Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Dads Dads come in all shapes and sizes, so here’s a Father’s Day wish I penned for all fathers that’s short on words, long in sentiment, and big in heart: Thanks for blowing air in our sails and anchoring us during storms. Thanks for dreaming the big dreams and making us believers. Thanks for loving us like no one else could and for sacrificing as only you would. Thanks for loving our mothers and respecting them, too. But mostly, thanks for just being you. On this Father’s Day, may the love and devotion you give come back to you a thousand times over. Happy Father’s Day!

#1 – My Dad
Remember watching the Donna Reed Show? Well, at the risk of revealing my age, I remember it. I also remember listening to Paul Peterson’s song My Dad. As a Father’s Day tribute, here’s a blast from the past.

#2 – Dadvice
Dadvice One of my sons is going to be a new dad this summer and I’m thrilled. I’m sure he’s going to be in need of some parenting advice at some time or another, so this is for him, as well as all new dads and dads-to-be: Dadvice is a collection of “90 tips and tricks, do’s and don’ts, try-this’s and skip-that’s, for every stage of fatherhood. It’s the most complete, most comprehensive list available anywhere. Print it. Bookmark it. Share it. Tweet it.”

Here are some examples:

Imagine being hired as a pilot with no training. “Here’s the cockpit. Good luck getting to Houston.” That’s what it’s like coming home with a newborn. And it’s like that for everyone.

Cargo shorts are a diaper bag you can wear.

Travel with an extra set of clothes. Both for you and the kid.

If you let your kid play with the iPhone, put it on “airplane mode.”

Tell your partner “thank you.” A lot. And let your children hear you say it.

#3 – Unusual Gifts For Dad
Father's Day Gift Ideas Still thinking about that special gift for dad? What about a laser pizza cutter? Or what about an espresso maker made from an actual race car engine? To see these and more, check out 13 Food & Drink Father’s Day Gifts That Will Guarantee You’re His Favorite Child.

#4 – Miles O’Brien
Miles O'Brien TV reporter Miles O’Brien lost an arm while on assignment. Read his story Life, After and learn what he’s gained from his loss.

#5 – What Matters
“It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.”
Anne Sexton

Now go and spread joy!

Read Full Post »

Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake An early Father’s Day present for my husband came in the form of a cheesecake. Testing recipes is an occupational and personal hazard for me (think hips), so I gave this fresh-flavored and ultra-creamy dessert to him as a gift. Being the good husband that he is, I knew he would share it. I could bake a cake and eat it, too. Pretty clever of me, wasn’t it?

Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake
Recipe from Robbie’s Recipe Collection

INGREDIENTS
20 vanilla cream sandwich cookies
1/4 cup margarine, melted
24 oz. cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 eggs
3/4 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
1. Process cookies in a blender or food processor. Pulse to finely chop.

2. Add melted margarine or butter and pulse until thoroughly combined.

3. Press mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan; refrigerate.

4. Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until creamy.

5. Beat in sugar and cornstarch.

5. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

6. Beat in bananas, whipping cream, and vanilla.

7. Pour mixture into prepared crust.

8. Place pan on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes.

9. Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake an additional 75 minutes, or until center is almost set.

10. Allow to cool completely before removing rim of pan.

11. Refrigerate cheesecake, uncovered, at least 6 hours.

Serves 12

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I used a 9½-inch springform pan and I’m glad I did. This recipe does not make a tall cheesecake, so it was perfect with the smaller pan.

2. Because I used a smaller pan than specified, I used fewer cookies. Even then, the crust was a little thicker than I would have preferred.

3. I used butter instead of margarine, basically because I didn’t have margarine on hand. 1/4 cup of butter is equivalent to 2 ounces of butter for those that weigh their ingredients.

