By Laura Stec
E-mail Laura Stec
About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en... (More)
About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and environment pioneer, macrobiotic, Master Cleanser, ayurvedic, and officially-designated health-nut or party-girl (depending on the year). Professionally, I've worn many industry hats including: line cook, corporate chef, Food Coach, caterer, product developer, restaurant reviewer, culinary school teacher, corporate wellness educator, food co-op clerk, author, and even Cirque-du-Soleil lead popcorn concessioner! For years I managed an outdoor kitchen, deep in the bear-infested woods of Tahoe, and also for hospitals (the most unhealthy kitchen I ever worked in?), Singapore high-rises, mule-pack trips, Canadian catholic rectories, and more events than I could ever recall. Yet I still keep discovering. Actually, I adapt everyday by new lessons learned from teachers, customers and students. However there is one food truth I now hold sacrosanct: Eaters are motivated by pleasure. So no matter what we discuss here - recipes or restaurants, food politics or pairings, local events, food as art, or even as God, I will always come from a high-vibe, party perspective. Oh I do still long to change the world with great tasting food, but know in my heart, "If it ain't fun, it don't get done!" So - wanna come to the Food Party? By the way - it's a potluck. (Hide)
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We live in God’s country in Northern California; local produce and seasonal fair surround us throughout the year. But it’s harder to find in the winter when many of our farmers markets close. If you are jones-ing for a fresh fruit fix (and veggies) come on up to the Portola Valley Farmers Market this Thursday, December 21st. It’s the last market of the year and you’ll find proud produce and terrific tastes. Shop local and get unique gifts. There’ll be many vendors and Portola Valley Town Center is a beautiful location to spend an afternoon. Have a picnic in the park after you browse. Hours: 2PM – 5 PM.
Last week at Cooking at the Market,
we did this EZ holiday appetizer, using many of the foods you can find at the market.
Blue Cheese Walnut Quesadilla with Cranberry Cherry Salsa
Makes 16 - 20 appetizers
¾ cup blue cheese (I like Point Reyes)
½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup prepared cranberry sauce*
½ cup dried cherries, diced small
Four 6-7” tortillas (I like blue corn tortillas)
Candied Walnuts for garnish
In a bowl combine the cranberry sauce with cherries and set aside. Sprinkle one tortilla with crumbled cheese & walnut. Cover with another tortilla. Lightly brush oil onto nonstick skillet. On medium heat, sauté (or bake) till cheese melts and tortilla is soft and lightly browned. Cover your sauté pan to make this happen faster. Cut into wedges and garish with cranberry salsa and a candied walnut.
* For cranberry sauce, I use the standard recipe: 1 bag cranberries, 15 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice, 14 tablespoons sugar. Heat water and sugar till boiling, add berries, simmer a few minutes till cranberries pop. Chill. If too chunky for a garnish, blend ½ the mix in a food processor.
Even Santa stopped by for a taste!