Softening Up Non-Dairy Ice-Cream

My freezer temperature has only one setting that has no bearing on anything else. If the refrigerator is plugged in, no matter the setting for the refrigerator part, the freezer acts the same way – like a blast of cold arctic air. We never have to worry about waiting for ice.

It’s not just that vegan ice-cream is harder than dairy ice-creams, because I really don’t know if it is, based on the way my freezer acts. It freezes everything rock solid.

That being the case, I always have to soften up the dairy free ice-cream. I remove the cover and a few seconds in the microwave does it. Start from ten seconds and work up, so it doesn’t actually melt.

Otherwise, if you don’t have use of a micro-wave, set the container in a larger container of hot tap water, about an inch from the top with the top closed tightly, again for a few seconds, working up in time to where it’s just right.



Soft-Fri Saffron Potatoes And Corn – two way


For restaurants with leftover baked potatoes  – or home chefs who want to uptick your skillet potatoes – try this version of home fries and/or potato salad. It works great!

Makes 9 cups

Bake potatoes:

2-1/2 lbs. russet potatoes – the kind you find in the grocery in 5 and 10 pound bags – scrub under tap water, place wet on oven rack and bake at 400 degrees till fork-tender (long-pronged fork slides in and out easily when inserted into middle of potato), cool in refrigerator till ready to use; or use already baked leftover potatoes – mine went for 65 minutes in the oven – when cool, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (do not peel).

Cook corn:

Cook 6 ears sweet white and yellow corn in boiling water in covered pot for 10 minutes. Turn heat off and let set for 10 minutes longer. Drain. When not too hot to handle, cut kernels from cobs and set aside.

Let’s make some Soft-Fri Potatoes:

2 T. grape seed oil

1 lg. sweet onion, diced

1 t. pink Himalayan salt

1 t. smoked paprika

1 t. mild curry powder

1 t. garlic powder

1 c. fresh squeeze orange juice

1 pinch of saffron threads

1/2 c. diced sweet red roasted pepper

salt and pepper to taste

fresh parsley garnish (optional)

In extra-large skillet, over medium heat, melt grape seed oil.

Add onion and cook till partially wilted.

Add potato cubes all at once plus 1 teaspoon salt. Toss to coat with oil, then saute till edges of potatoes begin to soften.

Add corn all at once. Stir to distribute.

Add smoked paprika, curry, garlic, orange juice and saffron, then stir to mix well without smashing the potatoes.

Salt and pepper to taste, then cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes.

Add roasted pepper dice, adjust for salt and pepper again, then remove from heat.

Either serve right away as home fries with a parsley garnish, or chill for service later. You can reheat or serve cold. I prefer cold, but I must say that I alternate between hot and cold with these. They’re just plain good no matter the temperature.

When served as a potato salad, you may prefer to add veggie mayo – that tastes great too. Add the mayo just before serving if that’s the route you take. I like the low-fat method (hot, warm or cold), since I’m cutting back and these potatoes satisfy without the added fat.



Animal-Free Sous-Chef Reaches New High For Photo Views

On Google Maps Sharon Lee Davies-Tight reaches new high of over 500,000 views of her EATING OUT ANIMAL-FREE photos.



Posted in FOOD PREP:

Discoloration Prevention

This is an easy one. Tired of seeing your apple cubes and banana slices turn brown right before your eyes, before you’ve hardly finished cutting them?

Here’s a solution that works. Combine the juice of 1-2 oranges (fresh) in bowl with a strong sprinkling of turmeric. Stir to dissolve. Then as you cut the fruit, add it to the bowl, stirring to coat as you add new fruit.

Let it set for up to a couple hours in the case of apples, and with bananas till you add the other ingredients. Stir as needed every so often.

For apples: Strain the apples and run under cold tap water to remove excess turmeric. Drain again then add to recipe.

With bananas, either use the turmeric and orange juice in the recipe or strain without rinsing.


