January 30, 2016

CRISPY OVEN-ROASTED CHICKEN THIGHS


Last January, I had the great pleasure of shooting Nathalie Fraise's wonderful new cookbook, The Whole Coconut (Ten Speed Press) which explores cooking with coconut in all its glory. Nathalie's book just hit the shelves and I couldn't be prouder to have been a part of its creation. You need this gem of a book in your kitchen!


Nathalie's technique for roasting chicken thighs was a revelation for me - the skin is perfectly crisp and the coconut oil adds a lovely hint of flavor. I now find myself making Nathalie's chicken thighs at least once a week - they're that good! Nathalie serves the chicken thighs with zucchini spaghetti, but don't fret that zucchini isn't in season this time of year... really the thighs are great with any tasty side.

INGREDIENTS - adapted from Nathalie Fraise's The Whole Coconut
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Lay chicken thighs skin-side up on a baking sheet and brush chicken with the melted coconut oil. Season each thigh generously with salt and pepper. Roast chicken thighs in the hot oven for 40-45 minutes until the meat is cooked through and the skin in wonderfully crispy. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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Shooting Nathalie's book was one of those perfect projects where everything goes beautifully, and deliciously! Nathalie's recipes are simple, flavorful, and naturally gluten-free (!) and she's a sweetheart to boot. Working with Ashley Lima and Kelly Snowden from Ten Speed and my buddy and amazing food stylist Lillian Kang was dreamy - such a wonderful collaboration.

Here are a few more shots from Nathalie's book to whet your appetite...






November 3, 2015

BLACKCREEK MERCANTILE + FRIENDS


The celebration of friends is one of life's great pleasures, isn't it? Today I'm doing just that.... celebrating the creations of some amazing friends I admire and whose work I think you'll enjoy.

First and foremost, I'm so excited to tell you that Josh Vogel from Blackcreek Mercantile has a book on the way! Any of you who has spent time here knows what a fan I am of Josh's work. His lovingly made wood cutting boards, kitchen tools, stool, bowls and butcher block are some of my most treasured (and used!) items in my home. I have no doubt that our Blackcreek pieces will become heirlooms that Otis and Lilah will haggle over one day.

In The Artful Wooden Spoon, Josh looks at the art, craft and history of the wooden spoon - one of mankind's oldest tools. For those of you who fancy the idea of doing your own carving (I must say - I'm quite tempted!) Josh walks us through the steps to make our own spoons. Makers aside, this book is really for anyone who appreciates handmade beauty, craft and design. (Seth and Kendra Smoot shot and styled the book and it's a stunner.)

Josh, and his wife Kelly, are coming to Northern California to two of my favorite shops - so if you want to meet them and get a signed copy of their book, now's your chance. I'm going to their launch party at March on November 5th. And they'll also be at Shed in Healdsburg on November 7th. For more info, check here.


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Since I haven't been able to be here regularly these days (A full schedule of photography work is keeping me extremely busy. Happily busy!) I wanted to take a moment to continue this theme of celebrating friends by sharing a few other wonderful new books...
  • Emma Galloway's incredible first book, My Darling Lemon Thyme is finally coming to the US! Emma's cookbook is packed with amazing healthful recipes (and they're all GF by the way). I'm particularly fond of her Eggplant with Tomatoes, Feta and Pomegranate Dressing.
  • Homemade Memories is by another fellow blogger friend, Kate Doran. Kate's gorgeous book is all about modern recipes for indulgent (and nostalgic) sweet treats. My kids are drooling over this one.
  • Finding Yourself in the Kitchen, by my buddy Dana Velden, is a different sort of read. A former Zen priest, Dana writes with profound warmth, grace, and comfort about the pleasures (both mundane and sublime) to be experienced in the kitchen.
  • This is Camino is from one of our favorite local restaurants. Russell Moore, the chef/owner is magic in the kitchen and Camino's new cookbook welcomes us all into Russ' delectable world.
  • Heidi Swanson's latest book appeals to both the traveler and cook in me. Beautifully photographed as always, Near & Far takes us on a journey to some of Heidi's favorite places - India, Japan, Morocco, Italy, France - and luckily for us, we get to see and taste our way through her delicious pages. 

Disclosure: Some of the items in this post have been gifted to me but I wanted to assure you that all opinions and enthusiasm are my own!

September 3, 2015

GRILLED NECTARINES and PEACHES WRAPPED IN BACON


Oh my, it has been a while since I've shared with you here. I'm sorry. Summer totally got away from me. Between travel, photography work, kids home from school, and a family health crisis, the past couple of months have slipped by. Yesterday, the last of my brood went back to school, I breathed in the empty house, and within minutes was cooking up this post for you. It's really nice to be back!

Earlier this summer when I needed a quick appetizer, I wrapped peach wedges in bacon and tossed them on the grill for my in-laws. Within minutes, everything had been devoured so I figured... this is a recipe worth sharing. With Labor Day coming, I thought this easy, crowd-pleasing concoction could come in handy if you're cooking for friends this long holiday weekend. Bacon is always good and here it hits a pretty darned transcendent note when it's wrapped around peaches and nectarines all warm and juicy from the grill.

I started the summer with a stone fruit recipe and I'm ending the summer with another one - delicious bookends.



INGREDIENTS
serves 4 as an appetizer, or you can double/triple the recipe to feed a crowd
  • 2 medium ripe, but firm peaches and/or nectarines 
  • 8 slices of bacon (I really like the thinly sliced bacon here)
  • olive oil
  • 16 fresh basil leaves
  • aged or reduced balsamic
Preheat a grill to medium heat. Or preheat a cast iron grill pan over medium.

Slice each peach/nectarine into 8 wedges. Cut each slice of bacon in half. Wrap each peach/nectarine slice with a strip of bacon (if you carefully wrap the bacon around the peach and let it stick it to itself, I find that you don't need a toothpick to hold the bacon in place). Lightly brush the outsides of your wrapped peach/bacon with olive oil to prevent sticking to the grill.

Grill wrapped peaches/nectarines for about 5 minutes per side until the bacon is crisped to your liking. If you use a thicker cut bacon, adjust cooking time accordingly.

Top with a fresh basil leaf or chopped basil, and a drizzle of balsamic. Eat right away.

Happy Labor Day!




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