Roadtrip retrospective 4, Caldera Brewery, Ashland

We arrived in Ashland after a very long drive and were hungry. This brewery was walking distance from our hotel and has a huge variety of beers and ales. Samples are delivered in a paddle with cut-out holes. We tried:

  • Rauch Ur Bock (my favorite)
  • Pilot Rock Porter
  • Mogli Porter
  • Imperial Stout
  • Oatmeal Stout
Caldera Brewery beer sample, Ashland
Caldera Brewery beer sample, Ashland

The menu lists the hoppiness factor of each beer. I should have paid closer attention to that before ordering. I love stouts and porters, so thought I would love them all, but some of these were too hoppy for me. I don’t like any bitterness at all in my beer.

However, any bitter taste was quickly compensated for by this fruit pizza! This was delicious!

Fruit pizza at Caldera Brewery, Ashland
Fruit pizza at Caldera Brewery, Ashland

Michael Chiarello is back and news(letter) announcement

Or, I should say, I’m back to Michael Chiarello. I am what I call “phasic,” meaning I go through enthusiasms in phases. My cooking enthusiasm phases are few and far between, and my husband has been waiting for another one to strike. (He does most of the cooking.) His absolute favorite phase of mine was my Michael Chiarello phase. The food is great, and best of all the recipes are simple. (I tend to choose recipes that are really involved and then I’m burned out (no pun intended) on cooking for another three months.) And I tend to make dessert which is really only useful when we’re going to someone’s house or having people over. No, I don’t eat dessert every day, and maybe that’s my problem.

I love this cookbook, though!

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I was thumbing through it because I needed the recipe for Ceci a la Siciliana, about which I love everything, especially the name. I say the name a lot. I think it is pronounced Seechee a la Siciliana. I say it as often as possible. The dish also tastes great and is vegetarian.

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Changing topic, I’m starting a newsletter this year. I plan to do one once a month and will be providing original recipes, updates on my writing, book give-aways, photos, and writing tips. To sign up for the newsletter, please let me know in the comments!

Thanks for visiting, and enjoy your day.

Monday veg dinner

Vegetarian sausage seems to be dominating our menu lately. It’s so versatile! Last night we made polenta with spaghetti squash and sausages sauteed with peppers and onions.

The sausages come in a package from Costco. We used the apple ones for this recipe.

The recipe was from the New York Times, but Hubs altered it a bit. For one thing, he used vegetarian sausages from Costco.

Here are the main flavors, the peppers, onions and seasonings, including fennel seeds (to die for).

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The polenta was flavored with bay leaf and fresh rosemary, plus sea salt. I see a few fennel seeds in there too, now that I look at it.

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During the day, my hubs used the giant persimmons someone gave us and made a persimmon pudding cake. There shouldn’t be a slice taken out of it before a photo shoot, but we couldn’t stop ourselves. It is incredible.

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Now that I look at it, I see that there is more than one slice taken out of the cake! Oh well, I’ll start my diet (again) today.

We have BJ’s Brew Pub red ale on tap at the moment.

Thanks for dropping by!

Nicci

A Thanksgiving day poem and highlights of a foodie

Love is what it’s all about–
but food is a close second.

Nia Simone, November 28, 2013

I was asking an Australian friend if they have any holidays that are basically about food. Not really. Okay, so I have several Australian friends, many of whom I’ve met through blogging, so pipe up if you disagree! Of course, as you know, the food in Australia is amazing, so perhaps we don’t need a specific holiday centered on feasting there.

Australia is my other home, and this is becoming clear as one fellow blogger thought I was Australian.  I love Australia and my Australian friends. Today is an American holiday, though, and I’m going to celebrate it by starting this celebration of food off with home-grown and home cooked foods before moving on to some of my international culinary samples.

Home grown and home-cooked:

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Vegan Thai

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Getting closer
Lentil salad
Yummy ingredients
Yummy ingredients
Dinner time! (Very yummy)
Dinner time! (Very yummy)
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Vegan Thai with other veggies

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Greenwich Village Manhattan:

Turophilia (excessive love of cheese) Greenwich Village, sign outside the cheese shop
Turophilia (excessive love of cheese) Greenwich Village, sign outside the cheese shop
Day 6 GV Cheese store
A bit of cheese
Octopus, beer and a dolmata at Boukies, Greenwich Village
Octopus, beer and a dolmata at Boukies, Greenwich Village

Australia:

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Barramundi at Lorne
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Stuffed squid at a tapas bar in Melbourne, DeGraves Street
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Joe’s? I think, Sydney, by the river
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Smoked salmon at Joe’s in Sydney

San Francisco:

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Dessert at Piperade
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Appetizer at Piperade
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Piperade Restaurant

Paris:

