14 April 2011


So I'm waiting on a sample of tempeh starter from www.topcultures.com to come in so I can try making tempeh for the first time. Tempeh, for those of you who don't know, is cooked soybeans that have been inoculated with the Rhizopus mold. The mycelium of the Rhizopus binds the soybean bits together into a cake that is high in protein with a nutty, mushroomy flavor. If it works well, I'll take some pics and post on it over at the Noodle. Check back for more! (and check out Topcultures for more info on tempeh)

03 February 2011

The Daily Noodle

Well everyone, it doesn't seem like I've been doing much work on this site. Trying to find the time with work ,school and everything else is a bit difficult. So, instead, I'm joining up with the folks over at The Daily Noodle and contributing recipes that I have tweaked, tested, and tasted for your approval. First post is up now, be sure to check in often for more from me and all of the other contributors. Much thanks to Rachelle and Cesar for the opportunity!

19 November 2010


It's been a while, yes? Yes.
Sorry about that.
So, thanksgiving is coming up, and thanks to Susan over at Wild Yeast Blog, I got a bread baking twitch going on. She presented a fun idea for a centerpiece for the holiday table, a cornucopia made entirely out of bread. Of course, I had to try it out. Here's the first few attempts. If you're in the Tucson area, you can swing by (or call) Cafe 54 and order one for yourself.

12 January 2010

Shameless Self Promotion


February 13th, 2010




Reservations from 5 pm – 8 pm



Broiled escargot with Hazelnut-garlic butter served with rosemary crostini

Pan-Fried Squash Blossoms
Fresh squash blossoms filled with a delicate herbed chèvre and pan-fried

golden brown.

Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms
Large button mushrooms stuffed with a cheddar, crab and breadcrumb



French Onion Soup

With parmesan croutons and melted gruyere cheese

Mixed Green Salad

Fresh mixed baby greens with Wilcox tomatoes, English cucumbers,

mushrooms, spiced pecans and raspberry vinaigrette.

Caesar Salad

Hearts of romaine, traditional Caesar dressing, shaved parmesan, croutons

and a parmesan tuille


Steak Au Poivre 50.

Medallions of beef tenderloin crusted with black pepper and pan seared.

Served with a cognac cream sauce

Lemon Basil Corvina Sea Bass 40.

Lightly broiled corvina topped with a lemon-basil beurre blanc

Love Birds 45.

Two pomegranate-glazed roasted quail with fig compote.

Roasted Tofu and Vegetable Napoleon 40.

Generous stack of roasted tofu, eggplant, red pepper, zucchini and squash.

Served on polenta and drizzled with a balsamic reduction.


Garlic Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes


Mixed Steamed Vegetables


Fresh Fruit Trifle

Layers of lemon sabayon,

Frangelico® soaked angel food cake,

and fresh sliced fruit, garnished
with a hazelnut wafer cookie


Chocolate-Orange Mousse

Dark chocolate bowl filled with a

rich Grand Marnier® flavored
chocolate mousse, garnished with
candied citrus peel.

Hungry yet??? Drop me a line for reservation information.

20 October 2009

Pumpkin Rumaki Recipe

From a recent Iron Chef style dinner party (Secret Ingredient: Pumpkin)

Pumpkin Rumaki

1 small pumpkin (2-3 pounds)
1 can water chestnuts
1 pound thin sliced bacon, slices cut in half crosswise.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg
sturdy toothpicks

Preheat oven to 375º F.
Begin by cutting the pumpkin in half and scraping out the seeds. Separate the seeds from the pulp and reserve the seeds for a tasty snack later. Microwave the pumpkin halves for 8-10 minutes, just to begin the cooking process.* You could also boil them for slightly less time. After the pumpkin is par-cooked (and cooled, if you don't have asbestos hands) peel the pieces with a paring knife and cut into 3/4"x3/4"x3/4" chunks. Take one pumpkin chunk and one water chestnut and while holding them together, wrap with one half strip of bacon, securing each bundle with a toothpick. Lay packages out on a cookie sheet with about a 1/2" space separating them. Mix the brown sugar and spices together and sprinkle about a teaspoon of the sugar mixture on each of the rumaki. Place cookie sheet in oven and bake until pumpkin is tender (check with an extra toothpick, if you don't feel resistance to the pick, it is done) and the bacon is browned and sugar is bubbly. If the pumpkin is done before the bacon, just slide the whole pan under the broiler for a few seconds to crisp up the bacon. Place finished rumaki on a cooling rack set over paper towels to drain, and serve either warm or at room temperature.

*Remember that tasty snack? See that leftover spiced sugar? You think they might want to be friends with each other? I do.

19 June 2009

One less thing

In the past 365 days, I have done quite a few things. I have moved across country. I have had 3 different jobs. I have gotten engaged. I have lost 15-20 pounds. I have learned to crochet and also how to make my own yarn. But there's one thing, one oh so small, yet massively huge thing that I have not done. I have not smoked a cigarette. And I have many people to thank for that. Sarah, my family, my friends.... I could not have done it without every single one of you. You nagged, you poked, you facebooked, you texted, you supported, and you loved... and I can't begin to express how much that meant and still means to me. So, thanks. Thanks for making sure I have one less thing on my list.

10 June 2009

One step closer to living in a cave

I'm the type of person who, when it comes to a new hobby or interest, can't leave well enough alone. A friend of mine starts me drinking coffee, so now I roast, grind and brew my own beans. If I thought I could supply my habit with a backyard coffee tree, I'd be doing that too. So when I decided I wanted to learn to crochet, I knew I was in for trouble. I could imagine stacks of yarn in corners, drawers full of the newest and latest in hook design, and possibly some sort of homemade, Mcguyver-ed up sort of automatic crocheting machine. What I did not envision was this:

That's right, kids. Home spinning. Turns out my boss is into it, I expressed an interest, and all of a sudden I'm going home with brushes, a spindle,a whole lot of instructions, and wool from 7 or so different animals. So I washed, carefully sudsing the raw wool in extremely hot water to remove any vegetable matter and all of the lanolin, being sure not to overagitate (I wasn't making felt after all)

I carded after the wool had dried, straightening out the fibers, removing snarls and any sticks that had made it through the wash.

I spun (after making a drop spindle of my own), lining up the fibers and twisting them together to form a cohesive thread.

I washed again, this time agitating a bit more to "lock" the fibers together

I dried, blocked and set the spin, using a rack to stretch the fibers and take out any extra twist the yarn had picked up during the spinning process.

And finally, after 2 or so days of work, I had 3.5 ounces of prime handspun yarn:

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Keith's alpaca/shetland/merino (maybe a few more) hat.