Mélange de Haricots, Parmesan Sage Breadcrumbs

Side Dish Time!
Mélange de Haricots
Parmesan Sage Breadcrumbs

Sauté sage leaves in butter for a couple minutes until slightly crisp. Remove them to a paper towel. Have you tasted warm whole fried sage leaves? They melt in your mouth like a savory candy…

Add panko bread crumbs to that same butter and toss until browned. Then add grated Parmesan and torn crispy sage leaves. Turn off the heat and mix well. This is my opportunity to thank the folks at Foodbuzz for the gifts: A cool green spatula and a nifty apron. Thanks guys! And a hearty congratulations on the Launch today.

Mélange de Haricots, a mix of French Green Beans and Yellow Wax Beans. Cook the beans then toss with a little butter and salt & pepper.
I have discovered these convenient little bags of fresh (baby) vegetables at the market. Snip the corner and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, and the vegetables come out cooked perfectly. You may have seen the baby carrots I made on Rosh Hashanah? I am equally impressed with the beans and squash.

Sprinkle the warm toasted Parmesan Sage Breadcrumbs over the cooked beans. Toss gently.

Makes a great accompaniment to filet mignon! I am sending this Mélange de Haricots over to Sra of When My Soup Came Alive blog, as she is hosting Susan’s Legume Love Affair Event for October. Do you like all kinds of beans? Make sure to check out Legume Love!

Birthday Wishes

Today is my mother’s 75th birthday.

You may have seen the previous post, and know that we took her to Las Vegas to celebrate her birthday. Our goal was to celebrate her at least 75 times during the course of the weekend. We toasted with Champagne, had cake, we sang, and toasted some more…

She emailed me when she got home and said, “I think you all said happy birthday more than 75 times.”

This photograph of Joyce was taken in 1963 at my Nana & Papa’s 50th Wedding Anniversary party. Here, she was making a toast to her in-laws. We made the photo into a card and decorated it with her favorite – butterflies.
As kids, whenever we would ask how old she was, she would always say 29. So…
Joyce turns 29…
…for the 47th time!
Happy Birthday Ma!
We Love You.

Franciscan Apple

That was a big pot of Meat Soup I made a few days ago, so no surprise there are leftovers. But the real reason I am posting this soup again is the response and expressed curiosity in our family history. I am amazed and touched by your interest.
Franciscan Earthenware was a wedding gift to my father and his first wife. My mother “inherited” this china when she married him. She has been enjoying her home-cooked meals on this same china for well over a half century. She still has most of the pieces, a few are chipped, but overall a fine collection in great condition. This china has proven to be very durable. Ma even puts it in the dishwasher now!
Franciscan Apple is one of the most popular raised-relief hand-painted patterns from Gladding, McBean & Co., which began production of Franciscan dinnerware in 1934 at their plant in Glendale, California. This pattern first appeared in 1940. Ma graciously has lent me several pieces from her collection. As you may have read earlier, I am addicted to dinnerware.
The name Franciscan is an allusion to Franciscan Friars and reflected the simple, informal style of Mexican folk pottery. The Franciscan Apple pattern has become a darling of collectors with its branches, beautiful green leaves and red harvest apples painted on cream-colored porcelain reminiscent of days gone by.
American production of Franciscan Ware ceased in 1984, following the announcement to relocate all Franciscan production to England. Franciscan Apple pattern is still made today under the Wedgwood Group. It is slightly different now and many pieces are larger than the originals, but still charming as ever.

