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Posts from — March 2011

Spring… where for art thou?

I know… when the temps start rising, I start complaining! But I’m pretty certain it wasn’t still March when I began my rant last year! Look at those temperatures! That is crazy talk – nearly 100 degrees tomorrow – on April 1st! Maybe the forecasters are just playing an April Fools joke on us and it will actually be a lovely 78 degrees. Fingers crossed!  Just in case, I’ve got the perfect spring breakfast or brunch dish for you. I’m going to consider making this again for Easter…. as long as we’re not tipping over the century mark by then. If that is the sad and sorry case, I plan on serving only ice cream, sorbet, and a nice light, but heavily chilled, Rosé!

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March 31, 2011   2 Comments

what’s this?

Do you know what this is a picture of?

It’s the Girl Scout cooking badge.  I’ll be working with 10 young ladies, helping them earn their badges today. A recipe will follow from the class, once I’ve cleaned up the kitchen, that is…

OK, class of over. The girls have their badges. The kitchen is clean and I’ve had my enchilada for dinner. Life if good! One reason I like to use this particular recipe for Girl Scout cooking classes is that it is a real family-pleaser. The enchiladas are creamy, mild, and cheesy, what’s not to like?

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March 30, 2011   1 Comment

soothing soup

I helped arrange the food buffet at a dear friend’s funeral on Saturday.  On such a sad and heartbreaking day, it is so joyous to see the best in people shining through. Everyone wanted to help, be involved, and just be there for the family. One of the lovely neighbors brought a large spiral ham for the buffet. There was quite a bit of ham left, so I cut it off the bone, packaged it up for the family, and quietly snuck the ham bone into my stack of platters and chafing dishes to bring home. On Sunday I made ham bone soup that I’ve packaged up, froze, and will bring back to my friends to enjoy once all the leftovers run out… which won’t be for quite a while!

One family member is gluten-free, so I separated and packaged a special batch for her before I added the macaroni.  This recipe is a bit of a departure from the standard ham and bean soup. It’s also substantially quicker with the assistance of canned beans.

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March 28, 2011   No Comments

a “heads up”

I want to provide you with a bit of a “heads up” about not only this particular post, but the coming weekend as well.

I’ve wanted to post this recipe for a couple of weeks but the picture taken, when I made the dish in a cooking class, is so out of focus that I’ve been putting it off. 

Putting it off until I could make the meal again and take a decent photo.  I now just have to admit to myself, and to you, that is not going to happen.

So, please squint your eyes when you are viewing said picture and try to get it to come into focus on your own. (Oh, and good luck with that!)

As for the upcoming Saturday and Sunday… just letting you know now, there will be no posts. No way, no how!  So don’t even waste your time coming back to see if I slipped one in, it won’t be happening! Sorry, hoping for a better week beginning on Monday!  Have a beautiful weekend.  xoxo

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March 25, 2011   1 Comment

You’re gonna …

You’re gonna want to make this! Really! I don’t usually say that about my own recipes, bragging is not flattering.  But really, you have to make this… it’s that good!

The creation of this recipe comes from all sides. First, I was digging through and cleaning out cupboards and freezers and I came across this Pineapple-Ginger Sauce I made a year ago in February.  A year ago! Oh my, this must be used now! Second, I need to make a meal for dear and long-time family friends who just suffered a devastating loss. I want it to be something other than the standard casserole that loving friends and family provide in such a heartbreaking situation.  Not that there is anything wrong with casseroles, but something different and fresh is always nice.  Next, my friend and the mother of this wonderful family, is gluten-free.  And lastly, it needs to be something I can make partially ahead and that travels well.  That’s quite a lot to ask of one dinner, but this fits the bill.

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March 24, 2011   1 Comment

vice or virtue?!

It was cold (well, it was 69 degrees, which is cold for us in March) windy and rainy yesterday, the perfect day for baking!

These savory little muffins came to be after Matt McLinn, Executive Chef at The Grind, taught at Les Gourmettes and left behind a batch of his candied jalapeños. This particular batch had gone past the point where Matt usually cooks them at the restaurant and had dried out to the real “candied” stage. Usually, they are still juicy and dripping with syrup.  The recipe below makes them that way, if you want them to be more dried out like they are pictured here, just cook them long after the vinegar is added, to dry them out. I prefer them still juicy though and they will work perfectly in this recipe either way. Matt uses them on his “to-die-for” burgers. You’ll want to use them on and in just about everything you can imagine… trust me, they are an addiction!

Along with that new vice, you should know that the muffin recipe makes a whole heck of a lot of mini muffins … how many?  Nearly 100!

Don’t try to count the muffins in the picture above. Before it was taken, I’d already delivered 2  1/2 dozen of the little gems to my sweet neighbor, Lori, who lent me 2 of the eggs I needed to make them.

I have four mini-muffin pans, so I had to make them in two batches. You can easily cut the recipe in half, but they freeze great and make the most wonderful party-size appetizer sandwiches.  Just cut in half, spread with a little jalapeño butter or jalapeño jelly, and fill with shaved deli ham or turkey.  So Amazingly Good!

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March 22, 2011   3 Comments

“choo choo”

Before we get to today’s recipe I want to let you know about a change to the summer schedule. I’ve changed Week 5 to a new format. It is now a “tween/teen” week for 11-16 year-olds and will take place from Monday, June 27-Friday, July 1. There are still six spaces available for that week, so if you are interested, go to the “Classes” page on the left and check it out!

And speaking of kids… This dessert can easily be made “kid-friendly” by substituting 1/2 cup fresh orange juice for the Grand Marnier and Cognac in the compote.

This, the fourth – and final – for a little while, recipe installment in the 80th birthday party theme incorporates two interesting food-related items from 1931.

In 1931 the sidecar was created by Harry MacElhone of Harry’s Bar in Paris during prohibition here in the States. To make the famous drink; pour 1 1/2 -ounces Cognac or Armagnac, 3/4-ounce Grand Marnier or any other strong liqueur, and 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Also in 1931, General Mills introduced Bisquick. According to General Mills, Bisquick was born when one of their sales executives met a train dining car chef who mixed lard and the dry ingredients for biscuits ahead of time. So between the drink named the “sidecar” and the fact that Bisquick was born on a train dining car…. these sweet delights are aptly named.

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March 21, 2011   No Comments

black and white

Here we have another recipe installment for the 1931-themed upcoming birthday celebration for my dad…

Although the television was already invented by 1931, regular commercial network television programming did not begin in the U.S. until 1948.  And it was many more years until it was commonplace for families to own a black and white television.  So it is not so much the television, but black and white photos that these pizzettas are meant to represent from the year 1931.

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March 20, 2011   1 Comment

big or mini

Here is another of the recipes, along with a little history, that will be on the menu for my dad’s 80th birthday party.  You can use standard (big) size croissants or cocktail (mini) sizes, depending upon the occasion you plan to serve these delicious and classic sandwiches.

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March 19, 2011   2 Comments

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

These darling green tartlets are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day but they will soon be serving another purpose for me.

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March 17, 2011   3 Comments