Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rosemary! J. Pierpont!


With a little help from the store we had a great, simple, fast dinner tonight.

Chicken and Roasted Garlic Ravioli
w/Rosemary Cream Sauce

Rosemary Cream Sauce
1 cup heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 TB roughly chopped rosemary

Add the three ingredients into a small saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain out rosemary and garlic. Reserve infused cream.

1 TB butter
Rosemary infused cream
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Fresh black pepper
Pinch of salt
2 TB finely chopped rosemary

In the small saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter until it begins to spit and sputter. Pour in the cream and bring to a simmer. Bring to a heavy simmer and whisk in the Parmigiano. Season with salt and pepper. Continue whisking and allow to reduce slightly. About three minutes. Add the chopped rosemary. Simmer for one more minute. Add to pasta and toss to coat. Serve hot and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

This is the ravioli I picked up at the store. With this sauce, they were delicious! For a pre-made pasta, these little guys were great! I was very satisfied and would happily serve to guests as a first course. This package, 9 oz, is just barely two servings.

**Title of the post...that would be a reference to the musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Not the best show, but it is fun. I saw it ages ago with Ralph Macchio...the Karate Kid...he could sing! Who knew?

Haven't been that lazy

I haven't really been that lazy this week. We were social butterfly's this weekend, so we didn't get to do to much at home. I did make the Whoopee Pies for a wedding shower. Mmmm, so good. Here are the cakes cooling!

Last night we had grilled panini sandwiches! I love a good panini and these were pretty good. Not the best I've made, but really good. The best comes down to the best ingredients. My favorite is turkey, fresh mozzarella and roasted red peppers. These were honey baked ham, peppered salami and fresh mozzarella. The salami was a bit overpowering. I did season the sandwiches with some Italian seasoning, just for fun. Again, these were really good! But a step away from perfect. I make my paninis on my grill pan and press them with a grill press we received as a gift a few years ago. Before we received that I used a brick that I wrapped in foil. Great tool. If you don't have a brick or grill press, use a second pan and press down with your hand or a large can of something from the pantry.

On Sunday I also made the Caprese Pasta Salad. Followed the recipe I put together and it turned out great! I did one thing that was slightly different and a big help. The tomatoes were way under-ripe. I peeled, seeded and diced the tomatoes as normal. Then sprinkle with salt AND sugar. About 1/2 a teaspoon of each. Let sit for a few hours in the fridge. Before using, drain off excess moisture. This helps perk up the flavors of a fairly flavorless tomato.

(sorry, no photo)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I need proof

Last night J-lo, Danielle and I headed out for a little vino and catching up. We haven't see Danielle in AGES; it was so great to see her and chat for a few hours.

We decided to meet at Proof on the corner of 8th & G NW, across the street from the National Portrait Gallery. (Which is soooo totally worth a visit, BTW!)

Before I go to much further, our purpose of going out was for a drink. Dinner was not our goal, although we noshed, we didn't dine.

I arrived at Proof early and put my name down for a reservation about 30 minutes later, knowing I was early and to accomadate slow metro. Once D & J arrived, we walked in and were seated immediately, towards the back. The restaurant is a little dark, in a good way. The general feel was nice. There weren't many people at the tables at this point. Out waitress was right behind us to see what we might need while we looked at the menus-wine and food.

We were given these crisp little crackers to crunch on while we looked over the menu. There are plenty of wines by the glass--that's where we were going, so we didn't look through the pages of bottles of wines. I had bubbles from Italy. J-lo had a gewert from Austria. Danielle had cotes from ____? I can't remember where here cotes du rhones from. I think that's what she had. So we had our bases covered, reds, whites and bubbles. All delish!

As I said we weren't really there to eat, but we flipped open those menus as well. Done! Cheese board and charcuterie board! While we enjoyed our beverages, the little work booth next to us started preparing our boards.

We chatted and drank and nibbled all night. Service was incredible, the boards were tasty good! After a few bites of proscuitto, we had delicate pork fat was melting on our lips, which was complimented by the cheeses and wines! Heaven! The cheeses were good. I focused on cows milk cheeses that were tasty. Tried some goat/sheep milk, sorry! Not my thing, really I tried!!! The breads were toasted and crispy. Mustard, tangy! And honey that rocked! Almost spicy.

