We are currently enjoying the good life the Log Mansion in Wisconsin with Jeff, Jen, and their boys. Prior to arriving here, we went from Toronto, Canada to Niagara Falls, New York to Rockton, Illinois.
Neither Dave or I had been to the Falls before. We were blown away by their power and beauty!
This is a recipe my mother-in-law and I made while we were visiting her in Illinois. She’d found it in Ladies Home Journal. I’ve made a couple changes to the original by using both green and yellow summer squash instead of just zucchini and by adding tomatoes, otherwise it is pretty much as written.
July 17, 2013 4 Comments
As I mentioned a few days ago, I make it my mission to clean out the fresh food in my refrigerator before we go out of town. The easiest way to do that in the winter is to make a soup and the easiest way the rest of the year is to make pasta. I call this “garbage” pasta, because I’ll put any and everything in it.
This particular time, I had a partial box of cherry tomatoes plus fresh heirloom tomatoes from my garden. In addition there were partial bags of green beans and sugar snap peas. I always have garlic and onion on hand, so those always start the dish.
The first step is to get a big pot of water boiling. Add salt and blanch vegetables such as the green beans, sugar snap peas, asparagus, snow peas, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower for a couple minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spider to remove them and have a big bowl of ice water ready to drop them into – to stop the cooking.
Once they’ve cooled down, drain and set aside.
May 27, 2013 1 Comment
Are you hosting or attending a Cinco de Mayo party this weekend?
If so, I have the perfect thing for you to serve or bring.
Serve these flag inspired crudités with your favorite dip or salsa.
May 2, 2013 2 Comments
On the last day of Les Gourmettes classes last week, Barb sent me home with a big box of spinach and a package of feta. Both would have gone bad in her refrigerator – since she would be eating out all weekend.
The following pasta recipe is what I created with it.
Waste not, want not.
It’s magical to watch a huge pile of fresh spinach wilt down …
and down … to a little handful of cooked spinach …
… in only a couple minutes.
April 29, 2013 No Comments
Galette is a French term that refers to a variety of flat round cakes, usually made with a flaky pastry dough.
Galettes can be sweet or savory. Although it is most common for galettes to be filled with fruits or chocolate and served for dessert, savory galettes are a satisfying meal on their own.
When making this galette, it is important to have the filling ingredients chilled or at room temperature. A hot filling will melt the butter in the dough before it hits the oven, preventing the crust from becoming flaky and crispy.
One of the filling ingredients in this galette is an onion jam. I link you to that recipe in the list of ingredients.
I made a simpler version for this galette by eliminating the vinegar and raisins in that original onion jam recipe and instead adding a couple teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves. Either version will work wonderfully here.
Joanne Weir made a Mushroom and Blue Cheese Galette in cooking class at Les Gourmettes last week. It was fabulous! I was the lucky recipient of an extra round of dough for the crust. It is an outstanding dough. It is flaky and crispy and delicious. The recipe below is for Joanne’s dough and my filling.
April 22, 2013 3 Comments
“Here’s a story of a lovely lady, who was …”
No, stop there! Not “bringing up three very lovely girls. All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, the youngest one in curls.”
Let’s try again..
“Here’s a story of a lovely lady, who is all about getting what she wants. She uses trickery and scams plus plans and schemes, and drives her youngest child insane.”
That could be the theme song for my own sitcom or reality show. Honestly, I drive poor Connor crazy with all my ideas. He desperately tries to resist, but somehow he can’t escape when I pull him into these plans, completely against his will and better judgement.
I’m going to give you the recipe today first, and then if you feel like hearing the story behind it, feel free to read all about it, after the recipe.
This is a fun way to make grilled cheese.
Use whatever cheese or cheeses you like.
Top the cheese with your favorite additional fillings, or no fillings at all.
April 21, 2013 8 Comments
I had every intention to post a new recipe yesterday. Instead I was glued to the television from the moment I awoke until well after President Obama’s news conference once the Boston Marathon bombing suspect was finally captured and taken into custody alive.
What an amazing job by the local, state, and federal authorities. What an outstanding job by the residents of Watertown, Boston, Cambridge, and Massachusetts! I pray that all those brave people deservedly slept soundly last night.
Additionally, I hope that as a result of all that hard work and dedication, that the broken bodies and hearts of all those in the Commonwealth, who were affected by the tragic events of the past week, were healed at least a tiny bit too.
God Bless America!
I did eventually cook something yesterday. In-between news reports and updates – I soaked beans. I cooked beans. I let beans cool and turned said beans into a salad.
Not until this very moment, as I type, do I remember that Boston’s nickname is Beantown. Here is a tasty Bean Salad for Boston and for the great state of Massachusetts.
On Thursday, I received the beans as a gift from Kim Howard, my cohort at Les Gourmettes. Kim was in San Francisco last week and she thoughtfully brought me back a bag of cranberry beans and a package of ground Espelette chile powder.
I’ve cooked with cranberry beans before, but I had never heard of the Espelette chile.
Espelette a town on the southern-most edge of France, on its border with Spain. The town is known for its dried red peppers, used whole or ground to a hot powder and used in the production of Bayonne ham. The peppers are designated as Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée and are hung to dry outside many of the houses and shops in the village during the summer. The plant, originally from Mexico was introduced into France from the New World during the 16th century.
I decided to use both of my gifts in this dish. It turned out perfectly delicious.
April 20, 2013 No 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
I admit it, this recipe looks VERY intimidating. It is long. There are many components. It looks complicated. But I PROMISE it is not hard to do. In fact, it is a wonderful special occasion entertaining dish. For a crowd, no less!
How is that possible, you ask?
It is because none of the components are difficult and all but one can be done 1 or 2 days in advance. So in reality, it comes together quickly and seamlessly at the end.
Even the final, last minute component, the Hollandaise sauce, is foolproof. I know, you may be ready to quit reading right now… Hollandaise Sauce – Absolutely Not!
But really it is foolproof! No stove is involved! All you need is a blender. You’re still skeptical? This sauce comes from Chef Tyler Florence. It works perfectly and is easy as can be, I may never make traditional Hollandaise sauce again!
As I was beginning to make the crêpes in my usual crêpe-pan, I decided that they were too small, so I switched to a larger skillet. This was a personal choice, if you don’t have a medium size skillet (about 10-inches across the top) a smaller regular crêpe-pan is fine. Above you can see the two pans I’m talking about, and below the difference in the crêpe sizes.
April 3, 2013 1 Comment
It’s easy and healthy to make your own sausage at home. Begin with lean ground turkey and you’re halfway there. You’ll yield about a dozen sausage patties with this recipe, and you only need 4 for the salad. Save the rest for another couple of meals… maybe to accompany your eggs the next morning.
March 26, 2013 1 Comment