Thursday, December 31, 2009

NYE appetizer: Crab Cocktail Spread

One of may go to appetizers is this recipe my sister Regina passed on to me. I lost the original, but was able to find it on, I believe it's the original (correct me if I'm wrong, Reg:)

Crab Cocktail Spread
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbsp. chopped onion
Garlic salt to taste
6 oz. bottled cocktail sauce
1 (7 1/2 oz.) can lump crab meat
2 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
Assorted crackers

Combine the first 5 ingredients. Spread mixture in a deep 10-inch glass pie plate. Pour cocktail sauce over mixture. Layer the crab on the sauce. Sprinkle parsley over all.
Cover with plastic wrap sealing edges of pie plate and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled with assorted crackers. Yield 12 to 15 servings.

Tonight for a smaller gathering, I'm going to put them in the fillo dough shells I have!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Apple Venison Meatloaf

1 egg beaten
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp prepared horseradish
2 cups shredded peeled apples
2 cups unseasoned stuffing cubes
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp ground mustard
2 pounds ground veison

In a large bowl. combine the 1st seven ingredients. Crumble venison over the mixture and mix well. Pat into ungreaased 9" X 5" loaf pan. Bake uncovered at 350 for 60-70 minutes or until no pink color remains and a meat thermometer reads 160. Serves 8.

Eileen, I was thinking of you when my old neighbor Marie showed me this from a magazine:)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Questions from a non-beef lover.

In your Individual Beef Wellington recipe from Sunday, November 2, 2008 it calls for Beef tenderloin. I was at the supermarket yesterday and the only Beef tenderloin they had in the case was $75 and that's way more meat than I could ever use. What do I look for? Additionally do you put the whole 4-6 oz piece in the puff pastry or do you cut it up? Searing is quickly in a hot skillet on each side? Thanks for the help, I'm going to make the beef, salmon with dill and the chicken with carmalized onion and blue cheese for Christmas Day! (Added bonus of carmalized onion, bacon, and smoke gouda pizza on Wed:)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow Day Recipes

The snow started falling early this Saturday, and I am thrilled to be stuck inside with the family, enjoying a lovely fire, playing games, doing crafts... and ready to start my baking.

We started our day with George's pancake breakfast. I will be making a nice big pot of Mom's clam chowder later. In between, we will be baking Christmas cookies and making Irish cream. What a great way to spend the weekend! I am really looking forward to these Chocolate Mint-filled cookies from

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups flour
2/3 cup butter, softened
¼ cup light corn syrup
2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg
sugar for rolling
48 Andes Mints
1. In saucepan, heat chips on low heat until melted and smooth.
2. In a large bowl with mixer, beat melted chocolate, flour, butter, corn syrup, baking soda, salt, egg and ½ cup sugar until blended. Increase speed to medium and beat until well-mixed, scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate until easy to handle (2 hours).
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place some sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into balls. Roll balls in sugar and bake on cookie sheet 12-15 minutes.
4. Immediately remove ½ of cookies from cookie sheet onto work surface. Top each cookie with 2 mints and place the other half of the cookies on top. If your freezer is big enough, place in freezer until set, or leave at room temperature until set.
Servings: 24
Yield: 2 dozen
Cooking Tips
*These taste divine while still warm, and they are a great frozen treat as well.
**Andes brand mints can be found in the candy section of most stores.

Hope anyone else stuck inside this weekend takes the time to enjoy the forced break from the holiday chaos.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Bread

It must be a hold over to growing up but I love making bread for teachers for christmas. Usually I do pumpkin. I did make a chocolate muffin this fall and am thinking of turning that it to a loaf.

I happen today to have a lot of leftover chopped up apples so was thinking of make an apple bread. I found this and thought I'd try Apple-cranberry bread

I also have a lot of bananas and thought I'd do Bridget's chocolate chip banana bread. My question - The apple recipe talks about making the batter and freezing until ready to bake. That would be great! Would it also work for the banana bread? Can I freeze in the aluminum loaf pans I got?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bridget, would you post your recipe for Veggie Chili?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes!

I really want to try these soon:)
I may have to wait until after the holiday baking is done. We'll see!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake on a pop?

For Thanksgiving I made pumpkin cheesecake. I have leftover in the freezer. I was thinking of trying these - Questions 1. Do you think using frozen thawed out cheesecake would be ok? 2. I was thinking white chocolate would be a better choice with the pumpkin - what do you think? 2. Would you cover in sprinkles or is there another option you might try?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Taffy

Last weekend my mother-in-law made christmas taffy with 6 grandchildren ages 5 to 10. The kids had a wonderful time. Mine were very excited about getting to rub butter on their hand, something they had never done before. Here is the recipe they used. They made lemon/line and cherry, the red and green colors were great. She divided the candy in half and then put a half of package of koolaide in in each one. Worked great so they could have Christmas colors. I no longer have a picture of the taffy, or the taffy. As Maeve just reminded me it doesn't have to be Christmas Taffy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas cookies

I'm putting together my list of cookies I'll be baking for Christmas so I can shop for the necessary ingredients and bake them slowly over the next few weeks. So far I'm hoping to make: gingersnaps, chai spice girls, pecan bars, bourbon balls, date and nut balls, peanut butter temptations, creme de menthe brownies and fudge. I was wondering do you have any creative ideas for packaging them to give as gifts.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What are your best leftover ideas for ham?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas gift idea for a Teenage Foodie

Anyone have any Cool Christmas gift ideas for a 15 year old boy who's hobbies include: video games, movies, and eating:) I was thinking some unique food idea? Thanks in advance for your assistance!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving desserts

We are having a small crowd (5 adults, 3 kids) for thanksgiving. I made a pumpkin cheesecake
it is in the freezer. I will make a chocolate desert because I love chocolate deserts, thinking
Molly asked about pie. Now I like pie but could live w/o it but is does seem like for thanksgiving you need pie, Molly requested apple, Brad's favorite is blueberry so I'm thinking of making
And maybe doing 1/2 apple 1/2 blueberry. I figure I can freeze the leftovers. Anyone ever try mini pies? I worry a little about them coming out of the Muffin tins.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Scalloped Potato Recipe?

