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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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The Italian BLT Triple Decker Sandwich | An Alliterative Creative Cooking Crew Challenge

The challenge: Take the iconic triple decker sandwich someplace it’s never been before. Oh yeah, and let’s make it an alliteration using at least 3 ingredients beginning with the same letter.

While the challenge (reasonably) called for making only one sandwich, I made two. Why? … because after the first one, I learned that “triple”refers to # of fillings, not slices of bread — although my original interpretation is a popular one shared by many. But, what the hell? I decided to create a totally different one.

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3 BBQ Side-Dish Kabobs, Mother’s Day and a Creative Cooking Crew Challenge | Crunchy Plantains on a Stick

The Creative Cooking Crew’s challenge for May — what are you bringing to the BBQ? -- was announced about the same time my nephew and his wife said they would be hosting a Mother’s Day barbecue. They’d do the meats and everyone else could bring accompaniments. Perfect timing.

When you’re a cook, it doesn’t matter if it’s Mother’s Day — you still cook. And, because I enjoy cooking, the challenge and, definitely, eating, I couldn’t bring just one thing.

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What’s for Breakfast? A Creative Cooking Crew Challenge

I’m not a boxed cereal kind of gal. Not when I’m alone — and certainly not when I have company.

For challenges (and all-round eating out of the FOODalogue kitchen), I rely on what’s on-hand. Anything that’s not fresh or healthy(ish) is kept to a minimum … a pinch, sprinkle, dusting or dollop.

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The Best Rice Salad Ever!

Just look at that mise en place — and it only partially reflects all the ingredients. The finished dish had 3 different rice varieties, pork loin, cranberries, dates, walnuts, a variety of lentils, herbs, raw vegetables — and a chocolate and orange dressing!! Yes, you read that correctly: chocolate and orange!!

Great for a party or a one-dish meal for the family. Continue Reading

The Dumpling Round-Up: A Creative Cooking Crew Challenge

The first challenge of the New Year for our virtual cooking group was dumplings — those doughy filled purses that are found in most cultures. Our Creative Cooking Crew did an outstanding job. Come see …8316344214_9d16bebb6e_z Continue Reading

Roasted Chestnut Dumplings: Sweet, Savory, Salty and Sassy

My first thought when I hear the word “dumplings” is dim sum. Delicious little and filled pockets of dough that are either steamed or pan fried. I guess it depends on where you come from and what your cultural heritage is as to what dumplings mean to you. Not that I’m Asian, but that’s where my mind went. Perhaps because, interestingly, while most cultures have dumplings, they’re called by different names like pierogi or tortellini, etc.

The Creative Cooking Crew is kicking the new year off with a dumpling challenge. Continue Reading

Thanksgiving Appetizers: Creative Cooking Crew Round-Up

8316344214_9d16bebb6e_zThanksgiving dinner is most everyone’s favorite holiday meal. But, we always lament afterwards that we ate too much. Check out these wonderful light bites that our Creative Cooking Crew made for cocktail appetizers. They’ll leave plenty of room for your turkey, stuffing and all its accompaniments. Continue Reading

The All-American Pie: Mac n’ Cheese, Apple and Bacon with an Apple-Chive Drizzle

I know. This is so un-FOODalogue-like.

But, remember Our Family Food Fight (see sidebar photo)? It had a brief revival Saturday night when my niece suggested a ‘mac n’ cheese’ throw down. Continue Reading

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