What is Salt?

We are taking a break from our weekly "Food and Photography" in order to get caught up on the recipes we have already produced and shot. We will begin to post recipes as well. I am also pursuing marketing plans for "The Salt." All recipes, with very few exceptions use a Flavor Infused Salt in them and I wanted to add a little about it to the blog.
You can also purchase the salt currently online at www.theseasaltshop.com
Salt is also an essential element. Life itself would be impossible without it, since the human body requires salt in order to function properly. The concentration of sodium ions in the blood is directly related to the regulation of safe body fluid levels.
It is also the "engine' for flavoring food.
So, if you are going to consume this stuff on a daily basis why mess around?
                           Use good gourmet Sea Salt  that has been Flavor Infused.
Lemon Flavored Infused Sea Salt

Summer Salad

Another beautiful and very tasty salad with pickled radish, asparagus, tomato and of coarse fresh California Avocado. The Lemon Salt was perfect for this salad.

Fancy Smancy

Last week went great- food and photos were a success. It was in our opinion the perfect Ladies Luncheon menu. tell us what you think-
We started with a popular but always delicious Red Pear, Gorgonzola and Walnut salad with a light Champagne vinaigrette dressing. These flavors work so well hence probably why it is such a popular salad and perfect for "the Girls".
Next was a rich and creamy shrimp and mushroom in puff pastry. I have not made this in a long time and changed my original recipe a little. Yes it is rich and not so easy on the waste but sometimes you gotta just go for it!
And, we are not done yet. We ended with a delicious berry crumble topped with a small dollop of French Vanilla Ice Cream. I used large beautiful blackberries, fresh organic strawberries and blueberries. This is another simple but wonderful desert that no one ever seems to tire of.
This completed the days ode to the fancy smancy "girls lunch in ."
Not sure what will will be adding to our ongoing compilation of recipes and fabulous photographs but promise to deliver something wonderful!

Horse Show meant food was a no-go

Ok, so what does our food blog have to do with a horse show? Both of us are equestrians in the fab sport of dressage ( click the link to view a you tube video) and it is show season now. There is a huge horse show this weekend and while we thought we could "do it all" somehow the show took the day. Our menu for yesterday, which has now been rescheduled for next Wednesday is clams and cake. Yes it sounds weird but I want to try a new recipe for some baked clams that I have been playing around with and also an easy, light and sweet treat that can be a great "go to" desert for any meal.
Please tune back in for the results.
More to come this week: new pics and recipes, and more about the flavor infused SALTS!!!

Back on Track

I"m back ! Wow Super bowl Sunday was a while ago. What happened? Life got in the way I guess and off the beaten path we went. But, here to refresh the blog as the journey continues.
We had a wonderful day Friday with another day of success on both sides. The food turned out awesome as well as the photos. We have both encountered a feeling of continuous love for what we are doing and continued curiosity of where this journey might take us- wherever that might be-lol.

The food Friday started with tomato tartletts, I might have made up that word but it's cute and best describes out little bite sized mouthful of yummyness.
Individual puff pastry squares topped with onion and garlic sauteed in white wine and fresh thyme, grated Parmesan, crumbled herb goat cheese, diced tomato's and topped with fresh basil.
Out of the oven came the perfect party no fork needed bite size blast of flavor!
Then came the pizza. I have never made a pizza and OMG this thing rocked. I did use store bought pizza dough from Trader Joes and Bea brought her out her pizza stone that really made a big difference on how that crust came out. Dough was topped with a garlic cream sauce that I made from -you guessed it- sauteed garlic wine and cream. Smushed up boratta cheese and even more cream-yum. Topped it all with arugula, sliced prosciutto and shaved Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkled a little crushed rep pepper as soon as it came out.
I will never forget my first time! Making pizza that is:)
Pictures posted soon and I promise to add recipes this week to the new "Recipe "page of the blog.

