I asked my husband the other night what he wanted for dinner.  The only thing that sounded good to him was a salad.  He didn’t want a salad so he could watch his waistline.  He wanted a manly salad that filled his belly.  It had to be chock full of meats, veggies and cheeses.  The description he gave me was a classic chef salad (hard boiled egg, turkey, ham, cheese, tomatoes, and greens). Once I served him (Okay, I really don’t serve him but I thought it made me sound more domestic), he wanted additional items like black and green olives and salami.  At firstRead More →

So it is officially summer and you know what that means?  BBQ’s, picnics, parties and any excuse to get together and eat! I love a good gathering of my people but I get nervous when I see food sitting out especially in the warmer weather.  It is hard to enjoy yourself if you are wondering how long the potato salad has been sitting in the sun.   Unless you want to poison your guests (like in-laws or noisy neighbors), it is best to use some pre-cautions when serving food outside. Have wet wipes or hand sanitizer near the food table so people wash off their cooties.Read More →

Hollandaise.  Celebrate.  If we took some hollandaise, took some time to celebrate.  Just one day out of life, it would be so nice.  Sorry, Madonna circa 1983 just temporarily possessed me.  When I make hollandaise sauce, I have a tendency to put on too much jewelry and sing my rendition of her Holiday song. Hollandaise is one of the infamous Mother Sauces.  Like Madonna, it is also has a bad reputation.  Maybe bad reputation is too harsh; let’s just say it isn’t easy….to make. I’ve made hollandaise many times.  In my early days of cooking, I will admit that my sauce got clumpy because IRead More →

There are foods out in the world that I had convinced myself that I would never eat due to my past years of being a picky eater.  The beet had the distinction of being one of those foods. I had only really seen them on a salad bar glistening like slices of overcooked Jell-O.  I knew that in this form they were pickled but I still was never convinced to put that gelatinous looking muck in my mouth. In one of my cooking classes, I was urged to try a piece of roasted beet.  I was guaranteed that this would taste so unique that IRead More →

Of all the Mother Sauces, Tomato sauce is the one people are most familiar with eating or cooking.  I could even dare to say it is the mother of all Mother Sauces.  I have never met a person who doesn’t like tomato sauce. The tomato sauce is probably the only mother sauce that can be made with a minimum of 3 ingredients.  You can cook a tomato (skinned and seeded) in some olive oil and add some salt, and create the most basic of tomato sauces!  It is almost like the tomato is magic! A good tomato is juicy and has a rich flavor makingRead More →

To continue my discussion about sauces, I thought that I should talk about emulsified sauces.  There is debate if mayonnaise is an official mother sauce or is it a Sister Sauce. A Sister Sauce you ask? Yep, it is like a Mother Sauce but cuter and wittier.  (I just made that up to annoy my siblings).  Seriously, mayonnaise is made in a similar manner as the Mother Sauce Hollandaise but it never got recognition from the French to be considered a Mother Sauce. I’m really not sure why it wasn’t recognized because it really is the essence of what a Mother sauce is all about. Read More →

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 →