Pappardelle ~ Apple, Fig, Pistachio, Mint, Saffron Cream

Pappardelle with Saffron Cream
Apple, Fig, Pistachio, Mint

  • Our 5 Star Makeover Cooking Club is featuring apples for the fabulous September event.
  • My family and friends are celebrating the Jewish New Year 5773. And I’m thinking about noodle kugel. Kugel is a sweet Jewish casserole. I bake mine with egg noodles, golden raisins, cottage cheese, cinnamon, and apples. I was also thinking about my saffron matzoh balls…
  • My little guy Wilson needed some tests. When I dropped him off, his awesome veterinarian gave me a big basket of fresh figs from her garden.

These three events cosmically intertwined. Apples & figs collided with noodles & saffron. And the result was a delightful vegetarian pasta with a luxurious saffron cream sauce. It was an exotic marriage of sweet & savory, creamy & crunchy. The colors were glorious ~ golden yellow saffron, pale green granny smith apples, pink salmon-hued figs, and bright green mint.

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Construction Dinner

Orecchiette, Avocado Pasta Sauce
Orecchiette with Warm Avocado Cream

The dilemma was how to add more kitchen counter space for prepping, cooking, and cleaning while keeping the integrity of the 1951 style, leaving the character of the original design unchanged without knocking out any walls. My friend Kirk had a brilliant idea to convert the adjacent room, which had been used as a bar, into an extension of the kitchen.

My home is a unique style for Southern California, the charming Cape Cod is an East Coast design – a style adapted to the stormy New England weather. Common features include: a steep sloping roof, chimney with fireplace, dormers, multi-pane double hung windows, shutters, constructed of wood and covered in wide clapboard, having a symmetrical appearance with the door in center, center-hall floor plan, and hardwood floors.

This remodeled room may have originally been designed for use as a breakfast nook sixty years ago. Now, it is an extension of the cooking area, with a stainless steel sink and 9 extra feet of counter space!

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please come for tea & sherry

tea sherry party

Home-Grown Fresh Lemon Verbena Tea
Bodega Dios Baco Oloroso Sherry
Mini Sherry Tea Cakes with Marcona Almond & Rosemary
Roasted Black Figs, Honey, Fig Balsamic Syrup, Black Pepper, Sea Salt
Cream Sherry Glaze

sherry tea cakes, beautiful high tea image

“You are formally invited to a virtual British afternoon tea party that will take during the week of August 27th! We thought it would be great to follow up our Greek adventures, the original place of Olympics, with a British-inspired culinary theme, the location of this year’s summer Olympics.

Bring a gourmet sweet or savory treat – either a makeover of a classic or your own unique creation. Some general items on a traditional tea menu include: sandwiches, sausage rolls, Victoria sponge, cakes, and scones.”

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5 Fabulous Bloggers: Proud Italian Cook

Proud Italian Cook, Window Pane Pasta

Windowpane Pasta with Basil Pesto
Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes & Tiny Cubes of Fresh Mozzarella

Hi everyone, it’s me Marie, from Proud Italian Cook, I’m excited to be guest posting here today for my friend Lori Lynn. I was honored when she asked me along with four other bloggers to be a part of her fifth year anniversary celebrating her exquisite blog Taste With The Eyes.

Lori Lynn and I both started our blogs back in 2007, and since then I have had the pleasure of meeting her in person and sharing a fabulous meal with her and her wonderful family here in Chicago. I’ve always said to Lori Lynn from day one, that she couldn’t have picked a more appropriate name for her blog.

Taste With The Eyes is a visual feast, from the moment you arrive you’re instantly drawn in by all her gorgeous photos, her fabulous food and glorious surroundings, and every time I leave here I feel like I’ve just experienced fine dining at it’s best and can’t wait to come back!

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Artichoke, Spicy Tomato Broth, Two Ways

globe artichoke tomato broth
Globe Artichoke in Spicy Tomato Broth
Garlic, Capers, Chiles de Arboles, Croutons

artichoke heart crostini
Artichoke Heart Crostini
Tomato, Garlic, Capers, Chiles de Arboles

☆☆☆☆☆

Steamed artichoke served with a ramekin each of drawn butter and mayonnaise is so 70’s. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, it’s a delicious classic pairing after all. I remember my date, his name was Jeff, teaching me how to eat an artichoke. The year was 1978 at The Chart House in Aspen, Colorado. He showed me how to pull the outermost petals and dip them in the melted butter. How to scrape the meat from each petal with my bottom teeth. Slow, methodical, sensual. Fast forward 34 years, I’m still a fan of artichokes, but alas, not so much a fan of saturated fat accompaniments…

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Miso-Braised Asparagus, Ginger Sauce

miso braised asparagus, ginger sauce

Miso-Braised Asparagus, Ginger Sauce, Sliced Scallion
served on
My “Le PONT de la TOUR” China
in Honor of
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

While ginger sauce makes a heart-healthy alternative to hollandaise, braising asparagus in miso broth adds another layer of subtle flavor. A casual ladle of ginger sauce over braised asparagus makes for a zippy vegetable side. The addition of buckwheat noodles, tomatoes and pine nuts makes a vibrant meatless meal.

❖❖❖

Lucy Robinson Hanson
1886 – 1970

Over a century ago, Lucy Robinson and Jack Hanson were Londoners. Early in the 1900’s, Jack left England for Chicago to follow his dreams. Shortly thereafter and still a teenager, Lucy left her family and followed her true love to America. By 1952 Lucy was a widow, a mother of 7 and grandmother of 17 when Princess Elizabeth, while visiting Kenya, received the news of her father’s death and her own accession to the throne.

Lucy decided to take one of her grandchildren back to England to visit the family she hadn’t seen in many many years and to witness The Coronation which was to take place in Westminster Abbey on the 2nd of June 1953. They boarded the RMS Queen Elizabeth and sailed to England. The granddaughter that accompanied Lucy was my mother. She was 19.

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