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Posts from — September 2010

short rib bites

I am working to perfect an appetizer recipe using precooked and prepackaged short ribs for my upcoming classes at Les Gourmettes Cooking School. I’ve found two different varieties of these convenient and lovely ribs at Costco.

The recipe I’m working on uses shredded meat along with a crunchy Dijon apple slaw inside mini polenta cups. I haven’t been able to get it just right as of yet, but I’ve been playing with the rib meat on some other tasty items. Here you’ll find one of the new quick creations – short rib quesadillas.

My series of three adult classes at Les Gourmettes begin on Tuesday evening, November 16th. We skip Thanksgiving week, resume on November 30th, and finish up on December 7th.  There are only 16 slots available, so if you are interested just let me know and I’ll email you the menus, (Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Buffet, and New Year’s Eve Cocktail Party) schedule, and registration form.

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September 19, 2010   No Comments

new job

I bought these pretty peaches at my pretty daughter’s request… 4 days ago. Since she hasn’t eaten even one peach yet, time to do something with them, at least a couple anyhow. Turns out Marissa has a good excuse though, she hasn’t been home much, because she has a new job. Not the big “career” job she’s still searching for, but a paying job, all the same. 

So, if you go the California Pizza Kitchen near Scottsdale and Shea, ask to be seated at her table, I’m sure she’ll take good care of you!

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September 18, 2010   No Comments


A happy coincidence, meant to be, just by chance, lucky, a fluke, a quirk, or a twist of fate… whatever you call it, I like it! And I love that word, happenstance, awesome word! What, by chance, was the fateful occasion for me?

I had about 1/2 head each of green and orange cauliflower from the Colorful Cauliflower Purées of 5 days ago and was trying to decide what to do with it. Of course, I could just make a vegetable side dish or purée and freeze it for later use, but that felt mundane. I was leaning toward cauliflower soup, but it’s so dang hot outside. Instead of pondering it any longer, I decided to waste time on Facebook and, as luck would have it, there staring me in the eye was a recipe for a frittata using cauliflower, delivered directly to my home page from my Facebook friend, Food & Wine! Problem solved, and proof that perusing Facebook isn’t always a waste of time.

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September 17, 2010   2 Comments

culinary heroes

Who are your culinary heroes? I have several; Julia Child, of course, and Jacques Pépin to name only two. Then there is my friend and mentor, Barbara Fenzl.

Another is Alice Waters, the owner of the world-renowned Berkeley, California restaurant, Chez Panisse. Ms. Waters opened Chez Panisse in 1971 when she was only 27 years old. Since that time it has become one of the most awarded restaurants in the world and she has been cited as the most influential culinary person in the past 50 years and is considered the mother of American food. Add to that the fact that Ms. Waters has been a leading proponent of the local and the organic food movements for more than 40 years, long before you could find organic produce in just about every grocery store. Before I go on, please know that the picture above of Alice Waters is not how she typically dresses, she is innovative, but not necessarily eccentric! The photo is her Halloween costume at a 2008 benefit at which she was honored for her amazing works.

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September 16, 2010   4 Comments

cookie dough monster

If this post (hard to call it a recipe) doesn’t fall into the Easy-Breezy category, I don’t know what does! Here’s the back story; a few weeks before Connor left for his sophomore year at NAU, he bravely went with me to Costco and requested the purchase of cookie dough. I faltered and bought it for him. Upon our arrival home, we unpacked and I placed the 5-pound tub in the freezer. There it sat until yesterday when once again I was unpacking from a Costco trip and couldn’t fit another thing in the freezer due to that enormous tub. Both Marissa and Connor actually like to eat the dough more than the baked cookies, but the tub had to go! Instead of just baking up 5 dozen regular chocolate chip cookies, I added various mix-ins. Don’t fret Connor, I will be bringing several dozen up to you in a couple of weeks. [Read more →]

September 15, 2010   3 Comments

fancy mac and we have a winner!

Marissa used her impartial hand to pick the name out of the salad bowl and … the winner of the Paradise Bakery gift card is… Sharon Cereska. Congratulations, Sharon! I shall send out your gift card in the mail today. OK, in all honesty, it will be tomorrow. A big thank you to all who commented on Wednesday’s post and thank you for sharing your favorite sandwich with me, all of them sounded terrific!