Super Bowl Sunday

Bird of Paradise Champagne Cocktail
Mango puree-squeeze of lime and fresh OJ
freeze puree and juices-add to flute and pour champagne over
Not Bea's photo-lol- taken from my ipad
I'm a big brunch fan, especially on Sundays. I want to include some of my Sunday favs in "the Book" but realized I've never actually made this particular dish- Huevos Rancheros (great breakfast joint in town.) So, I head out to the market and tried to imagine what would make this dish special. The Sauce! I gathered my ingredients and back to the kitchen. It's almost 12 in the afternoon and still no food. But, there are cocktails. My Champagne cocktail is yummy, lots of pre-game noise coming from the man cave so all is well.
I have left over Feijouada Beans
for the base and the combo of Roasted veggies
1/2 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 jalapeno split and de-seeded
2 roma tomatoes halved
large pinch of Lime Salt 
large pinch of cumin
Sprinkle salt and cumin over veggies and roast in 450 degree oven for 30 min
Blend in food processor until smooth.
Heat tortilla, top with heated beans, sprinkle whatever cheese you like, top with 2 fried eggs.
I garnished with fresh avocado, cilantro and sour cream.
DELICIOUS!!!

I was so hungry (it's 2 o'clock by now), went to watch the game and forgot to take a photo. But my friends, rest assured this one gets repeated. I'll just make sure Beatrice comes over next time with Camera in tow.

So breakfast will be served just in time for Super Bowl. That's ok, good food has no time line-right?
AHH -beautiful day!

Brasil Brasil -Our first Taste Tester- Part 2

I was pretty nervous about cooking something as complex as a feijouada for the first time ever (brasilian black bean dish) combined with having our first taste tester. Not to mention that my Brasilian husband would be the all time judge and jury on a dish that he's been eating his whole life!!!
AND, that the recipe came from his darling 94 year old Mom- really, no pressure here to get it right.
Caipirhina- Brasilian cocktail-mmm good
I have to say that I was concerned about leaving out a few of the ingredients that had been passed over the phone from Florida (where Mom-in-law lives) then translated to English from the hubster. No way was I going to add Salt Pork- can you say fat? So, I did use the other meats and low and behold the dish was fabulous!!! Taste tester friend, barn buddy and fellow foodie was knocked off her chair. No it was not the "several" Caipirinhas  I fed her while she patiently waited 2 hours for the beans to cook. It all turned out so beautifully. Not to mention that Bea took beans and rice and an opaque fish dish and transformed the food into these awesome photographs.

Braslian Bacalau
I'm here to tell ya people, this is some good stuff. Flavor Infused- oh yes and the Garlic Salt was used throughout both of these dishes.

What a day of fun and awesome results- food and photos turned out great, cranked a little Antonio Carlos Jobim and had a fun with our good friend Kim. When she showed up with flowers the colors of the Brasilian flag I knew my fellow foodie was right for the task,
caring and conscientious of her participation in the days
event.

P.S.Guess who LOVED my food- yep-the man himself:-)


Brasil Brasil - A Difference of Opinion - Part 1

My husband is from Brasil- no I'm not spelling it wrong. That's the way it is spelled in Brasil. I had decided that I wanted to make a Brasilian dish that I love, Bacalau. I've made it many times but not with the traditional dishes that go along with it like Feijouada and rice.  My husband said to me the night before our "session", "why would you put that in "the Book?" Don't you want to appeal to the masses if you are planning on selling your book?"
I sat up and looked at him like he had just spoken to Michelangelo and said "are you sure you want to paint it like that?" No I am not referring to myself as the great Michelangelo but we "artist" are sensitive people. That is how I feel about my food- that every time I create something it is my work of art. So I responded, "It is a dish that is unique and very tasty. That is what I want to share with people. A chance for someone to step out of the box and try something a little different. The book is partly a reflection of me and the food that over the years I have collected in my mind to paint, I mean cook."

A Chance to Reflect

So it's early Sunday morning and I am use to being at home experimenting (always) with Sunday brunch, maybe sipping a Mimosa and spending an all dayer with my husband and doggies. But, I had to get the horses out cause my barn buddy and cook book photographer  usually has Sunday barn duty and she is away. What I realized on the way out to the barn is that I could take this opportunity to spend my Sunday morning in a different way. Creatures of habit we are but change can be a chance to see things in a different light. Each day can offer its own unique opportunity to make that day what it is, special. So I had to get up and drive and leave the comfort of my glorious abode. I started my day walking two beautiful horses around on a sunny Sunday California 75 degrees out in January morning!!! It was a chance to reflect on my life and how truly grateful I am:)

Alright, enough kume by yah" or however you spell it. Time to talk about the FOOD!