We wiped our boards clean and had few more glasses of grapes. I wanted something more to go with my bubbles. Sticky Pudding with butterscotch sauce. Great flavors. The pudding was tiny, tiny bit dry, but the great ice cream and sauce remedied that.

I have to give a great shout out to our wait staff. Stacey, I think was her name, our waitress, was on for us and we really appreciated all her help and great attitude. She helped make it a great night!

By the time we left, the restaurant was packed to the gills! I hope it continues to have great success.

I'll go back to Proof. Perhaps I'll get something off the menu for dinner, or maybe I'll just stick with the Boards! The bill was about $120 for three of us; a little spendy, but worth it for a good night out.

775 G Street NW
Washington, DC

Monday, August 27, 2007


The other night I completely was at a loss for what to make for dinner. I don't know what it is, but the last month, I have been uninspired to try new recipes. Strange. Maybe it's just the summer heat getting to me. Perhaps after the vacation coming up in 17 days I'll be ready to jump back in.

So, what to make for dinner. I had some vegetables, but nothing to really do with them. Finally I decided on making something of a pepper steak. Pepper Steak is perhaps on of the first "Asian" dishes I ever had and used to love it. I think the only thing that made is "Asian" was the soy sauce some of us silly Midwesterners hadn't ever heard of.

Drawing on a recipe or two, this is what I came up with. It was satisfyng and used up some of the vegetables I had laying around.

Pepper Steak
1/2 pound, thinly sliced beef (I don't know the cut, it was labeled "Stir Fry Beef." What's that?)
1 green bell pepper, chunky dice
1 medium onion, chunky dice
1 jalapeño, diced
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, medium dice
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1-2 tsp fish sauce
2-3 TB oyster sauce
1-2 tsp hot sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TB fresh ginger, grated
1-2 TB vegetable oil
wee pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper

Mix the sauces together in a small bowl and set aside.

In a big pan over high heat, stir fry the beef in a bit of vegetable oil, season with a bit of salt/pepper, to taste. When browned and cooked to the desired doneness, remove to a plate. If the pan has dried some, add another little bit of oil. Toss in the onions and begin to saute. After about two minutes, when the onions start to become transluscent, add the peppers. Saute those for another minute or two. Add the garlic and ginger. When fragrant, add the tomatoes. Stir fry for a moment. Add the sauce. Bring to a simmer and allow to reduce slightly. Return the beef to the pan. Stir to coat with the sauce and heat through. Serve with rice.

Tasty. Savory. Fast. The beef was a little tough, but I'm sure that comes from the mystery cut of beef. I was satisfied. There were no leftovers!

The 10,000

Sometime around 7:59pm last night, Sunday, August 26, I had my 10,000th visitor since I installed Sitemeter in late April! I'm shocked. I had no idea so many people were clicking in for a visit.

Thanks for playing along everyone! Hope you're enjoying your visits.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fast and Delish

Last night I wasn't really in the mood to make anything, but in a last ditch effort to pull through I made some Stir-Fried Noodles. They were awesome!

As I mentioned the first time we made these, the original recipe called for shrimp. Which was fine. But we actually prefer the veggie friendly version with no meat or seafood. The sauce whips together in a minute. Chopping the jalapenos and herbs another minute. The peanuts are a mess to chop, but give great crunch and a small protein boost. I had to pick up bean sprouts at the store. Heat the oil. Add the jalapeno. Sizzle Sizzle...toss in garlic for about 10-20 seconds...add the sprouts....sizzle, toss, sizzle...add the sauce...stir, stir...cooked noodles*...stir, toss, coat...herbs...toss...serve, garnish with peanuts. Done. FAST! Delicious and really filling.

*noodles: OK, so the rice noodles don't actually cook the way the package says. Put the rice noodles in a large bowl and pour boiling water over them. Allow them to sit for a minute. If they don't come to the appropriate doneness, drain and add more boiling water for another minute. This should do it.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

For those who are interested, I wanted to pass on notice of a special opportunity coming our way.

The James Beard Foundation is celebrating their world-renowned culinary organization’s 20th anniversary and the legacy of James Beard in 20 cities across the United States. Washington, DC will play host to a weekend of delicious and educational events.

