Author Archives: Kitty

About Kitty

I am a food and travel writer and cookbook author. My main passions are the cuisine of Morocco, the country where I was born, and cooking with the seasonal bounty of California's farms.

News of Morocco and beyond

News of Morocco and beyond:

Washington welcomes a female ambassador from Morocco:

Lalla Joumala, the Princess, the Ambassador

Mon Dieu! We are ever so hip in Casablanca. A new restaurant on the Corniche, (read Mint Tea and Minarets for an insider’s view :)

http://www.lepetitjournal.com/casablanca/accueil/breves/251322-gossip-beach-un-restaurant-un-cafe-avec-vue-sur-la-mer

“Au menu: … La carte du Gossip est une véritable invitation à la dégustation et à la découverte de plats simples mais raffinés, toujours revisités.”

 Yves Saint Laurent exhibit in Seattle:

https://france-amerique.com/fr/yves-saint-laurent-the-perfection-of-style/

Headed to Fez? The new botanical gardens may be open in Spring 2017.

http://www.huffpostmaghreb.com/2016/11/01/jardin-botanique-fes_n_12754762.html?utm_hp_ref=maroc

“Après 30 ans de retard, le jardin botanique de Fès verra le jour dans un “avenir proche”

Le jour où la cuisine française envahit la télé américaine
The Day French Cuisine Appeared on American T.V.

Winter 2016 Classes and Presentations

Classes and presentations:

A handful of kids participated in the Taste of Morocco at the Newport Beach Central Library. Future chefs aged 5 to 11 learned how make a Moroccan carrot salad, couscous with buttermilk and a watermelon and smoothie. https://www.nbplfoundation.org/content/Making-Memories-for-Children.html

YOU ARE INVITED (reservations needed)

Let’s Party at Le Creuset Outlet Store in Carlsbad!

Friday, November 18. 6:30-8:00PM.

A Special evening for Le Creuset VIPs and guests.

Le Creuset, Carlsbad Company Stores

5600 Paseo del Norte, Suite 125

Carlsbad, CA , 92008

Phone: (760)931-6868

Free and open to the public. Reservations a must. Demonstration and sampling of Moroccan “tapas, food entertainment and prizes. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY! Prizes! Entertainment! CALL NOW TO RESERVE A SPACE!!

Saturday, November 19th. 10:30AM to noon.

Central Library, 330 Park Blvd, San Diego.

Info at www.CulinaryHistoriansofSanDiego.com

The Edible Gold Rush, featuring Ernest Miller, who will explain how the fruit industry brought lasting prosperity. Miller is a chef, historian, educator, consultant and speaker who teaches throughout Southern California.

 

Thursday, December 8th. 7PM

A Vegetarian Holiday Meal from Morocco

The Spice Way

Intimate classes, space is limited

Debbie Kornberg

(858) 967-1364

260-B N. El Camino Real Encinitas, CA 92024

Info at dkdspices@gmail.com

 

Mint Tea and Moose Sausage edition (aka The Kasbah Chronicles November 2016)

Musings: Mint Tea and Moose Sausage edition

North to Alaska with Adventures by the Book and Authorpreneurs

 

14484891_990463264409013_715228099704534362_nKaylene Johnson-Sullivan, Kitty, and Susan McBeth, president www.adventuresbythebook.com

CONTENTS:

Dia de los Muertos

At the historic Rancho Guajome, Vista CA. Anyone visiting San Diego should head north to see our gorgeous Mission San Luis Rey, the oldest continuing operating mission in California

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A new tradition taking hold in the US??

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/31/dia-de-los-muertos-halloween-day-of-the-dead?

My Alaskan Adventure

Debbie’s Salmon Chowder

Classes and presentations:

It’s party time at Le Creuset in Carlsbad, with food and prizes. No purchase necessary!

Books for sale

Need a gift? I’ll sign and send one of my books!

News of Morocco and beyond

In memoriam: My roommate, Lilli Kalis MD

 

As I write this right after the election, post Halloween and post Dia de los Muertos, the sun is shining, pumpkins are through a’bloomin’, and Christmas trees are making their appearance.

But I stray. To condense my memorable Alaskan Adventure by the Book  into a few lines is next to impossible. Let’s say that our 49th state is one worthy of discovery (barring the ridiculous TV series about Alaskan “pioneers”.) Dramatic, astonishing, awe-inspiring, are just a few adjectives that come to mind to describe the state’s breathtaking natural beauty.