Friday's "session" was again just so awesome. I wanted to recall the happiness of another day towards the great mission, "the Book" before my pathetic memory card runs out of juice. My brain that is, not my Ipad. While horses are out and enjoying the sun I headed to the local Starbucks and decided to write my blog from here. So blogging at Starbucks is a bit different but hey Coffee and those little pink donuts are readily available.
California Corn Chowder
 with diced jalepino and fresh avocado


Back to the food. What's so cool about doing "the Book" with my friend is that yes she is an amazing photographer but she is also a foodie. She was able to pick up the pieces on what my California Corn Chowder was lacking, add it and then it was complete.



Next was Grilled Polenta that shared the plate with a Fennel and Watercress Salad tossed in a light lemon vinaigrette.  The polenta was warm and rich from the Parmesan cheese that had been added while the salad was  chilled, light and crisp.

Grilled Polenta with fresh Fennel and Watercress Salad
















Oven roasted Dungeness Crab











And, for the finale was an Oven Roasted Crab that we just got down and dirty with. The flavors here are succulent, lots of garlic, juices from lemon and orange, wine and a special Seafood Salt that will be added to my line of Flavor Infused Sea Salts.

Once again the day was full of great food, (less wine this time) and creativity that kept coming. Like sparkle dust that kept falling it was another wonderful and productive day.




Splurge

Ok so this is awesome- We had our second "session" yesterday and I am creating food that for sure has been assembled before me. But, what was so fantastic about the end result was that having splurged on the quality of every ingredient really was a noticeable flavor infusion. I will expand on that in a minute. I also put it together while strolling through a beautiful market I recently discovered and that was kind of cool.
Let me get your buds watering first by telling you what was prepared.
First I made something I had never made before, zucchini fritters. OMG, what a great go to healthy munchie and it was easy.  Delicious! We dipped them into some ranch dressing while they were still hot, sprinkled a little of my thyme salt and wowza.
Ok so now the Pino Noir is open, we've got some tunes playing and away we go- what comes next was seriously one of the best combination of ingredients I have ever put together. And, it goes back to what I mentioned early. The quality of the food, especially the meat ( grass fed, organic, the whole shabang- not to mention $$$) really made this a for sure cook book entry. A mouth watering, carb carrying forget feeling guilty dish-
An open face grilled rib eye sandwich with horseradish mayo, maytag blue cheese topped with fresh organic arugula and fried shallots.
The Girls
Yeah, that's what I'm saying. Oh and topped off with a sprinkle of rosemary -thyme salt. So now this thing needs a Cabernet and we chose a very good full hearty wine to go with this. Photos turned out great and the girls (my Viszulas) were happy cause you know who got some scraps. Life was good for all. That is until we had too much to drink and decided to debate politics. But, we recovered and closed our "session"  with love and laughter.



SPLURGE
There are so many ways to enjoy this world, food and friends are just a given good time. Ok, maybe without the politics. Cheers!

Getting Started

Flinn and me after winning 1rst Place at
a horse show.
It's 8:45 am and my mighty steed is waiting for me to mount him. No this is not a soft porn blog. I am referring to my handsome horse Flinn. But, I did feel compelled to break through, forge ahead and try to make attempts at learning to blog. So, as I watch the clock tick I shall return later today to get started on posting about the cook book I am working on and what is on the menu for this weeks "session."
 I also want to promote my line of Flavor Infused Sea Salts that is used in all the dishes that are going into the cook book.
Flavor Infused Sea Salts





By the way this weeks "session" is always a reference to this:
My best friend and I, she's the books food photographer hanging out at one of our homes concocting the dish du jour, photographing and of course deciding what wines pair best with my creations. OK OK cooking, drinking and having a blast with all the while creating our cookbook as our excuse, FUN!!!