Thursday, February 15, 2024

Ina Garten's Lemon Capellini Recipe


 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to a large pot of boiling water. Add the capellini and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until just al dente. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large (12-inch) saute pan, add the butter, and heat until the butter is melted. Add the zest and juice of the 2 lemons. Add 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and swirl the pan to combine. 
  3. As soon as the pasta is cooked, lift the pasta out of the water with tongs, allowing most but not all of the water to drain back into the pot, and add all the pasta to the sauce. Cook for one minute, adding pasta water to the sauce with a ladle just enough to keep the pasta moist.
  4. Transfer the pasta to a serving platter or individual plates. Garnish with more lemon zest, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and squeeze a little lemon juice on top. Serve hot. 

Note:  I would reduce butter. Add minced garlic and shrimp. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Tallarin Saltado Chifa (shrimp Stir Fry) from Chef Ollie



  • 2 servings of regular dry Italian spaghetti noodles, about 100 grams
  • boiling water to cook the noodles
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
  • 16 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2-4 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2-4 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into feathers, about 1 cup
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch squares, about 1 cup
  • 1 cup snow peas, cut diagonally
  • white part of 2 green onions, cut into rounds
  • green part of 2 green onions, cut into 2 inch tubes
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2-4 teaspoons sesame oil

In addition to the ingredients above, you’ll need a large pot with boiling water to cook the noodles, a small bowl to mix the sauce, and a large non-stick skillet to sauté the shrimp and vegetables.

  1. Fill a large pot with enough water to cook spaghetti, bring to a boil
  2. Add spaghetti and cook for 10-12 minutes
  3. Strain spaghetti, rinse with cold water, set aside
  1. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce
  2. Stir sauce with a fork to mix well, set aside
  1. Heat cooking oil in a large non-stick skillet over high heat
  2. Add the shrimp and sauté each side for 1-2 minutes
  3. Turn off heat, remove shrimp from skillet, set aside
  1. Heat cooking oil in a large non-stick skillet over high heat
  2. Add the ginger, garlic, red onion, red pepper, snow peas, and white part of green onions, stir-fry for 1 minute
  3. Add shrimp, toss quickly, and immediately add the sweet and sour sauce
  4. Add the noodles, green part of green onions, bean sprouts, and mix well
  5. Add the sesame oil, stir-fry for another 30 seconds, then remove from heat
  6. Serve immediately, family style in a large platter

4 servings.


To make garlic paste, purée peeled garlic cloves with enough olive oil to create a smooth paste. Refrigerate the garlic paste in an airtight jar and use in a recipe as you would minced garlic.

The key to the sauce is to find the balance between savory, sweet, and sour flavors. Use a soy sauce with reduced sodium made with tamari that won’t overwhelm the other flavors in the sauce. Use equal parts sugar and white wine vinegar but taste the sauce and adjust if needed.



Friday, February 9, 2024

Happy Birthday Aria


Dear Aria, I'm so grateful that I have been given the gift of being your mother.  Thankful that I have been given all these years to watch you grow and to watch you blossom into a life of your own. Wishing you a very special birthday this year. May all the wonderful, best,  mysteries of life continue to unfold for you. 

"Happy, Happy Birthday!"

"... here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
 i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)"- e.e. cummings




Sunday, February 4, 2024







"Travel while you're young,

and able.

Don't worry about the 

money, just make it work. 

Experience is far more 

valuable than money

will ever be."

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Triple Coconut cream Pie Recipe


Dahlia Bakery Triple Coconut Cream Pie

Servings: 1 9-inch pie
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 35 minutes
chilling time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Difficulty: Advanced
This triple coconut cream pie from Tom Douglas' Dahlia Bakery is nothing short of a national treasure.


Coconut Pie Crust

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 8 Tablespoons (one stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-pieces
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup ice-cold water, or more as needed

Coconut Pastry Cream

  • 1 cup milk (whole preferred)
  • 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk (not low-fat), stirred
  • 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tablespoons room-temperature unsalted butter

Whipped Cream & Toppings

  • 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream*
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch kosher salt (optional)
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chip or large-shred coconut (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 4-6 ounces white chocolate in chunk to make 2 ounces of curls


