Category Archives: Menus and Odes

Last Minute Oscar Party Action

Time got the best of me this year, and damned if I live for a party, it seems that my schedule has me working for the weekend where I’ll work some more.  Eddie Money is shaking his head at me right now. So what’s a girl to do?  Call it quits, tune out, and plan to join in on the festivities?  I’m going to attack every last starstruck moment out of this life of mine like Joan Crawford with a wire hanger.  And I’ll look damn good doing it, even if it means haute couture pajamas as the dress code.

When my panties are in a bunch and I need culinary majesty fast, I usually turn to the glory that is the crostini.  There is something so delightful about a portable snack – just a little bite of something assembled with care and made from bright, fresh ingredients. I find that of the things that I make for friends, bruschetta and crostini seem to go the quickest – people appreciate a bit of goodness. The toppings are just as important as the vehicles – crusty breads, crisp crackers, buttered toasts sprinkled with sea salt, even a potato or plantain chip all make for great bases for a crunchy bite. Continue reading Last Minute Oscar Party Action

Lighten Up: Memorial Day BBQ Veg Out

Kicking Your Muffin Top’s Ass for America

Not that I’m one for reducing, but with the weather getting warmer and bathing suit season quickly approaching (Damn! It’s here!) my tummy starts craving veggies in a manic kind of way. And when the Memorial Day barbecue gets its flare on, I want to smother my plate with a mess of farm-fresh goodies in a salad extravaganza. I figure with enough luscious tomatoes, crisp greens and light and lovely lemony vinaigrette, my stomach will have enough wholesome veg to stave off the actions of the celebratory booze sloshing around my tummy without adding to the muffin-top. Fuck a muffin top. Regardless of any sort of dietary aims, this menu is a grand celebration of the season and a good use for any produce you’ve managed to grown on your own (or with the help of the local farmer’s market). Continue reading Lighten Up: Memorial Day BBQ Veg Out

¡Cinco de Mayo!

Let’s Hit It Like a Goddamn Pinata

So two tidbits for you before we get to our Cinco de Mayo recipe celebration, both of which you may know already.  First, the holiday we know as Cinco de Mayo, is kind of a made up holiday.  Unless you are from the Puebla region of Mexico and really despise French occupation, your true celebration of Mexican independence actually occurs on September 16th. So yes (¡Claro que sí!), that nacho orgy that you hold yearly has no historical relevance to the 5th of May. Continue reading ¡Cinco de Mayo!

Bolognese Recipes and Link Roundup

I admit that my cravings tend to be ADD. How is it that in the span of five minutes, I can go from wanting potstickers (the fat ones with the blubbery wrappers) to a hot dog (from Gray’s Papaya with plenty of red onions) to mac and cheese (with finely chopped onions melting into the sauce) and then right back to potstickers. I give my husband fucking fits – he can barely keep up long enough to shove my craving of choice down my throat before I’m already asking for something else. And if I’m online browsing through food porn, forget about it. In the span of an hour, I can have the foodie equivalent of multiple orgasms staring at everything I want at that very moment, only to be replaced by yet another want. It’s a hot mess. Continue reading Bolognese Recipes and Link Roundup

The Seven Links Project

I am consistently wowed and humbled by all of the ridiculously cool culinary folk that I have had the pleasure of meeting via Spice or Die (formerly Adesina’s Kitchen).  It all started as a complete and total guilty pleasure – rather than jot down my successes in the kitchen in my little notebook, I’d shoot them, post them and share the process online for the few friends that might be interested.  Well, the friends were a lot more than a few and the definition of friend quickly expanded to include folks from around the globe.  It was an exciting connection that was made without my anticipation that it would turn out as such. Continue reading The Seven Links Project

Enchanted Tiki Room Cocktail Party Menu

Although this menu came together as a part of FoodBuzz’s 24×24 for November, it has long been in the works. For as long as I’ve known, I’ve always wanted to throw a tiki party full of old school flair – think the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland or a trip to fabulous culinary relic Trader Vic’s. Or a favorite from back in the day, the local tiki restaurant in my hometown of Alexandria, Virginia – Honolulu Restaurant. One step into the door transported you to an island oasis where the hula girls were always shaking their hips and the flaming volcano drinks left you forgetting that it wasn’t Hawaii waiting for you right outside the heavy wooden doors. It was a magical place, and the memory even more so (it closed almost a decade ago).

