Friday, February 26, 2010


Our group of nine meets monthly for lunch.  One person decides on the theme, selects recipes for the rest of us to make, and makes the main entree.  There was no theme yesterday, simply recipes that the hostess put together.  The most wonderful thing that came out of the lunch, for me, was the Pink Peppercorn Thyme Soda, a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage.  See RECIPE ARCHIVE.   Next month I host and have decided on a vegetarian menu:
*  Endive With Cabrales
*  Broccoli Egg-Lemon Soup
*  Cheese-Garlic Biscuits
*  Tomato and Avocado Salad with Lime-Herb Dressing
*  Eggplant Mykonos
*  Zucchini Bread Pudding
*  Hericots Verts With Herb Butter
*  Carmelized Apple Tart with Cinnamon Custard
*  Lemon Mint Iced Tea
Some of these recipes I've made and others I haven't.  I hope it goes well!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Keep it simple, Stupid! (KISS). That was the thought of this blog. However, not making any entries at all may be considered too simple. What's been going on? While I've been spending time auditing the books of the Garden Club of Ramsey County, trying to book a weekend trip for TUS ("The Usual Suspects" which includes us) (couldn't make it happen), planning this upcoming weekend trip to the Albuquerque area, playing bridge with friends Jean & John, talking to friends, working out, and all of those other things, life is getting away from me!

On the food front: Kevin went shopping this weekend and we have been eating!!! Sunday night: Spinach soup and baked cod over rhubarb sauce (love having rhubarb in my garden!); Tuesday: a recipe from Muffaletta Restaurant in St. Anthony Park - a pasta dish including chicken, butternut squash puree with dried cranberries, toasted pecans, spinach, etc.; tonight: pan grilled swordfish with a tomato/basil/garlic/etc. salsa, roasted broccoli, and a salad of mixed greens, avocado, black olives, roasted red peppers, toasted almonds, and feta cheese in a standard vinaigrette. Thursday is lunch with the Cooking Capers, our local cooking group.

So here’s the question… when am I going to lose the 10 pounds, and how am I going to do it? Any ideas?

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Here's the recipe for the bread pudding referenced in my earlier post:

White Chocolate Bread Pudding with White Chocolate Sauce. Bon Appétit December 1996. Serves 6. Restaurant: Palace Café; New Orleans, Louisiana

8 ounces French bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 cup milk (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
1/2 cup sugar
18 ounces good-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Baker's),coarsely chopped
7 large egg yolks
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 275°F. Arrange bread cubes on baking sheet. Bake until light golden and dry, about 10 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to rack; cool completely. Increase oven temperature to 350°F.

Combine 3 cups whipping cream, 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup sugar in heavy large saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add 10 ounces white chocolate (about 1 3/4 cups) and stir until melted and smooth. Whisk yolks and eggs in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in warm chocolate mixture.

Place bread cubes in 2-quart glass baking dish. Add half of chocolate mixture. Press bread cubes into chocolate mixture. Let stand 15 minutes. Gently mix in remaining chocolate mixture. Cover dish with foil.

Bake pudding 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer pudding to rack and cool slightly. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with foil and refrigerate. Rewarm covered pudding in 350°F oven for 30 minutes before serving.)

Bring remaining 1/2 cup cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove saucepan from heat. Add remaining 8 ounces white chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.

Serve pudding warm with warm white chocolate sauce.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

GARDENING: Summer & Winter

About now we could all use a reminder of the incredible colors that Summer brings.  As you can tell from the second photo, there is not much going on in the way of gardening at this time - other than attending garden club meetings.  Last night's topic was "Managing Your Soil for a Healthy Garden."  What I learned:  Keep adding compost... but I think I may have already known that.
THIS SUMMER:            

FEBRUARY 16, 2010:    
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Friday, February 12, 2010

EATING: St. Paul School of Culinary Arts & Kafe 421

OMG... what a food day!  Lunch was a "Valentines" lunch at the St. Paul School of Culinary Arts.  They offer themed buffet lunches on Fridays during the school year, prepared by the students.  It's a really good deal at $10.  FYI, next Friday the theme is "German."  Then met friends (and Kevin) for dinner at Kafe 421 in Dinkytown.  I highly recommend the appetizer platter.  A meal in itself and delicious!   I know I'm now going to go sleep this all off (even though I really should go run this off).  Oh well...  Good night and blessings to you all.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Last night I completed a course re Selling on eBay. It has been a lot of fun over the years accumulating "stuff" but when we moved into this house five years ago I told myself "no more buying; now you're selling." Where to start when getting rid of things!? I maintain an ongoing box that goes to Goodwill; I've recycled 95% of my old work files; as my friends probably know, I've recycled/gifted a number of things; yet, my closets are full! It may not be the best economy to start selling on eBay but I'm going to give it a try. I'll keep you posted!


Today I'm getting together with a friend to help her prepare a Valentines Day meal for her husband. She's not a cook so I'll be teaching as we go. Fun! Here's the menu:

* Layered Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Stack
* Carrot Soup
* Snapper on Angel Hair Pasta with Citrus Cream (Bon Appetit, June 2002)
* Charred Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta (Thanks Colette!)
* White Chocolate Bread Pudding with White Chocolate Sauce
Let me know if you want the recipe(s).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

WELCOME! Cooking, Entertaining, Gardening, Collecting and Life

Today is the beginning of a new chapter... not only the doing but the writing of the doing. When you have a passion it only adds to the fun when you can share it with others. I hope that you will find something here to add to the fun in your life and to your passions. Enjoy your day!