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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

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve 2014 and New Year’s Day 2015

New Year's Eve 2014

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Season’s Greetings and A Year-End Message About Blogging

800©joannova 2014

As we move into a new year, I thought I’d make a comment about blogging.

It’s changed. 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

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

Fiesta de “Tres de Mayo”

I invited two friends for dinner Saturday night and, based on what I had on-hand, planned to make Italian fried shrimp and spaghetti with no-cook tomato sauce. But, Saturday morning, I changed my mind and went in a totally different direction. The no-cook tomato sauce became salsa, the spaghetti was opted out for black rice … and, with a few other additions, we were headed south-of-the-border just in time to celebrate Tres de Mayo. What? You never heard of Tres de Mayo? Continue Reading

Our “Throwback” Italian Easter Dinner

easter bubbly copy

Easter dinner was an homage to “Nanny”, my brother-in-law’s mother, with whom we shared many Easters when we lived in New York. My sister did most of the cooking and, true to tradition, it was multi-coursed, calorie-laden, acid-inducing and molto delizioso. Continue Reading

Thought for the New Year

“… because that’s what new year’s is all about … getting another chance, a chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more, and to stop worrying about what if and start embracing what will be.

So when that ball drops at midnight, and it will drop, let’s remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other, and not just tonight but all year long.”

Claire Morgan (character played by Hilary Swank in movie “New Year’s Eve”, 2011)

Happy New Year to all my faithful and occasional readers. Know that your friendship is valued.

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