Friday’s benefit dinner will be hosted by Vidalia’s Executive Chef RJ Cooper, named 2007 James Beard Mid-Atlantic Chef of the Year. Joining Cooper in the kitchen for the evening will be past winners Roberto Donna of Bebo, Ann Cashion of Johnny’s Half Shell, Jeff Buben of Vidalia and Bistro Bis, Bob Kinkead of Kinkead’s, Ris Lacoste, as well as pastry chef Ann Amernick of Palena. Dinner will include exceptional wine pairings from around the world.

On Saturday, the James Beard Foundation and Williams-Sonoma will host a free event open to the public in each participating city. The event will offer a range of interactive educational opportunities within the Williams-Sonoma store including, cooking demonstrations with RJ Cooper, cookbook signings with Bob Kinkead and his aptly named “Kinkead’s Cookbook” (Ten Speed Press), children’s activity stations, and a festival marketplace featuring local purveyors and artisanal cheese makers. Purveyors include the Vermont Cheese & Butter Company, Sweet Grass Dairy, Rogue Creamery and more!

Friday, September 28
Benefit Dinner

Vidalia, 1990 M Street NW, Washington, DC

Saturday, September 29
Culinary Martketplace

Williams-Sonoma, Mazza Gallerie, 5300 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC

For more information or to make a reservation for the dinner, click here.

The James Beard Foundation is a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in New York City dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and nurturing America's culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mama* needs a cocktail...

...and what's better and more mama friendly than a
Chocolate Martini

Pay no mind to the brands, its what I can get cheap & good (Ryan's cream), or what my local liquor store has (Cask & Cream),...but gather your ingredients: vanilla vodka, Irish cream, chocolate cream liquor, chocolate syrup and heavy cream. Gather your equipment; martini glass, cocktail shaker and jigger. And you need Ice!

Fill your cocktail shaker with ice. Measure your booze. For two cocktails add two jiggers each of the vodka, Irish cream and chocolate liquor. Add half a jigger of cream and a squirt of chocolate syrup. Cover and shake!

If you want to be fancy...and why should you not be fancy...drizzle some chocolate syrup into the glass, then gently poor your cocktail in your glass. Cheers.

*...and by "Mama" of course I mean me!


This past weekend prior to grocery shopping I had to plan some menus for the week. One charge was beef. I wanted pot roast or something super rich and tasty, but didn't feel like spending the time with the oven on or digging out the slow cooker. I made my way through some cookbooks to see what I could find that would inspire me. Ultimately I settled on a concept in the book, The Way We Cook: Recipes from the New American Kitchen by Sheryl Julian & Julie Riven. A book I've had for some time and haven't used before. One recipe in the book is for smothered steak sandwiches. I liked the idea and wanted to play around a little.

Steak Sandwich
w/Homemade Sweet & Savory Ketchup

I started my adventure with a small chunk of flank steak that I dry rubbed with a blend of spices that included paprika, thyme, salt, pepper and cumin. I tossed that on the grill pan for about 5 minutes per side.

While that worked out I prepared the sauce to smother my steak sandwich. Onions sauted in olive oil. Some spices, I can't remember all of them now; cumin, cayenne, oregano. There was some brown sugar and some Worchestshire sauce. Salt and pepper. The final sauce was sweet and savory. It was pretty much a chunky homemade ketchup.

After you steak has cooked to the desired doneness (medium-rare in this case), allow for rest for a few minutes, then slice across the grain of the meat for the most tender texture. Pour any collected juice into the sauce.

Toast up a fresh baguette and dress the bread the way you like. I went with a few slices of fresh mozarella. One went the steak slices and a few hearty spoonfuls of the sauce. The sandwiches were served with hot oven fries and beer! Great combinations.

Oven Fries: I cut up one medium large russet potato, from end to end. I got about 16 slices, enough for two people, but we both could have had more. Toss the slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and any herbs and spices you like. Lay out on a lined baking sheet and place in a 400 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Flip the slices over 1/2 way through baking. They are done when tender inside and crisp and brown on the outside.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Muffins or Cupcakes? I say Cupcakes!

Sure, I go on and on about changing what I eat, so I can try to be healthy. Then I make something like this! Well, I said the reason I was trying to eat healthy was so I can do stuff like this. A co-worker was celebrating a birthday so there needed to be cupcakes! And these are healthy...banana, carrot, raisins...and the icing does have low fat cream cheese.

