Reading →

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