Monday, October 29, 2012


I'm licking my lips after finishing one
of my favorite morning pastries.   

I leave it to a bakery to create croissants.  While a dough of flour and butter sounds easy it is quite difficult, almost magical, to end up with those delicate, flaky layers that melt in your mouth.  I enjoy a croissant with tea and while it needs no accompaniment (butter would be gilding the lily) a spread of a good preserve (my favorite is raspberry) or Nutella (makes a mock pain chocolat) elevates the enjoyment.  Croissants also make a lovely sandwich filled with chicken or egg salad. Once I let some go stale for a day to create a bread pudding with sliced almonds that resulted in a delectable dessert. Very versatile.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Garbanzo Bean Day

Garbanzo beans also known as chick peas can make a great snack or party food.  Keep a can or two in your pantry for last minute entertaining.

1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In jelly-roll pan, toss chickpeas with oil, coriander, cayenne pepper, and salt, then with flour to coat.
2.  Roast 27 minutes or until golden and crisp, stirring once. Cool on paper towels.

Source:  Good Housekeeping

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Alaska Day

On this day in 1867, the U.S. formally took possession of Alaska after purchasing the territory from Russia for $7.2 million, or less than two cents an acre. The Alaska purchase comprised 586,412 square miles, about twice the size of Texas, and was championed by William Henry Seward, the enthusiastically expansionist secretary of state under President.     Happy birthday, Alaska!

            Baked Alaska Cakes


Cake and Filling:

4 slice(s) 3⁄4-in.-thick (from middle of loaf) purchased fat-free golden loaf cake

2 tablespoon(s) chocolate-flavored liqueur (crème de cacao) or maple syrup

1 pint(s) lowfat mint chocolate chip ice cream or cappuccino chocolate chunk, slightly softened


3 1/2tablespoon(s) Just Whites powdered egg whites

cup(s) warm water

cup(s) sugar

teaspoon(s) vanilla extract


1.Clear a freezer shelf large enough to hold a small baking sheet. Line sheet with wax paper; place in freezer. Using a round 3-in. cutter, cut cake slices into rounds (save trimmings for snacks). Brush rounds with liqueur and top each with a 1⁄2-cup scoop of ice cream. Transfer to baking sheet. Freeze 6 hours, or until solid.

2.Meringue: Place oven rack in top third of oven; heat to 450°F. Beat Just Whites and warm water in a large bowl with mixer on low speed until whites dissolve. Increase speed to medium; beat just until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. Gradually beat in sugar and vanilla. On high speed, beat until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted. Scrape meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a small plain or star tip (or the meringue can be spread on ice cream cakes with small spatula).

3.Transfer ice cream cakes from baking sheet in freezer to another part of freezer. Discard wax paper from sheet; keep sheet in freezer. Working with 1 cake at a time, pipe small stars or dollops (or spread meringue) over cake and ice cream to cover completely. With a broad spatula, carefully transfer cake to sheet in freezer. Repeat with rest of cakes.

4.Place sheet with ice cream cakes on high rack in oven. Bake 2 1⁄2 to 3 1⁄3 minutes until tips of meringues are golden-brown and set. Transfer to dessert plates.

Tips & Techniques:  Can be prepared through Step 1 up to 3 days ahead. Freeze in an airtight container

Source:  Woman's Day

Monday, October 8, 2012

Moldy Cheese Day

Cheeses injected with blue mold are commonly called blue cheeses. Some popular types are Stilton, Gorgonzola and Roquefort .  Blue cheese can be soft or firm and is recognized by its strong flavor.  I like Gorgonzola which has a milder taste and is excellent crumbled on a salad, melted over crostini, or served with a fruit course.


Read more about it at,1715,158174-242192,00.html
Content Copyright © 2012 - All rights reserved.

1 1/2 c. dry white vermouth
2 1/4 c. heavy cream (no substitutions!)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Big pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tbsp. salt
1 1/2 lbs. tortellini
3/4 lb. sweet Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 1/2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Bring vermouth to a boil in a small heavy saucepan and reduce by half. Add heavy cream, bring to a boil, and lower heat to a simmer. Season to taste with pepper, add nutmeg, and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes or until reduced by 1/3. Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large pot, add salt and cook the tortellini until tender. Drain and return to the hot pot. Remove cream sauce from the heat, stir in half of the Gorgonzola and the Parmesan, and pour over the tortellini. Set over medium heat and cook gently, stirring constantly, for 5-8 minutes, or until cream has thickened slightly and the tortellini have absorbed some of the sauce. Serve immediately and sprinkle remaining Gorgonzola on individual portions. Serves 4-6.


Monday, October 1, 2012

October celebrations

October is National  Clock, Apple, Dessert,  Energy Awareness, Pizza, Popcorn popping,  Roller Skating, and Stamp collecting Month.  you can also hold a party to celebrate the birthdays of  John Adams, Teddy Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, Picasso,  Grover from Sesame Street, Little Orphan Annie, or Mickey Mantle,

Anniversaries this month honor the first singing of the Star Spangled Banner, the first airing of Captain Kangaroo, the first demonstration of the light bulb, the first publication of the Peanuts comic strip, the premiere of American Bandstand, the launch of the first space vehicle, Sputnik I, the organization of the International Red Cross, and  the opening of the Guggenheim Museum.  How about a fall themed party on Look at the Leaves
Day?  Or getting into party clothes on Tuxedo Day?   Happy Halloween