Tuesday, April 27, 2010

54 Years Ago...

...today, I was born.  I will celebrate, as I do every year, however the most important part of my birthday is no longer here:  My Mother.  It's been fifteen years since her passing, and although I think of her every day, it's on my birthday when I miss her the most. 

When my sons were growing up, I used to tease them when I wanted a favor that I knew wasn't really their "cup of tea."  "I gave you life," I'd say, while they'd roll their eyes, and they'd reluctantly get the job done.  I'd smirk and that would be the end of it.  I'd be joking, of course, but with each year that passes, April 27th is a screaming reminder that my own mom is no longer here....the woman who gave me life.  It's been a great life so far, and I'm looking forward to many more years of memories to be made, but still..... 

......though I'll be celebratory on the outside.......inside, I'll always feel the loss.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Favorite Comfort Food

Chicken and Mushroom Marengo....definitely, a comfort dinner

I've posted a few of my favorite feel-good, comfort foods, such as macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, and of course, desserts.....what are some of yours?  Do you have a recipe for it?  Would you like one?  As I'm typing this, I'm remembering some of my favorite comfort desserts, such as Coconut Rum-Raisin Rice pudding or Caramel Flan.....Yum.   

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Melissa

Dark Chocolate Cake with a thin raspberry glaze....topped with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache. 

Happy 21st....goes great with a martini.  But what doesn't?  Cheers, kiddo. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

City Winery

My girlfriends and I spent a fun evening in NYC last night at the City Winery, where we were not only treated to a unique dining experience--one in which the wine was center stage to the food--but in the physical and literal sense, Raul Malo performed for a sold-out house. 

We enjoyed a City Winery Zinfandel as well as a Sauvignon Blanc and chose the chef's selection of cheese and charcutiere platters which included Petite Billy and Cabra Romero cheeses and Prosciutto di Parma and Salame Rosa.  Also enjoyed were the Marinated olives, Hummus, and Babaganouj.  Ok, and since it was a long evening--we arrived before 6 and stayed until almost 1AM when Raul finished his concert--we tried the Mini Sliders with Herbed Frites and a Margarita Pizza.  The food, wine, and atmosphere were top notch, but Raul's performance....consistently exceeding expectations.  What a talent. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Grilled Cheese

Is there anything simpler to make than a grilled cheese?  Or, more satisfying and comforting?  Well, yes, I can think of a few dishes, namely macaroni and cheese (check earlier post).  I try my best to eat in a healthy way, consistent with low-fat, low cholesterol, low salt or sodium free, but let's face it:  Sometimes we crave the foods that just aren't the best things in the world for us.  I'd rather abstain from real cheese and enjoy it on occasion than use low-fat daily.  That's just me.  So, for lunch today, I'm keeping the yogurt in the fridge, and making a pesto-seasoned, havarti and tomato on whole wheat bread, grilled cheese.  And, I'm going to enjoy every bite. 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Mussels and Shrimp in White Wine Broth

What to make on Easter Eve?  It doesn't have quite the same ring as Christmas Eve, but I felt that seafood was in order. 

Dinner was just for John and me; Easter dinner the same, but that doesn't mean it can't be special.  So, at the supermarket yesterday, I suggested mussels and shrimp, though not sure what I was going to do with them.  I came up with the following recipe, and the two diners gave it rave reviews.  I hope you enjoy it, and have a blessed holiday.

2 lbs. mussels, cleaned
1 lb. jumbo shrimp (about 10-12), deveined and peeled, tails intact
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon EVOO
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 ½ cups dry white wine
3 tomatoes, seeded, and chopped
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoon Singapore seasoning* (Penzey’s Spices)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon honey
1/3 c mango salsa
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
Pinch of coarse sea salt
Fresh basil and/or parsley


Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large stock pot; add the garlic and saute’ over low heat for about a minute, being careful not to allow the garlic to burn. Add the wine, cream, Singapore seasoning, and basil; simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, honey, mango salsa, and lemon juice; simmer for another 5 minutes.

Add shrimp; toss gently; cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Add mussels, peas, and sea salt; toss again to coat with broth; cover and steam for about 5 minutes or until mussels open; stirring once. Discard any that do not open.

Spoon shrimp and mussels onto a large serving bowl; pour liquid over. Sprinkle with freshly snipped basil and/or parsley.

Serve with crusty semolina bread.

Serves 2 to 4 people, depending on their appetites!

*Singapore seasoning is a complex but delicate blend of the following spices:
Tellicherry black pepper, lemon peel, citric acid, garlic, onion, turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, ginger, nutmeg, fennel, cinnamon, white pepper, cardamom, cloves, and cayenne red pepper.