Jeanette - Off The Cuff

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Blogger at: and -- My name is Jeanette, and I was born in Sweden, but unlike the famous Muppet, I am not a professional Swedish Chef. I actually studied design and photography. I also was a freelance indie-rock critic for several magazines from 1998-2005, and had an in-house PR company for a while. Cooking is in my DNA--my dad's brother was a chef and their father was a pastry chef, my mom's mother was a caterer, who published a cookbook of traditional Finnish breads and pastries when she was 92. Everyone else in my family loves to cook, and we're not afraid to experiment. I have a yen for interior design and remodeling.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Roasted Eggplant Soup

roasted eggplant soup 016 Okay, I know that it's July and most of the United States are in a heatwave.  However, here in the Pacific Northwest, it's been way cooler than even our normal summertime averages. So I felt like making something a bit savory, and I realized just now as I typed up the title that I cook with eggplant a lot.  I have other recipes up my sleeve, too, which I’m sure I’ll get around to eventually.  But anyway, I had meant to do my recipe for Cordoba Fried Eggplant (Berenjenas Con Miel) but as time did not allow today to haul out the deep fryer, I opted to do something a little easier.  I found this similar recipe online at, and made it with a few minor modifications.   It was a hearty, but light soup, full of rich, savory flavors, and it was delicious with some bread on the side.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (Strubarb Crisp)

For some people, rhubarb is a word that makes the hair on the neck stand up.  And then there are folks like me who can't get enough of the stuff.  My amazing mother sometimes makes rhubarb 'creme' (sort of a soupy mess of rhubarb, made with fresh rhubarb, sugar, and potato starch that is absolutely delicious...)  I will probably make some of that in a few days as I have a lot of rhubarb in my garden which I need to use up.  But that's not what I'm making today.  I'm going to share a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.  I don't know where the recipe came from, but as it is so frequently the case, I will just assume that my mom gave it to me.  Crisps are fairly universally similar (oats, sugar, butter, spices) so I don't know if this one has any particularly unique qualities, but I shared a pan of it with my neighbors last month, and got an email back that said "Oh my, that crisp is so good! Wow. Thanks again!"  It's especially good with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top.