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Posts from — January 2011

mission impossible

About two weeks ago I told you that I was on a “special, highly covert, high-security assignment” for The Arizona Republic. Well, today is the day that the result is appearing as the cover story of the Food section. You may recall that the assignment was to develop recipes using Hamburger Helper. I have to admit that when Karen Fernau, the Food editor, called me and asked if I’d develop recipes for the cover, I was excited as could be. Then as she continued and told me exactly what it entailed, I was disappointed and – well, honestly – disgusted! Eww! But after diving into the task at hand, I have to say, I found it seriously challenging and that made it fun! Surprising all around! Here is one of the three recipes that I developed, with a couple more pictures than you’ll get from the newspaper. It was voted the family favorite in our house. And here is THE LINK to the full story and the other two recipes.

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January 19, 2011   No Comments

Citrus-y Goodness

This salad is so good and so pretty, you should not pass it by! Especially if you have a freezer full of citrus juice. If you need a refresher course on how to section citrus, click on the links in the ingredient list and it will take you there. Ditto for the citrus sugar, although regular granulated sugar may be used, the citrus sugar gives it an extra kick.

Oops, almost forgot to tell you… I’ll be on NBC Channel 12 Valley Dish tomorrow with Tram Mai, celebrating the show’s 1 year anniversary. Tune in or Tivo it, like I do, at 3:30.

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January 18, 2011   3 Comments

orangey and creamy

It may be too cold outside to have an actual Creamsicle, but it’s always the right time for an orangesicle smoothie! And as you can see by the picture below, I’m utilizing my frozen cubes of orange juice and orange zest.

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January 17, 2011   No Comments

mussles, beer, and bread

Last week, I spoke about my love for the mussels at Tarbell’s Restaurant. Well, I haven’t been able to get them off my mind since, so that means only one thing… make some! This recipe is adapted very slightly from Mark Tarbell’s recipe on his website.

There can be one little itty bitty problem with mussels (bivalvia mollusca) and their cousin, clams. The grit and sand sometimes found inside can ruin an otherwise perfect meal. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There is an easy way to get the mussels to give up their sand.

You just dissolve about 1/4 cup salt in a large bowl or pot filled with cold tap water and add the mussels and enough cold water to cover them. Then sprinkle with cornmeal. Soak for 2 hours or overnight, uncovered, in the refrigerator. The mussels will actually take in the cornmeal and expel the grit or sand. Before using, rinse the mussels and scrub if scruffy-looking, and snip off the “beards” (dark threads) with scissors. If mussels have opened slightly before cooking, tap the shell. They should snap shut. Discard any mussels that don’t pass the tap test, as well as any that fail to open during cooking. And be sure to have plenty of warm and toasty bread to soak up all the delicious juices!

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January 15, 2011   1 Comment

stealers and givers

So, you know how I’m smack-dab in the center of celebrating my self-proclaimed holiday, citruspalooza? Well, the Chicago Tribune has completely ripped off my idea and ran a whole article about citrus on the cover of their food section today! What the heck is up with that!? Granted, their story is all about weird and exotic citrus, some of which I’ve never heard of before. Buddha’s Hand, Finger Limes, Cara Cara Oranges, and more. You can check out portions of the article at THIS LINK.

And speaking of Chicago, I want to share one of the many fabulous salad recipes from my BFF, Jen, who lives in Illinois. The girl is a wiz at cranking out quick, easy, and delicious salads in a snap. This is one of my favorites she has made for our family. Jen uses a bottled dressing she can find locally that is put out by Maggiano’s Little Italy Restaurant. We do have a Maggiano’s Restaurant on the corner of Scottsdale Road and 71st Street, but I am not certain if they sell the bottled dressing in the restaurant or not, or even if you can find it locally at your grocery store. So just in case, I’ve included a homemade version at the bottom of the recipe.

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January 13, 2011   2 Comments

these are a few of my favorite things…

OK, if you read this blog regularly, then you already know that I love citrus and specifically, lemon. Even if you’ve only been reading since the beginning of the year, you know that we are in the middle of citruspalooza, not it has been very evident, since I haven’t posted very many recipes yet, but they are coming… here is one to kick things off. Lemon Bars! Yep, another recipe on this blog for lemon bars. There are at least two other recipes already here, so why put up another? Well, because lemon bars are one of my favorite things in the world and because this is the easiest lemon bar recipe in the universe. So easy that it is Connor you see making and then eating the bars!

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January 11, 2011   4 Comments


I’ve made these sliders so many times in the past couple of weeks, that I’m afraid they’ve worn out their welcome. When I first made them, all family members were clamoring for more. So I made them again and everyone raved. After FINALLY freeing the house of all things “Christmas” yesterday, I served them again, and this time… the response was barely lukewarm. Oh well, onward and upward.

Give them at try, at least once, I’m sure your family will be delighted. BTW, the reason for the odd amount  (1 1/4 pounds) of ground turkey – is that is what our grocery stores sell as package size, but if you find a 1 pound package, that is fine too. And the buns that I find most readily available are of the King’s Hawaiian Bread variety. I kinda like the sweetness of the bread against the spiciness of the chipotle. Perfect yin-yang.

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January 10, 2011   1 Comment

a day in the life… with an angel, citrus, and pizza

Friday, January 7, 2011

7:30 AM – Awake, shower, dress, eat breakfast and put up a blog post for the day.

9:40 AM – Open email and find this gem:

Happy New Year Linda!
Been following your blog and your bumper crop of citrus. I bought an ACME years ago when our landscape included many prolific citrus trees. It juices at lightning speed! Would you like to borrow mine? Let me know and I’ll drop it by ; )

9:43 AM – Immediately Reply:

Oh, Jeanie, you are a lifesaver! YES, a thousand times, YES! Thank you so much, I was actually thinking of putting out a neighborhood search for a juicer I could borrow. I’ll have to show you the one I have, you will die laughing when you see it! Thank you! xoxo

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January 8, 2011   2 Comments


Before we dive into our citruspalooza (citruspalooza is defined by days upon days of citrus-related recipes) I have to give a huge shout-out, muchas gracias, kisses and hugs, and a big bowl of thanks to Tarbell’s Restaurant. Mark Tarbell and I have been friends for the last 20 years, and he is a wonderful friend to have! I first got to know and love Mark when he hosted an incredible trip to Napa Valley when we were both board members of the now-defunct American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF). Way back then, Mark was the F&B Manager of The Boulders in Carefree, AZ.   In 1994 he ventured out and opened his namesake restaurant at 32nd Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix. He also now has three additional restaurants in Colorado.
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January 7, 2011   2 Comments

2 for the price of 1

Did you make the margaritas yet from yesterday’s post? If so, then you still have left about 1/4 cup of the 1/4 cup citrus sugar you made to “salt” the rims of the glasses. Do Not Throw That Out!

Today, you are getting two recipes for the price of one. And since that price is Free, it’s like winning the trifecta! You can use your citrus sugar to flavor tea, make a sugar syrup for more cocktails or desserts, or substitute for regular sugar while baking (which we will be doing in the coming days.)

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January 6, 2011   No Comments