Sunday, November 22, 2009

Simple way to please Wyatt!

Here it is:
deliver warm tapioca pudding just like Red Riding Hood! And throw in a pomegranate directly from the Peacock's ranch in Pengrove.

Wyatt=grandson, brother and nephew of the 3 young cooks

Our chicken from New Amsterdam Market

Bobo farms from the sensational Upon unwrapping we found the sweet head and feet. Michael fabricated it and roasted it in our cast iron. Super delicious....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Poached eggs

This morning I went into the kitchen. I was on a mission I was going to make poached eggs. I added about an inch of water into a pan. I brought it up to a boil then added a teaspoon of salt and white vinegar. I let the eggs sit in simmering water for 3-4 minutes. I felt like jazzing it up so I cut the poached egg in to a heart and did the same with a bagel. I took some lettuce tossed it with olive oil and vinegar put it on top of the bagel/egg and sprinkled it it with garlic salt and Parmesan. Yum!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No More Beef Bourgiunon

After seeing Julie and Julia, Anna and I decided to make beef Bourgiunon so I reviewed Julia's recipes in The Art of Fr. Cooking (1964). Very soon, I knew that all the recommended steps would take all day to complete: too many pots and pans and too much time. No thank you, Julia.

So I reviewed Julia's recipe in The Way to Cook (1989) which was simpler. (Evidentially, Julia learned by that year that most American cooks didn't want to spend the whole day laboring in the kitchen.) We chose to make the '89 version of the recipe.
Anna and I proceeded with the various steps, and we had fun talking and laughing while we sauteed little boiling onions.
Here she is sauteing again; this time it is the veggies which were combined with the meat in the roasting pan.
Whew, Anna needed a break during which she called Aunt Margi.
While browning the meat, she stayed at arm's length to avoid the spitting. (Anna looks like there was a large snake in the skillet, and she feared being bitten.)
Anna was a master with the big French chef knife. She cut the meat into cubes with great proficiency. (Look at that concentration.)
After it cooked for 2 hours and we shared it with family, we decided that we could cross beef bourgiunon off of our list of dishes to make in the future.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


We are fighting over organic honey crisps in this house.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Anna: I love you.... you  make me laugh and i can't wait to hear more.  Why are y'all going vegetarian for two weeks?  I remember when your dad and I were kids and  Nana tried to do that to us .  At that time, we had never really heard of being a "vegetarian..."  We thought it was creepy and I think that Nana had a hard time figuring out what to feed us. Mom:  what is your recollection of that?
Anyway, lots of vegetarians eat seitan, as a protein substitute.  I wanted to warn you vegetarians over on 10th ave.  that you decide to make seitan, knead it for 5 minutes.  I didn't.


beef bourguignon

Last weekend me and my grand-ma embarked on a dangerous adventure. Two My parents surprise ( we are going vegetarian for 2 weeks) we made beef bourguignon.
Right now two thoughts are probably crossing your head. 1. Was it from Alice waters cook book? No
2. Is it simple? NO NO NO NO... My mom just called me but don't worry I will not let you down. I solemnly swear to finish this next week end. TO BE CONTINUED.........

p.s. cough cough please not to much home work next weekend please cough cough. - the youngest

here I am three weeks later... I am just going to pick up where I left off. I was at my Nana's kitchen table looking down on the Julia child cook book. There were so many steps to the beef bourguignon. WE decided to be cheaters we made the regular beef stew and added mushrooms and braised onions. Don't tell any one because its a secret. WE went into the kitchen and there sat tuns and tuns of big blocks of meat. My grandma instructed me to pull out one of the sharpest biggest knife in her kitchen and to start feroususly attacking the meat.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

3 butternuts

For the mixologist to make his signature fall cocktail, the harvest manhattan.

cecconi house breakfast

Heuvos rancheros with market salsa.   And Fin thinks micheael's knife skills are hilarious.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kona Likes Simple Food, too

Kona wants to be part of the blog. She is enjoying a Chicago hot dog!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

An important find in this era of Julie and Julia!

This is about SIMPLE and FOOD, but not about Alice. It is about a delightful discovery.
Today I bent my knees and looked at a pile of recipe books and food clippings that were stacked on a low shallow shelf in the pine chest under the PURE LARD, and pulled out the bottom book called, The Way We Cook by Julia Child, a lovely collections of recipes and photos. I had forgotten about that book, but am pleased to find it as the youngest Young cook and her father will enjoy it.
Inside where there are two photographs of Julia with yours truly and Papa, Julia autographed the book saying, " Bon Appetit to Grant!" It is dated 11/89 Beverly Hills, CA!
Youngest Cook, you have something to inherit!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Awesome cookies

3:30.After a long soccer practice and a refreshing swim, I decided to make some cookies. As I flipped through The Art of Simple Food I found a recipe called Chocolate Crackle Cookies. After checking with my mom if it was okay to make cookies, I went into the kitchen and attacked the recipe. I melted chocolate, ground almonds, sifted flower and baking soda, and whisked eggs and sugar. After I mixed it all to together, I wrapped it in plastic wrap and stuck it in the fridge..

