Sitto’s Spanakopita Recipe

Maybe it’s the cold weather hitting that makes me think even more about my Sitto, who grew up on a rugged farm in Nebraska a century ago. This was serious pioneer life, a life she described to us often in captivating stories. She told us how they’d harvest every fall, and how exciting it was…

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Favorite Things: A Fondue Set

I have been lusting after a fondue set for years now. I thought when we moved out of Wagon Wheel Lane that my mother’s harvest gold, mid-70s fondue pot would turn up for me to claim as my own, but we never saw it with the big clear-out. I shouldn’t have been as surprised as…

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Grilled Pizza with Za’atar, Tomatoes & Fresh Mozzarella

This is za’atar flatbread taken to another level! Grilled  pizza with za’atar, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella is a great summer appetizer, or make it in the oven anytime on a hot stone. There are many great things about living Up North; the natural beauty, the tranquility. Among those great things, something important is missing. Something…

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Pia’s Eggplant Parmigiana

This absolutely delicious eggplant parmesan comes to us from Italy by way of Harbor Springs! A luscious way to cook with globe eggplant. Also try Lebanese eggplant, layered in sheik al mesheh, as a dip in baba gannouj, and in traditional “boats.” One of the pleasures of living in a small town is that people…

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A visit to an olive ranch, and tasting Sonoma County

It was a misty morning, but the big, billowing clouds just made the Sonoma landscape that much more beautiful and moody. Thankfully, living up north in Michigan for the last couple of years have trained me from my city-style inclinations just enough to know to wear boots when headed to an olive ranch on a…

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Lebanese cheese:Jibin, with habibi-love

I thought that the jibin was not going to be the multi-day, better-watch-a-video-to-see-how-it’s-done kind of cheese. Such a video does not even exist, by the way, because jibin is supposed to be so simple that nobody, I mean No One, would need a video to figure it out. That’s probably one reason this basic sort…

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Favorite Things: Cheesecloth, ultra-fine

I am astonished when I think back on all of the straining (in the form of labne) that I have made over the years, only to note that I haven’t used cheesecloth in the process. I used cheesecloth to strain my stocks when I lived in San Francisco and didn’t have a good chinois, or…

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Ingredient: Rennet (yes, rennet)

All I can say to introduce rennet is if you have not cooked with it before, then great!, we are entering new territory together. The easy definition of rennet is this: it’s a little tablet that is used to turn milk to cheese. Just as you have to inoculate milk with yogurt to make yogurt,…

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