Regina, Where is your Scalloped Potato recipe posted? Was it 3 cheese? I want them this weekend:)

Vegetarian Favorites!

Tonight we had a friend of my daughter's and her mother here for Pizza between school and PTA. I promised next month I would cook for them! What's your favorite Company Vegetarian Meal? I'll have to check if they like spicy, for my Veggie Chili:)
Thanks for sharing!

Southwest snack mix

Regina asked for a spicy snack that could be stored in a jar. Here is one we like.

4 cups popped popcorn
3 cups mini pretzel twists
2 cups mini garlic bagel chips
1 cup corn chips
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash Cayenne

In a large bowl, combine popcorn, pretzels, bagels and corn chips.

In a small bowl combine all remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour evenly over popcorn mix, toss gently to coat. Store in tightly covered container.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Great Glazed Cupcake Recipe?

We are having a ladies lunch for my best friend, who is expecting her 3rd baby, in a couple of weeks.
I have a great floral cupcake pan from Pampered Chef ( and am looking for a delicious cupcake recipe to use in it. Because the tops have such a pretty flower design, I don't want to cover in frosting. I am open to different flavors.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Appetizer - Proscuitto & Pear

With the holidays coming up, and a couple of events I am hosting or co-hosting, I was looking for some fun, new appetizers. I just came across this deliciously simple looking appetizer. Plus, it looks beautiful! I will be trying this sometime this month and will report back.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wild food day!

Yesterday was Wild food day. We were busy so postponed it until today. We are having Wild Duck. The best way I found to make wild duck is Orange Duck . Soak the duck in milk for 24 hours to remove the gamey flavor. I make it a little less sweet by adding orange juice instead of Orange Marmalade. I serve with fried rice, egg rolls and baked cream cheese wontons.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Dunican sisters were anti-grocery shopping today. I’m not sure what Regina ended up finding in her pantry and freezer to turn into dinner, but I had quite a coup, inspired by National Seafood Bisque Day, I combined the recipe the page recommended with some inspiration from Ina Garten’s Shrimp Bisque (because I had all the ingredients on hand).

This recipe is truly a last-minute preparation. I made the whole thing from frozen shrimp to eating the piping hot bowl with a piece of crusty bread in 30 minutes. If you use frozen shrimp, skip the sautéing step, but the olive oil does add some depth of flavor to your bisque. If you don’t have white wine, you can substitute seafood stock or even water, but add a splash (less than ¼ cup of brandy, vermouth, or dry sherry at the end). Remember to take the center out of the blender when blending hot liquids; hot liquids tend to cause the blender to “explode” and are quite dangerous, so place a folded dish towel over the hole in the blender top to let the steam escape, and keep your hand on it so the top and towel stay in place.

Truly last-minute “National Seafood Bisque Day” shrimp bisque

1 T olive oil
1 lb shrimp, in shells, frozen is fine
1 bottle white wine
1 qt light cream
¼ t thyme leaves
1 pinch black pepper
1 pinch kosher salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
If shrimp is thawed, sauté shrimp, shells and all, in olive oil; add thyme, pepper, and salt. Simmer shrimp in wine just until cooked (pink), overcooking shrimp will cause it to be tough. Pull shrimp from wine and chill in refrigerator until cool enough to handle. In the meantime, add cream to wine and continue simmering over low heat.

Once shrimp is cool enough, peel shrimp and place in blender; reserve 12 shrimp, peeled, with tails intact. Add liquid so blender is half full. With center of blender top out of hole, place folded dish cloth over hole. Keeping your hand on dish cloth, pulse blender until shrimp is chopped fine. Return to pot to warm over low heat. Stir in cayenne pepper. Serve immediately with two whole shrimp as garnish.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Ultimate Sandwich

I love this blog author’s honesty; that is exactly what would happen to me if I planned a hike to discuss how the key to the success in the new school year is to be “organized, organized, and organized.” But it did get me thinking about The Ultimate Sandwich. What would yours be?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I just found this link on 30 Fall menus on today. It’s really a recipe a day for the month of September, but since September hasn’t really felt much like Fall anyway here in Newburyport (I love Indian Summer!), maybe you can use these ideas to get you through the month of October.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cream Puff Pie?

Can you post Del's recipe for the Cream Puff Pie? Manny loved it and requested it for his Confirmation!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fun & Easy Meals for Kids

My husband will be traveling next week, and I will still have to be shuttling the kids back and forth from events, so I need thing that can be ready when we walk in the door, ie. crockpot meals, or shortly after we arrive home, or in-between runs.

Any fun, tried-and-true meal ideas? I usually try to make fun meals when George is away, but I'm not sure I can keep that up for a week...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SOUP-er Easy!

My kids always love to order Miso Soup when we get Chinese or Japanese food, mostly for the tofu. They have been asking me to make tofu at home, but anytime I have, it hasn't come out right -- mostly apparently because I do "stuff" to it. So tonight, mostly because I didn't have much food in the house and partly because I had 2 running out to soccer practice, I threw together a super easy soup:

I heated up some chicken broth, threw in some veggies from the fridge, added a can of cubed chicken breast and some diced tofu. Really easy and the kids loved it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to School...

and back to after-school activities. What is everybody making to get through busy nights?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ecclectic Meal

Getting every last bit out of summer vacation!

I asked my family the other day to give me a few final summer meals, things they haven't had enough of, or are at their peak this time of year. My son asked for Grammy's clam chowder (see January 27, 2009 post), my daughter piped in with no corn chowder. Those are similar enough that they can both be on the menu tonight. I had pizza dough in the fridge and frozen caramelized onions, so I tossed those on a pizza with bacon and brie. (I'll report on that creation after we eat.)

A whole family favorite is grilled portabella mushrooms on chiabetta bread with roasted red peppers and mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar. So tomorrow night everyone will be happy with dinner.