Posted in HOW TO MAKE:

Whip Topping, how to make

To date, Rich’s is the only company I’m aware of that sells dairy-free soy-based liquid that can be whipped into the equivalent of dairy whipped cream. Check out their website to see where you can purchase it. It’s sold frozen, so look in the frozen foods department of your grocery store.

All you do is thaw it first. If you’re in a hurry and it’s frozen, then plug the sink, fill it with hot tap water and place the container in the water, turning every few minutes till it’s thawed. It doesn’t take long.

Pour it into a deep bowl and whip with beaters or a whisk. I’ve done both on many occasions and the beaters work faster.

Then use as directed in your recipe.

If desired, use a vanilla or other flavored extract. Or just use plain if adding to savory recipes.

It’s a great product, which I use every now and then for a special whipped cream effect in desserts and savory recipes. Two teaspoons of liquid or two tablespoons of whipped equals 25 calories – not bad eh?


Posted in AFC SAUCES

Thick Lime Cream Sauce – how to make



A thick soy based citrus and turmeric cream sauce that can be used in both sweet and savory plus hot and cold recipes!

Makes 2-1/3 cups

Continue reading “Thick Lime Cream Sauce – how to make”

Posted in HOW TO MAKE:

How To Make: Black Rice



Directly from the instructions on the package is the best way to cook this particular brand of Chinese black rice – LOTUS FOODS!. 

Makes 3 cups

Continue reading “How To Make: Black Rice”

Posted in GROCERY ETC.

Specialty Salts

Now that I’ve experienced them I’m always going to have them in my pantry, that is, as long as I can afford these high priced salts.

The two I’m talking about here are pink Himalayan salt and Celtic salt. I don’t really have a favorite, but I definitely use more of the pink, probably because the granulation is more similar to the table and sea salts I’m most familiar with. The Celtic salt has a powdery granulation that is nice but different.

I purchased Sherpa Pink Himalayan salt online – in both granulated and rock form. Sherpa refers to a member of a Himalayan people living on the borders of Nepal and Tibet. Both pink salt products are Kosher, but that didn’t determine why I bought them.

Celtic salt is actually a French sea salt from the Bay of Biscay, Brittany Isles.

I did a tasting of both salts along with Morton’s idodized salt and somebody else’s sea salt that I also had on hand, and did discern a flavor difference outside of the texture consideration. However, once in the food of a recipe I doubt that I could tell one salt from the next.

However, since both salts tout purity in minerals and mining processing, I will stay with the higher-end salts. In pasta water, because I use so much of it, I still use either the iodized table salt or sea salt.

With both salts I use more in a recipe per teaspoon than if I were using the standard variety. Not much. If a recipe calls for one teaspoon regular salt, just add a little more of any sea or specialty salt.

Some won’t care. Salt is salt. But for me, it is always nicer to work with a quality product – and these two salts: pink Himalayan and Celtic are quality.


Posted in HEY

Salmonella and Milk In The Wine

Did you know that many wine companies use egg whites and/or potassium caseinate (an animal milk protein) to purify their wines? They discovered years ago that unwanted particles in the wine would stick to these substances when added to the wine, making the removal of them easier, leaving a pure and clarified product.

You probably already know that food manufacturers have to label products made in a facility that uses milk and eggs, even though the actual recipe of the animal-free product you buy doesn’t contain animal products. It’s because some of the animal product, which also happens to be an allergen, ends up in your vegan product because it’s made on the same machinery – even though the policy is to clean the manufacturing machinery between recipes.

Many wine companies, because of the high cost of using egg whites are switching to a clay method which works just as well, and eliminates the salmonella and milk risk factors present in wines where those two animal-based methods are used. Many wine companies are using a combination of animal and clay method and many are sticking to the only animal-based method of clarifying their product.

Of the companies I called to inquire, most that are not using the clay method or are using a combination of the two are located in the Pacific Northwest. Foreign wine companies most often use the old method, whereas newer, progressive companies choose the clay method.

Unlike food companies, the wine, beer and spirit industry is not required to label the allergens either present in their product or used in the manufacturing of their product.

