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May 2013

A Clean Cook, second in series

  Clean cook

    As I spoke in my first post I was intrigued with a term Thomas Keller used, A Clean Chef. The first meaning that came to mind was the obvious one, a cook who cleans up after ones self, one who works in a clean environment. I think one cooks more effective when ones kitchen is fairly clean. I know one cooks more effective if one cleans up as they go along. Plus I have found efficiency actually leads to more creativity. Since I hate to clean, I always though cleaning would kill my creative juices but I have found the opposite is true. It is hard to feel creative when you have no space to work with, cannot find anything and have to spend an hour cleaning before you even start.

    I have a French marble table I use as my kitchen island. Part of me would love to have some pretty vignette on it, maybe stacked cake stands with fresh fruit but I need a wide open work space. If I was building my dream kitchen, I would copy the kitchen of 100 year old house in Saratoga I was lucky to tour when I was a girl. It is about 500 square feet (or at lest that is how I remember it)  and had 3 massive marble islands in the middle. I would have one for prepping, one for plating and one for baking with room to have a pretty vignettes ;-) So you see my sweet little island has to do the duty of all three! Keeping my island open and clean inspires me to create, does not drain my engery by having to clean to off everytime I need to use it and thrills me to see someone standing there cooking.

    Now there is also the chef who thinks of how to cook in a clean way. For example I have seen people cook and use every bowl they have, instead of thinking about the dish before they even start preparing. A clean cook makes a plan as to how to use bowls in an organized manner. There is a mindset to a chef and one I think would benefit us home-cooks. A chef enjoys thier work but also uses their time wisely. They know their space well, they have constructed it to meet their needs and their creativity. With a orderly, open space one is free to be a clean cook!

I will be back with more, please feel free to enjoy the rest of the series






A Clean Cook

  Clean cook

    I have been enjoying Thomas Keller's book, Bouchon Bakery. Being one of thee top chefs in America and owning The French Laundry (Which I have eaten at before it was hip and was owned by Don and Sally Schmitt.) I figured Thomas knows his stuff, although he is approaching cooking from a chef's point of view. Which is very different than a home cook but as Madam Mimi would say, "One should never cook like a chef but understand and have the same skills as one."

    In his baking book he uses the term A Clean Chef, immediately a few different ideas went zipping through my mind but then I realized I think he meant all of them. Gosh, what a perfect term for the kind of cook I want to be. If I was starting a new blog or writing a cookbook, I might call it A Clean Cook!

    Originally this was just going to be one post but I realized I have a lot to say, like I always do on the subject of food, so this will be series.

I will be back with what is a clean cook! Please enjoy more of the series






Mother's Day Fun

  Mother day2

    Well I was suppose to have mother's day last week but it kind of all blew up, so we rebooted and had it this week. David took me and the girls to my favorite new restaurant, Port Gamble general store & cafe.

  Mother dayy

    I have been dieing to have their version of biscuits and gravy: Indian fry bread with homemade sausage gravy: heavy cream, fresh herbs and all. Oh my gosh it was heaven. Biscuits tend to get all mushy (well in my opinion they do, you can disagree with me ;-) but the fry bread was crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. I have got to try to make this myself.

  Mother day meal

I think Port Gamble is just about my favorite place, even though it only consists of two blocks. Port Gamble has been owned by the same milling company for 160 something years.

  Mother day4

Therefor it feels and looks exactly the same as it always has. There is such a sense of history, peace and beauty in Port Gamble. We decided to check out the cemetery. It was a stunning day to enjoy the beautiful views of Hood Canal. Look below, the picture on the right, can you see the Hood Canal bridge that goes to Port Angeles?

Motherday2 Collage

Looks at this stunning iron work. Gosh things were prettier 150 years back!!

Mother day3

The girls were so sweet to me, they cooked and cleaned all weekend. Chloe made me a beautiful crochet cuff. I need to pick out fun colored buttons for it. Auberne` gave me an old book about English thatched cottages and a salted, almond dark chocolate bar.


Bling, England, chocolate and family = a perfect Mother's Day xox

A Corner of my Home

Sp garden2

    Well right now the inside of my house is a complete wreak. We are working on a huge kitchen project (I will share soon) I have my stove moved into the middle of the kitchen and a temporary work space set up in my living room.

  Sp garden1

    So I have no lovely corners to share but I thought my little side garden is looking pretty.

  Sp garden3

    I have just let the columbine go crazy reseeding. Hopefully when they give out my roses and clematis will kick in. I also have a new little pathway I am putting in. Of course it goes to a front door that does not open but that is a moot point :-O

Meatless Mondays, Have You Thought of Barley?


    Looking for cheap, easy dish on upcoming meatless Mondays? What about barley? It is healthy, inexpensive, you can cook some this weekend and use it next week. Here is a list of barley salads or a vegetarian barley toss. You could also make barley risotto. I think eating different grains (not the same thing all the time) is very healthy. Switch things up!!

Lavendar/Barley image

Butterfly Love


    Good day, I tell you love makes the world go around and it really is the little things that count. I received the sweetest gift the other day. I thought I would share it with all off you so you could make one yourself.

    Last time I visited my dad, I meet Joy, The Vintage Rabbit. We instantly became good friends and she sent me this beautiful paper garland. Joy simply cut out two butterflies and stapled them together with some pretty ribbon sandwiched in between. To cover the staple, she cut a small body for the center and glue it over the staple. Joy used an old map for the paper which I have to say was a brilliant idea, for the colors go perfect in living room.


    Thank you Joy I love it (and you). Also thank you readers for I have little handmade gifts from many of you around my house. I look at them all the time and think of each of you. Like I said love makes the world go around xox

PS Here is another butterfly project that I thought was charming, butterfly tea bag.

Butterfly tea

Chive Oil

Chive oil2

    Are you looking for a simple way to bling up a meal? I was the other night. David grilled some elk steaks and I cooked some quinoa and steamed green beans. I wanted to add a bit of flavor using what I had on-hand. In comes chive oil or in this case I used the green tops from my garlic. Just add some really good olive oil, for you need oil with a rich flavor and you will have a simple garnish. We just drizzled it over our dinner and it brightened the whole dish up!!

Chive oil

Chive Oil

1/2 cup olive oil, the richer the tasting the better

6-8 chive stalk, torn into thirds. (You can also use garlic tops or green onions)

salt and pepper to taste

A blender stick works really well for this but a blender or food process will work too. Add ingredients and blends for a minute. Enjoy, it will keep in fridge for a week or two!