Christian Constant Restaurant starters
Christian Constant Restaurant starters
Self portrait
I guess you could say wine was a big feature in Paris! This was dinner on the deck of our apartment.
Veal
Veal — Opera House
Deep fried Celeriac
Deep fried Celeriac — Opera House
Crepe de Frites Maison Robert
Crepe de Frites Maison Robert on Champs Elysees
Wine
Opera House
Rolls
Rolls, fresh, Opera House
Butter at opera
Butter, Opera House
Tomato jam mozzarella bonito and basil sorbet
Tomato jam mozzarella bonito and basil sorbet, Opera House
Green pea soup cold with cream and goat cheese on toast
Green pea soup cold with cream and goat cheese on toast, Opera House
Opera House, Grey Goose is the house vodka
Rue Cler Produce outside
Rue Cler Produce outside
Rue Cler Capuccino and Cafe Americain
Rue Cler Capuccino and Cafe Americain

Amsterdam:

A waffle at Keukenhof Gardens

Bread Netherlands where I bought it

Sekiwake

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Thai food

Thai food

Rijsstaafl
Rijsstaafl
Appetizers ready to go out to the deck
Appetizers ready to go out to the deck of the houseboat

Texas:

The Brush Fire
The Brush Fire
Torchy's Tacos, The Independent
Torchy’s Tacos, The Independent

More Manhattan:

Days 16 019 grilled camembert
Grilled camembert at The Eatery
Days 16 021 meat loaf ravioli mac and jack
Meat loaf ravioli mac and jack at The Eatery
Days 16 Lisas bagel
Lisa’s bagel
Days 16 018 sweet italian sausage risotto croquettes
Sweet italian sausage risotto croquettes
Days 20 21 050 A
At The Boathouse in Central Park
Days 20 21 052 A
The Boathouse, Central Park
Days 20 21 085 A
Flor de Mayo, Peruvian restaurant upper west side
Days 20 21 088 A
Flor de Mayo, Peruvian restaurant, upper west side
Day4 Hot Pretzel
Hot pretzel in Central Park
Flor de Mayo
Flor de Mayo, Peruvian restuarant, upper west side
Day 19 009
Deli, lower East side
Sesame seed crackers at The Eatery
Sesame seed crackers at The Eatery
Shmear, a deli in the upper west side
Shmears at a deli in the upper west side
Shmear, a deli in the upper west side
Shmears, continued, at a deli in the upper west side
Shmear, a deli in the upper west side
Yet more shmears at a deli in the upper west side
Pain au Chocolate at the Pushkin cafe across from the Museum of Modern Art
Pain au Chocolate at the Brasserie Pushkin across from the Museum of Modern Art
Dining Room at Brasserie Puskin NYC
Dining Room at Brasserie Puskin NYC

 

Blackbottom cheesecake from The Bake Shop
Blackbottom cheesecake from The Bake Shop
Grasshopper (mint chocolate chip) from The Bake Shop
Grasshopper (mint chocolate chip) from The Bake Shop

The Last Straw world-wide release and a free cookbook

Dinner last night was vegetarian Thai curry. Half the vegetables came from our garden, which still clings to life despite cold nights.

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We make this all the time at home so I submitted it for the recipe gift book my publisher does during the holidays. You can get the recipe on page 55 of the FREE Holiday Garden Gourmet cookbook at The Wild Rose Press. You’ll also find lots of other recipes from Wild Rose Press authors, all organized by type of recipe in a free, downloadable PDF.

While you’re there, if you would like my novella, The Last Straw, in another format besides Kindle (mobi), you can now get a PDF or epub version. Here is the link: The Last Straw.

Note:  Last night we added tofu to the mix, which isn’t in the recipe, for extra protein. You can see the little white cubes in the second photo. Just toss them in at the end and let the meal simmer for about 10 minutes to heat the tofu.

Enjoy!

28 (food) reasons to love Manhattan

Welcome to new followers of this blog! Here is a re-post of a popular topic. Loyal readers, thanks for your indulgence as I work up an interesting new series called: “Inside the author’s mind.” And don’t worry, it’s not my mind we will be exploring. My interviewees for this creative-process exploration are a lot more interesting.

Trip dates: 9/15 – 10/13/12

Pushkin Brasserie (near Museum of Modern Art),

D

Add to Pushkin Brasserie ambiance this and a spiked cappuccino and you’ll recover from exhausting museum going:

paul-pain-au-chocolat-450

Share these from Crumbs Bake Shop:

4_cu_blackbottom_cheesecake (1)
Blackbottom cheesecake cupcake

(upper west side, 97th/Columbus.)

cup_Grasshopper
Grasshopper (mint chocolate chip) to die for

“Wine-dark in a shallow lemon sea, pelted with capers, the curl of octopus ($16) looked messy and primeval, as if just plucked from the deep. It is the dish that a Greek restaurant lives or dies by, simple yet exacting. Tenderness should be victory enough. But the octopus at Boukiés had gone a step beyond, the flesh undoing itself, achieving a texture, at its core, close to nectar.” Ligaya Mishan, New York Times 9/21/12

Looked scary, tasted heavenly:

Day 6 GV Boukies 2
Boukies (pronounced Boo KAY is) in Greenwich Village

For less money and a different though not lesser pleasure, a hot pretzel in Central Park:   Day4 Hot Pretzel

Do you love cheese? There’s a name for that.

