Tuesday, January 25, 2011


A very generous friend just gave me a new book for use in my blog.  It is titled Encyclopedia of Kitchen Secrets by Dr. Myles H. Bader, and it contains over 25,000 food facts and chefs' secrets.  Wow!  What an amazing book.  Thank you dear friend!

As a result, you will begin to see many more "Cooking Tips" in the tab above AND if any of you have a cooking question, you can post it and I will be able to easily check the book and respond.  In fact, I'd love to see if we can play "Stump the Book" by your questions.  I'll go first. 

My mother-in-law and I regularly have a debate over how to store olive oil - in the refrigerator or in the cupboard.  So let's see if the book says anything about storing oils. 

Okay, found it!  Here we go!

"Science of Storing Oils.
     All oils should be resealed as tightly as possible and stored in a cool, dry location, preferably the refrigerator.  Cloudiness is common when oil is refrigerated and the oil will return to normal if allowed to remain at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes.  If a container of oil is left out of the refrigerator for even a short period of time on a hot, humid day, the oil will start to become rancid very quickly.  Oil that has been opened is only fresh for about 4 months and should be discarded after that.  It would be wise to date the oil container when it is purchased.  Rancidity will usually begin about 4 months after the oil is purchased regardless of the method of storage.  Exposure to light for long periods will cause almost any oil to turn brown.
     Oil that is in a sealed, unopened bottle will stay fresh for 1 year.  When oil is poured out of the bottle into any other container for any reason, it should never be returned to the original container and mixed with the clean oil.  Contamination is possible and may ruin the balance of the oil left in the container.  Unrefined oils high in essential fatty acids only have a high quality shelf life of 3-6 weeks and must be refrigerated.  If you wish to freeze the quality oil, it will be good for about 12 months."
Well, I guess I wasn't able to "Stump the Book" but I hope you'll try!  Send your questions...

Thursday, January 13, 2011


This very easy recipe results in a tasty and special cookie.  Let me know if you try it out!

Cream together:
*  1/2 lb butter
*  1/2 cup white sugar
Mix in:
*  1 cup flour
*  1-1/2 cup oatmeal (NOT quick cook)
*  1/4 teaspoon salt
*  1 teaspoon almond extract
Take about a teaspoon of dough and roll it into a ball.  Place on cookie sheet and press with a fork in a cross pattern.  Bake 10 minutes at 350ยบ.  Sift powdered sugar on cookies as soon as taken from the oven.
Makes about 40 cookies.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Greetings and all best wishes for a fabulous 2011!  Last night we rung in the new year with great friends, a delicious feast, the movie "Sideways", and then watching Dick Clark, et. al. on TV.  It was fun seeing Kevin stay awake so late!

I brought an appetizer that got very favorable reviews. It is easy to make, relatively healthy and tasty.

Asparagus Appetizer
Place the following ingredients in a blender:
* 1/2 cup packed parsley
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* Zest of 1/2 lemon
* 1 teaspoon dijon mustard (I substituted Smoked Onion Mustard.)
Puree the above ingredients and then mix with
* 1/2 cup real mayonnaise
Taste and add salt.
Blanch 2 bunches of asparagus in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain off the hot water then run under cold water to stop the cooking. Place on cloths to dry.  To serve, place dip in a bowl surrounded by the asparagus.  Refrigerate until serving.  Can be made a day in advance.