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Journal

Seafood Boil

Seafood Boil

We've got Maine on the brain, as we shimmy our way into summer! Whether you're on the coast or not, we can't think of a better way to enjoy the season than with fresh seafood, cold beverages and good company to break bread with...

Check out Epicurious' comprehensive guide to throwing together a seafood boil, this coming long weekend is the perfect time to gather some friends and make a delicious mess.

Picture: Chelsea Kyle for Epicurious

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Heatwave Cooking

Heatwave Cooking

When SF temps are exceeding 90 degrees and no one has AC, what's a girl to cook? Shrimp and more shrimp...now that my pantry is in order post move, I'm finally cooking again and prawns are a wonderful easy and delicious ingredient to focus on. Check out this delish recipe from the NY Times and stay cool Bay Area-based pals!

Sautéed Shrimp With Coconut Oil, Ginger and Coriander

2 ½ tablespoons refined coconut oil
6 scallions, white parts thinly sliced; dark green parts sliced and reserved
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 pound large shrimp, shelled
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Lemon wedges, for serving

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt the coconut oil in the pan. Add the white scallion slices, ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the coriander and cook 30 seconds more.

Add the shrimp and salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until shrimp are opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the green scallion pieces and cook until just wilted, 10 to 15 seconds. Season with lemon juice and black pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.

Photo credit: NYT Cooking

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Activism + Palestinian Food

Activism + Palestinian Food

We're already prepping for Miracle Plum's June book club potluck! We snagged a copy of Zaitoun: Recipes and Stories from the Palestinian Kitchen at the SF Public Library and have been immediately charmed by the heartfelt stories and travel journal quality of this cookbook...

Here's an excerpt from a Healthy-ish interview that gets to the root of her motivation for penning this book:

"Yasmin Khan hopes Zaitoun—the Arabic word for olive, notable as both a cornerstone ingredient and a symbol of peace—can be one such space. In many ways, the timing feels right: Most of us want to widen our lens. Our favorite books and shows—whether it’s Samin Nosrat’s deep-dive travels in Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat or the renewed emphasis on global narratives on shows like Chef’s Table—grapple with issues of representation and identity. Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s runaway hit Jerusalem now shares a shelf with Reem Kassis’s The Palestinian Table, and, of course, Zaitoun.

“I wanted it to feel hopeful,” she says. “We live in a polarized and divisive time when people's communication—online, offline, in the political realm, in any realm—is hostile. I understand that. There's a lot of toxicity, but I wanted to create a book that would make people feel optimistic and connected, because I really believe that they're the feelings we need to foster if we want to progress forward.”"

We encourage you to check this book out and support Yasmin!

Photo credit: Zaitoun

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Spotlight | Miracle Plum

Spotlight | Miracle Plum

Miracle Plum is the dream job and full time hangout of Santa Rosa natives Sallie Miller and Gwen Gunheim. They offer delicious pantry items, responsibly grown staples from local farms, beautiful kitchen wares, cookbooks, food centric magazines (hi Cherry Bombe), grab-and-go lunches, natural wines and craft beer.

The space is so dreamy, like a retrofitted barn, with white washed walls and all the sundries you could ever want, creatively strewn about in a cozy way that feels akin to home. Basically I want to move in...

Sallie and Gwen started hosting a book club/potluck a bit ago and when I heard the next book was Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat, I RSVP’d immediately. I decided on her Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli and took it to the umami heavens with a few anchovies. While I was preparing it, I realized that this was first time I was following a recipe to the letter in four years; it was comforting to just be led along, knowing I would achieve amazing results. There were a lot of instructions in what on the face of it is a pretty basic recipe. Each and every one was completely worth it. And I love the way that Samin has a poetic way of writing recipes, like when boiling the pasta water, “salt until it tastes like the summer sea.” These simple instructions encourage you to be intimately involved in the process thus bringing your senses to life.

I was excited to experience the bounteous spread that awaited us, but was also looking forward to seeing Megan, a new friend I’d made while volunteering with La Cocina. I’d roped her into attending since she is a huge Samin fan and an accomplished cooking instructor; we had a grand time gabbing over the buffet of our dreams.

