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soup, an anniversary and Paris

source url by Linda Hopkins

farmacia viagra generico 100 mg a Napoli It is well known that I love soup. French Onion Soup is at the top of my list. I have been craving it since my dear friends, Scott and Amy Kilpatrick, went to Paris to celebrate their 25th Anniversary back in June.

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http://buy-generic-clomid.com/ While planning their trip, they asked me for recommendations on where to eat and things to do. I sent them This Link to one of my blog posts from nearly 8 years ago.

 

At the top of my must-eat list is the French Onion Soup at Royal Madeleine. They went and I was soon receiving texts that the restaurant does not serve the soup in the summer.

 

Dang it! I had no idea. I cropped off more of Scott’s text since it was too derogatory and obscene towards to “French Frogs” for me to repeat here. I do love him, he’s a funny and adorably sarcastic guy! And Amy is just the sweetest, I adore her and you already know her too. She is dove comprare viagra generico pagamento online a Milano The Amy of Amy’s Famous Taco Soup.

Anyhow, the last time we were there it was late May and the soup was on the menu. I guess it comes off at the end of May. It made me sad they missed out but I understand. I don’t enjoy soup as much in the heat of summer either, which is why, even though I’ve been craving it for months, I have yet to make it.

Well, I tamed a bit of the craving when I made this French Onion Soup inspired recipe for our Sunday supper. I should have thought to invite Amy and Scott over to make up for their disappointment.

A few notes before we get to the recipe. Do not rush to process of caramelizing the onions. It takes time, about an hour, to get them just right. In the photo above, they had been cooking for 45 minutes. I had browned off all the chicken in the meantime. It took another 5 minutes or so after that for them to get even the slightest bit of color.

But then, just like that, they were done about 10 minutes later. It will happen. Don’t get frustrated.

Also, don’t fret about the chicken not being cooked through when you’re browning it. It will cook to perfection in the oven later, I promise.

Lastly, four pounds of onions is a lot of onion! You’re going to need a very large skillet to not only cook them all down in, but to also fit all the chicken thighs in one layer. If you don’t have a big skillet, the reicpe can easily be cut in half. And I call for 8 to 10 chicken thighs, because when you buy the family pack from the grocery store, that is what you get, somewhere between 8 and 10 thighs per package.

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August 28, 2018   1 Comment

the avocado dilemma

Ripe avocados were an incredible challenge to find in Quebec. On the day we arrived, Monday the 13th, we went to the grocery store directly from the airport. We bought 8 avocados and they were rock hard. Kim also bought 3 bananas.

Did you know that the way to speed up the ripening of an avocado is to put it in a brown paper bag with a banana?

Yep, ripe bananas release ethylene, the hormone that triggers ripening in mature fruit, so placing one in a closed paper bag with your under-ripe avocados will speed up the process.

At least it does in AZ, not so much in Canada. When I left in on Tuesday morning, (8/21) those darn avocados were still hard as rocks!

Thankfully, we went to the farmer’s market in Ottawa mid-week and found 6 ripe avocados. I used 2 of them for this recipe and the other four in a guacamole I posted yesterday. Unfortunately, I forgot to pick up purple leaf lettuce, so please use your imagination and pretend it’s there, mixed in the butter lettuce.

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August 24, 2018   1 Comment

kale guac

I am typing this on the long flight from Philadelphia to Phoenix. The first flight from Ottawa to Philly was basically a puddle jumper, but this one is getting the best of me. It’s currently 10:00 eastern time (the time-zone I’m now adjusted too) and I’ve been typing and formatting recipes for my spring cooking classes for the last 5 hours. I’m going cross-eyed. Actually, I can barely keep my eyes open. But I must! I can’t sleep on planes, so it’s either this or go cross-eyed playing solitaire on my phone. This seems more productive.

We still have 45 minutes left on this flight and then there is luggage to collect and an Uber ride home. My head can’t hit that pillow soon enough!!

That’s the end of my “woe is me” story. How about a yummy recipe? I made this guacamole knock-off on Sunday for our daily “booze cruise” on the pontoon around Deer Lake.

Many months ago, when I first tasted the Kale Guacamole at True Food Kitchen, my hopes we’re very high. If I remember correctly, someone else at the table wanted to try it.

Then it came and it was a revelation, so good! I looked up the recipe, expecting it to be mostly kale with maybe an avocado or two mixed in, but no, it’s mostly avocado with a little kale thrown in so that it can be called Kale Guacamole. No matter, it’s good and it sounds healthy. The poblano adds a nice little kick but the thing I love most about it is the addition of fresh citrus.