This needs to change and will change. We, the consumer, demand to know what we are putting into our bodies, regardless of the views of the owners of the recipe.

Remember this: The next time you have an allergic reaction to the alcohol beverage you’re drinking, or you get nauseated and sick after you’ve had a drink or two, maybe you shouldn’t automatically blame it on the sulfites or the mixer or the alcohol itself. Maybe it was the egg white and/or milk protein or other animal product we know nothing about. Maybe the insects used to color the wine.

We, the consumer, demand to know what you put in the product you sell to us. And if you don’t tell us and tell us truthfully and accurately, then we’ll start making our own wine, beer and spirits and leave yours in the dust where it belongs.


Posted in HEY

Arrogant Animal Chefs Show Their Ignorance When Talking Vegan

A Food Network cooking show called Chopped presents four competing chefs with three different mystery baskets of ingredients for them to prepare an appetizer, entrée and dessert respectively in a designated amount of time.

Today, on the episode I watched, one of the mystery ingredients for the appetizer was vegan hot dogs.

Amanda Freitag, one of the judges who has competed for Iron Chef, informed the world that the only reason vegans eat vegan hot dogs was so they wouldn’t feel left out at a barbecue. She also claimed that they don’t have much flavor.

Chris Santos piped in that he’d fry them up in bacon to give them more flavor.

Bacon was also a mystery ingredient.

I noted that when one of the competing chefs opened the package of vegan hot dogs, the package was intentionally placed label side down, so no one watching the show could see the brand. Food Network is not against showing brands, since Bobby Flay (another T.V. chef) on one of the previous shows used Lipton Ice Tea as a surprise ingredient in that show.

This is a vegan problem that Food Network is obviously having, and true to form of the slaughter industries, supported by the government, chose to force four chefs to pair the vegan product with bacon and then forced the judges to bad mouth the vegan hot dogs as an assault against all people vegan.

A good chef should have been able to take that easy to work with vegan hot dog ingredient and transform it into something spectacular.

Even the moderator of the show Ted Allen referred to the mystery ingredient vegan hot dogs as “that obnoxious ingredient”. These are all chefs and/or food experts, who clearly know nothing about vegan foods or preparing any food absent any animal products. How easy is that? There’s really no challenge to cooking with animals.

Frankly I was surprised at their ignorance. Their arrogance about their knowledge of food is what tricked me into thinking they were more knowledgeable than they actually are.

In the past, Food Network has presented high quality ingredients. Since I don’t know the brand of vegan hot dog they used – and there are many – chances are they selected one that needed more flavor and handling – like most animal meats do.

The fact that they ignored the morality of the animal rights issue by trying to mix animal meat with plant meat by transforming both in the same dish, shows their insensitivity to the animals they enslave, torture and slaughter for nothing more than their own perverse pleasure.

They often speak about respecting the ingredients they work with in creating their dishes. Yet not one of them respected the plant meat ingredient. Transforming the ingredient is key to the show, yet they expected it to stand on its own.

And please don’t think that after you enslave, torture and slaughter an animal, that you owe him/her respect by tearing it from limb to limb and cooking it for someone to perversely savor.

Would you want to be enslaved, tortured and slaughtered to please somebody else’s palate? Or offer your children up for the same experience of pleasing somebody else, so your child can get respect in somebody’s stomach?

The show was a disaster. Next time come more prepared. If you’re going to call yourselves chefs and food experts then act the part. Animal-free foods, food preparation and cooking is here to stay. You all need to catch up.

The following are the offending so-called food experts:

From left to right: Amanda Freitag, Chris Santos, Ted Allen



Every Day Is The Only Way


Some of the filthiest shoes I’ve seen are worn by chefs, cooks and other kitchen staff.

The first runners-up are nurses and hospital staff.

In the two places where clean shoes should be a high priority, they’re at the bottom of the list.

A woman will be all groomed up – perfect hair, make-up, nails – till your eyes drop to her feet and you see garbage pails where shoes ought to be, bacteria bins substituting for shoes.

