Posts from — July 2010
Now that Marissa is living back at home, the house is always filled with a boatload of friends. Her boyfriend, Albert, and three other friends from Tucson drove up yesterday and stayed overnight. Luckily, I picked up a 2 pound box of blueberries at Costco yesterday and I happily found 3 overripe bananas in the fridge. Thus they shall have these muffins plus blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Actually by the time they roll out of bed, it’ll probably be more like brunch. The pancake recipe will be up tomorrow.
July 31, 2010 1 Comment
I feel like a fraud, an imposter, a poser. Only a couple days ago I came to learn that I had not posted one of my favorite foods on this site in more than 325 posts. Then when I finally do get a recipe up for cheesecake, I have to learn from a dear friend, neighbor, and faithful follower that today is National Cheesecake Day. How do I not know this already!? Out of all the foods that have a “National Day”, and there are about 475 foods that do, National Cheesecake Day is the one that I would actually honor. For a full list, go to this LINK to check out what do your favorite food is honored. (Disclaimer- I have no idea if this is THE official list, but it is what Google found for me) Or find out what food is honored on your special day. I just discovered that my birthday is National Potato Day – love it! Now I’m thinking that when I am not inspired to make something, I’ll just go to this list and make whatever food is “National” that day. Good idea, or bad? I guess it depends if that day falls on January 8 (good!) or November 24 (bad!).
The recipe here can be configured any way that best suits your needs. I love to make individual cheesecakes and use them for a salad course. You an purchase the pan HERE to make these little cuties ourself. As is, the recipe makes 24 individual cheesecakes to use as a first course or salad, plus a 6-inch appetizer cheesecake to be served with toasted baguette slices or crackers. Or it will make one full-size 9-inch savory cheesecake. It can also be cut in half to make just one 6-inch cheesecake.
July 30, 2010 6 Comments
This is not one of those “super foods” I’ve spoken of before like pomegranates, quinoa, blueberries, or salmon. This is a super wonderful new food I recently discovered … a new ingredient. A difficult thing to do nowadays… find something new that most people honestly don’t know about. My discovery is nduja (en-doo-ya), a soft, spicy and spreadable salame (salami). Have you heard of it? Have you ever even heard of a spreadable salame before? I know, me neither! Nduja originated in Calabia, Italy. It is the perfect blend of spicy, tangy, and smoky. A little goes a good long way. Just a couple tablespoons are enough to enliven a whole pan of sauce. In Southern Italy, they spread it on grilled bread, on pizza, in pasta, or just on a cracker. This is seriously good stuff!
You can find it online at Boccalone, a super cool artisan salumi business located in Oakland, California. Just how cool are they? Their tagline is “Tasty Salted Pig Parts” … that’s pretty cool. Two 8-ounce chubs of Nduja costs $24. That pound will go a long way to make some amazing dishes! Here’s one recipe to get you started. Brilliant daughter, Marissa, suggested using the filling as a bruschetta topping next time – super idea – will do! And just in case you missed it, the words of the day are “super” and “cool”!
July 29, 2010 No Comments
It’s been nearly two months since I promised this recipe would be posted here. I can not believe how quickly the summer goes by! The last week of May we finished the third and final step for homemade limoncello liqueur. Then I gave you a wonderful recipe for lemon-limoncello meringue pie and said another limoncello dessert recipe was forthcoming. It has arrived in the form of these amazingly creamy, yet not too sweet, cheesecake squares. This recipe comes courtesy of the talented and lovely Giada De Laurentiis. Not only am I surprised how long it has taken me to finally make these but I am shocked to realize that this is the first cheesecake recipe posted here. And since it’s not made in a springform pan, it’s not even an actual cheesecake. Shocking, because I love cheesecake, which is by far one of my favorite desserts. Not only that but I can honestly say that I am a master at making them; The Cheesecake Factory has nothing on me! I’m not bragging, just stating the facts and I’m going to share with you three of the most important tricks of the trade to making creamy and crack-free cheesecakes of your own.
July 28, 2010 1 Comment
The inspiration for this dish? One big beautiful heirloom tomato… that’s all it took, well that and some good looking poblano chiles. Watch out – the onions, garlic, bell peppers, and jalapeno are used for both the renello stuffing and the pico de gallo;, so be sure not to toss it all in the skillet for the filling. Reserve the indicated amounts and set aside for the pico. Also, it is important to rinse and drain the black beans well, otherwise they will discolor the filling. You don’t want that to happen since the vibrant colors are a big part of this dish. OK, gotta run, that’s all I have to say about this yummy vegetarian meal, enjoy!
