Pickled Beets – Preserving the Winter Garden Bounty

2_Beets cleaned and ready for the potEvelyn, Jonathan Dye, and I have eaten many pickled beets made with this recipe. They’ve been added to cheese plates, paired with gravlax and other preserved fish, and also served simply with some dark rye bread, some fresh dill, and a dollop of crème fraiche (maybe a squeeze of fresh lemon too?). Evelyn’s winter garden has been a bountiful one. She has bushels of beets and needs a way to preserve them. Pickling is the perfect treatment for a homegrown beet. Here’s what I think Evelyn should do with her winter beet bounty! Continue reading “Pickled Beets – Preserving the Winter Garden Bounty”

Stinging Nettle: A Foraged Food That’s Worth The Pain – Video and Ravioli Recipe

nettle montageForaging for wild foods can be intimidating. The delicious and the deadly can look similar and occupy similar environments. Stinging nettle is a great plant for the novice forager. Simply touch the plant and it will tell you if you’ve identified it correctly! Continue reading “Stinging Nettle: A Foraged Food That’s Worth The Pain – Video and Ravioli Recipe”

Free Class on Wednesday 4.30 at YLPL: It’s About Thyme

it's_about_thyme

This Wednesday (April 30th), OurLocaltopia is back at the Yorba Linda Public Library for a free class on cooking with fresh herbs! Join us in the downstairs community room at 7pm and enjoy an evening of culinary eduction and demonstration taught by Jonathan Dye and Jonathan Duffy Davis. Samples of the food prepared will be available for tasting and copies of the recipes will be passed out. Come one, come all!

Coloring Eggs With Natural Dyes: A Recipe Review and Tip Roundup

naturally dyed easter eggs 1Egg season is upon us! Whether you are celebrating Easter with a bonnet and a basket, or simply enjoying the ongoing nesting of your backyard birds, springtime is synonymous with The Egg. It’s likely that many of you plan to color eggs over the coming week, for display and hunting this weekend. If you’d like to try something a different than the typical grocery store dye kit, we suggest coloring your eggs with natural ingredients. Naturally dyed eggs will take a bit more work than the store bought kits, but the creativity, shade variations and recipes are almost endless. And, if you’d rather limit the ingestion and exposure of less-than-natural substances for you and your family, this is the way to go! Continue reading “Coloring Eggs With Natural Dyes: A Recipe Review and Tip Roundup”

Steak Frites: Recreating a French Classic

Just back from a trip to Washington, D.C., I wanted to post about a quintessential French brasserie favorite which had been right under my nose for several years… a dish called Steak Frites. A snow storm kept me in the Capital for an extra day, which led to a second meal at Le Diplomate, the town’s new and very French eatery on 14th street. Never having ordered Steak Frites before (though it is an oft offered menu item in many places), I was completely bowled over by the great pleasure I had eating this extremely simple dish: steak with fries, accompanied with compound butter and aioli. This was the stuff of simple pleasures, the embodiment of steak and potatoes.

Continue reading “Steak Frites: Recreating a French Classic”

Free Cooking Class on 3/26/14: Garden to Table Cooking at Yorba Linda Public Library

Wednesday March 26th 2014 at the Yorba Linda Public Library!
Wednesday March 26th 2014 at the Yorba Linda Public Library!

Don’t forget! This Wednesday, OurLocaltopia is teaching another free cooking class at the Yorba Linda Public Library, as part of the “Food For Thought” series. This week’s class focuses on Garden to Table Cooking and will cover how to make the most out of your backyard edible garden or your weekly farmers market spoils. The Jonathans will provide up close demonstrations of at least four unique dishes, with samples and recipes available to the audience. Class will be held in the Library’s downstairs community room and will run from 7pm to about 8:30pm. Bring your friends, and enjoy a free night of delicious culinary education! See ya there!

~ OurLocaltopia

Elegant Strawberry Conserve

Once sufficently cooled, place your finsihed conserve in a glass jar. We suggest Weck jars. It's that easy... Enjoy!
Strawberry Conserves.

Strawberry season comes early in Southern California and is just around the corner for the rest of the country! We wanted to post about this AMAZINGLY EASY Strawberry Conserve recipe, inspired by one of our go-to books, Canal House Cooks Everyday. Continue reading “Elegant Strawberry Conserve”

Seaside Supper: A Curated Dinner & Demo in Ventura County

OurLocaltopia headed to Ventura County to cook for an ocean front retreat!

This week, OurLocaltopia was invited to a seaside vacation home in Ventura county to curate a meal for the Sew n’ Sews, a group of avid quilters who take this yearly retreat to work on projects and bond with their friends. We were thrilled to be cooking in a gorgeous kitchen that  had panoramic coastal and ocean views. The menu for the night featured a variety of locally sourced produce, including delicious Ventura County strawberries and included a demonstration of the prep and execution of Fritto Misto. Below is our recap of the evening, including photos and recipes. If you are interested in having a similar event at your next getaway, party or gathering, don’t hesitate to contact us! Continue reading “Seaside Supper: A Curated Dinner & Demo in Ventura County”

Sweet and Savory: Rosemary Pine-Nut Cookies

Perfect Rosemary Pinenut cookies, fresh from the oven. An essential sweet & savory dessert!

Back from a recent dinner at Pizzeria Mozza in Newport Beach, we were stuffed with blessed satisfaction from too many great dishes on the menu.  To top off the amazing salume, antipasto, salads and pizza we enjoyed, was their signature Butterscotch Budino, served with delectable tiny cookies on the side, a salty accompaniment to the sweet custard.  As full as we were, the cookies caught our attention!  The cookies sported a base of sweet-salty polenta shortbread, topped with a pine nut nougat studded with vanilla beans, and perfumed with needles of fresh rosemary.

Continue reading “Sweet and Savory: Rosemary Pine-Nut Cookies”

A Specialty Pastry from Italy: Sfogliatelle

SfogliatelleWe wanted to share our experience making a specialty Italian pastry called Sfogliatelle.  We were inspired by a picture seen in Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, and took to the kitchen to re-create this masterpiece. Continue reading “A Specialty Pastry from Italy: Sfogliatelle”