Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Soup mode

I have been trying my talents (?) at soup making and seemed to have succeeded. Carl recently had surgery in his mouth and is still on a liquid diet but I won't let that hold me back from trying new things! I made a trip to Sloughhouse and watched in awe as my sweet corn was dumped from the truck, into my bag, into my car, all 24 ears! I came home and made Fresh Corn Soup Topped with Roasted Corn Guacamole, ahhh a little bowl of heaven.

Another soup dish that was incredible (inspired by Chef Angel!) was Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Red Pepper Purée. If possible this was better then the first, if you make it, do not omit the pepper puree.

A family favorite (pre-surgery) was Sesame Noodles with Chicken, with a side of baby bok choy, this I plan on making often.

I am interested in all of your soup recipes...anyone?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pineapples and Pork

Last February our family went to Phoenix to celebrate a big B-day. We all went out to a Traditional Brazillian Steak House (which I never experienced). I had grilled pineapples that literally melted in my mouth, ahhhh. I have had a craving for them over the past few days and decided to try to grill them on my own. Tonight is Grilled Ginger-Sesame Pork Chops with Pineapple & Scallions. This is the sweet and sour yin and yang of food. If it turns out as well as I think it will, I will post the recipe tomorrow.

Have you had a recent craving?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blueberry Shortcakes and Dinner Tonight

Cooking is my therapy and probably just as expensive if not more. I get a secret thrill when friends and family marvel at my meals and it can make or break my day. I love tasting my friends creations and swapping recipes. At a recent auction for my son's school, Carl and I and 2 other couples decided to bid on a 7 course dinner with wine and dessert, by a well known chef. It went for about $1,000.00 but was worth every penny. Photos and course descriptions in a future post.

Dinner Tonight is Southwestern Shrimp Soft Tacos.

Recipe for Blueberry Shortcakes (absolutely divine).

For the biscuits:
8-1⁄2 oz. (2 cups) sifted all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. baking powder, sifted to remove lumps
3⁄4 tsp. table salt
3 Tbs. sugar; more for the glaze
1 Tbs. grated lemon zest
1⁄2 tsp. freshly grated (or ground) nutmeg
2 oz. (4 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1 cup buttermilk; more for the glaze

For the blueberries:
6 cups (about 2 lb.) blueberries, picked over, rinsed, and patted dry
1⁄4 cup sugar; more to taste
1 Tbs. water
1⁄2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1⁄4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Fresh lemon juice to taste

For the whipped cream:
1-1⁄2 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Make the biscuits:
Set a rack in the center of the oven; heat to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly grease it with shortening or cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, lemon zest, and nutmeg. With a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently stir in the buttermilk until the dough just holds together with no large, dry lumps. Spoon the dough onto the baking sheet in six equal mounds. Brush the tops with buttermilk; sprinkle with sugar. Bake until the peaks have begun to brown and the bottoms are golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let rest for 1 minute and then transfer to a wire rack. While still slightly warm, slice them open with a serrated knife.

Make the blueberry filling:
Set aside 2 cups of the berries. In a medium, nonreactive saucepan, combine the remaining 4 cups of blueberries, sugar, water, lemon zest, and nutmeg (if using). Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently until very soft and juicy, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Taste and add lemon juice and more sugar, if necessary. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, reheat the blueberry sauce until very warm and stir in the reserved blueberries.

Whip the cream and assemble the shortcakes:

Chill a mixing bowl and beaters for 30 minutes. In the bowl, combine the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip until medium peaks form and the beaters leave tracks on top of the cream.

Put the bottom half of each biscuit on a plate. Spoon on about 1/2 cup of the blueberry mixture and a few dollops of cream. Cover with the biscuit top. Spoon on more blueberries and top with another dollop of whipped cream. Serve immediately, passing any remaining blueberry mixture at the table.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to the original reason I started

Guess what movie I saw? Julie and Julia, excellent, which made me decided to start blogging about cooking again. So hopefully I haven't lost all my readers by taking such a long break but will be ready to roll soon.

I leave you with this recent dessert I made. Untill dinner tomorrow........

Sunday, May 3, 2009


As many of you know, I am absolutely in love with my son's present (and daughter's former)school. I have been on a mission to recruit new families to our school, specifically from our neighborhood. I have had much success, yesterday was the 6th family since the beginning of the year. This is not to be taken lightly, especially the tuition but it is worth every penny.

Yesterday was our May Faire and it was rainy. But, everyone was there! It was incredibly packed and afterwards was a open house. I met a family who lives not far from me and spent a good hour talking to them about the school. They have two children and had the Grandparents with them as well. We pretty much sealed the deal. They loved the community, the diversity and most importantly the small classroom size.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Earth Day has come and gone but.....

....we can make every day Earth Day. What can you do?

• buy creative playthings for our children made of natural, sustainable materials
• plant a tree
• reduce, reuse, recycle
• conserve energy in your home
• use filtered tap water rather than bottled water
• replace the light bulbs in your home with energy efficient ones
• buy locally produced, organic foods
• build a compost
• use public transportation or carpool
• purchase previously loved/used items from thrift shops
• participate in an area cleanup
• plant a garden
• conserve water

Although we do most of these most of the time, we are a planning a American River clean up day as well.

what are you doing to be more 'green'?

Monday, January 19, 2009

I love Sunny California Weather

We have been having the most beautiful weather in Sacramento for the last several days. Alexia starts back to school tomorrow and will transfer after this semester. It won't be too bad riding Paratransit in the sunshine.

Aden continues to love school and has the best friends that any mom could hope for. His teacher is over-the-top in excellence and wants nothing more then the best for these kids. Once again, I am counting my blessings for everything surrounding this school, I really couldn't ask for much more.

I have helped bring a 10 month old in from the Republic of Kyrgyz. He has a complicated congenital heart defect and Dr. Mainwaring is doing surgery on him this Thursday. Obviously this is a donated surgery and the baby should be fixed after this. I love doing these types of things.

The building that Carl's Art Studio/Gallery caught on fire on New Years Eve. Fortunatley non of our stuff was damaged other then smoke damage but now we have everything in our house untill the building is renovated. Needless to say we are a little cramped.

I am aching to see some movies, I am so far behind it is not funny. anybody need a movie partner?

Random photos to follow:

Andrea and I at Taro's By Mikuni

Aden and I at the state Capital with my Aunt and Uncle

Alexia and her Grey's Anatomy cake

A piece by my husband, love this one!

May Faire Music