Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Christmas Cookie Club And How You Can Really Eat The Cookies

Local author Ann Pearlman is gearing up for the release of her latest book, The Christmas Cookie Club. It's the story of a group of friends that gather together every year to do a Christmas cookie exchange, and their stories that they have to share from over the previous year. One is facing the end of her marriage, one is facing a high risk pregnancy, and their individual stories wind together throughout the book.

Learn More About It.

Proving that perhaps, it is who you know, Pearlmans youngest daughter works at Zingermans Roadhouse in Ann Arbor (who, incidentally is a regular James Beard nominee).

Enter the partnership with Zingermans to offer the cookies for sale!

Learn more about that!

All the recipes from the book, and a Zingermans original, sold in a hollowed out book, with original artwork on the front. I've not tried them, but they do look delicious!

A suitable gift for the reader or cookie addict in your family!

Theresa And The Story Of The Most Convoluted Dinner I've Ever Made..

Often times, when I ask what's for dinner, my fiancee will challenge me to make Chicken Fricassee.

Today, I went "I see you your Chicken Fricassee, sir!", and googled that stuff right up.

Let me say, the finished product was so good. Soul food in the finest sense of the word - hearty, creamy, and with enough substance that it really settles into your ribs. It does, however, have a great ability to grow, so when your plating it, plate about half of what you think your going to want! We both learned that the hard way!

Thomas Jefferson's Chicken Fricassee.

That is the link to the recipe I made. Why it's cited as being Thomas Jefferson's, I don't know, but there you go.

The recipe could not have been simpler, both in terms of ingredients and in terms of the actual process. The only thing that made it so convoluted was that it took so bloody many steps!

Brown the chicken. Take the chicken out, make the gravy. Put the chicken back, let it simmer. Take the chicken AND the gravy back out (but store them seperatly, naturally), and saute the onions and mushrooms. Then put the gravy back in, then put the chicken back.

Doesn't it seem like that could have been streamlined at least a little? It wasn't at all hard, and the ingredient list is fairly short, there was just so many steps to it. Although oddly, I looked in another cookbook that had a chicken fricassee recipe, and it had a shorter list of steps, but a longer list of ingredients. So evidentally, it's an either or type of situation.

My next step was a pumpkin cake. Came from my Bisquick cookbook. Basically, it was bisquick, pumpkin pie pumpkin (which either my Kroger doesn't have pumpkin pie pumpkin yet, or alot of people were baking pie today, because I had to go with canned pumpkin, rather then pumpkin pie pumpkin), egg and sugar. Bake. If I'd gotten the pumpkin pie pumkin, I can imagine that it would have tasted like a really great piece of pumpkin pie. Don't get me wrong, it was still delicious, it just wasn't what I imagine the good people that wrote that book in the 1970's were really going for.

But I bought the big can of pumpkin, so I get to try pumpkin pancakes too!

And thus, we bring to a close an entry that included more mention of pumkin then I'd ever thought possible. Good night and good eats!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Marlboro: The Cookbook. Kid You Not.

So I can't resist the call of a good kitschy cookbook. I just can't. If it's something goofy and offbeat, I am SO there.

Some recent finds include:

Cooking With Friends. Like, Friends the TV show.

Soupcon I: Seasonal Samplings From The Junior Leauge of Chicago

Sugar Plum Fare from the Scholarship Committee from the National Ballet School

The Hagen Family Cookbook. Evidentally, this family went together, collected all their recipes, and had them published into one book. It's really heavy into Norweigan foods, which is interesting.

And the Marlboro "Cook Like A Man" cookbook, which leans heavily on the talents of one Bobby Flay, because every recipe contains enough pepper that I got uncomfortable just reading about them. Looking over the cookbook prompted my fiancee, who is a smoker himself, to go "Yes, because you've killed so many of your taste buds smoking Marlboros, that you have to use that many peppers, just to taste the food!"

Good eats! I plan to work my way through at least one of them soon!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Recipe Day – The Party Continues!

