March 2018

Seating Strategies For Your Dinner Party Guests

  Deciding on a seating arrangement is one of the more important chores in preparing for your dinner party. A well thought out plan can enhance the gathering and prevent some pitfalls. And remember, a dinner party is as much about conversation as it is about dinner.  Where To Start      A good place to start is to read an article by Genevieve Roth in the magazine Real Simple. Click on “Dinner Party Strategies.” She will cover certain rules and give you lots of help in carrying out this important task. The article discusses certain personality types and how…

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Ham

A Bone-in Country Ham With That Old-fashioned Goodness

A Real Hankerin’ For A Bone-in Ham      Every once in a while, I get a hankerin’ (it’s the way my people used to talk) for a taste of a good ol’ bone-in country ham – the kind that my grandmother used to make on Easter. If you’ve ever tasted one, the taste was absolutely unforgettable. The KISS Principle Applies Here      If you’re planning to purchase a ham, my advice is to keep it simple. Something happens to many of the commercial types that are for sale. These hams are most likely…

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Gravy

Good Gravy!!!

This easy creamy gravy, spiked with Marsala wine, can be whisked together while the main event of your meal is cooking. Start by browning mushrooms in butter to give it plenty of savory flavor. Add beurre manie (flour/butter) to thicken, simmer in Marsala wine and beef broth, and finish with heavy cream. Serve this with everything from meatloaf to beef Wellington. For recipe click on Mushroom Gravy. Note to cooks/chefs You can never make too much gravy. I like to plate all of the servings in the kitchen and then present them…

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tango

A Trinity Of Passions – Food, Love and Tango

     Of all the dances we have to choose from, the tango offers the best means for us to demonstrate our individuality, uniqueness and style. But it’s teasingly incomplete.  We must  decide on the recipe for our own individual tango. Like a cooking recipe it requires interpretation, iteration and alteration.  Simmer it on the dance floor and it can become interesting, alluring, and sensual. And like great food the result can be a dish that is absolutely heavenly.      According to a recent ABC News poll, nearly nine out of ten people in our country say they believe…

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coconut

Another Paris Icon – The Coconut Macaroon

I Love Paris      When I think of Paris there are several iconic things that come to mind. The Eiffel tower, the Moulin Rouge, the Seine, outdoor cafes, 2-hour lunches, and the macaroon are just a few. The Eiffel tower and the Moulin Rouge are a half a world away. That’s too far for me when I need a Paris fix. And the outdoor cafes and the 2-hour lunches aren’t a serious part of our culture so that leaves the macaroon. I Love A Coconut Macaroon      The best tasting macaroons…

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Stress Free Hosting

     If we were Downton Abbey rich, entertaining would be a breeze. We would have our butler greet the guests at the door. They would be ushered into our posh library where one of our staff would offer each of our arrivals a highball and nibbles.      After all of the guests were attended to, Dorothy and I would make our entrance. We would hobnob with the attendees until chimes were struck indicating dinner was ready to be served. All would then drift into the dining room to a large table impeccably set…

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shrimp

The Shrimp Cocktail – A Retro Favorite

“Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. There’s, um, shrimp ka-bobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. . . That’s, that’s about it.” – Mykelti Williamson The Appetizer Of All Appetizers      Mykelti, you failed to mention the Classic Shrimp Cocktail. Of all of the ways to serve shrimp, it is my favorite. It basically is…

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shrimp

The Classic Shrimp Cocktail

“Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. There’s, um, shrimp ka-bobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. . . That’s, that’s about it.” – Mykelti Williamson The Appetizer Of All Appetizers      Mykelti, you failed to mention the Classic Shrimp Cocktail. Of all of the ways to serve shrimp, it is my favorite. It basically is…

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Sicilian Meatballs – A Recipe You Can’t Refuse

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” – Julia Child      First of all, I’m not advocating eating pasta three meals a day. I think of pasta as the ultimate in comfort food, and about once a week I like to treat myself. And, if I’m going to treat myself to some extra calories, I want it to be over the top. While I absolutely love spaghetti and meatballs, the Sicilian Meatball recipe featured in Men’s Journal (March 2018, page…

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