Ginger Turmeric Tonic


I first discovered this tonic while working with Chef Hannah Grant on the recipe app Simple Feast. Hannah is the chef for the Danish cycling team and has this on hand as a warming tonic that helps boost the immune system. A shot once a day is all you need.

This is a case where organic matter, especially since the ginger and turmeric are unpeeled.



Makes about 1 ¾ cups

5 ounces ginger, unpeeled and cut into ¾-inch chunks
1/3 ounce (1 ¾-inch piece) turmeric
Mineral water or filtered water


Put the ginger and turmeric in a high-powered blender. Add enough water to cover by ½-incn, about 1 ½ cups. Blend slowly to keep the blender from overheating and to keep the solids from turning into a paste.

Set a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth over a bowl and pour in the mixture. If time allows, refrigerate overnight to let the liquid slowly drain into the bowl. If needed more quickly, lift the cheesecloth and gently squeeze the cheesecloth to extract the juice through the strainer into the bowl.

The ground ginger-turmeric pulp can be reserved for ginger tea or discarded.


Parsnip, Celery Root, and Cauliflower Soup



Makes about 10 cups

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
1 large jalapeño, seeds removed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons Ginger Garlic Paste, preferably homemade
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh turmeric
½ teaspoon ground coriander
3 parsnips, about 12 ounces, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 celery root, about 1 ¼ pounds, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 head cauliflower, about 2 pounds, florets removed and cut into ½-inch pieces
7 cups vegetable stock or a combination of vegetable and light chicken stock
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Small cilantro leaves or coarsely chopped cilantro, optional


In a Dutch oven or small stockpot, heat a film of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes, lowering the heat to medium to keep them from getting too brown.

Stir in the jalapeño, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, and coriander and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in the chopped parsnips, celery root, and cauliflower to coat in the onion mixture. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until they soften slightly and take on a little bit of color, about 10 minutes.

Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and keep at a generous simmer (even bubbles across the surface) until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Alternatively transfer in batches to a high-powered blender and carefully blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Return to the heat if needed to warm. Divide among bowls and sprinkle with chopped cilantro, if using. (And, if you are like my husband you will add more freshly ground black pepper.)

If making ahead, the soup can be refrigerated, without the cilantro and extra pepper, for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Turkey Meatballs with Indian Spices


These meatballs get their inspiration from the chicken meatballs in Masala & Meatballs by Asha Shivakumar. I adapted her recipe to make it work with what I had in the house on a day I could not face the grocery store. Using ground turkey made my mixture quite soft so I chose to bake them as opposed to pan-frying.

Meatballs often call for white bread with the crusts removed, and most of the time I understand the reason why. Adding texture and volume with little change to the flavor profile. In the case of these meatballs I wanted to follow suit and kept the bread addition in the supporting roll. Lucky for me I had some brioche in my freezer. But, for other meatballs, depending on the vegetables and choice of spice, I will use the end of a loaf I have on hand. I like rye bread with ground pork, and whole wheat with ground beef. Also depending on the application, the idea of removing all crusts, unless I want a snack, seems wrong. I generally will remove some, but not all.



Makes sixteen 1 ½- to 2-inch meatballs

1 pound ground turkey thigh meat
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from about 1 lemon with a Microplane grater)
Kosher salt
Vegetable oil
½ onion, finely chopped
1 mild green chile (I used an Anaheim), seeds removed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste, preferably homemade
½ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup ½-inch bread cubes, from about 2 slices
3 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Small cilantro leaves or coarsely chopped cilantro, optional


Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Combine the turkey, lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in a large mixing bowl. Let sit while prepping the other ingredients.

Heat a film of oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and chile and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, lowering the heat to medium, if needed. Add the ginger garlic paste, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, and coriander, and cook, stirring continuously until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, stir in ½ teaspoon of salt, and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, put the bread cubes in a medium bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of the cream until all of the cubes are moistened. Depending on the freshness of the bread, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of cream, and let sit until fairly soft. Break up with a fork and stir in the egg.

