(in the kitchen) – a little craving

olive tapanade

There’s an ongoing list of meals and recipes that stay on the mind and insist on being made. Ones that it’s all too easy to pick-up in a little jar with a nice label when it catches the eye. For me, there’s something really satisfying about knowing how a food comes together and what ingredients went into it.



Tapanade is one of these. After the promise to make this months ago  and  finally with an abundant supply of kalamata olive on hand, I was able to get to started on making  my first jar of tapanade.


I did look at a few recipes beforehand, but then opted to improvise with what I had on hand. Here is my short list: about a cup of olives, a couple of garlic cloves, a couple table spoons of capers, a handful of parsley, a few anchovies, a bit of olive oil to smooth the constancy and that’s really it . Everything goes into the food processor and gets pulsed until it reaches a smooth consistency.

olive tapanade

Like avocado on toast, tapanade is one of those super easy bites when time is short and there’s a while to go before a sit down meal. Hope you like it if you give it a try.

PS.: I’ve finally gotten a chance to make some updates to my workshop here.  I think I’ve got the majority of consolidation/reorganization in the the studio taken care  of now. I’m excited about the  new projects for this week!


(glimpses) – these things are

while warmer spring time days are oh so slowly returning, we had a really nice weekend with a simple, tasty easter meal (a little different from what’s become our traditional fare).

dessert was a strawberry icebox cake made with a very simple homemade vanilla custard… it was very good 🙂  We made this first as it needed time coming together in our “ice box”

for dinner itself, we made a simple but delicious pairing of roast asparagus and pan-seared portobello mushrooms with rolled chicken cutlets filled with caramelized onions and artichoke hearts. a recipe i put together hoping to make our simple meal a little more special.
for the rest of our meal, i was reminded of all the good things that are yet to come when spring thaws the rest of the snow banks.  hope this easter weekend was wonderfully delicious for you and your family too!

(in the kitchen) – jalepenos hot and not so hot

somewhere little jalepeno plants must be flourishing…I was so inspired this week that I pick-up about a dozen or so of these hot little peppers to make into a jar of homemade pickled jalepanos for the coming weeks of quick taco salad bowls, taquitos, burritos and who knows what else …
they were very simple pickle to make: hot mixture of boiling water, vinegar and sea salt brininess, garlic and bit of sugar to balance it out ….
with the couple of spare peppers left over I made a very easy cucumber and cilantro salad for a last-minute local artist’s potluck.

but this time the jalepenos were seeded (so not hot at all!) and mixed with lots of finely minced fresh cilantro, garlic, sea salt, olive oil and lime to make a very tasty, light summer salad.

ps. the cucumbers should be sliced as thin as possible so they marinate well in the dressing…

I have a few other of my own projects in the works like this hand-thrown bowl that I made for (of course) salad-filled summer days that are nearing …
In the workshop, I have other new projects all in the kind middle state of completion mixing with these last days of school for my daughter who will unbelievably be an eighth grade this coming year … it’s been said before… “but how did this happen so fast”?
I’ve added a new sample size of the beeswax polish I make for wooden toys and housewares. The other sizes can be found here
Well that’s all the time I have today to post…have a wonderful weekend!

(glimpses) – daylight savings baking

i thought with daylight savings time taking an extra hour from our sleep, that i might sleep in just a bit longer, but as it turns out … with the window shades up instead of down… that faintest of dawn light, had me up at baker’s hours …
maybe this week’s morning transition will go be better than i was thinking…
these are friendly homemade cinnamon rolls I made for our early warming…still holding out for winter to end, a warming morning treat feels just right while we wait (still) longer …

and this is a beautiful bit of sunlight i found as i was clearing up after breakfast!

(around the table) – kale crisps

With all the sunshine and intervening rain of these long summer months perhaps  rampant stands of vegetation  have grown thick in your garden…

an abundance of hearty growing kale is magically turned into a healthy snack …











Tear leaves into manageable mouth-sized pieces while the thick stalks can be saved for another meal. Wash and dry the kale and drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil . Sprinkle with sea salt  and toss until evenly dressed .

Place on an baking sheet.  Bake In a  preheated oven of 200 F for 30 to 40 minutes and gently turn leaves over if needed once  …

They are ready to eat ….I lost track of time (now was I busy in the workshop?) … so the batch above were crisp, crisp kale, but definitely tasty….. well so that is all.hope you enjoy making and eating them  ….let me know! 🙂

Happy Weekend!!