tofu part 2.

I know some of you asked where to buy a tofu mold. Williams Sonoma sells a nice one here, complete with non GMO soy beans.Here is another source for a tofu making kit and nigari, the natural coagulant we used to make our tofu.

Below is part two of our Tofu post complete with Camilles's  recipe notes. Part one is here.

Tofu Skins

follow below recipe from previous post until you reach the part pertaining to the Tofu Skins



1 ½ cups of high-grade soybeans

14 cups total spring or filtered water, room temperature

1 ½ teaspoons dry nigari



Large heavy bottomed pot


Large strainer or colander

-Soak soybeans in 5 cups water for at least 12 hours. 

-Heat 6 cups of water in a heavy bottom pot.   In a blender, puree beans and their soaking liquid in 3 batches for 2 minutes each time, you may risk burning out your blender if you puree it all in one shot.   Add the puree in batches to the hot water and mix thoroughly after each time.  Allow to come up to an almost boil on a medium-low setting.  Stir frequently to avoid soybean pulp sticking to the bottom and scorching.  Keep your eyes on the mixture making sure it doesn’t boil over.  Remove from heat, cover and leave to cool for ½ hour.

-Make sure mixture is cooled enough to handle then strain using a muslin lined strainer or colander.  Grab corners of the muslin and twist to press out all the soymilk.  The leftover parched pulp is called okara and in Japan it is often times cooked with vegetables.  Clean muslin out of all the pulp well, we will be using it again.

-Rinse pot out well and add the drained soymilk to it.  Warm gently on low till the temperature reaches 175 degrees this process will take about an hour. 

Tofu Skins

 Yuba, the skin that forms on the surface of hot soy milk is a favorite amongst the Japanese.  These  thin, egg-like sheets are delicious served simply with a dashi or soy sauce and wasabi.

-Warm soy milk gently on low till the temperature reaches 175 degrees this process will take about an hour.  You will see the skin form as the soy milk reaches desired temperature. 

-Using chopsticks gently pull out the yuba and roll it on a plate.  Once you remove the skin another one will soon form.

The tofu skins or Yuba are served room temperature. They have the consistency of a super thin omelet. It takes some time to accumulate enough yuba for a few people to eat. We added some micro greens  and herbs on top of the Yuba for a bit of crunch and hit it with some soy. You can add a  little gomasio if you would like.. The tofu skins can be made ahead of time and stacked between pieces of parchment paper.

Seaweed +Sesame  Gomasio

2 tablespoons toasted sesame

1 tablespoon toasted seaweed

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Hemp Seed Gomasio

2 tablespoons toasted hemp seeds 

1 tablespoon toasted seaweed

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

-In a mortar add the ingredients and pound till desired coarseness.

Tofu Custards

2 cups freshly made soy milk, chilled

3/4 teaspoon dry nigari

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

-Dissolve the nigari into 1/2 cup filtered water.

-In a large measuring cup stir together the soy milk with the nigari solution and pour it into ramekins (we used 8 ramekins that held approximately 2 ounces). 

-Place the filled ramekins in baking pan and fill the pan with room temperature water, enough so that the water comes half way up the ramekins.  Cover with foil and steam in oven for 15 minutes or until the tofu is set to the consistency of a creme brulee, depending on the heat, type of nigari and the concentration in the soy milk this may take longer than the 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, cool until just warm and serve.  Can also be served at room temperature or cool and topped with sweet topping.  Will stay in the fridge for up to two days.

Mushroom Broth

4 cups filtered water

1 1/2 cup dried shitaki

soy sauce, to taste

-Boil water and pour over the mushrooms.  Allow to steep overnight.

-Strain and heat to a simmer.

-Add soy sauce to your desired preference.

We added some soba noodles and steamed pumpkin to our both along with a cube of fresh soft tofu. We garnished it with some cilantro and a bit of chili oil.

thank you April and Camille. awesome collaboration.

roasted concord grape two ways.