If you’re not sure what “1 grapefruit, supremed” means. Or if you have an idea, but aren’t sure how to supreme (or segment) citrus, go to this LINK and you’ll see how.

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August 23, 2018   2 Comments

Ratatouille Gratin

I found the recipe for this next dish on Food52 and made it for Paul’s “Welcome to the Lake” dinner on Saturday night. It is a delicious and stunningly beautiful dish.

I added and omitted a few ingredients from the original recipe. In the photos you’ll see 2 zucchini, 2 yellow squash and 2 eggplants, but that was too much for the baking dish, so in the recipe I say to use one of each.

Don’t worry, we didn’t let those go to waste. I spread the excess on a sheet pan, seasoned and baked them off for another meal.

We picked up Paul at Montreal-Pierre E Trudeau International Airport at around 10:30 am.

We then drove to Old Montreal, parked and walked about a mile and a half to Schwartz’s for their famous smoked meat sandwiches.

That sandwich was just as spectacular as I remembered from when I visited in October, 2010.

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August 21, 2018   No Comments

a book and a salad

I’m still in Quebec at Kim and Paul’s dreamy lake house. I haven’t been posting regularly because, well, I’m on vacation and because I’ve been obsessed reading a book I found on the shelves here. I finished http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=lasix-20mg All The Light We Cannot See yesterday afternoon. My dreams have been filled with it since the day I picked it up and last night was no exception. Many of you have probably already read it since it came out nearly four years ago. I’m usually behind the curve when it comes to books. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a new read.

Now that I have my nose out of the book and my head out of the clouds, here is the salad recipe I promised you last week. Oh, and there is a mouse update at the bottom of this post.

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August 20, 2018   3 Comments

Wednesday dinner at Deer Lake

I know I said I’d post the recipe for the salad we ate the night before last, and I promise to get to that soon, but we had such a fun day yesterday, that I’d rather talk about that for now.

It was cloudy and foggy over the lake when I awoke. Then the thunder rolled in and the rain began. The lake house was so cozy and dark, it felt like fall for a moment and I was in heaven. Summer drags on when you live in the desert, so even a few moments of what feels like fall is a complete joy.

Our morning plans to paddle board were put on hold. Kim knows how and Debby and I were eager to learn.

photo credit: Pinterest

Oh, before I go any further, I should mention that I was a bit tentative about being the first person to get up and leave my room. And for good reason, the first night here we saw that we had another resident in the house with us. A mouse. Granted, he was little and even, dare I say, cute. We tried to shoo him out the door with a broom but he wasn’t having any of that. Kim set out a no-kill trap but it didn’t work. We saw him again the next night, Debby set four mousetraps with peanut butter and placed them around the kitchen. So, the first person up was going to have to deal with a dead mouse and I didn’t want that to be me.

But I was getting sore from sitting in bed and typing my post. I had to get up so I could sit at the table to type. I quietly crept out and peeked around the corner … no mouse. All the peanut butter was gone but thankfully, no smashed mouse.

Yay for me. Yay for the mouse. But then again, we still have a mouse in the house, so no bueno!

The rain stopped. Kim and I went to run errands and grocery shop in the little town of Ripon. Two of the things at the top of our list were more mousetraps and Snicker’s bars, which will hopefully work better than the peanut butter. Debby stayed behind to read and hold down the fort.

When we returned, Kim taught us to paddle board. For me, the hardest part was going from the kneeling stage to the standing stage. I had to do Lamaze style deep breathing and talk myself into being brave and just do it.

After much hesitation and nearly psyching myself out, I did it. Debby did too. We were quite pleased with ourselves. The Howards have two paddle boards. I came to shore and Kim took that board out. Most of my pride washed away as I watched her pop right up and quickly paddle down the lake in the blink of an eye. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Next, we went out on the pontoon boat and took a tour around the entire lake.

It’s a long lake! You can’t see from one end to the other. It curves and twists and there are cute islands and peninsulas. Kim and Paul not only own the lake but also the 550 (approx.) acres of wooded land that surround it. This is a very special and magical place that has been in the Howard family for generations.

After our cocktail boat tour, I made another recipe inspired from a doctor’s office waiting room magazine find. The perfect end to a perfect day.

OK, not quite the end and not perfectly perfect. Kim and Debby set a total of 10 mousetraps with the Snickers. Without a doubt, I’m sleeping in this time.

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August 16, 2018   4 Comments

quinoa in Canada

photo credit: Cody Howard

If you’re like me, sometimes you look at your smart phone in complete awe. We walk around with a computer in our pockets. No longer do we need a watch, a camera, an encyclopedia, a dictionary, any array of how-to books, a landline, and the list goes on.

