May 2021 – In My Kitchen

This post is part of a monthly roundup of goings on in kitchens around the world. It’s hosted by Sherry of Sherry’s Pickings. Please consider joining and adding your own monthly update.

We had our first weekend guests at start of this month (who were vaccinated and actually allowed indoors) since the pandemic started 14 months ago. Although it was sunny during the day, evenings were chilly and we were able to beat a welcome retreat inside for dinner.

To celebrate we had these stunning botanical gin and tonics featuring elderberry tonic garnished with flowers and herbs from the garden. Spring is definitely here.

Botanical Gin and Tonic

Botanical Gin and Tonic

Along with buttermilk brined beer can BBQ chicken, I served this delightful celery and lentil salad. Along with crisp crusted local sourdough, it was an easy and delicious meal.


In my kitchen there have been new salads that are perfect for serving with spring and summer cookouts.

Curried Sweet Potato Salad

Curried Sweet Potato Salad – I’ll have some of that!

A curried sweet potato salad with cashews and creamy goat cheese served with a simple grilled steak.

In my kitchen I have a new Korean pepper paste made with brown rice and red peppers.



While considering what to make for dinner in my kitchen, I saw a recipe for Spicy Fire Chicken (it was also called Maangchi’s Cheese Buldak) in the NY Times food section and was intrigued. Truthfully cooking has become somewhat tedious and the recipe was outlandish and completely out of my usual comfort zone. Here is a link to a YouTube video of Emily Kim (she is the Korean web star known as Maangchi) preparing the dish. I was able to order the rice and red pepper paste on Amazon. And although I fully intended to try the dish, when I tasted a spoonful of the paste it was HOT! So much so that I questioned the wisdom of cooking with it and imagined the hours of heartburn that might result. To the rescue came another very simple recipe using it. This time a simple marinade of equal parts gochujang and honey with a splash of soy sauce and olive oil. To my surprise the comments said that it was not overly spicy. And it was true. So true that I don’t have pictures because we wolfed down the dish before I could pull out my camera! The marinated skirt steak was delicious, it was not hot at all but had a wonderful depth of flavor. I will try and restrain myself long enough to post it next time.

In my kitchen was (all gone now) a cheesecake made with labne. The recipe is from the cookbook Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman. She called it Sweet and Salty Cream Cheese Tart, it’s made with a crust of Ritz crackers and includes grapefruit juice. It appealed to me because it wasn’t overly rich or sweet, and it was easy to prepare (very important). I don’t usually make desserts, preferring savory over sweet.

Sweet and Salty Cheese Tart

Sweet and Salty Cheese Tart


Sweet and Salty Cheese Tart

Sweet and Salty Cheese Tart

It cracked a little in the center when cooling but a few fresh raspberries concealed it.

Lastly in my kitchen I made a sheet pan coconut fish and tomato bake. I will post the recipe because it was wonderful. Stay tuned.

Sheet Pan Coconut Fish and Tomatoes

Sheet Pan Coconut Fish and Tomatoes

The rockfish was purchased fresh off the boat in Noyo Harbor. I served it with fresh asparagus and a creamy combination of mashed potatoes and pureed roast cauliflower (left over from a previous meal).

What’s new in your kitchen this month?

14 thoughts on “May 2021 – In My Kitchen

  1. All your dishes look really delicious, especially the roast chicken and the cheesecake!

    best… mae at

  2. ooh you are making me hungry liz. that roast chicken and the cheesecake. so delicious. i am drooling. and i love your pretty G&Ts. How lovely to have visitors again. we can have them here but i have been reluctant so we haven’t actually had any! Take care and see you next month.

    • Hi Sherry, we are visiting with other vaccinated folks only but still very cautious in public. We have twice had an inside restaurant meal but they are at 50% capacity with all the doors and windows open. It was warmer outside with the heaters!

    • Wouldn’t that be wonderful if we could visit! I bet it would be good with that sauce, I was surprised how delicious it was and not hot at all.

  3. Cheesecake is my all time favorite dessert! Love your food photos. The gin cocktails look pretty too. It;s been ages since I have had a G&T but when I tried Hendricks it was great.

  4. So much bright, beautiful and delicious inspo. I can relate to the kitchen tedium, and with winter coming will probably tend to warm comfort foods but am inspired by the flavours of your meals, as well as the Sweet and Salty Cheese Tart… I can’t eat a lot of sweets or very sugary food, so it sounds perfect. Gochugang is a handy ingredient. I use to make a flavoursome kim chi that keeps well in the fridge.

    • Gochugang is a new ingredient for me and it has been fun to try new things with it. I’ll post the recipe for the tart. Unfortunately I didn’t take very many pictures. I don’t make many desserts because I have never had much of a sweet tooth, salty things are a different matter.

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