Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

Kitchen Vignettes on PBS


 photo credit:  Kitchen Vignettes.  Isn't that incredibly beautiful?

With great thanks to Carol, I now know about Kitchen Vignettes on PBS.

Strawberry Basil Tart? Cherry Tomato Galette? Very cool music and quick moving video? Yes, yes, and yes, please!

I'm hooked.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

25 years of teaching celebrated

Our dinner party last Tuesday was in celebration of three men and their careers.  My husband and two of his co-workers have been teaching for our school district for twenty-five years each.  And they love their jobs and their students.  Amazing!  A great reason to celebrate.

It was a four-course event that I cooked for and one of the other wives hosted.  Taking a dinner party on the road is both fun and challenging;you have to be organized enough to have everything you need, but you don't have to clean the bathroom.  It was a great choice for this party.

First Course

(My version included roasted peppers.  I also added a dollop of cream, two homemade crackers (recipe below), and finished with fresh grated parmesan and bits of fresh basil.)

Easy (really, they are!) Parmesan Basil Crackers

Second Course

Winter Salad with Roasted Beets and Citrus Reduction Dressing

(One of my favorite salads.  So simple.  Great flavors.  Full disclosure:  not one of my husband's favorites.)

Third Course

Roast Stuffed Pork Loin with Port Sauce

(My version used the directions for the pork and the stuffing, but I replaced the cherries with figs and made a port and fig sauce.)

Roasted zucchini, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, mushrooms on the side.

(Drizzle with oil, generously season with salt and pepper, and roast at 400 degrees until done.)

Fourth Course

Peach halves, sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg, and put under the broiler until hot and bubbly, but not burned.  We served it with whipping cream, a handful of blueberries, and then a bit more nutmeg and cinnamon.  Would be just as good with ice cream.

It was a great meal and terrific evening of reminiscing!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Stuffed Gypsy Peppers

Our weekly box from Farm Fresh to You has included gypsy peppers the last few weeks, and we also had a bag of mini peppers from Costco beginning to beg to be used, so it was time to find a good recipe for peppers. I roasted some for future use, I added some to a pork chop recipe for bright color and added flavor, but the bonanza moment came when I found this recipe: Cheese-Stuffed Gypsy Peppers.    Here are the ingredients:

6 gypsy peppers or small bell peppers
3/4 cup cream cheese
1 1/2 cups feta cheese
2 cups cooked basmati rice, chilled
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped mint

For the vinaigrette:
1 to 1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
2 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 to 3 tablespoons crème fraîche

For the instructions, please see the recipe link at http://leitesculinaria.com

Modifications I made: I used regular raisins, goat cheese rather than feta, and I had no creme fraiche so I went without it.

The filling of the peppers is mild with the goat cheese, which I loved, and the mint and the raisins are a perfect complement to the caramelized peppers after grilling. The vinaigrette adds the sharp vinegar, the basil and parsley herbal complexity, and the crunch of the toasted almonds.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Asian pear, persimmon, and almond salad

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 t roasted almond oil or extra-virgin olive oil
2 T honey
1/4 t. kosher salt
1/8 t. cayenne (This small bit adds quite a kick; I wouldn't want to add any extra)
2 oz. small, whole tender lettuces. (Translated for my kind of cook:  Grab a head of butter lettuce from your veggie box, wash and pick off enough for four salads)
1 lg. unpeeled Asian pear, cut into the thinnest possible wedges
2 firm-ripe unpeeled Fuyu persimmons, cut into thin wedges
1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds

1.  In a medium bowl, whisk lime juice, oil, honey, salt and cayenne until blended.
2.  Mix greens with the fruit, add dressing and toss.  Plate.

Makes four salads