Tuesday, August 10, 2021

August issue of Food in the Time of Quarantine + The BEST Corn on the Cob (Elotes)

We want to help you make the most out of your summer with the August issue of Food in the Time of Quarantine (DOWNLOAD HERE)! From cooling, refreshing recipes, to meals that make the most of summer vegetables and fruits, you will find lovely dishes 

Also in this issue are my Elotes (Mexican Corn on the Cob)

Sunday, July 11, 2021

July Issue of Food in the Time of Quarantine + Popsicles 3 Ways

Download your free copy of the magazine here

I'm so pleased to announce the July 2021 issue of Food in the Time of Quarantine! While we've had a good run we are starting to feel the name is no longer relevant, even if the impetus--taking something off of people's (mental) plates--remains so. After August we will be choosing a new name and keeping the spirit of the magazine the same: elegant cheap eats in an easy to read format. Hope you're as excited for the changes as we are!

Read on for three brand new recipes (also included in the magazine)

These Three Fabulous Popsicle Recipes are a Perfect Way to Beat the Heat

When it’s hot outside, there’s nothing more refreshing than a popsicle. With an abundance of lovely summer fruit available, our favorite popsicles are the homemade kind. My son and I recently got a popsicle mold that came with cellophane popsicle bags, and we had a blast thinking up different ingredient combinations to fill them. He also had a ton of fun actually filling them with the tiny funnel. 

Macerating the strawberries will take 30 minutes and deeply enhances the strawberry flavor in these pops. Macerated strawberries are also a fantastic dessert with some whipped cream, especially when they’re macerated with a sip of grand marnier or another orange liqueur. They’ll keep for 3-4 days covered in the fridge, should you want to double the recipe. If you want to skip this step you can gently crush your strawberries before adding them to your lemonade (use the same amount of berries).

If you’re an aesthete it might bother you that the lime juice settles at one or both ends of the pop. That being said, the watermelon, lime and mint popsicles taste utterly amazing--sweet, fresh and slightly tangy. 

If you want fiber free mango yogurt pops, be sure to strain your pureed mango through a fine mesh strainer over a bowl, pushing the mango pulp through with the back of a large sturdy cooking spoon.

Read on for our three favorite recipes.

Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles

 Makes 10 (3 oz) popsicles


For the Macerated Strawberries:

1 pint strawberries, sliced

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Tablespoons fine granulated sugar

For the Lemonade:

 Juice of 3 lemons

3 cups filtered water

 1/2 cup sugar

Macerated strawberries


Macerate the strawberries:

In a mixing bowl, toss the berries together with the lemon  juice and sugar. Cover and let it sit in the refrigerator a minimum of 30 minutes, and up to 4 days. Use the macerated strawberries in the strawberry lemonade.

Make the lemonade:

Mix the lemonade ingredients and strawberries together thoroughly. When sugar is dissolved and everything is combined, pour equally into your molds.  Freeze on a level surface in your freezer until solid.

Watermelon, Lime & Mint Popsicles

Makes 10 (3 oz) popsicles


1 “personal” sized seedless watermelon (about the size of a volleyball)

Juice of 2 limes

Small handful (about 1/4 cup) mint leaves, washed


Quarter watermelon and cut flesh away from the rind. Rough chop. Roll mint leaves together into a tight bundle and slice through thinly (chiffonade). In a blender combine mint, lime juice and 3/4 of the chopped watermelon. Blend until the watermelon has liquified. Divide the remaining chopped watermelon among your popsicle molds and pour in liquified fruit to fill the molds. Freeze on a level surface in your freezer until solid.

If you have any remaining liquid it tastes great  chilled with rum.

Mango, Yogurt & Cardamom Simple Syrup Popsicles

Makes 10 (3 oz) popsicles


For the popsicles

5 ripe mangoes

1 1/2 cups full fat greek yogurt

1/4 cup cardamom syrup (recipe below)

For the cardamom syrup

1 Tablespoon ground cardamom

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup filtered water


First, make the syrup. You can make the syrup up to 4 days in advance (see notes). To make the syrup add the cardamom, sugar and water to a heavy bottomed pan over low heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, take it off of the heat. Allow the syrup to cool and the cardamom flavor to seep into the syrup. Meanwhile, prepare the mango: peel, rough chop and remove from the pit. Set a fine mesh sieve over a mixing bowl and force mango flesh through with the back of a spoon. For every mango you should retain about 75% of the flesh and only leave a small clump of fibers behind. Once mango has been prepared, mix in yogurt and syrup. Divide equally between your popsicle molds.