Oh dear, I have been so delinquent in keeping up the blog lately! Life is getting the better of me and the days are flying by. Here we are mid October already! I want to share some of the things I have been making and eating lately. There are no recipes to accompany these as they are meant more for inspiration. The first is Roasted Concord Grapes With Olive Oil Maple And Sea Salt, on top of Greek yogurt with maple and flax seeds.. You can do it with any fruit as I been doing since the first stone fruits arrived in the Summer and unless you are really wild about Concord grapes like I am you might be better off with a simpler fruit like apple or plum The Concord grapes are real pain with the seeds and they require some serious work to get them out!breakfast I know I said I wasn't going to give a recipe but here is the gist of it in the loosest sense; Take whatever fruit you decie to use and spread it on a lined sheet pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and top with a touch of maple syrup. Pop the whole tray in the oven and slow roast the fruit at 350 degrees until it is soft. (With the Concord grapes, you must carefully split the grape and remove the seeds once they are soft and roasted... this takes patience and diligence and a small sharp knife!)

Once your fruit is roasted, Place a generous portion of it on top of your bowl of Greek yogurt and drizzle with a little maple, a tiny hit of sea salt and a good heaping tablespoon or two of flax seeds!

My other grape inspired recipe is Concord grape and Hen Of The Woods Crostini.

Place a generous amount of hen of the woods mushrooms on a lined baking sheet or in a big cast iron frying pan. Drizzle with olive oil, seas salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Cut a handful of concord grapes in half and gently remove the seeds. toss the Concord grapes with the hen of the woods and olive oil mixture. Throw the pan in the oven and roast at 350 degrees until the mushrooms are soft and some of the edges are a touch crispy.

Toast some really good bread and brush with olive oil after toasting. Top the bread with the roasted mushrooms and grape mixture. Shave some Pecorino Romano on top and get to eating! 

That's it! 

Have lovely Tuesday friends!!

I promise to be back sooner than later! 

sweet and sour cherry jam.

Sweet and sour cherries are at their peak at the Green Market and sour cherry jam just happens to be the perfect partner to my toast addicton.

I love toast, it is the perfect comfort food. Maybe I love it becuase it reminds me of being a kid or perhaps I love it because it was one of the very first things I made on my own, burnt edges and all. Toast is about  crunch and good bread but delicious butter and jam are right up there in that equation. Last weekend I put up six jars of sweet and sour cherry jam. This might not seem like much but on a cold winter morning, that trio can bring me right back to summer. I have had moderate success with sour cherry jam in the past. When making jam, I sometimes err on the less is more side of the sugar bowl. Sour cherries are super low in pectin so getting it to "set" can be a bit of a challenge, especially when it is sugar deficient!. I was happy to stumble across David Lebovitz's no recipe cherry jam! That is just my style as I am a girl who often wings it in the kitchen. I am all about a no recipe recipe. This one was super easy AND successful! Now I have a little bit summer set aside for that toast on snowy days or maybe I will just eat all six jars before the first leaf falls. x

Taken from David Lebovitz's site Living The Sweet Life In Paris

below text David Lebovitz

1. Buy as many cherries as you feel like pitting.

Usually I have the patience for about 3 pounds, but it’s up to you. Figure one pound of cherries will make one good-sized jar of jam. Plump, dark Bing cherries work really well, although Burlats are good, and if you can find sour cherries, your jam will rock.

2. Wear something red. Rinse the cherries and remove the stems. Using the handy cherry pitter that I told you to buy a few weeks ago, pit the cherries. Make sure to remove all the pits. Chop about 3/4ths of them into smaller pieces, but not too small. Leave some cherries whole so people can see later on how hard you worked pitting real cherries. If you leave too many whole ones, they’ll tumble off your toast.

3. Cook the cherries in a large non-reactive stockpot. It should be pretty big since the juices bubble up. Add the zest and juice of one or two fresh lemons. Lemon juice adds pectin as well as acidity, and will help the jam gel later on.

4. Cook the cherries, stirring once in a while with a heatproof spatula, until they’re wilted and completely soft, which may take about 20 minutes, depending on how much heat you give them. Aren’t they beautiful, all juicy and red?

5. Once they’re cooked, measure out how many cherries you have (including the juice.) Use 3/4 of the amount of sugar. For example if you have 4 cups of cooked cherry matter, add 3 cups of sugar. It may seem like a lot, but that amount of sugar is necessary to keep the jam from spoilage.

