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Kale & Persimmon Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

Just because this is the third recipe from from the ‘fall fiesta‘ does not mean it was the one I liked least – rather it may be my favorite!

Raw kale salads really wonderful – and while people may have been making them for years, I have really only been seeing (and enjoying) them for the last year or two.  They definitely feel a bit virtuous, but don’t let that distract from their absolute goodness.

Slicing persimmons

Because persimmons are in season, and I absolutely LOVE them – particularly raw, I thought they would be the perfect complement to the kale.  That and apples.  I think every kale salad I have had includes apples, and I see no reason to break the streak.

As for the dressing, I made a quick vinaigrette with garlic, lime juice and zest, ground cumin and agave in the well-honed fashion of many-a-vinaigrettes.  Chop garlic and let sit for about 10-15 minutes in the acid (lime juice and a touch of red-wine vinegar for balance), then add salt, a drizzle of agave (or honey), cumin, lime zest and stir.  While stirring, slowly drizzle in olive oil to your preferred flavor balance.  I like about 50% acid to oil, which is a bit more puckery than some may like…

Kale, Persimmon & Apple Salad

Another bonus for kale salads – unlike traditional greens – they can be dressed way in advance.  Which if you are having company, is always a plus.

This combo is really great for the season.  In fact, I like it so much, that I am going to make it again for some much needed balance to the Thanksgiving table.  Only thing, I may swap the dressing for a blue cheese-walmut version, much like The Year in Food’s version.  I mean, it will be Thanksgiving, after all.

Whatever the reason and which ever dressing, it will be something you will keep coming back to.  I promise.  :)

Kale, Apple & Persimmon Salad

Oh – quick thing, before slicing the kale leaves, make sure to remove the stem, as it is very tough.  As for the rest of it, it is just chop, mix and dress.  xx


Do you ever go out to a restaurant, order something that looks good, like it so much you want to make it at home and realize you already have everything you need?  It’s as if your body must have really needed those nutrients to have been attracted to them in both places.  Oh, that doesn’t happen to you?

Me neither.

Or not exactly.


A while back I ordered a lentil and kabocha salad and liked it so much that I wanted to make it again.  The squash was spiced and roasted and I loved the lentils in a salad – they were almost al dente, so they created a nice contrast to the soft squash and even their normal soft(er) presentation.

But what had me really coming back for more was the ricotta salata.

In the summers I love to make a zucchini and summer squash spaghetti with lots of lemon, mint and basil and top it with a mound of ricotta salata, but I don’t use it too much in the winter.  I think that may have been what sealed the deal for me on this dish, as (at least in my head) it made the whole salad a perfect representation of the departing winter and upcoming warmth.


Back at home, I did have lentils and a squash on hand, so it was basically meant to be, and we can just ignore the fact that I always have lentils and squash is pretty common around here during the fall and winter.  I even had the mint – which is not a given in months with an “r.”

The only thing I needed to run out for was the ricotta salata.

So this counts for my threory, right?

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spice coated rack of lamb

Farmer’s markets, restaurants, magazines, the weather, walking around, other blogs, friends, parties – while this could be a list of my favorite things, in fact it is a (wholly incomprehensive) list of where I get ideas for this site. But when chatting with B the other day, I let it be known that he could make requests.  Many things on here are spur of the moment, what’s in the fridge kind of posts, but occasionally there are go-to-the-store-with-an-idea in mind type of thing too.  And I let him know that I am always open to suggestions for those.

And in about 2.5 seconds he answered lamb.

spice coated rack of lamb

I think he loves it because:

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Another soup?  Seriously?  Be thankful that you don’t see them all – well, I did warn you.

But when it is bitter cold, I just can’t help it.  In addition to warming me up, soups are pretty inexpensive – so I can have  plenty to spend on bourbon, should I have to brave the weather.


This whole pot cost about $10, and that was only because I used good ingredients – organic [albeit canned] beans and tomatoes and chorizo from the Hawthorne Valley Farm that I picked up at the farmer’s market.

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Another cold and rainy day, another day for soup.

After having a steady stream of visitors in from California (who would of thought that January weather in NYC could be LA), I was ready to get back in the kitchen. Restaurant food is great – that is why you go there – but sometimes nothing can beat food from home.


There is something to be said for control in the kitchen, it is nice to know that the only things going in the food are exactly what you want.

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cumin shrimp

These shrimp don’t have much of a story, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t great. In fact, when a certain someone had them, he said “are you going to write about these? You should.”  I’ll take that as a good sign.

It really just started because I had some extra chipotles in the fridge, wanting to be used.

So that was easy – this sour cream, lime, chipotle sauce takes about 18 seconds, and is a regular for me. It is great smothered on tequila-lime chicken, or as a base for a little Mexi-pizza, just with chips, you name it…

All good choices, but none of those things were going to work for dinner here. (They required the store.)

chipotle lime sauce

But shrimp, that would be perfect.  Shrimp are one of those things that I always have in the freezer.  Always.

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Martha Stewart I am not -
I have no intention of
whittling my own table
and can handle a martini
like nobody's business -
but I do have lots of
great ideas on cooking,
entertaining, and living
that I want to share with you.

Together, perhaps we can find
ways to have a bit more fun!


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