Happy Halloween from the garden monsters

Boo! Happy halloween, on behalf of all the monsters who live in my garden. Don’t worry: they’re teeny-tiny little critters. And most of them are friendly. Or, like Bunnincula, only prey on vegetables. As for the rest (we do get the occasional wasp or black widow) they won’t bother you if you don’t bother them.

Pumpkin spice mole / bastard mole coloradito

Perfect for autumn, this sauce takes cinnamon, cloves, toasted almonds, and bittersweet chocolate to the savory side of the table. And if you make it with pumpkin instead of plantain, you can be obnoxious and call it “pumpkin spice mole.” (That’s mole (MO-lay) sauce, not to be confused with the less-delicious burrowing mammal.) I’m not a stickler for authenticity […]

Carnitas and kismet

Sometimes, everything just comes together. We were firming up vague dinner plans with our friend J., who said he’d been wanting to make carnitas, on the same day that we just happened to have a couple of ripe avocados that needed to be eaten. Granted, I live in California and have ripe avocados sitting around on a fairly regular […]

What to do with bland, mealy, or overripe tomatoes: make salmorejo (Andalusian gazpacho)

Got tomatoes that look better than they taste? Make salmorejo. Of course, it’s even better with good tomatoes, but this garlicky chilled soup — a puréed cousin of gazpacho — can turn even those sad tomatoes into something delicious. It also makes a perfect lunch or dinner for those hot days when you don’t want to turn on the stove. Note: […]

Bitters before breakfast

It’s the first day of Fall! Let’s all bake pumpkin pie! Oh wait — some [expletive deleted] came into my garden and stole my pumpkin. I guess I’ll have to make a seasonally appropriate coffee drink instead. Now, I recently said something disparaging about people who drink pumpkin spice lattes in August. And even now that it’s […]

Oakland’s Eat Real Fest 2014

Are you hungry? Good. Grab a friend and go down to Oakland’s Jack London Square for this weekend’s Eat Real Festival. 70+ local foodmakers are serving up small plates of delicious, regionally sourced, and sustainably produced food. There’s music, live demos, tastings, a kid’s zone, and more: the producers describe the festival as a combination of “a state […]