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salting beef


When I have the time, I like to salt my beef and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking. If I have even more time (and remember – that’s really the hard part – remembering!) I prefer to salt it overnight.

You may have heard or been taught to not salt beef until just before cooking. That can be true too.  I know, it’s so contradictory and confusing. Instead of trying to explain it myself, I am going to direct you to THIS ARTICLE, which explains the science of it perfectly, and also tells you what NOT to do when salting beef.

This is good information, don’t be lazy, be sure to check it out!


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March 16, 2013   No Comments

poach, blanch, roast


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.

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March 14, 2013   2 Comments

so far away…

Grande Palace

My baby girl, Marissa, is 8,530 miles away from home. She and her boyfriend, Jeff, are in Bangkok, Thailand today and tomorrow. Then they’ll travel to the beaches of Phuket or Patong (I can not remember which) for a week of fun in the sun before heading back to their foggy homes in San Francisco.

beach thailand

I’m very excited for her and wee bit nervous, all at the same time. It’s not as if she hasn’t traveled abroad before. She studied in Paris, France for five months during her sophomore year in college… and she went alone that time.

I guess the difference is that I had been to Paris many times myself before she went, but I’ve never been to Thailand. Heck, I’ve never been to Asia. So, I suppose it’s just a touch of worry of the unknown.

Jeff is wonderful and protective of her, they’re both supremely intelligent people, they’ll be fine!  There, I talked myself into being just fine too! Thanks for listening!

portobello with kale

Let’s get to the recipes for Day 6 of Week One of the “Detox Cuisine” Cleanse. The only new recipe today is another juice for breakfast. Once again, you’ll need a juice extractor to make it.

green lemon ingr

The only change I made to this recipe was to increase the lemon from 1/2 lemon to one whole lemon. As you know, I love lemon, so be sure to taste before doing the same.

Tomorrow, the seventh and final day of Week One, all of the meals are repeats. I’ll be sharing with you the snacks allowed and their respective recipes, along with my thoughts on Week One of the cleanse.

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February 9, 2013   No Comments

technology vs. preserved Meyer lemons


Along with the candied lemon slices from yesterday, I also put up five large Mason jars of preserved Meyer lemons. You can find the recipe HERE.


I hadn’t planned on making preserved lemons on this particular day, but since I was “being held captive by my technology” – I decided to make good use of my time.

The problem was with our TiVo. It decided to quit communicating with our router and wireless network. Or maybe it was the router and the wireless network that decided it no longer want to play nice with our TiVo.

Either way, it wasted a full 6 hours of my day.

I’ve always gotten wonderful customer service and tech support from TiVo. My luck may have run out on that.

The tech saga began at 2:20 PM on Martin Luther King Day. I use my computer to log into Tivo Support Online and entered into a chat with a technician named Natalie.  Natalie had me do all sorts of shut downs, unplugging, replugging, and restarting of my TiVo and of my router.

After 20 minutes of it, I realized that I would need to multi-task and take on another project, in-between our communications, to prevent me from going mad.


So I grabbed a cookie sheet, a cutting board, a knife, a bowl, some paper towels, and a bunch of Meyer lemons. I worked on this while simultaneously working on my technical issues with Natalie.


At one point, and I’m not making this up, this was our chat:

Natalie: OK Linda, unplug the Ethernet cord from the back of the TiVo box and while it resets, go and get a paperclip.

Linda: OK MacGyver, the cord is unplugged, I’ll go get a paperclip.

Natalie: LOL, “MacGyver,” you are too funny!

Linda: Natalie, I’m back with the paperclip, I assume you want me to unfold it and stick the end into some small hole somewhere.  Might I need some Silly Putty and a shoelace too?

Natalie: Now who’s Ms. MacGyver? No, just the paperclip will do. Yes, unfold it and stick it in the small hole on the bottom of the TiVo wireless adapter, then plug the Ethernet back in and tell me what happens.

Linda: Done and done. Nothing has happened. Are you certain I don’t need a wadded up piece of gum or something to make this damn thing work?!?

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January 29, 2013   5 Comments

candied lemons

Meyer lemon bunch

Nearly all of my Meyer lemon crop has been juiced out.  I saved a few to candy.

chocolate dipped meyer lemon slice

Candied Meyer lemon, as well as regular lemon, slices are lovey as a garnish on dessert plates and delicious when added to salads, either whole or chopped. The slices are a sweet tangy treat on their own or dipped in chocolate.  They would be a lovely hostess gift, packed in a small Mason jar.

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January 28, 2013   2 Comments

lemon pizza?

The idea for this pizza came from the Corkscrew Cafe in Carmel Valley, California.

I’ve never been there. I  have never had their pizza, but as you well know, I have Meyer lemons… so it is this pizza that I made!

Meyer Lemon Pizza

I read the description on the menu, and the plethora of raves about it on Yelp, and I came up with my own Meyer Lemon Pizza.

Are you worried that you may not like this pizza because of the full lemon slices on there? Peel and all! Please don’t be. Meyer lemon peel is thinner and sweeter and it is delicious!

