The first two of today’s funnies were sent to me from my friend, Christine Pond. Thanks Christine for thinking of me and sharing the same funny bone! xoxo
This next one may be a week late, but it is still hilarious!
Even more true!
December 6, 2013 1 Comment
At last night’s cooking class, one of the dishes I made was a Caramelized Onion & Apple Tart. What was different and a little special about it was that instead of caramelizing the onions in my usual way, I made them in a slow cooker.
It takes more than half a day, but once all the onions are peeled and sliced, the work is essentially done.
Plus it makes a ton, so you can freeze them and keep them all to yourself … or be generous and give them as gifts. If you are so sweetly inclined, you’ll end up with about 10 half-pint jars. Not much effort to put in – and end up with 10 presents and happy friends!
December 5, 2013 No Comments
If there was one food, dish, or recipe that you could eat for the rest of your life; as much as you want, as often as you like, from now until eternity – without gaining an ounce – what would it be?
If you would have asked me that question a few weeks ago, I would have said, “Ice Cream!”
Ice cream is my go to answer to any question that begins with “What food would you…”
I love ice cream; the coldness, the smoothness, the creaminess, the richness, the pure happiness that ice cream brings. And that is why we rarely have ice cream in our house!
But ask me that question today – my new answer is, “Chile, Cheese, and Chorizo Bread Pudding.”
I developed this recipe for my classes at Les Gourmettes and I could not love it more! I am quite certain it is as calorie and fat laden as ice cream, if not more so. It’s full of bread, cheese, chorizo, more cheese, eggs, and milk. And it is SO GOOD!
Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is just perfect, in every possible way. It is amazing! Well, except for the calorie/fat count – on that front – it sucks!
I made it twice last week. First for the class and then again for a dinner party the evening before Thanksgiving that we had with our family and Marissa’s boyfriend, Jeff’s family. One of the guests was vegetarian, so for the dinner party, instead of using a 9×13-inch pan, I made two 8×8-inch pans. One with the chorizo and one without.
The recipe is for the larger pan but the images are of the two smaller pans … just to clarify … so you aren’t confounded by the instructions vs. the photos.
Oh, and if you don’t have time to make the red pepper sauce, it’s still delicious with out it. Just saying!
December 4, 2013 3 Comments
I am currently in the frantic throes of planning for/working on 6 upcoming events/classes which are occurring between tomorrow and a week from Saturday. And that doesn’t even take into consideration Christmas decorating, which I have not even began to think of tackling.
That is so far off my radar that it might as well be September at my house. But I do see a little light at the end of the tunnel.
One of the things on my “Must Do” list was to get the handmade invites out for Tram’s baby shower. The shower isn’t until mid-January, but I felt that with all the Christmas cards and catalogs clogging up people’s’ mailboxes, it would be best to get them out now, as in today!
I’ll be dropping them off at the post office in the next hour, when I go out to do the grocery shopping for my cooking class at Les Gourmettes, which is tomorrow night. So that will be 2 of the 6 items done or nearly completed by the end of today!
December 3, 2013 4 Comments
The final Thanksgiving leftovers recipe of the season is a dessert, using up the last of your mashed sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and whipped cream. It’s a wintertime take on strawberry shortcake.
If your sweet potatoes weren’t mashed, mash them before making these biscuits.
Oh, and did you know that you can buy powdered buttermilk? I’m not certain if I’ve mentioned this product before, but it sure is handy to have when you have all the ingredients for a recipe … except buttermilk. And isn’t that the point of using up leftovers – being able to use what you have and not having to make a special trip to the grocery store? It’s simple to use. Just as with powdered regular milk, you just mix with water.
One last note – One of the secrets to light and flaky biscuits is to not overwork the dough. When handled with a light touch you should be able to see specks of the fat, whether that is butter, as in this recipe, or vegetable shortening or lard. Less is better when it comes to biscuits.
December 2, 2013 1 Comment
Happy Birthday, Marissa!
My sweet girl was home to celebrate Thanksgiving for four glorious days, but flew back to her home in San Francisco last night, just four hours short of her birthday.
So, once again, I am not with her on her most special day. Makes a mom kinda sad.
We did have a little birthday lunch with her yesterday at The Arrogant Butcher. Along with Connor, we also had two of her BFF’s, Lindsey and Kaley, there for the celebration.
