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Published March 8th, 2017
A decade of delicious delights: Susie's top recipes from her vast repertoire
Photo Susie Iventosch

It is nearly impossible for me to believe that five years have gone by since we celebrated the Lamorinda Weekly's fifth birthday, much less 10 years since the paper was founded! And, I have been writing the food column for the past nine years already, which has been such a pleasure and a great way to keep my own kitchen humming.
When our editor, Peggy Spear, asked for my favorite recipes from the food column, I thought it would be an easy task and started pouring over all of the old newspapers, including some 230 recipes. This was an enjoyable journey through time, and even though it was a bit of a challenge to narrow it down to 10 recipes, I decided to pick those I've made over and over again, year after year. Several of these recipes come from our treasured local chefs and restaurateurs, which makes them even more special. Also, it was great fun to reread the favorite holiday recipes from our mayors over the years. I think we'll have reinstitute that again for 2017.
It was interesting to see what types of things our community liked to cook back then versus today. For me, personally, not much has changed, since I have no family members with gluten or dairy issues. We have always loved to cook with lots of fresh vegetables and whole foods, and I still like to cook many of the same types of dishes. Mediterranean cuisine, which encompasses so many countries, is still is my favorite kind of food. But, I will say that, universally, "gluten-free" has become more and more popular and is the one thing that I encounter all of the time, whether it's from readers requesting alternatives, special diets for guests we entertain at home, foods stocked on the grocery shelves, or options on restaurant menus. Fortunately today, it is much easier with all-purpose gluten-free baking flour readily available, instead of the combinations of different flours and meals that cooks needed to keep on hand for gluten-free options in the past.
One very exciting evolution over the past 10 years, is a greater interest in cooking at home and making meals from scratch. I'm not sure if the Food Network or "Julie & Julia" is to thank, or just a more profound awareness of healthy eating, but it is a welcome change from fast food and paper-wrapped calories. In addition, nearly every town has a farmers market, which is a great way to eat produce fresh from the farm, and besides, it's a fun, weekly social gathering as well!
Here's wishing the Lamorinda Weekly a very Happy 10th Birthday and many more to come! Now, let's eat some goodies!

Cooking Term of the Week
Amuse-bouche: a small, bite-sized appetizer, not ordered by the guest, but rather offered compliments of the house at some restaurants. It is of French origin and literally means "(it) entertains (the) mouth."

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