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Delicata Who?

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

DelicataSquashThere’s this pile on my desk which is composed of stuff I have to either a) deliver to its proper storage place or b) send out for treatment of some kind, as in dry cleaning or c) ponder its usefulness until I am certain it has none and then throw it away.

My general policy is to ignore this pile altogether until it threatens to swap my work station. This happened yesterday—I had to address the pile. Right on top was an oblong object that I had placed there a few days ago and proceeded to ignore.

The object, according to its label, is a Delicata squash. I bought it because every so often I resolve to cook something I have never cooked (or seen) before. Often this means some random vegetable, which sometimes actually ends up cooked and sometimes ends up rotting on the kitchen window sill.

Last night, since my husband (who is violently anti-squash) was out of town, I resolved to reduce my desk pile by one item and cook the damn thing.

I roasted it, just adding oil, salt and pepper, my theory being I’d get to know this Delicata in its purest form, rather than gussy it up. (Plus I was too lazy to gussy.) Result: Loved it.  I will buy it again. My husband will never eat it, or any other food that looks like it, but, hey, all the more for me.

My pile is diminished some. I think that entitles me to ignore it again.


Roasted Delcata Squash

Yield: two servings

1 Delicata squash

1 teaspoon olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 425º F. 

2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and clean out the seeds with a spoon. Cut the squash crosswise into pieces about 1/2″ thick.  Rub the squash pieces with oil to coat all over. Sprinkle the squash with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Place the squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet, put it in the oven and roast until tender, about 30 minutes. Eat. 




Hip Jam In Silver Lake

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Ricotta toast_2If you should find yourself visiting a much-more-hip-than-you relative in the much-more-hip-than-where-you-live section of L.A. called Silver Lake, stop in at a wee restaurant called Sqirl. It’s worth the humiliation of being the least hip person in the neighborhood on a Friday afternoon.

Sqirl is famous for their jams (like Santa Rosa Plum and Flowering Thyme, or Shady Lady Tomato) but the menu rocks with lots of other treats, some vegan, some decidedly not, like the Famed Ricotta Toast, which was my pick. (I loaded it with Snow Queen Nectarine jam.)

I told my daughter I could eat it every day for breakfast. She pointed out that if I did so I would end up the size of a house.

So, no, I won’t be having this every day for breakfast. But I will have it again next time I cross the hipness border into Silver Lake.

P.S. You can also by Sqirl jams at The Cheese Store in Beverly Hills.

P.S.S. If you are more ambitious than I you can make this at home. After you have made your own brioche and made your own ricotta, toast a massive slice of the brioche, schemer it with your lovely homemade cheese and then with jam. Invite me over to share it with you or you will end up the size of a you-know-what.





EVO And Yogurt Cake (Comfort Food)

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015


EVOCake2After the Great Flood of ’15—well, it was considered Great in my house, when a veritable toilet tsunami decimated a sizeable area of my once gracious living quarters—I felt the need for comfort food. After some dreary exchanges with insurance types and remediation contactors, my thoughts turned to Dorie Greenspan’s EVO And Yogurt Cake. It seemed like a must.

Not only is it comforting in a way that only something densely vanilla can be, but it happens to be stunningly easy to make, which gives it singular appeal right at this moment when I feel I can only address small tasks, having addressed too many big ones already today.

Whether or not you ever have a Great Flood in your house—you can read more about mine here—keep this recipe on hand for other current or future comfort needs. It works.

You can find it here, but roughly, it goes like this:



Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter a loaf pan.

Combine 1 ½ cup flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt.

In another bowl, place 1 cup sugar and the zest of one lime (although I used orange.) Rub the sugar and zest together with your fingers until the sugar is fragrant. Then mix in ½ cup plain whole ilk yogurt, 3 eggs and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla until smooth. Then fold in ½ cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil).

Pour batter into the pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, until golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Eat your troubles away.


Sunday Hash

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

I am currently in a cooking rut.

This happens occasionally. I cook something new that accommodates the tastes of my diners, decide I like it very much, and then, too lazy to come up with a fresh idea that caters to everybody’s extreme pickiness, I repeat the recipe until I feel like I am in the movie, Groundhog day and change is essential. I just completed such a cycle with Sunday Hash. Read More


PTSD (Peas Trigger Scott’s Distemper)

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

Birdseye2A few weeks ago I got an email from my bother-in-law Scott who was in a highly agitated state. He told me he had been the victim of fraud perpetrated by the Bird’s Eye Company. Read More


Mom’s Short Ribs (aka Stringy Meat)

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

MOM at 95 3_4 When my siblings and I were growing up, my mother was a miraculous cook—every night she procured dinner for eight people. Among our favorite meals was what we called “stringy meat,” which was any kind of meat that was cooked long and slow until it was a fork-tender, pull-apart, deliciously stringy thing. Read More


Spicy Chicken Tacos

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

photoThe good thing about this recipe is you can make most of the components in advance and then just throw your tacos together in fifteen minutes, which allows you time to relax and watch the PBS News Hour while you dine. Read More


Scenic Salad With Lime Basil Dressing

Monday, April 20th, 2015

photoThis salad is what happened on Saturday night when I was cleaning out my vegetable drawer. If you had something re thrilling to do that evening, you probably have a better life coach than I do. Read More


CCC’s Twisted Sister

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

CCCsBrownButterYou’ve eaten too many chocolate chip cookies in your lifetime. In the last year alone, you have had enough of them to satisfy the dessert needs of an entire state, say, Indiana, for a week. And that includes the catering of several gay weddings. Read More


Italian (Shotgun) Wedding Soup

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

ItalianWeddingSoupI am assuming that Italian Wedding Soup was so named due to its popularity at Italian weddings. I’d like to posit that, because of its ease of preparation, the soup is especially suitable for a shotgun wedding, when celebratory food is needed in a big fat hurry. Read More

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