Lend Me Your Ears

Patio Toad

The Margarita Lifestyle – Chippin’ Dippin’ and Sippin’

     There’s nothing like a cool and tasty margarita on a hot summer’s day! It’s a grand accompaniment to go along with the guacamole and homemade chips I posted last week (click on Time To Take Your Culinary Entertaining Outdoors). All are made with fresh ingredients, and everyone knows chippin’, dippin’, and sippin’ is the perfect Rx for summer. So here it is – the best recipe ever for The Perfect Margarita!  Pitcher     Two Servings      6 oz.              3 oz.             Lime juice (two limes = about 3 oz.)      ½ cup           ¼ cup        …

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Getting Ready For The Watermelon Feed

Be Prepared      If watermelons are being served, you know people will be spitting seeds. At some point, usually a competition will ensue.      Most of the time these are simply fun activities, but if you are asked to participate and are directed to a spitway (an outlined 75 X 15-foot area), you know you are in the company of serious watermelon spitters. You need to be ready if this happens, especially if bets will be placed. The Rules Are Simple Seeds must be selected on site. The larger seeds…

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truffles

There’s Gold In Them Thar Truffles

     Pictured Above Is Risotto With Raisins And Both Black And White Truffles.  My Truffle Discovery      My actual introduction to a truffle occurred at The Modern in New York City. I had ordered the tasting menu, and one of the courses was risotto. For an extra $40 I could have sliced white truffle added at the table. Always keeping the words of wisdom from a Schlitz Beer commercial, “You only go around once in life,” I decided to go for it. It was one of the most fabulous foods…

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Guacamole

Time To Take Your Culinary Entertaining Outdoors

     If you live in a four-season climate, you know the first part of June is  the best time for entertaining outdoors. Lawns and foliage are fresh and green; the flies and mosquitoes aren’t yet in peak form, and it isn’t so ungodly hot.  After waiting all winter, margarita season has finally arrived.      Are you looking for something besides salsa to serve with a pitcher of margaritas? Prepare a delicious guacamole dip made with fresh ingredients and serve it in a molcajete (a traditional Mexican version of a mortar…

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secret

Shhh! Secret Ingredients

Vive La Différence      Secret Ingredients can make a big difference in a dish. I would like to tell you about six of my favorites. I had originally planned to take them to my grave; however, I can’t in good conscience not tell you.      Up until now they’ve been closely guarded. The only exceptions where I’ve shared them have been with good friends and blood relatives, and I had each of them sign documents saying they would not divulge this information. The magic six are listed in no specific order: Truffle Salt (an…

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Fried chicken

Double-Fried And Countrified Chicken

    Most of you probably think of chicken as a type of meat that’s found in your grocer’s meat case. Because I grew up on a farm, when I think of chicken, a whole different world comes to mind.      In our hierarchy of animal care, chickens were on the bottommost rung. They were noncompliant, very excitable and mean. They were also free to roam, so on a typical farmstead they would be everywhere, and so were their droppings. As a result every step I took had to be placed with extreme care…

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The Entertaining Countdown Plan

The day of the dinner party I need to have a plan. In the past I usually had this sketched out the day before, but I began to notice that the plan was basically the same each time. I decided to compose an entertaining countdown sheet I could use before each dinner party. I can look at it and know immediately what needs to be taken care of. Also, if someone wants to help, I can consult the list and assign them an activity. This has been a lifesaver. My…

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Kentucky Derby

Derby Day Is About Horses – And Kentucky Bourbon

     Of course, in the state of Kentucky it’s going to be all about the horses. Once a year this passion manifests itself in a marvelous event known as The Kentucky Derby. Many people travel great distances to experience the energy and the excitement surrounding what has become known as “The Run For The Roses.”      But Derby day is so much more than just a horserace. As the title says, it’s also about the bourbon. The locals are very fond of their native drink. They begin drinking early in…

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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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