Later this week we'll be having grilled sausage and peppers. For the weekend I'm already planning on a BBQ with friends featuring Ribs and steaks. Hopefully we'll get some good summer tomatoes, because with all the rain, they haven't been that great yet. The yellow and white corn has been yummy though:) I also may have to make one more Peach Crisp before it's apple season! Of course, we'll end the BBQ with S'Mores over the chimenea! Enjoy the end of summer!

Corn Chowder (from 365 Quick & Easy Microwave Recipes)
I also just add everything and simmer it on the stove at times.
1/2 pound bacon, diced
3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups milk (can use some half and half to make it creamier)
17 ounce can cream-style corn
7 ounce can corn kernels, drained (or 2-3 ears cut off)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Hot pepper sauce and salt to taste

1. Place bacon in a 4 cup glass measure. Cover with paper towel. Cook on HIGH 5-6 minutes, until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and set aside. Save 1 T bacon drippings.

2. Place potatoes, onion and I T bacon drippings in a 2 quart casserole. Cover and cook on HIGH 7 minutes, stirring once.

3. stir in milk, cream style corn and corn. Cover and cook on HIGH 10-12 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Add pepper and season with hot sauce and salt to taste.

Serves 4-6

Thursday, August 27, 2009

chocolate cupcakes

Like Regina we have lots of summer birthday. I also bake what my kids want, within reason. But I'm not the best baker, my cupcakes are always dry. I tried a new recipe this year for Molly's puppy cupcakes and was pleased with the results.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter!

Somehow, years ago, our family started a tradition that whatever a child wanted for their birthday cake, I would try to make. I'm really not sure how this started. I think my oldest wanted something one year and I did it, so she decided this was our family's birthday tradition. Every summer (1 June, 1 July, 2 August babies) I kick myself for allowing this, but then seeing how much my kids enjoy, I really am happy that we do this, mostly. My son, Brendan, the last birthday of the summer in our family turned 7 last week. For his birthday, he wanted to be surprised. You would think this would be easier, but really what it means is that his sisters choose what they think he'll like, and that is not always easier.

My son, also loves Chocolate and could, I believe, actually live on peanut butter alone. (The rest of us all love the C-PB combo, with it being my particular fave!), so when the girls decided that the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter was going to be the cake, I decided Choc-PB was the perfect combo for it. It was delish! I used a box of Better Crocker Chocolate cake mix, but made the peanut butter filling and chocolate ganache recipes from this Food & Wine recipe. I did the filling in between our layers and around the outside before pouring the ganache on top. It was to-die-for! Now, I have to try these cupcakes, too -- I think they would be the perfect combination of chocolate cake, peanut butter filling and ganache. YUM!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chargrilled Vegetable Terrine

After wanting to make this recipe for years, I finaly did and it was easier than I originally thought. We enjoyed this last week and Regina asked for the recipe, so I thought I'd share it with all.

Chargrilled Vegetable Terrine
11 oz ricotta cheese
2 cloves garlic, crushed
8 large slices chargrilled eggplant, drained
10 slices chargrilled red pepper, drained
8 slices chargrilled zucchini, drained
1 1/2 rocket leaves ( I used Boston lettuce, fresh Basil would also be delicious)
3 marinated artichokes, drained and sliced
3 oz semi dried tomatoes (I used sun dried), drained and chopped
3 1/2 oz marinated mushrooms, drained and halved

1. Beat together ricotta and garlic until smooth. Season well and set aside. Line a 9 X 5 X 2 1/2 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a generous amount hanging over the sides.

2. Line the base of the pan with half of the eggplant, cutting and fitting to cover the base. Top with a layer of half the red pepper, then all of the zucchini. Spread evenly with the ricotta mixture and press down firmly. Place the Lettuce leaves on top of the ricotta. Arrange the artichoke, tomato and mushrooms in three rows lengthwise on top of ricota.

3. Top with the remaining red peppers and finish with eggplant. Cover securely with the overhanging plastic wrap. Put a piece of cardboard on top and weigh it down with weights or small food cans. Refigerate overnight.

4. To serve, peel back the plastic wrap and turn the terrine onto a plate. Remove the plastic wrap and cut into thick slices and serve.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rice recipes

Anyone have some good summer rice recipes?  I accidentally brought 10 pound bags of rice on two recent grocery shopping trips:) Share if you have any!  Thanks, Bridget

Friday, June 26, 2009

Punch recipe for kids

One of my sisters or sister in law made a Punch for Mom and Dad's 45th Anniversary party! I remember it being a huge hit with the kids. Who has the recipe? Therese wants punch at her Masquarade Ball TONIGHT!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer Recipes

Now that summer vacation is here -- regardless of what the weather is saying -- I want light, fresh food. What are your favorite summer recipes?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Oreo Truffle Pops

I was looking for a cute end of year/summer bday treat and came across these oreo truffles at I put them on sticks and added sprinkles for a fun touch.

1 package of double stuffed Oreos (minus 7) ground to crumbs in a food processor
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, brought to room temp
melted chocolate for dipping

mix oreo crumbs into cream cheese, using the back of a spoon to combine well. Roll into balls and refrigerate for about 1/2 hour I used the small Pampered Chef scoop and this made about 25 balls. I put the lollipop sticks in before refrigerating to help hold (also holds better if you dip the tip of the stick in melted chocolate before sticking in the ball). Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Dip balls in chocolate and decorate (we used rainbow sprinkles). If on a stick, place in styrofoam to cool and harden, then refrigerate. If not using as pops, place in mini cupcake liners. They are so cute!

Bakerella has lots of different recipes and shapes for all different kids of cupcake pops, etc. They are so cute!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Waffle Cones

Waffle Cones! While at the ice cream shop today, Erin asked could we make waffle cones at home? I found a recipe on-line and thought we might try it but first wanted to check if anyone has tried it? If so any tips or suggestions?  If not here is what I found if you are interested.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Ho-Ho Surprise

Eileen just asked me for this recipe. She and I discovered it a few years ago and it is indeed a favorite with kids, and most adults enjoy it as a guilty indulgence. I can't find the exact recipe, but I think I can recreate it pretty easily. You could also replace the Ho-Hos or Yodels with Twinkies for a non-chocolate version. Eileen -- if I have done anything out of order, feel free to correct me. One of the nice things about this is you can re-create to suit your tastes.

