Lend Me Your Ears

Marbella

Your First Dinner Party? Start Simple.

Keep It Really Simple      If you’re interested in hosting a dinner party, don’t start with a sit-down dinner for eight.      Host a dinner with yourself and one other person. Pick an elegant but simple recipe and perfect it. A simple but exquisite dish is Chicken Marbella.  It may take several iterations to get it right, but your patience will be rewarded. It’s Showtime      Next try a dinner party for four. Serve the dish you have practiced preparing, and figure out how to make it special. Pick…

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entertaining

Parties and Gatherings – Having People Over

     There are many reasons to have a party, but it’s mainly about wanting to mingle with the people we enjoy.      Your friends will be touched to be invited, and that you will be welcoming them into your home. It shows affection, and it’s a wonderful way to show appreciation for their friendship.       A party can also satisfy many of our social and emotional needs as human beings. It’s a chance to explore personalities and to mesh friendships. It’s also a chance to meet new people and to be introduced to new thoughts and ideas. And always remember,…

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Rib roast

The Standing Prime Rib Roast

A Regal Presence On The Table      Preparing and serving a prime rib roast is always an event. Its regal presence on a table makes the occasion special, and its aroma can get my digestive juices flowing faster than any other food. It’s also interesting to watch our guests catch the first whiff of what’s in the oven. When they realize it’s prime rib, their excitement is almost palpable.     As human beings, we seem to continue to love meat. Our long history of the way we’ve consumed our eatables goes all of the way…

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coq au vin cuisine

Your Go-to Classic Cuisine

     To be considered a great dinner party host, you need to have a dish representing a classic cuisine when you want to impress. It’s the one you’ve served many times and can prepare with a relatively high chance of success.      Over the years, it’s been changed so that it agrees with your particular tastes, and it’s the dish that has made you a living legend. It’s one of the reasons people want to score an invitation to sit at your table.      My go-to classic is Coq au Vin (click on this link to find my recipe…

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Bowl of chili

Chili And The NFL

    I’ve always associated baseball with hot dogs, basketball with popcorn, and football with chili. Most people I know associate football with tailgating, but to me it’s chili. During most football Sundays, I’ll cook up a pot, and all afternoon the aroma will waft up into the loft where we’re watching the game(s). NFL football and a bowl of red – a match made in heaven. Going Public      I’ve refined my recipe over the years, and it suits my taste to a tee. Every other recipe I have I’m quick to share with…

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late corn grits

Corn Grits From Late Season Corn

Simply Perfect      The chef, Jacques Pepin, was asked what dishes he would request for his last meal. He said one of his choices would be hand-picked freshly-shelled peas straight from the garden with butter and sea salt. This shows a great culinary experience doesn’t have to involve exotic ingredients, dozens of spices, and complicated techniques. It can be a simple dish. As a matter of fact, in the case of Pepin’s peas, any further additions would detract from this basic but perfect concoction. Another Great but Simple Dish      I recently…

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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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BLT

This IS The BLT To Die For

     I love a BLT, and I’m not alone. In polls where people were asked about their favorite sandwich, the BLT was either at the top or close to the top of every list. And it’s so simple: two slices of bread, mayo, bacon, lettuce, and tomato. That’s it.      Not all BLTs are great. I’ve been served many that I didn’t think were very good at all. What I think sets a great one apart from the others are (1) the quality of its contents and (2) the way it’s prepared….

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Tomato salsa

Summer Is Tomato Salsa Season

There’s Nothing Like Fresh Salsa     Fresh salsa has a season; at least it does in the Midwest. It begins when that first July tomato ripens on the vine. In a good year, it might last into the middle of September. In Defense Of Grocery Store Providers     It’s hard to beat the succulent taste of a fresh tomato, and it spoils it for the rest of the year when we have to rely on grocery stores to be our providers. Their tomatoes certainly don’t compare with our homegrown types,…

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