And no longer do I tear out pages from magazines in doctors’ offices. Yes, I’m sorry to admit that I was one of those people. Now, I just whip out my phone and snap a photo of that recipe or article I must have.

photo credit: Debby Gooding

The following recipe is inspired from one such photo I took during a recent visit to a doctor’s office. I don’t recall the magazine, probably a celebrity weekly or women’s monthly, since those are the magazines I usually gravitate towards in that situation.

I’m in Quebec Canada with Kim Howard and her dear friend, Debby Gooding, at Deer Lake, which is the Howard Family’s gorgeous Canadian retreat. Click HERE to read more about it in this posts from my last visit in July, 2013. One of my favorite things about this magical place is all the vintage vibes.

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August 15, 2018   2 Comments

Cioppino

Cioppino is a fish stew that was created in San Francisco in the late 1800s. It is traditionally made from the catch of the day, which in San Francisco is typically a combination of crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels and fish from the Pacific ocean.

The Cioppino I served yesterday at Sunday supper for Connor, my dad and myself was a seafood medley that came in this bag from Costco. It consisted of shrimp, mussels, scallops and calamari rings.

Not only did it not come from San Francisco, according to the packaging, that I am just now reading, none of it even came from the USA! Oh well, it tasted great and since it was frozen, it didn’t really matter.

Since you may be using live mussels, I’m writing the recipe accordingly. The frozen mussels were already cooked and opened, so my stew was actually easier to make.

When using tomato paste, I like to use the paste in the tube instead of the can. For this recipe I used sun-dried tomato paste from the tube. It is more intense, so I used 2 tablespoons instead of the ¼ cup I tell you to use in the recipe. I’m assuming most people have regular tomato paste on hand instead of sun-dried paste.

Have you seen these wonderful red and yellow striped bell peppers in the market? They are Striped Holland bell peppers. According to a specialty produce site, “the bell peppers are yellow bell peppers with deep red stripes that seem painted on in swaths. The bi-colored peppers are hand-grafted and slowly ripened to maximize flavor and maintain consistency.”  I’ve been using them all summer for my crudités Harmony Boards and wouldn’t usually use them when cooking, but I had one that was looking a bit wrinkly and tired, so I used it here.

Fish stock can be difficult to find. I use a combination of clam juice, chicken broth and water. If you do find fish stock you may substitute it for the chicken broth.

I served Connor and my dad’s stew over angel hair pasta, which is not traditional, but I knew they’d like a little more bulk to the dish. I had mine without pasta. Everyone was happy! prezzo viagra generico 25 mg pagamento online a Torino

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July 30, 2018   5 Comments

lavender

Photo courtesy of Pinkerton Photography

My cousin and my friend, Michelle Lorts, gave me a tin of Red Rock Lavender Lemon Pepper. Michelle owns Studio Fiore and is the florist who created the stunning flowers for Marissa’s wedding.

Photo credit: Red Rock Ranch & Farms

A few weeks ago, Michelle and a few girlfriends took a day-trip to visit the lavender fields at Red Rock Ranch & Farms in Concho, Arizona.

Concho is in the White Mountains, about a 3½ hour drive from Scottsdale.

Photo credit: Red Rock Ranch & Farms

I’ve always thought about going for the Lavender Festival, but never pulled the trigger on it, maybe next year.

I used her gift to make a delicious chicken dish. You can make it too, even if you don’t have a tin of the Red Rock Lavender mix because I’ve included the proportions to make the herb and spice mixture on your own at the bottom of this post.

I also used one of my favorite local olive oils, Queen Creek Olive Mill Meyer Lemon Olive Oil. You may use regular olive oil as a substitute. Of course, you if want to make this recipe using the unique Arizona spice mixture and olive oil, the links are here for you to order those items online. Enjoy!

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July 9, 2018   2 Comments

tomatillo rice

Is it okay if I’m feeling a bit reminiscent and sad when I say that this is the last post, the last recipe, from Chanté and Cody’s wedding?

After the months of planning and anticipation leading up to it, all the work and joy surrounding the wedding weekend, and the fun of posting and reliving it, I’m sad it’s really over. But then again, if anyone knows how to drag out a happy event, it’s me!

Here is a list of the recipes that made up the taco bar with links to each recipe. This same list is posted Menu and Party Ideas over there on the left side of the page, so you can easily find it when you’re in need of taco bar recipes.

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Roasted Tomatillo Rice

  • 20 tomatillos, peeled, rinsed and dried
  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 cups rice
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish

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July 5, 2018   1 Comment