Browsing articles tagged with " Farmer’s Market"
Oct 9, 2011

Accidental Mini Asian Pear & Almond Muffins

The other weekend, on a lovely early Fall morning I took a walk to the Farmers Market. The fantastic fresh food extravaganza just so happens to be about a block from my house and occurs every single Saturday morning. It’s pretty excellent. As I entered the street lined with tents containing bins over bins of potentially amazing meals, I was overwhelmed with an intense need to buy Asian Pears. This was probably as a result of the five foot two latina woman screaming in my face, “EVERYTHING $1 A POUND! PEACHES, JALAPENOS, NECTARINES, ASIAN PEARS!” At that point I did a double take, asian pears for $1 a pound? You crazy! That’s a damn good deal. I’ll take 5 pounds.

The next day with my hords of asian pears staring me in the face I decided to make a pear butter first, then would eventually decide what to do with it after.

Asian Pears

Diced Asian PearsCooking Asian Pears

Asian Pear Butter!

When the delicious, caramelly pear butter was finished I happened to have the oatmeal canister hanging out on the kitchen counter. I glanced at the back, and there was a recipe for Oatmeal Apple Muffins. “Nice,” I said, “I’ve been meaning to start learning how to bake. Now’s an excellent time to start!” My kitty Sammy meowed back in approval. He’s very supportive.


So I devised a plan, I would substitute the white flour in the recipe for whole wheat white flour, which I had for making rues and such, I would substitute my pear butter for the apple sauce, and I would add slivered almonds. I have been advised not to try to vary recipes too much when it comes to baking, so that’s all I changed. “Let’s get baking!” Sammy meowed back in a way I can only describe as ecstatic.

Dry ingredientsWet Ingredients

Mixy, mixy…

Combining ingredients

Lubricate then stuff the muffin tins…

Coating muffin tinMuffin Batter

…that’s what she said.

Putting batter in cupsBatter in cups

And then, BAM! Mini muffins!

Asian Pear and Almond Muffins

The results were super duper excellent, but I have a couple of improvements for next time. I didn’t want to end up eating all of them, so I brought most of them to work the next day. My co-workers confirmed that they were in fact tasty and ate them all.

Muffins with sign

It was a successful baking experience and I will definitely do it again sometime soon. Maybe next time I’ll try something savory and with bacon.

Oct 6, 2011

Back in the Swing! A Cali classic & a story

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! ]

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.