It was such an enchanting evening and inevitably, my eyes were so much bigger than my stomach! Faves included focaccia, chicken pot pie, fennel and radish salad, and almond cardamom oil cake...I can’t deny I also really enjoyed my Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli. The crowd was friendly and convivial and Sallie and Gwen were consummate hosts; all in all it was it was a lovely night...strangers sharing their handiwork and bonding over thoughtfully made food gave way to a warm and wonderful time.

MP’s next book club/potluck is on June 23rd for Yasmin Khan's latest release Zaitoun, email hi@miracleplum.com to sign up for it! Or if you're in Sonoma county, pop by the store and enjoy...

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Decolonize Your Turmeric

Decolonize Your Turmeric

Four years after Sana Javeri Kadri moved to the US to attend Pomona College, she noticed a trend taking off. Turmeric, that golden yellow spice native to Javeri Kadri’s home country, India was suddenly everywhere, from lattes to crackers to chocolate. And she had a sneaking suspicion that the people actually growing it weren’t the ones profiting from turmeric’s popularity.

She was right. The modern spice trade is still heavily shaped by its colonialist origins. Farmers in the global South still earn pennies per pound to grow commodity spices, which US-based spice wholesalers sell at astronomical markups. If turmeric was becoming a staple, she reasoned, she wanted Indian farmers to benefit from this trend.

So, in August 2017, then 23-year-old Javeri Kadri founded Diaspora Co. Her Oakland-based company seeks to decolonize the spice industry through direct trade and transparency. This is no easy feat, and Javeri Kadri’s life has been a crash course in business ownership ever since.

“As a young person it’s hard to command authority, so I’ve had to learn how to be a boss...Honestly, if I had known then everything I know now, I probably wouldn’t have done this. But I’m also very grateful that I did.”

Javeri Kadri’s origins deep dive brought her to the Indian Institute of Spice Research in Kerala. It was there that she learned about Pragati turmeric, an heirloom cultivar with a high curcumin content and a short growing season. It’s the best turmeric in the world, but in an industry dominated by cheap commodity production, nobody wanted to buy it. Undeterred, Diaspora brokered a direct purchasing relationship with a farmer growing Pragati turmeric in northern Andhra Pradesh and pays 10 times the average market price.

Not only is she open and transparent about her purchasing relationships, Javeri Kadri has intentionally centered her personal story as part of Diaspora’s identity. As a young, queer woman of color, she knows her visibility as a business owner matters.

“I’ve been open and adamant since day one that this business is a desi x queer x immigrant x woman of color centered one. Queerness is a huge part of my identity and I am deeply invested in folks normalizing queerness, in all aspects of life. Often folks will ascribe a lot of value judgements to a business importing spices from India – and assume a lot about my identity as an Indian woman. Those assumptions can be anything from asking me whether I had pet tigers growing up, to questioning my ability to use a knife and fork, or assuming that I must have grown up in an oppressed backward society. None of those things are true and if folks are going to be consuming the highest quality produce of Indian origin, they owe it to the producer - and themselves really - to have a deeper and more nuanced understanding of where it’s coming from, and what the lives of the people getting it to them really looks like. So I’m here to champion for and be an ambassador for desi culture, for queer culture and for women of color to get paid what they deserve on both sides of the world, here and there.”

Article adapted from Shed’s Maker Stories and an Okay But What Do You Do? Profile

Photo credit: Diaspora Co.

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Recipe | Chocolate Turtles

Recipe | Chocolate Turtles

I had a lovely Chinese Aunt who used to always give my brother and me chocolate turtles when we visited her, thus they hold a special place in my heart.

When I saw that Sarah of My New Roots posted a healthier recipe to craft these treats at home, I book marked it! While I won't have time to make them before 2018 ends, I have a feeling I'll be making them in January, when I'm jonesing for a sweet snack.

