Fennel & Preserved Lemons

While in Decatur at Paper Plane, I had a great accompaniment on my cheese plate, pickled fennel. I was so obsessed that I decided to make a batch of my own. Here’s a great starter recipe from Food52. I made a couple of changes as usual and took advantage of the preserved lemons sitting in my fridge:

1 Fennel bulb (stalks removed)

1 c apple cider vinegar

1/2 c water

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

a pinch of peppercorns

1 quarter of a preserved lemon

Then you pretty much follow Food52’s recipe. I waited 24hrs before sampling.

What to do with the stalks and fronds? The Kitchn already has the answer! I was inspired to craft up a salad:

Quinoa and Amaranth Salad with Fennel Fronds, Chickpeas, Egg, and Preserved Lemon


2/3 c quinoa (cooked)

1/4 c amaranth (popped and then thrown in with quinoa while boiling)

1/4 c onion, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

2 eggs, hardboiled then chopped

1/2 c chickpeas (I used canned)


Equal parts vinegar and oil (I used apple cider viegar and olive oil, maybe 1/8 c of each)

1 clove garlic, minced

fennel fronds, as many or as little as you like

1/4 of a preserved lemon (rinsed well and then chopped)

1 T mustard

salt and pepper to taste

Cook quinoa and amaranth together. While that’s cooking, sautee onions with zucchini. Gather the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk until combined. Let the quinoa and amaranth cool a bit and then combine with the other ingredients. Pour the dressing over and allow to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.



French Toast – the secret ingredient

frenchtoastI make french toast all the time, sometimes before work if I’m really craving it. French toast doesn’t have to be time consuming; milk, egg, vanilla, cinnamon and bread, pretty simple. Sure, you could get fancy with an overnight french toast or a combo of cream and milk, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Recently, I was making french toast and looking through my cabinets to see if I had anything that might add a special touch and there it was, instant vanilla pudding mix. Don’t ask me why it was there, the important part is that if you add a teaspoon or two to your milk/egg mixture, it will taste at least 20% more awesome (that’s a conservative estimate).


lyndellsWhen I was a little kid, my mother would take me to Lyndell’s and they would always give me a cookie. Now that I’m older, I just take a number like everyone else. On most days, you won’t need the number, but on any holiday that calls for pastry, you wait until you’re called. My favorite things: honeycomb bread (made with graham flour which is rare around these parts), white mountain bread, snowflake rolls, all the danish, jelly donuts, ricotta pie, hazelnut cookies with chocolate drizzle, and Linzer cookies.

Eat this: Love Grain

lovegrainHappy Sunday and first day of June! Sunday calls for a leisurely breakfast. Today I whipped up a batch of pancakes with Love Grain’s pancake and waffle mix. They are easy to make, cook quickly and evenly, delicious, and local (Somerville, Ma). The mixture is mostly teff which has been popping up everywhere lately. I made the vegan version with almond milk, just lovely! I’ll probably explore more uses for the mix, maybe muffins or cookies, we shall see.

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars

srbIt’s rhubarb season again! I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen and made some tweaks:

*whole wheat flour instead of AP

* 1/4 cup of demerara sugar instead of light brown

*5 Tablespoons of Olive Oil instead of butter

*didn’t use cornstarch or the tablespoon of sugar on the fruit

*Added some dollops of ginger spread from Ginger People on the fruit layer

Next time I make them I will double the recipe because mine came out quite thin. Delicious crumbled on top of ice cream though!