Cantaloupe Lassis

2014-07-19 10.14.05This morning I made cantaloupe lassis:

1/2 cantaloupe, cubed (approx 2 cups)
1 cup greek yogurt, preferably full fat
juice of 1/4 lime
pinch of cayenne pepper (maybe I’ll add more next time)

Blend with a big handful of ice cubes.

Serves 2


Here’s a great method to use when preparing melon, from my good friend Amelia Saltsman:

The cantaloupe was in my CSA box this week, and is SO Sweet! The other half is cooling in my refrigerator. Mmmmm! Maybe I’ll serve it with vanilla ice cream, which always reminds me of my favorite way of eating halo-halo when I was a child: Shaved ice, cantaloupe shreds, topped with evaporated milk, and sugar I think — and that’s all! There are a dozen other things that are meant for halo-halo, but I would skip all the others if I had a choice.

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Week #1 / Wissel Farms Harvest Club

Our first CSA box EVER! Here’s what was in the box: snap peas, beets, apricots, cherries, and a watermelon. We really ARE “At Home, Cooking!” This is a very pleasing milestone. Thank you, Wissel Farms! See you next week.

After living with pretty sketchy kitchen amenities for several years, I’m so happy to have a nice spacious kitchen to play in, and excited about the challenge of using what appears all on its own—well, without effort on my end, anyhow—every week. It will test my premise of “cooking is like jazz.”

I should show you my kitchen! It needs some straightening up before a photo shoot, though.

2014-07-03 12.06.04

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A Big Blender Day!

I used the blender THREE times today! I’m sure that is a record for me.

First thing this morning, I made a cup of Bulletproof Coffee. It is satisfying, filling and sugar free! I substitute coconut oil for the Brain Octane called for in the recipe, since coconut oil is something I always have on hand. This is my absolute favorite use for coconut oil! Unless I’m traveling, this is my go-to morning beverage.

For dinner, I tried a new recipe: Creamy Asparagus, Lemon, and Walnut Pasta. I found it on my current favorite food site, It turned out great! The walnuts on top are a delicious touch. We love anything crunchy in our food, it seems. Enjoyed our meal while we watched the Spurs demolish the Heat in Game 4!

This evening, as I was cleaning the kitchen, I made a carafe of homemade almond milk. It’s chilling in the fridge, ready for breakfast in the morning. The link above takes you to the website of Margaret & James @, which goes into much more detail. But here’s what I do: I soak 1 cup of almonds for 8 to 24 hours, on the counter; rinse and drain; and then add 4 cups of filtered water to the blender, along with a small amount of honey–about 1/2 tsp (instead of the dates or vanilla in the linked recipe). It’s not enough honey to be able to taste it, but I read that honey has an antibacterial property that helps the finished milk last longer. Blend for at least one minute; strain in a nut milk bag (Margaret’s post has a link to a nut bag, if you need to see what it is). Refrigerate. Fills a one-liter glass container right up to the brim. Lasts us about a week, which is just how long homemade almond milk stays fresh. Squeezing the remaining milk out of the nut bag always make me think of milking a cow! Try it and you’ll see what I mean : )

Margaret and James are the nice people that I do the 14-Day Sugar Control Detox Program with, at least once a year. It’s about time for a refresher. I feel great on the program, and always lose some weight and feel better. That’s another post for another time.

Before I go to bed, I’ll go out and check on tonight’s astronomical treat, the Honey Moon. It’s unusual because of falling on Friday the 13th. But, really–every full moon is beautiful and should be appreciated, and yes, celebrated! Here are three (blurry!) photos of the 2014 Honey Moon, shining over downtown Nampa, Idaho. Just because she’s a beauty!

2014 Honey Moon

Moonrise, 2014 Honey Moon

2014 Honey Moon +4 hrs

2014 Honey Moon, about 4 hours later

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Victory over the smoke alarm!

Some people know about my challenges with the smoke alarm in our Boise apartment. I set it off nearly every time I cook! However last night I discovered an excellent tip for broiling steaks in our apartment-sized oven, courtesy of the internet:

Put a layer of kosher salt in the bottom of the broiler pan, and broil as usual. The salt absorbs the drippings so that they don’t smoke. The salt doesn’t burn, either. It worked great.

Now, if I could just figure out how to keep the broiler element from turning OFF while I’m trying to cook.


Here’s the link:

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Way Spicy Chile Verde

chileVerdeWOW!! I made it just as it was written. Except I forgot to fire-roast the onion. We are waiting until tomorrow to make a meal of it but the tastes I have been having all evening are divine! It maybe be a little spicier than I’d choose, but what a wonderful rich complex flavor! Here’s the link:

It took about 3.5 hours to make not including the long simmer, but it is very tasty. Very reminiscent of the chile verde at Cafe Bouzy’s in Redondo Beach.

*** WARNING! WARNING! This is hot hot hot! WOW. Tonight I added — to only TWO reheated servings of this recipe: 1 Tablespoon (and maybe more) of sunflower butter (our peanut butter was chunky style and I didn’t want actual nut pieces in the chili), half a diced avocado per bowl, juice of half a lime, AND a good sized scoop of plain yogurt. Eaten with corn tortillas. After all that, it was still pretty much at the edge of our tolerance. I should have looked at the Scoville chart before I put in ALL those chiles!!! Yikes! Sorry – you have been warned!!!

I wonder what I should do NEXT? Well, besides ask Cafe Bouzy if they will share their recipe : )

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Calibrating Your Oven (Dial) // Carnitas Recipe

I never knew this! However, I don’t think it will work on the Wolf range at the house. Or my vintage hotplate at the studio.

I’m thinking of getting an induction hotplate for the studio. I can’t keep even heat, and it takes a long time to boil things. One burner won’t stay hot.

The last trick I tried, which worked pretty well, was to put the cast iron griddle across both burners and then set a roasting pan on top of that. I made some carnitas using David Lebovitz’s tasty recipe — wow!! It was great.

I think the only thing I did was scale it back a little to fit in my little oven at the studio. And subbed ground cinnamon for stick. Don’t leave it out, it is a great flavor addition. Oh wait, I used a lot more garlic, since Big L loves carmelized garlic and who can blame him?

This dish was a huge hit. I found some tortillas that looked handmade/homemade at the grocery store, and added a very simple mashup of avocado, tomato and cilantro to top it with.

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10 Foods You Should Only Buy Organic // Massaged Kale Salad

Shoot! Kale is on the list. Half the time I just buy it where I find it.

Time to post my new favorite salad recipe (we made it twice this week):


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