Day 6 GV Turophilia
Cheese shop in Greenwich Village

Day 6 GV Cheese store

A choice of Schmears (upper west side, Broadway):Day 7 Shmear 2 Day 7 Shmear 3 Day 7 Shmear 4

Oyster bar in Grand Central Station:

Day 18 116 QQ

Spinach and kasha knishes from Yonah Shimmel’s Knishery on East Houston Street (lower east side):

Day 19 002 AA Day 19 005

Pastrami and corned beef sandwiches at Katz’s Deli (near Yonah’s, lower east side):

Day 19 009

Tiny cupcake:

Day 19 013 H
Sugary Sweet Sunshine Bakery

Cappuccino in Tribeca:

Day 19 024

Comfort food at The Eatery after a show (The Phantom of the Opera).

Days 16 012 sesame seed crackers
Sesame seed crackers and champagne
Days 16 018 sweet italian sausage risotto croquettes
Sweet italian sausage risotto croquettes
Days 16 019 grilled camembert
Grilled camembert
Days 16 021 meat loaf ravioli mac and jack
Meat loaf, ravioli and “Mac and Jack” (macaroni and cheese with grilled onions on top)

Days 16 026

Elevation of a bagel:Days 16 Lisas bagel

Peruvian cuisine on the upper west side at Flor De Mayo (Broadway around 98th):

Days 20 21 085 A
Beef stew in a cilantro sauce with potatoes
Days 20 21 088 A
Roasted chicken and plaintains
Flor de Mayo
Aji Gallina Chicken with eggs on a bed of lettuce

Simple repast at The Boathouse (Central Park):Days 20 21 050 A Days 20 21 052 A Days 20 21 053 A

28 (food) reasons to love Manhattan

Trip dates: 9/15 – 10/13/12

Pushkin Brasserie (near Museum of Modern Art),

D

Add to Pushkin Brasserie ambiance this and a spiked cappuccino and you’ll recover from exhausting museum going:

paul-pain-au-chocolat-450

Share these from Crumbs Bake Shop:

4_cu_blackbottom_cheesecake (1)
Blackbottom cheesecake cupcake

(upper west side, 97th/Columbus.)

cup_Grasshopper
Grasshopper (mint chocolate chip) to die for

“Wine-dark in a shallow lemon sea, pelted with capers, the curl of octopus ($16) looked messy and primeval, as if just plucked from the deep. It is the dish that a Greek restaurant lives or dies by, simple yet exacting. Tenderness should be victory enough. But the octopus at Boukiés had gone a step beyond, the flesh undoing itself, achieving a texture, at its core, close to nectar.” Ligaya Mishan, New York Times 9/21/12

Looked scary, tasted heavenly:

Day 6 GV Boukies 2
Boukies (pronounced Boo KAY is) in Greenwich Village

For less money and a different though not lesser pleasure, a hot pretzel in Central Park:   Day4 Hot Pretzel

Do you love cheese? There’s a name for that.

Day 6 GV Turophilia
Cheese shop in Greenwich Village

Day 6 GV Cheese store

A choice of Schmears (upper west side, Broadway):Day 7 Shmear 2 Day 7 Shmear 3 Day 7 Shmear 4

Oyster bar in Grand Central Station:

Day 18 116 QQ

Spinach and kasha knishes from Yonah Shimmel’s Knishery on East Houston Street (lower east side):

Day 19 002 AA Day 19 005

Pastrami and corned beef sandwiches at Katz’s Deli (near Yonah’s, lower east side):

Day 19 009

Tiny cupcake:

Day 19 013 H
Sugary Sweet Sunshine Bakery

Cappuccino in Tribeca:

Day 19 024

Comfort food at The Eatery after a show (The Phantom of the Opera).

Days 16 012 sesame seed crackers
Sesame seed crackers and champagne
Days 16 018 sweet italian sausage risotto croquettes
Sweet italian sausage risotto croquettes
Days 16 019 grilled camembert
Grilled camembert
Days 16 021 meat loaf ravioli mac and jack
Meat loaf, ravioli and “Mac and Jack” (macaroni and cheese with grilled onions on top)

Days 16 026

Elevation of a bagel:Days 16 Lisas bagel

Peruvian cuisine on the upper west side at Flor De Mayo (Broadway around 98th):

Days 20 21 085 A
Beef stew in a cilantro sauce with potatoes
Days 20 21 088 A
Roasted chicken and plaintains
Flor de Mayo
Aji Gallina Chicken with eggs on a bed of lettuce

Simple repast at The Boathouse (Central Park):Days 20 21 050 A Days 20 21 052 A Days 20 21 053 A

5 ways to flunk retirement

  1. Sit on the couch all day.
  2. Sit on Facebook all day.
  3. Go back to work.
  4. Complain about your old bones (and other body parts).
  5. Complain about frickin anything. (You’re retired. Shut up.)

This morning, bright and early (9:45), we fought our way through morning rush hour

Rush hour

to get on the Funitel at Squaw Valley

GettingCloser

and finally to work.

Work

Of course, we have to have a lunch break. All employees are entitled to that. Excellent fish and chips, stew, and beer at The Auld Dubliner in Squaw Valley:

FishnChips BeefStew