Banana Carrot Muffins
(from the Magnificent Muffins Cookbook by way of the Well Fed Network)

Dry Mixture
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp nutmeg
1 pinch ground cloves
½ cup raisins

Moist Mixture
2 large eggs
½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup mashed banana
1 cup grated carrot

Preheat oven to 400° F and prepare 12 muffin cups. In a large bowl, combine the dry mixture. In a medium bowl beat eggs lightly and combine with the moist mixture. Add the moist mixture to the dry mixture all at once and stir just until moist but still lumpy. Fill the prepared muffin cups ¾ full. Bake for 16-20 minutes. I opted to frost these, but they keep better and are quite good plain as well.

For the cream cheese icing:
1/2 a block of cream cheese
3 TB butter
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice

Mix with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy.

The Non-Diet

So, um, yeah. I guess it is a diet, but I'm not calling it that. In an effort to not have a heart attack by the age 35 I have made a few small changes in my daily dietary intake.

At the end of May I joined the gym at work. I have to say I've really enjoyed going. I started going everyday I went to weekends and holidays were free. Eventually I allowed myself to taper off a bit, usually when something was going on at work that I couldn't get around, or was going to take up too much of my time. That leaves me going about 3-4 times a week, and I'm pleased with that.

After several weeks of going to the gym I didn't notice any changes in weight. Weight loss was not my goal of going to the gym. Improving my cardiovasular health was primary, I was just hoping for a little something extra. This was getting me down and frustrated. I chatted with my boss and she recommended some dietary changes.

And I think they are helping!

As I said, I'm not calling this a "diet." Because if I did, I'd quit!

In place of the bagel, donut, breakfast sandwich type breakfasts I used to have; I'm now working the fruit, yogurt, granola breakfast. Usually I follow this up with a little mid-morning snack of more fruit or nuts. I made the mistake of thinking this snack would allow me to skip lunch...OH WAS I A BITCH for those few days. I needed a sandwich AND BAD!

I'm now stretching my mid-morning fruit/nut snack back a little bit. Then going with a 'light sandwich.' I say light sandwich as in, maybe it'll be a turkey sandwich or it'll be toast with peanut butter and today! If I miss the sandwich, I have a protein bar that I keep stashed at my desk and then try to have another fruit/nut snack late afternoon.

Dinner? No changes. I like my butter, cream, olive oil, cheese, pasta, etc! Part of my reasoning for making these day time changes is so I can still have fun in the kitchen at night. I know!!! I know...I shouldn't be having such a giant, high calorie dinner late in the evening...but that's the price I'm paying! I do try to get dinner done before it gets too late, but that isn't always the case.

So to be happy and toot my horn for a the last two week period, the combination of the changes in my food and the gym, I've dropped 10 pounds!

The downside? I'm getting sick of fruit. Friday I had my bowl of strawberries, yogurt and granola and I must have looked like a 10 year old cry baby told to sit at the table until I cleared my plate...I really didn't want it! And outside of the all know I hate my vegetables! But I'm trying!!! I really am. Tonight's dinner will be loaded with veg! Stay tuned and wish me luck.

I said NO to donuts this morning! But I said yes to the mini-cupcakes I made for a co-worker's b-day....

Saturday, August 18, 2007

On The Go Flavor

The other day I picked up a box of these On The Go beverage mixes. Really GOOD! I hope I can find the mix that is more 'bulk' so I can make a gallon of the tea instead of using up these little tubes.
I would recommend this for anyone who likes a flavored sweet tea.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Fried Rice

The other night I made Pineapple Fried Rice for dinner again. Tasty. As I said the first time around, once you take a few minutes to prepare the ingredients, the actually cooking time if very short!

I added bean sprouts this time to add a little more crunch/veg to the mix. But something was off...I don't know what it was, but the dish lacked a little something. It was great! But not as great as the first time around. I'm wondering if I left something out of the recipe? I did notice that I treated the rice a little differently. Last time I spread the rice out on a sheet and put it in a warm oven for a few minutes. This time I just spread it out on the sheet. So maybe the rice was feeling a little too fresh this time around? Maybe I didn't have enough soy sauce?