If you like you can allow time for the cardamom flavor to steep in the syrup then strain it out through a fine mesh sieve. I found this step unnecessary as it did not add anything to the flavor and I am planning not to strain the cardamom from the syrup next time, if I can’t find some kind of whole cardamom before the next time we make these popsicles.  Freeze on a level surface in your freezer until solid.


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Food in the Time of Quarantine June Issue is out now!

 Hello dear readers!

This month our magazine is all about cooking with fruit, since there's an abundance of lovely fruit available during the summer months! If you live on the opposite side of the globe, hang onto this for your summer season. In any case, Buen Provecho!

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Camarones (Shrimp) Al Pastor & Avocado Lime Crema

Memorial Day is coming up and if you haven’t already, many of us will probably plan to fire up the grill. Al Pastor is a great, flavorful marinade that can be used for any type of meat. It is traditionally used for pork tacos, which are then prepared in the traditional shawarma style. In fact, Al Pastor means “In the Style of the Shepherd,” which is how the Greek expats in Mexico were affectionately called and named because the dish is in the Greek style--traditionally cooked over a spit in a conical shape just like the Greek street meat, Shawarma. Al Pastor has citrus and pineapple, the acidity of which also helps to tenderize the meat, so it’s a great marinade for cuts that tend to dry out quickly. Try it at your next barbecue--you’re going to love it!

The main inspiration for this dish is these lovely Pickled Red Onions from Azlin Bloor of linsfood.com & singaporeanmalaysianrecipes.com/. They got me to thinking about tacos. Especially Al Pastor, since it's a delightful, flavorful way to prepare any kind of protein--from pork to tofu! The sweet pineapple and smoky chipotles would be a fabulous counterpoint to the tart, spicy, utterly fabulous pickled onions. And it was! I highly recommend this combination--especially making the pickled onions as they take only 5 minutes and are the absolute best thing with so many dishes, especially tacos!

Tacos Camarones Al Pastor (Grilled Shrimp Tacos) with Avocado Lime Crema 

Serves 2 (Makes approx 6 tacos)

For the Al Pastor Shrimp 

1 lb tiger shrimp, peeled & deveined

½ pineapple, cored & cut into rough chunks

1 jalapeño, seeds & ribs removed

2 cloves garlic

1 Tablespoon oregano (pref Mexican oregano)

1 Tablespoon chili powder (not cayenne)

1 teaspoon cumin seeds or ground cumin

½ teaspoon whole peppercorns

½ teaspoon salt

2 (tinned) chipotlé peppers in adobo + 1 Tablespoon of the adobo sauce from the tin

¼ cup apple cider vinegar (can use any type)

1 cup pineapple juice

For the Cilantro, Avocado & Lime Crema

1 ripe avocado

2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves & stems

Juice of 4 limes

1 cup crema or sour cream

For the Tacos

1 cup cooked black beans

¼ head of cabbage, sliced thinly

2 radishes, sliced very thinly

Handful cilantro leaves

~2 Tablespoons crumbled cotija (sub feta)

Pickled onions, as per preference (about 2-3 per taco)

Avocado Lime Cilantro Crema

Camarones (Shrimp) Al Pastor

1/2 cup fire roasted corn (can be found in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s)

12 small soft corn tortillas

1/2 pineapple, cored, cut into slices and grilled (just enough to get some grill marks) 

Marinate the Shrimp

Toss everything from the Al Pastor ingredient list but the shrimp into the blender. Blend the ingredients until smooth. Thread shrimp 5-6 on a skewer. In a baking dish or food storage container, combine shrimp and blended ingredients. Marinate for 15-30 minutes. Meanwhile, you can prepare the other ingredients. First, the avocado, lime, cilantro crema.

Make the Crema

Throw all of the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a squeeze bottle 

for serving. 