Here are the three girls – pondering the strange peanut butter dessert the waiter brought for her.
December 1, 2013 1 Comment
I usually use the leftover Thanksgiving turkey to make enchiladas, chili or tacos. This year… Turkey Gumbo!
The thing about gumbo is that you have to start with roux. The thing about roux is that you have to stir constantly … for a long, long, long time! And the thing about stirring constantly, is that I hate having to do that!
Several years ago I received an automatic pot stirring thing-a-ma-jiggy, called the StirChef Saucepan Stirrer. It has sat in the box and never been opened … until yesterday, when I made this gumbo. I’ve had it so long that the batteries that were included – were corroded.
Guess what, I should have left it in the box. It was useless. It only fit into the smallest of my saucepans and the paddle turned so slowly, seriously ridiculous!
Here are some of the reviews I found on Amazon:
“I spent one dollar on this at a thrift shop and I still feel like I was ripped off. It is no surprise they are already out of business. The thing doesn’t even fit on all but one of my saucepans.”
“I just set this up for the first time to make a roux… what a joke!
It fit the pan and that is THE ONLY thing that was a positive. As soon as those worthless paddles hit that hot oil and flour, they began to dissolve!”
“Attaching the StirChef to my new 4qt saucepan, I turned it on to stir some chopped vegetables for 10 minutes at low heat. After about 4 minutes the flimsy plastic blades began to melt, adding an interesting but unwanted taste to the vegetables.”
Evidently this lame product is a collector’s item of some sort. On Amazon it sells for nearly $90 new and $60 used. Mine has only been used once. I’m willing to sell it for a mere $45.99.
Any interested buyers out there? No? OK, maybe you’ll be more interested in my Gumbo recipe.
November 30, 2013 1 Comment
If you watched the live Food Network Thanksgiving show last week, you might have seen the round-table discussion at the end of the show. I didn’t see it live, but caught a bit of it online.
Some of the leftover ideas the chefs tossed around sounded fabulous – Thanksgiving Eggs Benedict” w/Gravy, Sweet Potato-Cranberry Shortcake, and Turkey Gumbo. Since this was a rapid-fire sort of affair – as in “everyone was talking over everyone else” – there were no recipes given.
Those were the three dishes that caught my fancy, so I thought I’d use their suggestions and create the recipes myself.
Today, the “Benedict” breakfast.
Tomorrow, the gumbo.
The shortcake on Sunday.
Get those leftovers out and make these recipes along with me…
November 29, 2013 No Comments
A Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving from my home to yours. xox
November 28, 2013 1 Comment
Tips for Entertaining
or How to be the Hostess with the Mostess
Theme: The jumping off point for all my entertaining begins with choosing a theme. Some are built-in; holidays, birthdays, seasonal gatherings. Even then, selecting a color palette helps the event have a cohesive feel and flow and makes planning so much easier. Make a list of what you already own that works with the theme or palette, and then buy or borrow pieces that you want to incorporate.
Make a list of everything you need to get done and set deadlines. Put big, time-consuming projects, such as cleaning the house or tracking down tables and chairs, at the top of your list.
Build menus around dishes you already know how to make and are comfortable with, and then add one or two new recipes.
Prepare as much as possible ahead of time, so you’re able to relax and enjoy your party! Many recipes have “do ahead” notes. But even if the recipe you’re using doesn’t, get into the habit of thinking about what can be prepared ahead. If you’re not sure, search online for a similar recipe and see if it has “do ahead” notes.
If you’re still at a loss, drop me a line and I’ll help you figure it out.
Do not be afraid to take short-cuts with store-bought items.
I do it. All. The. Time.
I am not a baker, so I’ll buy dessert from a bakery or I’ll just pick up a variety of little sweets from Trader Joe’s. Trust me, your guests will remember how much fun they had, not if you made your own pie crust or used a store-bought crust.
Have a Signature Cocktail. It sets the tone for the evening. It let’s your guests know you went to a bit of extra effort. Even if it’s just a glass of champagne with a splash of juice and a berry added, it makes a statement. Have the drinks set on a tray at the entry. Add a little sign, such as: “Welcome, please enjoy our Signature Cocktail – Rojo Sangria”
November 27, 2013 1 Comment