6. Stir the sugar and the cherries in the pot and cook over moderate-to-high heat. The best jam is cooked quickly. While it’s cooking, put a small white plate in the freezer. Remain vigilant and stir the fruit often with a heatproof utensil. (Wouldn’t it be a shame to burn it at this point?) Scrape the bottom of the pot as you stir as well.

7. Once the bubbles subside and the jam appears a bit thick and looks like it is beginning to gel, (it will coat the spatula in a clear, thick-ish, jelly-like layer, but not too thick) turn off the heat and put a small amount of jam on the frozen plate and return to the freezer. After a few minutes, when you nudge it if it wrinkles, it’s done. 

roasted radishes.


This is sort of a non recipe recipe...there is nothing much too it except that it tastes AMAZING!!

I was a little over zealous with the radish love at the market last week! I decided that before I buy another thing I absolutely have to use every last bit that is in my fridge… and let me tell you, there is some weird stuff in there!

Pineapple weed, strawberries, milkweed, radishes, daisy leaf, celery are only the tip of the iceberg!  It is time to get this situation under control. Last night, I made lentils and to jazz them up I roasted some radishes and celery to put on top with a little Greek yogurt! I cannot even tell you how good they were. I think roasted radishes are my new all time favorite thing to eat. One of my favorite slads in a chop salad of cerlery and radisk with celery leaf and lime. I love celery in any form, which is bizarre because as a kid, celery was that one thing next to onions, which caused me to sit at the table until the wee hours in a stalemate with the uneaten celery.

 You don't have to wait to top these on lentils, they are just as good alone! The other day when we were working on files I made some for an afternoon snack. They are super tasty and couldn't be easier... now on to that milkweed.

When I told my friend India about the radishes she mentioned Alana had made them with another favorite of ours... brocolli raab! For that recipe, click here and then spend a littel time perusing Alana's blog Eating From The Ground Up! I adore her blog and her writing! Check out her new book; The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying And Start Making.

Roasted Radishes

One bunch of radishes washed, trimmed and halved

Three stalks of celery with leaves (if you have it)

Generous toss of olive oil

Sea salt

Cracked black pepper

Cut the washed and trimmed radishes in half

Cut the washed celery in to one inch pieces

Place the celery and the radishes on a large baking sheet

Douse with a generous amount of olive oil

sprinkle with sea salt and fresh black pepper.

With two wooden spoons toss the radishes and the celery on the tray until they are evenly coated in the olive oil and salt and pepper.

preheat your oven to 500 degrees

Roast  the radishes and celery until just browned approx 10-12 minutes.

(Open the oven and toss the veggies around a couple time s during the cook time, to get all sides browned)


shaved asparagus and pea salad with rhubarb vinigrette.

I love the Friday Greenmarket at Union Square, It is my favorite day to go as it is usually quite mellow there early in the morning. This week I met my friend Nancy Jo there. She is a crazy wild amazing intuitive cook and we generally bond over the baby Tuscan kale, the sweetest berries and the eggs from the Amish farmer. She gives the wave off to any produce she deems unacceptable like my Nonna in her flowered house dress. We talk about we ate that week and what we are going to make that weekend and then we dash off to work.

This past Friday we bought peas, pea shoots, asparagus, rhubarb, radishes, beets and summer savory. She had a plan to recreate a salad from Roman's and I wanted to continue my rhubarb lust by making a simple spring salad  with a rhubarb dressing.


Shaved Asparagus and Shell Pea Salad With Rhubarb Vinaigrette

This is a raw salad.


For The Salad



6 stalks of asparagus

A handful of Fresh shell peas

 A handful of Fresh Mint

A handful of Pea Shoots

Shave the asparagus into long ribbons with a mandolin or a small shaver.

Arrange half on each plate

Shell the peas and divide between the two salad plates

Add a few pea shoots and some fresh mint and a few micro greens.


Makes 2 portions



Don't feel limited to my suggestions; throw on a few your favorite microgreens if you feel like it or some chives or chive blossom. I used beet micro greens and a ramp scape to pretty it up because that is what i had on hand and they are deliscious.


