One for the books

My coping mechanism for the past year has been to read a lot of ancient history. It’s a great way to keep current events in context. It’s debatable whether Caligula actually nominated his horse, Incitatus, to the Roman Senate, but many crazier things certainly happened. In truth, I don’t read as much as I listen …

Gluten-free Christmas shortbread/cookies

Today’s recipe comes courtesy of sister Francine, who keeps us on our toes with her culinary creativity. Gluten-free shortbread cookies. It’s a recipe for gluten-free shortbread cookies, courtesy of The Conscious Plant Kitchen. She recommends doubling the recipe but here is the singular version: Vegan Almond flour Shortbread cookie (single recipe) 1 1/2 cups almond …

Laying down roots

We’ve been experimenting for some time with harvesting a second and even third crop of scallions simply by placing the roots in water. You can place them on a window sill and grow a second batch quite easily. They won’t grow to the same length and girth as the originals, but, hey, it’s free scallions …

Calculating pie

I was in the mood for pie, but not in the mood for baking pie. So I compromised and whipped up a batch of cherry tarts. Standard pie crust works fine for this substitute.. These bite-size morsels give you the flavor and texture of a pie and are great as a breakfast pastry. It got …

The perfect Ciabatta bread

We’ve written before about our experiments with Ciabatta, Italy’s response to France’s baguette. After some tinkering with the recipe, we believe we have arrived at the optimal combination of ingredients. What’s more, it is very simple and easy to make. 3.25 cups (650 grams) flour1.5 cups (350 milliliters) water1 tbsp (15 g) sugar1 tsp (5 …

If you make jam, you’ll want an English muffin to go with it*

Sometime during the end of summer, Sherry spent an industrious afternoon picking fruit from our strawberry tree. If you haven’t heard of strawberries growing on trees, we are not far ahead of you. We hadn’t either until we purchased our home, where two mature specimens adorned our back yard. The tree grows to the size …

The Battle of the Breads: Wands vs. Slippers

Having successfully produced a few batches of baguettes, the quintessential French bread, I decided it was time to take on its Italian counterpart: ciabatta. The history of these two loaves is fascinating and underscores the friendly culinary competitiveness between the two nations. The baguette has been around since the French revolution. Bread was a mainstay …

The move

IT HAS BEEN QUITE SOME TIME since we have posted here and we have a good excuse. Amid the pandemic, raging wildfires, heat waves, economic mayhem and political strife, we left (escaped?) the hustle and bustle of downtown Los Angeles for a sleepy suburb in Ventura County. It seems like only yesterday that we were …