Saturday, December 20, 2014

A cruciferous Christmas

Crown him with many broccoli crowns: A photo from the produce section of Monterey Foods, courtesy of my friend Amy Pyle.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Fifteen foods to add to your diet for a healthful 2015

Photo courtesy of
For the full story, go the Huffington Post.

If you just want the list, I'm glad to be of help:

1. Matcha tea (ground green tea with extra chlorophyll)

2. Broccoli sprouts

3. Crickets  (as well as mealworms, locusts, and grasshoppers)

4. Kalettes (a hybrid of Brussels sprouts and kale)

5. Plantains (boiled and mashed, not fried)

6. Umeboshi (Japanese fermented plum) paste

7. Watercress

8. Lychee

9. Capers

10. Black-, mung- and garbanzo-bean pastas and flour

11. Khorasan wheat

12. Purple peppers

13. Rosemary

14. Coconut flour

15. Pine nuts (look for ones not from China)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Vitamin and supplement info in an interactive graph


I'm glad graphic artists are exploring new ways to convey information in charts. Sometimes the new ways are just confusing and actually worse at conveying the data than a simple bar chart. But sometimes, they come up something that works just amazingly well, like this one, courtesy of Information is Beautiful:

Even better, it's interactive, with links to take you to more information about each bubble.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Turning pumpkin pie disaster into a win

Photograph ©2014, Lori Korleski Richardson
Pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving tradition. And this year, disaster.

Those of you who have known me or have followed this blog for some time have heard me confess that I am a cook, not a baker. Never was that more apparent than on the morning of Nov. 27, 2014.

Jim and our friend Carla had gone on a country walk, our friend Rob was getting some much needed sleep, and I was doing prep for our big dinner to come. Every thing was going well. I remembered in years past that the recipe on the side of the pumpkin can made WAY too much filling for my 9-inch pie plate and I didn't want to make two crusts. So I thought, why not make the crust in my 10-inch springform pan? I'd done quiches that way and they had come out fine, even though the edge slipped down a bit and dropped over the filling; at least they were easy to cut at the table.

So I found a recipe for an extra crispy crust (a key ingredient: vodka) and proceeded according to directions, but neglected to notice the pie weights (which in my kitchen are dried beans) were supposed to go on top of the foil during the blind bake. So when I took it out of the oven after 15 minutes, the beans decided to stay right where they were. And when I tipped the pan to shake them out, the entire crust came tumbling out. By the time I got it righted and all the beans off, it was in five big pieces and a lot of little ones.

I really didn't have time to start over, since the prep and resting times for it were well over an hour. So I took the pieces, fitted them in the 9-inch pie pan the best I could so that they came up the side but not over, and pressed them together. I took the dough that had been left over, made it into a tight ball and rolled it out. I took one of my small decorative cookie cutters and cut out as many little flowers as I could. I then placed them, overlapping slightly, on the top edge of the pie plate, and pressed them into each other and the piecemeal crust.

Then I took the recipe off the side of the can and modified it thusly. Success!

Lori K's shallow dish pumpkin pie

Serves 8

2 large eggs
1 can 100% pumpkin (15 ounces)
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
4 ounces heavy cream

Beat eggs until foamy. Add pumpkin and stir well. Add the sugar and spices and stir until combined thoroughly. Add the cream and mix well. Pour into the crust. Cook for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool. I served this with 4 ounces of heavy cream whipped with about a tablespoon of hickory syrup and a teaspoon of vanilla. Be sure to freeze the beaters and bowl for a half hour or so before whipping for the best result.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

And the beets go on...

Something fun to do with the tops you chop off when preparing your beets for roasting or soup. The original tops were sautéed with garlic for a side dish; not sure what I'll do with these little ones. But they make a nice counter decoration, and it's good to watch something grow as the garden is preparing for the frost to come.

Photograph ©2014, Lori Korleski Richardson

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Taming the wild buffalo wing

Photo by Lori Korleski Richardson
For those who aren't baseball or sports fans, we are getting nearer to the World Series, and once again, San Francisco is in contention. (Not to be totally biased to the West Coast, Baltimore is also doing well.) Although one-third of my household is nutso over the Giants, we have never plunked down the big bucks for cable, and for most of the year, that works out well, since the subscription is reasonable and we can throw up the Internet on our HD TV. But playoffs are a different story, so last night, Jim called up "Top 10 Sports Bars in Charlottesville," and we headed over to a place we know has plenty of parking, Buffalo Wild Wings.

The last time I had a bucket of wings, they came out hot and lightly sauced, and served with a side of blue cheese dressing and more hot sauce, some carrots and celery sticks.

Buffalo Wild Wings has a variety of sizes and a whole menu of heat choices, which we didn't bother to peruse before ordering. I mean, the game was on and we were focused. So we just ordered a plate of medium boneless chicken, with hot sauce.

The boneless chicken wings arrived, hot and just dripping with gooey sauce. I popped one in my mouth.

I want to tell you that I am a Texan native, born in Lone Star State and proud of it. I have eaten chili that could put hair on anyone else's chest. I add Cholula or Tabasco to my eggs. I once won a jalapeño-eating contest. When it comes to hot and spicy, I have never been a wimp.

I almost had to spit out that hunk of chicken. My eyes teared up so bad that it looked like Hunter Pence was wearing long pants. Beads of sweat broke out on my forehead. I think I ate one more before admitting defeat and calling our waitron back. "I need a small order of the mild wings," I managed to gag out between cooling intakes of air. "And a to-go box for these."

The Giants won last night, 5-4. Super game. But this is a food blog, not a sports show.

If there's one thing I've learned over the years, the heat of jalapeños and habaneros often mellows overnight. And as hot as those chunks of white meat were, that's exactly what happened the next day.

When I got home, I wiped off as much sauce as I could and blotted the "wings" with paper towels and  put them in the fridge. Around noon today, I got out three of them, heated up a small pot of canola oil over medium heat and fried them for 2 minutes on one side and 90 seconds on the other. They were heated through, still nicely spiced, but crunchier and slightly drier than they had been the night before. But I ate all three without breaking a sweat. My tongue, thoroughly recovered from last night's scorching, was smiling now.