Saturday, January 31, 2009


Pears poached in red wine and sugar, with spices.
Served with walnut gourmandise.

Cheese Pairings

Spiced Meat Pies and Poached Pears

I have been doing some "homework" of sorts. Thus, the Spiced Meat Pies, based on a recipe from the Middle Ages, served as an appetizer. The sauce is a wine and balsamic reduction. The dessert is a Spiced Poached Pear with a Wine and Honey Reduction. I visited a small, local grocery store with a fabulous cheese counter and came away with a Welsh Cheddar to pair with the pies, and a Gourmandise to pair with the, ahem, pear.
A Dundee Honey Lager was delightful with the pies and the Cabernet that I used as part of the poaching liquid was nice, too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Had some leftover cake, a basic two-egg cake from a James Beard American cookbook. No frosting. Had some good vanilla ice cream (actually a big-box store brand that has natural and surprisingly few ingredients, like that national, expensive brand). Made a basic two-egg yolk vanilla custard, poured over cubed cake, put in freezer. When firm, "frosted" with softened ice cream; put back in freezer.
Could dust with cocoa (as in tiramisu), maybe mix some instant coffee in with the cocoa...

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Flour, salt, baking powder: mix like pie crust, easy in a processor. Add enough milk to make a dough. Pat it down on a floured surface, spread with soft butter, fold over. Pat down some more, cut, bake in a hot oven. The butter in the middle makes them easy to split. My husband had his with ham and cheese this morning.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dinner tonight

I made some more ricotta yesterday, and am making manicotti for dinner tonight. I made the filling with the ricotta, chopped spinach, parmesan, and mozzerella. The sauce is just a simple tomato sauce: onion, garlic, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and a small jar of roasted red peppers, pureed. It's baking now, will top with more mozzerella shortly. I have a couple of chicken breasts baking with spicy Italian dressing. it smells good!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

More New Year's Food pics...

New Year's Food...

The chipolte cheesecake was yummy! It got rave reviews at the party.
For New Year's Day, we had family visit, so I made a big turkey dinner, with all the trimmings. I made a green bean casserole, but instead of cream of mushroom soup, I made a white sauce, seasoned it, added diced, cooked bacon, topped with that onion-rings-in-a-can stuff. I made a pretty traditional dressing, nothing fancy, just white and wheat bread, stock, butter, onions, celery, and sage from my garden. I took sweet potatoes from a can, reduced the syrup, added some honey and brown sugar, diced candied ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. I had some toasted hazelnuts for the brownies, so used a few to top the sweet potatoes. I also made traditional mashed potatoes, gravy. We had that NY Times bread, too.
Dessert was what I call "Triple Threat Brownies." I used a basic fudge brownie mix, added toasted hazelnuts, mini milk chocolate chips, and topped it with chocolate sprinkles. Of course, it was topped with Breyer's all natural vanilla ice-cream.

New Year's