Add the bread-egg mixture and the cooled spiced onions and peppers to the bowl with the turkey.

Divide equally into 16 meatballs and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Combine the soy sauce and lemon juice in a large bowl.

Remove the meatballs from the oven and put in the soy mixture, carefully turn to coat the meatballs. Sprinkle with the cilantro, if using, and serve immediately.



Mashed Curried Parsnips and Potatoes


I have similar feelings about parsnips that I do to butternut squash. I have one bite and like them OK, but too many, too sweet. I always want it paired with something savory, usually salty. Straight up mashed potatoes will always be my preference, but half potato half parsnip helped me use up the parsnips in my vegetable drawer. Paired with Turkey Meatballs with Indian Spices these rounded out a Sunday supper. My five-year old was definitely underwhelmed, but my husband ate seconds.



Makes about 5 cups

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 tablespoon honey
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
2 ¼ cups whole milk
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Put the butter and oil in a large saucepan (preferably a wider one) over medium heat until the butter has melted, swirling to combine. Add the parsnips and potatoes and cook until they begin to caramelize on the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the honey and 1 teaspoon of the curry powder until evenly distributed.

Pour in the cream and milk. The parsnips and potatoes should be just covered. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir from time to time to be sure they cook evenly.

Remove from the heat. Mash with a potato masher until smooth, but do not over mash. The texture could get gluey. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional curry powder to taste.

Auntie Thelma's Crustless Shoo Fly Pie


On the first anniversary of losing my dad, I wanted to have a grateful celebration, rather than a sad remembrance. I made my family shoo fly pie. (I also wrote a larger piece about him called The Turtle.)

Growing up, my sister and I would tease our dad a bit about some of his food favorites, most rooted in Pennsylvania Dutch (German farm folk from Pennsylvania) tradition. Some, not the healthiest of choices. But, I have to agree with him on shoo fly pie. And, try as I have to change, it is a recipe that works best with corn syrup. The taste of this pie is totally different at first, but strangely satisfying. Dad loved a good-sized slice with a glass of whole milk, super cold, right out of the “ice box”. I really can still picture having some with him on his front porch, joking about the pie being the perfect cure for fres krankit.

Fres Krankit is short for Fressen Krankheit, the disease of eating or gluttony. I like to think about it a little differently, and less negatively. We’ve all had those days where most things taste really good, but there is still a lingering craving that is difficult to satisfy. To me, that craving is fres krankit.



Makes one 9-inch pie

Crumb Mixture
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and cold

¾ cup combined black strap molasses and dark corn syrup (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons each, see method below)
¾ cup boiling water
½ teaspoon baking soda


Position the oven rack in the center and preheat to 375˚F.

Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and toss to coat. Break up the butter with your fingertips until evenly incorporated.

Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch traditional (not deep-dish) pie plate with about two-thirds of the crumb mixture. It will look like a lot, but a portion of the filling will soak in to it.

Pour the molasses and corn syrup into a large liquid measuring cup at the same time. (I am a big fan of Oxo and the cups with the measurement markings on the inside and out.) Try to get an even pour on each. The corn syrup will run a little faster, but a little more or less of one, won’t matter.) 

Pour the boiling water into the measuring cup. Mix with a fork or small whisk to dissolve the molasses-syrup mixture. Sprinkle in the baking soda and mix again.

Pour the hot filling into the crumb lined pan. Sprinkle the top with the remaining crumbs covering all of the filling.

Carefully put in the oven and bake until the filling is completely set, with just a tiny jiggle, about 40 minutes.

Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. The top will crack during baking and cooling.

The pie will be soft if eaten at room temperature. Refrigerate for a firmer consistency.


“Pumpkin” Bread (or Muffins)


When I found myself with six large butternut squash in my garage, I decided to try some recipes I liked with fresh squash puree as opposed to canned pumpkin. I peeled the squash, cut it into large chunks, and steamed until tender. While still warm, mash with a potato masher (or pulse in the food processor) until broken down, but not completely smooth.