Prep for the Tacos & Grill the Shrimp

Heat the black beans, crumble the cotija cheese, slice the radishes, cabbage and cilantro and rough chop your grilled pineapple; get your taco toppings ready. Preheat your grill to medium high. Brush the grate generously with oil. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and shake off any excess. Grill the shrimp 2-3 minutes per side, or until they are fully cooked. Heat all 12 tortillas over the grill for about 30 seconds per side (you want a tiny bit of color and mostly to soften them up). 

Assemble tacos

This can more or less be done in any order, but you could layer two tortillas together, then put in the cabbage, beans, corn & pineapple, with the shrimp over, then top with cotija, crema, radishes and a sprinkling of minced cilantro. Serve immediately.

#taco #tacotuesday #alpastor #tacos

This piece will also be published in the upcoming issue of The Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin

Friday, May 7, 2021

The Magazine Turns 1! To Celebrate We Fire Up the Grill!

Hi lovely folks! Today is the one year anniversary of the release of our first issue of Food in the Time of Quarantine! Unbelievable! Thank you all so much for all of your support. 

Since this issue is all about the grill (BBQ) it has inspired me to create a new recipe. Although it won't be out in time for this issue (I just can't resist releasing the new issue right on the anniversary of when it was first released!), look for it in the coming week. Do let me know at thejoyouskitchen@gmail.com if you'd like to be signed up for our mailing list where you'll be informed of new posts or if you'd like to join the FitToQ mailing list.

Thank you again for supporting our endeavor! We love to bring you this magazine and we hope we will continue to be able to offer a compendium of low cost fancy recipes once a month for many years to come!

Ready to read our May 2021 issue? Click here to peruse or download

Friday, April 9, 2021

12th issue of the Magazine + Fresh Papardelle with mushrooms & asparagus in a lemon cream sauce!

I can hardly believe we've been publishing for a year! Download your free issue of our recipe magazine, Food in the Time of Quarantine here: FitToQ April 2021

This Creamy Vegetarian Pasta is Perfect for All the Lovely Asparagus in Season

By Joy Gordon Stewart

Twenty years ago now I had the distinct pleasure of dining at Postrio, Wolfgang Puck’s San Francisco restaurant. It still gives me shivers to recall how delicious his wild mushroom ravioli with pencil asparagus and morel mushrooms in a lemon cream sauce was. For two decades I have been dreaming of this bright fresh sauce, with tender handmade pasta, accompanied by the chewy, earthy morels and equally tender and lightly herbaceous baby asparagus. For the 12th issue of the magazine, I wanted to do something special. I chose a theme that is near and dear to my heart: the Farmer’s Market. Some of my favorite meals have involved a few high quality ingredients allowed to shine through a simple preparation. I’ve asked my contributors to share dishes that are inspired by a particularly fresh and lovely vegetable. This month that vegetable is asparagus. It is a lovely vegetable,fresh, and slightly herbaceous with just a hint of grit and bitterness and absolutely redolent of new spring growth. That is why it is the perfect main ingredient for our Farmer's Market theme. Although I haven’t gone to nearly as much effort as the dish that inspired this recipe, I have none-the-less used what approximate the same flavors and ingredients. I made my own pasta, using this recipe from Gimme Some Oven. I used all semolina, but next time I’ll go 50/50 with AP flour, as it was slightly gritty. I rolled it out by hand, thin enough that I could see light through it and cut it using a measuring spoon handle as a width guide. Check out the post I linked for some great pictures on how to easily cut rolled out pasta to uniform length. If you don’t want to take the time or are intimidated by the thought (it’s really easy--you cannot knead it too much and you can make it in the food processor as well as the stand mixer; just remember to let it rest at least 30 minutes wrapped in cling film and roll it out very very thinly) you can also easily get fresh made pasta at the supermarket. If that doesn’t fit into your budget try to go for a fancier hollow extruded noodle, such as cellentani or campanelle; something that can absorb a lovely cream sauce into its crevices. 

How long to cook the asparagus will depend upon how thin the stalks are. If you can find pencil or baby asparagus, which are very thin, you will not need more than a minute. The thicker the stalks the longer they will need to cook. 

