The unseasonably spring-like weather we’ve been experiencing has me on the party deck doing some grilling. If this mild winter continues, I’ll be firing up the blender and getting out the deck chairs!
I am hunkered into domestic life, as my job is seasonal and I am off during the winter months. I know that may seem a bit backwards for an Alaskan who loves to be out on Kachemak Bay and tend her flower garden, so I am making the best of it by enjoying cooking, reading through my treasured cookbook collection and keeping the woodstove stoked.
Happy New Year! A clean slate, endless possibilities, each day an opportunity to enjoy a new adventure. What are you thinking about resolutions? I am going to keep mine inspiring and easy enough to be doable: take more walks, see my friends more often, eat more fruit and veggies, drink more water, keep my commitments to others and take more time for myself and to enjoy my family. Of course, cooking yummy things and trying more new recipes are always at the top of the list.
I cannot write about Alaskan cooking and eating without mentioning sourdough, a magical ingredient that contributes leavening power, taste, nutrition and Alaskan tradition in liquid form. It has an entertaining and interesting past and special place in culinary history.
The Other Fisherman and I will be celebrating 40 years of marriage this week. We moved to California right after we married. Shortly thereafter, Mom mailed me the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook in which she inscribed “Happy honeymoon for the rest of your life!” She knew the way to my husband’s heart was through his stomach. It was the classic red-and-white checked volume, just like hers, only a more recent version.
The Other Fisherman has expressed his unhappiness over the lack of Christmas cookies in our house. He loves his holiday treats more than anything. I best remedy this situation right quick as we are well into the month of December and the holidays are here. If I want Santa to visit me I better be good and find the sacred recipe book of seasonal treats and get busy. Set aside some time to fill your kitchen with the smell of sugar cookies and sugar plums!
The Below kids and the Hahn kids were the best of pals growing up. Our families were special friends, as close as family, but with a relationship that was better because we weren’t related. We kids got into a lot of mischief and had a lot of fun together, just as our folks did. Their adventures and great times most likely equaled ours.…. maybe.
Over the last week, I bet you gorged on plenty of turkey dinner leftovers. Myself, I feel like a butterball. All good things must come to an end, though, and I am cleaning out the fridge of what remains of them. I want nothing that tastes of Thanksgiving and am craving vegetables and different flavors.
I hope your Thanksgiving dinner is the best ever. The recent snowfall has made for a scenic drive over the river and through the woods journey to grandma’s house. Now go fill your house with delicious smells just like grandma did!
When I was a little girl growing up in Wisconsin, our family enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with our grandparents. Both my grandmas were excellent cooks. Now I am a grandma and look forward to making yummy things and introducing family traditions to our little grandson, Kase.
I am delighted once again to share stories, family traditions and my favorite recipes with you. This time of the year I want to be in my kitchen more than ever making delicious recipes from the harvested bounty of our garden, seafood from the bay, moose from the hunt and our chickens’ eggs.
Every growing season the garden is a different story. We gardeners never know what is going to thrive or stall. This year I have Magic Fountain delphiniums that have doubled their projected size. Needless to say, they don’t fit where they are planted, much to my chagrin and the lilies that are being crowded. If I had any inkling this was going to happen I would have divided them this spring. But no. So there they loom, a formidable presence in what would otherwise be a serene setting.
The lunch rush is over, but there’s still a steady stream of customers through the door of Cosmic Kitchen on a recent Friday afternoon. Over the banter of diners and clatter in the kitchen and interruptions that include buying some fresh halibut, owners Sean Hogan and Michelle Wilson take a break to talk about their newest endeavor.
My thoughts are of appetizers as the new year celebration looms at the end of this week. Savory little bites stuffed with yummy goodness. Addictive, fun little pop-in-your mouth treats, bad for your waistline and appetite for dinner, they are just so perfect as appetizers.
The Other Fisherman loves Christmas. It’s his favorite time of year, right up there with moose hunting season and fishing for king salmon in the summer. His dad was Father Christmas, and the OF’s brother also lives for this time of year, after golf season.
Being the creative person I am, I enjoy trying new recipes and adding a fun variety of flavors to my menus. My cooking constantly evolves. I find inspiration from all over — the Internet, cooking magazines, a new cookbook, a trip somewhere, a new-to-me ingredient, or just making a wonderful, fresh, in-season ingredient taste the best it can.
This is exciting and fun and allows me to express my creativity and love of cooking through the food I make and serve. It’s something I can do every day of my life and is very much a part of who I am.
Happy Thanksgiving! It is a beautiful frosty morning atop the mountain and I have a million-dollar panoramic view of the bay from my kitchen to be thankful for, that’s for sure. It’s time to begin the annual holiday treat making extravaganza. We’ll make the traditional must-have cookies and candy, as well as hold auditions for a new goodie if something sounds intriguing.
Triple Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
I love this time of year, not only because it’s my favorite time to cook comforting soups, casseroles, roasts with gravy and mashed potatoes, apple pie and pumpkin desserts, but because I can share recipes and stories with you again. This year I will enjoy the holidays with my sister and her husband who recently moved to Homer.
To say “Christmas” is to unlock a treasure chest of favorite memories and a world of much loved tastes, smells, sounds and scenes.
What am I excited about cooking in my kitchen right now? Fresh-caught halibut and king salmon. That first-of-the-season fresh fish, grilled and basted lightly with sweet herb butter or deep-fried golden brown and served with a creamy dill pickle tartar sauce. King salmon carpaccio; paper-thin pieces of fresh king that are drizzled with citrus juice and zest, good olive oil and fresh dill and marinated a few hours then served as an appetizer with pan-toasted thin slices of sourdough bread.