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Category — Recipes

back – hopefully not forgotten


I don’t know if anyone noticed, but I took a little “blog vacation” and didn’t post for six straight days, my longest stretch of “time off” in 5 years! Coincidentally, my 5-year Blogiversary was on Saturday, August 16th … and I missed it!


Seems like a rather big day to miss, but missed it I did. The bad part about that is  … I was planning on holding a contest on the auspicious occasion, giving you a chance to win something very cool.

What to do?

How about we have the contest later in the week? In the meantime, start thinking about your favorite recipe that I’ve posed in these past five years. That will somehow be worked into the contest. Until then, another recipe for your consideration.

Roasted Fresh Figs Stuffed with Sweet Chili Goat Cheese2

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August 18, 2014   8 Comments


It’s been so long since I put up the Friday Funnies, that I’m thinking this single Monday Funny may be needed to get your (my) week started.


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August 11, 2014   No Comments

Chicken Panzanella Salad

Here, as promised, is the second salad I served on “Dinner and Cards” night this past Friday.

main course salads

Another super quick and easy main course salad that is perfect for summer. It is especially easy and summer-friendly if you start with a purchased rotisserie chicken.

I was too lazy (or maybe it was just too hot to make another stop while shopping) to get a rotisserie chicken – since they don’t sell them at Trader Joe’s, which was the only stop I made.

roasted chicken

So, I started from scratch and roasted a little organic free-range hen instead.

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August 5, 2014   3 Comments

surprise ingredient

Raw Chocamoca Tart with Espresso Syrup

Isn’t this tart beautiful?

You will not believe what this ultra rich and creamy dessert is made with.  And believe it or not, it is all raw. No baking involved, perfect for Arizona summers.

This is the final recipe I will be sharing with you from my full-day cooking class at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland.

Raw Chocamoca Tart with Espresso Syrup3

I have saved the best for last.

When I first heard what the secret ingredient was, I was certain that I would not like this dessert. Oh, how wrong I was! You’ll have to read the recipe and check out the photos to see what I’m talking about. I don’t want to give it away quite yet.

line pan bottom

Instead of a tart pan, the dessert uses a springform. Since it’s not cooked, there is no reason to cut out a perfect circle to line the bottom of the springform. Just place a piece on the bottom part of the pan…

attach ring

Attach the sides, the ring part of the pan, and you’re ready to rock and roll.

remove from base

Removing it is a breeze as well. Run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen, then remove the ring and slide a long thin pallet knife or spatula between the paper and the base…

remove from bottom

…to move the tart, with the paper, to the counter.

tart pan bottom

Then, use the removable bottom of a real tart pan to transfer the tart from the paper to a serving plate.

move to platter

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August 4, 2014   4 Comments

cards and dinner

george and Julie

Last night, we had George and Julie over for cards and dinner. You may remember George and Julie as the “side vs. salad” couple from the 4th of July party. That’s George sitting on the cool deck and Julie in the blue top on the far right.

limoncello lemonade

We’ve always been a big “cards family.” We play either Hearts, Spades, Rummy 500, Pinochle, or Gin Rummy with my dad nearly every Sunday. So “cards and dinner” is nothing new at our house, but having another couple over for that explicit reason is.

jars and crackers

I had family obligations all morning and into the early afternoon, so dinner had to be fast and easy. I made a quick cocktail by whizzing a few frozen mixed berries in the blender with about a cup of purchased lemonade. I strained out the seeds and put the mixture in a pitcher and then added the rest of the bottled lemonade and popped that in the fridge to chill. When it was time to serve, I poured the berry-lemonade and an ounce of vodka over ice and topped it off with a splash of homemade limoncello. Cocktail Done!

When Dave got home from work, I asked him to the scour the refrigerator for olives and the pantry for smoked fish and pâté and arrange it on a platter with some crackers and grissini breadsticks.  Snacks Done!

Below is the recipe for one of the two salads I made, the other will follow in a day or so.

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August 2, 2014   1 Comment

Ballymaloe chicken coops and succotash

Ballymaloe garden

Dave, Connor and I spent an hour or so walking around a very small part of the Ballymaloe House grounds.

Ballymaloe map

We searched out and found the chickens.

free range chickens

Hundreds of chickens who were so happy and content with the big bins of fresh kitchen scraps.

kitchen scraps

Plus oyster, clam and mussel shells from last night’s dinner.

oyster shells

Chickens need the calcium and the grit from oyster shells. If you want to learn more about the reason, go HERE.

trailer chicken coop

As we were walking towards them, we noticed a couple old trailers on the other side of the fence from the “chicken yard.”

chicken coop trailer

Guess what the trailers are used for?

trailer coop

Chicken Coops!

How brilliant is that?

There was a gentleman in a little red golf cart who was collecting the eggs. All he had to do was open the trailer door, step in and gather the eggs for The Yeats Room and the school.

Ballymaloe back kitchen eggs

There are no eggs in this healthy and scrumptious salad recipe from the Ballymaloe Cookery School. It’s a twist on the traditional American Succotash. I love the addition of quinoa and the change from lima beans to chickpeas.

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July 29, 2014   2 Comments

zucchini melts

zucchini melts with grilled asparagus and tomatoes

What does this plate say to you?

To me – it screams SUMMER! All those bright and colorful veggies, grilled to perfection!

You can use your outdoor grill or a grill pan to make it. I chose the grill pan … for obvious reasons.

After looking over the post, you almost don’t need a recipe. I took so many photos of each step – so as long as you know that you need enough olive oil, salt and pepper to coat everything, you might want to skip the reading and just use this as a pictorial instructions. Enjoy.

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July 26, 2014   3 Comments

castles and kissing


We visited several castles while in Ireland.


It’s easy to do.

castle pub

They are in nearly every town and around every corner.


We stayed at some.

stone castle

We just visited and toured others.


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July 25, 2014   1 Comment

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland.

Another one of our day-trips was to the beautiful and very popular Cliffs of Moher.

The Cliffs of Moher are located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, Ireland. They rise 120 meters (390 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head, and reach their maximum height of 214 meters (702 ft) just north of O’Brien’s Tower.

Cliffs of Moher.

The cliffs rank among the top visited tourist sites in Ireland, and receive almost one million visitors a year.

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July 24, 2014   3 Comments

grill-master fail

One of the appetizers that I planned to serve at the 4th of July party was these cheese-filled grilled mini peppers.

Cheese-Stuffed Grilled Sweet Mini Peppers

Don’t they look yummy? My guests never got a taste, let alone a glimpse, of them. This photo is lifted from the web. That’s because, my grill-master husband turned the 30 little peppers, that I lovingly spent time and effort cleaning out and stuffing, into charcoal.

Photos of his burnt-to-the-crisp peppers at the bottom of the post.

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July 13, 2014   2 Comments