A «Souffle» for My Soufflé

«Souffle» (pronounced sue-fl) is the French noun for "breath" - and I have to wonder if there is any correlation between that breath and my soufflé. I should look that up. I do know that I start to breathe hard (read: hyperventilate) when the soufflé I pre-ordered, when I chose my entrée, arrives tableside.

This post was inspired by my recent trip to San Francisco, California - a business trip I enjoyed a lot. It was really fun meeting alumni of The Honors College, and tons o' fun hanging with Mikey (my friend since 5th grade), and then more fun trying every chocolatier we could find in the city... for research. Yeah, that's it... it was research. No pleasure at all.



I will often go to any given website repeatedly for information - business hours, product research or to see what's new. But, for the most part, I forget to click the 'refresh' button and end up with the same old information. Sometimes I miss out on some new and exciting stuff.

I tend to do that with my recipes, too. I find one I like and make it over and over. I generally don't get bored - I just don't branch out. This is most obvious in the salad department.


Think Pink!

Mark won't eat beats. He doesn't like beets. Unless he eats beets and likes them and, in that case, he likes beets. Confused? Welcome to my world...

The trick with Mark is for me to take the foods he doesn't like (in the context of a recipe), ask lots of questions to determine what exactly it is that he doesn't like, then work around the offending parts to create something he does like. My first foray into this was, "I don't like sweet potatoes. They are a crime against nature."

This is the point where everyone says, "Well, you've never had my sweet potatoes!" Then the person goes on to describe their dish and, all the while, Mark is turning greener and greener... That, which is everyone's favorite, is usually the exact kind of recipe he despises.


As the Story Goes...

I love writing my weekly posts. It is something that gives me great pleasure and fulfills my need to be creative. Pretty much, that kind of fulfillment is all I need.

Well, having said that, I do like knowing that you are reading what I write, and I really appreciate getting your comments. In the beginning, when Cocoa and Lavender was in its infancy, I was discouraged that it got so few comments and thought no one was reading. I had to ask... If I were in a forest all alone and wrote a post, would anyone read it?

I think every blogger out there loves knowing that s/he is adding something to the world (even if it is just a recipe on how to hard boil and egg), and that it is being read and appreciated.

Today, I had a great morning! Someone "paid it forward" and did something for me that made my day! Paula, of Vintage Kitchen Notes, who was nominated for a Food Stories Award for Excellence in Storytelling, nominated me for Cocoa and Lavender! I am so grateful to her for this - how thoughtful that she thinks I deserve to be recognized for doing something that brings me such pleasure! Thank you, Paula!


Quinoa, Fennel and Pomegranate Salad

My love affair with the food of Ottolenghi has not waned. In fact, each time I make a dish of his, I only love him more...

I was in the vegetable aisle of Trader Joe's the other day and I saw something that made me happy! Pomegranate seeds in a little plastic container... out of season! This little miracle makes several of our favorite dishes possible year-round.