4. Even though the directions don’t state it, don’t forget to preheat your oven.

5. I served each slice with a dollop of whipped cream, a banana slice and a small sprig of mint.

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Santa Fe Blossoms They were everywhere, but nobody knew their name. Pretty trees covered with delicate rose-like blossoms decorated the streets of a town I recently visited. Fixated with their beauty and wanting to plant one in my own garden, I asked around for help identifying the trees. I even carried a photo of the blossoms on my smartphone. No one could tell me the species of the trees, not even people who had lived in the city for their entire lives. Many responses sounded like, “What trees? Oh, those trees. Don’t know.” Some people didn’t even realize the trees were in bloom. How could this be? How could trees that make our world more beautiful go unnoticed? And how could we take the world around us so much for granted? We see, but are we seeing?

#1 – Possibilities
Fun DIY Craft Ideas Do you throw “junk” away only to discover similar items cleverly refurbished and for sale at thrift stores, flea markets, and “vintage” stores? Do you think to yourself, “I wish I hadn’t thrown my _______ away. If I’d only known it would make such a nice _______, I would have saved it.” Where you saw lack of potential, someone else saw possibilities. If everyone could see such transformative possibilities, there would be less waste in our landfills. Use your imagination. To get your creative juices going, here are a few Fun DIY Craft Ideas. What happened to the child in you who built forts out of pillows or made cakes out of mud?

#2 – DIY Father’s Day Gifts
40 DIY Father's Day Gift Ideas Don’t take your father for granted. Show him how much you care and how much he means to you by making him a special gift. Brit + Co. provides some great ideas in their post titled 40 DIY Father’s Day Gift Ideas. Dad is sure to love anything you make, but the Whiskey, Caramel, Marshmallow, and Bacon Bark looks really good to me!

#3 – A Splash Of Sea Water
Photo of Magnified Drop of Water What’s in that gulp of sea water you just swallowed? “Not much?” you say? Well, check out this photograph of “one dip of a hand net” into sea water by David Littschwager. It’s been magnified 25 times. Read about all the aquatic flora and fauna you take for granted, too!

#4 – Being Grateful
Rainbow Thinking: What Are You Grateful For? Writing in a gratitude journal is one way of keeping life in perspective. No matter how bad your day has been, there’s bound to be something for which you are grateful. The site Rainbow Thinking focuses on gratitude by allowing people to anonymously submit entries about what they are grateful for and by posting the submissions of other people. What are you grateful for?

#5 – What Makes It Different?
“You can take for granted that people know more or less what a street, a shop, a beach, a sky, an oak tree look like. Tell them what makes this one different.”
Neil Gaiman

Go now and spread joy!

Read Full Post »

Greek Salad with Orzo and Black-Eyed Peas Better together? Sometimes marriages work and sometimes they don’t. But magic occurs when two entities come together and bring out the best in each other. That is exactly what happens in the case of this Greek Salad. In actuality it is composed of two distinct salads, each possessing the substance and flavors to stand alone. The orzo component is light and refreshing with hints of lemon and oregano. By comparison, the black-eyed peas component brings in a certain earthiness with its flavors of tomatoes and parsley. Combining all components together creates a more interesting flavor-complex. This marriage definitely works.

Greek salad with Orzo and Black-Eyed Peas
Paul Grimes and Shelley Wiseman, Gourmet (August 2008)

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup orzo
1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 large tomato, diced (1 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
1/2 seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise, cored, and diced (1 cup)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, slivered
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano
2 to 3 cups coarsely chopped romaine
1/2 pound feta, crumbled (1 cup)
4-8 peperoncini
Salt and freshly ground pepper

EQUIPMENT: 4 (16-ounce) wide jars or container with lids
ACCOMPANIMENT: pita chips

DIRECTIONS
1. Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain in a sieve and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain well.

2. Toss black-eyed peas, tomato, and parsley with vinegar, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Marinate, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, toss together orzo, remaining tablespoon oil, cucumber, olives, onion, lemon zest and juice, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

4. Divide black-eyed pea mixture (with juices) among jars and layer orzo salad, romaine, and feta on top. Add 1 or 2 peperoncini to each jar.