Can you tell what I'm doing right now? If you guessed sorting out my recipe box, you win…well, the satisfaction of knowing you were right, I guess. J It's not much, but it's something.


Grilled Bruschetta Chicken With Orzo Pasta

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

½ cup Kraft Sun Dried Tomato Dressing, divided

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 clove garlic, minced

½ cup Kraft Shredded Low Moisture Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

1 pound dried orzo pasta

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Minced fresh parsley (optional)


Place a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil over half of your grill grate. Preheat grill to a medium heat.

Place the chicken in a non-reactive container or zip top plastic bag. Add ¼ cup of the dressing and turn the chicken to coat. Place the chicken in the refrigerator and marinate for 15 minutes.

Combine the remaining dressing with the tomatoes, garlic, cheese and basil.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. Place chicken on grill grate and grill for about 6 minutes. Turn the chicken over and place, cooked side up, on the aluminum foil.

Top the chicken with equal amounts of the tomato and cheese mixture. Close the grill lid and finish cooking for 6 to 8 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the orzo according to the package directions. Toss the cooked orzo with the olive oil and parsley if desired. Serve the chicken with the tomato topping over the cooked orzo.

Source: Busch's.

New Recipe Day

New recipe today! Because – well, because why not?


Grilled Lemon Fish With Asparagus

5 medium lemons

½ cup Kraft Sun Dried Tomato Salad Dressing

4 fish fillets (recommended salmon, cod or tilapia)

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed


Cut 1 of the lemons in half and juice to make about ¼ cup lemon juice (be sure to remove any seeds). Combine the lemon juice with the dressing and whisk to combine.

Place the fish fillets in a non-reactive container or zip top plastic bag. Pour half of the lemon juice and dressing mixture over the fish. Coat the fish with the dressing mixture and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Toss the asparagus with 2 tablespoons of the dressing mixture and set aside.

While the fish is marinating, preheat the grill to medium heat. Slice each of the remaining lemons into 4 slices each.

Clean and oil the grill grate. Remove the fish from the marinade and discard the marinade. Place 8 of the lemon slices directly on the grill grate. Place the pieces of fish directly on top of the lemon slices. Brush the fish with the remaining dressing mixture. Close the grill lid and cook for 5 minutes.

Carefully turn the fish over and top with the remaining lemon slices. Place the asparagus on the grill so that it is perpendicular to the grill grate. Grill the fish and asparagus for an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork and the asparagus is tender crisp. Carefully remove the fish from the grill and discard the bottom layer of lemon slices. Serve the fish with the top layer of lemon slices and the grill asparagus.

Source: Busch's. The IGA store by my house has a ridiculous amount of recipes that they just give out for the taking. A lot of them, you can actually buy prepared in the store. I'm not really sure why it's practical though – seems tremendously cheaper to make it yourself, doesn't it?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Once Again, It's Time For...No, Thank You Bobby Flay!

I do this on a periodic basis, if your new to the haps 'round these parts. I like Bobby Flay. Alot. He's got a reputation for being a little sharp on the pronounciation of some things, but if you just hang with him a minute, he'll learn ya a thing or two.

Case in point.

Thanks to Throwdown: Philly Cheese Steak, I learned that the correct cheese for a true Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich is, in fact, the Wiz. Cheese Wiz. That's a high faluttin' sandwich you got yourself there, Philly!

At any rate, I had a few peppers gifted to me that were about to go bad, so I did what Bobby Flay would do...roast the peppers right on the roaster (which gave my Type A Fiancee the vapors, I swear...), slice up an onion, let 'em cook until their falling apart on themselves, slice up a steak, slather on a thick amount of wiz, and enjoy my semi-authentic Philly Cheese Steak. I say "semi" because, well for one, I'm not in Philly, and for two, I doubt they use Wonder bread in Philly. :D

It's good eats!

No, Thank you Bobby Flay! Now, if I could just find all the spices for your 16 spice rub!