Maple Pear Bacon Grilled Cheese

How do you say I love you? It comes out of my mouth in the language of beer and cheese. Cracking open an IPA for the one that I love even if my brew is less hoppy and scoring the best Vermont has to offer when it comes to cheddar (he likes it extra sharp) might be the love language that can’t really be bought. I tasted a delightfully bold cheddar from Cabot Creamery at IFBC and it set a plan in motion. Some people give expensive gifts, trips, watches, or other finery. I give grilled cheese.

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Food Poetry

Recipes

Apple Maple Pecan Cobbler - anneliesz

Apple Maple Pecan Cobbler

Tomato Rye Berry Breakfast Casserole

Tomato Rye Berry Breakfast Casserole

Refreshing and creamy popsicles that will entice Mint Chip ice cream lovers

Mint Basil Chip Popsicles

Chile Chocolate Sorbet with Cherry Compote - anneliesz

Chocolate Chile Sorbet with Cherry Compote

Bacon Cauliflower Wheat Berry Salad - anneliesz

Bacon Cauliflower Wheat Berry Salad

Jennifer Farley's Chocolate Brownies with Salted Tahini Frosting

Chocolate Brownies with Salted Tahini Frosting

Art

Playing with color and light at the California Food Photography Workshop.

Chasing the Light at California Food Photography Workshop

Michael Waters pulled out a small notebook during workshop one day. He pointed to it as the repository for ideas, quotes, scraps of life that he might need a lifeline to find later on in his poetry. I still remember him talking about reading articles about art in the New York Times, how one form of creativity informs another. And it makes sense.

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chickpea salad comes together in a flash

Spread the Sun Creativity Quote

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Journeys

When in LA- Where to Eat in LA

The city that scintillates, the one that’s got me all aflutter with a desire to return in a hot minute only to continue to eat my way through it is L.A. While the city of lights typically brings paparazzi for celebrities, all I’m interested in is the exciting food cropping up all across town. Let me explain. Recent events took me to the city of Angels on successive trips. I began learning the puzzle that is LA traffic and figuring out the thoroughfares. What stood out to me on the trips this time: a pervasive multicultural diversity where Mexican might be the main descriptor of cuisine served but then roots down regionally in specifics. Each night, I passed signs for Little Bangladesh. Little Armenia. Good luck finding parking in Koreatown. So, on each trip, each meal felt like an important decision. Could I make it to LEONA from the airport before they closed for lunch? No. Though the hours posted on the door of Baroo reflected they should have been open, a metal gate barring the way turned my smile upside down. Gjelina’s always on the list (though GTA is just fine with me. Sandwich to go, anyone?) And, my rule this time was to try to branch out and go where no fork of mine had gone before. Mostly. Baco is one of my favorite DTLA haunts. Grand Central Market didn’t happen this go-round and my eggslut breakfast sandwich dreams haven’t come true just yet. Someone once told me that Northern Californians are supposed to hate Southern California. So, I guess it’s a good thing that I’m a Texas transplant since Texas means “allies” or “friends.” Just don’t talk baseball. I bleed black and orange. So, here are my favorite spots–what are some of yours?  

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vermont barn

Back roads, blind tasting and staring into the black hole

When I was a kid, my mom occasionally toted me to blind taste tests where we would be paid for our opinions. I remember trying different unmarked hot dogs as a child and giving my opinion on which one tasted best. Even as a child, I was never short on opinions, though I was short. One evening the power in the building extinguished and I could hear a woman let out a blood-curdling cry of, my baby! When the lights went back on, the person behind the scream emerged as a sheepish mother and her seven-year old son red of embarrassment. Years later, my mom and I tell that story of sampling hot dogs punctuated with a blackout and bone-chilling scream and break out into laughter. While working at the tea company, I attended a professional tasting training where they had brought in an expert to teach us the roles of the different parts of our palates and how to better describe what we taste.

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The Bookshelf

A cross between blondie and brownie, roasted white chocolate brownie with strawberry balsamic swirl will surprise you!

Roasted White Chocolate Brownies with Strawberry Balsamic Swirl

I should start by telling you anything I could possibly write about Irvin Lin’s first cookbook would be biased. I hung the equivalent of a save-the-date postcard for cookbooks of Irvin Lin’s Marbled, Swirled, and Layered in the coveted spot on the front of my fridge months before his book had even reached his hands hardbound. I bought the book. Attended a book signing. Asked at least one inquisitive question during Q&A. So, as my full disclosure to you, I can give you more than you might ask for in a cookbook review. I can go behind the scenes.

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Cats on books. These are Chai's favorite 2017 summer reads

2017 Summer Required Reading List

I’m not sure how long summer days summon a different strain on what I want to read but without looking for it, I begin craving memoir and fiction. Throughout the rest of the year, my regimen largely consists of cookbooks and poetry (stay tuned early autumn for a book of food and poetry in a scintillating way).

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