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Two Favorite Salamis

28 Dec

I like cured meats as much (well, probably more) as the next guy. But two salamis have really stood out over the past few years.

Olympic Provisions (Portland, OR) Loukanika (pork with cumin and orange peel), ground with such delicious large fat pockets, moist and buttery without being at all oily.


And the Salumi (Seattle) Finocchiona (with fennel and a little curry), which sadly I haven’t been able to find in California.


Bread, Cheese, Meat, Fruit, Pickles

11 Aug

Bread, Cheese, Meat, Fruit, Pickles

A casual summer lunch while homebrewing. Excellent Jasper Hill aged cheddar, Dirty Girl dry farmed tomatoes, candy stripe figs.


Sorrel, Snap Peas, Carrots, Poached Eggs

19 Jun



February In My Mouth

2 Mar

February In My Mouth

For February I tried a no-sugar, no-wheat diet (which I impulsively extended into an almost-zero-grains diet, and minimized oils except for olive, coconut, and butter), mostly out of curiosity. As part of it, I took a photo of almost everything I ate or drank (except coffee and water). Click the image for a larger copy.

I wasn’t perfect: I’d decided ahead of time that the weekend of the Tour de Biere bike ride I’d have a few beers, but that weekend turned into a mini-break (two tacos w/ corn tortillas, a few beers, two cookies during rides, and some pita bread). To make excuses, I’d found myself feeling weak and very low-energy during a 50-mile bike ride, and eating my non-grain snacks (beef jerky, eggs, peanut butter, bananas) didn’t help. But once I ate some grains (pita bread, tabouleh), I felt great– my energy returned and I was no longer bonking. But I have no excuse for cheating with the cookie…

Other cheats included: a small piece of chocolate early on (not realizing what I was doing), small amounts of rice twice, barbecue that I suspect had a bit of sugar in the sauce, and a few cocktails (unclear if I was skipping those or not– no gluten, but grain-based). I also ended two days early when I had friends over for a beer of the month club, since it was the only night in a many-week window that everyone could make that.

But I almost exclusively ate green vegetables, fish, meat, yogurt, nuts, and fruit.

It was an interesting experience– I had a powerfully intense sugar and then bread craving from about days 9-12, which then subsided. And by the end of the month dessert seemed less attractive to me. I felt healthy during the month though not dramatically more than the previous month, and I lost about 5 pounds (though I’d lost and kept off 30 lbs over the past few years, while still eating grains, potatoes, and some sugar– I think just by eating smaller portions, better resisting snacking urges, and biking a fair amount). So it wasn’t a dramatic change for me, and feeling weak when biking without starch was an unpleasant side effect. I’m sure paleo experts could tell me I was doing it wrong and there was a grain alternative I should have been eating for sustained exercise, though. 

I did get a sugar headache from the first ice cream I had March 1st, though… but I look forward to eating delicious pasta at flour+water soon.

Okay, enough of this rambling. Back to the usual food and cooking blog…

New Year’s Eve: Luxurious Bento Box option

19 Dec

If I were in town for New Year’s, I would probably do this again:

Moroccan Shepherd’s Pie

27 Oct

For an improvised meal:

I boiled a mix of potatoes, celery root, and parsnips (light on the potatoes).

In parallel, I sauteed lots of leeks with some fresh red peppers, shallots, and spices I think of as Moroccan (turmeric, paprika, cumin, coriander, black pepper):Image

I added some good local ground lamb and continued to cook.

Then I drained fat out of the lamb and vegetables, topped them with mashed root vegetables and butter in the same cast iron skillet, grated a soft mild sheep’s milk cheese over the top, and baked until the cheese was melted.


Delicious! The lamb was good, and the parsnip and celeriac flavor was a hearty counterpart (goodbye, bland potatoes!)

SoW pop-up juice bar

2 Jul

Mid-market in the Pause Wine Bar space, currently weekends 9am-2pm: