June in the Kitchen – Roast Carrot and Avocado Salad with Crunchy Seeds

June in the Kitchen – Roast Carrot and Avocado Salad with Crunchy Seeds

Here is another salad using roast carrots, this time with avocado and some crunchy seeds. Use my seedy mix if you have it on hand, otherwise toast some sunflower and sesame seeds in a dry skillet. Roasting carrots concentrates their sweetness, it’s become my new favorite way to eat them. Boiling them first means they cook much faster and don’t burn, and a citrus marinade adds flavor. You can make this ahead, it is good at room temperature. A platter would be perfect for a buffet. Or, serve individual plates as a first course.

Tricolor Carrots

Tricolor Carrots

Carrot & Avocado Salad with Crunchy Seeds

  •  3 bunches of small carrots or larger ones, peeled and cut into 3 inch lengths and halved (about 2 lbs)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into about 12 wedges
  • 2 cups mixed micro greens, baby sprouts, and herbs.
  • 1/4 cup of creme fraiche, sour cream, or soft fresh goats cheese
  • 3-4 tablespoons of seedy mix, or 2 tablespoons of toasted sunflower seeds and 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame seeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Prepare the carrots, then cover with salted cold water in a large pot, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes until almost tender.
  3. Drain and transfer to a rimmed non-stick or parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. In a blender container or food processor combine 1 teaspoon each of squeezed orange and lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the toasted cumin, garlic cloves, thyme, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Blend until smooth.
  5. Pour over and coat the carrots with the marinade, tossing to mix. Add the halved lemon and orange to the pan.
  6. Roast until browned is spots, about 20 minutes. Shake the pan once to brown evenly.
  7. Once cooked to your liking, remove the pan and let the carrots cool.
  8. Squeeze the juice from the roasted citrus halves into a small bowl. Add any remaining fresh juice, 6 tablespoons of olive oil, and the sugar. Season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
  9. Spread the carrots on a platter or serving dish (or on individual plates), add the avocado slices, cremefraiche and top with the greens.

    Roast Carrots

    Roast Carrots

  10. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the toasted seeds.
Roast Carrots with Avocado, microgreens sour cream and seedy mix

Roast Carrots with Avocado, microgreens sour cream and seedy mix

Carrot and Avocado Salad

Carrot and Avocado Salad

Serve at room temperature.

I’m taking this to serve at the buffet on Fiesta Friday #71 at Angie’s. Please come and join us at the party. Fiesta Friday

April in the Kitchen – Carrot and Avocado Salad with Crispy Kale and Hijiki

April in the Kitchen – Carrot and Avocado Salad with Crispy Kale and Hijiki

The pictures don’t do this dish justice, it was absolutely delicious. You can serve this vegetable dish either warm or at room temperature as a salad. It’s an amazing combination of flavors and textures. It’s also a powerhouse of nutrition. Sweet spring carrots, creamy avocado, crispy baked kale, and crunchy hijiki seaweed combine to make a stunning salad.

Recipe adapted from “The Fat Radish, Kitchen Diaries“.

Carrot and Avocado Salad with Crispy Kale and Hijiki

(serves 6)

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons seasame oil
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 ounce dried hijiki (about 1/4 cup), rinsed and soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, drained
  • 1 bunch curly kale, stripped from the stem and torn into small pieces
  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 pounds spring carrots, scrubbed and trimmed
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into wedges. 
  • Black sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, seasame oil, mirin, fish sauce, garlic and ginger. Add the drained hijiki and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
  3. Place the kale on a baking sheet and rub with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the five spice powder and salt. Place in the oven and bake, turning once, until crispy, about 20 minutes. Set the kale aside to cool.

    Crispy Kale

    Crispy Kale

  4. Bring a pot of salted water to a bowl and add the carrots. Cook until nearly tender, about 10 minutes depending on size. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain and cool. Cut in half lengthwise.
  5. Place the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in a heavy skillet on medium-high heat. Add the carrots to the pan and cook, stirring until brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  6. Spoon the drained  hijiki and its marinade over the carrots, add the kale and avocado wedges (if not serving immediately, wait to add the avocado), stir gently to combine.
  7. Add the avocado just before serving and combine gently.
  8. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.


This dish would be suitable for vegetarians and can be gluten free if you use gluten free soy sauce.

January in the Kitchen – Hamburgers with Beer Candied Bacon

January in the Kitchen – Hamburgers with Beer Candied Bacon

Hamburgers with Beer Candied Bacon

Hamburger with beer candied bacon, avocado and cheese

Hamburger with beer candied bacon, avocado and cheese

When I am feeling under the weather I crave simple food, just the basics please. I’ve been fighting a cold since the day after Christmas; but being who I am, I’ve been barreling through full speed ahead. I love the holiday season and refuse to let a cold get in my way. It’s winter right? Doesn’t everyone have a cold? It’s normal.

Last night was the end of barreling through. I needed something comforting and simple. It was time for a hamburger. Now I don’t mean any hamburger, certainly not MacDonald’s. A homemade one was what I needed. Something with grass fed chopped chuck, mixed with something lean (buffalo, elk, ground turkey?). I had a package of elk in the freezer complements of an amazing grocery store on the Northern Coast. Mixed together they would be the perfect blend of lean and juicy, complex and plain old beef. Even more interesting I had beer-candied bacon left over from New Year’s Day. Boy do I love leftovers!

Let’s start with the bacon; this is an amazing thing to have on hand. The recipe is by Laura on the blog Tide and Thyme. Here is the link to the post on her blog.

I’ve reprinted the recipe below.

Beer Candied Bacon

  • 1 lb. of thick cut high quality bacon
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ plus 2 tablespoons of dark beer
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (she recommends 400 but I found that to be too hot). Ovens vary.
  2. Combine brown sugar and beer in a small bowl, whisking well to form a thin syrup. (I heated the mix for 30 seconds in the microwave since my house was chilly. It helped dissolve the sugar.)
  3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place one or two wire cooling racks on top. Place the bacon on the rack, overlapping if necessary (it will shrink in cooking). Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes remove from the oven and brush with the beer/sugar syrup. Turn the bacon over and brush the other side. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
  5. Repeat the process one or two more times until the bacon is brown and crisp.
  6. Cool on the wire rack for an hour or more until serving.
Hamburger with beer candied bacon, avocado, cheese and red onion

Hamburger with beer candied bacon, avocado, cheese and red onion


  • 2 lbs. of ground beef, not too lean. (Combination of beef and dark meat turkey is also good)
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, few grindings of pepper
  1. Salt and pepper the meat, mixing it carefully.
  2. With clean, wet hands form the hamburger into 6 patties, being careful to handle it very gently. Shape with a slight indentation in the middle, as they will shrink in cooking. I usually make mine slightly larger in diameter than the bun.
  3. Heat a skillet on medium high for a minute.
  4. Add as many patties to the skillet as can fit without crowding. You may need to turn on the fan to your stove so your smoke alarm doesn’t go off.
  5. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on a side, depending on how rare you like your hamburger.
  6. If making cheeseburgers, add your cheese to the cooked side when they are flipped. That will give it time to melt a bit.
  7. Meanwhile, toast the buns till they are slightly brown and crispy on the outside.
  8. Assemble the hamburgers to your liking.

Our family favorites are cheese, avocado, sliced red onion, Dijon mustard, and mayo. What are your favorite garnishes?



I think that the party at Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen will like this one. Come and join us.

November in the kitchen – everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salad

November in the kitchen – everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salad

Leftovers can be a life saver as far as dinner is concerned. It was a busy day on Monday and I hadn’t had much time to even think about what to serve for dinner. In addition, the ladies were pleading for a walk. How could I resist those faces? Dinner would have to wait.

Australian Shepards

Quinn and Casey, the Aussie ladies

Enter leftovers, clean-out-the-fridge and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salad.

When I stuck my head in the cold box, I found…leftover farro, some cold chicken, a bit of cheddar cheese, last of a jar of pickled green beans, a few pomegranate seeds, and half each of an avocado and red onion.




