Le Quinoa Coco

I gave this quinoa a fancy name  just for irony because it is actually not fancy at all, it is extremely simple. I’ve found that quinoa can go one of  two ways – either someone cooks it like rice and it ends up a bland, earthy side dish you never try again or you kinda overdo it, add a whole lot of fun stuff and then you end up missing the taste, texture and flavor of this magical gluten-free grain. I love this recipe because it’s in the middle. The quinoa gets to shine but you can use it as a simple side dish or an easy lunch that makes fantastic leftovers.

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Adamo’s Zucchini Fagioli Pasta

My friend Adamo is 100% Italian. He is one of the only people I know that is 100% of anything and was born and raised in the United States. With this being said no doubt he has that magical Italian food making gene, so when I run into him in the grocery store I definitely check out his cart. OH YES, I admit, I am a grocery cart ogler. One of my favorite recipes I got from Adamo was a grocery cart ogle.

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80’s Baby Tamale Pie


Chances are if you grew up in the 80’s your mom made you tamale pie. It’s an inexpensive, hearty yet light, shepard’s pie latin style,  family type meal that is uber conducive to leftovers. I also think it was considered “health food” which in the eighties was also considered a “fad”…well we have the last laugh, huh? My version incorporates dried chipotle peppers and fresh summer squash plus black beans stewed in garlic salsa. I (embarrassingly) made a huge 4 quart Pyrex baking dish full, but we ate on that thing for days, brought some with us tucked in our cooler just in case for our Dolores Park picnic and even served it to some guests a few days later brightened with roasted salsa and sour cream.

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My $5. Slow Food Meal! Picnic at Dolores Park.

Yesterday was a glorious day in San Francisco…like clockwork Native American Summer has kicked in. This means we get summer late here in the Bay, our August is chilly but our September is the stuff that inspires BBQs, picnics and evening stoop parties.

Yesterday was also Slow Food USA’s $5 Challenge. The call to action: create a delicious and nutritious alternative to a fast food meal for $5. The point was also to include friends and community and to share your experience, recipes and thoughts.

Vodka Fuzzy Navel and Bourbon Peach Lemonade

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Miss Penn Food on a Stick Party!

We live in a great loft building community in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco, that’s where I met K Lazy. There is a large communal courtyard that is perfect for parties. It largely goes unused so a great of us decided to change that. We organized a Miss Penn (the name for our building – I coined it! 🙂 ) Party! The theme was Food on a Stick and there was lots of delightful foods to choose from. We ate, drank, mixed, mingled and met new people!  All in all a HUGE success!

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Summer Cucumber Salad: Go To, Hit Parade, Anytime Side

We had a few amazing meals over Fourth of July weekend, one of which was a neighborly affair with two of our favorite people, Kate and Nate. Kate has a fun and ironic blog called If I Weren’t So Lazy…, where she wrote a nice post (with more pictures) about our experience.

I was in a cooking mood that day and ambitiously put a few things on the menu that took a bit more time than I had, remarkably I was able to pull off the most time consuming  of them, Ratatouille. I’ll write about that recipe once I perfect the method, it turned out a bit too watery but still flavorful…tweaks will follow as it is one of my vegetarian husband’s favorite dishes.

BUT, this post I want to talk about a true go-to recipe. My Summer Cucumber Salad! My mouth is watering thinking about it and I’m chuckling a bit thinking of my mom hunting down the leftovers the next day. It’s the kind of salad that everyone enjoys and that after eating it, even the best cooks ask for the recipe. It is very eatable – it is fresh, yet hardy and so delicious even those reluctant to dish veggies on their plate take part in a healthy portion. This salad is GREAT to bring to potlucks and parties, it holds up nicely and has longevity over the length of a party, a good way to introduce vege without having the wilt problem you get with a leafy green salad. As a matter of fact, if you make it the night before, it tastes better the next day.

Without further ado….

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