intuitive cooking, sensible eating.


Olive Oil Cake, Honey Lemon Goat Cheese Buttercream

This week’s potluck cookoff is themed Greens & Herbs.  I love to do the you think it should be sweet but it’s savory trick, and decided I’d make an olive oil cake.  I had one once for dessert at an Italian restaurant last year involving an impromptu afternoon trip to botanic gardens, a bottle of wine, bike ride ghetto kids style, and all sorts of hijinx.  The cake and day were both really good.

Since this is for the cookoff, which will produce a cookbook at the end, I am not going to post the recipe – unless it wins, and then I will amend this post 😉  We shall see… Instead I will provide another recipe that I came across while researching how to make this kind of cake, and it sounded very awesome.  It involves chocolate, and you know you can’t go wrong if there is chocolate involved.  If you have not looked at this website, it is fantastic also, so make sure to check out other things besides this.

I hope you guys can put up with some nice pictures until I know the verdict on how it tastes, not just how it looks!

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O Hai Backlog

This is what happens when you are a cook all day, and a week passes without updating… To make this easier on the eyes, I will just start with Easter and go from there.

I had the privilege of spending this holiday with some of my favorite people: the Agololinis, a lovely mesh of Armenian and Italian folks who know how to live it up.  In this kitchen I first tasted real butter, good bread, avocado, mango, sushi, rum, found out I loved bluegrass, heard awesome Dave jokes, and on and on.  That is what happens when you spend most of your time in a place for many years – it becomes part of you.  So great to be back with part of my family, even though Marita and Ephraim were absent (only in body, present in spirit).

The day began with leftover steak from the blackboard recipe (yet to be posted, my bad) and some eggs for my Dad.  Then I made quiche.  Then I made a pretty rad dish to take with me over to the party.  I woke up at about 8, knowing I wanted to get cooking I suppose.  I opened the pantry and stared at it.  Not much to go on here.  Looked in the freezer….oh, look, there’s some languishing bread…and some shrimp.  Open the fridge – goats cheese, carrots? hmm… strawberries, basil.  Balsamic, honey, done. Looks like panzanella to me.

Somehow I did not get a closeup of this salad, but you will see it on the table spread – it is toward the front of the table.  See if you can guess which one it is 🙂

Last Minute Shrimp & Strawberry Panzanella



  • 2-3 cups stale bread, cubed
  • 1-2 cups shrimp
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cups strawberries, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup basil chiffonnade
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 small package of goats cheese
  • 1/2 cup asiago, grated
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Pepare dressing/glaze by whisking everything together in a bowl.
  3. Cut up carrots, and oil up a roasting pan.  Toss them with some of the marinade/dressing – just enough to coat and leave the rest.  Roast the carrots until tender.  Set aside.
  4. Prepare the shrimp by removing shells, etc.  Thaw if you’re using frozen ones.  Toss with some of the marinade as well, and roast or saute.  Set aside.
  5. Reduce the heat of the oven.  Toss the bread with some oil, then spread on a jelly roll pan and toast to dry them out a bit.
  6. Chop up the strawberries, roasted carrots, and place in the bowl with reserved dressing mixture.  Add in shrimp, bread, and basil.  Toss to coat.  Add in half the arugula and some of the goats cheese, and the asiago cheese – toss some more.
  7. In a serving dish place some arugula on the bottom to make it all pretty.  Spread the salad over it, and top with the rest of the goats cheese.  Crack some pepper over the top, and voila!

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Potluck: What I made

Since these recipes are going to be available in the cookbook, I am going to have to hold back on that for a bit.  Sorry.  Hopefully all the rest of the recipes I post will suffice until you can get your hands on the finished product!  To tide everyone over, though, I will post pictures that I took while making the dishes I brought.

The first one is Corn Oat Muffins with Hardboiled Eggs inside (whole ones), and a preserved lemon/asparagus garnish.  The second is a Cauliflower Roulade with a Goats Cheese Herb/Arugula/Sprout filling, and a Goat Cheese Saffron Yogurt Sauce.  Complete with a side salad of sprouts, arugula, dandelion (from yard), little flowers (from yard), and carrot shavings.  Lightly dressed.  Mouthful to write these titles!

Oh, and these both won.  Thanks to everyone who voted for me, and thank you for bringing food as well. I enjoyed every bite that everyone shared.

Potluck Cookoff

There is a fantastic series going on right now at my friends’ place on Walnut Street.  Everyone in there is so kind to open up their home to anyone who would like to cook, eat, and hang out.  Each week there is an ingredient or theme (eg. herbs, rhubarb, asparagus, potatoes) which must be used in each dish, and then after merry has been made and all the food is demolished, there is a vote for the 2 favorite dishes from that night.  Ultimately, those winning dishes will be compiled into a cookbook.  It is going to be awesome.

Pictures from the last two potlucks!