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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

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

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

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

Tomatoes: A Creative Cooking Crew Challenge Round-Up

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This month’s cooking challenge was TOMATOES … in the height of season, delicious and turning up in such creative ways.  Enjoy the round-up from our creative cooks! Continue Reading

Sangrita Granita with Sun-dried Tomato Sugar for a Creative Cooking Crew Challenge

I’ve had Mexico on my mind because, after a good number of years, I’ve decided to go back and visit — this time to explore the Yucatan peninsula. But, that’s not happening until next February so when this month’s challenge (tomatoes) was announced, I decided to bring a little Mexico into my cocina. Or should I say cantina?

This type of post is rare for the pages of FOODalogue so I’m conflicted about whether to classify it as a frozen cocktail or dessert. Continue Reading

Trios: Tacos, Salsas, Toppings and Music|A Creative Cooking Crew Challenge

What do you think of when you hear “tacos”? The traditional street food from Mexico that was introduced to this country in the early 1900s? Your mother’s “ground beef-hard shell-jarred salsa” taco night? Taco Bell? Or, do you think of today’s tacos — those that have been diversified, fancified, and globalized as they make their way through every culture, cuisine and country?

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