I have to pinch myself. This year, I have flown the length of the Americas, from Patagonia to Alaska. The two areas have much in common. Towering trees, snow-capped peaks, water, water everywhere, inlets, islands, and glaciers (most of them melting away.) A moose sighting and a black bear in the wild were on my list. Both wishes were fulfilled in Alaska and more: I got to pick wild blueberries on the tundra.

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Mam Moose and baby moose munching on Kaylene’s vegetable patch

As I mentioned in the previous Kasbah Chronicles, I went to Anchorage on the very first author exchange organized by Adventures by the Book and Authorpreneurs (www.adventuresbythebook.com and www.authorpreneurs.com) , whose president, Susan McBeth, has made it her life’s work to connect authors with readers. And this she does superbly. You may recall that four San Diego authors (yours truly among them) hosted four Alaska authors last April, and Susan and her staff organized a number of literary events for them here. Alaskans reciprocated, and we San Diegans headed to Anchorage at the end of September. My hostess was my former guest, Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan (http://www.kaylene.us), a noted Alaskan author who specializes in Alaska’s history. Kaylene is also a great cook: thanks to her I sampled home made moose sausage, moose steak, and a memorable Alaskan seafood feast that included freshly caught salmon and crab claws almost a meter long. Heaven!

 

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What did I do in Anchorage? Let me count the venues. Seven events in seven days. Debbie Moderow (debbieclarkemoderow.com) author of Fast into the Night, her adventures racing in Alaska’s excruciating, one thousand mile Iditarod race, hosted our welcome dinner. After I ingested three bowls of her Salmon Chowder, she was kind enough to share the recipe (see below).

The next day, author and 49writers co-founder Deb Vanasse (http://debvanasse.com/) had me speak at the annual meeting of the 49writers annual conference (www.49writingcenter.org) on how to write a memoir. Barely had I set my handouts down that I was headed for Turkey Red (http://www.turkeyredak.com/) in Palmer, one of the most notable restaurants in the region. And what a meal it was! To my delight, Chef Alex Papasavas, who bills herself as local cook, caterer, and gardener, has as her sous chef Jalal Elbakkali, a graduate of a culinary institute in Fez. The two of them executed my recipes just the way I hoped, and, using local ingredients (salmon and spinach bestila anyone?) prepared one of the best Moroccan meals I have had outside Morocco. If you go to Anchorage, take the time to drive the 30 minutes to Palmer (not too far from Wasilla, where Sarah Palin can see Russia from her front yard!) Palmer is also home to Fireside Books (http://www.goodbooksbadcoffee.com), a welcoming indie bookstore, whose owner, David Cheezum, sponsored that luscious Moroccan dinner cum-book-signing at Turkey Red. Merci to all.

 

jajal-turkey-red990465654408774_4608437556362891537_n

 Allen and Peterson (www.aphome.com) was the site of my cooking class, A Taste of Morocco, in what must be the best-equipped cooking school in the state. The store is a veritable treasure trove of all things culinary, from stoves to cooking implements and unusual ingredients. (Anchorage boasts several excellent food stores, such as Carr’s supermarket (aka Safeway) and New Sagaya, a maze of ethnic foods.) Who knew? At Allen and Peterson’s, another surprise awaited: Barley grits to make Couscous Belboula, a Berber specialty from Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. See my recipe for that unique couscous in Cooking at the Kasbah page 121. I have great difficulty finding barley grits in the Lower 48, so I was delighted to discover that barley grows in Alaska and that barley grits are processed locally. How cool is a company that lists its address as Coal Mine Road Lakes, Alaska, along with longitude and latitude?! Alll available by mail order from http://www.alaskaflourcompany.com.

The next two evenings I spoke at the Chugiak and Loussac branches of the Anchorage library, with a stop at the beautiful Anchorage Museum to view their extraordinary collection of artifacts in the Smithsonian Arctic Center (anchoragemuseum.org) And finally, the Alaska Botanical Garden (wwww.alaskabg.org) inserted my presentation on edible flowers into their lecture series. These dedicated gardeners brought samples of local herbs, which, in Alaskan summers, develop to gargantuan size. The botanical garden is also home to 18 different varieties of CILANTRO! I just had to stop by to see them on my way to the airport. The experimental plants were a little frost-bitten but surprisingly fragrant.

cilantro-anch

Our hostesses made sure to squeeze in time to drive us along the spectacular Seward Highway to the equally breathtaking Alyeska Resort south of Anchorage, in time to see the incoming tide galloping up the dramatic shore of Cook Inlet’s Turnagain Arm. To learn more about Alaska’s precious and fragile ecosystem, read my host, Marybeth Holleman’s, heart wrenching The Heart of the Sound: An Alaskan Paradise Fund and nearly Lost. (http://marybethholleman.com/)

An Alaska SPECIAL for Kasbah Chronicles Readers!!
Debbie’s Salmon Chowder

Serves 6

“To tell you the truth, every batch of soup I make is a little different!” says Debbie Moderow. Prepare this a day ahead so the flavors have time to develop, she adds. This chowder freezes very well.

