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Thanksgiving and some tips

I know that I’ve been a slacker when it comes to posting lately. Things are finally getting back to normal around here and to be honest, I’m just enjoying the calmer feeling.

entry

With Thanksgiving two days away, I’m loving focusing all my time and attention on the big day. Next week, I’ll return to blogging on a more regular basis.

recipe-index

In the meantime, I want to remind you about the Complete Recipe Index, over there on the top left. Click on it, scroll to “Holidays” and click again. Then, scroll down to “Thanksgiving.” It is there that you will find over 45 recipes for not only the feast but also recipes using the leftovers after Turkey Day.

Lastly, I want to share with you a few video segments I filmed with my friend and 12News anchor, Tram Mai. They are part of a “how to” series the station has run. Some are in my cooking and entertaining wheelhouse, a couple of the others, um … not so much, but I gave it a good college try. What I think will prove to be my favorite segment, “Setting a Proper Table” will air on Thanksgiving morning, I’ll post a link, after it airs.

pickles

Homemade Pickles

grill-pizza

Grilled Pizza

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November 22, 2016   1 Comment

careening out of control

You know that feeling when you are, or you think you are about to, fall down a flight of stairs?

That “heart-pounding, can’t catch your breath, your world is spinning completely out of your control” feeling.

Yeah, that pretty sums up how I’ve felt for the last two weeks. I’d say since my birthday, things have felt like they are constantly getting away from me and I’ll never catch up.

fall-festival-truck

For instance, my birthday was Thursday the 27th, on Sunday the 30th, we had our neighborhood Fall Festival. I was in charge of it. I was in charge of it two years ago too but it didn’t feel like as big a job as it was this time. Granted, my committee was larger and more available in 2014, but this year it felt like a two-woman-show when it should have been a ten-woman-production. I worked for weeks leading up to it and for 16 straight hours on the day of.

nail-drama

As if being bone-tired wasn’t bad enough, I tore, chipped and cracked three fingernails of my 2-day-old, absolutely perfect, best-ever manicure! The photo shows the left hand before and after with the index fingernail ripped clean off. On the right hand, if you look close, you can see the tear in the middle finger and by the end of the day, the ring finger was broken off too.

zz

The next morning, Halloween, I was up with the sun to get everything “Festival-related” cleaned up and put away and get ready for our traditional Halloween pizza-grilling festivities. Trick-or-treating with Zak and Zoey was so much fun!

calendar

My continuing birthday-celebration-mode complicated things further, as I had lunch and dinner dates still lined up the week after. Not that I’m complaining! I am not! I’m touched and love being loved by my friends and family, but this year, the timing took its toll. Yes, that is a screenshot of my calendar for the week. It may be too small to read, but you get the idea.

class

The next day was the first night of my 3-week cooking classes at Les Gourmettes. Shopping, prepping and teaching occupied all hours from dusk to dawn on Tuesday.

vote

Add to that, on Thursday morning, Connor and I went to take part in early-voting and waited for 2 hours! I don’t have time to sit for 2 hours! But we did and we voted.

The one thing that had weighed especially heavy on me was a charity dinner I was cooking for guests at the Frank Lloyd Wright Price House on Saturday night. It was five courses; a signature cocktail, 3 appetizers, soup, salad, main course with two sides and dessert for a total of 10 recipes, most of which had three components to each dish. For instance, the dessert was a bread pudding with sautéed apples and crème anglaise and the soup had an avocado cream garnish and cheese puffs. Thankfully, my friend and colleague, Kim Howard spent a good part of the morning in the kitchen with me. Thank you, Kim!

flw-door

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November 7, 2016   7 Comments

Afternoon at the Farm

wine-bar

Tomorrow is the drawing for the Free Cooking Classes, so be sure to get your comments in today!

shaddy-spot

In the meantime, I have some delicious photos from Sunday’s Les Dames d’Escoffier “Afternoon at the Farm: Cultivating Culinarians” fundraising event to share with you.

cocktail-hour

Hopefully, you’ve eaten before you see this because if not, it will have you drooling and running for the refrigerator!

tables

Some of the photos are mine, some are lifted from Facebook and all the food photos from the sit-down portion of the afternoon were taken by Chef Stacey Schulz-McDevitt, who flew in from NYC to cook at the event. Thank you Stacey for allowing me to share them here!

swag

I’ll put up the photos of the dishes in the order they are listed on the menu below. I’ll post portions of menu as we go to help you keep track and identify the dishes and the talented women who made them.

full-menu

Be ready to be amazed! Here we go…

cocktail-time

salmon-cake

lamb

cantaloupe-soup

cheddar

pancake

salsa-st

Those were just the hor d’oeuvres … and the salsa station, above, wasn’t even listed on the menu. Each of the stations was accompanied by a different margarita and all the food for this portion of the afternoon was cooked and served by the students of C-CAP Arizona.

table

Now time for the sit-down, family-style lunch which was cooked on site by some of the most talented and generous female chefs in Arizona.

