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Pimiento Cheese Spread

WANT TO ENJOY A CHEAP LUNCH? EAT AT THE MASTERS AND ORDER A PIMIENTO CHEESE SANDWICH      Scheduled for the first full week of April, the Masters is the first major of the year, and unlike the others, it is always held at the same location, Augusta National Golf Club. It’s a private course in the southeastern United States, in the city of Augusta, Georgia. The setting is beautiful. It is run with clockwork precision. It showcases the best golfers in the world. But you know all of this.     …

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My Humble Culinary Opinion

     Dante Alighieri, in the 14th-century, wrote the epic poem, Divine Comedy. With a name like Dante Alighieri, it sounds as if he should be a chef at Spago or Restaurant Guy Savoy instead of a fabled writer.      To me, Dante was a Late Middle Ages finger-wagger. You made your bed, and you were going to have to sleep in it. And if you didn’t live right, your bed was going to be in hell.       In his poem, Virgil proceeds to guide Dante through the nine circles of…

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What’s In Your Paella?

Ancient Roots      Paella is a rice dish that has ancient roots. Its modern form originated in the mid-19th century in the area around the east coast of Spain adjacent to the city of Valencia.  Paella is also the name of the specialized shallow pan used for this dish.      There’s not much of a consensus regarding how this delicious dish, perhaps Spain’s most famous, should be prepared. Also, what should, or shouldn’t go into it is an issue. The original recipes went from being relatively simple to including a wide variety…

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Starting A Flame In Her Heart

How To Get Your Guest’s Attention        To serve a cocktail with pizazz, I’d like to recommend an Oaxaca Old Fashioned. Oaxaca is pronounced “wuh-HAH-kuh.” I know. It sounds like a city in Wisconsin, but instead it’s a vacation spot in Mexico.        The traditional whiskey is replaced by tequila and mescal (or mezcal). The ratio of mescal to tequila can vary. I like even parts so I can taste a bit more of the mescal. Other recipes use 1 1/2 ounces of tequila to 1/2 ounce mescal. Not only is this an attention getter…

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Liver Pâté. Trust Me. You’ll Love It.

FIFTY WAYS TO LOVE YOUR LIVER      You can close your louver, leave your lover, go to the Louvre, or visit Rod Laver, but this is about liver. Yes, liver.      This is one thing your mother was right about – liver is good for you. It contains lots of vitamins (A, B & D) and iron. But when I ask people if they like liver, I usually get a negative response, and many people are actually repulsed at the thought of eating it. Liver Aficionados      Cats, on the other hand,…

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pizazz

How To Add Pizazz To Your Hosting

Pizazz In The Kitchen – It’s Showtime, Folks      After our dinner party guests have arrived, it seems they to like to congregate in our kitchen. And it’s especially true if it’s a small dinner party (six or less). I think they do this for two reasons: (1) they want to socialize with their hosts and (2) they know this is where the magic occurs..      In the early stages of my introduction to hosting, I recommended to keep things simple. But after you’ve become more accomplished and you’ve established your reputation, you can now…

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Summer Tomatoes. It’s A Waiting Game.

     I TELL MYSELF TO BE PATIENT. That it’s a waiting game. I wait all year for that first taste of the perfect homegrown tomato. And when it happens, it’s sheer ecstasy.      But I always get impatient. In June I see those perfect-looking red tomatoes in the grocery stores and on the farmers’ market stands. I have to remind myself, THESE ARE THE IMPOSTERS. I am looking at hydroponic tomatoes (grown in sand, gravel or liquid) or hothouse tomatoes (from temperature-controlled buildings for rearing plants out of season), and…

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Crème Brûlée – A Delicious and Delectable Custard

    Crème Brûlée . The mere mention of this custard of all custards immediately makes my mouth water. It’s delicious and delectable, and I love serving it to our guests. Crème Brûlée‘s Classic History    It’s a dessert that’s been around for centuries. The earliest known reference to Crème Brûlée is found in a 1691 cookbook, Le Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois, by Francois Massialot, a French chef who was chef de cuisine to Phillippe I. Duke of Orleans (who was brother to Louis XIV). According to White House records, Thomas Jefferson served Crème Brulee to many of…

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chicken

Sexy Chickens Need Not Apply

     I’ve never thought of a chicken as being sexy. I grew up around them, and the chickens of my youth were ordinary no-nonsense chickens. They were hearty, stalwart, Midwestern varieties we could fry, roast, or stew. Familiar varieties were the Plymouth Rock, the Rhode Island Red, and the Leghorn.  “We’re Not Running A Beauty Pageant Here”      The above was a quote from my father when my siblings and I asked if we could get some banty chickens. As a result, we had no exotic designer cockerels roaming our farm….

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rain

On The Road Again – Life In The Slow Lane

A Dinner Parties and More Extra . . . A Poem          Life In The Slow Lane        Yet once again I’m made aware that         It’s germane to the state of Maine         One has to wait for the southbound train.         It’s always late. It’s such a pain.         While waiting here, it begins to rain.         If it keeps up, I’ll go insane.         Next time I go, I’ll take a plane to            New York City. A poem by Robert Miller

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