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Warm, Spicy and Savory Apple Pot Pie with Cool Apple Cream and Sweet Apple Slaw | A Creative Cooking Crew Challenge

This month’s challenge allowed us to pick our own ingredient to star in a dish. Easy, right? Well, no … we had to showcase it both hot and cold!

I used the double definitions of ‘hot’ (temperature and spicy) and ‘cold’ (temperature and cooling-off spice effect) in 3 separate apple applications in this dish. Continue Reading

Family Day and Crab Boil Pictorial

Well, a pictorial and a few words of explanation.

“Family Day” means quality time with the ones you love most … enjoying the day, the activities and, of course, eating well. This is how Family Day went down yesterday at Jim and Julie’s. Continue Reading

Squash Challenge: Trick or Treat!

I was all over the place with this month’s theme. I had 10X as many ideas as there are varieties of squash. And then I realized it was Halloween. Why not don a toque and costume myself as a “baker and candy-maker”? No one would recognize me, for sure!

“Come in my little pretties … I have a treat for you.” Hee hee. Continue Reading

Wordless Wednesday: I Baked! | Oatmeal Muffins

I added sour cream, dates and almonds.

Broccoli Rabe + Escarole Torta

Technique. Once you know a technique, everything is easy and the possibilities are endless. I owe this technique to Deborah of Italian Food Forever who posted a “torta di erbe” about a week ago. It caught my attention because it didn’t require pastry dough to hold it together. What do I have against pastry dough? It tastes good, yes, but I consider it my nemesis. It involves a measure of patience and skill I care not to cultivate plus I hate the mess of working with flour, not to mention the subsequent unwanted calories. This was more like it!

I know I am going to be making variations of this for a long time to come. In fact, I already have my next one planned…I’m thinking Greek…with spinach, artichokes, feta and calamata olives. Drool. Continue Reading

Family Food Fight Battles Carbs + A New Recipe

Life has a funny way of getting between you and the things you like to do sometimes. Fortunately, for us, it’s been all good things like a wedding, a graduation, various trips out of town, and lots of other happy events.

It had been quite a while since we battled it out in the kitchen. So when Jim called one day last week  to ask “how about a Family Food Fight this weekend?”, I was ‘all in’. And, since 3 of us are watching carbs these days, we decided the theme of the challenge would be Atkins-friendly.

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Broccoli Rabe Pastry Buns + Honest Cooking

A month or so ago, I was approached by Kalle Bergman to contribute to a new concept in online magazines, Honest Cooking.

From Kalle: It is not run by an established old-media-conglomerate, nor is it a recipe sharing website for traditional forum based foodie interaction. Instead, it is a serious and ambitious new online food magazine, with the goal to feature the absolute cream of the crop of food and wine bloggers and writers. (Blush.) I liked his ambition and I liked his style. A lot!

The magazine launched Monday. As promised, it has interesting articles that are very attractively presented. This is my first contribution.

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Cod Fish Pot Pie • Alaska • Culinary Tour Around the World

Welcome to Alyeska…”the great land”…”the last frontier”…the 49th state.

Alaska is the home of six distinct groups of American Indians/Alaskan natives; European settlers; families of gold-miners, lumberjacks, oilmen, fishermen, and…you betcha, Sarah Palin. Continue Reading

My Sicilian Birthday Cake

It’s a new year, it’s a new dawn and I’m keeping my resolutions (so far). I’ve exercised (well, taken pastoral walks in the nature preserve), kept up with my photo-a-day challenge* (3 consecutive days!) and I baked. In fact, I made my own birthday cake!

When I was little (well, young, never little) and living in Brooklyn, my mother would send me to the Italian grocer on the corner for Sicilian bread (the kind baked with sesame seeds). It was a must-have in Italian-American homes at that time. I’m told the grocer had a good laugh when I’d ask for bread “with all the Sicilians on it.” Wasn’t I precious? :)

I loved this cake the moment I first saw it. It just sang to me of the Mediterranean with its use of olive oil and oranges. In my mind’s eye I saw Italy and, when I got around to making it, I pinpointed my interpretation to Sicily. Continue Reading

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