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East Coast USA, United States
Lowcountry porch sitter. Appalachian Mountain lover. Finger Lakes dreamer.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mad for Plaid (Better Homes & Garden Salmon Patties)

Locally we are gearing up for our PGA golf tournament called The Heritage and while I'm not an avid golfer the occasion is one of the most invigorating events to experience~on the course, around the course and throughout the community (for locals and nonlocals). I would definitely characterize the tournament as a happening. Pulling out the red plaid cookbook this week seemed appropriate to connect our kitchen to the huge tartan celebration that kicks off with its media day next week (Tournament dates April 18-24). I hold a first edition, second printing 1953 version of the BHG New Cookbook that assures me every recipe has been triple tested by the Taste Test Kitchens staff. (Don't you ever wonder who the test kitchen staff are in this world and if they ever imagined themselves a tester for life?) I suspect my edition was an engagement or wedding gift for my mother. I must say the pages wear their age rather well and are intact, save the last index page. Which fits the theme for the Heritage as it continues and remains intact, though its headline sponsor has indicated they will pull away in 2012 and thus we locally need to reattach a sponsor to this phenomenal event. Know any sponsors looking for great return on their investment? The golf tournament falls Easter Weekend and so my thoughts turn to the salmon patties my mother would make using a salmon loaf recipe she pulled from the red plaid book (though will also point out she made a ham this same time of year that was delish beyond your spiral franchise style). Red Plaid, Easter and Tartan not necessarily your pastel and eggs kinda weekend, but fitting none the less!

Salmon Patties:

Attending Heritage in 2011 YouTube promo

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Triangle of Delicious (romance, travel, art)

There was no better way to spend a post film festival experience in Beaufort than to trek to Orlando to read, write, grocery shop and make dinner. That's five hours not to see Harry Potter or Mickey, but to hang with a romance novelist (Karen Hawkins) and a mutual friend known to many as @travelblggr on Twitter. Last time our schedules permitted time face-to-face in the same space was over a year and a half ago at a wine festival...though would be true there have been many moments shared in our electronic realms through social media. As different in our every day demeanor as we are in our professions and our individual aspirations so too are our approaches to bringing food to a table. Simplistic and colorful was my approach, rich in flavor was @travelblggr's purpose and succulent creamy goodness (with a kick one would never forget they'd been kissed) was naturally the romance novelist's contribution.

Insalta Caprese

Mushroom Risotto

Rotisserie Chicken (thank you Publix Baldwin Park)

Chocolate Fondue

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pickled Cherries (soak your fruit)

Cherries are my favorite fruit transformed from raw product to preserves, jam, butter, compote and dumplings. Cherry butter like Sweet Potato butter is something I could eat straight out of the jar as a treat or dessert, hold the bread. A dear friend in Philadelphia gifted me with a copy of the Mennonite Community Cookbook: Favorite Family Recipes by Mary Emma Showalter, 8th printing 1957. She earmarked the section on pickles and relishes as a starting point indicating that she's heard me talk about the chef on Hilton Head who pickles items in vodka, gin, tequila etc and wanted me to know it does not always require alcohol to arrive at a great pickled product (grinning as I write this on her behalf). The chef she refers to is Chef Russell Keane at Wise Guys a lovely wine/tappas locale on Hilton Head Island. I'm forever inquiring of Russell as to his latest creations, which are clearly visible to patrons in flamboyant large glass vessels showcased on the shelves behind the bar. So about 30 days from now I'm walking into Wise Guys with a glass jar of my own for the chef to try! I've married a recipe from the Mennonite cookbook with one from Michael Symon's 2009 Live to Cook which I don't have on my shelf just yet, but did locate an assortment of his pickling recipes via Google books.

RECIPE: Pickled Cherries

Makes about 2 quarts

2 pounds bing cherries
2 cups red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 strips orange zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 bay leaf

Prick each cherry with a fork several times and put them in a nonreactive jar or container.
Mix the vinegar, sugar, salt, orange zest, black peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, coriander seeds, and bay leaf in a nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the liquid simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cook for 10 minutes.
Pour the liquid over the cherries (they should be completely submerged). When the concoction is completely cool, seal or cover the cherries, and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Pickles by Michael Symon: Google Books

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hannah is my Betty Crocker (Thai Coconut Chicken)

Foodies who cook always bring their favorites forward. I had heard about a staff member (Hannah) at one of the local newspapers that loved to cook and bring her latest creations to the office for her co-workers to enjoy and critique. Then I got to judge chili sitting beside her a couple years ago and realized what the joy of cooking really meant. I follow her creative pieces in the local newspaper as well as her posts on her personal FaceBook page to capture her most recent kitchen episode. Cooking Channel this gal's definitely for you! So while many are focusing on the traditional Super Bowl fare I'm spending time with Hannah's recipe for Thai Coconut Chicken (straight from Betty Crocker). The simplicity of this dish is outweighed only by the color the ingredients bring to a serving bowl. The recipe calls for rice to complement the finished dish and while I consume quite a bit of rice in my diet I'm always in a quandary over what type of rice to buy and prepare. A bit of searching on the world wide web and I found a comprehensive A to W guide to rice via The Nibble. Literally a cornucopia of rice.

Life Enrichment is like a travel and learn program...offering infusions that make every day life thereafter far more interesting! ~ Ann-Marie Adams, Reflections on a Meaningful Life