Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My New Favorite TV Food Star

Nadia G.

Trained at the culinary institute of Hard Wooden Spoon Whacks, Nadia G. grew up in a boisterous Italian family that never quite gave up the belief that Casalinga-style cuisine is the center of the universe. "You don't have to look far to taste some of the best food the world has to offer," Nadia says. "I'd pit my grandmother against a 3-star Michelin chef any day."

Monday, November 29, 2010


All the dishes I've prepared recently are missing something. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My Comfort Foods

Watching Alton Brown on comfort foods. Mine are (in no particular order):

  • Orzo cooked in chicken broth, topped with butter and parmesean cheese
  • Macaroni and cheese (any type mac - many different cheese combos)
  • Angel hair spaghetti aioli
  • Gnocchi
  • Manicotti
  • Tomato soup and grilled cheese
  • Pastina

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


A friend of mine told me yesterday that his canine companion, Jake, died over the weekend. My initial reaction was sadness for him and the loss he was feeling. Then I moved right into thinking about how I wanted to cook for him -- and what I would make. What sort of comfort food might ease the sting just a little? The standards -- macaroni and cheese, or grilled cheese and tomato soup? Or something more exotic -- an orange-glazed pork loin on the grill with Asian noodles? Certainly, with their love of the cabin and a campfire, we'd finish with upscale s'mores (lightly grilled croissants oozing with dark chocolate and marshmallows).

Food won't change what is but it can ease acceptance of what is.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Healthy Foods in a Mini Kitchen

Driven out of my home by an infestation of tiny insects, I was forced to learn how to cook in hotels and the pantry at my office.

I'm going to start a cookbook of delicious meals that require only a mini-refrigerator, an electric kettle, and a microwave. Amazing what one can come up with when challenged.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Cooking Tips from Chef DeLutis

A week or so ago, I dragged myself out of a very comfortable bed at Hotel Monaco and walked four steaming Baltimore blocks to Sotto Sopra for a cooking class with Chef Christian DeLutis.

We walked to the Farmers Market under the expressway (downhill to the market --- very UPHILL on the way back), with Chef pointing out his favorite vendors and talking about the benefits of in-season cooking.

Upon our return to Sotto Sopra, the real instruction started. I picked up a lot of tips, but most important, the heat in the kitchen gave me a profound respect for chefs. I had to keep stepping out to the dining room to catch my breath.

Tips: Smart Chicken taste best. Cold soups need more seasoning than hot ones.

Most memorable: I met several wonderful people -- a judge, two culinary students, and a writer for multiculturalcookingnetwork blog ...

More to come.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

First CSA Pick-up of the Season

I'm glad I went with the CSA medium share. It looks like just enough for two people. This box included: baby lettuce mix, broccoli, spinach, new red potoatoes, green onions, and strawberries.

The newsletter included this recipe and after reading it, wasn't sure if it would be wonderful or horrible. Decided to take the risk, and wonderful won. Whew. The recipe below reflects my changes, not the exact recipe I received.

Spinach Colcannon

1 bunch chopped spinach
1 cup chopped green onions
5 cloves garlic
4 bison hot Italian sausages - casing removed
8 cups potatoes - diced with skin on
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbls butter
Salt and Pepper
Mixed grated cheeses

Pre-heat oven to 350

Cook potatoes in water and salt until tender.
Drain and mash with milk, butter, salt and pepper
After mashed, mix in some of the green onion tops

Brown sausage in a pan -- do not overcook bison - stop before you think it's done because it will bake also
Add green onions and garlic - continue to cook a minute or so
Add all the spinach and cover the pan
Turn off burner and let spinach wilt

Butter a 9x13 pan
Add drained sausage and spinach from pan
Spread mashed potatoes over the sausage mix
Top with a mix of shredded cheese (I used a 4 cheese Italian mix and a Mexican mix)

Bake until cheese is melted - about 30 minutes

I like to move it to the top rack and broil on high until the cheese starts getting brown and bubbly.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The best thing I ate in Mexico City

Chile en Nogada

Oh, how I would like to find a restaurant in the DC area that comes close to what I remember having in Mexico City.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I ate Mexican caviar last night -- ant eggs! Everything tastes good when it sits on a tortilla with guacamole.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A New Take on Stuffed Peppers

For dinner tonight, I took the tops off of small yellow peppers ...

and stuffed them with a mixture of spinach, mushrooms, mixed cheeses, sour cream, nutmeg, and salt & pepper. 