Covered with barnacles like smelly fish, announcing to the world by their very presence, here we come ready or not, we’ve got wheels, your shoes, and we’re going to infect everybody we see everywhere we walk with new and exciting infectious diseases made to order just for you by your health care professionals and favorite chefs.

Some of the dirtiest people wearing some of the scummiest clothes I’ve ever seen on human beings are preparing your food right now at your favorite high-end, low-end and every where in-between restaurants.

Aprons, jackets, pants – all dirty – caked with grease, flour, sauces, dressings, meat juices, batter, eggs, barbecue, mayonnaise, ketchup wiped directly onto the clothed body day after day night after night without the thought of a clean change of clothes.

Every day is the new and only way.

Every day – in hospital or health care setting, in restaurant or food service setting – you apply a clean set of clothes (washed and ironed). You wash your shoes with big cloth soapy wipes every day when you go home if it is the only thing you do before falling into your oblivious addicted life-after-work routine.

You’re like your own walking door mats, wiping your dirty paws on yourselves, thinking you’re keeping everything you touch clean, except yourselves.

You’re not keeping yourselves clean either. You’re not keeping anything clean.

All these intricately designed tattoos and multi-layered, multi-colored hair set-ups on dirty bodies and dirty heads? Take a bath, wash your hair.

Every day is the only way.

Stay away from my food and administering me health care if you’re not clean according to a prearranged and agreed upon standard.

Every day is the only way.

Once you let one day slide, you’ll let a week or more slide – just because you’re comfortable with your own dirt and don’t consider it unhealthy. You’re not sick so why should you think you can get anybody else sick?

You’re wrong. Appearances count – the way you look is as important as the way the food looks. Do you want to serve ragged, dirty, smelly food? If you do, then get out of the food business. Do you want your food prepared and served to you by a ragged, dirty, smelly person? If you do, then don’t ever get into food service.

Everyone knows when you’re covering up the dirt with fragrance and make-up so why do it? The cover-up takes almost as long.

T.V. chefs this applies to you too. Clean yourself up. And stop dripping your sweat into the customer’s plate of food like you’re proud of it. It stinks and so do you. I don’t want your waste as a part of my meal. Sweat is waste – like shit and piss. Keep it off the plate.

Dirty fingernails? Cut them off if you can’t keep them clean.

Brush your teeth for Christ sake. I don’t care if you only have one. Make that one shine like a pearly gold nugget. Clean it yourself. You only have one to worry about and you’re still complaining? Get away from my food. Don’t apply for a job at the hospital I go to or the doctor’s office I visit. Dirty people need not apply.

All these competing chefs on T.V. all running their hands through their sweaty hair and all over their sweaty faces, then touching all the food? Dipping their fingers into sauces and then licking them, then touching the food again? Who raised you? That mother everybody always says they’re cooking for in their mind would be appalled at the lack of clean technique demonstrated on these shows.

This shouldn’t be as difficult as it appears to be for almost all of you. Did you just slide into these jobs out of bed one day out of the blue? And since you work mostly out of view you thought you could stay dirty all the time and no one cared? What bothers me is that you didn’t care.

Grooming 101.

Every day is the only way.



How to Order Vegan at Fast Food and Chain Restaurants | PETA

Did you know that vegan fast food totally exists? We put together this handy guide to help you navigate the chain restaurant world.

Vegan Fast Food is Here! Try These Options on the Go

What’s the deal with vegan food? Some of us never thought we’d see the day when Burger King or Denny’s offered veggie burgers, but now that they do, the millions of omnivores who eat there can see that choosing meat-free meals is easy and tasty.


Almost every restaurant has at least one vegan dish. By making educated choices and asking the server for assistance, dining out can be a delicious—and cruelty-free—experience! We put together this handy guide to help you navigate the chain restaurant world.


