This is the dessert I made for the last class of my 3-week cooking series at Les Gourmettes Cooking School. The semester ended last night – it is officially summer for me. No more classes until September.
Since I made this during class, I don’t have any step-by-step photos for you, but the recipe is straight forward.
This is the perfect dessert for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, or honestly for any day of the week this summer. Enjoy!
May 16, 2013 5 Comments
One of the things you’ll usually find in my refrigerator is caramelized onions, sometimes called onion jam.
The process of cooking the onions is slow, but crucial to achieve that soft, tender, sweet caramelized taste. On the plus side, they can be made days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or even frozen.
Considered the crown jewel of dates, Medjool are prized for their large size, extraordinary sweetness and chewy texture. They were once reserved for Moroccan royalty and their guests.
Put the sweet onions together with the sweet dates, wrap them in bacon, and you have perfection! Serve these to your family and guests and thank me later.
May 7, 2013 2 Comments
The lucky students received the added bonus of Barbara Fenzl’s delicious Squash Blossom Quesadillas at the start of the class.
Once again, I was on the happy receiving end of a basket full of goodies! I brought them home and made Ricotta Stuffed Squash Blossoms, intending to share the recipe here.
Then I discovered that I’ve already posted the recipe, nearly to the day, two years ago. CLICK HERE to see.
Of course, with that many squash blossoms, I also had to make Barb’s fabulous and super easy quesadillas!
May 6, 2013 2 Comments
These shrimp are not only perfect for Cinco de Mayo but equally so for a quick weeknight meal or a big party.
We’re looking forward to going to the James’ annual Cinco de Mayo party tonight! See you soon, Lisa! Eieieiei Ariba!
Guajillo [gwah-HEE-yoh] chiles are dried peppers with a bright tangy taste and kick of heat. Find them in the grocery store alongside the other Hispanic ingredients.
May 5, 2013 2 Comments
I’m not sure if the official temperature yesterday was 100 degrees in The Valley The Sun, but my car thermostat said it was.
No matter, if it wasn’t – it will be either today or tomorrow – and It Is Too Soon to be hitting triple digits! I’m not ready for the heat.
For that reason and more, today I shall give you a recipe for a cool and refreshing chicken and bean salad that you don’t have to heat up your kitchen for. An added bonus … it is Easy-Breezy!
I call for canned white beans for the recipe, If you are the observant type, you may notice that is not what I used. The only reason is because I had more beans left from the batch I cooked up for this THIS recipe.
April 28, 2013 2 Comments
Happy Belated 100th Birthday to Tax Day! Woot!
Yes, today is April 15th – Tax Day, but the actual birthday was about 10 weeks ago, on February 3rd. That day marked the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 16th Amendment, which allowed for an income tax.
Since my husband is a CPA, it is both the bane and the livelihood of his existence. Congratulations, Dave, you made it through yet another tax season! What is this – your 33rd or 34th? Either way, you are my Man of Steel! My Superman!
I know I don’t tell you often enough, but it is true. I appreciate all you have done and all you continue to do for me and our family! xoox
Yesterday, I woke up super early, before the sun, because a big ugly black bird, a grackle I believe, was sitting on the fireplace chimney of our master sitting room and he was yapping it up. The chimney creates a mega-horn effect that travels directly into our bedroom.
I went out front and threw rocks in his direction. I’m not very good at throwing rocks. I have no distance or aim, but he finally got tired of watching me try and flew off. If he returns tomorrow, I’m hauling out my Pellet Gun!
I normally reserve my prized pellet gun, given to me as a Mother’s Day gift many years ago, for pigeons. But if that bird starts up with me again….
I may not be good with rocks, but I am an excellent aim with that gun, just ask the loved ones of the pigeons who are no longer around. Enough said!
Anyhow, since I was wide awake and all riled up, I went out into my backyard and started checking out what was happening. It was a beautiful morning, so I took a bunch of photos and ended up posting them on Instagram.
Peaches, pomegranates, Cherokee Purple tomatoes, and the herb garden…
… which is being taken over by the oregano and mint at the moment! I need to get out there and do some serious cutting back!
Are you on Instagram? If so, I’d love to follow you. You can find me HERE.
I also made a big jar of sun tea. It is SO good, it’s already nearly gone… in only one day, with only one person drinking it… me!
Here’s the recipe – plus there are still a couple more garden shots at the end of the post.
April 15, 2013 2 Comments
Thank you again for your kindness on Thursday! I will tell you some of the really wonderful things that I learned and experienced on the difficult trip… but I’m going to save that for tomorrow. I promised to get back to you with a recipe today and a recipe is what you shall have!
When I go to Costco, which you already know is quite often, I always go down the fresh fish aisle. Every now and then I spot whole fish, and although I’ve been tempted before, I’ve always passed them by for the fillets or shellfish. Not this time! I spotted packages of lovely pink snapper and decided to stop being lazy and just go for it.