Baked them at 375 for about 15 minutes. 

I'll make these again!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lost the Touch

I've not been happy with my creations lately. The scallops wrapped in bacon were only so-so. The rice with mushrooms and peas was yucky. The watermelon and red onion saved dinner tonight.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Family suggested ingredients; I pulled it together

I took a pic of this but it looked very unappetizing. Better I think, to just describe:

Boil Farafelle pasta - drain pour into bowl.

Drizzle EVOO over pasta.

Add Gorgonzola, kalamata olives, capers, and fried sage leaves.

Toss and serve. Mmmmm

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I give it a C+

The 'no knead' bread experiment was successful enough to be edible. I wasn't thrilled but could see potential. Two problems:

1. It called for instant yeast and I used regular.
2. The second rise-time of 2 hours was too long for me. I started baking at 1 and 1/2 hours.

Next time I will use instant yeast and wait the full 2-hour second rise before baking.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bread. Hmmm.

I've not had much luck with bread in the past but this snowstorm has me looking for new and different things to do. I heard an interview with this guy on npr a while back. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blizzard of 2010

Nothing like a blizzard to keep a woman cooking. So far, for the Blizzard of 2010, I count ...

Breakfast burritos
Egg rolls
Chili topped with cheese, green onion, and cilantro
Brownies with ice cream

Eggs Florentine for me; Mark made his own breakfast sandwich
Chicken enchilada casserole with avocado, tomato, and cilantro garnish
Water chestnuts wrapped in bacon for a snack
Tofu stir fry on brown rice

Somewhere in there I ate potato chips and onion dip, hot chocolate with mini marshmallows,and handfuls of grapes, strawberries.

There is so much more I want to make ... brats, chicken noodle soup, pasta ...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pizza Paris

Trader Joe's pizza dough
Drizzle of EVOO
10 -15 leaves of fresh, chopped oregano
1/2 package of Trader Joe's Quatro Formaggio
Handful of feta cheese
One sliced tomato
Several kalamata olives
A few slices of red onion
Corn meal
Optional: Roasted eggplant
Heat oven to 450 degrees
Sprinkle pizza stone with corn meal
Stretch pizza dough to fit stone
Drizzle  EVOO
Top with onion, then cheese, then olives, and tomato
In oven for 15-20 minutes -- just keep an eye on it
Let sit for a couple minutes before slicing
Top wilh any, or none, of the following:
Roasted eggplant
Crushed red pepper
Dried oregano
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder

Thursday, January 7, 2010

From Eat Better America - Pork Tenderloin

This was DELICIOUS! The only change I made was to fry the sage that I used for garnish. It increased the fat and calories, but not by much.

Served it with a salad of spinach, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and Asian Mix Salad topping. Just a little EVOO and Rice Vinegar to dress.

Roast pork tenderloin with rosemary, sweet potatoes and pears for an elegant dinner. From eatbetteramerica.

Prep Time:15 min
Start to Finish:45 min

1 pork tenderloin (1 to 1 1/4 lb)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 large dark-orange sweet potato (about 1 lb), peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 firm ripe small pears, unpeeled, each cut into 6 wedges
1 medium sweet onion (halved crosswise), cut into thin wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil Fresh sage leaves, if desired

1. Heat oven to 450°F. Spray 15x10x1-inch pan with cooking spray. Place pork tenderloin in pan. In small bowl, mix rosemary, salt, sage and pepper. Rub half of seasoning mixture on pork.

2. In medium bowl, toss sweet potato, pears and onion with oil until coated. Sprinkle with remaining seasoning mixture; toss. Place vegetables around pork.

3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, stirring vegetables and pears gently once or twice during baking, until pork has slight blush of pink in center and meat thermometer inserted in center reads 160°F, and vegetables are tender. Cut pork into 1/2-inch slices. Serve with vegetables. Garnish with fresh sage leaves.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 Food Resolutions

In no particular order:
Get over fear of pressure cooker.
Make my own pasta.
Eat more fish.
Figure out how to waste fewer fresh veggies. (One can only eat so many versions of a veg before it goes bad.)
Take a cooking class. Or two.

7/9/12 - I just revisited this post. Checked off everything except the pressure cooker. Still afraid!