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Category: Food

Pickled: An Appetizer and Me, Part 1

I have to admit; I got a little pickled at this year’s New Year’s Eve celebration. If you ask my non-drinking sister, this is the norm for all of us (except her, of course) on NYE, but I really tried to drink a lot of water this year.  I guess I failed by the magnitude of my headache the next morning. Maybe we should not have started so early. But more on that when I blog about what we drank which will be part 2 of Pickled: An Appetizer and Me. So the other pickling was an incredible appetizer. I had…

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Lemon Curd from Natalie’s Lemon Tree

My neighbor, Natalie of Designer Bags & Dirty Diapers, has two lemon trees in her yard that are prolific producers of huge, juicy fruit. We have two lemon trees that produce nothing but thorns. Thankfully, Nat is very generous with her bounty and tells us to take what we want. A friend of mine who is a food photographer and stylist had just made lemon curd, and it was fantastic. So I asked for the recipe. Fresh lemons right off the tree would make fantastic curd. Here we go! I have made it twice. It is really delicious. And yes, I…

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Corrales Casserole from BDD Walk into a Bar…

Gary needed a “Mexican” dish for a potluck lunch at work today. I have been waiting for the right opportunity to make this rice dish – Corrales Casserole – that looked incredible when I read it on “Batali, Dior, and Dewey Walk into a Bar,” a mom-blog that I peruse.  Yes, I know, I am not a mom. And babies are only cute as long as I can give them back to the parents when I am done with them. But Lilly makes some really good looking food, so I follow her to see what she is eating. Then there…

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Pumpkin Pie Bread Pudding

During my childhood, we ate pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I love love, love pumpkin pie and I can never get enough of it. I also love croissants and bread pudding too. So this year I had the hair-brained idea to make a bread pudding using croissants and pumpkin pie filling. To make the custard I slightly modified the recipe for the pumpkin pie custard by adding more liquid and eggs and adjusting the spices. This dessert has a milder flavor than pumpkin pie but still enough to satiate my cravings. My turkey may be the centerpiece of Thanksgiving, but to…

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Turkey Revisted: Best Ever

This past Turkey Day was the best. For the first time in decades all of my siblings and I celebrated together. We always have the best time. We tease, tell stories and joke until we are crying laughing. They mean the world to me. I am so thankful for my sisters. I make the turkey for Thanksgiving every year. Should we have it any other time, I am sure I would be in charge then as well. Growing up turkey was dry and bland, and I was not a fan except as leftovers on a sandwich slathered in mayonnaise to moisten it up. So…

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Side Notes for a Friday

Side Notes: New Coffee Brewer For quite a while when we would brew a pot of coffee there would be a small, insignificant puddle of water under the brewer. Totally not a big deal until the insignificant became real and the puddle became a lake. We had to say goodbye to our Cuisinart 10 Cup Extreme Brew Coffee Maker that we had for at least 8 years. It has so many features that I love: Bold Brew setting Replaceable Water Filter Thermal Carafe Easy to clean Stainless Steel Programmable The two most important features are the Thermal Carafe and Bold Brew setting as I like my…

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Loire Valley Awesomeness

Tuesday’s tasting at goat.sheep.cow north blew me out of the water. All five selected wines representing different regions in the Loire Valley could all find a place in my wine rack. Oh, and the cheese pairings were perfection. Jess, the monger, did an amazing job selecting these cheeses and pâté. But the 12-month Raypenaer Gouda, that pairing was absolute nirvana and right in my wheelhouse. OMG, mama needs a cool cloth! We had a fantastic turnout.  The crowd was a perfect size so getting your next taste was quick, but you could also ask questions and learn more if you so desired. It was great seeing so many familiar…

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Biscuit Bites: Pizza or Gruyere – Caramelized Onion

Last Sunday, we got together for Happy Hour with our fave neighbors Michelle and Natalie. Michelle hosted at her house which was perfect because both families of kids could all play together in another room and toys were aplenty to keep them occupied. I volunteered an appetizer to help out. I have been daydreaming about making a gruyere and caramelized onion tart, but I was too exhausted from Saturday’s wedding to deal with and make a crust so I decided that Bisquick biscuit bites would be the way to go. For some reason using Bisquick for a drop biscuit is acceptable in my brain…

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Apple Crumble and Sunday’s Tasting at EOX

It is autumn, so my cravings for apple desserts has been building. I wasn’t sure if I wanted a crumble, a crisp, a cobbler, a buckle, a Brown Betty, a grunt or a slump. Confused? A crumble has an oat-based streusel topping. A crisp has a streusel topping sans oats. A cobbler is topped with individually-dropped biscuits. A buckle uses a cakey batter underneath the fruit and as the fruit sinks to the bottom the cake “buckles” over the edges of the fruit. A grunt and a slump is the same thing; it just depends on where you live. They are both cobblers that…

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Social Media, Grandma & Homemade Mexican Beans

I have apparently turned into my grandmother. Social media once again has reconnected me with my past. By request, I am posting my Mexican Black Beans recipe.  And our stainless steel straws are awesome! So let’s begin. I am my Grandma When I was a kid and visiting my grandparents home, I can vividly recall my grandma washing and re-using plastic bags and aluminum foil. I used to giggle because I thought that defeated the purpose of one-time-use products. In my grandma’s case, it was because she was a child of The Great Depression. It was a habit as they needed to do…

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Grilled Pork Loin * Roasted Sweets * Napa & Radish

I promised that I would share with you one of the “grilled out” dinners from last week. This Brined, Grilled Pork Loin with Kale Pesto was the bomb, as were the sides so you will get all three today. But before I get there, I gotta tell you I am moving a bit slow today. I even needed another cup of coffee after I drained the pot.  This cup is even topped off with a shot of espresso! Cheers everybody. You see, we had our new neighbors over for happy hour. A great couple and their two young daughters moved here from Hawaii. We…

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Side Note: This and That for the Weekend

It has been a whirlwind week. I can not believe that it is the weekend already. We had family in town, so we have been out and about most nights which was super fun. So for this post, I am calling it Side Note as I am piecing together various moments from the week. The Indian dinner we had on Monday was flawless. The Chicken Tikka Masala was a huge hit. I also made an accompaniment called Raita which is to provide a “cooling” effect that tames the heat from some of the dishes. The recipe is below. I think…

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Tikka Masala aka Butter Chicken: Updated

My sisters, Gary and I love, love, love Indian food. The sisters have traveled extensively in India for business and grew to love the cuisine. Gary and I used to frequently go to Little India on Devon Ave. while we lived in Chicago. Tikka Masala was always one of our dishes to order. In Charleston, we used to have a group of friends that got together a few times a year, and we would all scratch make an Indian dish. Unfortunately, the group disbanded after the matriarch of the group passed away, but we as a family continue to make…

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Dutch Baby with Spiced Apples

Yesterday morning I woke up with a plan. I was making a Dutch Baby with Spiced Apples. Decades ago, there was a restaurant in Skokie, IL that served something like this and I have always wanted to make it. As always I had researched several different recipes (it is also called a German Apple Pancake or a Baked Apple Pancake, Dutch Baby and several other names) and then recreated it with my own twist. Full transparency -> A Kitchen Confession: Before I get to the recipe, I need to confess that the morning started with a bit of excitement. I…

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