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Posts from — September 2011

new record!

The fun little picture above is meant to represent the number 100, as in 100 consecutive days of blog posts – a new record on my part.  When I made the decision back on September 10th (day 80 in a row), I had no idea just how difficult it would be to not miss a day for 3+ months. You never know what life is going to throw your way when you make a plan – a public statement – like that.  But in many ways, this blog is my therapy, it keeps me honest, and well, I just love doing it.

October is always my busiest month of the year, so I’m happy that it worked out that September 30th is day 100. Just for the sake a trivia and my amusement, the previous streak of consecutive posts was 72 back in June, July, August, of 2010.

I was wracking my brain thinking of what might be fun to make for post #100. I searched the web for food-related “100″ and found nothing.

Then I went to Foodnetwork.com and found our own Chef Beau MacMillan, executive chef at Elements at Sanctuary with this video.  The video is from the show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Street Food”  and Beau is talking about H-100 tater tots from the Grill ‘Em All food truck in Los Angeles, CA.  Food truck chef Ryan Harkins named the tots after a hard-core rock band, H-100 from Ohio.

It was about a year and a half ago that Beau was right here in my kitchen cooking with Larry Fitzgerald and me. He is a great guy and if he loves these tater tots, I knew they must be something special. I’ve tried to re-create them here.  Next time I’m in LA, I’m going to find that truck and compare … ’cause man, these are awesome!

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September 30, 2011   4 Comments

sweet accolades

I was searching for something sweet and quick to put together today for not only this post but to bring along to a lunch date I have this afternoon. I’m meeting up with my kids’ 1st grade teacher and her daughter and two granddaughters. We’ve stayed in touch all these years later, thanks in part to Facebook and this blog. Mrs. Tunheim (Ginger, to me) was both Marissa and Connor’s favorite teacher. In fact, Connor had her three times; 1st grade, 3rd grade, and during high school he went back and was a teacher’s aide in her class for a semester… yup we all love Mrs. T! Her beautiful daughter, Kim, assisted me one summer of cooking classes back when she was a single college girl.  Kim is now married with two adorable little girls of her own, so I’m bringing along these sweets to share with them.

I also want to take this opportunity to extend exuberant, hearty, and heartfelt congratulations to my friend and colleague, Gwen Walters and her wonderful Pen & Fork, for winning Best Food Blog 2011 award given by Phoenix New Times!  Yay Gwen!!!  You can always check out Pen & Fork by just clicking on the link over there on the right side of this very page… it is AWESOME!

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September 29, 2011   3 Comments

the green fairy

Have you ever had absinthe? It is a distilled, highly alcoholic (80-148 proof) spirit. It is often incorrectly referred to as a liqueur, but since it is not bottled with added sugar it is correctly classified as a spirit. Although absinthe has a very high level of alcohol by volume it is traditionally diluted with water before being enjoyed.  This anise-flavoured spirit is derived from herbs, including the flowers and leaves of the herb Artemisia absinthium, commonly referred to as “grande wormwood”, together with green anise and fennel. Although you may find colorless absinthe, it has a natural green color and is commonly referred to in historical literature as “la fée verte” – the “green fairy” in French. I am far from an authority on it, but I’ll share with you what I know… what I think I know, that is.

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September 28, 2011   3 Comments

Thank you!

I want to say thank you to each and every one of you who left me such kind, loving, and compassionate comments – not only here on the blog – but also on Facebook, by phone, and by email. So many of you have reached out and it means more than you will ever know.

And thank you to my sweet neighbors who brought me flowers and my friends who sent sympathy cards. A special thank you to my gorgeous BFF who came by yesterday to help ease my pain and who will help me later today at the reception, held here at the house, after the service. I am truly blessed with wonderful friends and family, I am beyond grateful.

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September 27, 2011   6 Comments

this little piggy stayed home…

Can you tell that I’m running out of ideas for post titles? Well, I am.  It’s hard to be creative with these things, day after day. :-)  I may soon resort to Pork 5, Chicken 27, and Salad 34. Whatever, this is a pork recipe…

I used up the remaining rhubarb-strawberry compote. If you didn’t make the compote, you can still make this recipe, just substitute jam or preserves. I also had small portions of three different onions in my fridge; red onion, sweet onion, and a large shallot, so I combined those to make up the 1 1/2 cups needed for the sauce. Any type of onion will do. The recipe works equally well with pork loin or pork tenderloin, whichever you prefer or find on sale.

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September 26, 2011   No Comments

Lost

My parents lost the younger of their two sons and I lost my younger brother, Andy, earlier this week.  In truth, we lost him a long long time ago. And even saying that we lost him earlier this week – that isn’t quite accurate -  he died earlier this month, but we only learned of his death this past Tuesday.

That’s how it is when someone you love gives his or her life away; you never know what is going on with them until it is over or after it is far too late to offer help.

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September 25, 2011   23 Comments

smoked salmon – part 2

This is the recipe using smoked salmon that I told you about a couple days ago, the one I found in an old Gourmet Magazine and wanted to try for my smoked salmon-loving husband.  It is a winner!!! Perfect for picnics, tailgating, or lunch brown-bagging.

If you made the Brussels sprout salad from yesterday’s post, then you have extra mustard vinaigrette leftover… use 1/4 cup of that and just stir in the shallot listed here… then skip making the vinaigrette in this recipe, and you are ready to rock and roll.

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September 24, 2011   1 Comment

make it at home

If you have ever eaten at Chelsea’s Kitchen, here in Phoenix, then you have most likely enjoyed or watched someone else enjoy the out-of-this-world Brussels sprout salad.  The only thing I can’t get over is the price… $14 for a salad seems a tad pricey. Luckily this delicious salad is easy to make at home for just pennies on the restaurant dollar.

And this mustard vinaigrette… one of the best and most versatile vinaigrettes you will ever make. So although you don’t use even half of it for this salad, you are going to want to use it on salads from here on out!

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September 23, 2011   7 Comments

cookies for breakfast… you bet!

Cookies for breakfast?  Sure, why not?  These particular cookies are packed with healthy stuff – dried fruit, almonds, cereal… and…. bacon. OK, not healthy bacon, but yummy breakfast-time bacon. Plus they aren’t too sweet, just right.  Great to eat if you have no time in the morning. Pop them in the freezer and just grab one or two on your way out the door and you have breakfast!

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September 22, 2011   5 Comments

for Dave

Dave adores smoked salmon. This is a dish I make for him every now and again and I’m always on the lookout for new ideas. I recently  found an intriguing salad, featuring smoked salmon, in an old Gourmet magazine that I’m going to give a try. I will let you know how it turned out in a day or two… until then, I give you this classic – which we enjoyed with our Roasted Silkie Chicken a few nights ago.

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September 21, 2011   1 Comment