Oh January, how I love you! After 5 fast-paced months, good old sleepy, relaxing January shows up, and I have very little to do. I love to really take advantage of it by getting double workouts in every day (well, 5 days a week), and go freezer diving for the dinner centerpieces. What do I find in that freezer? A lot of healthier cuts of meat that my well-intentioned self buys if I go to Costco hungry, and then they sit in the freezer waiting to become something.Read More
Have you tried your hand at the lovely spiced cookies, Speculaas? I love the Springerle recipe from King Arthur Flour. I just use 1 1/2 times the spices they call for for a really flavorful cookie. My adapted version is below. Read More
#ottolenghi #ottolenghisimple #tenspeedpress
I was flipping through the book, flagging recipes to try, and read, “This is the dish Patrick Dempsey’s character tells Renee Zellweger’s Bridget Jones that he would have brought her on their imaginary date in Bridget Jones’s Baby. “From Ottolenghi,” says Dempsey, “delicious and healthy!” And easy we might add! What sounded like a bit of product placement on our part was in fact no such thing. The recipe didn’t even exist on our menu, so this is a retrospective acknowledgment.” Okay, I was trying to steer clear of it, and cook absolutely everything else in the book, because it sounds like a one-liner. Curiosity got the better of me. Wowza! Bridget Jones’ Pan-Fried Salmon with Pine Nut Salsa is an amazing salmon dish. lol! Read More
#shanecarley #thehomebartender #cidermillpress
The Home Bartender is perfect for anyone looking for an easy peasy cocktail book. The cocktails have 4 ingredients or less (some are 5 if you count the garnish). The ingredients themselves are pretty normal, so if you have a basic bar, you wont have to hunt down a whole lot of specialty ingredients. <I had to add one bottle to my collection – strawberry vodka.> But, there’s all kinds of different drinks in here. The measurements are different from most books. Instead of ounces, he uses parts. One part lime juice, two parts rum…. I used an ounce as the unit for all the wet stuff. He does mention that if measurements are your jam, a dash is about 1 teaspoon and a splash is about 1 tablespoon. That works for liquid measures, but when he says a dash of cinnamon, use a tiny quick shake, not a teaspoon! Read More
Red wine pasta. You actually cook the pasta in a full bottle of wine in a wide shallow skillet and it absorbs it perfectly. I didn’t even know that was possible. My family loved it, but can you even imagine bringing that to your next GNO, barbecue, or book club meeting?! <My husband just asked what a GNO was. Sorry. Girls’ Night Out.> It’s ridiculously easy. My husband could make it, and he’s only vaguely aware of where the kitchen is in our house. The color is stunning. And it’s just as delicious as you’re hoping it would be reading this. A huge thanks to Running Press for letting me share the recipe with you!
My review of the book is right after the recipe, but the whole book is summertime effortless. You’ll be out in the sunshine instead of the kitchen in no time. Bring It!: Tried and True Recipes for Potlucks and Casual Entertaining will help you bring on the hanging out. But let’s get back to that pasta! Read More
Summer’s on its way! I saw a recipe for a strawberry spinach salad in a Penzey’s catalog years ago. I loved it. It’s the most friendly salad ever. I’ve played with it to make the dressing a little lighter, added grilled orange chicken, and changed the pistachios to candied pecans. It’s perfect with Pellegrino with lime if the kids have talked you into playing outside after dinner, or with a lovely Pinot Grigio if you’re planning to relax.
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The dolly store. My kids are way past that now, but I remember when we used to trek in to American Girl. They would pour over all the historical doll displays, oohing and aahing at all of those darling little accessories. They loved the books, too, and got a decent idea about American history from the nerdier volumes. The New York store (we used to live there) used to have a theater in it where you could watch plays. They were wonderful. I tried to steer them clear of the hairstyling area. I used to cut their hair myself, and couldn’t fathom forking over for a doll to get her style on. Then we’d go to the café. Have you been? They have little doll seats that clip on to the table so that the dolls and kids can eat together. The dolls even get served tiny cups of cocoa when the kids do. Holy adorbs! I wasn’t into the food, but didn’t really care. Then once, I ordered a parmesan crusted tilapia and it was delicious! So, I pulled together a similar dinner at home so we could have dolly night. They’re hopping off electronics or the treadmill, instead of hitching dollies to the table, when I make it now.