Cooks’ note: Assembled jars can be chilled up to 6 hours. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I only had Meyer lemons on hand and the results were wonderful.
2. I chopped a few small springs of basil from my garden and added it to the orzo mixture. I loved the added flavor it brought to the salad.
3. If you don’t want to serve the salad in jars, try layering the components in a clear glass salad bowl.
4. For a vegan version, leave off the feta cheese.

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Pistachio Shortbread Cookies A package of pistachio shortbread cookies sits in a basket near a cash register in a New Mexico restaurant. I debate whether or not to buy them. On the con side of the debate, eating cookies goes against my desire to lose weight and they seem a bit pricey at three small cookies for $3.99. However, on the pro side, I am on vacation and only a crazy person attempts to diet while traveling. Plus, my hubby and I need something to munch on during a long drive back to our hotel. Dilemma solved. I buy the cookies and eat them in the car, but that only creates a new dilemma. Because the cookies possess an exquisitely buttery taste and a wonderfully crunchy texture, I crave for more.

Back at home, I search for an easy pistachio shortbread cookie recipe that will satisfy my cravings. Found it. Another dilemma solved. That is, until my next trip and my next craving!

Pistachio Shortbread
Adapted from Epicurious

INGREDIENTS
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1½ sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup natural unsalted pistachios, lightly toasted, chopped
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
1. Mix flour, powdered sugar, and salt together in a food processor.
2. Add butter, pistachios, egg yolk, and vanilla.
3. Pulse the mixture until a moist ball forms. Transfer dough to work surface. Divide dough in half.
4. Form each dough half into 8 x 1¼-inch log (if dough is too soft, chill until firm, about 30 minutes).
5. Wrap logs in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 5 days ahead; keep chilled.
6. Preheat oven to 325°F.
7. Slice logs into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, rolling log after every few slices to retain round shape.
8. Place rounds on ungreased baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart. Bake shortbread until barely golden, about 18 minutes.
9. Cool shortbread on baking sheets.
10. DO AHEAD: Shortbread can be made up to 4 days ahead. Store shortbread in airtight container at room temperature.

Makes about 60 cookies

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I rough chopped the nuts before adding them to the food processor. If you desire larger chunks of nuts in these cookies, you could add whole nuts to the processor. However, keep in mind that chunkier nuts might make it more difficult to slice the dough.

2. I lined the cookie sheets with parchment paper.

3. I chilled the dough logs for 2 hours and they were firm, but easy to slice.

4. These cookies tasted better and had more crunch when they were baked to a light golden brown versus until “barely golden.”

5. Before serving I decided to dust them with Baker’s sugar (ultrafine granular) for a sweet and pretty finish.

6. I only got 44 cookies from this recipe.

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Thai Barbecue Chicken Think Thai. Think of some of the most aromatic and flavor-packed ingredients that go into Thai cooking – lemon grass, ginger, coriander, and fish sauce. Think about expanding your barbecue repertoire. Think about the option of grilling outdoors or baking indoors. Think about a perfect dish to serve at a summer party. Think about eating juicy pieces of delicious chicken. Need more encouragement? Click on the photo to enlarge it. Okay, stop thinking now. Go out and buy the ingredients to make your own exotic Thai barbecue chicken for dinner tonight!

Barbecue Chicken
The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Thai Cooking

INGREDIENTS
1 chicken, about 3 to 3½ lb, cut into 8 to 10 pieces
Lime wedges and fresh red chillies, for garnish

For the Marinade:
2 lemon grass stalks, roots trimmed
1 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
4 shallots, coarsely chopped
1/2 bunch coriander (cilantro) roots, chopped*
1 tbsp palm sugar or light brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce

DIRECTIONS
1. Here’s how to make the marinade: Cut off the lower 2 inches of the lemon grass stalks and chop them coarsely. Put into a food processor with the ginger, garlic, shallots, coriander, sugar, coconut milk, and sauces. Process until smooth.

