Za’atar and preserved lemon flatbread pizza

Zaatar pizza cutterIs it a pizza, or a flatbread?  It has mozzarella and basil.  I think it qualifies.  Plus that’s a pizza cutter, right?  OK, it’s a pizza.

This combines two things that are fun and Middle Eastern/North African: za’atar and preserved lemon.  Don’t know what those are? Click the links.

Zaatar pizza closeupExtreme closeup!

Yalla, let’s make some pizza.

♫ Suggested listening: something fun and North African. ♫

Click to listen: Sherine – “Ana Fel Gharam”  Sherine is fun and Egyptian.

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Walnut, cherry and Gorgonzola salad

Cherry walnut salad 2

I recently had a version of this salad at a restaurant in my neighborhood.  My response was, naturally, to say “Pshhh, I can make that.” So here it is, minus one of the key ingredients: prosciutto.

Cherry walnut salad 1

Since my life is full of various pork-avoiders, I made this version without it.

♫ Suggested listening: a funk band called Lettuce? ♫ 

Click to listen: Lettuce – “Sam Huff’s Flying Raging Machine”

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Cranberry, Camembert and pistachio crostini

Cranberry camembert crostiniHey kids! It’s time for another crostini.  Again. Why? Doesn’t matter.  This is my blog. I’m the boss.

♫ Suggested listening: melting pot ♫

Click to listen: Booker T. & the M.G.’s – “Melting Pot”

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Pear and walnut crostini with ricotta and buckwheat honey

Pear ricotta crostini

So you may be detecting a theme.  There’s a variety of cheeses, pears and nuts and making the rounds.  Got a problem with that?

Right.  That’s what I thought.

Anyway, I made these for my birthday party recently.  Yes, I cooked for my own birthday party.  Whatever, I do what I want.

♫ Suggested listening: something for your birthday party. ♫

Click to listen: Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5 – “The Birthday Party”

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Roasted pears with brie, pistachios and honey

Pears1

I made these delicious animals for a New Year’s Day lunch/dinner, where we were all a bit worse for wear.  One of our friends even napped through the middle of it, then got up and came back out and recommenced eating.  Not a bad strategy at all.

Our resolutions?  Most expressed a desire to never be hung over again (ha!), and some resolved to eat more cheese.  I can get behind that.

Get on into 2015 and whatever is next for you.  While listening to golden age hip hop.  Obviously.

♫ Suggested listening: what’s next? ♫

Click to listen: Leaders Of The New School – “What’s Next”

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Rosemary roasted root vegetables

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This is a super easy and visually appealing way to use the season’s gorgeous root vegetables.

I used beets (red and golden), sweet potatoes, and parsnips, with some fresh rosemary.  Diced them, roasted them in the oven.  Done.  That’s it.

As for those beet greens? Don’t you dare throw them away.  There are a lot of things you can do with them and they are SO good for you.

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♫ Suggested listening: how we gonna kick it? ♫

Click to listen: Beastie Boys: “Root Down”

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Autumn salad with squash, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds and pecans

Autumnsalad1

This is the most beautiful salad I’ve ever made.  I made it for the first time today for brunch.

Our menu this time around:

  • Autumn salad with squash, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds and pecans
  • Pear, gorgonzola and honey flatbread
  • Spinach and gruyère strata
  • Apple-filled crepes

I don’t even want to say anything more about it.  I just want you to know how to make it.  Here’s some music to get you started…

♫ Suggested listening: Green Garden ♫

Click to listen: Laura Mvula – “Green Garden”

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Chocolate espresso cookies with pink salt

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Salted sweet things — they are everywhere.  And with good reason: it’s delicious.

Why pink salt in particular?  It’s what I had around.  Sea salt will do nicely, too, of course.

I made these for my team at the office. You DEFINITELY want me as a coworker, in case you hadn’t heard.

Let’s get to it!

♫ Suggested listening: es-press yourself! ♫

Click to listen: Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – “Express Yourself”

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Coconut flour sweet potato muffins

Sweet potato muffin

Alright, fine.  I will now concede that summer is over and it’s time to turn our attention to sweet potatoes and the pumpkin EVERYTHING that is taking over the universe.  Here are some sweet potato muffins.  Great for people who are doing some sort of wheat-free diet or are allergic to everything, like myself.

Sweet potato muffin bite

Here is one with a bite taken out of it.  By me.

Roasted sweet potato

These muffins are extremely easy to make.  I make them all the time.  If you can have butter, be careful, because if you put any butter on these after they come out of the oven, you will eat every single one of them.  Here’s how to make em.

♫ Suggested listening: something sweet. ♫ 

Click to listen: Van Morrison – “Sweet Thing”

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Blackberry and wild rice salad

blackberrysalad

This is part two of the July dinner party menu:

I guess I need to work on my plating/photography, but I think you get the idea.  This is a pretty salad, even if I am just taking photos with my iPhone.

♫ Suggested listening: something blackalicious. ♫

Click to listen: Blackalicious – “Make You Feel That Way”

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