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October 25, 2016   4 Comments

Free Cooking Classes!!!

It’s contest time!

win-class

To be entered to win a free cooking class, all you need to do is leave a comment on ANY post on this entire site. You can leave a comment on a recipe you’ve made. Or one you want to try. Or on a party theme you’ve enjoyed. Or on this very post. You can say whatever you want.  “This is great!” or “I want to win.” or “Come on pick me, I never win anything!”

Here is the low-down:

You are entering to win one of four (1 of 4) spots in an evening class that I teach at Les Gourmettes Cooking School.

It would probably be best if you actually lived in the Phoenix area, since that’s where the classes are held … because airfare and lodging are not included. 🙂

Classes are demonstration, they begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. At the end of the cooking demo, we move to the dining room to enjoy the meal prepared in class. The classes are held at:

Les Gourmettes Cooking School
6610 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85012

mixers

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October 21, 2016   15 Comments

Les Dames d’ Escoffier International

I’ve been out of the practice of blogging over the weekend for quite some time now.

Today is an exception because I want to invite you to something wonderful!

invite

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October 15, 2016   1 Comment

Travel Tuesday

I know it was just one week ago that I said I wasn’t going to continue with the Travel Tuesday feature, but I forgot about something I promised to report back on.

carry on cocktail kit

Nearly three months ago, when I was about to board our flight to Europe, I wrote about these adorable carry on cocktail kits.

Well, I’m here to report that they were as adorable and fun as expected, with one exception. Let’s just say that there was a Lime Situation. More on that later.

old

The first cocktail I made in-flight was the Old Fashioned.

old-fashioned

I “procured” our mini-bottles of alcohol from the complementary stash in our room on the cruise.

old fashion recipe

So all I need to ask the flight attendant for was a cup of ice and another empty cup.

old-fashioned

The drink was fun, easy to make and ever so refreshing.

old-fashioned-cocktail

Seriously delightful!

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October 4, 2016   No Comments

thank you notes and an upgrade

So many people to thank, so little time.

thank-you

First, I want to thank you all for the comments and encouragement on my new venture, Miscellany Shed. It took less than 24 hours for the Miscellany Shed Facebook page to get 100 likes and that is in big thanks to these lovelies for sharing, posting, tweeting and inviting others to like the page: Marissa Sandell, Tram Mai, Beverly Bertrand, Sloane Hansen, Whitney Cody, Sydney Wigle, Amy Kilpatrick, Lisa James and Cyndi Greening. You are all amazing and wonderful friends and I can’t really thank you enough.

Speaking of someone I can’t thank enough, at the very tippy-top of that long list is Cyndi Greening. Cyndi is the “Blogmaster” who set up this very site for me back in 2009. She has been my dear friend since we worked together on the Beach Balls for Phoenix Children’s Hospital in the mid 90’s. Cyndi taught me how to use my first desktop personal computer, the first computer we had in our home. I know, hard and strange to remember NOT having a computer. Flying Toasters, anyone?

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September 19, 2016   2 Comments

SUPER market and flap steak

Kim and Barb

At the beginning of June, Kim, Barb and I took a field trip to the new AZ International Marketplace on the corner of Dobson and Broadway Roads in Mesa.

flap steak

I meant to blog about it back then, but then … I didn’t. When I was making room in my freezer to freeze the rosé wine for the Frozé cocktail, I came across a package of flap steak (also known as Bavette steak) that I bought at the Marketplace. No better time than the present to cook up the beef and blog about the store.

mushrooms

When I go shopping to check a new place, mainly when it’s far out of my neighborhood, I call it a Field Trip. This was an especially good one! There were plenty of the things you would expect to find. Such as shelves upon shelves of dried mushrooms.

noodles

Aisles upon aisles of noodles, rice sticks, rice paper and the like.

