Thursday, January 8, 2015

breakfast sandwich bento

Today's bento was made for breakfast: sourdough bread from local Boudin Bakery with mayo and hardboiled egg, spicy Thai radish flower garnish plus orange and pineapple pieces. A cup of honey-sweetened chai, a regular feature of my weekday mornings is part of the ensemble. Both roses and camellias are blooming right now, and I love this delicate pink variety, reminiscent of apricot blossoms:
We recently checked out Larkspur, intrigued by the flourishing food truck scene it hosts close to the Ferry landing. Far and away the favorite of all the dishes sampled that chilly morning was the amazing fare from the Chairman Truck. They specialize in gua bao, steamed or baked breads filled with intensely flavored combinations of meats, vegetables, pickles. I was knocked out by the sheer deliciousness delivered by one bite of their tender pork belly, turmeric pickled daikon and green shiso number:
The Coca-Cola braised pork with Savoy cabbage and preserved yellow mustard seeds was a close runner up in edible delight. I'm already thinking about a return visit.

Some sights in and around Larkspur's historic downtown:
Here's to new cooking adventures in 2015!



Thursday, December 18, 2014

of critters and christmas tree farms & apple fennel salad

Images from a recent visit to Christmas tree farms in bucolic Sebastopol (Frosty Mountain Tree Farm, Reindeer Ridge and Garlock Tree Farm). The beautiful creatures at the farms were a huge highlight:



 Apple, Fennel and Toasted Walnut Salad

Bright/sweet/savory! Cut one fennel bulb and a large apple (or two small) into matchstick pieces, cut a 2x2 inch piece of Gruyère cheese the same way. Toast a handful of walnuts in a 300 degree oven for about 5 minutes. Dressing: blend 2 tablespoons walnut oil, 1 tablespoon apple vinegar, 2 teaspoons grainy Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon honey, dash of salt. Combine fennel-apple, walnuts and dressing, enjoy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

smoked paprika stir fry bento

Hi friends! Last night I made a simple but really tasty stir fry of ground turkey with chickpeas, garlic, onion, garlic, eggplant, peppers and lots of smoked hot paprika. Warming fall flavors! This bento was made for Jamison's lunch today and includes the turkey dish with brown jasmine rice, sautéed red cabbage. Garnishes: a gingko cut green apple, garden calendula petals over the rice for golden color and vitamin C.
Turkey, Chickpeas and Fall Veggies with Smoked Paprika
This yummy dish is good hot or at room temperature, making it quite bento-friendly.
1 lb. ground turkey
1 eggplant, dark and shiny, chopped
one yellow pepper, chopped (or color of your choice)
4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1/2 large red onion, sliced into half moons
1 can chickpeas, 15 ounces, rinsed and drained
smoked hot paprika, freshly ground black pepper, sea salt
1/2 cup tomato sauce or chopped fresh/canned tomato
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
cayenne pepper to taste
In a wok or sauté pan, heat olive oil and add garlic and onions, stirring until softened and lightly golden. Add eggplant pieces and pepper slices and chickpeas, turning until coated with oil. Season with sea salt, paprika and black pepper and continue to cook until tender and aromatic. Remove from pan, add ground turkey and sauté, using wooden spoon to break up clumps. Add tomato sauce, season with paprika and salt and brown lightly. Add chickpea-vegetable mixture and raise heat. Add feta, combine. Taste, correct seasonings and enjoy!
Camellias are really glorious right now, and I have radicchio and beets perking along in the garden. The kale and kohlrabi starts have been thoroughly nibbled by some nighttime critters, however!