For the Dressing;

Rhubarb Vinaigrette


1 stalk of Rhubarb

1 shallot (I used a ramp bulb because I was out of shallot)

2 tblsp. raw apple cider vinegar

2 tblsp. sugar

3 juniper berries

1/3 cup water

Makes about 1/2 cup


Chop the rhubarb into 1/2 inch pieces

Crush the juniper berries with a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon until just broken

Combine the rhubarb, the juniper berries the sugar and the waterr in a pan

Simmer the rhubarb, the juniper berries,the sugar and 1/3 cup of water in non reactive pan for about 5 minutes or until soft and tender. It should fall apart. Puree or strain through a sieve into a small bowl and set aside to cool. 

In the meantime; chop the shallot finely.

Add the shallot to the cooled rhubarb vinegar mixture.

Spoon the dressing over the salad and top with a really good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


Add a pinch of sea salt and cracket black pepper on top


heirloom apple sauce spice cake.

Sometimes, it is necessary to dig into those old fashioned cookbooks. I like the ones with the simple covers and no photographs like Fanny Farmer or my grandmother's very worn and battered Joy Of Cooking. I was looking for a recipe for an applesauce cake, as these chilly spring mornings bring on the need for childhood comfort foods.

Strangely enough, as I opened the worn and battered blue Joy of Cooking an aged index card fell out. It was a recipe for an applesauce cake. It was in my writing and it was dated 1983. There many days when I sat down with my grandmother and attempted to record her recipes that were in her head, passed down from my Nonni, raised in Puglia and transplanted to the streets of Brooklyn and Long Island City. This index card did not represent one of those recipes; instead it most likely came from the pages of Ladies Home Journal or McCall’s Magazine. I looked in the index of the Joy Of Cooking and there was a recipe for an applesauce cake but it was different from the one on the card, so in an attempt to make my own mark, I have transformed it one step further. I omitted the allspice and the cinnamon and added ginger and heirloom applesauce as well as whole-wheat pastry flour. I finished it off by grating an apple and some fresh ginger on top.


Heirloom Applesauce Ginger Spice Cake





 Whole Wheat Pastry Flour


Baking soda

Baking powder


Ginger (both fresh and ground)



Cream one 1/2  cup butter with 1 cup of sugar

Add 1 egg and beat well

Add 1 cup of applesauce


Mix the dry ingredients in another bowl

2 cups of  whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg



Mix well and slowly add to wet mixture stirring until all combined


Grease a round cake tin

Add batter

Grate 1 small apple on top and a healthy dose of fresh ginger


Preheat oven to 350 degrees cook for 1 hr or until done.




where the wild things are no. 10. juniper pickled onions.

Strangely, I have been craving juniper this past year. It started late last Summer, upstate, with a series of wild cocktails and juniper stuffed trout. I have since experimented with a number of recipes and drinks, to which my friends can attest, as I have plied them with many a juniper tipped cocktail.  I had never really incorporated juniper into my cooking in the past but now, I don't think I could live without it!  It should really have come as no surprise to me that I would like it this much. I do, after all, love gin, that brilliant aromatic spirit, spiced with juniper and other aromatic herbs and spices. I discovered gin in my early twenties.(Right now my two favorites are Hendricks and Breuckelen  Gin.) Juniper smells both medicinal and like the darkest forest floor. It is very complex. I have many Juniper recipes to share but for now I will post my current obsession; juniper pickled onions! Once you try them, there is no turning back.


Juniper Pickled Onions 


 (I added a few shallots to this recipe)

3 cups Japanese Apple Cider vinegar

(you can use Bragg's Raw Cider Vinegar if you want, I used what I had on hand)

1 tablespoon dried Juniper berries

1/2 tablespoon crushed Juniper berries (crush with mortar and pestle)

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon black pepper corns

3 tablespoons sugar


 To make the brine:

Add the spices and sugar to the 3 cups of vinegar

Heat to a boil in a non-reactive pot

Turn off and allow to steep for 20 minutes for the spices to infuse

In the mean time, thinly slice 2 medium  red onions


After 20 minutes, heat the brine to a slow simmer.

Divide the onions into thirds and drop into the brine for 20 seconds.

Remove after 20 seconds with a slotted spoon and set aside.

The onions will turn a brilliant pink.

When all the onions have been run through the brine, turn it off an allow it to cool.

When cool put the onions in a Weck or Ball jar or some other airtight storage container and pour the remaining brine over the onions.

The pickled onions will last for a couple of weeks in your refrigerator.