Pie Crust

  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, coconut, diced butter, sugar and salt. Pulse to form coarse crumbs. Gradually add the water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing each time. Use only as much water as needed for the dough to hold together when gently pressed between your fingers. Don't work the dough with your hands; just test to see if it is holding. (The dough will not form a ball or even clump together in the processor—it will still be quite loose.) 
  • Place a large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter and dump the coconut dough onto it. Pull the plastic wrap around the dough forcing it into a rough flattened round with the pressure of the plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes to an hour before rolling.
  • To roll the dough, unwrap the round of coconut dough and put it on a lightly floured board. Flour the rolling pin and your hands. Roll the dough out into a circle about ⅛ inch thick. Occasionally lift the dough with a board scraper to check that it is not sticking and add more flour if it seems like it's about to stick. Trim to a 12-to-13-inch circle.
  • Transfer the rolled dough to a 9-inch pie pan. Ease the dough loosely and gently into the pan. You don't want to stretch the dough at this point, because it will shrink when it is baked. Trim any excess dough to a 1-to-1½-inch overhang. Turn the dough under along the rim of the pie pan and use your fingers and thumb to flute the edge. Chill the unbaked pie shell for at least 15 to 20 minutes while the oven preheats. 
  • Preheat the oven to 400°. Place a piece of parchment in the pie shell, with sides overhanging the pan, and fill with dried beans or pie weights. (This step prevents the bottom of the shell from puffing up during baking.) Bake the piecrust for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry rim is golden. Remove the pie pan from the oven. Remove the paper and beans and return the piecrust to the oven. Bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until bottom of the crust has golden-brown patches. Remove from the oven and allow the pie shell to cool completely.

Coconut Pastry Cream

  • Combine the milk, coconut milk and shredded coconut in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Use a paring knife to scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add both the scrapings and the pod to the milk mixture. Place the saucepan on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture almost comes to a boil.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and flour until well combined. Temper the eggs by pouring a small amount (about ⅓ cup) of the scalded milk into the egg mixture, while whisking. Then add the warmed egg mixture to the saucepan of milk and coconut.
  • Whisk over medium-high heat until the pastry cream thickens and begins to bubble. Keep whisking until the mixture is very thick, about 4 to 5 minutes more. Remove the saucepan from the heat. 
  • Add the butter and whisk until it melts. Remove and discard the vanilla pod (or save for another use). Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and place it over another bowl of ice water. Stir occasionally until it is cool. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a crust from forming and refrigerate until completely cold. The pastry cream will thicken as it cools.

Whipped Cream & Assembly

  • Preheat the oven to 350º. Spread the coconut chips on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 7 to 8 minutes, watching carefully and stirring once or twice until lightly browned,, since coconut easily burns. Remove the coconut from the oven and allow to cool.
  • While the coconut is toasting, whip the heavy cream in a stand mixer with the sugar, vanilla, and salt (if using), until stiff peaks form. 
  • To assemble the pie, spread the coconut pastry cream evenly into the pie crust with a spatula. Using a piping bag and piping tip, pipe the whipped cream on top of the crust with your preferred design with the cream until the pastry cream is completely covered. Sprinkle the toasted coconut pieces over the top of the pie. Use a vegetable peeler or a very sharp chef's knife to scrape about 2 ounces of the white chocolate into curls. Place curls gently on top of the coconut/pie.


  • Parchment paper
  • Dried beans or pie weights




  • Make this pie in stages. The crust can be made up to one week ahead before baking and the filling can be made 2-3 days in advance. The pie crust can be baked one day in advance, but we don’t recommend that you bake it any earlier than this for optimal texture and freshness. The cream should be whipped and the pie should be assembled no earlier than the day of serving– but these are the easiest and most fun parts of putting your pie together!
  • Really take your time for the crust. Butter crust can be fickle, and the addition of coconut makes this crust slightly more challenging to work with. You’ll want to make sure you have just the right consistency before rolling it out and shaping (see the recipe for details). Don’t cut corners when it comes to chilling the crust in both stages, and make sure you have nice golden brown edges before removing the dried beans, and after the beans have been removed during the second stage of your blind bake.
  • Don’t skimp on the vanilla bean. Seriously. Paying a few bucks for a vanilla bean may seem unnecessary, but using this one ingredient makes all the difference and you can literally taste the seeds in every bite. The coconut pastry cream is the star component of this pie, and the vanilla bean is an absolute must.
  • Don’t fret about the piping. At the Dahlia Bakery and other Tom Douglas restaurants, they pipe the whipped cream on top of the pie, which gives you a gorgeous result, but if you don’t have a piping bag or piping tip, simply spread the whipped cream on top with a spatial and top with the shredded coconut and white chocolate. The coconut and chocolate will dress up the pie and give it an amazing aesthetic and texture.


Thursday, February 1, 2024

A Very Small Window of Temperature Comfort


"Eventually , there will come a time when you will be constantly complaining about the heat."

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