I started this site in Cambridge, Mass on my couch just after departing from my horrid, horrible, horrific, horrifying job. I did a lot of soul searching, and I didn’t have to search far to realized I effing love to cook. I love the smell of food cooking, I love chopping things for hour sometimes, I love the first bite, I love constantly washing those bits of parsley off my hands, and I love the little groans of pure pleasure from the people eating my food when I know I’ve cooked something amazing. I love cooking.
The first thing I remember making was for my mother. She was sick in bed and asked me to make her something because she was hungry and couldn’t make it for herself. I went into the fridge and pulled out what I knew… bologna, american cheese, and white bread.
With the ingredients for what could potentially be my make or break my debut into the culinary arts infront of me I didn’t want to disappoint. I pulled out the first piece of bread and placed it gingerly on a beige plate dawning a light blue rim and a delicate pink lily in the center. I opened the bologna, folded the yellow molded plastic back I laid the perfectly round slice of meat on the perfectly white slice of spongey, cake bread. (I’m embellishing of course, and lets be honest I was a kid and didn’t pay THIS MUCH attention to what I was doing. Or did I? Lets continue the story.)
With the bread and meat together the next step was to unwrap the american slice of, that’s right, square perfection and lay it centered on top. But at that point I thought, why does this have to be the end? If there are two pieces of bread, why shouldn’t there be two piece of cheese and two of meat? I layered another piece of round then square alternating because I thought it would be prettier. I placed the second slice of bread on top not thinking to moisten the sandwich with mayo or mustard, but focusing on my final objective. I found a butter knife in the silverware drawer and cut the sandwich in a bias like I had seen my father do many times before.
I carefully walked my masterpiece to my mother’s bedside smiling gleefully like my beloved Teddy Ruxpin. My mother, still sick in bed, see’s my exuberance and perks right up. I hand her the lily plate with my debut culinary experiment. She eyes it returning my smile and tells me it’s beautiful and what a great chef I was. She said chef! I didn’t know what it was at the time but I knew it was a compliment. I was a chef with her first success. After that I never stopped trying to make people smile with food.
What does this have to do with my salad? Not much really, but it was my foundation, the thing that I remember over and over again when people groan and smile with pleasure I make them something they enjoy.
Without further delay, this is my take on a Cobb Salad: Home grilled, air chilled, local chicken, brined in molasses, salt, peppercorns, garlic, and hungarian paprika, thick cuts of crumbled local bacon, local manchego style cheese, and home grown heirloom rainbow tomatoes. The farmer’s market lettuce was tossed in a homemade, whole grain mustard and brown sugar vinaigrette. It was delicious, and my girlfriend groaned and smiled when she ate the salad. I was happy.
We paired the salad with a collaboration charity beer between Baird, Ishii, and Stone called Japanese Green Tea IPA, all proceeds go to help Tsunami victims in Japan. It was light and refreshing, but also deep and complex with a slight sweet and tea flavor. It went perfectly with the salad. We had a true California fusion combination, Japanese and American foods/drinks coming together.
[ I'm not doing a cartoon this time because I gave you a nice story. Hopefully next time! ]
This glorious Italian Wedding type soup was incredibly flavorful and I’m definitely going to make it over and over again. I say it’s an Italian Wedding TYPE soup because I used turkey for the meatballs and bulgur wheat (that grain in tabouli) instead of pasta. I also made my own chicken stock, which has become my new favorite past time since I got my pressure cooker!
Mmmmm, look at that. I wish I had more now.
Ooooooo fresh veggies and seasonings! I used Herb de Provence which is a mixture of savory, fennel, basil, thyme, and lavender flowers, poultry seasoning which is a mixture of thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg, and I used some more thyme because who doesn’t love thyme?! These herbs went all over the veggies and chicken I roasted for the stock…
Carrots, celery, shallots, onions, garlic, and a whole lemon cut up were the base for the chicken to roast on.
Le sigh, look at my pretty knife! Shun’s are excellent, I recommend them.
I roasted three attached leg + thigh pieces for the stock until golden brown and the inside reaches 165 degrees.
The chicken turned out so juicy and scrumptious that I almost didn’t make stock out of them. I finally made the stock but I definitely picked at the chicken a bit before.
I put all of the roasted veggies with the chicken (minus my snack potion) with some extra raw onions, couple cloves of garlic, a celery stock, 10-12 black peppercorns and a couple of whole all spice berries into the pressure cooker and cooked on the high pressure setting for about a hour. Then after straining the stock and seasoning with salt and pepper I had a SUPER DELICIOUS chicken stock. Mmmmm!
Then I made tiny turkey meatballs with a bit of the chicken fat from the soup, parsley, garlic, shallots, bread crumbs and salt & pepper.
I baked these until golden brown instead of pan frying them because there were sooooo many that would have taken fooooorreeevvveer.
Italian Wedding Soup (Kinda). Then into the stock went the bulgar wheat which I cooked until tender. I then added diced carrots, diced zucchini, diced onions, chopped fresh spinach, fresh parsley, and last but not least the tiny turkey meatballs at the end after all the veggies are cooked.
You need to know…
I'm a graphic designer by trade and a cook by hobby.
I've just moved back to my home state of California from Boston, Mass. My array of available fresh ingredients has just multiplied like a group of happy bunnies.
I will cook anything and everything. I also like to eat, a lot! Let me show you what I'm cooking and eating.