Sunday, December 8, 2013

Wooden Spoons Interview

Listen to the interview with owner Julie Gordon of, making delicious gourmet appetizers for your family and gatherings!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Turkey & Vegetable Soup

What to do with all those Thanksgiving turkey leftovers? Here is the perfect warming soup for all your cold nights.
Inspired by my mother, who remembers her mother making delicious soups in South America just like this one.

Here is the list of ingredients:

2 cups of shredded turkey meat already cooked
4 cups of chicken broth
4 cups of water
1 cup of carrots finely diced
1 cup of potatoes (without skin) cut in cubes
1 cup celery finely chopped
1 cup shiitake mushrooms finely diced
1 cup of peas
1/2 cup of onion
1 cup of wild rice(uncooked)
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1/2 cup of cilantro finely diced
Salt & Black pepper to taste

Pre-soak the wild rice in a bowl with a cup of water while you prepare the ingredients. Using a large cooking pot, first add the 4 cups of chicken broth, onions, carrots, potatoes, celery garlic cooking on medium high heat. Turn heat down to medium low and add wild rice, peas, and mushrooms. Stir the contents of cooking pot. Add 3 more cups of water and salt and pepper, bring to another quick boil, and immediately lower heat to a  simmer with lid half off for 15-20 minutes.

Serve in bowls and add a bit of cilantro. I like to serve this soup with a sides of garlic bread.

This recipe serves 4 comfortable.

Happy Leftovers!

Soup on the stove.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Blue Chair Fruit Co. Interview

Listen to Tarabud interview of Rachel Saunders, owner of Blue Chair Fruit Company. 

All about jams and marmalades made from organic and local vendors in the Bay Area. 


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ledesma Family Farm Interview

Hear the interview of Noel from Ledesma Family Farm, selling fresh organic produce and eggs at the Grand Lake Farmers Market in Oakland, California. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Williamson Farm Interview

Williamson Farm Hass Avocados
Hear Tarabud interview Lauren, representing Williamson Farm growing avocados out of Tamecula, CA. Interview at Grand Lake Farmers Market, in Oakland, CA, 9/21/13. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bootleg Bottling Co. Interview

Listen to interview of Bootleg Botlling Co. owner Dana Marlow speak about the pickling vs. fermenting process! Audio through Souncloud widget below.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Abundance Of Nature

Happy Summertime ! As the heat rises this weekend in all of California, all our agriculture struggling to stay on the vine certainly comes to mind! My simple garden is a microcosm of what is happening with our vegetables and fruits in the fields.  I have been watering like crazy, but still my poor apricots are getting scorched.  Last night after the sun went down, I decided to harvest my little apricot tree and can them.

Having a backyard has been a wonderful dream, but I have yet to find the perfect place to plant my tree in the ground. I found some of them on the ground already, and the tree was obviously happy I was taking her burden away. She gave birth to these beauties and now they would be recycled as nature meant them to be. We don’t even realize how abundant nature can be, how fortunate we are to reap her leaves, fruits, and roots, until we watch the cycle of life take place in our very own back yard.

Canning to me is like a meditation in our truth, in our human existence as we share it with other plants and beings on the planet, but also in the joy of building community. As I pick the fruit from the tree I give a heartfelt thanks to nature for all her giving. As I clean and cut the apricot harvest, I think about the bitter sweet fragileness of life. We are here then we are gone so quickly. As I stir the fruit with the sugar I imagine all the joy it will bring to those I share with. As I put the preserves in the jar,  I imagine bringing people together to share in a meal and the cycle of life filling us with nutrients from the earth day after day. Writing out the labels makes me think of the pleasing quality our expression in letters can awaken new ideas and hope in each other.
The process is very simple, yet profound on so many levels. Now that I share it with you I hope you are able to share it with others by making your own!


My 3.5 quarts was filled with apricots sliced thin. I added 1/2 cup of brandy (optional and will make it less liquidy), 1 package of pectin, 1 tablespoon or more of cinnamon and nutmeg, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of maple syrup. recipes call for more sugar, but prefer it with less sugar and more taste of fruit. Also, if you want a thicker preserve add more pectin.

