Maple Masala Pecan and Szechwan Peppercorn Crusted Tofu

The first thing Sean said upon tasting the Cosmic Maple Masala Pecans by Olomomo Nut Company was that they’d make a great crust to something. Indeed they did with the addition of Szechwan Peppercorns from Savory Spice Shop.

Cosmic Maple Masala Pecans and Szechwan Peppercorn Crust

He ground them in our mortar and pestle, and then crusted some extra firm tofu that had been (of course) frozen, thawed, and pressed. The tofu pieces were crusted and pan fried in peanut oil until oh-so-gorgeously golden brown.

Crusted Tofu

These were a perfect accompaniment to sautéed greens and brown rice. Nothing fancy, but a somewhat effortless great meal thanks to the maple masala crust.

A Bolder Table in Texas

Sean and I had the honor and privilege of being flown down to Texas to cook for one of our clients. We’ve had the pleasure of cooking for them a number of times in Boulder, but never for their friends in Texas. After a brief discussion with the hostess, he planned a spring-themed menu. We had the interesting opportunity to shop in the enormous (which is an understatement) Whole Foods in Austin, drive out to a ranch about an hour away from the city, and experience the peacefulness of a Texas ranch during a few breaks in our marathon of a day.

We started with some h’ordeuvres: a cheese platter and smoked salmon toast points. I was in charge of the cheese platter and followed his directions on the smoked salmon toast points topped with chives and capers. These were ready for the guests upon arrival with a little bubbly to get the book club gals talking.

Cheese Platter

Smoked Salmon Toast Points


After a bit of nibbling and socializing, we steered our guests to the dining room for our first course: chilled pea soup with creme fraiche and mint.

Chilled Pea Soup

Our second course was an arugula, endive, and grapefruit salad in a citrus vinaigrette.

Arugula, Endive, and Grapefruit Salad

Our entree was a citrus brined chicken breast on risotto with grilled asparagus and a citrus olive relish. I must declare- the chicken came out perfectly. I ate an entire portion and had to show serious restraint to not dive into a second.

Chicken, Risotto, Asparagus

Dessert was a pound cake (I made it!) topped with hand-whipped cream and the last jar of Sean’s Western Slope peaches in vanilla syrup that he had canned in Boulder last summer and brought with us to Texas.

Pound Cake

In the end, we had a fantastic time working together, hanging with the homeowners, and staying the night deep in the heart of Texas. We can’t wait to do it again!

Preserved Lemon Salt

Sean loves preserving things- whether it be pickled, fermented, or in salt. Preserved lemons are traditionally salt-cured, and he made a jar of them last year. Salt-preserved lemons are pretty easy to make, as they’re essentially lemons cut in half and then scored, stuffed in a sterilized jar, and completely covered in kosher salt. These need to sit for a couple months in their juices before they’re ready to be used, and most recipes call for just a little at a time. When we finally finished our jar, he scooped out almost a half of a cup of salt and let it dry over night.

Drying Preserved Lemon Salt

The result? Preserved Lemon Salt. It’s pretty spectacular.

Preserved Lemon Salt

Stay tuned for some highlights! We’ll be using this stuff, for sure.

Martha Stewart’s Buttermilk Biscuits

My man really likes Martha. She’s his go-to-gal when looking for baking recipes, so it was quite natural that her recipe be the one he made to provide us a vessel upon which we could enjoy his homemade jams and preserves.

Martha Stewart's Buttermilk Bisquits


He followed her recipe exactly (link here: Martha Stewart’s Buttermilk Biscuit)


Cutting Biscuits with a mason jar ring


After rolling out the dough, he asked me for our biscuit cutter, which we don’t actually own. No worries! I read once in Cooks Illustrated that a mason jar lid ring is a great substitute for a biscuit cutter, and it is.


Martha Stewart's Buttermilk Biscuits


These were delicious biscuits and we’re ready to make a second batch this week.

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