Pappardelle with Wild Mushrooms & Pencil Asparagus in Lemon Cream Sauce

Serves 4

10 ounces assorted mushrooms, chopped
10 ounces pencil asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1” pieces
12 ounces fresh pappardelle pasta (or other wide noodle)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup wine
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon


Put up a large pot of heavily salted boiling water. Boil the pasta in the salted water for around 7 minutes (if your pasta is store bought, cook it for the length of time indicated on the package). While the pasta is boiling, melt butter and combine with olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan. With a small pinch of salt and a sprinkle of pepper, saute onions over medium heat until they begin to soften. Add mushrooms and cook until the liquid from the mushrooms has just evaporated (5-7 minutes). If you can only find very wide asparagus (about the width of a wooden cooking spoon handle), they will need up to five minutes to saute with the mushrooms, so add them early (the goal is for both to be cooked according to your preference at the same time); if they are thinner, they will need to be added later. Once the asparagus is cooked and the mushroom liquid has dissolved, add the wine to deglaze. Scrape the lovely caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan. Scoop out the veggies and set aside. Add cream and lemon zest to the pan and turn the heat down to low. For 5 minutes, barely simmer the cream. Meanwhile, the pasta will have finished cooking. Drain pasta, reserving one cup of pasta water. Add veggies to the cream sauce and then mix sauce with pasta. Add 1/3 cup pasta water as you mix, to help the sauce cling to the pasta. Serve garnished with minced Italian parsley.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

The Easter & Pesach issue of our recipe magazine is here!! Download your copy today for free

Our 12th issue of Food in the Time of Quarantine is out now! Let us help you celebrate Easter and Passover with playful, inexpensive holiday recipes! There's even a method of making your own soap to hand out as gifts! Grab your free copy of our recipe magazine today!

Download your free copy here: FitToQ March 2021


Matzo Ball & Chicken Soup

What are matzo balls? They are a kind of dumpling made from a holiday cracker called matzo. Matzo is eaten during the Passover holiday to symbolize the haste with which the Isrealites were compelled to flee Egypt (they did not even have time for their bread to rise). During the week long Passover holiday, out of respect for our harried ancestors, we are forbidden to eat all foods which are leavened. Matzo becomes fairly important to a lot of dishes during that week. It is scrambled with eggs and served with jam (called Matzo Brei); it is used as a binder in holiday casseroles (such as savory kugels--a dense casserole resembling a kind of pudding); a very popular use for it is as a dumpling in chicken soup. These dumplings are so popular the dish is named for them: matzo ball soup. Matzo balls can be large or enormous, light and soft or dense and chewy. They are made according to the cook's preference. My ideal matzo ball is on the small side, light and soft with just a little bit of bite.

I may seem like a lot of work for one pot of soup, but this chicken soup is flavorful and immensely satisfying (especially as we start to catch change of the season colds). If anyone in our house has the sniffles I leave the skin on the chicken. This is because of a homeopathic belief that chicken fat has natural antibiotics.

Matzo Ball & Chicken Soup

Makes 16 servings


32 ounces organic chicken stock
1 whole (~5 lbs) chicken, broken down
16 ounces mirepoix
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

In a stockpot over medium heat, add olive oil. Add mirepoix, thyme, a pinch of salt and pepper and the bayleaf. Saute until mirepoix has softened and become fragrant (approx 5 minutes).
Rinse chicken pieces under cold water and add to stock pot. Add stock, then water to cover.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 20 - 25 minutes, or until chicken breasts are cooked through. Remove chicken breasts and when they are cool enough to handle, remove meat and return bones to the stock pot. Simmer dark meat for another 20 minutes, then remove, pull from bones and return bones to the pot.
Cook on the lowest setting for an additional 40 - 60 minutes, skimming the fat off of the surface occasionally.
When needed, strain broth and bring to a boil to cook the matzo balls (see below).

Matzoh balls:

4 jumbo eggs
1 1/2 cups matzoh meal
1/4 cup neutral oil*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 ounces carbonated water
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1. Whisk together egg and oil (or schmaltz). Mix in matzoh meal, salt, baking powder and soda water.
2. Set in fridge for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, strain 8 cups of soup into a pot with a tightly fitted lid. Bring to a boil.
4. Form balls approximately 1" diameter.
5. Place balls in boiling soup. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. Cook the balls in two batches to give them enough room to expand.

Serve dumplings in broth with chicken meat.

*Substitute schmaltz if you should have some in your pantry