I was just about finished with cooking and thought this composition looked really great, so I had to snap a photo!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Food Art

I love these art prints! Saw them in NYC this weekend when we were walking around downtown. I'm thrilled I can order them online, but might need to consider a little loan...and wait until there is a nicer kitchen in the future! There are three more in the series.

Caprese by way of Pasta

Upon returning from vacation I noticed that the basil plant was going nuts and needed to be trimmed up. I wanted to fall back on my favorite basil use, especially during the summer-pesto. But I wanted to bring a little more to the party than my usually pesto takes...i.e. pasta and pesto, that's it, done, yum, over.

Now, what I ultimately did wasn't that much different from pasta and pesto, but I think it was a fun little play on the Italian fav, caprese salad...tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.

Caprese Pasta Salad
1 cup, uncooked orzo--cook to al dente, allow to cool
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4-6 heaping tablespoons of pesto--freshly made if you can!
8 oz ball of fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
3 medium, vine ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cutinto 1/4 inch cubes
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the orzo to al dente. Drain. Drizzle with the olive oil, stir to coat. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Stir in the pesto--add more or less if you like. When the pasta is coated, fold in the mozzarella and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or cool.

Very simple and super refreshing! And yes it's pasta and pesto, but it's a fun variation of caprese salad!

I served the pasta salad with a balsamic glazed pork loin chop. The balsamic sometimes shows up on the caprese salad, so I felt it would be a perfect accompaniment. I started by reducing a 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar in a shallow pan, by 1/2. I don't have the best balsamic, so I added about 1/4 tsp of sugar to help cut the manufactured acidic taste the vinegar had. The reduction was pretty nice and super thick when allowed to cool. I seasoned the chops with salt and pepper and a little olive oil. As they took on a quick sear on the grill pan I brushed them with the glaze, turning them to get a little more heat and allowing the glaze to carmelize slightly. Not bad. I had intended to put the chops in a brine before grilling, but I forgot. They were a little dry, but overall had good flavor.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Me again

I had to share this picture.

Hi! It's me.

I love this photo! I usually love to ham it up for the camera but generally am not fond of the pictures after. This one I love.

Long story short, there is a secret project happening at work and I was asked to be a part of it. And about 10 other employees. We were asked to participate in a photo shoot, themed around something that defines us, that illustrates our passions and hobbies, etc. So what defines me more than my love of cooking and food! Some other folks brought books, art supplies, their pets, sports gear, garden stuff, puppets, etc. I packed up my mixer, some books, pepper mill, wine, tablecloth and headed to the office for the shoot. What Fun! Not pictured is the wine glass I busted as I was setting up. I was setting the wine bottle down and put it right on top of the glass. Oops.

If Eat With Me makes it's way to cookbook form in the future, perhaps this will be the little picture of me on the back.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I asked and You asked

While I was on vacation, I asked you to ask me questions...and you did. Here you go. BTW: Anonymous folks...who are you?

Thanks NBC for the great logo and letting me borrow it!

ANON1 asked:
What is your least favorite type of food? I would say the foods I dislike most are broccoli and bivalves (mussels, clams, oysters). I’m not the most adventurous eater; however I am much more willing to try different foods and dishes today than I would have 5-10 years ago.

Are you allergic to any foods? I’m lactose intolerant, so I have to watch the diary intake.

What kind of things do you take into consideration when cooking for you and your partner? Are there foods you shy away from because you know he will not like them? We have some of the same dislikes, bivalves, mushrooms, and some others. Our likes are pretty similar as well. There are some things that J-lo likes that I don’t, but I will find ways to work them into a dinner if I can. The eternal debates will always center on Jif or Skippy peanut butter and Veleveeta Shells and Cheese or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

What would you like to try to make that you never have? I had always wanted to make a cheesecake and I finally did this past winter/spring. I’m pretty pleased with the items I have been making. That said, I would like to have a more successful go at cakes. Unless they come from a box, I’m not pleased with the final results.

Do you wish that you lived somewhere that had a better selection of stores to buy exotic ingredients?
I am really blessed living where I do. The DC Metro area is incredibly diverse and the neighborhood I live in has several ethnic markets. I have been so some of them, but there are others I haven’t made it too yet.

