good spoon on food52

So my friend Kristin who is way more hip and up with the times and the goings-on of the internet than I, suggested and well, insisted, she see me on Food52. And so kids, I signed up! Thanks Muffin for encouraging me to go on. There are little contests I'll enter here and there, and maybe someday I'll w.i.n.

wine country with the mom

My mom was in town recently and we did our usual. Relax. Have no Schedule. Cook. Drink good wine. Relax. We didn't have many plans, or the "yah we could go there" didn't seem to happen. It's ok though, because we like not having a schedule. We did head up to Santa Ynez and decided to venture into some wineries we weren't as familiar with. Our first stop was Blackjack, then Rideau, then Lafond. I had been to Lafond before, and we were happy to end our time there. The day was closing and the staff was incredible nice. I'm not a fan of showing up 10 minutes before closing and getting rushed through a tasting. That definitely did not happen here, and we had a blast. The decor inside was incredible classy Santa Barbara, and outside we couldn't get enough of the flowers and scenes of the beautiful vineyards. We picked up a couple bottles and later enjoyed them with my roommates. Thanks for a great weekend, Mom. You can come back anytime. Well, almost anytime. :)

el cap

a couple weeks ago we went "camping." Not really seeing as we didn't camp overnight. We got the spot last minute from someone who couldn't use it, but decided to go up anyways and enjoy the site and proximity to the ocean. We got in and while everyone was setting up camp, we were changing into our suits and heading to the beach. After that we set up our lounge chairs and a blanket and had some chips, salsa, and brews. We forgot fire wood and decided, "well, this was a fun test run. We should do this for real sometime..."

roasted butternut squash

Welcome Fall. I snipped a butternut squash from the garden and was happy to find this wonderful color and veg inside. Yum. I tossed it in some evoo, sprinkled it with s&p, and then sprinkled on some cinnamon. Yum. About 375 for 15-20 minutes until golden and it was a delicious side.


I wish I knew more of LA. I know some finds- a couple good restaurants and a place that serves ice cream sandwiches where the line is out the door. We went there after the Getty so Roth can have a new item on the list of things to do for her Canuck friends who come to visit. She was pretty excited waiting in line. And we were pretty happy when we indulged for the price of $1.50. I remember when they were only $1.00. Really.

do you kayak?

Scott told me months ago that he had 2 kayaks I could use anytime. Well last week started "anytime." We picked them up, grabbed a sandwich, and headed out. Thankfully we were able to park at the harbor and set sail- er- kayak. Getting out was easy. Thinking we would paddle all the way down to Hendry's wasn't. We both found ourselves a bit sea sick- oops- but loving the views and moments of life in paradise. Come visit. Why would you vacation anywhere else?

zuke pizza

Yes- the zukes are still a flowing. Thankfully not as often, but they are still coming and I'm still finding ways to use them. When inspiration fails me it's been easy to roast them with some salt and pepper and a little olive oil, then throw them on a pizza. Some goat cheese and then arugula on top makes for a pretty nice take on not-your-everyday-friday-night pizza creation. Enjoy!

the getty

In an effort to enjoy where we live, and take advantage of it, Roth and I headed to the Getty for a Sunday afternoon. The Getty in Malibu is located just before the traffic really gets going so it's nice that sometimes it can only take 45 minutes to get down there. Once there, all you pay for is parking, and then you have amazing art, gardens, and views of the city waiting.

I love looking at the art, but I think I love the gardens there more. All the "master pieces" seem to be in one room which seems a little silly to me. Then that room is a little busy, and some others don't have much going on.

The gardens are ever changing and I loved loved loved all the dahlias in bloom. I spotted some verbena with their purple flowers and said, "Oh yah, I have that in my garden too.." It was a fun afternoon sitting and people watching. Lots of "Oh so LA" people and then the Europeans that continue to flock here for the weather and great deals. If you're around this area- go there. If you're coming into LA sometime- Go there.

peach and creme fraiche pie

Here's another summer time recipe I made from the bounty of peaches. This recipe, like some others I've tried out is not only delicious, but it's different enough that you won't be having just simple peach pie. Creme fraiche is one of my new favorite ingredients. It really makes this dish different and oh so good. Just out of the oven with some vanilla bean ice cream really ends the night on a high note.

Adapted from Martha and Smitten.


1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 to 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 1/2 pounds ripe (4 to 5 medium) yellow peaches, pitted and quartered
2 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons crème fraîche

Take frozen pie dough out of the freezer and preheat oven to 400°F. Make streusel by stirring together dry ingredients then adding in cubed cold butter. You can add more flour if you need to get it to crumble. I have my grandma's pastry cutter which is excellent, but if you don't have one, you can use a couple forks.

Par-bake crust by placing aluminum foil around the pie and baking it for 10 minutes. When it comes out push down on the dough if you didn't have dried beans to weigh it down. Remove foil, but don't throw it out as you'll use it to place around the edges when you stick the pie back in. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

Make the filling: Sprinkle quartered peaches with sugar (two tablespoons will make a just-barely-sweeteened pie; add the other two for a still not overly-sweet but sweeter pie) and salt. Let sit for 10 minutes so the juices can really get going. Spread two tablespoons crème fraîche in bottom of par-baked pie shell, sprinkle with one-third of the streusel and fan the peach quarters decoratively on top. They might not look as pretty as you'd like, but this is still going to look great and taste even better. This is not about stressing out people! Dot the remaining three tablespoons of crème fraîche on the peaches and sprinkle with remaining streusel.

Bake the pie until the crème fraîche is bubbling and the streusel is golden brown, about 50 minutes. Cover edge of crust with a strip of foil if it browns too quickly. Let cool on a wire rack at least 15 minutes before serving, but if you can't wait, that's ok just serve with cold ice cream!

tomato corn pie

The SK really got to me about making this pie which I've now made a couple times. With corn and tomatoes being the staples of most summer menus, this recipe is a great way to mix things up a bit. I used pre-made dough because well, I haven't mastered the art of making good dough as of yet, and because really- are you going to go make the dough for this or pick it up at the store already made?! That's what I thought.

Recipe thanks to Smitten Kitchen.
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 3/4 pounds beefsteak tomatoes
1 1/2 cups corn (about 3 ears), coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped basil
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
7ounces coarsely grated sharp Cheddar (1 3/4 cups)

Use a prepared frozen pie crust. If you are good at making pie crust be my guest. I'm not- someday I'll know how to though... Put one piece of pie dough into a tin. Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Whisk together mayonnaise and lemon juice.

Cut an X in bottom of each tomato and blanch in a large pot of boiling water 10 seconds. Immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to cool. I used my colander and a large bowl. I had ice water in the bowl and that way the tomatoes stopped cooking, but they didn't get any ice chips around them. Peel tomatoes, then slice crosswise 1/4 inch and gently remove seeds and extra juices- this step helps the pie not be too runny. Arrange half of tomatoes in crust, overlapping, and sprinkle with half of corn, one tablespoon basil, 1/2 tablespoon chives, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and one cup of grated cheese. Repeat layering with remaining tomatoes, corn, basil, chives, salt, and pepper. Pour lemon mayonnaise over filling and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Take the other pie dough you have an invert it on top of the pie. This step might get messy, but just think, "whose going to see this.." It won't affect the taste and it'll still be delicious. Cut 4 steam vents in top crust and brush crust with 2 t. melted butter. Bake pie until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes, then cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.