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Posts Tagged ‘food’

salad2

A few weeks ago I received a cookbook to review: “The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook” by Matt Kadey. With summer temperatures in Boston this year especially sultry for days and days on end, tonight seemed like a perfect time to test out one of the recipes.

Flipping through breakfast, starters and sides, main dishes, and desserts, Peach Salad with Chocolate Vinaigrette caught my eye. Fresh peaches, prosciutto, mozzarella, mint, dried cherries, and almonds drizzled with a chocolate dressing? What’s not to like? And it was considered a main dish. Chocolate for dinner, hooray!

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sole

In the webinar I am currently teaching “An American culinary journey: From succotash to urban chickens,” we are spending an entire section on Julia Child.

In many ways Julia’s own journey (and I feel like I can be on a first name basis here, since her genius lay in her ability to be accessible and engaging) epitomizes the transition of American cuisine – from one that was recovering from war rations and Jell-O molds into the discovery of cuisine, food as an element able to delight the senses, engage the mind, and empower a cook to exude creativity.

Her own awakening, as it is widely known, came in Rouen, France with sole meunière.

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chicken picture

Come join me for a four-week webinar seminar An American Culinary Journey: From Succotash to Urban Chickens in partnership with Principia College. The course will meet online for one hour every Monday night, beginning April 1. No homework required! Just learn, share, and have fun.

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France, it has long been known, has the power to ignite a passion for food.

Julia Child overcame prejudice and disdain for Americans to earn her culinary badge from Paris Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in the 1950s. Her memoir, “My Life in France,” details her love affair with the country and its culinary masterpieces. Food writer Amanda Hesser wooed a grumpy peasant caretaker in a walled kitchen garden at Chateau du Fey in Burgundy, France, and wrote about it in “The Cook and the Gardner.” And even food blogger-turned author Molly Wizenburg of Orangette fame traces her food writing epiphany to the streets of France in “A Homemade Life.”

A street in Paris from "Cowgirl Chef" by Ellise Pierce (Steve Legato/Courtesy of Running Press).

A street in Paris from “Cowgirl Chef” by Ellise Pierce (Steve Legato/Courtesy of Running Press).

There are countless other Americans who traveled to France and suddenly found a new direction in life centered on food. So revered is French cuisine that its principles are a bedrock in Western culinary schools. In November 2010, French gastronomy was added to UNESCO’s “intangible cultural heritage” world list.

And then there is Ellise Pierce, the Cowgirl Chef, who followed a Frenchman to Paris only to get homesick for Texas. There, in the romantic culinary capital of the world, the former journalist found herself yearning for cornbread, hot chilis, and even – gasp – Milky Way candybars.

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Apple sour cream pie

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This is my second apple pie of the season. My first apple pie came after an annual trek out to an apple orchard to ride in the tractor pulled wagon, pick a bag of apples, and eat way too may cider doughnuts and fist-fulls of kettle corn. It’s one of those things we do to mark the passing of time in New England.

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This is a blondie recipe I put together while watching the vice presidential debates. I wanted to make something simple that wouldn’t have me babysitting the oven the way a batch of chocolate chip cookies would. I also needed to use up the miscellaneous ingredients I had in my pantry leftover from making Presidential Cookies with recipes from Michelle Obama and Ann Romney.

After poking around online, I found this recipe to serve as my base and then added white and dark chocolate chips, walnuts, and toasted coconut to make a blondie brownie bar. (more…)

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Tuna steak kabobs

Juicy, tasty, healthy, and – best of all – quick, tuna steak kabobs don’t require an outdoor grill. Just stir together some olive oil, lime juice, and Dijon mustard for a tangy-spicy marinade and load up some kabob skewers for just a few minutes under the broiler.

Tuna steak kabobs, or use your favorite fish, is a fast go-to dinner for a busy weekday night.

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“I’ll have an Arnold Palmer.” Do you know what I mean? Lemonade and ice tea, and somehow my current favorite beverage. Named for the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, the drink is said to have been born in the 1960s, according to Parade magazine, when Mr. Palmer asked a waitress at a course in Palm Springs to mix lemonade into his iced tea. Another customer overheard his request, and “a Palmer” was born. It’s refreshing powers are said to be the perfect drink to revive onself after 18 holes under the sun.

“You can now find it everywhere!” said Palmer, who turns 83 on Sept. 10.

Today, the Arizona Beverage Company has a corner on the market of the half-iced-tea, half-lemonade refreshment coming in bottles of all sizes, including a 20-ounce version bearing not only the image of Arnold Palmer, but a golf ball-shaped neck. Palmer, who stormed on the golfing scene to battle Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player just as TVs became a fixture in every American living room, is said to have been a master of sports marketing.

But really, how hard is it to make your own Arnold Palmer at home? Not hard at all! You can either mix up store-bought lemonade and iced tea, or you can make it from scratch.

Here are some recipes to help you stir up your own Arnold Palmer. But no promises on improving your swing.

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August 15 is Julia Child’s birthday and 2012 marks her 100th. I wanted to honor Julia by baking a birthday cake for her on my birthday, just a few days before on August 12, using a recipe or two from one of her many collections.

 

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My Grandma Ruth’s birthday fell on the Fourth of July and hardly a year went by that she wasn’t presented with a sheet cake made to look like a flag with a blueberry-studded square in the upper left corner and rows of slivered strawberries marching across white frosting. Sometimes the sugary Old Glory was topped with sparklers.

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