I hope everyone has had a wonderful and safe Memorial Day.  I had the joy of attending my brother’s annual “Big A** Barbeque” this year.  (He actually calls it Big A** BBQ, I am not making fun of people with big bottoms.) I was a bit concerned about showing up given that my smaller hinny may not qualify.  Luckily they didn’t have one of those amusement park measuring tools that said, “Your fanny must be at least this big to attend the party.”  I was quite relieved. My only requirement for my attendance was to bring a “dish”.  I love parties that want me toRead More →

Why were the Mother Sauces developed? Funny you should ask.  In the 19th century, Mother Sauces were prepared as a cost saving measure.  Huge quantities were produced and then divided into smaller portions.  From there, different ingredients were added to add variety to the meals. Béchamel (or white sauce for people who don’t like fancy French words) is one of the most versatile of the Mother Sauces. A béchamel sauce is a simple sauce that is made from cooking a roux (equal parts flour and butter) with milk. You can add mustard for a mustard sauce.  Add cream instead of milk for a cream sauce. Read More →

In classic French cooking there are five “building block” sauces or the Mother Sauces.   I will make an attempt to talk about all of them over the next few weeks but today I want to concentrate on one, Espagnole Sauce. Sounds like it should be something with Spanish flavors, right?  WRONG!  I thought that too but I learned that the French just called it after some Spanish chefs improved on their basic brown sauce.   (There are actually quite a few disputes over this topic but I imagine that the French King said, “Zis is good sauce, Chef Spaniard.  I will name zis after you.”) TheRead More →

I really wasn’t sure if I was going to post this recipe or not.  It includes a subject that some people consider “wrong” or “shameful”.  I am not one to hide from controversy so I am going to just toss it out there Seinfeld-style.  Yes, you guessed it.  I want to talk about maceration.  (It’s a food blog, People! What did you think I was talking about?) Do you macerate?  Maybe you do and you just didn’t know the term.  Maceration is the process of softening a food by soaking it in a liquid.  It allows the soaked foods flavors to shine and absorb someRead More →

I think you may need to sit down before you read the next sentence.  I’m not sure if I have admitted this before but there are nights that I don’t feel like cooking.  (GASP!)  It may happen because I am overtired or under inspired.  Either way, I still have to figure out how to put a decent meal on the table. It is at this time I play freezer lottery.  It is an easy game that you can play at home.  All you have to do is close your eyes and open the freezer door.  Dig around with your hands until they are numb andRead More →

Living in a small town in the Midwest, there is a challenge finding fresh, quality seafood.  Our markets carry a lot of fish but it is usually “thawed” out from frozen.  I actually prefer to purchase the flash frozen fish because then I know exactly how long it has thawed and the source of the fish is usually listed on the package.  (Don’t trust a package that says the products origin is “the water”.  It is usually a good indication that you are about to get food poisoning) I rarely can find sea scallops that don’t look suspicious so I frequently buy dry-packed frozen scallops. Read More →

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I love a good chicken recipe.  It still amazes me that one piece of meat can marry so well with an abundance of flavors and cooking techniques. With that said, nothing compliments a chicken breast better than a nice rich sauce.  (Actually, I bet there are some roosters out there that may compliment a chicken’s breasts better but I bet that might get him pecked in the head). I made this tarragon chicken recipe the other night and couldn’t stop “tasting” the sauce.  It was just fabulous.  This velvety sauce had a gratifying mix of sweetness from theRead More →

My last recipe post was probably the easiest recipe I have in my binder.  Today’s recipe is probably my most involved.  Notice that I didn’t say “hardest” because it really isn’t a difficult recipe.  It just has a bunch of steps (5 to be exact). The decadence of all of the flavors all on one plate is almost like a fashion show of food.  The hash has a delightful pink tone due to the roasted beets.  It’s almost blushing with triumph in its eye-appeal. But wait, what is that sitting on top of the hash?  The most perfectly poached egg.  It’s just waiting to beRead More →

I was given a challenge this past week.  I was asked if I could post a recipe that had less than five ingredients.  Actually, I wasn’t really asked.  It was more of a sarcastic comment from a friend that I chose to hear as a challenge. Some people I know (and love) claim that their eyes glaze over when reading a long recipe.  I do admit that most of the things I cook include a lot of ingredients.  It isn’t done on purpose; it is just how I cook.   If I don’t dirty my counter and half of my measuring devices, my cooking experience justRead More →