For everyone who keeps asking me, “What does a quince look like,” here is a pic compliments of my Parisian friend and fellow foodie, Mary Bouron.

Huffington Post – Top Cookbooks of The Year

The Huffington Post listed their Best Cookbooks of 2010 by doing simple math and whiddling down a selection of multiple press mentions for best cookbooks and choosing the top contenders across the media board, as it were. Basically, what that means is they didn’t necessarily choose Urban Pantry, but two other sources did so my little-cookbook-that-could made the cut. And frankly, anyway you slice it – a huge honor. Check out mine and others here on the Huffington Post.

December Classes

SUPER VIP CANNING CLASS Sunday, Dec 12th – 6pm – Preserving Citrus .preserved lemons, meyer lemon jam & bourbon orange marmalade Monday, Dec 13th – 6pm – Homemade DIY Gifts .fennel-steeped cordial, vanilla sugar, thyme-infused salt & minted apple butter I am loving the intimate class structure of teaching at home.  If you’re interested making your own holiday gifts this year or curious about how best to preserve citrus these casual nights are a great resource. We’ll do some basic recipes and I’ll demo some creative packaging. My kitchen is  easy to peer into and there is plenty of opportunity to ask questions and pitch in. My kitchen is tiny, so this class will be small and intimate. This is an AWESOME time of year for preseving. It’s the kick off for winter citrus and a great time for DIY gift-making or stocking the pantry. Students will actively participate, but … Continue reading

Urban Pantry by Gluten Free Girl

I have met Shauna James Ahern, in passing, once or twice. Seattle is a pretty small town, at least where the food community is concerned, so everyone tends to know everyone and is familiar with their projects. Shauna, aka Gluten Free Girl, has a very prolific food blog – I used to read it when it first was published – before she met her now-husband Danny and started sharing their story. Long story short, Shauna rocks, has an awesome website and is an all-around great gal. Recently, she compiled a list of her and Danny’s favorite cookbooks and included Urban Pantry. Check it out. I love how, at first, she didn’t pay little ol’ Urban Pantry any mind, but eventually found herself opening its pages now and again. She has a great quote, too, about the general idea of the book. No, Urban Pantry is not a mind-blowing tome of … Continue reading

Chamomile Cordial

This morning I am a guest on Terri Trespicio’s show on Martha Stewart Radio – Whole Living. I love coming on the show. Terri is a firecracker and I always have fun. Today we are talking about homemade holiday food gifts and cordials are one of my absolute favorites to make and give.

Cordials are essentially sweetened syrups infused with herbs, spice or plants. They are simple to make and offer a wide range of flavors and essences to anyone willing to experiment. Cordials offer a perfect solution for a non-alcoholic ‘cocktail’ that is nothing short of grown up. For this syrup, you can use either fresh or dried chamomile flower heads. Chamomile is a dainty little white flower that has a tendency to prosper and spread amongst garden beds, cracks in the sidewalk and anywhere else it can take hold. Known for its medicinal properties (and ability to soothe), the sweet flavor from the flower heads also makes for a Continue reading

Green Tomato Recipe – Salsa Verde

I started making this salsa at home when I overplanted tomatillos in the garden one summer and ended up with far too many. It’s an amazing garnish for stewed black beans and can easily be used as a dip for chips. Often, I’ll pour some in a small sauté pan and crack an egg in, effectively poaching the egg. I pour this over some toast for a delicious breakfast or lunch. It also makes a spicy and colorful stewing sauce for pork. With tomatillos as a braising liquid the meat will come out fork tender with a hint of heat from the peppers.

In order to make this salsa pantry-safe, Continue reading

Using Restaurant Leftovers for a Killer Dinner – Lamb Bones

bean bowlThis week I was fortunate enough to eat at my friends gorgeous new restaurant, The Book Bindery, on the north side of Queen Anne in Seattle. Fortunately for me, it is a hop, skip and jump from my house. (Unfortunately, no matter how close, I wasn’t about to walk the distance in three-inch heels, but, I digress.) The restaurant is stunning, once again prooving that Patric is a marvel with interiors (he also built this and this) and the food was fab. They are a brand new kitchen, so still working out kinks on the menu, but all in all I’m thrilled that Seattle has finally added an upscale restaurant to the mix. No more jeans at dinner, people!

As always, after dinner I asked to have my leftovers boxed up. Continue reading

Preserving Fruit With Alcohol

I am a New Yorker. I read the New York Times. I love the Wednesday NYT Dining Section. If I date you and you read the NYT Dining Section, it ups your cool by like………1000 points. That said, this week, I was included in one of my favorite weekly columns (IN THE NY-bloody-TIMES!!!!!) by Brooklyn-based food writer, Melissa Clark. She writes the must-read Good Appetite every week (and is soon releasing a book of recipe favs!) and this week highlighting the technique of preserving fruit in alcohol. I love a boozy piece of fruit, I can’t deny, and so I was thrilled to be included in her article. There are some great recipes that accompany it, as well. Also, for all you Pacific NWers plums are on their way OUT, so be sure to grab a handful and brandy them up – no fancy canning tricks applied. Just a little … Continue reading

Cucumber Pickles – the quick method

I love the casual rapport that happens when good friends email eachother. Gone are salutations, gone are general mentions of health or humor, and nine times out of ten, we cut to the chase. I love it. My Dear friend  Debbie (a most fabulous designer in case you ever need) wrote me tonight: “Um. I want to make crispy pickles because I bought a bag ‘o’ cukes today. I don’t want to boil and seal and all that. Thought I saw a recipe somewhere this week that says you can just pack em in some good juju and eat em in two days. True?” And with that, here is my response (as a recipe) for refrigerator quick pickled cucumbers, done right: Yes, pretty much. Tonight, soak them in a salt water brine. Salt water should be salty like the sea. Tomorrow, drain & add cukes to a large jar or … Continue reading