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No longer updating, but hope you enjoy the recipes!

Unfortunately, I got too busy to go back to blogging, after I was forced to take a break from it in 2015 because of tendonitis.
But you can still follow my cooking, eating, and travels on instagram: (@spontaneoustomato)

One-Bowl Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

October 23, 2014

One-Bowl Pumpkin Chocolate Chip BreadPin it!

Two sweet recipes in a row! It must be THAT time of year…

Actually, I am thrilled that it’s October and that the weather’s gotten cooler. For one thing, I can now use my oven again without dire, sweaty consequences. I’m excited about chilly mornings and cool evenings: needing a hot cup of coffee to warm up my fingers when I sit down at my computer each day, and needing a blanket to curl up under at night.

Making One-Bowl Pumpkin Walnut Chocolate Chip Bread

I know there are some who would consider Santa Barbara to be a place that never quite gets hot enough, but for me it’s gotten plenty hot, especially since this drought hit. So I treasure every single one of the cool, misty days when the marine layer floats in over the mountains, and I can briefly pretend that we have seasons here, and that it’s fall.

Continue Reading: One-Bowl Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread…

Orange Cardamom Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

October 9, 2014

Orange Cardamom Cranberry Oatmeal CookiesPin it!

As promised, today I’m sharing my little sister’s wonderful recipe for the oatmeal cookies that she baked as wedding favors for me and Paula.

These are some of the best ever oatmeal cookies: crisp on the bottom, a little crunchy across the top, and perfectly baked and chewy in the middle. And though I may be partial to oatmeal chocolate chip cookies myself – but never oatmeal raisin cookies – the bright orange and cranberry flavors in these cookies won me over immediately. They are incredibly flavorful, with just the right balance of tart and sweet.

Making Orange Cardamom Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

I made a batch this past weekend, and felt that my sister’s additions of orange zest and fresh orange juice to the original America’s Test Kitchen recipe were right on: each time I scooped into the dough to form another cookie, the fresh scent of orange zest floated up temptingly from the bowl.

Continue Reading: Orange Cardamom Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies…

The Wedding!

September 25, 2014

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Paula and I got married!

So I’m interrupting my not-so-regular recipe-posting schedule [although finally the tendinitis/RSI pain is subsiding a little] to bring you these photos of our tamale-centered wedding feast!

Next time I’ll be back with a recipe, though… I promise.

Unlike all of my other blog posts, these are not my photos, but those of our fabulous wedding photographer, Debbie Gardner. And the food wasn’t made by me or Paula (although we thought about doing it ourselves — for about 5 seconds!), but by Pure Joy Catering. We were very happy with both!

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Cucumber Kimchi (Oi Sobagi)

September 4, 2014

Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi (Oi Sobagi)Pin it!

There’s just over a week until Paula and I get married!

And there’s still a good three or four weeks’ worth of stuff left to do… Luckily my parents are arriving in California today, so they can help. Then my sister will arrive a week from today, and will promptly bake 255 cookies in my non-air-conditioned apartment to pass out as wedding favors. We’ve got this under control.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been much help with any of the hands-on wedding preparations – no placecard-writing, mason jar-decorating, chalkboard art, or cookie-baking for me, not with my tendinitis/RSI.

Ingredients for Cucumber Kimchi (Oi Sobagi)

The only sign of hope is that my physical therapist finally showed me some wrist-strengthening exercises, meaning before too long I should be out of the inflammation stage and into the chronic stage! Good thing you don’t need to pass a typing test, or be able to hold a laptop (or a drink) with only one hand in order to get married in the state of California. (Actually, being able to hold a drink with one hand might be useful during the reception…)

But enough about a day that hasn’t even happened yet. Instead, let me talk about this recipe which I cooked up fermented at the beginning of the summer, pre-tendinitis.

Continue Reading: Cucumber Kimchi (Oi Sobagi)…

Quick-Pickled Jalapeños and Cilantro Jalapeño Hummus

August 21, 2014

Quick-Pickled Jalapeños and Cilantro Jalapeño HummusPin it!

This recipe has been a long time coming – and not just because I didn’t post last week due to my ongoing tendinitis (which makes it painful to type).

Paula and I have been making Cilantro Jalapeño Hummus for a while now, but every time she’s asked me to put it up on the blog, I tell her I want to wait until we’ve made our own pickled jalapeños (rather than using the ones from a can). This is what she has to deal with – putting up with a semi-purist, always-perfectionist food blogger.

Quick-Pickled Jalapeños and Cilantro Jalapeño Hummus

She also thought I was crazy for insisting that we stop buying the delicious Trader Joe’s cilantro jalapeño hummus and make it from scratch instead. Although eventually homemade hummus began to win her over, especially since we started using Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s recipe from their cookbook “Jerusalem,” which calls for dried chickpeas, not canned – it makes the hummus even smoother and creamier.

Continue Reading: Quick-Pickled Jalapeños and Cilantro Jalapeño Hummus…

Mint-Lime Blueberry Crisp

August 7, 2014

Mint-Lime Blueberry CrispPin it!

Back again, and let me tell you, tendinitis is no joke.

My hands, wrists, and arms might be getting slightly better now after three weeks of resting them, but it’s hard to say. Part of the problem? I’ve realized how difficult it is to really “rest” my hands – without them, I am helpless in front of a computer; without them, Paula is stuck cooking and washing the dishes every single night. (And I really miss cooking!)

So of course, although I’ve cheated a little and used the keyboard here and there, editing photos, typing up recipes, and responding to your comments over this past month has been out of the question. I’m sorry I was gone so long, though!

Before you get all worried on my behalf, I’m not actually typing this – I’m dictating it using voice recognition software. It’s frustrating sometimes, but I am slowly getting used to it and I don’t know what I would do without it.

Mint-Lime Blueberry Crisp

A month ago, though, back when I was in denial and still typing/cooking through the pain, I made you these blueberry crisps! And they were so, so good. But yes, I can sense what you’re about to tell me, and you’re right: I definitely shouldn’t have done that.

Continue Reading: Mint-Lime Blueberry Crisp…

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