Time for something a little different from the usual omelet or quiche we have for Sunday brunch. With a couple of family members to join us, I found a recipe in the Breakfast and Brunches from the Academy cookbook that had an Anglo-Indian combination of curry-seasoned rice and smoked salmon. I happened to have some smoked salmon on hand and decided to give it a try. Delicious! Recipe

It also prompted me to remember with fondness my days at the California Academy in 1978 shortly after it opened. It was during its free-wheeling early days and I learned a lot there before we opened our restaurant in Saratoga in 1980.

Mary Ann’s Borscht

With Christmas rapidly approaching I would be remiss not to share my sister-in-law’s recipe for Borscht. We have had a couple of opportunities to share this delicious Christmas Eve tradition from Mary Ann’s family and may have to adopt it ourselves.

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Pumpkin Soup with Blue Toast

During our restaurant days, I bought up the rest of a pumpkin patch every year after Halloween so we could continue to make pumpkin pies until spring. I still buy pumpkins every fall, although not on quite such a grand scale. I cook them and freeze the puree. So when I saw this recipe at Whole Foods Market, it seemed like a natural.

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West Side Pot-Roasted Chicken with Rice

This comes from The Grains Cookbook by Bert Greene with a few changes. It is easy and doesn’t require the oven. I made it first today when it was 94 degrees outside. (Now it is 80 outside and 84 inside so I have opened the doors and windows.) If you are averse to jalapeños, use some other pepper, but jalapeños are GOOD and not very hot.

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Chipotle Chicken Salad

The July 2006 issue of Gourmet had this recipe, which claims to take only 10 minutes to prepare, and I had the breast meat of a 4 1/2 pound chicken I had roasted a couple of days earlier, a can of black beans on the shelf, cilantro in the garden, and the remains of a can of chipotles in adobo is a container in the freezer. After my next trip to the store where I picked up the rest, I threw it all together. It was delicious, with just enough zip from the smoky chiles to give it some character without much heat.

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Vegetable Burritos

Many years ago a recipe for vegetable burritos appeared in a Sunset magazine. Over the years we modified it and we used it as a very popular vegetarian entree when we had the restaurant.

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