Slice Ho-Hos in half lengthwise and layer in the bottom of a 9X9 pan (or bigger). Spread a layer of any flavor softened ice cream on top and a layer of chocolate syrup and refreeze. Sprinkle with chopped oreos and another layer of ice cream, same flavor or different. Refreeze. Top with Whipped cream and refreeze or serve. It is fantastic!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Birthday Party Lunch

My daughter Megan is turning 5 tomorrow and to celebrate, we are having a few of her friends from preschool and their Moms over for lunch and water games/obstacle course. Hopefully the weather will hold out!

The kids will be having pizza sticks and sauce (we found it on the Rachael Ray Show website), mini hot dogs, and fruit skewers with a yogurt dipping sauce.

The Moms will have Honeydew wrapped in prosciutto, Spinach & Strawberry salad, and Peach and Brie Quesadillas with Lime-Honey dipping sauce. Katie told me about the quesadillas and they look so great, I had to try them!

1 cup thinly sliced peeled firm ripe peaches (about 2 large)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3 ounces Brie cheese, thinly sliced
4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
Cooking spray

You mix the peaches and brown sugar together, then layer in the tortilla with slice of brie. Spray the pan with cooking spray and bake in the oven until the tortilla is lightly browned and the cheese is melted. Fold over and cut into wedges.

Serve with honey-lime dipping sauce: 2 Tbs. honey, 2 Tbsp. lime juice and 1/2 tsp of lime zest. Kate recommended mixing into sour cream for the sauce. I cannot wait to try this!

All of this will be washed down with lemonade and sweet tea, and finished off with a strawberry beach-themed cake.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pot Luck

Hi all,
I have a pot luck this week in between a pretty full week.  I am bringing a salad. I thought Katie's Classic Potato Salad. I'm also down for a dessert. I'd rather not do bars. I was thinking Chocolate Death, it's a group I haven't made it for yet but there will be lots of kids, its Girl Scouts.  Any favorite suggestions?  I usually try to make something I know Brad will eat, he can be a little picky and he likes to know there is at least one thing he'll like.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

chicken stir fry lettuce wraps

Since last night was not great for grilling, I tried this. It was really easy and a hit with all. I did add a handful of roasted cashews at the very end for some nice crunch!


1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally and thinly sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
12 to 16 Boston lettuce leaves, (about 2 heads)
Chicken Stir Fry Wraps

Serves 4 Prep time: 45 minutes Total time: 45 minutes

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Add half the chicken; cook, stirring constantly, until opaque throughout, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken.
Add remaining tablespoon oil to pan, along with the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender and golden, about 4 minutes (reduce heat if browning too quickly).
Reduce heat to medium; add garlic, ginger, and red-pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.
Stir in soy sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch mixture; remove from heat. Add chicken and any accumulated juices; toss to coat. Serve in lettuce cups.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

virtual dinner group: Summer BBQs

Friday, May 22, 2009

Summer BBQs

Is everyone ready for unofficial beginning of summer? I love the season of grilling, salads, dining al fresco, and of course, nice cool beverages. My favorite bevarages are Katie's Sangria, and the following recipe that she shared with me for Beergaritas. With one group of our friends, this became a fast favorite! We haven't tried it frozen yet, but if it gets really hot this weekend, we just might have to!


1 - 12 oz. can Frozen Limeade Concentrate
6 to 12 oz. Tequila
3 - 12 oz Mexican Style Beers (Corona, etc.)
Lime Slices for Garnish

In a pitcher, stir together the limeade and tequila until well-combined. Add the beers. Pour into individual glasses over ice; garnish with lime slices. To make frozen beergarita, reduce the total amount of beers to two, and combine the limeade concentrate and tequila in a blender with ice

181 calories, 26 grams carbs., trace fiber, trace protein, trace fat (no saturated), no cholesterol, 7 milligrams sodium**

What are you making this weekend?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

How well are you treating the Moms in your life?

We will be going to my sister in law's to celebrate Mother's Day and my brother in law's Bday tomorrow morning. My s-i-l is making a Potato and Chorizzo Torta, a Tomato and cheese Pie, French Toast and Fruit Salad. I will be bring an Apricot-Peach-Cream Cheese Coffee Cake (original calls for Raspberry, and Pumpkin Bread (both are always a hit:). Then we'll head over to my folk's house to join my sister and her family in celebrating with my mom. Dad is in charge of the entree, so it'll most likely be beef and potatoes. Regina is taking care of appetizers and the non-chocolate dessert (for Dad and I). I'm excited as she always comes up with yummy delights:) I'm bring a side, a salad and a chocolate dessert. The side turned into Seasoned Salmon fillets cooked in wine (it's what I felt like:) and dessert is Samoa Kiss Brownies. Even I'm looking forward to trying them, and I can't wait to hear Mom and Reg's opinion! Happy Mother's Day to you all! Enjoy your day and your families!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Desserts - Little Bites

Like many of you, my kids' school is celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week. They asked volunteers to bring in desserts to help them celebrate the teachers. I was thinking of little items, so they can try lots!

Yesterday, I had to bring in cupcakes to my daughter's preschool class. She wanted Chocolate ones and Strawberry ones. We made what we needed for class, the rest I made in mini-cupcakes and popped in the freezer for the teachers. 

I also think I am going to Ina Garten's Carrot Cake Cupcakes in mini-form. I made these for my oldest's first communion last year and loved them. (I am tempted to try them as sandwich cookies. I'll let you know if I do.)

Carrot Cake Cupcakes
2 c sugar
1 1/3 c veg oil
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 c flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 c grated carrots
1 c raisins
1 c chopped walnuts

3/4 lb cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 lb unsalted butter, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb confectioners' sugar

Preheat over to 350

Beat sugar, oil and vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time. In another bowl, sift together flour, innamon, baking soda & salt. On low speed, add 1/2 dry ingredients to the wet. Add carrots, raisins & walnuts to the remaining flour mix, mix well and add to the batter. Mix until just combined.

