Election Year

I know what you are thinking.  November 2012. U.S.  Presidential Election.  Right?

Wrong.  It's the Homies 2012!  And, thanks to my good friend Wes, Cocoa and Lavender has been nominated for - count them! - TWO Homie awards. One for Best Recipe Blog and another for Best Food Photography on a Blog.

Like many of you, I watched the Academy Awards on Sunday night.  And, as the nominees entered the theater on the Red Carpet, I listened to the actors saying that they didn't care if they won or not - it was just such an honor to be nominated.  I get that now.  I really do.  To know that one person out there believes my work as a blogger and a photographer is worth nominating means the world to me.  Of course, it would mean a lot if you went online and gave me a nod, too.  (You will need to register and sign in to cast a vote...)

Check out the Homies by clicking these two links:

Best Food Photography on a Blog

Thanks for all the support you have given to Cocoa and Lavender for these two years.  It is so much fun to write, cook, and photograph for you!

~ David

(Coming Saturday: Mulligatawny Soup!)


Out of Season

I know that I am the one who is always telling you to eat seasonally, and to eat locally. But, there are times when I am weak and cave into a sale at the grocery store on some fantastic produce that looks just too good to be true! (Or, as Mark would say, "Too true to be good!")

This happens most often with berries. I have a hard time resisting big, plump raspberries or blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. Happily, fresh, farm-raised strawberries just came into the Tucson farmers market in the past couple of weeks. While not from Arizona, they are from just across the border in California and, for me, that denotes local. The farmer drove them here, and it was she who tempted me to try one and, thus, buy a couple of pints. But, I digress...

This post today is about being bad. This is about the day that I went to my local Safeway (fill in the name of your local grocery store here) and they had the most beautiful, plump, juicy-looking blackberries I had ever seen. And they were 2 pints for $3.00! Normally, they would be around $4.00 per pint - or even half pint!


Haloumi, Mint and Olive Pasta

I've been reading through back issues of food magazines, looking for interesting recipes to make for the man.  And lucky for me, this Scotch/Irish boy loves Greek food.  Tucked into the bookcase was a March 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller, with the entire magazine devoted to - you guessed it - Greek food.  Every page is a feast for the eyes and already many have been dog-eared.

Haloumi is a traditional semi-soft cheese from Cyprus.  Typically made from goat and sheep milk, it has a salty flavor and texture similar to mozzarella.  It has a high melting point, which makes it an ideal cheese for grilling or frying.


My Best Quiche

Why is it that "real men don't eat quiche?” Back in the early 1980s, Bruce Feirstein wrote a book of that title.  It was a humorous book, taking jabs at sensitive New Age men who took pride in their role reversals – raising the children, cooking, washing dishes, doing laundry - basically, catering to their female partners. While this book was written tongue-in-cheek, it has stayed with us and, to this day, I still hear, “Real men don’t eat quiche.”

Well, I like quiche. And I’m a man. But, strangely, I haven't made a quiche in many years. I don't think it was for dietetic reasons - perhaps the timing or mood was never just right. Recently, we wanted to take lunch to a friend of ours and somehow quiche seemed to be the perfect thing. I could make it at home, transport it in my Aunt Nell's pie basket still warm, and serve it upon arrival.  (Come on – doesn’t every real man on the block has his aunt’s pie basket?)