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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

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

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

Holy Cannoli: A Frozen Stuffed Banana Cannoli

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. FOODalogue made dessert. But, fear not, it’s not precise and I didn’t sift or bake. It’s a frozen treat.

And it’s my contribution to this month’s Creative Cooking Crew challenge: “stuff it!”

Once again this was the first thing that popped in my head when the challenge theme was revealed — and when that happens, there’s just no thinking of an alternative. Continue Reading

A Duo of Sweet and Savory Cheesecake for High Tea

This month’s 5 Star Makeover Challenge is “high tea”. High Tea?  I don’t even own a teapot. Never did. On the very rare occasion I drink hot tea, I pop a mug with water and a teabag in the microwave.

… I don’t make pastries or eat gooey sweets either and I haven’t eaten white bread since I lost my baby teeth. That was a long time ago. These days, I’m more a ‘vino y tapas‘ kind of gal. Continue Reading

The Cooks Get Cooking: Hurricane Issac

Although we’ve been lucky for a number of years now, living in FL you know the drill and you don’t take chances. A couple days before a storm’s forecasted arrival: fill the gas tank, stock up on water and fresh ingredients — fruits, veggies, cheeses, crusty bread. Things that are easy to eat without power. And … while you still have power, start cooking what’s in the freezer.

I was prepared but once it was reality and I was stuck in the house till it passed, my thoughts went to comfort foods. So, with the first rain band, I got cooking – literally!

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My Winter Fruit Compote + Pancake Muffins

I associate compote with my maternal grandmother. It’s not that I have a specific recollection of her making it for me…but, somehow, when I think of compote I think of her, so there must be a connection somwewhere in the recesses of my childhood memories.

I think she would approve of my recipe. Continue Reading

A Spanish-Themed Dinner

I seem to be thinking about Spain a lot these days as witnessed by my last few posts. Perhaps I’m channeling my ancestors. Or, perhaps I’m subconsciously psyching myself for another trip to the Motherland. One can hope for the latter. :)Whatever the reason, it makes for good eats! And while I couldn’t set a chair for each of you at the table, I hope you’ll feel like you were there …perhaps even be inspired to create a similarly themed dinner in your home?

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Biscotti 101 • Wordless Wednesday

How could I be wordless? This was my first foray into making biscotti…2 kinds with whole wheat flour (1) hazelnuts, choc chips, figs and (2) rosemary, pistachio, fennel, dried cherries and a dusting of sweet onion sugar (preferred). Flavors = good; execution = needs improvement.

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