Good Morning: Coffee & Labneh with Yuzu Marmalade

Meat Soup

What’s in a name?
The other day I was asking my Mother about recipes from the past.
Ma: Your Nana (my paternal grandmother) made excellent soups.
Me: Like what? I remember her chicken soup and borscht…what else?
Ma: Oh, I liked her meat soup.
Me: Meat Soup?
Ma: It’s like chicken soup but with meat. I think I still have the recipe…
My Nana was born in Kiev, Russia 1894. The family fled to Canada when she was a young girl. Her name was Vitte but she took her sister’s name, Fanny, after Fanny was killed in a machine accident. She met my Papa (paternal grandfather) when they were teenagers and their families were living in the same apartment complex in Montreal. His name was Yitzcok when he was born in Romania 1891 but changed it to Isadore upon arrival in Canada when he was 13 years old. He celebrated his Bar Mitzvah on the boat. Fanny and Isadore married then made their way to America and settled in Chicago where Papa took on the name, Irving, and they raised their children, Edythe and Leonard (my father).
I remember one day when we were kids, my Dad asked us if we knew Papa’s real name. I thought about it and said “Is” because that’s what Nana called him. Then I fell into a fit of giggles. What kind of name is Is, Dad? That’s a verb!
My nephews are Stone Leonard, his middle name in memory of our father, and Jett Izzy’s middle name is in honor of our Papa – Is, or Izzy.
Meat Soup
3 1/2 lbs. short ribs
4 carrots
2 onions
2 parsnips
3 celery stalks
1 parsley root
1 c. dried large lima beans
Egg noodles
These are the ingredients my Mother has listed on her old recipe index card from notes she took years ago while watching her mother-in-law make meat soup.
Here is how I made my Nana’s soup:
Put short ribs in a soup pot full of water, heat on high until the water boils, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Skim off the scum and fat constantly. After 1 1/2 hours add rough chopped vegetables and beans. (I couldn’t find parsley root so I used a bunch of parsley). Simmer another hour or so, until the beans are cooked and the meat is butter-tender and falling off the bone. Season with salt and pepper. (I also added some beef base). To serve, put cooked egg noodles in a bowl and ladle soup on top.

Meat soup. What’s in a name? Indeed.

Grilled Swordfish, Lentils with Truffle Oil

Grilled Fresh Swordfish
Steamed Lentils, Tossed with Herbs and Truffle Oil
Grilled Tomato

Simple, Yet Sublime
  • Fresh swordfish, grilled over medium high heat, still perfectly moist, with olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Warm steamed lentils, seasoned and gently tossed with white truffle oil and freshly sniped basil, dill, and parsley
  • Grilled heirloom tomatoes
I am submitting this dish to The Well-Seasoned Cook’s monthly Legume Love Affair Event hosted this month by Lucy of Nourish Me blog. I also want to thank Marie, the Proud Italian Cook, for the idea to grill tomatoes which added another layer of flavor.
Tomorrow, the Sun will be directly over the equator, at 11:44:18 A.M. EDT, to be precise. Happy Autumn! We’ll be looking forward to Thanksgiving here, and to cooking all the wonderful fall dishes. Also wishing my blogger friends in the Southern Hemisphere a Happy Springtime as well!

Pink Shrimp, Green Tomato, Purple Basil

Pink Shrimp with Garlic
Ripe Green Tomato
Purple Basil and Feta
Served Over Linguine

The Green Giant Heirloom Tomato is ripe when chartreuse in color and slightly soft. This is a tomato that never turns red. They are referred to as green-when-ripe tomatoes, or GWR, and should not be confused with unripened red tomatoes. They have a wonderful complex, sweet and spicy flavor.

Sauté shrimp in half olive oil/half butter with lots of garlic.

When the shrimp are almost cooked, add some dried oregano, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and a splash of white wine. After a minute or two (taking care not to overcook the shrimp) turn off the heat then add chopped green tomato, chiffonade of purple basil, and crumbled feta. Toss gently to combine. Adjust seasoning.

Serve the warm shrimp mixture over linguine.
Last December we paired Shrimp & Feta with lemon in an excellent starter salad, posted here and in July my blogger friend, Peter of Kalofagas, posted a fabulous Shrimp & Feta dish which I have made three times, found here.
Now, although I can’t take credit for the delicious marriage of these particular ingredients (shrimp, tomato, basil, feta)  I think this unique pink, green and purple color combination offers a nice twist on the classic…