2. Place the chicken pieces in a dish, pour over the marinade and stir to mix well. Cover the dish and leave in a cool place to marinate for at least 4 hours, or leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

3. Prepare the barbecue or preheat the oven to 400°F. Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade. If you are cooking in the oven, arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer on a rack set over a roasting pan.

4. Cook the chicken on the barbecue over moderately hot coals or on medium heat for a gas barbecue, or bake in the oven for 20–30 minutes. Turn the pieces and brush with the reserved marinade once or twice during cooking.

5. As soon as the chicken pieces are golden brown and cooked through, transfer them to a platter, garnish with the lime wedges and red chillies and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Instead of cutting up a chicken into parts, I opted to use chicken wing parts.

2. *The cookbook author notes that “Coriander roots are more intensely flavoured than the leaves, but the herb is not always available with the roots intact.” According to Fine Cooking, “If you can’t find any cilantro root, substitute chopped cilantro stems with a few leaves mixed in.” I read in several places that an appropriate substitution is two cilantro stems for each root, since coriander stems are not as potent as the roots.

3. My marinade looked greener than the photo in the cookbook – I added too much cilantro.

4. Palm sugar is sold in hard-packed cakes at Asian markets. Grate the cakes to measure and use.

5. I let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator overnight and for an additional half-day.

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Citrus Gazpacho A trip to the American Southwest and blistering hot days prompt me to explore the world of chilled soups. After eating at Cafe Pasqual’s, a James Beard America’s Regional Cooking Classics award winner, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I left a few pounds heavier. Not only did I eat every bit of food that was placed before me, I also toted home two of Cafe Pasqual’s cookbooks in my suitcase. In one of the books, Chef Katharine Kagel shares a much-requested recipe for a refreshing citrus-flavored gazpacho.

Citrus Gazpacho
Recipe from Cooking with Cafe Pasqual’s

INGREDIENTS
4 large ripe tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice
Zest and fruit of 1 orange
Zest of 1/2 and fruit of 1 pink grapefruit
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1/4 medium red onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS
1. Fill a large saucepan with enough water to cover the tomatoes. Place over high heat and bring to a full boil. While the water is heating, use the tip of a sharp paring knife to score a small X on the bottom of each tomato, just piercing the skin.

2. Put the tomatoes into the boiling water for 20 seconds. Use tongs to transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl filled with ice and water. (This will stop further cooking.) Allow the tomatoes to cool for a few minutes, remove them from the water, and peel their skins with either a paring knife or your fingers, starting at the scored end. Discard the peel.

3. Core and dice one tomato and reserve it. Slice the other tomatoes in half crosswise, and squeeze out the seeds. Remove the cores. Put the tomatoes into the container of a blender.

4. Place the garlic, vinegar, orange juice, and orange and grapefruit zests into the blender with the tomatoes and whirl. Transfer the puree to a serving pitcher or a serving bowl and add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, and olive oil.

5. To prepare the fruit, use a paring knife on a cutting board to cut off both ends of the grapefruit and orange so that the fruit can securely stand on end for cutting. Starting from the top of the citrus, slice off all the peel and pith, following the contour. All the fruit will now be exposed. Cradle the fruit in the palm of your hand you aren’t using for slicing, and use the paring knife to cut loose each fruit segment from the inner side of the membrane. Angle the long side of the blade between the fruit and the membrane toward the center of each segment, cutting in a V configuration. No membrane should be attached to the fruit segments.

6. Add the fruit segments to the gazpacho mixture and stir.

7. Add the salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

8. Chill well before serving.

Makes 6 cups

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I couldn’t find pink grapefruit at my local market, so I used a red grapefruit instead.
2. The recipe didn’t indicate when to add the reserved diced tomatoes, so I added them in with the cucumbers, bell pepper, and red onions.
3. I added 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
4. Chef Kagel notes in her recipe, “The trick to this recipe is to cut all the diced ingredients into uniform dimensions.”

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: