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Showing posts from July, 2011

Vicki, Vicki, Vicki!!!

Vicki, my sister, joined us for the birthday weekend and without her, the whole weekend probably wouldn't have come about.

You see, it was her idea to fly up for Mom's birthday. Then John decided to join us. And then David decided to come too. At that point, we figured a party was in order, so we invited thirty of Mom's friends in Evergreen to join us.....sent out invitations, and got to work.

Which is another reason that Vicki was invaluable. On the day of the party, Vicki was a tireless help in the kitchen. While John got the meat ready for the BBQ, Vicki helped me with the preparation of all the other dishes. (And yes, David helped as well with logistical stuff like setting up tables.)

Despite hours spent slaving away in a very hot kitchen, Vicki looked lovely at the actual party.

Her she is with the guest of honor, later that evening.

And to truly appreciate this picture, you have to look at the picture below. When I took my siblings on a scenic drive up to Echo Lake,…

Cauliflower Rye Casserole: Like Fondue, in a Strata

As the heat outside blazes on, we continue in our vegetarian theme as a source of light, satisfying meals. I will be presenting a couple recipes from SUNDAYS AT MOOSEWOOD cookbook simply because I am enchanted with their recipes from around the world, which gives me not only the opportunity to try common vegetables (in this case cauliflower...which you can only mash so many times and pretend it's potatoes, and boiled? forget it.) in unique dishes, but also to experience the food of other cultures (almost like traveling but without having to go to the airport and be x-rayed naked or touched in inappropriate places by strangers).

This week's recipe comes from Finland and is called "Cauliflower Rye Casserole" and comes with the caveat that you should appreciate rye and cauliflower if you want to enjoy this very rich dish. It is for all intents and purposes an egg strata, however, in texture and taste, it comes closer to feeling like a fondue. So rich you might want to …

The Boys are Alright

My two brothers and sister flew up to help celebrate Mom's 84th birthday. It was a a wonderful weekend with a birthday party with 30 guests, a family portrait, and a trip to Vail. Over the coming week, I'll be sharing some photos from our weekend together, starting with these from Vail, which is one of my favorite places in the world.

On this occasion, we took the gondola to the top of the mountain where we enjoyed lunch and then a walk on one of the trails. To say the scenery was beautiful is an understatement.

The views of the Rockies are unbelievable, so it was an lovely afternoon.

I'm hoping that in this picture they were simply overwhelmed by the stunning scenery and not actually as bored as they appear!

Homemade Pesto from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

It's hot outside, so who wants to cook?

After two weeks of daily rain that kept us nice and cool, the sun and heat have returned with a vengeance. Today it reached 90 F, and since most homes here don't have air conditioning, elaborate, heat generating meals aren't high on the to-do list.

Which is what inspired today's recipe of homemade pesto from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. This cookbook, by one of the most famous teachers of Italian cooking, is actually an updated version of two of her previous cookbooks: The Classic Italian Cook Book and More Classic Italian Cooking.

I actually watched a cooking demonstration by Marcella Hazan about fifteen years ago at the Aspen Food and Wine Festival, which as a quick aside, is an absolute must on the foodie's bucket list. (Although, to really enjoy yourself, don't go alone, go with a friend or partner who enjoys food and wine as much as you do.) And as much as I knew about Marcella Hazan, …

Super Easy, Incredibly Tasty, Tomato Sauce

This week's recipe comes from THE SAVORY WAY by Deborah Madison, author of The Greens Cookbook, which we featured last week.

My choice this week was inspired by the simple fact that I had a bunch of tomatoes that needed to be used before they spoiled and so I went in search of an easy tomato sauce recipe.

This summer we've slowly been converted from using store-bought jar  variety spagetti sauce to those we make ourselves. They are simple, require few ingredients, and we don't have to question the quality of the ingredients, or the amount of sugar or salt used.

Our previous ventures in sauce making required the blanching, peeling, and food processing of the tomatoes before reducing them into a sauce. I assigned the blanch and peeling to Mom, since I abhor that sort of delicate work which invariably tries my patience.

Which is why I was thrilled to read the Deborah Madison's recipe for tomato sauce which skipped these steps altogether. In fact, the recipe consists of l…

Cracking the Quiche Code

This week's recipe comes from THE GREENS COOK BOOK by Deborah Madison. And while the book's primary focus, as evidenced by the title, is cooking with vegetables, the really valuable lesson that I learned had to do with quiche.

I love quiche in all it's flavorful varieties. However, more times than not, the quiche that I made would produce an egg custard that was flat and dense.

Which is why I was so very surprised when I made this tart/quiche and received a light, fluffy, quiche that was so tasty that one of my tasters actually asked for the recipe! Which is why I decided to include it in this week's recipe.

So what made the difference? It appears to be in the dairy/egg ratio used in the recipe. Normally, when making a quiche I would use 4 -5 eggs and a cup of milk.

In The Greens Cookbook, Deborah Madison calls for two eggs, two yolks, and TWO cups of half and half (or 1 cup milk, 1 cup cream). This additional cup of cream/milk, seems to make all the difference and re…