My preserves are more for eating along side a savory, or toppings on ice-cream, or maybe a toast. I used scraps of paper from my Florentia letterhead. Find something you love and make it beautiful. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Oyster Mushroom Crostini

Lately, I have been a little obsessed with OYSTER MUSHROOMS. Did you know that... 

"Oyster mushrooms contain ergothioneine, a unique antioxidant exclusively produced by fungi, 

according to a 2010 study led by Penn State food scientist Joy Dubost. The study found that 

oyster mushrooms have significant antioxidant properties that protect cells in the body. A 3 oz. 

serving of oyster mushrooms contains 13 mg of ergothioneine, and cooking the mushrooms 

does not reduce this level. Read more:

This antioxidant affect is just a small wonder to the nutritional value they serve in your body. 

They contain significant levels of zinc, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C, folic 

acid, niacin, AND B-1 and B-2. 

My husband just love them because it lowers his cholesterol.

Basically they are the wonder mushroom, and it is no surprise the Chinese have been using 

them for thousands of years as medicine! 

So here is a quick appetizer recipe to eat, enjoy & improve your health! 


1/2 pound of oyster mushrooms (approximately 4 hand fulls)

2 green onions 

1 tablespoons of butter

1/2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil 

2 tablespoons of red table wine

1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. 

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder 

1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

2 Sourdough slices, or any crackers you can add oyster mushrooms. 

How to prepare

Begin by chopping the green onion. Next, chop the oyster mushrooms till they are bit size 

pieces. Turn the skillet on to medium heat and add the butter. 

Once melted, add mushrooms, green onions, wine, toasted sesame oil, pepper, garlic, and 

salt. Toss lightly for a few minutes. Should cook very quicly on medium heat. 

Toast your sourdough bread. Place oyster mushroom hot from the pan onto the toast, and 

Voila! Oyster Mushroom Crostini is served!

Enjoy with a small glass of red wine! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Stuffed Peppers ~ Meat, Rice & Indian Spices

Moving to a new home has been exhilarating, exhausting, and so distracting to my foodie blogging. This weekend I was finally unpacked enough to feel creative in my new kitchen! I thought Cinco De Mayo Sunday should be special and colorful, and what a better way than stuffed peppers of every color~ green, yellow, and red!  

I hunted around Oaktown for organic peppers, since I did not have time to go to the local farmers market. Luckily, my nearby grocery store Farmer Joe's, has wonderful organic produce for this dish, and grass feed beef. 

This dish took a lot longer than I imagined, as I didn't presoak my black beans, and of course, you need to make the rice and cook the ground beef before you can stuff the peppers, not to mention the baking time. In the end it was all worth it. 

The wonderful secret to this recipe is the Indian spice combination that has gone unused in my spice drawer ~ Garam Masala. This spice is a combination of black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cardamom. The Garam Masala really complements the cayenne and the cumin that I cooked the ground beef with. The filling had exciting flavors and the peppers where a perfect vehicle for this dish! 

I served them with a side of black beans and some fried ripe plantain. Please enjoy these stuffed peppers, and amend the recipe as you need to make it yours! 


1 cup of white rice 
2 cups of water
1 table spoon of oil 
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt 

1/2 pound ground beef 
1/3 cup chopped onion 

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
1/4 teaspoon  cumin 
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder 
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup of water 

1/2 cup of Parmesan 
1/3 cup Italian parsley
1/3 cup of raisins 

Sprinkle of Garam Masala  

4 peppers 
1/2 cup of Parmesan 

How to Prepare: 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

First cook the white rice with oil and salt on medium heat in two cups of water. When water boils away and you can see top of rice, give rice a little stir, then place lid on pan and lower heat to low. The rice should be done in ten minutes from when putting the lid on it. Turn heat off when done, and let rice sit in pan until beef is ready. 

Prepare the peppers, chopped parsley, raisins, and 1 cup of grated cheese for later. Cut peppers in halves and take out the seeds and middle lining to make room for the stuffing. Place halves in casserole as seen below. 

At this point, you can start cooking the ground beef, onions, and the spices: cayenne, cumin, garlic powder, sea salt at medium heat. I like to add some water to my iron skillet while they beef is browning. Just a few dashes of water to keep things cooking well. (Iron skillets cook very evenly, and I highly recommend you invest in this pan for your kitchen.) Once ground beef is nicely brown and onions are translucent, you are ready to add rice and other ingredients, turn heat off skillet. The water should be cooked away at this point. 