Line muffin pans with paper liners. Scoop batter into 22 muffin cups until each is 3/4 full. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes, then reduce to 350 for another 35 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on rack.

For the frosting, cream the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Add sugar and beat until smooth. When the cupcakes are cool, frost them generously and serve.

Monday, May 4, 2009

It’s Monday morning and there is NO FOOD IN MY HOUSE. Ugh. Since I need to get everything, I decided to get organized first, and do a little menu planning for the week.

Let’s help each other out ... what are you planning?

At Chez Habib, we’ll be eating on the run (or late, and therefore light):
Monday - Italian tomato and bread salad with grilled round steak (dinner in shifts, but it’s a nice day out and we watched the Food Network Steak Grilling Challenge last night — if you haven’t checked it out, Sam’s Club has great round steaks)
Tuesday - Cinco de Mayo Chicken and black bean enchiladas (we’re also bringing appetizers to the baseball game to have a little moveable fiesta)
Wednesday - Caesar salad with grilled chicken breasts (dinner in shifts again)
Thursday - Ratatouille (dinner in shifts again)
Friday - Grilled pizza (what are your favorite toppings?)
Share, share! Your menu this week may be my menu next week.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cowboy Caviar Recipe please!


I love your Cowboy Caviar! In fact I think I ate the whole bowl of it when we were visiting this summer. Can you please share your recipe? I want to make it for a Cinco de Mayo party!


Monday, April 27, 2009

Dinner in a hurry!

I just recieved this info and thought others could use it to get through the busy days of spring! Slow cooker sandwiches. All you need is rolls, wraps and a salad and dinner is ready when you come home from a game or are rushing out to whatever. Share what you make and like with us!

Monday, April 20, 2009

What's for dinner this week?

I am looking at our schedule for the week, and like many of you, I will be spending a lot of time driving to various activities, practices, games, etc. Added to that, this week, my husband (who almost never has to travel) will be traveling some. So, I am trying to plan my menu for the week to accommodate the days we may need to eat on the run, eat early or eat late. Here's hoping advance planning will help my week run a bit more smoothly.

I always love to hear what others are doing for inspiration -- what are you making for dinner this week?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mom and Dad visit - health concerns

I need to plan a menu for Mom and Dad's visit. I want to be very low sodium diet. I usually like to do one big meal. I was thinking turkey on the grill one night. But I need other ideas.  Also what do they do for lunch, I know they should not have cold cuts. Thanks for any help.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chicken Salad Contessa

We have one of those days today, where we are in the car and driving kids around all afternoon to different activities. We'll all be walking in the house together around 6:45-7 PM and I know they will all be hungry. I wasn't sure what I was going to do about feeding everyone, but when I was at the store this AM, I spied the newly baked Rotisserie Chickens. I grabbed one and came home and put together Ina Garten's Chicken Salad Contessa. Picked up some rolls to go with it. We'll have regular salad and veggies with it. Who knows what, if anything, else...

I made this last year for my daughter's 1st Communion party (that time I did actually bake the chicken myself, but some days, that just isn't possible). It was easy to double or more and it is one of my favorites!

Chicken Salad Contessa

2 split (1 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (1 1/2 pounds)
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pecan halves (3 C)
1/2 cup walnuts halves (3 C)
1/2 cup good mayonnaise (3 C)
1/2 cup sour cream (3 C)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves, divided (6 Tbsp)
1 cup green grapes, cut in 1/2 (6 C)
Lettuce leaves, for serving
Small dinner rolls, tops split

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts, skin side up, on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside until cool.

When the chicken is cool, remove meat from the bones and discard the skin and bones. Cut the chicken into a 3/4-inch dice.

Meanwhile, place the pecans and walnuts on a separate sheet pan and toast in the oven for 7 to 8 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool.

For the dressing, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Fold in half the chopped tarragon leaves.

Place the diced chicken in a bowl, add the pecans, walnuts and grapes. Pour the dressing over the chicken and toss well. Sprinkle the remaining chopped tarragon leaves on top, and serve on a bed of lettuce leaves.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ham Leftovers

What are you planning to do with your Easter Ham leftovers? I have sandwiches (grilled ham, cheese and tomato) planned, and Pasta Carbonara with ham and peas. I usually throwthe bone in the crockpot with some white beans, onion and garlic; but my hubby is on a limited diet these days, and beans are not included:( I welcome your suggestions and recipes!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

As a life~long ham hater, I usually try to come up with an alternative main course at Easter. This year I am going to buy a couple turkey breasts, have the butcher de~bone them, and stuff, roll and roast them. I've never done it before, but recentlyhad it at a friend's house. The skin stays on, so the rolled roasts are very moist. I think we will do a traditional stuffing in one, and maybe a spinach/feta blend in the other. Maybe a first course of a simple pasta alfredo with peas to begin......roasted asparagus and always ricotta pie on Easater!

Thin Mint Dessert

I have book club here on Monday night.  I was looking for a quick easy desert. I also have access to extra Girl Scout Cookies so I thought I might try using some. Here is one I found that looks good and easy.  Anyone else have any suggestions?
Mint Delight or List of many dessert with Girl Scout cookies.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April fools' meals

Any fun April fools meals to fool your family? Here is what I tried.
fake chicken pot pie
It looked great. I made a big one not individual ones.  It did take time especially because I burnt the pudding the first time, and hadn't planned ahead and had to make a pie crust from scratch. But they were fooled until it was cut. The problem was after all that work, I had to make a real dinner and hide it until needed. It was fun.

Monday, March 30, 2009


I know many people love Chicken Marsala, in fact it's what they usually order when they go out. In fact, this winter at a memorial luncheon for our friend Jill, 3 out of 6 ladies ordered it, because they knew Jill would have:) I've had it before, but I tend to go for seafood or pastas when I'm out. Recently, I made this to bring down to my parents (Low sodium, low fat diets). It was a hit with all of us. I left out the half and half, as I was making it ahead and reheating it at their house. I'm making it again this week. It was delicious without the cream, so I'm anxious to try it as written.

