Tuesday, July 31, 2012

summer's colors

No bento or recipe today, just a savoring of the ripe bright colors of summer...and white peaches!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

beautiful sunday

Sunday was a beautiful day of peach orchards and bright beaches, crab sandwiches, clam chowder and cool ocean breezes....

Saturday, July 21, 2012

wildflour bakery and salmon in cream sauce

Hi guys! This post is about a couple of favorite things...Wildflour Bakery in charming Freestone and a wild salmon recipe we enjoyed Friday night with our good buddy Terra.
Wildflour is a cooling drive in the direction of the ocean--on a hot day, so good to feel the temperature drop gradually in bright blue measures and amble to this small bakery in its idyllic country setting...

Wildflour specializes in vivaciously flavored breads and sweets. I'm devoted to their rich scones  (plum marzipan, dark chocolate walnut)...and Jamison and I both love their beautiful Provencal-style fougasse flatbreads, a goat cheese and scallion combo in particular. The aroma of cheese, herbs and toasty whole grains when a "Green Goat" emerges hot from the oven is amazing...

See what I mean?

We love the rich garden of flowers, fruits, vegetables on the bakery property, where bees buzz ardently around cool colored lavender bushes, nasturtium leaves uncoil in blue-green lilypad shapes, shiny raspberries decorate spiky vines and green grapes ripen under intense but ocean-modulated sunshine...

These bright yellow fennel flowers are sweet, with an incredible, lingering licorice flavor. Reason enough to grow when we get our garden set up at the new house...would love to try these in a pasta tossed with sauteed fennel and crumbled sausage.

Back at the cottage, this lovely wild caught salmon was waiting. Here's a simple and (I promise) very tasty way to enjoy this fish.

Salmon with Leeks, Mushrooms, Orange Pepper

For 1.5 lbs salmon
one pint heavy cream
two leeks, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
crimini or button mushrooms, about 7
an orange pepper, diced
one lemon (half)

Lightly salt and pepper salmon, squeeze a half lemon over
place in buttered casserole. Saute leeks in a half tablespoon of butter and some olive oil, take care not to brown. Add mushrooms, cook until tender, about three minutes, then peppers, saute. Add cream and bring to a simmer, season lightly with salt and pepper and a crumble of herbes de provence.

Pour sauce over salmon and cook in preheated oven (360) till your desired degree of doneness--with fish of this quality we kept it slightly rare, about 12 minutes. Enjoy with a salad and favorite bread (yep, we had the goat-scallion loaf from Wildflour with this!)

Blackberries were gathered for dessert...

Have a great rest of the weekend and happy cooking!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

bastille day bento

Hi guys and Happy Bastille Day! We celebrated with a visit to the Costeaux Bakery and Cafe, a Healdsburg institution for 90 years.

Totally delicious blackberry macarons...

Chewy wonderful thin baguette sandwiches...had a super goat cheese and salami version

Tasty French onion soup...

Smoked duck salad

Local berries salad

Some images from our walk around Healdsburg...

A cute bag from the Mr. Moon paper shop...

This bento includes roast duck from Costeaux, local green figs, French breakfast radish and a multigrain roll....

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, mes amis!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

japanese inspirations at railroad square

Hello! Today it is hot and sunny in Santa Rosa, and I found myself seeking cool and refreshment after walking around the downtown area known as Railroad Square, where antique shops and interesting independent stores and cafes are housed in buildings from the turn of the last century. Really pleased with the bento box lunch at Sushi to Dai For, with tasty teriyaki salmon and California rolls with real crab meat--so good:

Salmon and potato is such a classic combination, as here with crispy croquettes...

Must try the blue crab miso soup next time!

Around the block is a beautiful emporium of Japanese antiques, Green Fish Trading:

Fell in love with this antique dresser...its iron details so unique and harmonious. As the shop owner helpfully pointed out, this  piece would work well with many styles of decoration. Hmmmm.....

See you again soon...