As the weather brings gusty cold fronts and the fireplaces flicker on one by one, I couldn’t help but think that it was high time to get a little silly, a little sassy, and throw a kitschy tiki party. Rather than listen to the endless strains of “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” I wanted to belt some Mele Kalikimaka reminding me that just because Christmas is right around the corner, it didn’t mean that I couldn’t pretend that there were palm trees swaying outside. Well, actually, there are since I live in Arizona, but I digress. Continue reading Enchanted Tiki Room Cocktail Party Menu

Stock to Soup to Consommé

Daring Kitchen Challenge
Peta, of the blog Peta Eats, was our lovely hostess for the Daring Cook’s September 2011 Challenge, “Stock to Soup to Consommé”. We were taught the meaning between the three dishes, how to make a crystal clear consommé if we so chose to do so, and encouraged to share our own delicious soup recipes!
In the short time that I’ve been participating in The Daring Kitchen (3 months now), I’ve been on a global adventure.  From gnocchi to Sri Lankan curry to now, classic culinary techniques (from France?  Consommé couldn’t be more French…), I’ve had the opportunity to flit around the world, picking up new skills and techniques in the process.  This month was a challenge to take humble chicken and veggies to broth glory. Continue reading Stock to Soup to Consommé

Bistro Menu for Beginners

Just like those cheesy radio ads for ‘bama night clubs on the late-night R&B stations, this menu is for the “grown and sexy…” *giggle* Actually, kidding aside, it’s for anyone looking for a romantic meal with a heavy wow factor and very little actual labor involved.  The kind of dinner you want to throw together when your anniversary falls on a weeknight and you can’t jet your loved one off to Paris mid-week.  Or if you’re looking to treat a foodie friend to something impressive, but are a little nervous wielding a knife in front of them.  This menu is as confident as you’ll be puttering around the kitchen, attending to perfectly seasoned dishes for the steamiest of affairs.  And it’s up to you whether you choose to play Coltrane or Chaka Khan in the background – that’s for you and your date du jour to figure out. Continue reading Bistro Menu for Beginners

Appam and Curry Feast Menu

Daring Kitchen Menu

It’s Daring Kitchen time, and this one was an exhilarating trip through Southern India and Sri Lanka. Mary, who writes the delicious blog, Mary Mary Culinary was our August Daring Cooks’ host. Mary chose to show us how delicious South Indian cuisine is! She challenged us to make Appam and another South Indian/Sri Lankan dish to go with the warm flat bread.

Mary taught us that much of the Indian food that we consume in this country is from the North and Northwest regions, and that a whole world of culinary delights awaited us in the preparation of the cuisine of the south. Boy, did this feast deliver – a fragrant theme of coconut, ginger, cilantro and chilies carried us through the courses served family style. It was the first party I’ve had in a long time where, when the food was finished, I got to sit down and tuck in with my guests. Not to mention the fact that the dishes were perfect for casually prepping with my guests helping in the kitchen. A true delight for which I have Mary to thank 🙂 Continue reading Appam and Curry Feast Menu

Gnocchi Feast Menu

Recipe for The Daring Kitchen
When I first learned about The Daring Kitchen, I was excited to join a group that would provide me with monthly culinary inspiration. This month’s assignment (and my very first with TDK) was created by Steph from Stephfood, our Daring Cooks’ July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. She provided us with recipes for Spätzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with! Steph also encouraged us to make noodles that celebrated our culinary heritage.

In that I had just done quite a bit of pastamaking as part of the Feast of the Seven Boars (along with doughs of all kinds for all of my potsticker exploits), I asked Steph if gnocchi were legal within the strict rules of the challenge. She explained that they were and off I went on a journey into dumpling majesty on a whole new level. Continue reading Gnocchi Feast Menu