soups on sunday

we’ve been posting recipes at wonderful ingredients since the summer of 2008 when we lived on the big island.  we added the blog as our sister site in 2009 to share more than just recipes.  well, its 2012 and we will be making some changes and adding a few new things to wonderful ingredients over the new year!

turkish red lentil soup with mint and peppers

as a starter, soups on sunday will be a weekly feature to showcase all things soup; recipes for soups and stews and things that go with soups and stews, like bread and cheese and jazz music.  we will connect you to some of our favorite ‘go-to’ recipes from years past and share our new creations.

this week showcases one of our household staples.  if i was pressed to name the most essential practice in our kitchen it would be tough to choose between fermenting foods and homemade bone broth.  anytime of year, you will always find these two things in one form or another in our house.

festive? just try it

though time-consuming, bone broth (made from various knuckle and marrow bones and vegetables) provides your kitchen with the premier ingredient.  use bone broth in place of water for cooking grains and making soups and stews.  it provides untold depths of flavor as well as a host of nutrients.

you can usually find bones at the meat counter or freezer section of your local store.  additionally, there are places online that sell grass-fed meat products and you can always hook-up with a rancher and buy meat and or  bones wholesale.  buying from an organic source is important as you will actually be leaching out all the nutrients (and everything else) from the bones (and the vegetables).

in many countries, it is traditional to use a long-simmered broth as a base for soups, stew, gravies and grains.  if you find yourself at a loss with your bone broth try getting your day going with a simple asian-inspired breakfast of bone broth with miso and poached egg.  it is nourishing, balancing and filling… perfect for these cold winter mornings.

bone broth poached egg

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happy new year!

our impromptu new years eve dinner was fabulous over at betsy and jims.  it was nice to be with good friends sharing food and happy memories from 2011.  first course was sesame crusted ginger salmon and salad with ginger & honey infused apple cider vinegar (have i posted that recipe yet?)!  second course:  cider braised ham hocks (woah, betsy, incredible job!), with garlic sauteed kale and our savory quince & onions.  we opened the last bottle of pommeau (sweet indulgent nectar!); it’ll be at least another year before the next batch is ready.

we enjoyed the rest of the chocolate spiced pudding for dessert after watching ‘Margin Call’ (stellar flick).  its one of those all-too-true, intriguing movies that riles the viewer up (at least some of us were riled up)!

short creek hill was my walking/meditation spot this last year.  i kept returning day after day to hike up the hill.  there was always something curious or beautiful to see… fresh bear, skunk, bobcat and fox tracks, the ephemeral dew-specked dragonfly,

a pair of golden eagles, the valley sandwiched between high clouds and tule fog,

flocks of ruby-crowned kinglets and bush tits in the blackberries, frost covered sunrise and this, the last sunset of 2011:

wishing you, all the best, health and happiness in 2012


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mostly it was a simple affair:  butternut squash soup with summers’ roasted tomatoes and peppers with braised leg of lamb, both reheated from previous nights.  served along side a heap of bright winter salad greens (thick and sweet from the long cold nights) topped with the still-amazing moroccan beets.  since its discovery in early summer, we return to this dish over and over.  i stuck to the recipe precisely, except, tonight, i skipped the cumin.  instead, imagine dry sauteing some peppinos (pumpkin seeds) until golden then adding a splash of olive oil and nama shoyu right at the end.  it looked like this: salad greens topped with moroccan beets topped with ‘carmelized’ peppinos!

meanwhile, we have one and a half dehydrators filled with the last of the asian pears from betsy’s orchard.  are you wondering about the other half of the dehydrator?  not to worry, its has yogurt (the homemade kind), which needs to stay nice and warm for the next eight hours.  add to that 6 ramekins and 3 half pint jars chilling in the fridge filled with a spiced chocolate pudding.  keeping my fingers crossed that it will turn out just as good as the first and will turn into the next recipe post over at wonderful ingredients!

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Coleman Hawkins, Lamb Shoulder, Marinated Onions.

great evening of coleman hawkins &
supper with the main squeeze

i cant believe it took me this long to get hip to coleman hawkins.  this stuff is like the definition of jazz.  goes great with any kind of alcohol, cigarettes, dinner, taking a shower, driving at night with your main steady, & waiting in line at the DMV.   You can find it at your local record shop in the bin marked “worth every penny”.

lamb shoulder has that classic kebab flavor.  if you cook it yourself you get to eat all the fat (its pretty lean at any kebab shop).  that fat is really good for you.  seriously, do you think the cavemen were throwing that stuff out?  we braised the shoulder in a skillet with wine and black rice so the rice soaked up most of the grease.

arugula salad with marinated onions, wow!  ok, arugula salad, you know what that is.  marinated onions: halve and then slice up enough onions to fill a quart jar.  then add the juice of 3 limes, a tablespoon of whey, and a tablespoon of salt.  also a bit of sliced garlic and chili powder if you want to go that route.  fill it up to the top with water and shake it.  leave it out on the counter for 2 days, then refrigerate.  after that, you can eat the onions as an awesome garnish and put in more onions to keep the whole thing going.  these onions are a great way of eating a vegetable during the winter when theres not a lot going on.  but anyways they really compliment breakfast-style eggs, any kind of meat dish (hot or cold), sandwiches, you name it.