What are the essentials that you believe every kitchen should have as far as pots, pans, and electric devices?
A great pair of tongs. I have two non-stick skillets which I love, but I really really love the enameled cast iron. They are very easy to clean and create great sauces. A nice silicone spatula and a sturdy wooden spoon. No joke, I love my mixer and food processor, but they are not necessary. With practice and patience, anyone can work around those tools. A pepper mill. I don’t remember when I bought my first one, but I feel like I’ve had one forever. A sturdy, sharp chef’s knife. I'm sure there are others I'm not thinking of right now.

How do you really feel about Martha Stewart?
As much as I have personally trashed on Martha in the past, I have to give her proper recognition. She busted her ass bringing fine living to the masses and she did a great job doing it. Sure she has her flaws, everyone does. There have been many attempts to recreate the lifestyle maven, but very few have the class or style that Martha has.

Have you ever considered dumping your current profession and becoming a chef?
I have a dream project and it’s an intimate B&B in the country where meals would be provided breakfast, lunch and dinner, if the guests want. But that’s about as much of a professional chef I would want to be. I’ve read plenty behind the kitchen books and even read up on owning/operating a restaurant; it’s a professional I have much admiration for, but no desire to be part of. I feel that I cook for fun now and if I had to do it for money, I may not enjoy it.

What is your favorite Breakfast potato?
I love potatoes. A good, well seasoned home fry. Crispy & buttery shredded hashbrowns. A cheesy hashbrown casserole! As long as the potatoes are seasoned and don’t taste like oil, I’ll probably enjoy them.

Do you believe that you can eat healthy and be a great cook?
I’m sure you can, but it is something I do enough of. I have been altering my breakfast to be healthier and am working my way to lunch. But that nice dinner at home each night; that’s going to take some time. Our regular readers know how much I love my cream, butter and olive oil!

If you could go anywhere in the world for dinner, where would you go? Why?
Since I read Julia Child’s My Life in France, I really want to head to Paris. I didn’t have as much of a desire to head there before reading it.

Do you believe that most foods are better with little or no seasoning or do you believe that most foods need some sort of embellishment?
Just about everything can be enhanced with a little something. My favorite way to share this; a bowl of fresh, juicy, sweet melon, its great! But when you add a little sprinkle of salt; completely different and better!

Does being lactose intolerant impair your ability to enjoy great foods?
Yes and know. I know it’s going to give me trouble, but I still say yes!

Do you believe that your diet or the stress level in your life has a larger bearing on your immediate health?
Absolutely. When I am stress free, I feel really good. The minute I start worrying about things, I’m all over the place. Sick stomach. Headaches. I can totally tell when I’ve been eating low-fat, high fiber, nutrient rich meals. The minute I fall back to my old habits, I start to slow down.

If you won the lottery tomorrow and never had to work again a day in your life, what would you do with the rest of your life?
That ‘never work again’ thing doesn’t suit me. Perhaps I would work towards my dream B&B? Or maybe I would become a philanthropist and volunteer?

BARBARA asked:
What is your idea of the perfect dinner? First course would be a crisp, crunchy salad coated lightly in a tart vinaigrette, served with a dry white wine. Second course is either a herb roasted chicken or grilled steak and a juicy red wine. And a side of creamy risotto and/or mashed potatoes. Dessert is a straight forward crème brulee, no fancy flavor variations or add-ins, but it is served with fresh berries and bottle of Prosecco.

ANON2 asked:
If you could invite any 4 people, living or dead to a dinner party, who would you invite and what would you serve?
I love this question. I would invite Ella Fitzgerald, Patsy Cline, Janis Joplin and Madonna. I love music; it’s very important to me. These women played a major roll in music during their time, redefining the landscape as they moved forward. I would love to have them together in one room to talk to them about the differences during their time as musicians.

What to serve…that’s a tough one. Perhaps I’ll serve the aforementioned perfect dinner.

JACK asked
What do you consider the most erotic food? What food really gets your motor revving? This is a tough one. I would say it has to be a food that really speaks to the senses, especially aroma and texture.

JOYOUS asked
What deal did you strike with the devil to be so damn handsome?
What blog host are you talking about?

STEF asked
Is that your chocolate in my peanut butter? Or is that my peanut butter in your chocolate?
Can't we all just get along?

Friday, August 10, 2007


Who has a question?