3 tablespoons olive oil

8 medium carrots, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, diced

32 ounces organic chicken stock

6 small red potatoes, diced

2 pounds boned fresh fish (cod, salmon, or halibut) cut into chunks

1/2 cup diced fresh dill

3 stalks fresh celery, with leaves, diced

1 (14 oz) can diced fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies

1 cup corn kernels (optional)

Milk as needed

Cayenne to taste

Parmesan cheese, for serving

The day before:

In a large pan or soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook carrots and onions until soft. Add the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes. Cook 10 to 15 minutes until potatoes soften, and add the fish. Cook 5 to 8 minutes so it doesn’t fall apart.

Add the dill, celery, tomatoes, and corn, if using. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, and cover. Refrigerate overnight. Reheat over low heat. Add a little milk if the chowder is too thick. Before serving, season to taste with cayenne and a little fresh dill.

tj-mussels-chiloe

Back home, Chile once again beckoned. After travelling to the Island of Chiloe where mussels grow to the size of medium bananas (sorry for repeating myself), Chiloe mussels bathing in a garlic and wine sauce called out to me from Trader Joe’s freezer in Oceanside, CA. These Chilean mussels make an ideal base for the mussel mouclade recipe in my Edible Flowers: A Kitchen Companion (page 68).

ANCHORAGE Here I Come! Sept. 23-30, 2016

I am getting excited! My book tour to Alaska is merely 2 weeks away. If you happen to read this post, and if you know people in Anchorage, please feel free to share the following information. Three other San Diego authors are joining me for this first author exchange with Alaska colleagues: Kathi Diamant http://kathidiamant.com, Marivi Solinen (https://marivisoliven.com), and Susan McBeth (http://adventuresbythebook.com) for this one-of-a-kind experience. I will cook, chat, and give presentations on Moroccan cuisine and on edible flowers.

Here are the events I am participating in:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/319286585087859/

Saturday, September 24: 2:10 to 3:10PM. Roundtable chat

49writers annual conference, Anchorage, Alaska

Kitty Morse on How to write and market a cookbook.

2:10 pm to 3 10 pm:

BP Energy Center

900 E. Benson Blvd.

PO Box 196612 Anchorage, Alaska 99519-6612

www.49writingcenter.org

 

Saturday, September 24: 6PM. Reservations required.

CHAT WITH THE AUTHOR while you SAVOR AN AUTHENTIC MOROCCAN DINNER!

TURKEY RED RESTAURANT

550 S Alaska, Suite 100

Palmer AK

Chef Alex: Email: turkeyredak@gmail.com

Call: 1.907.355.3242

http://www.turkeyredak.com

Books for sale provided by David Cheezum, Fireside bookstore, Palmer, AK. fireside@goodbooksbadcoffee.com

http://www.goodbooksbadcoffee.com

 

Monday, September 26. 6-8PM. Reservations required.

Cooking Class: A Taste of Morocco

Allen and Peterson Home store

3002 Seward Highway

Anchorage AK

http://aphome.com

907-276-0111

 

Tuesday, September 27. 6PM. Open to the public.

Presentation on Moroccan cuisine and culture

Nancy Clark, mgr

Anchorage Public Library

Chugiak-Eagle River Branch
907-343-1533

e-mail: ClarkNE@ci.anchorage.ak.us>

 

Wednesday, September 28: 6:30PM to 8PM. Fee charged.

Sprinkle Flowers on your plate!

Alaska Botanical Gardens Lecture Series

September 28 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

BP Energy Center,

900 E. Benson Blvd.
Anchorage, AK 99508 United States

ABG Lecture: Sprinkle Flowers on Your Plate

 

Thursday September 29, 7PM

Presentation on Moroccan cuisine and culture

Anchorage Public Library, Loussac Branch
907-343-1533

http://anchoragelibrary.evanced.info

HOPE TO SEE YOU AT AN EVENT!!!