Let me know what you think!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Grilled Fish Tacos

We tried this recipe from with tilapia a few weeks ago and it was a big hit. It is on the menu for this week as well. Thought you might enjoy.

2 c chopped white onion
3/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 c olive oil
5 T lime juice
3 T orange juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t dried oregano
1 lb tilapia, striped bass, or sturgeon
coarse kosher salt
1 c mayo
1 T milk
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
Salsa Verde 
Lime wedges

Stir 1 c onion, 1/4 c cilantro, oil, 3 Tbsp lime juice, orange juice, garlic and oregano in a med bowl Sprinkle fish with coarse salt & pepper. Spread 1/2 onion mix over bottom on 11X7X2 in baking dish. Arrange fish atop and spoon remaining mixture to cover fish. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Turn fish; cover and chill 30 minutes longer. 
Whisk mayonnaise, milk and remaining 2 Tbsp of lime juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
Brush grill grate with oil and heat to med-high heat. Grill fish with some marinade still clinging until just opaque in center, 3-5 minutes per side. Grill tortillas until slightly charred, about 10 seconds per side.
Coarsely chop fish; place on platter. Serve with lime mayonnaise, tortillas, remaining 1 c chopped onion, remaining 1/2 c cilantro, avocados, cabbage, Salsa Verde, and lime wedges.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

OK, we do a big Palm Sunday with extended family, and a [slightly] smaller Easter. I hate having the same menu twice, but the great grandfather doesn't like lamb, so we usually do ham both times.

Growing up in the Dunican household, when you served ham, you also served scalloped potatoes and baked fruit (my Aunt Carol's specialty: canned pear halves, canned peach halves, I also add canned apricot halves (if you can find them), pineapple rings on top, and maraschino cherries in the center of each ring; sprinkle with some brown sugar and cinnamon and nutmeg or allspice and dot with butter; bake until warmed through — can you say 1970s?).

What is usually on your Easter menu? Are you trying any new recipes this year?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shrimp Recipes

Anyone have any favorite shrimp recipes? I'm looking for something that has different flavors than my more traditional scampi-type recipes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Beer Bread

Bridget gave me the idea. I found this on-line. It is quick, easy and so good. I was telling Reggie about it today and said I'd post it. Here it is For the self rising flour I use Katie's recipe of 1 cup flour and  1½ t baking powder for every cup of  self rising flour( I left out the salt). 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Irish (Soda) Bread Recipes

I love St. Patrick's Day! I love sharing the fruits of my labors with others, especially when the recipe is quite easy and always a hit! Dad's Irish Bread always gets tons of complements and it doubles well! Tay's Irish Soda Bread is a huge treat as it has raisins, craisins and yellow raisins, plus sour cream and buttermilk. I ate my share of both yesterday:)

Dad's Irish Bread
2 1/2 C flour
1t salt
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 C sugar
1 T melted butter
1 C milk
1T caraway seeds (optional)
1 egg
1 C raisins

Beat egg and milk. Add butter caraway seeds and raisins. Then add sifted dry ingredients, mix well. Bake @ 350 in greased loaf pan for 50-60 minutes. (Can make 3 small loaves)

Tay's Irish Soda Bread
4 C flour
1/2 C sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
2C raisins, yellow raisins or dried cranberries (I use equal amounts of each)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 C buttermilk
1 C sour cream

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 8" round cake pans.
Combine all dry ingredients and fruit in large bowl. Blend remaining ingredients together in small bowl and then add to dry. Stir until flour is just moistened. Knead in bowl about 10 strokes. Dough will be VERY sticky. Divide in 2, shape into balls, and place in centers of cake pans. Cut a deep X into the top of each loaf and sprinkle with about 1 T flour. Bake about 60 minutes, or until wooden toothpick in center comes out clean. Turn onto wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Green & Gold Oat Bars

I am thinking we might make these Green & Gold Oat Bars for our St. Patty's day dessert. We have orange and green M&Ms. I will probably use Rolos in place of the caramels and choc chips, because that is what the leprechaun left in our trap and it will save me a trip to the store.:)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Corned Beef & Cabbage in the Crockpot

Kate: I know that you have done your CB&C in the crockpot. What do you do?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

maple salmon

Where is the maple salmon recipe posted? Can you let me know where to find it, I am dying to try it?

Thanks, Pam

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Zuchhini-Wrapped Shrimp with Bacon

I just came across this and thought I'd post it. Katie -- I thought of it for you b/c it is green and orange -- perfect for a St. Pat's Day party. They present the recipe as 4 servings, but I think you could do it on smaller skewers as an appetizer.

3 Tbsp chopped basil
2 T olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 minced garlic clove
1 1/2 lb med shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 med zucchini, halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices
3/4 lb slab bacon, sliced 1/4 inch thick cut crosswise into 1 1/2 inch squares (For a vegetarian dish, leave the bacon out.)

In a bowl, combine the basil, olive oil and garlic. Lightly season with S&P and add shrimp to coat.
In a shallow bowl, generously brush zucchini slices on both sides with olive oil and season with S&P; let stand for 5 minutes to soften.
In a skillet, cook bacon over mod heat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Drain.
Working at the tip of the skewer, pierce the very end of the zucchini slice. Swing the zucchini to the side and skewer a shrimp, then loop the zucchini slice around the shrimp and pierce the zucchini slice to secure it around the shrimp. Add another shrimp, wrap the rest of the zucchini slice around it and secure it on the skewer. Add a bacon square.
(I would stop there for appetziers. For 4 servings, add 2 more zucchini slices, 4 more shrimp and 2 more bacon squares.)
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Oil the grill and grill over high heat for about 2 minutes per side, or just until the shrimp are cooked through and the zucchini are still crunchy. Serve hot.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I want to make Risotto for dinner tomorrow. Anyone have any recipes they love?

Katie here: Something seems to be wrong with Blogger's comment application, but I was able to edit Bridget's query, so I am doing that. I totally love this recipe ... and so do my clients and my family! I make it in the pressure cooker, but you don't have to. And I've even seen some risottos made in a crockpot, but I haven't tried that yet.

Risotto with Butternut Squash and Pancetta

6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, coarsely chopped
1 small roasted butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 medium finely chopped onion
2 cups arborio rice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
additional grated Parmesan
4-6 sage leaves (fresh)

Sauté pancetta in olive oil in pressure cooker until fat is rendered; add onions, and saut´ until translucent. Add broth, wine, squash, and rice. Lock lid and bring to high pressure over high heat. Maintain pressure for 6 minutes.

Quick release and stir butter, Parmesan, and chopped sage, saving a bit of sage and Parmesan for garnish. Season with salt and pepper.

If you make it in a regular saucepan, you'll need to make the following changes.

  1. Keep the broth & wine hot in one pan, while making the risotto in another.

  2. Precook the squash.

  3. After sautéing pancetta and onions, start with 2 cups of the broth-wine mixture, and the squash and rice. Stir constantly, adding liquid ½ cup at a time until it is all incorporated.

  4. Finish by stirring in butter, Parmesan, and sage as above.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Chocolate Caramel Rolo Cookies

I saw this recipe on the link below and couldn't resist sharing it. These cookies are so delicious! Enjoy!

Chocolate Caramel Cookies
28 min | 20 min prep
30-36 Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
30-36 chocolate-covered caramel candies
2 tablespoons sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add sugar, brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Mix together until well blended.
3. Add flour, cocoa and baking soda and mix well.
4. Refrigerate and chill dough for 30 minutes.
5. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place 1 chocolate-covered caramel candy in the center of each dough ball.
6. Form the dough ball around the majority of the chocolate-covered caramel candy
7. Roll each dough ball in sugar.
8. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes.

9. Let cool on pan for 1 minute then take off and place on cookie cooling rack.

Adopt a Blogger #3 (and Chocolate Caramel Rolo Cookies)

Posted using ShareThis

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day Recipes

It's a snow day here in PA, and in many other places around the country. Anyone have some great, warm & cozy meals they make on these chilly days?

I have taken out chicken thighs and am not heading out to the store in the snow, so I'll have to see what I have to go with them. I'm looking for something I can put in the crockpot this morning and forget about.

I think I am going to do something like this, but with thighs and in the crockpot. It was from the BHG chicken dinners link that Kate posted awhile ago. I think I'll serve with some kind of pasta, maybe orzo, and a salad.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lb. total)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 5.75oz. jar sliced pitted green olives, drained
1 2.25-oz. can sliced pitted ripe olives, drained
2 Tbsp. capers, drained
2 Tbsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
3 Tbsp. snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

1. In large skillet brown chicken in hot oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, turning once. Remove chicken from skillet; set aside. Add onion to skillet. Cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally and adding garlic the last 1 minute of cooking.

2. Stir tomatoes, olives, capers, lemon peel, and oregano into onion mixture. Place chicken on tomato mixture. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 13 to 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees F).

3. To serve, place chicken on platter. Season tomato mixture to taste with salt and black pepper. Spoon tomato mixture over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley. Makes 4 servings.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Meatless meals

Lent has begun. What are some of your favorite meatless meals to serve?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Moo Shu Beef Lettuce Cups

1 lb lean ground beef
1 c  yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp ginger root, fresh, minced
2 med garlic clove, minced
2 cup bok choy, thinly sliced
1 med sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
2 cup button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
8 leaf bibb lettuce

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and cook beef, onion, ginger and garlic over med-high heat for 5-7 minutes. Add bok choy, pepper, mushrooms and soy sauce; cook about 305 minutes. Spook about 1/2 c beef into each lettuce leaf. Yields 2 filled leaves per serving. Serve with extra soy sauce if desired.

George and I love it in the lettuce, but usually serve to the kids with tortillas.
This is a recipe from

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I wanted to make Whoopie Pies today to take away with us skiing, and couldn't find our family recipe. I used this recipe from, it came highly recommended. But the cakes came out so flat, I can't possibly fill them. They looked more like chocolate pancakes or cookies. (Glad I hadn't already make the filling.)

Sisters, does anyone have our childhood recipe on hand ... or can anyone see what might be wrong with this one?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My bi-weekly client loves shrimp, but she keeps requesting the same 2 or 3 things (Baked Stuffed Scampi, Szechwan Shrimp (Eileen’s favorite), and Cajun Shrimp). I’d like to do something new. What are your favorite shrimp recipes?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Snow Pudding with Custard Sauce

Did anyone's mother make this? I would sit at the table watching my mother make this delicious dessert with much anticipation. I always had to add more of the custard sauce. I think of this recipe often and it brings me right back to that kitchen.


1 envelope plain gelatin
1/4 c. cold water
1 c. hot water
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
Juice of 1 lemon or 1/4 c. lemon juice

1 egg yolk
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1 c. scalded milk

Soak gelatin in water for 5 minutes. Add boiling water and sugar and stir until dissolved. Add strained lemon juice and chill until it begins to harden. Beat egg white until stiff and add to slightly thickened mixture. Beat whole mixture until spongy and chill until solid. Serve with Custard Sauce.

CUSTARD SAUCE: Beat together yolk, sugar and cornstarch. Add scalded milk to egg yolk mixture and heat until thickened, stirring all the time. Flavor with vanilla and let cool.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Car Bomb Cupcakes

This great recipe for cupcakes came across my e-mailbox on Saturday and I just had to make them for the Super Bowl. I love anything from the Smitten Kitten blog.

