• Posted by Califia Suntree on December 19th, 2014, 5:42 AM

    Though I simply do not and will not ever understand the whole PSL phenomenon (that’s Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, of course—it even has its own Twitter account, @TheRealPSL, with 91,000 followers and counting), who can argue with pumpkin and spice? Last year, I made my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie with garam masala, and vowed I would never do anything different. This year, though, I decided to do away with crust and just make a decadent pie filling that we could eat with a spoon—in other words, a flan, with pumpkin—and spiced it with chai. It worked. I’m always looking for ways to limit my dairy intake, so I made it mostly with light coconut milk, and then ramped up the coconut flavor with a splash of Malibu rum in the whipped cream topping. (Note: Malibu-rum-spiked whipped cream is also really, really good on key lime pie.) You can make the flan nondairy by using all  coconut milk and topping it with a dollop of whipped coconut cream. The chai is like pumpkin pie spice with extra oomph—the combination just works.

    Coconut-Chai Pumpkin Flan Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on September 29th, 2014, 10:15 AM

    I actually wore socks this week, so I know that summer is officially over. Here in Portland, the cozy darknesss has set in—as has the rain—and I’m so pleased to finally be using my oven again. The first thing baked: tender delicata squash especially for this autumnal lunch salad. The kale marinates in the sweet balsamic dressing until lunch hour and loses its bitterness, while the seckel pear—diminutive and sweet—keeps its shape and doesn’t brown thanks to the vinegar. The delicata is an especially nutty, mild squash with beautifully striped edible skin; if it’s not a fall favorite yet, it will be soon. And Oregon hazelnuts make everything crunchy and fancy. Another harbinger of fall? Halloween candy. Hey, you can’t be too pure.

    I packed the salad in my favorite Glasslock leak-proof container paired with To-Go Ware‘s brilliant bamboo cutlery. Find these and other lunch-gear recommendations, plus more than 60 recipes for healthy and delicious lunches, in my brand-new e-cookbook Bring Your Lunch!

    Kale Salad with Delicata Squash, Seckel Pear & Hazelnuts

    Makes 1 serving Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on September 8th, 2014, 5:00 AM

    The second winning recipe for the Spooning Can-It-Forward Day recipe contest (with generous prizes courtesy of Ball) comes from Ann Forsthoefel, also of Portland, Oregon. (What can I say, the locals deliver!) She will be enjoying a bounty of Ball Heritage Collection Spring Green Mason jars, herb savers, pectin, and more for all her future canning endeavors (from what I hear, she has many such endeavors!)—and we will be enjoying her Tarragon Pickled Beets. As the directions below indicate, these can be processed in a hot water bath to be shelf stable, but Ann prefers to make them refrigerator pickles “because it keeps the beets so crisp.”

    Tarragon Beets

    Makes 3 pints Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on August 26th, 2014, 5:58 AM

    Presenting the first of the two winning Can-It-Forward recipes, to celebrate preserving the harvest. This one comes from Chris Ericsen and Keri Padon of Portland, Oregon–second-time winners! I’m sure they are still working their way through the bounty of pectin from last year, but this year they will enjoy even more canning goodies from Ball. And we will all enjoy their flavorful fresh kimchi, bursting with spice and so easy to make. It’s not processed, so it stays crunchy and salad-like, but isn’t shelf-stable–keep it in the fridge. Chris suggests adding dried shrimp, too, for “extra funk.” They can be found online or at Korean markets, as can the chili powder.

    Refrigerator Kimchi 

    Makes 2 quarts

    1 head Napa cabbage in 1-inch Dice
    2 tablespoons salt
    2 tablespoons sugar
    3 tablespoons minced garlic
    3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
    3 tablespoons fish sauce
    1/4 cup: Korean chili powder
    1 bunch green onion, sliced
    1 bunch cilantro, sliced
    4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

    1: Combine the cabbage, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Let sit for 20 minutes to draw the liquid from the cabbage. Squeeze the excess liquid from the cabbage.

    2: Toss the remaining ingredients with the cabbage. Taste for seasoning. Too spicy? Not salty enough? Note: If it is too spicy add more sugar and that will tame it.

    3. Pack into 2 clean quart jars, seal, and refrigerate. It will keep for several months.

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