Friday, February 17, 2006

Eureka, I've discovered a cool trick for my pizza dough. 1/2 cup corn meal in the dough makes it super crispy on the outside and still moist and chewy on the inside. Two packs of dry yeast into a cup of 120 degree warm water and let steep for 10 minutes. pour into bowl having 1 3/4 cups flour, salt to taste, rosemary to taste and 1/2 cup corn meal. Stir around with a fork until combined and then add about 1/4 cup olive oil and mix the rest by hand, kneading right in the bowl until elastic. If dough becomes sticky add more olive oil. When done, seal bowl with plastic wrap and set in warm place to rise for at least 1 hr.

When at least doubled in bulk turn out onto oiled cookie sheet with sides and work into corners. Add a drained can of delmonte organic diced tomatos, your favorite toppings and grated chedder cheese on top. (I used left over cheese from our last cocktail party, it was a particularly dry Irish Chedder from Dublin that tasted really good melted). Cook until dough is golden brown.

I'm off on the road today for work...don't panic food fans, I'll be back. Also giving you advanced warning that I'm leaving Monday for a week...might try and post while I'm gone, but the sun might lure to the beach instead. :-)


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Greg and I had one of the best lunches we've had in a long time on Valentine's Day. We decided to do something different to celebrate and be together with the dogs, cause going out to dinner on the biggest amature dining night of the year just doesn't appeal to me. Its another hallmark holiday as far as I'm concerned (though I did go out and find the biggest box of candy in the shape of a heart I could find at Reny's). We decided to take a hike up Mt. Megunticook in Camden and have a picnic at the top. Crazy you might say, but true. It was about 35 degrees and beautifully sunny, so we made sammiches from the pot roast I had cooked a few days before, added lots of mayo and jalapeno cheese, brought water and oranges and turkey hot dogs for the pooches and off we went. We haven't really been hiking that hard since the summer, and the snow made it more difficult, but is was truly amazing. I only wish I had brought my camera! We were the only ones up there which was suprising but fantastic, since we could unleash the hounds and really move on. It took us about an hour to reach the top, about 1/2 mile above the cross at Maiden Cliff and there on top we found the best spot, a natural bench out of the wind with a back support. I could have stayed there for hours and stared out at the view which spanned about 200 degrees from the ocean to Appleton Ridge and beyond. We pulled out our smooshed sammies and had the most glorious meal while the dogs ran around and did face plants in the snow (their favorite) and came over occasionally for hot dog treats.

The way down was treacherous and slippery and my knees still haven't recovered. 7 miles on the bike at the gym helped a bit yesterday, but I am still sore in the knees and groan and ache coming up the stairs.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

never put bacon in mac and cheese...its a sin!

never order your Thai food at spicy #5, you can't taste anything

never put mashed potatoes on your pizza

always make sure your turkey is thawed COMPLETELY before cooking it

always check to make sure you remove those packs of innards from your turkey before you put it in the oven

try and replace your spices at least every few years

throw away those bottles of red hots and sprinkles used for Christmas cookies after 3 years

never wait more than 20 minutes for a table at a restaurant...go somewhere else.

always sautee in 1/2 butter and half olive tastes so much better

nobody ever cooks better than you in your own kitchen

everyone likes soup

never cook when you don't feel like it...order out instead!


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

While Greg and I were in New York we went to see Brokeback Mountain, which, by the time we got popcorn and sodas, cost us like $35.00. anyway, I liked the movie, loved the short story so much a HUGE fan of Annie Proulx's work partially because she went to Colby. Anyway, I had been warned by many of my straight friends that this was such a powerfully moving film and that it made them think about it for a long time. I went in prepared to be awestruck and came out thinking it was a beautiful love story between two people...a bit Romeo and Romeo...textbook forbidden love case with nice scenery. I spoke with a lesbian friend and she had the same big deal straight friends, its the way life is with us too....
We were starving after the movie and walked up to the Empire Diner on 61st and 1st ave for patty melts and fries. Nothing better than patty melts on rye bread with fries. The diner was almost empty and the food was not memorable, so I would recommend trying some other place i the hood instead.
I urge all of you to see brokeback if you haven't yet. If nothing else, it really reveals that love transends all else. We can all feel it and it shouldn't be a sin in the eyes of anyone.

Feeling a bit philosophical tonight. Certainly don't feel like cooking, but I must see what there is in the fridge for Valentine's dinner.

Enjoy and happy Valentiny's day
So I stole 3Tides asiago dip idea and served it last night and I've never seen 6 people devour a bowl of something so fast. I messed with the recipe a bit and here is what I came up with: 3/4 cup mayo, 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup plus of asiago cheese, 1 or 2 jalapenos choppped, 3 cloves fresh garlic and fresh ground black pepper. Whip all these up in a bowl and let sit in fridge for the day to meld and get cold. Pop in oven and bake at 350 until top is brown. Serve with slices of toasted french bread brushed with garlic olive oil and fresh pepper. mmmmm

Got raves for the rest of the dinner too, which consisted of old standbys like beef wellington, roasted potatoes, sauteed butternut squash. People are amazed when they get any sort of home cooking because no one cooks anymore!


Monday, February 13, 2006

Saturday night was the last night open for 3Tides until St. Partrick's Day, so we went down to say so long for the next five weeks. It was quiet when we got there and both David and Sarah found a rare moment to sit at our table with us. It was David's step-father's birthday, and so that was a festive treat to rib Phil and sing him happy birthday.
We tried the Spicy Asiago dip which was Sarah's contribution for the specials board. It was awesome and she gave me the recipe which I'll make tonight for our dinner party. I would change the proportions a bit so there is less mayo, hopefully making it less oily. Essentially its mayo, cheese, sundried tomatos, mushrooms, jalapenos and sour cream. The thinly sliced garlic french bread that came along with it was a perfect accompanyment.
Other than that, I had a spicy sausage quesadilla, which was more smoky and strong than spicy, not bad, but not was I was looking for.
Good travels to David who braved the snow storm yesterday by getting himself to Boston and on a plane to Ireland for a week. He called me from the airport to say that his flight would be leaving...a miracle. Have fun David!

Its about 6am and I'm about the start preparing dinner for tonight. I opened my big mouth a few weeks ago and told a friend who is moving that I would just love to make beef wellington for her since she has never had it. Well that morphed into a full blown dinner party complete with two celebration cakes, a flourless chocolate cake for her (which Greg will make) and a carrot cake for her husband. The celebration is of their time together. She is leaving town and he is staying here. How wierd is that?