Remember going to Baskin-Robbins when you were knee-high to a grasshopper? Awaken the kid in you by trying the chain’s dairy-free and gelatin-free ices and sorbets, which are just as yummy and cooling as ice cream—without the pus and hormones.


A delicious vegetarian Boca burger and a fresh garden salad are your options at Bennigan’s.

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse

The pizza crust and marinara sauce at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse is vegan! Order a veggie pizza without cheese, and ask for your pizza not to be brushed with butter. Not in the mood for pizza? Order the spaghetti marinara.

Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza’s traditional and gluten-free crusts are vegan, and it also offers Daiya cheese. For your sauce, try the classic red or the spicy red sauce or a drizzle of BBQ sauce or olive oil…

Finish reading: How to Order Vegan at Fast Food and Chain Restaurants | PETA



Chipotle — Food with Integrity [???]


Food With Integrity is Chipotle’s commitment to responsibly raised animals, classic cooking techniques, whole ingredients, the environment, local produce.


To sourcing the very best ingredients we can find and preparing them by hand.

To vegetables grown in healthy soil, and pork from pigs allowed to freely root and roam outdoors or in deeply bedded barns.

We’re committed because we understand the connection between how food is raised and prepared, and how it tastes.

We do it for farmers, animals the environment, dentists, crane operators, ribbon dancers, magicians, cartographers and you.

With every burrito we roll or bowl we fill, we’re working to cultivate a better world.


We’re all about preparing food without added colors, flavors, or preservatives (other than lemon or lime juice, which can be used as preservatives — though we use them only for taste).

Just genuine raw ingredients and their individual, delectable flavors. We source from farms rather than factories, and spend a lot more on our ingredients than many other restaurants.

We wouldn’t have it any other way.


Great ingredients deserve great preparation. Morning to night, our skilled crews use classic cooking techniques on the meticulously sourced meats and produce that are delivered regularly to each restaurant. It’s no coincidence that our founder and CEO is a classically trained chef.


In 2013, Chipotle made headlines for becoming the first national restaurant chain to voluntarily disclose the presence of GMOs in our food. In 2015, we succeeded in our quest to switch to serving food made only with non-GMO ingredients.


We care deeply about where our ingredients come from. While industrial farming practices have evolved to maximize profits and production, we make an extra effort to partner with farmers, ranchers, and other suppliers whose practices emphasize quality and responsibility. See how we’re making choices with farmers, animals, and the environment in mind.


We believe that small farms come in many sizes, that it’s more about what you do than how big you are. Our suppliers share many of our values. Here are two to chew on.

We develop close relationships with many of the farmers, ranchers, and other suppliers who produce the ingredients we serve every day.

We partner with farms that prioritize the long-term health of their land.


We think that animals raised outdoors or in deeply-bedded pens are happier and healthier than those raised in confinement. With our suppliers, we take a firm stand on two things.

We’re serious about pasture-raised animals that have room to be animals.

There’s no place for nontherapeutic antibiotics or added hormones on the farms that produce our ingredients.


We’ve always done things differently, both in and out of our restaurants. Check out how we’re changing the face of fast food, starting conversations, and directly supporting efforts to shift the future of farming and food. We hope you’ll join us as we continue to learn, evolve, and shape what comes next on our mission to make better food accessible to everyone.


With a tradition of mentorship and promoting management from within, Chipotle is a place to build a career and have fun while you’re at it.


How many classically trained chefs start fast food restaurants? In 1993, Steve Ells did just that, opening the first Chipotle and bringing fresh thinking and real food knowledge to an industry all about cheap ingredients and addictive additives. Fast food hasn’t been the same since.


A Love Story is a short film parable of how the fast food industry has devolved over the years through rivalry and marketing-driven menus.


The Chipotle Cultivate Foundation is a non-profit organization that funds initiatives supporting sustainable agriculture, family farming, and food education. Through events like our annual Boorito promotion at Halloween, we’ve contributed over $3 million to what we believe in…

Read More: Chipotle — Food with Integrity

AFSC Response

THERE IS NO INTEGRITY IN RAISING ANY ANIMAL FOR THE PURPOSE OF KILLING IT, no mater what the animal is fed, or the reason for slaughtering the animal, whether it be for our plate, to wear on our backs, to experiment on or any other insane reason to continue the debate. It is and always will be flat-out wrong.

