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Archive for August, 2008

Cantaloupe from the Garden

August 25th, 2008 by Michelle | 2 Comments | Filed in produce

Cantaloupe on the vine in our garden

We planted cantaloupe this year and now have a nice crop of ripening melons. The motivation was to use them in smoothies, but they are so sweet and syrupy, they usually don’t make it to the blender. (more…)

Summer Candy: Figs!

August 20th, 2008 by Michelle | No Comments | Filed in produce

One of the many delights of California summer foods is fresh figs. So syrupy sweet, they are like candy.

Our backyard fig trees are still too young to bear much fruit, but Allen Wilson of Wilson farms offers his bounty at the Santa Cruz Farmer’s Market:

Allen Wilson with his figs

Allen Wilson with his figs


Tandoori Experiment 2

August 11th, 2008 by Michelle | 8 Comments | Filed in Ceramic Cooker

We had an almost successful first try at using our ceramic cooker as a tandoor oven. We made some changes and tried again.

Recap of issues from the first try

The first attempt resulted in chicken that was unevenly done — the edge pieces were well cooked, but the middle ones were not quite done.

We had to be gentle with the skewers or the meat would slide off the bottom of the skewers.

We fried the gasket in the BGE by using a platesetter that redirected the heat to the gasket area. (more…)

Green Peach Salad

August 2nd, 2008 by Michelle | 1 Comment | Filed in Recipes

Too Many Peaches!

We have several fruit trees in the yard, one of them in its third season since planting. It’s produced a bumper crop too large for its small frame to support:

Peach tree in garden, heavy with peaches, leaning

Peach tree in garden, heavy with peaches, leaning


Real Hazelnut Mocha

August 1st, 2008 by Michelle | No Comments | Filed in coffee

We’re coffee snobs. After tasting expertly (and lightly!) roasted beans, used within 2 weeks of roasting, and pulled as espresso by a barista who knows how to properly extract it, we were ruined for run-of-the-mill coffee. And yes, run-of-the-mill includes the likes of Starbucks and Peets. Thankfully, there are a number of “third wave” coffee shops near us.

Barefoot Coffee is one of those (and the one that introduced us to just how amazing espresso drinks could really be!). Their baristas are an amazing group. One of them is Paul, who shares our interest in local, seasonal, whole foods and experiments with incorporating them into espresso drinks. We happened to be in the shop one day when he was experimenting with hazelnuts. Lucky us! (more…)