In addition, just yesterday, my friend, Amy (Amy’s Famous Taco Soup) sent me an email with all kinds of amazing information about lemon peels.

Did you know that lemon peels contain as much as 10 times more vitamins than the lemon juice itself? Lemon peels eradicate toxic elements in the body. The peel is an antimicrobial agent that fights against bacterial infections and fungi, effective against internal parasites and worms, it regulates blood pressure, and is an antidepressant, combats stress and nervous disorders. And according to the email Amy sent me, lemon kills cancer cells and is 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy.

Now, I haven’t done an ounce of research to back up any of the information in that email, it could be “internet truth.”  But if even 1/10th of that is true… well get out there and eat your lemons, peels and all… and start with this pizza!

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January 23, 2013   2 Comments

lemon curd cake

lemon curd yogurt crumb cake not much left

This is the dessert I made with that microwave lemon curd I posted yesterday. The recipe said to serve it warm or at room temperature. I served it warm. That was a mistake.

I had a piece the next morning (yes, for breakfast – don’t judge!) that was at room temperature –

So. Much. Better.
Do not serve it warm!

As with the curd, this recipe comes from the February issue of Southern Living. I only altered it slightly; using Meyer lemons instead of regular lemons, honey yogurt instead of plain, and adding a bit of garnish.

lemon curd yogurt crumb cake slice

The one other change I’ll make, when I make it next time, is to cut the crumb topping in half. Not that it was overwhelming or that it was not wonderful, just to cut down on the fat and calories. It’s just that half a stick of butter seems like a better bet than a full stick when you can do with less, you know?

If you love lemon, lemon curd, lemon bars… yeah, any sort of lemony-goodness, you’ll love this. It’s a keeper!

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January 20, 2013   1 Comment

a dinner party story

Earlier this week I told you that we were having, Karen, my long-time friend, who was a bridesmaid in our wedding, and her husband, Bob, over for dinner on Friday night.

As of Thursday night, I had not a clue what I’d make for dinner the next evening. I wasn’t too worried, I knew I’d figure out something, so I went to bed.

In the wee hours, the house phone rang.

That really is the worst thing, isn’t it? Nothing good can come of that, no good phone calls occur at 3:53 AM!

I rolled over, grabbed the phone and looked, through very blurry eyes, at the caller ID.  “Starnetpaetec” is what it read. I immediately pressed “Talk” and then “End” and said a choice curse word or two.

Starnetpaetec, whoever you are, what the heck? It’s 3:53 AM, what could you possibly think you could sell me at that hour?!?

Thank you for ending my much needed sleep for the night.  Yep, that was it. For the next hour, try as I might, I was not able to fall asleep, too many aches and pains in my leg prevented it. Finally, I relented and decided to get in the Jacuzzi tub to relieve the pain.

And that is where and when I came up with my menu and shopping list for the dinner party that was, by now, only 12 hours away.

I love to read books or peruse magazines in the tub. I had a stack there already and pieced together the menu from the February issues of Food & Wine, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Today’s recipe comes from Southern Living.

Southern Living 2-13

On the cover this month, there is a gorgeous Lemon Bar Cheesecake.

Lemon! Yay! Inside, there are several recipes using lemon curd to make different desserts. Lemon Curd! Triple YAY!

The thing is, there was a new way of making the lemon curd that intrigued me. Using the microwave. I was curious as to just how that would turn out as compared with the usual stove-top method.  Turns out, pretty darn well.

Personally, I will probably use the standard method from here on out, because I found having to go to the microwave every minute, and then every 30 seconds, to stir it, more annoying than just standing there and stirring constantly, as you usually do. That could be attributed to the fact that I’m a bit ADD and find it difficult to keep track of all those time intervals.

post it

Need proof of that? I had to put a Post-it note on the microwave to keep track of the times I stirred it.

5 minutes and 90 seconds

Seriously! If I didn’t do this, God only knows how many times I would have cooked and stirred this for 1 minute, could have been 4 or 10 – most certainly not the correct amount!

But, if you’ve been afraid to try making lemon curd before, stop being afraid and make this recipe. It works perfectly and you’ll finally have homemade lemon curd you can be proud of!

The rest of the recipes from the dinner will be posted throughout the week to come, including the dessert I used this curd for.

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January 19, 2013   No Comments

meyer lemon pasta

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.

meyer lemon pasta in trifle bowl

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.

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January 17, 2013   2 Comments


1 pound muffins

It doesn’t make sense that this recipe did not appear on my blog long ago.

I developed it back in the late 1990’s and it was published in “Reflections Under the Sun: The Brightest Collection of the Best Recipes from the Junior League of Phoenix” in 1999.

I remember being so pleased when the JLP requested a recipe from me. I hadn’t been a member for a couple of years by then.

I had become a member in 1992, back when the previous cookbook was being published, joining too late to participate in that project.

white pitchers

Anyhow, everyone loves these muffins. We often make them for our graduation luncheon during summer cooking classes with the teens and there is never a crumb left. How they have been so elusive and not yet appeared here, is beyond me.  Make a batch now and thank me later!

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January 13, 2013   1 Comment