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

Onion Tart with Goat Cheese Custard

Red Onion Tart- A Stack of Dishes

If you’ve been following along with this instagram account, or perhaps that instagram account, you will know that I’ve been working on this Onion Tart. It’s been a complete labor of love as not only is this the prettiest thing, but it’s also so remarkably yummy.

You may or may not be a fan of onions. In fact I know a few of you out there that downright don’t like them one bit. To my mind, once roasted and brought to toasty sweet deliciousness, there is nothing like them. Plus, don’t you just love the smell of onions cooking in the kitchen?? I mean really.

Roasted Onions for Onion Tart-A Stack of Dishes

But I have to be honest.

I had to work this one. [Read more…]

Warm Roasted Tomato Fresh Mozzarella Salad

Oiling tomatoes for roasting- A Stack of Dishes

August is my happy time of the year. The rhythm and flow of the summer is now engrained. Shoulders are goldened by the sun, stepping into shorts and slipping on tee shirts is the uniform of ease and mobility. The cicadas have begun their evening song, peppered with the glow of fireflies floating in soft velvety air. We have reached the sultry, the slow, the comfortable and casual- and the absolute best part? We have reached the time of abundant tomatoes.

warm roasted tomato fresh mozzarella salad- A Stack of Dishes

The farmers market is an intoxicating playground. So much color and jewels to choose from. Baskets overflow with gorgeous beauties- and the smell! I just love the smell of an earthy pungent tomato. One thing I have learned is that tomatoes are different in different parts of the country. I took for granted what I’ve always known since childhood. I hadn’t realized how much it touched my soul to hold a heavy Jersey tomato in my hand, its smoothness filling my palm, and that incredible smell of tangy earth. Now I revel whenever I can- which often leads to over purchasing.

I make a mean corn tomato salad which often utilizes the bulk of my tomato buying, but last weekend I got carried away. I was a kid in a candy store. I wanted all the colors. I collected them and held them to my belly as I shopped the stand- and it made me happy. Only, after the weekend there were too many leftover. 

warm roasted tomato fresh mozzarella salad- A Stack of Dishes

This salad is a dynamic of texture and temperatures. The tomatoes are tossed with oil, thyme, a healthy splash of salt and grinds of fresh pepper then roasted in the oven (or as I have taken to do lately- on the grill with the lid closed). Fresh mozzarella is pulled and torn into chunks onto a platter for the ready. Once the tomatoes looked puffed, thin skinned and ready to burst, and maybe a few have begun to give up their juices, it’s time to pull them from the flames. Give them a minute to sigh and relax and weep that gorgeous juice into the pan. While still quite warm, spoon them over the cheese.

The heat will gently melt the edges of the cheese, yielding its creaminess, while maintaining a center of cool. Grab hunks of your favorite crusty bread and have at it. Serve with friends, and a rose, and if possible with the concert of cicadas and the dancey glow of fireflies.

warm roasted tomato fresh mozzarella salad- A Stack of Dishes