Dark Chocolate Popcorn with Sea Salt and Peanuts

Dark Chocolate Popcorn with Sea Salt and Peanuts - A Stack of Dishes

In anticipation of next weekend’s big game I decided to get my groove on and make some dark chocolate popcorn with sea salt and peanuts. As you can imagine, watching the game is more of a social event than a die hard fan thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love to watch football. In fact, I was Captain of my cheerleading squad in high school- so I’m pretty sure I have the rules down. I’m just not much of a sports chick- I’m interested, just not involved.

So my “game on” is what ends up on the cocktail table in front of the TV. So why not some jazzed up popcorn? All that game day food is usually pretty cheesey, greasy and heavy on the gut. Who doesn’t love it- I just want some fresh ideas out there. 

Making popcorn certainly is not the same as when I was a kid. There was real reverence and hard core focus when it came to making popcorn. It was a bit of right of passage for us kids. We had a certain pot we used only for popcorn making. We knew just how much oil to put in, how high the flame, and a capful of kernels was the perfect amount for the pot. Standing on a chair it was sacred duty to shake the pan relentlessly during the furious popping stage, and then came the fine art of knowing when to remove the pan from the heat to get all the kernels popped without scorching the pan. Ain’t nothing worse than burnt popcorn. Not Pleasant.

Dark Chocolate Popcorn- A Stack of Dishes [Read more…]

Sweet Dumpling Squash with Yogurt Sauce and Pomegranate Molassas

Sweet Dumpling Squash-A Stack of Dishes

 On my desk I have a teeny tiny brass Buddha. It sits just above my keyboard and so it catches my eye several times a day. Most days I shift it back and forth out of my way, but then there are the days when we share a real moment. This tiny Buddha, with it’s quiet wisdom, reminds me that nothing stays the same, and I have no control over any of it. Of course I love to think that I do, or even better, I get all proud of myself when I feel like I do.

Nothing has gotten my wheels turning like the election results last week. The bitter divide between people is astonishing to me. I am struggling to understand how that can be. I believe in differing opinions, and I like to think my perspective is pretty keen, but I am just shocked at how far apart so many of us are.

My partner and I had an interested dinner last week with a friend who voted for Donald Trump. She’s a smart, educated woman, and btw- doesn’t always vote Republican (in fact, she voted for Obama). So I was fascinated to hear her give her point of view. I have to say it was an amazing discussion. One point she made several times was to ask that we put ourselves in the opposing shoes. With her guidance I was able to understand her perspective, and have respect for her and her decision. Of course, I still disagree, but I was left thinking about all the things I don’t know, or don’t fully understand.

Cut Sweet Dumpling Squash- A Stack of Dishes

I have to admit I remain anxious about a man who, to my experience, has shown such volatile leadership manners. Let’s be honest, he’s got a lot of learning to do, and so does the rest of the world, as we get to fully understand what this man is all about.

Meanwhile, I try to get comfortable with change and upheaval. It brings me back to the core. I am so glad that Thanksgiving is next week. I am looking forward to spending time with people I love. There will be hugs, there will be laughter, there will be good food. I find my solace at the stove and gatherings around a dining table, always have.

Peace to all of you my dear ones. 

Where would we be without each other?

Sweet Dumpling Squash- A Stack of Dishes

Rainbow Carrot Lentil Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing

Carrot Lentil Pomogranate molasses Salad- A Stack of Dishes

The Fall is nipping at my heels, and though I still feel like hanging on to Summer, this rainbow carrot lentil salad brings in the richer flavors of the season in a way that makes me feel like it’s going to be alright. That gorgeous full on summer sun gave us platters of warm tomatoes and bursting berries that fueled my sandy romps to the beach and late night meals on the deck. As the days are going by the long golden light of the fall is creeping up on us and so I’m starting to look forward to duskier and rounder flavors.

Last week I was at the farmers market in Union Square and I was once again blown away. So many colors, so many textures! The peaches are heading out now, but here come the apples, the squashes and these gorgeous rainbow carrots. Yellow, orange, ruby…they are so pretty they look like candy! Who can resist really? I think between now [Read more…]