Thursday, January 31, 2013

Julie this is for you! Rest of you can ignore this...

I really have nothing to say today but I keep thinking of my friend Julie calling me and telling me that she is disappointed that I haven't posted anything in weeks.

Ok Jules...


Remember this pillow that you made me? I still have it. Ok, ignore the potato chips and soda in this picture. It was taken in my old house in Alameda. Now that I have moved to New England I never eat unhealthy things. I have no idea what the Matzoh is doing there.


Did I ever tell about the time that I went to an art opening of a friend? I was with two other friends and I got drunk and bought this? It says "She made birdhouses in that neighborhood". It was expensive and I didn't really have the money to be buying it but it has given me years of pleasure. I don't know what it means.


Remember this place? It got all fancy now but remember when we used to go there and the night you peed in your shoe?


Remember when we opened a carton of eggs we bought and found this?

No you don't. That was a trick.

2020 Pacific

Remember my old house in Alameda?

julie and janis

Remember when my eyebrows looked like Andy Rooney's? Yes you do.

Love you!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lordy Lordy Lordy Lamb Shanks


I have been sick for a year now. Ok, not a year. Actually 2 weeks. I just started feeling better. However, I am not in a cooking mood. So, we have been sort of faking dinners. How do you "fake" a dinner?

Janis: Dr. Food what should we have for dinner?

Dr. Food: I dunno. What do YOU feel like?

Janis: I don't know that is why I asked you.

Dr. Food: (names 100 things we can cook)

Janis: I don't feel like any of them OR cooking

Dr. Food: Want to get something delivered?

Janis: I dunno....

See why I haven't been blogging?


We went to the grocery store for meager provisions and while there scored 2 really meaty lamb shanks. I got motivated for half a second and we made Brad Farmerie's Moroccan lamb shank with goat cheese grits

Ok, so I hate grits. I simply substituted for mashed potatoes. Shut up, I know they were instant mashed potatoes. I have the flu. I had the flu. Whatever.

Oh, I also forgot the apricots. Still, this was a great dish.


So, this week I am gearing up for a Cassoulet dinner party. That means a LOT of cooking. Is there a Cassoulet take-out?

Brad Farmerie's Moroccan braised lamb shanks with goats' cheese grits

4 lamb shanks
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 thumb (3-inch piece) of fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1 red chili, chopped
1 onion, fine slice crosswise
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
2 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
2 pinch saffron
1 teaspoon oregano
3 cups brown chicken stock
2X 16oz tins of peeled tomatoes
8 dried apricots, sliced
Salt and pepper

One-eighth cup toasted sliced almonds
20 high quality non-pitted green and black olives (I prefer Moroccan salt cured)
Picked parsley
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the olive oil, onion, garlic, and ginger in a pot and place over medium heat,

Stir the contents, cooking for 5-6 minutes (or until they begin to soften),

Add the carrots, celery, and spices (cumin, coriander, cinnamon, star anise, saffron, and oregano) and continue to cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring all the time.

Add the chicken stock, canned tomatoes, and apricots, increase the heat, and bring to a boil.

Place the sauce into a deep pyrex dish (or baking dish/casserole).

Place the lamb shanks onto the sauce, where they will submerge three-quarters of the way, and place in the oven uncovered.

The exposed lamb will brown in about 20-30 minutes, so you will need to check it and rotate within the sauce to expose a different portion of the shank. Continue checking and turning the lamb every 30 minutes until they are evenly browned.

Cook until the meat is starting to fall off of the bone and the sauce has thickened, about 2 and a half hours (If they become completely browned and the sauce is thick but the meat is not tender, cover and cook until they are done).

Remove from the oven, skim any visible fat that may have come to the surface and serve immediately garnished with olives, toasted almonds, and parsley or allow to cool to room temperature and place in oven safe serving dish and refrigerate until needed. To reheat, place covered dish in a 325F oven for about 30 minutes.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hello? Hello? Yes, I am still alive.


I have been busy with the sweetest boy ever. I also was thrilled to spend time with SBE's (sweetest boy ever) mom and dad.

Wait! I just saw some photo's that were secretly taken while I was making a Hannukah dinner weeks ago.


I was trying to figure out where some of these pictures were coming from and I think that I figured it out.


Uh, this is my neighbor Jeff. He was over for Hannukah dinner. Hey Jeffie, you aren't very good at being sneaky. I think I now know who took the pictures.

Ok, so I threw this in there because it makes me smile every time I watch it.


There was cooking but I forgot what everything was. Shut up, I am not going senile.


Look at that! Melts my heart.


Went for Dim Sum


Parker made cookies for Santa.


I made leg of lamb for Xmas Eve dinner.


Paula Wolfert’s Panade of Leeks and Mixed Greens


Annie made an Eggnog Cheesecake.



After putting cookies out and writing a note to Santa it is bedtime.


Some really good gifts from Annie, Tim and Parker.


Fermenting Crock that I really wanted from Dr. Food.


I had taken out starter for injera. We were going to make Ethiopian food for Xmas night dinner. *I* pooped out but Dr. Food took over the task.


Parker played with his new toys.


I got to try out my Ebelskiver pan that Jenny sent to me!


Dr. Food got a Pizza oven for Xmas so we decided to try it out. Parker helped mommy roll out the dough (wish I had video of her throwing it up in the air).


Ready to go!


Oooops, no picture of the final product.


Last night here we went to a Habachi house. Parker learned how to use chopsticks.


We waited for snow but it came too late. Annie and Parker got to see a little of it but it didn't really snow until they were gone.



I miss you guys already.


What am I eating these days? Chicken soup. Sick.

Panade of Leeks and Mixed Greens with Gruyere Cheese
Paula Wolfert

3 large leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped
1 red onion, chopped
5 green garlic shoots or 8 to 10 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
One 1-pound loaf stale chewy bread with crust
1 1/2 pounds (about 10 cups) mixed leafy greens (sorrel, chard, parsley leaves, arugula, spinach, and watercress), deribbed and shredded
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Freshly ground pepper
Grated nutmeg
3 cups whole milk, heated to simmering
1/2 pound Cantal or Gruyère cheese

1. Measure the leeks, onion, and garlic to be sure you have about 1 quart.

2. In a 7- or 8- quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Slowly stew the leeks, onion, and garlic for 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 5 more minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C).

3. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes (bread matters here). Find a chewy bread with a good crust. You should have about 2 quarts. Spread the cubes in one layer on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until just golden. Let cool and store until ready to use.

4. Add the greens to the pot, cover, and cook over low heat for 45 minutes. Uncover and boil away excess liquid. Allow to cool. Add the lemon juice, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Correct the salt. (Up to this point the recipe can be prepared 1 day in advance. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before continuing.)

5. About 2 1/2 hours before serving, oil a deep 3-quart casserole, preferably earthenware. Place one-third of the bread cubes in the dish, top with half the greens, and repeat, ending with the bread cubes and patting lightly to make an even topping. Gradually pour the hot milk down the insides and over the top of the panade so everything is moist. If necessary, add 1/2 cup water. Cover with the grated cheese and a sheet of foil.

6. Bake in a preheated 250°F (120°C) oven for 1 3/4 hours. Raise the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C), uncover, and bake 20 more minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to relax for about 10 minutes before serving.