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A Real HAM-burger | A Creative Cooking Crew Challenge

Nova_1846February 04- 2015HAMburger
What is a burger really?

The classic and simplest version is a protein patty (usually ground beef) on a bun with a condiment and generally a fresh element, like a piece of lettuce or tomato.  Oh yes, there’s often cheese. But it doesn’t end there; the more creative and expensive the restaurant, the wider the variety. This month’s challenge was to take a burger someplace it’s never been before. To create something not likely to wind up on the ‘Mickey D’ menu board. Continue Reading

Sicilian Style Pork Meatballs on a Cheesy Butternut Squash Mash

I’ve got Sicily on my mind. After many trips to Italy, I’m finally looking south and exploring  a 2015 trip to Sicily and southern Italy. Yeah, I know, I recently said almost the same thing about a trip to the Yucatan in 2015. I’m doing both.

So, what makes a meatball Sicilian? Continue Reading

An Asian-Inspired Dinner Party or Anyone Can Cook Anything!

Yeah, that’s my take on cooking food outside your ethnicity. All it takes is knowing what you like, a few good seasoning agents*, a dash of confidence and access to google for recipes or to answer any last-minute questions. It may not be “authentic”, but it could (should) be tasty.

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A Latin-Inspired Birthday Lunch Was the Answer to a Super Bowl Day Conflict

As you may know, in my family, we celebrate everyone’s birthday with a group dinner generally late Sunday afternoon of the birthday week. So, a couple of weeks ago I sent out a family text announcing I would host Gram’s (the family matriarch) and Julie’s (my d-in-l) birthdays on 2/2 at 5:00. Yikes … the push back was immediate. You think I said the world was coming to an end!

Not being a fan of football (or bad fried and cheesy food-fests), I didn’t realize there was something else scheduled for that day. We compromised and I moved the festivities up to lunch so ‘those who cared’ could be home or wherever for the big kick-off. Continue Reading

You Can Have Your Burger and Eat It Too! Turkey + Avocado Burger with the Works

Who doesn’t love a good burger? I know I do, but I don’t like sacrificing near to a whole day’s worth of calories and consuming food that I know is not really good for me.

This burger is packed with flavor; in fact, it’s tastier than the traditional cheeseburger and it contains significantly fewer calories, saturated fat and sodium. Continue Reading

Pork Steak Peperonata

Do you have a leftover container of your favorite pasta sauce in the freezer? This is a really tasty and easy use for it. Continue Reading

Creative Cooking Crew: Meat n’ Potatoes Challenge

What’s comes to your mind when you think of meat and potatoes?

I bet most people would say a Sunday roast or, perhaps, a slow-cooked stew or meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Undoubtedly, beef would be the most popular answer — so I went with ham. 

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Braised Pork Belly with Creamy Cannellini Beans and Candied Tomatoes

One of the courses in Sunday’s Brunch, Booze + Bagpipes was pork belly, ‘stilo Italiano’. Continue Reading

Brunch, Booze and Bagpipes

My friend, Gail, said “Father Time is knocking on my door again“. She wanted to get together with the gals for a birthday brunch on Sunday. Here, in South FL, we have lots of brunch choices from waterfront casual to high-end hotels. We generally tend toward the high-end, like the Four Seasons, for these special celebrations. But, hey, they’re expensive, a little stiff, and you can’t hang out ALL day. Wouldn’t it be more fun to do a brunch at home?

I volunteered to host the brunch at “Casa Nova” and the gals readily agreed.

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