As much as I stand on my soapbox about being conscientious when making ingredient substitutions, sometimes I really surprise myself and think waaaay outside of the box or plains in this case. I had my heart set on beef bourguignon this week.  I had some beautiful mushrooms, carrots and pearl onions all ready for my recipe.   I went in my freezer to pull out the beef chuck roast that I KNEW was in there.  To my surprise, I didn’t have beef chuck roast, I had BISON!!! Why the heck do I have bison?  I had gone to dinner with some high school friends and oneRead More →

Living in a small town sometimes will make you a creative cook.  You have to substitute ingredients depending on their availability or distance to the closest store.  It can be as simple as using cheddar instead of Monterey jack or maybe Yukon potatoes instead of Idaho potatoes.  In cases like that, the flavor profile in your recipe won’t be altered radically. There are times when I put my little foot down and say I just can’t do it.  I don’t want to compromise the whole essence of the recipe by changing an ingredient.   Some recipes are designed to have a specific flavor profile so youRead More →

We all know about them but many of us are scared to eat them.  The secret vegetable that grows in the dark..  They don’t have bright beautiful colors like the other vegetables so they must be bad.  And let’s not forget they carry the stigma of being called a fungus.  Poor dull Mushrooms, you never had a chance. As a former picky eater, I will admit that I got caught up in the mushroom’s bad reputation.  They couldn’t possibly taste good with that lackluster appearance. Plus everyone knows that only bright colored vegetables are nutritious and mushrooms are drab! But I am here to tellRead More →

When I think of the food I prepare (and like), I don’t think I could ever be categorized as a beef and potatoes gal. And luckily for me, I didn’t marry a beef and potatoes guy so he doesn’t mind the lack of the combination in our house. Don’t get me wrong we aren’t anti-cow (I don’t want the cows writing in.  I’m not anti-potato either but I’m not worried about offending them since they can’t write letters.) Back on the topic, I should cook more beef dishes at home because for the most part preparing a steak or a burger is pretty simple.  IRead More →

For the most part, I use dried pasta in my dishes.  It tastes great, easy to make and inexpensive.  I don’t think it is for every recipe especially ravioli.  Something gets lost in the processing of store bought ravioli.  You lose some of the flavor, the freshness and the love.  That it is why Ravioli is one pasta dish I insist that is made fresh in our house. It isn’t just the taste that is important.  It is the whole experience.  The meticulous process of making the pasta sheets and filling each one is extremely gratifying to me. I will confess that I don’t makeRead More →

If I am skimming through a magazine and see a picture of food, I tend to want that food…now!  It becomes a challenge when there is a mystery ingredient in the picture.  It may look familiar but there are times I need a little help figuring out just what to do. A few years back, I saw a picture of a crab cake in a magazine.  It was a beautifully browned cake sitting upon some sort of avocado relish with sweet potato strings on top.  The mystery in the picture were the swirls of brown sauce surrounding the cake. I started to compare the pictureRead More →

When you think about lunch, what kind of food does that make you think about?  Do you think of it just as fuel to get you through the day or is it a welcomed break to your busy day? In our house, my husband and I have the luxury of sharing a lot of lunches together.  He works close to home and when time permits, he likes to come home to his favorite lunch counter. As much as I enjoy his company, I must admit that it is sometimes a challenge to make lunch exciting.  I do make my fair share of lunchmeat sandwiches andRead More →

Out of nowhere the other day, my friend asked me if I had a favorite peninsula.  I had to chuckle when I replied that I loved the Yucatan Peninsula, doesn’t everyone?  She, of course, asked when I had gone there.  I said only my taste buds had been there via their Sopa de Lima soup.  Apparently my humor was not appreciated because after an eye roll and sigh, she changed the topic. I, on the other hand, relived my first awareness of the Yucatan Peninsula in my head. I will admit that I could not find the Yucatan Peninsula on a map if I tried. Read More →

When I first started taking cooking classes, the chef who was teaching the class made it a rule that you tasted everything.  It was a scary road for an ex-picky eater but I knew it was the only path to go if I were to ever become a foodie. In one particular class, she brought out this crazy looking vegetable called fennel.  It looked like a giant spring onion bulb with celery stalks popping out of it.  The bonus was that this vegetable looked like it was wearing a dark green feather boa on top of the celery stalks.  In case I’m not descriptive enough,Read More →

I honestly can’t tell you how many times a year he asks for it.  I lose count.  I want to be a good wife and give it to him but I just don’t like it very much.  But as many of us know, you need to compromise in a relationship.   So dutifully, I promised him that I would give it to him once a year whether I enjoyed it or not. It only seems appropriate that he got it on St. Patrick’s Day, the luckiest day of the year.  Yes, today would be the day I make him Corned Beef!!! I’m not sure what IRead More →