The Otium

[remodeling soon!]

Blueberry & Coconut Mochi Waffles


It’s been a long time since I’ve lived in Hawaii — 14 years and 2 months, to be specific — and the longer I’m away, the more I feel disconnected from the lifestyle.  But what keeps me feeling at least marginally tied to the islands is my parents and their obligation to continue to send care packages. (more…)

Coffee & Cinnamon Encrusted Bison with Brandied Plum & Molasses Sauce


Since picking up a copy of Cooking Slow a few weeks ago, I’ve thought a lot about — and reconsidered — the way I cook.

The book’s thesis is simple, and makes perfect sense:  meat cooked at (or just slightly above) its doneness temperature will never become overcooked, no matter how long it cooks.  Of course, cooking at low temperatures requires much longer cook times than those to which we’re accustomed.  A roast chicken, for example, would take 6-8 hours in a low oven, rather than the 1.5-2 hours our mothers taught us.  The patience of a slow cook is rewarded, then, with perfectly-done meat — no leathery char on steaks that are still bloody in the middle, no dry chicken wings when the breast is still raw. (more…)

Mozzarella, Chive, & Olive Oil Corn Muffins


We’ve been going through a rare rainy spell in Boise this week.  The rains have brought with them chilly autumn weather.  But it’s not that crisp fall air that makes me want to buy every variety of heirloom squash I can find at the market.  Instead, it’s that damp, bone-chilling kind of autumn weather that makes me want to cozy up to a bowl of chili and turn on my furnace [yes, already!]. (more…)

#savingtheseason Plums: Prunes + Umeboshi


I’ve talked before about my love of obsession with canning and preserving.  And with harvest time just starting to take off, I thought it would be appropriate to do a #savingtheseason post series on how I’m preserving the summer bounty for colder, darker days.  I’m excited to share these recipes because I’ve taken some different preserving approaches this year — instead of making the twenty pints of jam like I’ve always done (then never use), I’m trying some unique preserves that I’ll actually eat during the rest of the year. (more…)

Italian Ice Two Ways: Prickly Pear + Horchata and Watermelon + Earl Grey


Summers in Boise inevitably follow a cycle wherein June is pleasantly warm, July is insufferable with endless strings of 105+ days in a row, and August finally becomes more tolerable as the evenings grow cooler and longer.  But August always gives us one last heat wave before summer can come to a close.  We’re in the midst of that August warm-up right now.

My tomatoes love it.  But me, not so much.