Mission Chinese, Pier 24 Photography, Timothy Morton Lecture

A quick trip down to the city of SF,
& we were lucky enough to experience a few things we want to share…

Mission Chinese is on Mission, between 18th and 19th.  This place is amazing.  From the first bite, just amazing.  Unless youre an experienced fan of chinese food, every plate will surprise you.  The sign out front says Lung Shan, not Mission Chinese, so keep that in mind.  The decor is traditional low-rent chinese restaurant, and the music was 80s/90s rap on one day and oldies the next.  The whole town is excited about this place.

Pier 24 Photography is right under pier 24 on the Embarcadero and is one of the best photography spaces in the world.  We found out about Pier 24 because our buddy Ed Panar is friends with the fellow who runs the place.  An impressive space and stunningly curated (no writing on the walls at all, just photographs).

Timothy Morton provoked no small amount of discussion around here, with his book The Ecological Thought and his freewheeling lectures.  We managed to catch one at the California College of the Arts (after a quick fernet and coke at Thee Parkside bar), and it was well worth the cost of the lecture ($free) and the cost of the drinks ($8).

On our way back ruby showed me the surf spot at the Marin Headlands.  What an awesome little spot!  Its only about 10 minutes off the freeway (the last exit before Golden Gate Bridge) and its free/open to the public.

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Brandi Carlile

At our house, the last few days have been dominated by the excellent Brandi Carlile.  The music in question is her 2009 release Give Up The Ghost.  We got into Brandi a few years ago when we were exposed to her first two albums: Brandi Carlile and The Story (we played the crap out of both those albums, too).  Her music seems to straddle the genres of folk, country and rock, which should pique your interest because when a band actually does that rather than just claiming to, its a rare combination.  The slightly jagged songs are presented without apology.  These are not polished chord vamps but rather examples of personal artistic expression.  There are 2 X-factors at work: her voice is amazing (and a little scary), and there is about 8% Nirvana in her music.  Most folks may find that last claim surprising, but I see Brandi and her band holding the only remaining glimmer of the flame Kurt ignited.

things that make me happy

1.  the flower garden.  despite the gophers best efforts, our flowers are growing and blooming.  zinnias remind me of my childhood and all the gorgeous flowers my mom grew.  i scored this variety called ‘state fair’  at the 2010 bioneers seed exchange (seriously, go).  the plants are sturdy, full of vibrant color and continual blooms.

2.  swimming in middle fork of the eel river.  the temperature is just right, refreshingly cool, but doesn’t give you an ice cream headache a few minutes after jumping in.  a friend showed this spot to dylan and josh.  its a precarious climb to get down/up (star thistle = pants and boots), but the deep deep turquoise waters and sandy beach are well worth the effort.  yesterday evening i sat on a rock by the rivers edge after swimming a few laps and watched a mountain garter snake lounge in the water, a foothill yellow-legged frog blend in with the gray sand, a turtle swim across the river and a california towhee take a bath!

4.  robyns new video.  prior to seeing the video, dylan found her new song on the hype machine and we’ve listened to it a bunch.  i got into robyn sometime last year, and its been a love affair ever since.  i purchased 3 of her konichwa released albums and was impressed by every single one.  this new video is inspiring and fun, i suggest dancing along with her!  btw:  if you find yourself wondering, “is that the electric slide?”  yes, it is!

5.  our new kayak.  its tandem and red: two things i love.  we saved up and finally made the purchase.  the paddles & roof rack just arrived and the mendocino coast is calling our name!

6. toddy coffee & whip cream.  toddy is a way to “brew” coffee, with no heat.  it has a lower acid profile while maintaining a depth of flavor!  we purchased the actual toddy as it can be a bit of a challenge to strain a large amount of coffee on your own.  topped with some homemade cinnamon and nutmeg infused whipped cream and you are on your way to a fabulous afternoon.

7. wild pets.  sitting on the porch is always fascinating.  there’s the elusive bobcat, who sets off ground squirrel alarms like nobodys business.  the tiny fast and furious hummingbirds, never failing in their curiosity to get close enough to your head to cause a heart palpitation.  hilarious gray squirrels running up and down the trees, chasing each other or even their own tails.  nut hatches, walking up and down the giant oak.  towhees, robins, quail, morning doves, scrub jays all in their various hops, walks and skips scouring the ground for seeds and worms and such.  the new grosbeaks, just fledged, up in the pine.  a constant wailing and pleading for their parents to come feed them.  tiny brush rabbits and their tinnier offspring eating the petunias (they are cute enough that i don’t mind sharing).  caterpillars and beetles and bees and ladybugs and all the amazing pollinators, humming among the perennial gardens bursting with mints, lemon balm, oregano, penstemon, valerian, tobacco, buddleja, skullcap, maximilian sunflowers, hyssop and so much more.

8.  reading.  bill bufords heat makes me hungry!  i really love the way he writes.  wonder how many people he has inspired to travel to italy, begin cooking or go out to eat at one of mario batali’s famed restaurants?!  dreams of deserts and coyotes are recalled with terry tempest williams red.  curiosity inspires jaunts into the peterson and california natural history field guides.  the new yorker is always passing between dylan and i.  wise tradtions, the publication by the weston a price foundations is incredible.  really folks, join them and get it!  my winter online class with dr. cowan inspired a subscription to the townsend letter: the examiner of alternative medicine… woah, a dense but fascinating periodical.  lately i’m into reading a poem or two by mary oliver or david whyte at my ladies writing group for instigating starting prompts.  all this reading has inspired writing and cooking, always good things to have more of.

9.  duets.  this song inspired a mini music session at home the other night.  dylan on the piano, me fumbling on the guitar, singing together.  this is kind of what its all about.

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