Expect the Unexpected

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Archive for the category “Cooking”

Recipe Reveal: Blueberry Shortbread


We were watching an old episode of Dirty Jobs the other night where host Mike Rowe goes to Maine to pick wild blueberries and make pies with the Pie Moms of Berry Manor Inn.  A really fun show that gave my husband a hankering for something blueberry…. but not pie. Oh, and not cake. The two things I would usually whip up with blueberries. He wanted something “different.”
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National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day

Dark chocolate-covered cashews

Dark chocolate-covered cashews

April 21 is National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day. Sounds like another made up holiday for the benefit of merchants. But still, chocolate-covered cashews are definitely a decadent indulgence, at least worth eating a few today.
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Canned what?

Nothin' says lovin' like possum from the oven, according to Aunt Tudi.

Nothin’ says lovin’ like possum from the oven, according to Aunt Tudi.

I’m always on the alert for good food that satisfies the soul, as well as the ticking dinner clock. Home cooks, such as myself, are busy these days, working long hours to make ends meet. So we welcome any opportunity that comes along to serve a nice hot meal, quickly and efficiently, to our hungry families.
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Recipe Reveal: Lemon Roulade

Lemon Roulade

Lemon Roulade is a citrusy and showy springtime dessert.

Springtime is officially here now that the Peepers are singing, so when it comes to baking for a special occasion, my thoughts drift towards things that are light in appearance but still pack a nice punch of flavor.
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Recipe Reveal: The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies?

CookiesMilkHome bakers have to have a great Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in their arsenal. It’s an American classic and the ultimate comfort food. Ask people what their favorite cookie is, and most times they’ll say chocolate chip.
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Kitchen Artist: Charles Draghi of Erbaluce


Chef Charles Draghi, an artist in the kitchen of Erbaluce in Boston.

Fine dining is a rare splurge on my meager salary, so when I go out to eat, it needs to be worth it. I’m sorry to say that quite often I’m disappointed with fancy restaurants and “haute cuisine.” Their menus are often pretentious, with artfully arranged pieces of stuff, and overpriced wine lists ($85 for a bottle that retails for $19.99 at the local wine shop), served in a room as quiet as a morgue.

My husband and I recently dined at a highly-touted fine dining restaurant in New York City, left hungry, and stopped for a slice of pizza at Patsy’s in East Harlem on our way home.
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Learn from my mistakes if you need to make ‘No Knead’ bread

A slice of homemade No Knead Bread.

A slice of my homemade No Knead Bread.

When the snow is falling and you’re stuck at home, there’s nothing more satisfying than breaking out the crockpot and making a hearty beef stew or soup for dinner, and perhaps a nice piping hot loaf of homemade bread.

That’s what I had in mind on Wednesday as eight inches of the white stuff billowed down during the day. I was able to work at home to get our newspaper out and decided to try my hand at making “no knead” bread. Friends on Facebook were buzzing about a recipe on Jezebel.com titled ‘How to Make Easy, Fast, Foolproof Bread from Scratch.’ None of them had tried it yet, but since I had the ingredients on hand and had plenty of hours to kill watching snow pour down, I decided to give it a whirl.

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Super Bowl Sundae


Lighting cherries and kirsch for Super Bowl Sundaes.

The highlight of the Super Bowl for me was listening to Renée Fleming perform the best version of the National Anthem at a football game EVER.

The Seahawks decimated the Broncos, 43 – 8, and it was all about Beratin’ Manning.
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Ephemeral Art: Bold Chocolates by Aarti Khosla

Aarti Khosla and her extreme chocolates.

Aarti Khosla and her boldly delicious handmade chocolates.

When it comes to handmade chocolates, Aarti Khosla of Weston, Connecticut doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk.

Taking a break from her marketing career to raise her family, she decided to pursue a passion she could do at home — make chocolates.
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Thanksgiving: The Great Cranberry Sauce Debate

I found a way to reconcile the homemade v. canned Cranberry Sauce debate. Serve BOTH.

I found a way to reconcile the homemade v. canned Cranberry Sauce debate. Serve BOTH.

Thanksgiving is a very traditional time for my family. They look forward to the straightforward turkey dinner with all the trimmings – gravy, stuffing, mashed and sweet potatoes, and so on. It’s such a treat, probably because Thanksgiving is the only time any of us have this meal.

For the past few years, I have had the pleasure of hosting upwards of 20 people at my Thanksgiving table. It’s a fun day. I get to cook my heart out watching the annual Macy’s parade on TV (We actually went a couple times when the kids were small), and after dinner we go for walks and play cards.

Every year I like to try out a new recipe for Thanksgiving, just for fun, to see how it goes.
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