Gran’s Carrot Casserole

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

Gran enjoying a good cup of coffee in her favorite mug (c.1975)

As a kid growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I enjoyed spending one week, just before the new school year began, at my grandmother’s house in Merced. I helped Gran pick peaches off the tree in the backyard and then watched her peel and can them for use throughout the year. Continue reading

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Cooking Class at Lavender Inn


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Baby Roasted Carrots with Mustard-Butter

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley VegetarianThese are true baby carrots — not the miniature shaped varieties from the grocery store. They taste completely different and roasting them brings out their natural sweetness. Sautéing them in butter and coarse-grained mustard is the perfect finish. Continue reading

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Tamale Pie to Die For

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

Tamale pie with top and bottom cornmeal layers.

What is Tamale Pie? I like to think it is a way to give harried moms and dads a convenient and economical way of making tamales without tedious prep and spending hours in a hot kitchen. A little bit of history will help to understand this century-old dish. Continue reading

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Millet Cornbread

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian


Millet is an ancient seed, originally cultivated in northern Africa and northern China. Over time it spread throughout the world. Today, millet continues to be a staple for a third of the world’s population. Ground millet is used in Middle Eastern-style flatbreads. In Eastern Africa, millet is used to make beer. With the recent popularity of gluten-free diets, interest in millet has grown throughout Northern America. Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Baguettes


Fresh baked baguette in baking pan.

This is a simple and tasty bread. It takes a few hours to make from beginning to end but your effort will be worth it. This recipe makes 3 long loaves. I make them in heavy gauge aluminized steel pans with a perforated surface which creates a crisp golden crust. If you don’t have perforated loaf pans use a baking sheet. The bread is just as tasty. Continue reading

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Happy New Year – 2017!


Here’s a quick and easy appetizer recipe for celebrating the new year right. French Dijon mustard adds just the right amount of spice to this rich, creamy spread. Wash it down with a glass (or two) of champagne and drink to Auld Lang Syne.  Continue reading

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