Lend Me Your Ears

clams

Linguine In White Clam Sauce

 Quick and Easy      Linguine with a white clam sauce – sounds difficult, right? Not really. This is one of those quick meals you can prepare on the spur of the moment. If you have your act together, you can have this on the table and ready to go in about 40 minutes.      There is not a long list of ingredients. Garlic, shallots, and white wine are usually part of what you will have available in your kitchen. I have added linguine, cans of whole baby clams, and parmigiano…

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The Perfect Martini At A Perfect Hour

“One martini is alright. Two are too many, and three are not enough.” – James Thurber How 1950s Is This? One of the more civilized things a person can do is to enjoy a cocktail (or two) before dinner. Five o’clock heralds the beginning of our cocktail hour. We seldom miss our appointment, and if we do miss it due to other obligations, yours truly can get a little pissy. A designated cocktail hour gives us permission to start drinking, as if we actually need an excuse. It’s something to…

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Around An Italian Dinner Table

The Right Idea     When it comes to dining, I think the Italians have the right idea.  If you’ve ever had the privilege of being seated around an Italian dinner table, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s laid back, relaxed, unhurried, and the ambiance exudes warmth and conviviality.       And the dinner IS the evening – it’s not the prelude to something else. It’s seldom served before 8 p.m., and if you’re dining out, once you’re seated, the table is yours for the night. There will be no pressure for you to…

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Music For A Dinner Party

Music evokes emotion, and I think the mood for a dinner party should be mellow. It should be conducive to setting a lower energy level. The right background music will encourage your guests to slow down and to relax so they can enjoy their dinner. It should also be nondescript – the less recognizable the better. Your selections should be interesting, yet unobtrusive. Lyrics can be distracting, so I believe the best music for your dinner party is instrumental. Also, be sure to turn the volume down low enough so it doesn’t…

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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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