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The Holiday Leftover Round-Up | A Creative Cooking Challenge

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We tackled leftovers in this month’s challenge. You know, what to do with this and that … and how to repurpose leftovers so you’re not just eating the same thing over and over again. Click on the various links to see the genesis and transformation of these dishes.

We hope we inspire you to get creative and have fun in the kitchen. Continue Reading

Leftovers: Or How I Turned My Fancy French-Inspired New Year’s Eve Dinner Into a Spicy Asian Fusion Meal

New Year’s Eve was all about indulgences … foie gras with an apple gastrique and chutney, bone marrow, triple créme cheese and baguette rounds that served as the vehicle for all those delectable starters. Then came some shrimp and lentils (for New Year good luck) followed by a main course of cornish hens and black rice. Not just any cornish hens, either. These birds had a little foie gras under the skin and were basted with the fat rendered from the foie. Indulgent!

Though not French, the Chinese black rice was treated with a mirepoix which also included fennel and was mixed with chopped dates and toasted pecans for a little sweet-savory to complement the birds. Side dish: roasted string beans and mushrooms with a little gorgonzola topping. Continue Reading

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve 2014 and New Year’s Day 2015

New Year's Eve 2014

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Season’s Greetings and A Year-End Message About Blogging

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As we move into a new year, I thought I’d make a comment about blogging.

It’s changed. Continue Reading

Old Traditions Die, a New Pasta Shape with Red Lentils and Walnuts

The first half of my life was very much influenced by my Italian-American surroundings … my paternal relatives, my Brooklyn and Staten Island neighborhoods, and my extended family and friends.

That meant I grew up eating all the traditional “Italian” foods of that era. Continue Reading

Rum-Infused Chestnut Bonbons with Dark Chocolate-Crystallized Ginger Dust

“Make something for the Thanksgiving dessert table” … that was this month’s Creative Cooking Challenge.

Since I don’t keep a particularly sweet kitchen and I’m no baker, this one was a little difficult to conceptualize. But, I was determined (as I usually am for these challenges) to look around and go with ingredients I already had on hand. I came up with roasted chestnuts, chocolate-covered crystalized ginger (thank you Trader Joe’s), rum from Puerto Rico and a few pantry spices. Continue Reading

Halloween: A Creative Cooking Crew Round-Up

8316344214_9d16bebb6e_zDouble, double … toil and trouble. Let’s see what the Creative Cooking Crew came up with for this month’s challenge. Trick or Treat. Continue Reading

A Few Images from the Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, FL

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The Dali Museum and its grounds are a visual treat and the genius of Salvador Dali is mind-blowing. Continue Reading

Trick or Treat: Meatballs + Spaghetti with Vodka Sauce for a Creative Culinary Crew Challenge

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It’s October — and that means Halloween. And you know what Halloween means … nothing is quite like what it seems.

The Creative Cooking Crew’s challenge this month is to have some fun with the holiday. I decided to play a little virtual trick or treat. But it turned out more like a ‘trick and treat’. Continue Reading

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