It’s hard to even imagine how the brutal enslavement, torture and slaughter of animals could in any way shape or form be considered part of somebody else’s love story.

Unless completely plant-based, Cultivating Chipotle by investing in their product is a total mistake and waste of money.

We don’t get pork from pigs. Pork is the pig.

Given that Chipotle has half of the love story wrong, they do put out a chart on how to order vegan at their restaurant.

Do you think it would kill their love story to offer a vegan grated cheese and a liquid cheese, plus vegan chicken and pork products? How difficult could that be?



How To Eat Vegan At Taco Bell

How To Eat Vegan At Taco Bell

Continue at: How To Eat Vegan At Taco Bell – Taco Bell


Posted in HEY

2017 Window Garden At Rose’s Castle

No direct sun, with us being on the sunless side of the building, but we have a lake view which makes up for it. Regardless, herbs still grow in absent of direct sunlight.



Earth Bistro Reopens In New Location


Continue reading “Earth Bistro Reopens In New Location”


Restaurant Review Criteria

Pictures is how I do the review. Pictures of the food I order, eat and like. If I don’t like it, I don’t post it.

Animal-Free is the primary non-negotiable criterion. Service is not what I review. If a restaurant is so dirty that I can’t stand the smell of it, I’ll walk out as if I hadn’t been there.

I recommend a dish to you, through a picture, as a dish I liked, not as a dish I think you may like. I don’t know you nor your tastes. I only know mine.

Keep in mind that a pretty picture does not translate to a good tasting dish. In my own experience developing recipes, where I take pictures throughout the process, many a dish did not taste like the picture suggested through its beauty that it would. Those get scrapped. Will I make it again? Yes, but only after I’ve reworked the recipe, and only if the recipe is worth the effort. Sometimes it’s better to move onto another one.

Writing about the food in each restaurant gets in the way. Nobody is ever satisfied. She wrote a hundred words for theirs’ and only fifty for mine. His got a better sounding, a larger, longer applaud is a place I don’t want to visit.

I’m not out to destroy anybody. If I find out later that an item had something of the animal in it, I take down that picture. It’s on the restaurant to be honest.

If they consistently make mistakes for whatever seems to them to be a good reason, I’ll stop going, but will keep the review up on the site as a reminder of what the restaurant once was and could be again.

There is only one restaurant/bar that I barred from my site – and it was more due to the improvising of food handling procedures and being consistently out of the vegan food I ordered, that their menu claimed to serve.

In future I may decide to write a few words here and there. The only things written in stone are that it contain no animal products to get me to order it, and then to taste good once I’ve eaten it.

~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight, the animal-free chef


Posted in GROCERY ETC.






Continue reading “BROTHERS LOUNGE”

Posted in HEY





Posted in HEY



~ Chef Davies-Tight, at your service

Posted in HEY


Northeast Ohio…and elsewhere.








SMOKED PAPRIKA is the key ingredient added to animal-free recipes tasting of blood. Other additives that enhance the smoked paprika thus the blood taste are garlic powder, dry mustard, turmeric and sea salt.

~ Sharon Lee Davies-Tight

Posted in FOOD PREP:



Browned Spaghetti Sticks For Rice Pilaf dishes

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

50 (or as many as you want) stands of dried spaghetti , broken into 4ths or 6ths

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Place broken spaghetti pieces into skillet and cook till lightly browned. Shake pan or move them around with tongs, being careful not to burn them, but also careful to brown them all.

Transfer to pot of boiling water and cook till tender – just as you would do regular pasta.

Drain in wire mesh strainer and run under cool water to keep separate.

I use these little sticks in rice dishes to create an alternate texture to the rice. Nice.