A layer of squash in lasagna was good, but didn’t do much to make a dent in my supply. Baking was the way to go. I pulled out a bread recipe I liked from Smitten Kitchen and made some adjustments. I prefer less sugar, like to bake with kosher salt, and find vanilla a much more pleasing taste than cloves.

I can be a creature of habit, particularly on damp days when all I want to do is get the house warmed up and smelling good. Normally I think it works best to combine all of the dry ingredients and then add them to the wet. I liked the SK method of adding the smaller amounts of dried ingredients, like the baking soda and the spices first, followed by the flour. The best part was keeping this a one-bowl batter. Less to clean up.

Along the lines of habit, I love versatile base recipes and expanding on them.  In this case, a batter that yields a moist loaf or muffins. I also wanted to see if I could substitute other vegetables or fruit. First try, applesauce variation, bubbled over and had an even longer bake time, but it was delicious. I made a couple of times and then moved on to zucchini. (See Notes on Muffins and Variations, Below)

I successfully made this for my friend Abi of Abi's Farmhouse Kitchen using Bob's Red Mill's Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour. Err on the side of a longer bake. And my friend Sarah did this with a different flour split. She said, "since I am from Sebastopol" I can never use all a-p. (For those that don't know the Sonoma County town, historically it is home to a lot of artists and farmers, with a lot of different spiritual influences.) Sarah used 1 cup a-p, ¾ cup whole wheat, and ½ cup almond flour. 



Makes 1 loaf or 18 muffins

1 ¾ cups butternut squash puree
            (or One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree)
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup vegetable oil, plus additional for the pan (my preference is avocado)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or paste
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

Topping, optional
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


Position the oven rack in the center and preheat to 350˚F.

Lightly, but completely, brush or rub the bottom and sides of a standard (about 6 cup) loaf pan with oil. For muffins, see below.

In a large bowl whisk together the squash puree, sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking powder, baking soda, and the salt over the top and whisk until evenly distributed. Add the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and whisk again.

Add the flour and stir, preferably with a silicone spatula, until just combined, being sure to scrape the sides and bottom. Scrape into the prepared pan and gently smooth the top.

If using, combine the cinnamon and sugar for the topping and sprinkle over the top.

Bake until a skewer inserted comes out clean in a few areas, particularly in the center. If using canned pumpkin it will be about 1 hour 15 minutes. (Tent the top of the loaf with foil if it starts to get too dark.) A looser puree takes longer, 1 ½ to 1 ¾ hours.

Transfer to a cooling rack for 20 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Gently loosen the edges as needed. Carefully remove from the pan, set on the rack, and let cool completely.


Cooking Note, Muffins


To make muffins: Line 18 standard muffin cups with paper liners. If you only have one muffin pan the batter will hold at room temperature or in the refrigerator while the first batch bakes and the pan cools. Let the batter warm slightly as needed before using.

Spoon about 3 tablespoons of batter into each cup, tap the bottom to even the tops, and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar, if using. A skewer should come out clean after 20-25 minutes of baking. A bit longer if the batter is still slightly cold.


Cooking Note, Variations

Applesauce will work, but definitely use less. I liked it with 1 ½ cups of applesauce which results in a more fluid batter, and it does get awfully close to bubbling over a little bit. If that is a concern, put a baking sheet on a rack under the one the loaf pan is on or use a piece of aluminum foil. When it's time to take it out of the pan, it might need some trimming to remove, but I like the statement of the big topped loaf. 

Zucchini on the other hand will give you a much stiffer batter. I recommend using 2  cups of grated (on the largest hole of a box grater), well drained zucchini. (Start with about 8 ounces of zucchini.) Depending on when the zucchini is mixed in the look of the finished loaf is different. I preferred the one where I added the zucchini at the end. Less about the exterior, more about the even dispersement of the zucchini.  Whisk together the sugar, oil, and eggs. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then add in 1 ¾ cups of the flour. Toss the grated zucchini with the remaining flour and then mix that in.