Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lessons from Fawn's Kitchen

Romaine lettuce, baby greens, quinoa, cucumber, salty cheese, and pork! Those are the main ingredients I used for last night's salad, to which I added tomatoes (the last of Waynes homegrown) and dressed simply with lemon and oil. Gabe said it was the best salad I'd ever made....high praise from a 20 year old!

Fawn is the queen of Quinoa salads, and was the inspiration for the recipe I posted last year. She also set me straight about Romaine lettuce. I was bitching about getting it so often in my CSA box last year, writing about how I never buy or eat it in favor of other greens, and all she had to tell me was, "Oh Tracy, I love romaine!". Yikes! OK then, if Fawn likes it then there must be a good reason, so I looked up the nutritional info on it and romaine happens to have one of the highest nutrional values of any kind of lettuce you can eat!

I also bitched at her once for buying baby greens that are already washed and prepped, riding my high horse of prepping my own salad greens.....her reply? "Well Trace, I just don't have time to do it myself"....ouch!

Cucumber is a veg I rarely use.....I just don't think of other reason because I love cucumber! The first weekend I was in St Paul for the RKC, Fawn was dieting down for a powerlifting meet, so when I went to her house for lunch she had made a salad that included this super low calorie veg, along with another I rarely use, which is fennel.

Pork, pork, pork! What's not to love about pork? Pork shoulder cooked in a PC has become a staple in my home, as well as in the homes of all of my friends whom I've taught how to use a pressure cooker! It's an inexpensive, big peice of meat that can be sliced and eaten as a main course, or shredded for sandwiches and....salads! I came home from this last trip and the first thing I did was cook a pork shoulder butt!

Last but not least.....cheese! I got a lesson in cheese on my first visit, Minnesota has great local cheeses, but it was this last visit that Fawn reminded me of how yummy salty cheeses are, She had bought some mexican style cheese called Cotijo, sliced it with some Honeyrisp apple.....yum-my! Can you believe she had to remind me about a Mexican cheese?

Fawn may not think I pay attention to foods she "throws together", but I do! Fawn is a former Chef, for those who don't know this about her, and one whos taste and talent I highly respect. And for someone like me that had never left the state of California until my 20's, learning from Fawn, who grew up in Minnesota, is an opportunity to see someone that has been cooking "seasonally" her whole life!

Fawn is 100% responsible for my love of pressure cooking (I probably use it more than she does these days, lol), not to mention that I had never made a pot of chili until I met her, cooked with Delicata or Buttercup squash, prepared a bone-in pork roast, or had I ever grilled chard.....or even knew it could be done! I have yet to make my own mayonaise, or aoli (the "fancy name for flavored mayo sauces), I still don't use much fennel, a veg Fawn uses quite alot, and I didn't pay close enough attention to Fawn's use of canned salmon, which she used to make stuffed squash the first time I stayed with her.
Mark and I are off to yoga, I may add more to this blog post when I get back.......


Jen said...

YUM Tracy!! Bring any and all new and old information you've learned from Fawn when you come to visit me! I love to learn from you. Both of you girls are heads and tails ahead of me in the cooking department, but I love to cook and Lord knows Greg is one happy guy when you come to visit!! We're excited to see you and Mark.. it's coming up really soon! YAY!!! We've got some GREAT wines lined up...wooo hooo!! xoxoxoxox Jen

fawn said...

I had so much fun when you were here! I have a ton of respect for the way you treat food... you have a very smart and thoughtful cooking style. I can't wait to spend more time with you!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I know our visit is going to be way too short....I mean, how much can a person eat and drink in two days? lol

Maybe we'll have to do something fun, like make our own corn tortillas (I know Greg likes tacos), or our own pizzas!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I'm hoping to, some year, get a chance to visist during the late fall/winter months to see what's on the menu at your house! No farmers market in the winter though, huh?

Anyway, maybe with this HKC stuff Mark and I will find ourselves in St Paul sooner than later.

Jen said...

Tracy, Oh yes, Greg LOVES tacos AND pizza! I have a tortilla press and everything. I haven't made tortillas in a long time. What ever your heart desires...we're just happy to have you guys here!

See you soon.

JenG said...

I really love the hoodies you and Fawn are wearing...who makes those?! :)

JenG said...

Nevermind...I found it! LOL...should have known.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Now I'll have to get you the same hoodie too! OR we'll have to get a different color...matching of course, so that means I get another one, lol!

How did I get tow really great friends with completely different coloring than me? Fawn is a red head and you are a blond! Hmmnn...which color will look great on you? Lucky for us Lululemon has lots to choose from!

Does it get that cold in Santa Barbara?

JenG said...

Wrong Jen...As much as I read your blog, and I have never met and I am not blonde. ;)
But I bet the other Jen would love one, though!! LOL.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Whoops...I see "Jen" and I just automatically think of you! And, yes you too are blond! What do you call your hair color?

Tracy Reifkind said...

Whoops....see I'm so confused! I thought it was the other "Jen"...good God! OK now I have it right.

That just means I get another hoodie! What color looks good on you?

JenG said...

Too many Jens! :)