Posted in FOOD PREP:



Bakery-style black bread makes superior croutons for soup or salad. Why not give it a try next time you see some authentic Russian black bread!

Makes as many as you want

preheat oven to 250 degrees

1/2 loaf bakery-style Russian black bread or pumpernickel, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Place cubes on wire rack over baking sheet and bake in preheated oven at 25o degrees for 30 minutes. or till crisp throughout.

Cool at room temperature, then bag, seal and store in dry place.

Use for soups and salads.

One half loaf made about 3 cups croutons.




Continue reading “MELLOW MUSHROOM”


The X-MAS TREE effect in plate presentation

When a chef is critiquing a plate of food one of the things they look for is color – all the major food colors.

You get so accustomed to that x-mas tree of colors on your plate, that if one is missing you go into x-mas tree withdrawal. Oh my God, I lost the  cooking contest because I didn’t put any green on my plate! Horrors!

Stop the insanity on the plate. If all colors belonged on every plate, then all food would look like a rainbow. Who made up that rule anyway?

When you dress yourself do you always have to add a touch of green or red or yellow? Stop the color insanity. Every plate doesn’t have to have the same colors on it.

Make the plate of food look good. Make it look beautiful if you want to create a work of art on the plate. Just be sure it tastes as good as it looks.



FENNEL SEED – the perfect plant meat spice

It’s not the same as star anise. It’s close, or should I say star anise is close to fennel seed – a cousin, seems like the same DNA, but is it really? I mean, do I really want to be putting licorice into my savory sauces? That’s what star anise is, basically, the taste of licorice – whatever makes licorice licorice, that’s what star anise tastes like.

Fennel on the other hand – a whiff of something like licorice, but until somebody pointed it out decades ago, I never connected the two – fennel with licorice. I connected it with Italian sausage. Pizzelles (an Italian pastry made on something that looks like a fancy waffle iron), now that’s made using star anise.

Fennel is a savory spice, not a dessert spice. Though now that I’m thinking about it, I think I will make a dessert out of fennel seed. Some day.

There’s a complexity to fennel seed that star anise lacks. Umami is what I’m talkin’ about here. Fennel seed and allspice – yeah I couldn’t leave that other mami out. Team those two and explosions occur in the kitchen, in the pot, in the sauce, in the plant meat…whoa.

Sorry Asians, but soy sauce doesn’t hold a candle to fennel and allspice in the umami department. I don’t know why cooks are putting soy sauce into everything they make. Cream soups even. Take it out.

Of course allspice is not exactly considered a savory spice. Sweet as in dessert is where it is most often used.

I use ground fennel in sauces, soups, salad dressings, plant meats, appetizers, veggie dishes and on and on.

I buy fennel seed in bulk and grind my own. If you live near an Italian grocery store, they’ll probably sell it finely ground, which is just as good as you doing it, since they do it from the seed just like you would. And they only grind what they know they’ll sell.

I use a coffee grinder with good results. It’s best to have two grinders, one for spices and seeds and one for coffee.











Continue reading “THE MAIN SQUEEZE”





Continue reading “RENAISSANCE HOTEL”

Posted in FOOD PREP:


Ever buy a big piece of ginger, use part of it, refrigerate the rest, then not get back to it till it’s moldy? Yeah, me too.

Ginger molds quickly. Being that it’s not readily available in all markets, when I do get some fresh ginger this is what I now do with the leftover. Make pickled ginger sticks.

Peel the ginger, cut the tiny little nubs off and use for whatever you want to use them for, then cut into thin planks, then thin sticks.

Place the sticks in a jar and cover with vinegar. This time I used a red wine vinegar; maybe next time I won’t have any so I’ll use a different vinegar. Refrigerate. Mine kept a couple of months before it was gone – because I used it all. Beyond that I don’t know.

The first time I did this, I thought that perhaps the ginger would lose some its flavor by marinating in the vinegar. Not so. If anything the vinegar augments the flavor and the heat of the fresh ginger. It also maintains its crispness – another plus.

Use in salads, sauces and stir-fries.