Frozen Chocolate Cardamom Pudding with Roasted Hazelnuts

frozen chocolate cardamom pudding with roasted hazelnuts 2

It’s February 24th and officially 116 days ’til summer.

For us in San Diego, that doesn’t mean much of anything since every day here is a bit like Groundhog Day.

IE. One version or another of summer, no matter what San Diegans will tell you to the contrary.

Some days, when the daytime high dips to a blustery (*cough*) 63 Degrees F, it feels for us like fall.  But winter?  We don’t know winter.

But the Northeast?  Those guys know winter.  Especially this year.  Case in point, this picture. Continue reading

Rosemary Raisin Sour Cream Scones

rosemary raisin sour cream scones

When I was younger I used to make my home in Providence, Rhode Island.

I lived in a small, two bedroom walk-up apartment with various roomies on a street called Hope.

I used to be an artist model back in those days.  It was one of my most favorite jobs I ever had and though I spent many an hour freezing what-my-momma-made-me off and developing the crackitiest, creakitiest of joints, spending my days as one was great.

I modeled at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and at the Providence Art Club as well.  But my most favorite place to work was with a private painting group of mostly older ladies at Lippitt Farm, a sprawling private estate at the edge of country of Tony J’s, an amazing artist and RISD instructor who hosted them there. Continue reading

Dear Reader (A Special Wish)

Image from ZetWet.Com

Image from ZetWet.Com

On the eve of this magical day called Christmas, my heart isn’t filled with recipes or stories.

Christmas Eve dinner is cooking, fairy lights are twinkling and Nat King Cole is singing his songs.

It may be 73 Degrees F here in San Diego, but in my heart, the first flakes have just begun to fall. Continue reading

Food Love Fridays: 5 Great Gifts for Food Lovers – Holiday Gift Guide Edition

Image from Allure.Com

Image from Allure.Com

I don’t know about you but I am nearly beside myself with excitement.

With finger hovering over mouse, I am this close to clicking play on my Pandora Classic Christmas station.  Bing Crosby and I are old friends and it’s been too long since I’ve heard his voice caroling in my ear.

You know what time it is.  You know you do.

It’s officially the holidays, my friends.  It’s true!
Continue reading

Brown Butter Slow-Rise Soft Pretzels

brown butter slow-rise soft pretzels

Many, many years ago, in a land far, far away, there was a young art student named Christina.

The world was brand new back then and the possibilities, endless.  And everyday, lugging an enormous black portfolio almost as big as she, young Christina would head to day-long art classes to paint dead fish.

And although, after many, long, balmy hours left unrefrigerated, the fish would inevitably spill their guts (literally) — and give her the driest of heaves — it was still something to see. Continue reading

Food Love Fridays: October Edition

Image from IntentBlog.Com

Image from IntentBlog.Com

It’s October 2014 and there’s a whole lot to love.

For starters, Sean Brock’s new book, Heritage, which just came out this month.  Let’s just say it makes me want nothing more than to grab my husband, hightail it down to Charleston, camp out on Sean’s back steps and hope he feeds us.

(Not before putting his book on my Christmas wish list, of course).

Sean you are my culinary hero. Continue reading

No-Churn Roasted Peach Ice Cream with Mint and Lime

no churn roasted peach ice cream with mint and lime

San Diego is where it’s at.

Well, okay, where Christopher and I are at.

Yup, dear friends.  It’s official.

We are now bona fide, without-a-shadow-of-a-doubt San Diegans.

And I am not quite sure how I feel about it yet.

It’s kind of like how that line in that Soundgarden song goes:

I’m looking California and feeling Minnesota.

Now, I don’t quite look California (too pale), and not quite Minnesota because I’m no longer perpetually chilled and just too darn glad to be here. Continue reading

Goodbye and a New Hello

our small kitchen

It is the afternoon on the day before we leave for our new life in San Diego.

The car is packed and the suitcases by the door.

And on the balcony, planter pots lie empty waiting to be filled again.

There are no recipes to share today, my friends, just a few things to share.

Seattle and the area around it has been my home for the last 10 years.  And during those 10 years, I was lucky enough to make a few very great friends. Continue reading

Best Homemade Strawberry Shortcakes (or What It Really Means)

best homemade strawberry shortcakes

Birthdays can have their way with you if you let them.

(And not in a good way).

They tend to be viewed by much of Western society as simply markers on the passage of time to a place we’re all headed to known as Older.

And Western society does not like Older.

It’s true, time does speed up the older one gets and with The Big Day (i.e. Moving Day) a mere 15 days away now, I am all the more aware of the passing of time than ever before. Continue reading

New Orleans-Style Skillet BBQ Shrimp with Bacon

new orleans style skillet BBQ shrimp with bacon

I have this thing for shrimp.

It’s not because of how they look.

They’re not particularly pretty.

And let’s face it, they look kind of alien too.

Now, not that I have anything against aliens — I’m sure they could be very nice — but I’m not quite sure putting anything on one’s plate (let alone one’s stomach) that looks like it could pilot a space ship would be such a good idea. Continue reading

Homemade Cardamom Cajeta with Vanilla Ice Cream and Pistachios

homemade cardamom cajeta with vanilla ice cream and pistachios 2

I am seriously distracted these days.

No, more like preoccupied really.

Lots of changes are in the works here in our small corner of the Pacific Northwest.

In little more than a month now, my husband and I will be picking up our little life and moving it 1,259 miles south to a place called San Diego.

Turning to a new chapter in Christopher and I’s book and starting the very first paragraph of it.

Small Kitchen Chronicles will likely find a new home in an equally small square-footed kitchen (albeit in a much sunnier place). Continue reading

Best Goat Milk Bread Pudding with Mapled Rhubarb (or For Mama)

best goat milk bread pudding with mapled rhubarb 3

Sunday is Mother’s Day.

The day we set aside to honor the good mamas of the world.

A simple “thanks” however seems hardly enough.

Especially for the extra special ones.

Like mine.

Now, I know that a lot of girls think this about the first, major female figure they laid their newborn eyes on but in Mama Lazarakis’s case, it’s extra true. Continue reading

Banana Molasses Cake with Sweet Crème Fraîche

banana molasses cake with sweet creme fraiche

I have no real stories to tell this week, dear readers, except to tell you that this cake rocks.

And I don’t even really like cake.

And if you’re not in-the-know already, I’m also here to spill the beans on a super-duper top-secret:

Bananas + Molasses = Awesome

And I don’t even like bananas.

But I do like molasses.

In fact, I love molasses.

If I weren’t madly in love with my husband, seriously, I’d probably run away with the stuff. Continue reading

Mexican Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Avocado and Lime

mexican spicy garlic shrimp with avocado and lime

Ah, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

It was wonderful.

Sun, sand and pounding waves, I cornered the market in strawberry daiquiris, chicken quesadillas and tortilla soup.

Ate my year’s worth of the recommended daily allowance of fish.

Practiced my bad Spanish badly.

And slept in the world largest bed (All hail to the King!) where Christopher and I never once accidentally elbowed each other in the head. Continue reading