I shared the recipe with two friends at dinner on Saturday night and it got rave reviews.
Pam said: OK Ladies, I made these cupcakes and they are amazing. Pretty easy to make.....My sis is making them this weekend.
Thanks again for passing it on......
Another friend, who couldn't make the Super Bowl party due to a sick kid (pesky kids ;-) had one last night when she stopped at the host's house.
Lynne said: FORGET how was the weekend and Matt's health, do you have anymore of those cupcakes? OMG, Dawn gave me one after I dropped off the kids and I swallowed it whole. Wow, it was great!
Seriously, you have to try these cupcakes.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Healthy Meals

My husband and I are trying to lose a little weight and get in better shape, and be healthier, in general. I have been adding extra fruits and veggies to every meal I can. 

I'd love some of your favorite healthy meals. If they are kid-friendly, all the better!

Yesterday I made a big pot of vegetarian chili. Added lots of mushrooms, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, beans, and cilantro. We'll be having tonight, I like to let it sit a day, if I can. I will be foregoing my favorite toppings of cheese and sour cream. I think I'll toast some tortillas to serve alongside rather than a nice crusty roll.

Look forward to seeing your great ideas.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

7 minute frosting

I was thinking of making it. The recipe I have calls for eggs whites. I don't have any egg beaters in the house. Would you make it with whites or would you hold off. I remember loving the frosting as a kid and thought Molly would have fun making it. (OK I promised her cupcakes and don't have any canned frosting or powdered sugar in the house.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Friday night my husband and I went to Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, NY (where I grew up). It's a combination working farm and restaurant on the beautiful grounds of the Rockefeller Estate. Although the $100 gift certificate barely cover 1/3 of the meal, it was a quite an experience. Look at this review for a write up and photos. In winter about 30% of the food served is from the farm, in Spring and summer it's over 75%. It's not like any other restaurant we've been to, you don't order an entree, you look over the ingredients list and tell the waiter any allergies, food dislikes and preferences.

I'll do my best to describe our meal. I started with a Black Current Cosmopolitan (that can now be legally grown in NY after a ban of many years) made with fresh lime juice, it was amazing:)
They brought out many starters (for lack of the "sophisticated" names). 1st we had the veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots, and snow peas) on the stakes as shown in the review photo, they were slightly blanched and perfectly salted. Delicious! Next they brought out a wooden block with dried veggie "chips", paper thin, some purees, others just dried; beets, butternut squash and turnips. They were all very flavorful. Then we had a fingerling potato wedge that was coated in something and then encrusted in sesame seeds on a skewer. Very unique. We had fresh squeezed grapefruit juice to clean our palates. One of our highlights of the evening were the beet sliders: quarter size fresh baked buns with finely chopped beets, topped with goat cheese and a very little green leaf. Very tasty for the minuet bite. (Plus I got in some beets, Kate:) Lastly there were 2 paper thin slices of fennel salami.

The homemade Potato Onion bread (with a rare small piece of cooked potato in it, and a crusty outside was amazing. I could have eaten only that and been happy. It was served with farm churned butter, fresh ricotta, as well as carrot salt and arugula salt. I tried the salts but didn't find them necessary. The bread was good enough without anything, but the fresh ricotta was delicious.
The Fruit and veggie platter was a mix or pickled (cabbage) and salted (broccoli, cauliflower) veggies as well as fruits (sickle pears, apple) and others (another beet, I couldn't identify all on a platter) with pureed sauces. My husband said it was the best vegetables he's ever eaten.
Then they brought out our Smoke Maine Lobster (1 claw and 1 small tail), it was on a bed of winter veggie puree with whole pistachio nuts in it. I really enjoyed it.

After that they brought out 5 mini tortellini, with 3 different fillings, chestnut, cheese and greens, in a pureed green sauce and topped with pea greens. The fillings were hard to differentiate as they were so tiny, but they were all enjoyable.

Finally it was time for the entrees. Manny had Veal cooked in a sauce with these sweet roasted carrots and a parsnip puree. There were about 4-5 slices of meat, not a ton, but probably a serving size. He really enjoyed it. I had Grouper in a green soup base, kind of like a Vegetable bouillabaisse with white beans and pistachios. It was good, not overly salty and very satisfying.

My only disappointment came at dessert, as I forgot to mention that I didn't like chocolate, plus the $5.75 pot of tea for 1. Manny enjoyed the Hazelnut brownie with cocoa bean ice cream as well as the chocolate mousse that was served with a Beer ice cream (made from Beer from Captain Lawrence's a local brewery, Pleasantville, NY). I tasted the ice cream, it really did taste like beer:) I had Linden Tea for the 1st time, it was good, but not worth $5.75, and Manny enjoyed his $4 cup of coffee, as well as the 2 miniature coffee meringues.

It was definitely a worthwhile experience. I would suggest to go in the warmer weather when you can enjoy the grounds and the more plentiful produce. We were glad to have had the opportunity, thanks to my sister in laws:)

Super Bowl

I just came across this dip and thought it might be a fun alternative to a standard dip for Super Bowl Sunday. What is everyone else making for the big game?

1 lg round loaf of sourdough bread
1 pkg cream cheese
1 1/2 c sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 lb bacon - cooked and crumbled

Cut out a circle in top of the bread and gut the middle to make a bowl. Save inside pieces for dipping.
In a mixing bowl beat cream ch, sour cream, cheddar cheese and Worcestershire sauce. Then mix in bacon. Pour into bread bowl. Wrap in tin foil and bake in over at 325 degrees for one hour until heated through. Serve with extra bread or crackers.

Mom's Clam Chowder

Does anyone have Mom's recipe for Clam Chowder handy?

As Admin, I'm taking the liberty of editing this entry and placing the recipe right in the entry. I find it easier to find recipes when they're here, not in the comments. Regina, hope you don't mind.

Mom's clam chowder

2 strips bacon
½ c onion, chopped
¾ c celery, chopped
1½ pt half-and-half
¾ pt heavy cream
3 bottles clam broth
3 cans minced clams
3 cans whole clams
1½ c potatoes, diced
white pepper and salt, to taste

Cook bacon. Remove and set aside. Sauté onion and celery in bacon fat until clear. Combine half-and-half, heavy cream, broth, clams, potatoes, and crumbled bacon in stockpot. Add onion and celery. Season to taste. Cook until potatoes are soft (about 1 hour). Very easy!