Whole fish is not as convenient as fillets but I enjoyed the experience of grilling them. Not only did laziness hold me back before, but also Dave really dislikes finding bones in his fish. I’ve never really minded that, because I remember my childhood camping days when we’d eat the fish the rest of the family caught.
I say “the rest of the family” because I have Never caught a fish in my Life, even though I always threw out the hook and line with the rest of the family… Go Figure! AND, how about that awesome photo of us camping! Doesn’t everyone look so happy?!
Left to right; Andy, Dad, Sloane, Mom, and me. My old brother, Dennis, must have been taking the picture. Andy looks sad. My dad has a bit of a smirk. Sloane looks confused. And my mom looks seriously ticked off. Then there is smiling Linda, looking like she has a secret! I can’t imagine why else I would be smiling. I HATED camping. Did then, still do! Yeah, I must have had the goods on one of my siblings or been up to something, otherwise I would have had a major pout on my face.
In this photo, my chic five year-old-self poses instead of fishes. My brother, Dennis, is to the right of me on the rocks in the stream. I have no idea who the two older boys in the photo are. But my tied up shirt and shorts are super styling, I’d bet anything that the entire ensemble was pink.
The attitude and body language I am throwing off here is more in-line with my feelings about camping. I can tell you exactly how I felt about being there – dread and despair! I’m guessing that I was 12 or 13 years old. This photo was taken at Hawley Lake, near the town of Pinetop in Arizona’s White Mountains. At least Andy looks super excited and happy to be there! Dennis looks desperate to be anywhere else in the world. Sloane’s rocking a fabulous shag haircut. Although, I really can’t make fun of Sloane’s hair when you look at the mop on my head. Oh, those were the days.
Anyhow, I remember that our parents would give us a penny for every fish bone we found while we carefully chewed our fish. We loved it and made a game and contest out of eating fish.
I, of course, would cheat, as I’m prone to do, and bite the bones I found in half when no one was looking, and usually I would win! If you know how competitive I am, you’d think nothing of this. Not at all surprising!
We thought our parents were being fun, but it was actually to keep us from choking on fish bones. Smart parenting!
Back to Dave – I went through his serving with a fine-tooth comb, so he didn’t have to worry about any bones. Plus, I didn’t want to owe him any pennies. Although, you’ll notice that his plate doesn’t look as pretty as my nearly perfect fillet, pictured below.
You may cook the fish directly on the grill grates or use a grilling basket, as I did.
The grilling basket I have has a wooden handle, which is nice since it doesn’t get hot, but you have to be sure the wood portion is sticking out from the grill, to prevent it from burning.
When I shut the lid, it lifts the basket off the grates, so I stick a metal basket there to hold the lid up a little bit.
April 12, 2013 7 Comments
Traditional Puttanesca sauce is made with chopped garlic and anchovies that are sautéed in olive oil. Chopped chili peppers, olives, capers, canned tomatoes, tomato paste and oregano are added along with salt and black pepper to taste. It is simmered for at least 30 to 40 minutes.
My lighter fresher version is anchovy and olive oil free and uses fresh chopped tomatoes that are cooked briefly and tofu Shirataki noodles with zero calories and only 3 carbs per serving. The dish comes together in 15 to 20 minutes, depending on your chopping skills and speed.
I began making it at 5:45 and had it on the dinner plates by 6:00… taking the photos took another couple minutes… as always!
One last note, I forgot to add the olives. And, darn it, they were missed! I’ve added them to the recipe, so don’t forget them.
April 9, 2013 2 Comments
A few weeks before Easter, Connor informed me that he and Patrick didn’t need all the silly things I always put in their big elaborate Easter baskets. Oh really? Fine, go ahead a suck the fun out of my basket shopping!
As a result, instead of the usual big basket of goodies, they each received a little strawberry basket that only had Harkins Theater gift cards and a couple tubes of bubbles. How’s that for no silly things?
It looks like they had fun with the silly bubbles, to me! I’ll check back with him next spring and see if he might like to go to back to the big baskets!
April 5, 2013 3 Comments
I love everything about ahi tuna. It is delicious. It is so easy to make. It is quick. It is perfect in every way… well except the price, it is kinda pricey… but it’s worth it!
Oh yeah, and it’s healthy too. Ahi or yellowfin tuna is low in saturated fat and sodium. It is a very good source of protein, thiamin, niacin, and vitamin B6. It is also a good source of magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
If only it was less expensive, I’d most likely eat it at least once a week. I looked back through the “Complete Recipe Index” over there on the left, and I already have seven recipes for ahi tuna … this makes number eight, and I’m certain it won’t be the last. Of the previous seven, there have been ahi sliders, appetizer bites, salad, tacos, and more.
This time around I’m marinating the tuna in a mixture of pineapple juice, garlic, and soy sauce. Don’t marinate for much more than three hours or the pineapple juice will begin to breakdown the tuna.
March 27, 2013 1 Comment