The Salad Whisperer

Remember that scene in “City Slickers” where everyone has just finished eating dinner and the “Ice Cream Brothers” (who I suspect were not-so-loosely-based on Ben and Jerry) decide what flavor would be best for dessert? Well, I’m kinda like that.  Except my specialty is side salads.  Give me the main course – fish, beef, chicken,

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The Well-Stocked Pantry, part deux

A couple of months ago, I proudly shared the story of how it took six months to stock my well-stocked walk-in pantry.  Alas, the downside of renting means that a home is never truly your own, (but then neither is the mortgage which is what landed the owner in hot water, so I’ve got that

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All Around the Mulberry Bush

The first time I saw this peculiar berry at the Farmers Market I thought, “that looks weird.  And gross.  And weird.”  I ended up buying the first pint more for its’ uniqueness than taste, (and three years later I still can’t accurately describe the taste), but each year I’m happy to see them again and

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A Season for Change

Big, big changes on the “Cooking for Madison” scene have contributed to my relatively long absence from the blogging world.  All good of course, but all exhausting. When I started my blog, I was a working Aunt living with my brother and niece and I was focused on sharing stories about our mealtime antics, (with

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Perfect Season is Here!

The upside to eating seasonally is that everything tastes so much better because its’ super-fresh.  And I swear seasonal food provides just the nutrition I need at that time of year.  But eating seasonally can also really suck when you’re tired of asparagus. Over the past few weeks, getting me into the kitchen was much

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Who Knew Rice Was So Versatile?

Yes, I know.  It really was a rhetorical question.  Most people know, rice is the most important staple food for a large part of the world’s human population, especially in East and South Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the West Indies.   And I think I’ve recently joined them.  Blame it on Northstar’s rice

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I Have a Thing for Leeks

I don’t know why, but for some reason I love leeks.  As far as I know my mom never really cooked with them so it’s not like I’ve got some wonderful childhood memories tied up with the smell of gently simmering leeks, (like I do with spaghetti sauce.)  They look like big, fat overgrown scallions

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“An Electric Mixer Fitted With the Paddle Attachment”

Are you ready for the saddest mixer story ever?  I mean ever.  It’s about a young woman, her dreams of baking dominance and the kitchen appliance that crushed them.  Yes?  Then let’s begin….. I’ve got a love/hate relationship with my kitchen appliances.  On one hand, there’s no way I could do some of the things

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“You’ve Got a Funny Way of Saying ‘That was delicious.'”

Sometimes dinner is just dinner – nothing fancy or extravagant or particularly exciting.  But still, it’s always nice to hear, “That was a good dinner.” Growing up, my mom’s standard way to cook chicken was to put the bone-in breasts in a big frying pan and cover them with a ton of onions and a

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Insert Strawberry Here

I swear strawberries grow like weeds in California.  I drive by several huge fields of them each morning on my way to work.  According to the California Strawberry Commission, (which I didn’t even know existed until about five minutes ago, but they have a really cool thing on their website called the Berry Report which

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