Asparagus season and Easter come at the same time and what a perfect pairing that is! They are both happy signs of spring.
Plus this lovely green vegetable pairs wonderfully with both ham and lamb.
April 6, 2013 6 Comments
I’m using three different cooking methods to make a simple salad. This will infuse as much flavor as possible into each ingredient without adding fat. This is achieved by;
- Roasting cherry tomatoes
- Poaching chicken breast
- Blanching asparagus
As an added bonus, the poaching/blanching broth may be saved and added to soup on another day.
March 14, 2013 2 Comments
This was my horoscope on Tuesday.
How perfect is that? Oh, here are the last few words you can’t see, “… nourishment and warm feelings.”
It’s perfect because I already had on my calendar two dinner parties this week.
Peggy and Anne were over last night and my dear friend, Karen, who was a bridesmaid in my wedding 27 years ago, and her husband Bob, are coming over for dinner tomorrow night. Got to Love It!
Are you ready for the onslaught of Meyer lemon recipes? I hope so, that is what I’ll be making for quite a while now!
Don’t have Meyer lemons? Not to worry. You can use regular lemons in any of my recipes that call for Meyer lemons.
I saw a photo of a version of this salad on Pinterest and was inspired by the use of a trifle bowl to serve it in. I created the recipe from scratch but stole the visuals and serving idea. If you don’t have, but have always wanted, a trifle bowl – Crate & Barrel always has them in stock.
It’s so pretty and springtime fresh and it turned out to be a delicious main course salad. I’m sure Peggy and Anne will attest to that. It would be lovely as a side salad on a buffet too.
January 17, 2013 2 Comments
When one of my two brilliant children was young, he or she thought that when someone said, “Open Sesame” that they were saying, “Open Says Me.” I won’t reveal which one of them it was, but how cute is that?!
Open Sesame is the magical phrase in the story of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” and it opens the mouth of a cave in which forty thieves have hidden treasure.
This asparagus recipe is magical and your brain will be telling your mouth, “Open Says Me” when you make it!
This was one of the recipes this past Wednesday night at the first of my 3-week series of classes at Les Gourmettes. That’s why you’ll see a photo a several plates lined up. They were still awaiting the chicken and polenta… a recipe I’ll post in a day or so. The asparagus and accompanying mayo were a big hit. And…. it’s “easy breezy” to boot!
November 17, 2012 3 Comments
I am naming this “bonus salad” because while creating it, my intention was to include it in the “Take your Lunch to Work Week” that I just wrapped up for my sweet Marissa. But once I got into it, I slowly came to the realization that this takes far too much time and effort than required for an easy lunch to brown bag… that is unless you use it as leftovers… from dinner the night before. In that case, it’s perfect!
I made this a week ago Sunday and, as with most Sundays, we had my dad over for dinner. Dave and Dad devoured this thing. They loved it so much that they each had not only seconds, but thirds!
If you are lucky enough to have leftovers and want to brown bag it the next day – here is what you do: Pack the greens and the feta together in one container or zip-lock. Pack the mushroom-asparagus-rice mixture in a micro-wave safe container. Nuke the mushroom mixture to just warm it through. Place your greens and feta on a plate and top it with warm stuff. Yum… makes me wish I would have leftover of my own last Monday.
The “bonus pics” in the title refers to some iPhone pictures of a few of the beyond delicious courses we had at Binkley’s last night. How I love that place! You’ll find them below the recipe.
May 5, 2012 3 Comments
I failed to mention while posting the asparagus soup a couple days ago, that the main reason Sharon asked for the recipe was because asparagus is a smoking deal at Bashas’ grocery stores this week. Gorgeous pencil thin bunches for .99 a pound! You only have today and tomorrow to run out and pick it up before the sale ends… hurry – grab your keys and leave now – get it before it’s gone! And in case you are like me, and can’t let a good deal pass you by and you pick up a couple more pounds than needed for the soup… here’s another healthy recipe using asparagus.
January 31, 2011 1 Comment
One of my most loyal and longest followers requested this recipe by email. Sharon C. has children who attend LPG every summer and she and her daughter, (along with another mother/daughter duo who are their BFF’s) always leave lovely comments, which I appreciate immensely! So this is my shout-out to Sharon and Sydney C. & Debbie and Kelsey Q! Thank you, and I hope to see you again this summer!
Tip: One of the downsides to asparagus soup can be the color. When asparagus gets cooked this long to make it soft enough to puree, it fades a bit. The solution? Add a few handfuls of fresh spinach to the pot a minute before blending. The spinach will not be noticeable in the taste, but will boost the color by leaps and bounds.
