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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Persimmon Month Celebration Salad

This picture of the front of my house, taken just a couple of days ago, shows Fall in all its colorful glory.  Trees are in full-color throughout my neighborhood, about a mile or so from the Pacific ocean.  Yes, Virginia, there are seasons in Southern California.

These vivid, warm, bright colors are the inspiration for a little salad that represents the seasons best fruits and veggies and some of my favorite flavors, with a couple of extra seasonal twists.  A perfect dish to bring to a post-post Thanksgiving gathering at cousin Sherri's on Saturday, or maybe to somewhere you're going this weekend to celebrate Persimmon Month.

Take a look around you - there are colors and flavors everywhere to inspire your own culinary creativity.

Fall Harvest Salad
1 cup cubed Korean pears
1 cup cubed Fuyu persimmons
1 cup cubed, steamed, peeled Baby Beets
1 cup cubed red cabbage                                              
1 cup cubed green cabbage
1/3 cup diced scallions
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup toasted pepitas

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sparkling apple cider
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

1.  Whisk the dressing ingredients together.
2.  Mix all the fruits and veggies together.
3.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
4.  Sprinkle the gorgonzola and pepitas on the salad, lightly toss again, and serve.

If you'd like more info on the season's best produce visit

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tempura Fruit - Thanks So Much

Need a little break from Thanksgiving preparations, shopping, cooking, etc.?  Well here's an idea for something seasonal and simple.  Seriously, you must read this post and make this recipe, I'm not kidding.

So, right now I have a case of Melissa's Korean Pears because 1) it's Korean Pear season, 2) they're crisp & juicy, unusual yet familiar at the same time, and 3) ginormous in size means more fruit per square inch.  The fact that I'm a consultant for the company is beside the point because 1) their products are really the best and 2) they're my friends and that's what friends are for.

What to do with my bounty of Korean Pears?  For a long time I've thought about making fruit tempura and these KP's practically screamed out "core now, slice into 1/4" thick rings, coat in tempura batter, fry in grapeseed oil, drain on paper towels, and start eating you fool".  Luckily I also had a box of Kikkoman Tempura Batter Mix Japanese Style Extra Crispy from my friend Helen who is the test kitchen and development chef for that company.

In no time the batter was made, the oil was hot, the KP's were sliced into rings (skin on) and the tempura train was ready to leave the station.  You will want to eat a ring or two au naturale, but try one or two sprinkled

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mysteries and Morsels

Mystery stories are favorites of mine, in books, movies, and live performances too.  Last Friday night my friend Cynthia and I drove (very slowly on the 405 of course) out to North Hollywood to see "And Then There Were None", Agatha's Christies 'Ten Little Indians' story, set on a secluded island in a mysterious mansion.. 

Lots of "curtains" in this play as the cast starts dropping one after the other, with suspense, humor, and production quality far exceeding the little theater and only one very stylish set.  Only 2 weekends left, so catch it if you can, or look for a play that interests you in your neck of the woods and you'll probably get more than your money's worth - we definitely did.    


Before the play we went to Big Mama's and Papa's Pizza in Burbank and had their amazing Khachapouri, aka Egg Gondola Pizza.  Their regular pizza and Greek salad were also delicious.  Worth the drive or put it on your list of places to go next time you're in the Valley. 

On Saturday I participated in another Santa Monica Food Swap at Palisades Park  It was a beautiful day to be ocean side with fellow foodies sharing recipe ideas, restaurant recommendations, and the other delicious things that come up when friendly people who love food get together.  This time I brought some Quince Butter with Cinnamon & Rose Water, and Fatima's Date & Almond Truffles from a recipe by my friend, cookbook author Kitty Morse  These sweet morsels resemble their chocolate counterparts but are made from dates, almonds, honey, orange blossom water, cinnamon, and toasted coconut, and one bite will transport your taste buds  to an exotic, mysterious place.

Hope your weekends are filled with good fun and great food!