• 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 February 11th, 2013, 4:38 PM

    Because I seem to be making it every other week, I decided to post this recipe for a very hearty, filling, warming curried red lentil stew. It’s given heft with delicata squash and carrots, and deeply flavored with browned onions, garlic and fresh ginger. (Looking at the raw ingredients, I must be needing vitamin A.) If you don’t have naan on hand to serve on the side, blister the hell out of a flour tortilla on a stovetop burner, then butter and fold each layer. It’ll do.

    Makes about 8 servings (I freeze half of it to avoid lentil overload) Read on… »

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  • Posted by Califia Suntree on October 18th, 2012, 5:04 PM

    From time to time, I feel like it’s my duty to remind everyone to pickle things! Now that winter is coming on, pickle-friendly veggies are taking center stage, and there’s nothing like a zingy bite of something sour to spark up cold-weather dishes like roast meats and stews. It doesn’t take much–maybe a quick cook to soften, and then a nice long soak in a flavorful brine. No need to do any fancy canning, just a clean jar and a fridge. The glorious pink pile you see here is a batch of watermelon radishes, thinly sliced and soaked in lemon juice, white balsamic, salt, sugar, and zest. It took but a moment and brought days of happy snacking. (This system works beautifully for daikon as well. But remember, pickled radishes of any stripe are stanky.) So as the beets, carrots, radishes, cabbages, garlic, turnips, and brussels sprouts pile up around you this fall and winter–please, remember to pickle.

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on February 26th, 2012, 10:29 AM

    Big congrats to Farmhouse Culture for winning this year’s Good Food Award in the Pickles category for their smoky-hot-zesty-fabulous Smoked Jalapeño Saurkraut. Santa Cruz-based Farmhouse Culture makes fantastic krauts from organic California produce, and the award is well-earned. Check out a Spooning recipe for a grilled cheddar cheese sandwich made with my top Farmhouse pick, the green apple kraut. If you want to play around with the award-winning Smoked Jalapeño kraut, try it on a turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich, or on a hot dog (mmmm), or as they suggest, use it to to make some dang tangy nachos! Check out the complete list of Good Food Award winners here.


    Good Food Winner! – Farmhouse Culture.

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