I have a new addiction. It’s called One Kings Lane and it is an online deep discount sales sight. New items go up every day at 11 AM Eastern Daylight Time and things go fast. That’s 8 AM Arizona time, so I have an alarm set on the cell that alerts me to get online and see what is offered. Last month, they began putting up food items on Sundays. On one glorious Sunday they had live lobsters and lobster tails… needless to say, had to have some. Four gigantic tails (a whopping 20 ounces each!) arrived two days later in all their dry-ice-packed glory. Since there are only three of us at home currently, one of the tails was steamed and cut up for this decadent dish. If you are local, I did notice that Fry’s has lobster tails on sale through tomorrow, so if you’re tempted, go get one and enjoy! It is rather difficult to find 20-ounce lobster tails (at least here in the desert, it is), so I have you using two 10-ounce tails. Basically, the rule of thumb is to steam tails 1 minute per ounce. For this recipe, it is important to undercook them a bit since they will cook further when baking in the macaroni. Be sure and keep that in mind if your tails are a little lighter or heavier.

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September 13, 2010   4 Comments

green and orange

Green is one of my two favorite colors, blue is the other. When asked, the majority of Americans will state that their favorite color is blue. But I digress, there is no blue in the recipe, just green and orange. And that second color, orange, is my least favorite color. Not that it matters, just saying…

When I saw the striking orange and green heads of cauliflower at the market, I had to have them. I then cooked and puréed each to the consistency of baby food, and used them as the bed for a light and lovely fish fillet. Broccoli, fennel, celery root, potato, sweet potato, and such, may be used in the same manner, so don’t fret if you can’t find these colorful cauliflower orbs!

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September 12, 2010   1 Comment

pause to remember

Please hang your flag today in remembrance and honor of the thousands of victims and heroes of that horrific day nine years ago, and each day since, who have sacrificed to serve our country. God Bless America!


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September 11, 2010   No Comments

La Ville-Lumière

Paris – “The City of Lights” 

The nickname was first attached to Paris because it was a center of education and ideas during the Age of Enlightenment and then later due to its early adoption of street lighting in the late 1800’s. The city is laid out in twenty clockwise-spiraling arrondissements (municipal boroughs) so it’s actually quite simple to navigate. A trick to remember; the last two digits of the postal/zip code are the arrondissement your address is in.

My friend, Kim Howard, will be going to Paris soon and asked for the names of places where we like to stay and dine. I had put this list together for a student after we last visited in 2008. Of course, there are wonderful links to all sorts of Paris/France websites and blogs over there on the right-hand side of the page under “French Stuff I Love.” After this recipe  –  my rendition of hot chocolat from Angelina’s, you will find some of our family’s must-see and must-do Parisian treasures. And if you love Paris as we do, please leave a comment (with links, if possible) with your favorites!

Le Chocolat à L’Ancienne dit “L’Africain”

(literally, “hot chocolate once called African”)

3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons powdered sugar
4 ounces finely chopped 72% bittersweet chocolate
(such as E. Guittard 72% Bittersweet)
Cold fresh whipped cream

Combine milk, heavy cream, and powdered sugar in a heavy saucepan and place over medium-high heat until bubbles appear around the edges of the pan.

Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted. Return to low heat, if needed, to melt the chocolate completely.

Serve topped with whipped cream.

Serves 1

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September 10, 2010   5 Comments

Menus – new page added

A new page has been added on the top left side of this blog… it’s called Menu Ideas. Reader, Emily, suggested a menu page. Actually, what she was looking for was for me to “… create a menu for a month using the recipes you have posted so far.” Now, that is going to take me a while. Since I’m generally just posting one recipe a day, there isn’t really enough up here thus far for a complete meal each day for a month. Not everything really goes together with that tightly, although I do understand what Emily is looking for.  As she said in her email to me, “… for people like me, any assistance with meal planning is enormous! I’m the type who needs to follow a recipe. I can’t just look in the fridge and come up with a meal. In other words, I need all the help I can get!”

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September 9, 2010   5 Comments