Pic and recipe: My New Roots' Healthyish Salted Caramel Turtles

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Holiday Spread 2018

Holiday Spread 2018

As the main event on the 25th nears and my shopping is complete, I like to shift my focus to the food and drinks because let’s be honest, I want to eat and drink everything! It’s become a bit of a ritual for me to write out an outlandish list and then pare it down based on the reality that sadly there is a limit to how much my family and I can consume...

A short list of my agenda:

  • Dungeness crab with Raft Wine's Viognier
  • Nicasio Valley Cheese board with Au Bon Climat's Chardonnay
  • Clams and beans (recipe below!) with Tito's vodka martinis
  • Scones from Zingerman's with Clevr Blends' Chai

Photo credit and recipe: Bon Appétit's Clams with White Bean Sauce

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Recipe for Nat'l Cookie Day

Recipe for Nat'l Cookie Day

Molly Yeh recommended The Vanilla Bean Baking Book: Recipes for Irresistible Everyday Favorites and Reinvented Classics by Sarah Kieffer recently on the Cherry Bombe podcast...since Molly is a boss baker herself, we took notice. With it being National Cookie Day, we’re featuring a recipe from Sarah’s book and hope to get better acquainted with our dormant bakers within this holiday season. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

yield:10 large cookies
prep time: 45 minutes
cook time: 50 minutes
total time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients
2 c. (284 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups (297 g) sugar
1/4 c. (50 g) packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 T. water
6 oz. (170 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into bite-size pieces averaging 1/2"

Instructions

  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line three baking pans (I find that commercial-grade 12" x 17" rimmed pans give me the best results with this recipe) with aluminum foil, dull side up. This helps create the crinkles in the cookies and lends an extra-crisp, golden brown bottom.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a beater blade, beat the butter on medium until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and water and mix on low to combine. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Add the chocolate and mix on low into the batter.
  • Form the dough into balls weighing 3-1/2 ounces (100 g) each. This is approximately a heaping 1/3 cup each. I wanted my cookies to match Sarah's as much as possible and measured each dough ball with a kitchen scale. If you make the dough balls smaller, you won’t get as many ridges on the outer layer, and your centers won’t be as gooey. Place four balls an equal distance apart on prepared pan and transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes before baking. Do not skip freezing the dough, as it's essential in keeping the dough from spreading too much, and aids in the creation of the crinkly outer layer. After putting the first baking pan in the oven, put the second one in the freezer.
  • Place the chilled baking pan in the oven and bake 10 minutes, until the cookies are puffed slightly in the center. Lift the side of the baking sheet up about 4" from the oven rack and let it drop down against the rack, so the edges of the cookies set and the inside falls back down. To quote Sarah, "this will feel wrong, but trust me". After the cookies puff up again in 2 minutes, repeat lifting and dropping the pan. Repeat a few more times to create ridges around the edge of the cookie. Bake 16 to 18 minutes total, until the cookies have spread out and the edges are golden brown but the centers are much lighter and not fully cooked.
  • Transfer the baking pans to a wire rack; let cool completely before removing the cookies from the pan.

Photo credit: The Farmer’s Daughter 

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Stellar Saturday Ahead

Stellar Saturday Ahead

Getting very excited about a morning in the wine country tomorrow to support local makers...my first stop'll be Bay Area Made at The Barlow in Sebastopol for their 2nd Annual Holiday Market. Then we'll head over to the St. Helena Winter Market namely to see our pal Nicole of Yolotli, check out if Carter & Co. has any new styles and sample Grove 45's lust worthy olive oil. Before we head back, we'll stop by either Charter Oak or Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch for a dreamy lunch.

In the evening I'm elated to meeting up with my bestie, Nini so we can pop by Rich Table for porcini donuts and other bites, then attend Elizabeth Gilbert in Conversation with Lisa Congdon at the Nourse Theater in SF. 

Happy Friday everyone, I hope you have some special plans in the works that warm your heart as well!

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Key Ingredient

Key Ingredient

I’ve been growing this thyme for six months for the sole purpose of making my mom’s delicious stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving! It feels immensely gratifying to care for a living thing that will then become a key ingredient in a very essential holiday dish...

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