interesting

And of course, many interesting finds – “Hello Kitty” seaweed anyone? (Oh, and we’ll be talking about that popcorn later, believe you me!!!)

laxitive cookies sweets

There were sweets of every variety, plus corn starch in lovely old-fashion boxes and even cooler looking boxes of psyllium husk. Love the packaging on that, even though I had no clue what it was used for. Turns out it’s a laxative. Well then, there you go!

dragon fruit and rambutan

The produce department was the most fun!

banana

So many exotic and tropical items to temp you.

jackfruit

Kim and I were extra excited about the jackfruit. Some of them are triple the size of your head! No joke! What to do with all that jackfruit? I have no idea. Before I go back, I’m going to figure it out and buy one. For sure.

full cart

Not to worry, I still filled up my cart. Here is what I brought home on this first trip.

coconut milk water

A wide range of coconut waters and milks. Some are roasted, others have pulp, all were delish.

scmilk, fish sauce milk tea

A can of sweetened condensed milk with a pretty label, fish sauce in a smaller bottle than you’ll usually find and three interesting drinks; Korean ginseng drink with root, royal milk tea and macadamia nut iced coffee. Thus far, I’ve only tried the milk tea. It was good and how cute is that blue can?!?

fun stuff

Cool triangular-shaped rice paper, Chinese honey in a sweet little glass, chrysanthemum drink, super cheap thin white candles, candied ginger and three pretty little boxes of ginger candies. I haven’t tried the chrysanthemum drink yet, I haven’t been brave enough. The candies are good though. 😉

curry and coffee

Two flavors of sardines (for my dad) a lovely can of Café du Monte coffee, a large tin of Madras curry powder, Korean BBQ sauce, green and red curry paste and sweet chilli sauce. One can never have too much sweet chilli sauce!

common

An inexpensive jar of tahini, garlic hoisin sauce, extra-thick noodles and panko.

sriracha popcorn

Next up: A cheap hat for yard work and the pool, a cool “ice stick” ice tray (which I used along with the candied ginger for THESE Peach Mules) and the very best thing that I bought – SRIRACHA POPCORN!  It is amazing! I can’t wait to go back and buy a case of it! Seriously addicting! A case may not be enough! I may go out there this week since now I can’t stop thinking about the popcorn!!! Anyone want to take a field trip with me?

dumplings and flap steak

Finally, the last tray displaying my purchases; frozen dumplings and pork buns. These were nothing special, I’ve found similar items at Trader Joe’s and they were about the same. And the flap steak.

Here is a great recipe for flap steak. I did not create it, it comes from one of my all-time favorite chefs and cooking teachers, John Ash.

john ash flap steak

Chef John Ash’s Grilled Flap Steak

  • 2 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 pounds flap steak, trimmed of fat

flap marinade

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August 24, 2016   9 Comments

We have our WINNERS!

Thank you to everyone who participated and left comments for the 7th Blogiversary.

My special guests arrived yesterday morning to draw the winning names out of the saucepan. I made two videos, one for the Grand Prize Winner and the other for the Seven Individual Cookbook Winners. Unfortunately both videos were too large to post here and I have not idea how to fix that, so I’ve posted them to YouTube. They are fun, so be sure to click on the links and watch.

tram ZZ

The special guests were Tram and her sweet twins, Zoey and Zak.

We’ll begin with the Grand Prize Winner drawing.

The eligible contestants are: Amy K., Nancy B., Amy G. and Sheila C.

zoey

Please click on THIS LINK to watch the drawing and discover who won.

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August 19, 2016   6 Comments

Happy 7th Blogiversary to me!

Incredible! This blog is 7 years old! Last year, on the 6th Blogiversary, I was on a “wedding break” so I missed that celebration. That means that this year we need to go all out!

7th blogiversary

As such, there will be Seven Individual Prizes and One Super Cool Grand Prize.

Before I explain how to enter and what exactly it is that you can win – a little history.

figure tape holder

Two and a half years ago, I posted THIS… all about how I cleaned out and reclaimed a large part of the kids’ playroom upstairs as my new craft room. At the time, Connor still lived here, so about half of the room had his stuff in it. Three months after the reclamation, Marissa and Jeff got engaged.

wedding

Photo

Slowly but surly the room became the dump-room for all things bridal shower, wedding and after-wedding brunch related. In other-words, I trashed it.

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Related Posts with Thumbnails

August 16, 2016   16 Comments