3:30 the next day, I dashed to the fridge and pulled out a flat brownish dough. As the recipe said I got out two bowls, put white sugar in one and powdered sugar in the next(You need a lot more powdered sugar than white) . After I rolled the dough into small balls and coated each one with sugar, I put them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. I baked them for about fifteen minutes. When they came out the sugar had made cracks so you could see the chocolate dough. They were so so so good and they looked really cool too. Ending statement: Cookies are good!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No more Court Bouillon for us... least not using the Simple Food recipe. The poached salmon was the worst salmon I've ever tasted, and it was the wild Alaskan king variety. It was dry and strong and acidic tasting. Alice's recipe had a very high % of white wine to water, more than suggested by Julia or Irma; maybe that was the reason.
But wait let's not jump to conclusions; I can't just blame Alice's recipe; cooking is an art and a science.
Maybe I over cooked it a bit, maybe the salmon had been caught 4-5-6 days before I bought it on Monday, maybe the 2 tsp. of salt in the recipe was a necessary ingredient to counterbalance the acid in the wine (I skipped it because of Papa's heart condition.)
So Alice is off the hook, but next time I decide to cook salmon, I'm going to quiz the butcher about the freshness of the fish, and put up with the smell in the house from the sauteing process, and use my own judgement about ingredient quantities in recipes!

not yet alice

i went to The Strand today to look for The Book.... and although they said there were 4 copies, i couldn't find one.   I am proud that I posted this picture of where it should be, but couldn't upload another i took of the kale I crisped in the oven tonight.  2 batches: one with tamari and sesame seeds and one with olive oil, brewers yeast and sea salt.  mmmmmmm.

Experiment - It's fun

Cooking is really creative and experimental. I love it because you can mess up and it can still taste good and that is why I think that you shouldn't be super uptight about your cooking because some times it's really fun to add some thing or make it up. Just some thing to remember- The youngest

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Checking sources and trying new methods

I've just made made a quick veggie broth in which I will poach salmon soon. Here I am 73, the former cooking teacher and Martha Logan and Julia Child enthusiast, and I've never made Court Bouillon or paid any attention to the fact that it exists.

But, Alice Waters let me down! In attempting to be more of a vegetarian, I went to Simple Food where I expected to find a mouth watering recipe for a vegetable broth rather than chicken or beef. No help from Alice, but she steered me towards reading about Court Bouillon which I found interesting. So I looked to see if Julia had a recipe for Court Bouillon; sure enough. Then, Irma; sure enough. (And both had a recipe for vegetable broth, as well). Since I have salmon in the frig waiting to be cooked, and when I saute it over high heat I dislike the odor, I decided to poach it in CB. This will be a first.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The middle one

Hi:  I am Margi the 41 year old, in between the 12 and 72 (?) year old.  When people ask me why I can cook with such happiness and ease, I tell them that I grew up in the kitchen and my mom was a cooking teacher.  In my NYC apartment I have a picture of her in her Martha Logan uniform with a hunk of lamb in front of her and some cheese puffs on sticks.  (she now purports to being a vegetarian who seems to always be cooking and eating pork.  hrm.  Although that sounds annoying, our family gets lots of mileage laughing about it.)  Okay... for my first Alice Waters memory:  for my 16th birthday my parents took me and my best friend at the time to Chez Panisse for dinner.  It was an exquisite experience that blew my mind.  I don't remember what we ate, but I do remember reporting to my friends that they could have served me poop and made it delectable.  Is a 16 year old supposed to be done with potty talk?  Ever since that dinner, I have had an awareness of Alice Waters.  And I am ready to roll.  (drum roll.....) and our first recipe is.......? 

Nana's Introduction

"Who is Alice Waters," asks my granddaughter? Although I don't know anything about her personal life, she is my idyll, not because she has a famous restaurant or because she has written many cookbooks, but because of her values and goals. Ms. Waters would like to have every school child understand where food comes from, how it is grown, and how to cook it correctly, and thus enjoy eating it. I appreciate her goal of having gardens used as classrooms and nutritious food served in every school in our country. She is a tireless promoter of those programs and is working with the Obama administration to make them a reality.

About 10 years ago I heard Alice speak at a conference for environmental grantmakers, and I saw her at a party at SFMOMA. She admired my hat (she likes to wear them); I was so flattered that I packed it in a box the next day and sent it to her. She sent a sweet note on Chez Panisse stationery in response. I was thrilled!

So onward with our learning from her and cooking. She (through Simple Food) just taught me what to do with potatoes that have green spots: compost them! Nana

P. S. The photo above was taken on July 29, 2009, the day after Bastille Day, when we ate a delicious dinner at Chez Panisse. I was amused to see the garlic decor on the front of the restaurant, but knew that on the 28th, the diners enjoyed garlic in every course as a tribute to the French.

Friday, August 28, 2009

An introduction

When I am doing any thing I find the best way to start is an introduction, so hear it goes.

Jackie. Mother, Grandmother
Margi. Daughter, Aunt
Anna. Granddaughter, Niece

One thing we all love. To Cook.

Many people love to cook. Some people like it because it is calming or relaxing. Some do it because they simply love food. But we (I think) all love it because it is something you can do that is creative and also just really fun. So when our family gets together some of us watch sports, some of us swim, some of us chat it up and some of us cook.

As I am writing, a new copy of The Art of Simple Foods is sitting write next to me waiting to be opened and looked through, torn and worn. It’s waiting to be one of those cookbooks that you saved in you cabinet full of notes and doodles that you have made 30 years ago.
But of course its not. So as I am staring at the cover I wonder who is Alice Waters? Yes I know she is a cook but what was she famous for? What is she doing now? So as I dive into this cookbook and look at all the wonderful and not so wonderful recipes I will learn a lot along with my aunt and Nana.