My mother-in-law was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin and is a life-long Green Bay Packers fan. She arrives next week, on Super Bowl Sunday, for a visit. I think I’ll freeze some of this lovely green soup and serve it while we watch “The Pack” bring home the Vince Lombardi Trophy!
January 29, 2011 3 Comments
So many of the dishes we made during our stay at La Pitchoune were from famous French chefs and cookbook authors. This vegetarian dish, from Michel Richard, was amongst our favorites.
Another of my favorite things discovered on that first trip to France were the Santons that are so prevalent throughout Provence. There are actually two styles of Santons, small painted clay figurines or larger clothed clay dolls, it was the dolls that were displayed in La Pitchoune that I fell in love with. Authentic French Santons are hand-crafted in Provence. They represent traditional Provencal characters that existed a few hundred years back in all villages in the South of France. They are made with clay and painted by hand one by one with real life details.
The origin of the Santons goes back to the French revolution; Santon meaning “little saint” were traditionally used in churches at Christmas time around the “crèches” or nativity scene where they represented characters from the bible and as a result attracted large crowds mostly in the Provence region. In 1789, when the French government abruptly closed all churches, the parishioners were distraught and sought solace in recreating their own nativity scenes which included Santons in their homes. The characters grew from the traditional members of the nativity to the members of life throughout everyday Provincial life, from the baker to the bricklayer. The tradition was strong over the years and today Santons are a part of life in Provence.
The first picture farther above is of Julia and Kathie’s collection… and this second collection is mine. From left to right; tall male chef with copper pot, female baker with a huge basket of baguettes, smiling bonneted woman carrying a duck in a basket, male artist with a pallet and brunch along with his easel and painting, angry looking old bonneted woman shopping at the market, and finally a sweet vendor at the market with his vegetable cart carrying a scale. Below is the last Santon photo, a more traditional set of the Magi that is always on display in our dining room but is set out to hold a more prominent place during Christmas.
October 12, 2010 3 Comments
While our family was in Italy during the summer of 2008, I had Asparagus with Prosciutto di Parma, Parmegiano Reggiano, and Poached Eggs. The dish is a common site on Italian menus. I’ve taken quite a few liberties, basically Americanizing and bastardizing it at the same time! The inspiration to do so, came after a cooking class on Monday night with Chef Chris Curtiss of Noca, who made these outstanding fried poached eggs and served them on top of a fabulous salad with pickled red onions, bacon, and red wine vinaigrette – truly amazing! I often serve the asparagus as a side dish and it has already been feature on this site, but this is a wonderful light, refreshing, and satisfying main dish for any night of the week. Of course, it would also make a great brunch dish.
April 21, 2010 3 Comments
Inspiration for recipes comes from many places, such as giving a standard recipe a healthy makeover or combining recipes to make something just right. Plucking fresh food from your garden or a farmer’s market, using other cuisines to spice up an old favorite, or in this case, out of complete and utter desperation! Ever since last Friday, when I held a girl scout cooking class, my life and time management skills had been in a downward spiral. Some of that was due to my own bad planning, other parts were things out of my control, and the rest was just Murphy’s Law – “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” So the light at the end of the tunnel of this tornado that was my life, came in the form of a party at my home. After racing from one thing to another and running on virtually no sleep, I had less than 5 hours to come up with a menu for the party, shop for the food and drinks, and make it all. Clean all the outdoor furniture (it’s been raining quite a bit here, so it was all a mess). And worst of all, clean a house that had not only been neglected, but literally treated (by me!) as if it were a landfill, where I was actually just tossing things on the floor or any flat surface. The picture below doesn’t really do justice to the mess the house was. The sun is shining so brightly against the more than a dozen glass bowls on the island that they are not really visible. But that was just one load of dishes spread out from unloading the dishwasher from the night before when I fell into bed right after putting in another (and the 3rd of the day) load.
So here is where this recipe begins. I had worked with Barb Fenzl at Les Gourmettes in the morning, where she taught a delicious class that included a Glazed and Grilled Asparagus. All the while I was thinking about what I could make, or pull from my freezer, or pick up at Trader Joe’s on my way home. There was leftover marinate from the asparagus, so I poured that in a jar and decided to make the asparagus as an appetizer instead of a side dish. I also had leftover sliced mozzarella, sliced black forrest ham, and basil in my fridge from a food styling event I’d done the day before… voila, a recipe is born. OK, it may not be the most inspired, creative, or original thing I’ve even come up with, but the point is, anyone can pull something together with what they have available to them by just giving it a little thought. The asparagus portion of this recipe is thanks to Barb Fenzl and I thank her for not only that, but for the delctable frozen Blue Cheese Galette dough she so generously sent home with me to use as well!
March 5, 2010 1 Comment