July 27, 2010 2 Comments
We left early this morning for the drive down to Tucson to pack up Marissa and move her back to Scottsdale. Of course, I love having her home, so that is the really sweet part. But I also know how eager she is to “begin” her independent life, her career, and to have a place of to call her own. I remember that feeling of longing and yearning and wish all those wonderful things for her. But with today’s economy and job market, she is just one of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of young adults and college graduates in the same situation. Daily she is sending out resumes, searching on-line, reaching out to every possible connection; lucky to ever get a call, acknowledgement, or interview. So, we’ll store her furniture and other belongings that one doesn’t need when living with your family (meaning parents) in mini-storage and continue to give her all the love and support we can while she waits for her new beginning. And of course, if you are reading this and know of any positions or possible openings for a brilliant, beautiful, and bold graduate with a bonafide Journalism degree, (such as writing, editing, public relations, journalist, newspaper, magazine, etc.) who will move anywhere for an opportunity; please email or call right this very minute!
July 26, 2010 No Comments
Chimichurri is a thick vinegar and oil herb sauce made with garlic, parsley, and oregano, and served with grilled meat in Argentina. As for its origins, the story goes that it comes from an Irishman named Jimmy McCurry, who first prepared the sauce. He was marching with the troops of General Jasson Ospina in the 19th century, sympathetic to the cause of Argentine independence. The sauce was popular with the Argentine people and the recipe was passed on. However, ‘Jimmy McCurry’ was difficult for the native people to say. Some sources claim the name of Jimmy’s sauce was altered to ‘chimichurri’, while others say it was changed in his honor.
July 25, 2010 1 Comment
The title of this post is frightening to anyone who really knows me. If I’ve ever left you a voicemail while I’m driving, you already know how I tend to go on and on and on. I begin with the reason for my call, with every minute detail imaginable. Then I will whine about how sad I am that I didn’t reach you personally. And if traffic is bad or there is a horrific driver in my path (and really, when isn’t there?!) I will tell you all about it. After that useless information, I’ll feel the need to let you know where, why, how, who, what, and where I am going. But aside from the part you just read, this post is not like that…
Instead I am going to share with you some cool stuff of late… at least I think it’s cool stuff.
July 24, 2010 4 Comments
- Sweet: Something that is awesome – ”Girl, that is one sweet outfit!”
- Hot: One who is: a. gorgeous b. pretty c. beautiful d. cute e. attractive – “George Clooney is so hot!”
Nice definitions in the current urban language, but not the sweet or hot I’m talking about here…
- Sweet: Tasting or smelling of sugar or a similar substance.
- Hot: Spicy or peppery enough to cause a burning sensation in the mouth or throat.
My friend and neighbor, Ronnie Jaap, dropped by yesterday smack dap in the middle of my current “pickling craze” with a bag of big fresh jalapeño peppers for me. How convenient! Now I have a jar of pickled jalapeños in my fridge! It’ll be about a week before I can use them but when they are ready, I’ll stem and slice them, remove the seeds and use the slices or dice them into any recipe that could use a bit of spice and a touch of sweetness. Or maybe use them whole as a condiment for my favorite Mexican, Southwestern, or Tex-Mex dishes and beverages. I’m already thinking how great a slice would be with a tall icy cold Bloody Mary. The week needs to go by faster! Thanks Ronnie, we’ll have to make a day of it.
July 23, 2010 No Comments
For some unknown reason I am very much into pickling things right now. I can’t explain it. Ever since I pickled onions last weekend, everywhere I look, I wonder, “how would that be pickled?” Today, it’s figs. I had heard of a restaurant in Seattle where the chef is also big into pickling and she pickles figs, so I gave it a try. Big success – they are amazing. Chef Renee Erickson is the Pickle Queen at the Seattle restaurant Boat Street Café, check out their site to see what else she pickles and where you can purchase her products.
So far I have tried my version of pickled figs atop vanilla ice cream, alongside or poured over fresh goat cheese (the pink tinted goat cheese above is Shiraz flavored from Fossil Creek Creamery in Strawberry, AZ), and finally with rosemary grilled flank steak – all fabulous! Once you use up the figs, be sure to use the remaining fig syrup (pickling liquid) to make delicious salad dressings – just whisk in olive oil and herbs, to taste.
I have a Kadota fig tree in my yard which produces twice a year, so my friends can expect pickled figs for Christmas gifts in December! I actually prefer Black Mission figs to Kadota, so I’ve made a half and half mixture of them here. Mission figs are the type you’ll most easily find in stores right now. Dried figs may be substituted for the fresh when they are out of season.
July 22, 2010 5 Comments