French Onion Soup Mostly Julia's Way

Image French Onion Soup There are those moments, when everything comes together in a magical moment of everything-is-right-with-a-world-that-is-so-not-right….


Baked Orange-Kissed Breakfast Blintz

Image Blintz Slice For two decades, this has been one of our favorite recipes, easy to throw together, dress up or down, and wonderful with a variety of fruit toppings, depending on what’s in-season or on-hand. Blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, and cherry toppings are some of our favorite.

This recipe falls somewhere between a Finnish Pancake – one giant custard-like pancake, baked in a 9×13 pan – and blintzes, stuffed with ricotta. Unlike blintz, there’s none of the tedious work of making and filling individual crepes, but instead, only requires a food processor (or blender) to whip up the batter (used on the top and bottom) and the filling (sandwiched between the batter). This is super-easy to make, any day of the week, but rich and flavorful enough to make for special occasions.


Sweet Potato Gratin

Slices Raw Sweet Potatoes A few bites into dinner, my husband stopped eating, inspecting his forkful of sweet potato gratin. “You’ve been experimenting again, haven’t you. We’d better write this one down…,” he said, with a smile.

Our 13-year-old leaped up, in search of paper and pencil, offering to serve as my secretary, before I “forgot” the recipe.

It isn’t necessarily that I forget to write down recipes as much as I resist it. Cooking has become a type of taste-science where I challenge myself to use on-hand ingredients in new and different ways. It can be something as simple as changing the type of cheese, for example, or using a different herb blend. Since becoming unfettered from recipes, my free-spirit, I’m afraid, has left my poor family wanting a little more consistency and same-old, same-old instead of a surprise party every night.


Flu Shots or Not?

Swine flu. Bird flu. The media has everyone worrying about epidemics and pandemics. Yet there is nothing said about one of the great communicable diseases of all time: the plague. The Black Death. No, it is not extinct. There are new cases of plague in the United States every year, totaling over 400 cases since 1950.


I Still Hate Sears - Business Ethics

Just thought I’d say “Thanks, Sears” and “Thanks, Young America Rebate Center” for being active visitors to my blog, a fact known to me via my web statistics monitoring software. Creepy!

Maybe, just maybe, Sears is crawling all over my site gathering information in order to prepare an apology letter to the thousands of people who have been ripped off. Nah.


Chocolate Zucchini Not-So-Quick Bread

Bread Photo I’ve cooked, baked, dehydrated and fermented my way through rhubarb, English Peas, strawberries, blueberries and now zucchini, just to name a few wonderful organic foods we’ve harvested since May.

Summertime was once consumed by beaches, tennis and golf – a leisurely life – but since changing our food-style to whole, healthy, organic, local-farm foods, our routine has shifted. Now, our daily sustenance is dependent on Providence, rather than Safeway or Shaws.

That means we have to work harder, drive farther, and make it all from “scratch” including butter, sour cream, buttermilk, breads, sauerkraut, and old-fashioned half-sour dills.

Little voices chided me this past week when I brought home a huge crate of zucchini from our CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture), “Mommy, remember the yummy zucchini bread you used to make….”. That was years ago. Such amazing memories for some things and not others, like who spilled the water on the cherry end table……


Things to do if Forced to be Vaccinated - H1N1

If the H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccine is forced on you or your children, OR if after voluntarily obtaining a vaccine, only to find it is as Dr. Blaylock warns, “poison”, the following information will help reduce the toxic side effects. Just today, a journalist filed charges against WHO and UN for Bioterrorism and intent to commit mass murder. And yes, you’re right, it wasn’t an American journalist, but instead, Austrian. —Sharon


There's No Pork Like Home....

Juicy BBQ Pork When we’re in the mood for North Carolina pulled pork – the only meat recognized as true “barbecue” in that state – nothing stands in the way of my husband including alternating rain, sleet and snow, all of which were bouncing off his unprotected head as he rolled the Traeger wood pellet grill from the garage into the driveway, announcing we were “good to go”.

Firing up the grill, giving it a chance for a good preheat, gave him time to throw together the mop sauce and also let the pork shoulder – rubbed down the day before with his special spice blend and refrigerated over night – come up to room temperature. Some interesting research shows that spice blends, marinades and mop sauces play a protective role, reducing mutagenic compounds –


Blueberry Ricotta Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk Pancake Small I did it again this morning, creating an amazing breakfast – rich, buttermilk and ricotta pancakes, topped with fresh butter and blueberry sauce, paired with fragrant, thick-cut bacon! Before I get too carried way in my enthusiasm, I want to give all the credit for this morning’s wonderful meal, to my local farmers – the diligent, hard-working people who raise our food.


German Style Oven Pancake

German Oven Pancake

Duck fat. There are not enough glowing words to describe my love and adoration for duck fat. It turned my two German-style Oven Pancakes into creations worthy of a photo shoot, much to the moaning of the hungry masses hovering near the stove, wanting to whisk it away to the breakfast table.

Rising several inches above the sides of the pan, the pancake’s bottom was nearly paper-thin, but yet strong enough to not tear when it easily slid out of the pan, thanks to duck fat. They released so easily from the glass pie pans, barely a speck of crust remained, unlike other times when I’ve used butter which tends to burn and hold onto crusts more easily.