Saturday, July 31, 2010

Kale Chips (as prepared for Feasting on the Farm Event)

Kale Chips are kale leaves brushed in olive oil and baked in the oven on a baking sheet... That's it! Kale chips are perfect broken or crunched over beet/citrus salad as a garnish. Be sure to brush olive oil on leaves evenly to ensure even cooking. Pre-heat oven to 400 F, brush olive oil evenly on each kale leaf. Place each individually on baking sheets, edges touching but no overlap of leaves. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, rotating pan mid-way to ensure even cooking. Leaves should are done when they're crunchy and dark. The end result should be crispy, dark leaves- in roughly the same size the leaves were before baking.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lemonade anyone ????!

While visiting family and working in LA, my sister turned me on to Lemonade ! WOW ! Since I'm always looking for 'culinary inspiration'... as well as new ways to prepare fresh summer produce in creative ways.... Lemonade was great to learn about. (See photo to right). The restaurant is set up cafe style and serves a wide array of fresh salads (i.e. sweet potato and pistachio) alongside some really amazing side dishes (i.e. mac and cheese which is out of this world!) Just slide your tray past the beautiful selection of salads, sample the creative combination of wonderful flavors and pick what you like. You can pick from a selection of three salads for 11.00 or 6 one-half portions for the same price. I suggest the 6 half portions for a wider array. My sister was headed to the Hollywood Bowl later that evening and was packing a selection of salads and sides to carry along. I could barely make it to my sister's house before tearing open my selections and diving right in! No leftovers, although I'm sure that would have been nice!

The Lemonade I visited is located on Abbot Kinney at Venice Blvd in Venice CA. There are other locations: downtown LA, Beverly and in MOCA ! (another reason I want to get back to MOCA!) Visit for more info.

PS: I just ran across this review on Yelp (couldn't agree with you more, Kyrk!):

Holy crap! I want to take this place and put it in my house as my own personal kitchen. Lemonade takes the crappy cafeteria you know and hate and infuses it with some Whole Foods, some farmer's market, and some LA chic. The end result? A cool spot with an overwhelming selection of delicious foods.

Roasted Beets, Local Citrus and Goat Cheese Salad (from Redlands Conservancy Feasting on the Farm Event)

Many have asked for the beet salad recipe we served at the Feasting on the Farm Redlands Conservancy event... so here it is! Each time I prepare this recipe it is slightly different, so feel free to experiment with portions and ingredients.

1-2 bunches of fresh beets (use varying sizes and colors- yellow beets work well too!)
4-6 local oranges
Goat cheese
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 F. Wash beets thoroughly, remove greens and put aside. Slice beets into 1/4 " slices, leave skin on. Place in large mixing oil and coat each beet slice evenly with olive oil. Place beets in single layer on baking sheet and put in preheated oven. Roast for approx 20-30 minutes, depending upon thickness and size of beets. Larger beets may take closer to 40-45 minutes.You'll hear the beets 'hissing' which tells you they're cooking. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning. I usually check them 10-15 minutes into cooking and turn them all over. If you have 'hot spots' in your oven, rotate to ensure even cooking. When done, beets should be shiny and soft to the touch (but not burned!) After roasting, look for an even texture and color in each beet. While beets are roasting segment oranges into individual 'sections' and set aside. Leave two halves of one orange to squeeze over salad as dressing. Crumble or slice goat cheese and put aside. (Again, just eye ball it- I usually use 1/2- 3/4 tube of chevre goat cheese for this amount. But I LOVE goat cheese. If you prefer another kind of cheese, sub with feta. If you like more citrus, add it!!)Fine chop chives and set aside. Allow beets to cool. Combine beets, crumbled goat cheese, and orange segments into large mixing bowl. Squeeze both orange halves into bowl and coat beets with orange juice. Mix ingredients together and garnish with green chives. Note: For a more colorful presentation, you can 'layer' oranges and goat cheese (without mixing) on top of beets. As soon as you mix them up, you'll quickly loose the color contrast between the beets, goat cheese and oranges. Tasty either way, just something to remember for presentation. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

See me at The Cooking Store !

New schedule of cooking classes just announced! Register today! I will teach a class on Wednesday August 25th: "From Farm To Table, Part 1". Menu is: Squash Blossoms stuffed with Goat Cheese and Farm Herbs; Figs, Prosciutto, and Blue Stilton on Crustinis, San Timoteo Canyon Farm Roasted Chicken with Fried Kale and Roasted Carrots; Sweet Potato Hash with Roasted Corn and Edamame; Farm Berry Shortcake with Vanilla Ice Cream. Cost of the class is $39, including wine ! For more information about The Cooking Store and to view a schedule of classes- visit