To your cooked ground beef (ground turkey can also be used) add rice, raisins, grated Parmesan, parsley, and few dashes of Garam Masala.Toss this combination quickly and prepare to start stuffing. 

Fill peppers till they have little mounds. You will have plenty of stuffing with some left over if you stuff 4 peppers. Lastly, I added more Parmesan on top to of them all as seen below. Bake peppers in oven uncovered for 25-30 minutes and you see them nicely golden on top. 

Serve hot with side dishes to complement. 

Will serve 4 people. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Naficy Mediterranean Pasta

Happy 3 Year Anniversary to Foodie Out Of the Closet blog ! 


These past three years have flown by and that is because I've had so much fun!  Originally I started out my blog by going down to film and interview local farmers and vendors at my neighborhood farmer market, but also by sharing some cooking recipes, and ranting about the environment, and most recently focusing mostly on audio podcast interviews. Really want to acknowledge all the contributors to this blog, for allowing me to interview them and share in their joy of food, organic farming, and sustainable homesteading, that in turn inspired my small contribution to awareness of these issues in the Bay Area. I feel very blessed to live in Northern California, near so much conscientious farming and food entrepreneurship. Thanks also, to the innovative websites like and, Apple Co, with their iTunes podcast player, and Google's, that allows me to self-publish and post to a larger audience. Technology is really amazing! 

Today, I want to continue with the healthy diet theme that is currently in the media surrounding the cuisine of the Mediterranean region. Please see latest study covered by the SFGate article, confirming the benefits of this particular diet, that includes, large amounts of nuts, fruits, vegetables, olive oils, and fish for cardiovascular health. Everyone wants to live a long healthy life and why not incorporate some of these region's long held habits for better living.

I imagine it's not always easy to make a healthy dish, when there are so many good restaurants that serve food fast. This is an easy recipe, named in my roommate's honor, and evolved from her and I cooking meals between classes while I attended John F. Kennedy University and she attended Mills College. This meal is light and at the same time filling. I will be using pine nuts, but often times I substitute for finely chopped walnuts, that add a wonderful strongly nutty taste to the dish. Also, I try to make the best choices at the market, by buying locally grown and organic olives and other produce. 

2 cups of farfalle pasta (bow tie) 
1 very small Serrano chili 
1/2 cup of kalamata olives (pitted)
1/2 cup of pine nuts 
1/2 cup of sun dried tomatoes 
1/2 red bell pepper 
1 full cup of cilantro 
1/3 cup of basil leaves (6-8 large leaves)
2 garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon of dried oregano
3 tablespoons of olive oil 
1 Teaspoon of salt

First, finely chop all the ingredients that will be tossed with the pasta. Start with kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, red pepper, cilantro, basil, and end with serrano chili and garlic. 
I usually separate into bowls.

Second, fill a 3 1/2 Quart cooking pot with water, add a dash of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to water and bring to a boil for cooking the pasta. Cooking times vary, but approximately 15 minutes till this is ready to strain. 

Thirdly, in a saute pan with medium heat, add two tablespoon of olive oil, oregano, and serrano chili, and pine nuts, cooking until pine nuts are a pretty golden brown color. Stir these first ingredients for about 3-5 minutes. Next add, sun dried tomatoes, red pepper, garlic, kalamata olives. Saute these items for another 3-5 minutes.  

Finally add fresh herbs of basil and cilantro. I usually add these items right before I add strained pasta to the saute pan. I toss all ingredients for a less than a minute. If dish seems dry. Sprinkle some olive oil on all ingredients and toss some more before serving. The timing takes practice so that everything is ready at once. Don't beat yourself if it doesn't work out perfectly.

For the finally dish, I usually grate some fresh parmesan cheese, which gives an extra special flavor in your mouth. Not that this dish is without flavor! Be careful, you don't use too much of a serrano chili, because it goes a long way! Should only be about 1/2 a teaspoon when finely chopped.

Don't forget the glass of red wine! 

Serves 2 comfortably. 

Wishing you all a healthy year!