Sunday, September 29, 2013

Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad (a la ABC Kitchen)

I am totally obsessed with this Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad from ABC Kitchen. In fact, this post should really be entitled “Go Make This NOW!”  I haven’t actually been to ABC Kitchen myself, but if the rest of their food is anything like this brilliant carrot concoction, I want to have lunch there as soon as possible. 

It’s been a while since a dish grabbed my attention so insistently.  Ever since finding this recipe two weeks ago in the New York Times, I’ve made this salad nine times and for five different friends. Everyone flips when they taste it, and I think you will too.

At first glance the roasted carrots, avocado slices and sprouts seemed a slightly incongruous combination, or at least something reminiscent of my ultra-healthy 1970s California childhood.   However, I was intrigued enough to try it immediately, making the whole recipe so that I’d have leftovers for the next day or two. It turns out that the combination of the fragrant roasted carrots with velvety avocado slices is an inspired one, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I ate the entire thing in one sitting.

These are no ordinary roasted carrots. Normally I’d be happy drizzling a bunch of carrots (or almost any vegetable) with a liberal dose of olive oil, salt and pepper before popping them in the oven.  But these carrots go to a whole new level when covered with a garlicky paste, enlivened with cumin and fresh thyme as well as lots of salt, pepper and hot chile flakes. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Kitchen Fiddler Turns Five

Today is Kitchen Fiddler’s 5th birthday!  If I could make one giant birthday cake to share with you all, it would be this Black Pearl Cake.


Five years ago I had no idea what I was getting myself into, only that I knew a blog would provide a way to share recipes and stories beyond my immediate circle.  I couldn’t have imagined how much joy I would find knowing that family, friends, friends-of-friends, and even strangers truly enjoy the recipes they find here.


I’m grateful for this little space in the cyber world, for it has challenged me in so many creative ways.  My cooking has improved over the past five years, and my writing and photography skills definitely have as well. I almost cringe at some of those earliest posts that rambled on at great length, yet as much as I’ve wanted to go back to edit them or retake the photos in natural light, I’ve left them alone.  They represent where I was at that time, and there’s something heartening about being able to trace one’s creative journey, with both stumbles and successes along the way.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chile-Lime Popcorn

I have three words to say this evening: Chile Lime Popcorn.  You heard me.  Be prepared to be astounded. 

After a long-time addiction to Newman’s Own microwave popcorn, I’ve recently started making popcorn the old-fashioned way, on the stove in a heavy pot with a little oil.  It’s easy, inexpensive, and it tastes like the popcorn of my childhood.  Stove-popped pocorn is also a versatile canvas for letting your flavor imagination run wild.

I’ve had fun seeking out different kinds of popcorn kernels, and this organic multicolor blend from Fairway is particularly festive.