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Posts from — September 2017

cooking class winner

It took some teamwork to pick the winner of the cooking class with Chef Danielle Leoni at Les Gourmettes Cooking School. Okay, not as much teamwork as frustration, but we made it happen.

There were eight entries: Amy G, Betsy S, Dorinne D, Elyse G, Ginger T, Laura M, Patti T and Sharon L.

I crumbled up each name with the intent of turning them into cat toys.

 

Bombay and Bailey were called into action. Whichever ball of paper was knocked off the table first, the person whose name was on the paper, would be the winner. Unfortunately, they were not as interested in playing with their new toys as I had hoped they would be. I ended up having to toss a couple of kitty snacks in the mix to even get them up on the table.

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September 27, 2017   3 Comments

are you a winner?!?

It was only a month ago that I held a contest for my 8th Blogiversary and here I am – at it again!

This time, it is Barbara Fenzl, owner of Les Gourmettes, who is graciously and generously donating the fabulous prize. I’ll get to the details about the prize and how easy it is for you to have a chance to win it in just a moment.

This is the current issue of Edible PHOENIX. The publisher and editor, Pamela Hamilton along with featured contributor, Sharon Salomon, Barb Fenzl and I are all members of Les Dames d’Escoffier International.

Every now and then, Sharon will ask me for quotes or thoughts about an upcoming article she is working on. This was the case for her most recipe article titled, “Step Away From the Recipe! Try Your Hand at Intuitive Cooking”

Thank you Sharon for featuring me in your excellent article!

This clever segue leads us to the contest and the prize. Barb is offering one FREE seat in an upcoming cooking class with Chef Danielle Leoni.  Coincidentally, Danielle became one of our newest Les Dames members this past Monday night. This prize will most certainly hone your cooking skills and aid you on your way to more intuitive cooking.

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September 20, 2017   11 Comments

Salsa de Peggy

While Anne, Peggy and I  were vacationing in Carlsbad last month, Peggy made her famous salsa. Lucky us! I took notes and happily share it with you.

Peggy insists that one thing is an absolute must for her salsa.

You must use only chiltepin chile peppers! They can be hard to find and are more expensive than that other little pepper easily found in grocery stores, the chile pequin. The pequin is nothing like the chiltepin, so don’t bother using it as a substitute.

The chiltepins are what make this an authentic Sonoran salsa. You can find them at Food City or on Amazon. To read more about the chiltepin and the salsa, check out this article from Edible Baja Arizona.

Peggy also prefers to use a mortar and pestle to crush the peppers and the garlic. Mine is packed away, so I opted for a cocktail muddler and measuring cup.

Alternately, you could start an empty food processor or blender, and while it is running, drop the garlic cloves and chiltepins through the feed tube into the empty machine and let it do the work for you.

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September 13, 2017   5 Comments

not as advertised

A couple of months ago I bought a 3-pound bag of refrigerated shredded beef at Costco. It had a long-away expiration date (March 2018!) and the photo of the beef on the front of the bag looked so good!

It sat in my refrigerator for a few weeks, then I took it on our trip to Carlsbad in the beginning of August, just in case we decided to make tacos or something. We never opened it, so it came back to Arizona. I finally opened it last week.

Not at all as pictured on the package. What a disappointment! Costco is known for its thorough vetting process before selecting and selling products. I’m not sure how this product slipped through. It didn’t taste all that bad, as I did end up using it for tacos one night, but then decided I’d rather use the rest in some sort of casserole. It tasted much better mixed in with other ingredients. The next time I make this dish, I’ll be using leftover beef from a roast.

Note: In a photo of the ingredients below, you may notice that the can of green chiles is missing. That is because I decided to add them as I was assembling the dish.

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September 11, 2017   No Comments

strawberry caprese

This time last month, Peggy, Anne and I were in Carlsbad, it was hot and muggy in Scottsdale, but cool and beautiful in California, strawberries were cheap and on sale in the markets and I made a strawberry caprese salad.

A month later, the three of us are back here sweating it out in the still hot and muggy Arizona, Carlsbad is still cool and beautiful and strawberries are still cheap and on sale in the markets this weekend.

It’s going to take another month or more for our weather to be as pleasant as California’s but the strawberries will not be around that long! So if you want to make this salad, the time is NOW!

This is the ad from Safeway this week.. it ends on Tuesday… just saying.

 

Strawberry Caprese Salad

  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 package cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 large or 2 small firm ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1 cup torn fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Balsamic glaze

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September 8, 2017   1 Comment

cool and crisp

This refreshing salad is the perfect counterpoint and complement to the Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai – posted last week. It is best served cold from the refrigerator.

My family enjoys and can tolerate quite a bit of heat and spice in our food. I thinly slice the jalapeño pepper for this dish, but it can also be finely minced for those who like things toned down a bit. I give directions for both methods; you decide which suits your taste.

Prep the salad and the dressing hours ahead and then dress it just before you heat up the wok for the pad Thai and your meal will come together in a snap.

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September 6, 2017   No Comments

watermelon obsession

I’m sure I am not the only one. Honestly, I pray I’m not the only one! I often go though periods of time where I am obsessed with one specific food. I’m not talking about a craving, but rather a true obsession. Watermelon is my current object of complete focus and desire. I can’t get enough of it.

Maybe it’s this never-ending heat and the need to cool down. Perhaps I’m dehydrated and I’m using watermelon to refill and refuel my bodily fluids. Or could it be that watermelon is just so dang satisfying and delicious? Whatever it is, I confess that I’ve eaten two whole seedless watermelons in the last 3 days! I didn’t share them with anyone else, they were consumed by me alone. And I’m not talking about the sweet little baby-size individual watermelons, I’m talking about the 5 to 7-pound medium-size seedless watermelons.

Mostly, I ate them “straight up” but the other evening, I made dinner out of them by throwing together this simple salad, a copy-cat recipe of my favorite summer salad at True Food Kitchen.

At TFK, the salad is served with feta cheese. Earlier this summer I made it with fresh ricotta cheese and it was stellar! Since feta is easier to find and what I had on hand, I used it.

I’m not providing quantities for the recipe, make as little or as much as needed. Feed yourself or feed a crowd.

*Be sure watermelon is cold and the tomatoes are room temperature.

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September 1, 2017   7 Comments