I also found half of a butternut squash, the rest had been used in the pumpkin humus.


I decided to roast the butternut squash to give the salad a bit of temperature variation. Combined with the cheese and avocado, it would give the salad a creamy and buttery texture and flavor. The green beans would add a tart note. I had just purchased a package of Trader Joe’s Candied Pecans, there’s the sweet and crunchy note.

Trader Joe's Candied Pecans

  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cube the butternut squash, toss with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and some kosher salt. Roast for 40 minutes or until brown and tender. Cool slightly.
  2. Cut the cheese into small cubes.
  3. Slice the onion and avocado.
  4. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
  5. While the butternut squash is still warm, toss everything together with some greens (I used arugula and baby kale from the garden) and add a splash of vinaigrette.

Toss gently…ta da! Fanfare!

Assembled salad.




This type of dinner is actually one of my husband’s favorites. Leftovers have always spurred my creativity. He fell in love with me over my Brie omelet (just a small picked over slice remaining from a cheese platter earlier that week). The saddest thing about these dinners are that they are rarely repeated, I never have the exact same leftovers waiting in the fridge.

Do you have a favorite clean out the fridge creation?

November – In My Kitchen

November – In My Kitchen

I can easily spend an hour in a new grocery store or anywhere food related. Exploring farmer’s markets, spice shops, cheese shops, wine shops, or other foodie places is one of travels greatest joys. I’m lucky that my husband is curious and likes to go along, he has the patience of a saint as I poke around and ask questions. Don’t you think that trying out a new ingredient is an adventure and sensory joy?

Following are a few new things I’ve found and brought into my kitchen during the last month.

Urumqui Lamb Rub from Oaktown Spice

Oaktown Spice Shop is a spice store at 530 Grand Avenue in Oakland, CA. They have an amazing variety of spices and house made spice mixes. The folks in this small store are knowledgable about how to use them, they provide recipes, and it’s fun to chat with them. When I was there we exchanged several cooking ideas. It’s a great place to get holiday gifts for your foodie friends. This Urumqi Lamb Rub is hand-mixed, a combination of garlic, cumin, pepper, chili and ginger. I plan to use it this weekend with slow cooked lamb shanks with yogurt. Stay tuned for the recipe on another post if it turns out like I think it will and my mind-tastebuds say it will.


This is fresh turmeric root. I grated it to use in the roasted squash soup (Halloween Soup). It made my hands yellow, but was delicious. I hadn’t realized how quickly ground turmeric lost it’s scent and flavor.

I soaked the peel of Meyer lemons (from my backyard tree) in vodka for making Lemoncello. The peels have been soaking for a month and will be bottled the end of this week, to be stocked in the freezer for the holidays. I like to serve a tiny glass of Lemoncello after dinner as a digestif. It also makes a great gift.

SalinityI found this salt from Salinity in Ashland, OR. It’s flavored with Blue Cheese from the Rogue Valley. They recommended using it as a finishing salt on a butternut squash soup. I’m looking forward to trying it.

These vegetable wraps (called GemWraps) came from in a store in Ft. Bragg, CA. They are made entirely from fruits and veggies, gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan. There are several different kinds, this one is mango chipotle but I also bought tomato and BBQ. You use them to make sushi like wraps for a zero carb, gluten free lunch or snack. I made a wrap with chicken, cheese, onion and avocado. I used some fresh goat cheese (called Laychee) from Penny Royal in Boonville, CA, and Chipotle Pineapple Chicken from Bruce Aidells. 

I made a batch of hot green chili spread. It was gone in a few days and I plan to make more. Sure didn’t last long!

Hot Green Chili Spread

Hot Green Chili Spread

And lastly, do you have any favorite flavor combinations? Have you ever tried avocado and soy sauce? Yummy!

avocado and soy sauce

Avocado and soy sauce


What’s new in your kitchen?


This has also been linked to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, the November edition of “In My Kitchen”. Check out the link for some fascinating posts about what is going on in other kitchens around the world.