I'm going to be travelling incognito for a few days and will be away from Eat With Me during that time.

Sooooo, I'm turning the blog over to you. In the comment section, ask me related questions would be appropriate. What's my favorite dish? What did I have most often growing up? When did I start cooking? Stuff like that. Virtually* all questions will be answered.

I should be back on Tuesday, August 14, so keep the questions coming until then!

*Please note that inappropriate or rude questions will be ingnored.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Ginger Plus Curry

I was shopping on a whim the other day at Safeway. I've been skeptically eyeing this tube o' ginger for some time. So I finally picked it up. Same way as I feel about the jarred garlic, it's a viable substitute for the real deal, when in a pinch, or when you're just looking for a little bit of ginger flava. Not a bad thing to have on hand.

I've been trying to be a little more frugal at the store...of course after I spend a few bucks on tubed ginger right? Well, in the sense of buying a few items that can be spread out over multiple dinners. So, tonight I used up some leftover bits in the fridge (chicken from lemon chicken, coconut milk from spicy coconut shrimp, etc.) and made Chicken Coconut Curry again. Always a favorite. But tonight something was different. Served with Rice, versus potatoes. YUM.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Lemon Cream

Made this last night. Not much to look at, but tasty. Not heavy, as you would expect from a cream sauce, but pretty light. The lemon really cuts through all that fat. The herbal accents are accented by the lemon. We did half the recipe for the two of us. Just enough. We each had a bowl, then another few bites of the remaining. Perfectly full.

Chicken in Lemon Cream with Penne from Giada de Laurentiis
Servings: 4 to 6

1 pound penne pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, diced in to 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
pinch of salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
pinch of freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream
Zest of 1 lemon
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Season the cubed chicken breast with the Herbs de Provence and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and set aside. Pour off any excess oil from the pan. Add the chicken broth to the pan and cook over medium-high heat, using a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the cream, lemon zest, and cayenne. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add the pasta, chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, chopped parsley, and lemon juice. Toss to coat the pasta and chicken with the sauce and serve.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A few of my favorite things

Grilled Corn On The Cob

Peel off a few of the outer layers of the husk and soak your fresh cobs in a container of cool water for an hour or so. When you're ready to get started on dinner, place the cobs on a hot grill (or for us grill impaired apartment dwellers, a grill pan.) Rotate as they cook. About 4-5 minutes per side, for a total of approximately 20 minutes.

My Cobs were served with a little compound butter I made. Fresh butter, lime zest & juice of 1/2 the lime, ancho chile powder, pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. Mix together and refrigerate. Peel the husks off the corn and spread over the hot corn! Perfect!

Fresh Strawberries and Cream with Granola

The strawberries were quartered and then some lightly whipped cream was spooned over the top. Sprinkle with your favorite granola. Divine!

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I've been a little lazy...not totally and completely, really just when it comes to doing new posts here. Part of it is the summer. Part is I need a vacation. The other part is attributed to being slightly less inspired than I have been previous. Oh well, I'll keep trucking forward, but maybe at a slightly slower pace for the next month or so????

In the meantime, I got up at 5:30 am on Tuesday to make a triple batch of scones for a little work celebration. I took the base recipe from the ginger scone recipe and made some slight changes. One batch was ginger...still my favorite. Another was maple nut. Pretty good. Very dry. I tried to include some oatmeal. Will try it again, but perhaps some more butter or cream? The other variation was chocolate chip. I was really excited to try them, but when all was said and done I, ME, I, was very disappointed. But it seems I was the only one. Everyone who tried one thought they were good. And since they all disappeared from the plate, I am going to assume people weren't just being nice. ???? I don't know what it was about them, but I just wasn't a fan. Maybe I'll try them again and make some alterations with the recipe.

Tonight's dinner was a treat. Again, me being partially lazy, I'm not going to type up the recipe yet. Tonight we had Pork Medallions in an Orange Ginger Glaze. Served with stir fried vegetable medley. PS: Can it be a medley with just two vegetables? Actually there are three, but one was only in there for flavor, thank you jalapeno.

Anyway, the pork tenderloin medallions were marinated in a sweet and savory sauce, then tossed on the grill pan until charred and cooked to perfection. Make sure you reserve some of the marinade before adding the meat, so you can use it as a sauce for finishing!