Almond Roca Bars or Toffee Bars are a sweet way to show the love. Photo by Laura Groch
December was a bit of an unsettled month for us. A death in the family meant our Christmas celebrations were low-key.
Homebaked cookies are my usual contribution to holiday cheer. But I didn’t bake for myself, or friends, or family. Missed the annual cookie exchange, too.
But we did have some very nice homemade cookies at the funeral reception, Continue reading
Build up the edge of the pie crust to help keep the uncooked filling (pecan pie here) from spilling as you maneuver it into the oven. Photo by Laura Groch
We’re coming up on prime holiday cooking season, so I wanted to share a couple of thrifty-nifty hints today.
• The first one is about baking, and more specifically, pie crusts. I have made my share of pies, and while they usually turn out pretty well, getting custard-type pies, like, well, custard, or pumpkin, or pecan into the oven without spilling the filling can be a bit fraught.
It dawned on me one day that things didn’t have to be that precarious. I’m not a huge fan Continue reading
Pumpkin Macaroni And Cheese is colorful, but needs a bit more punch than fontina cheese can offer. A few frozen peas add a bit of color contrast. Photo by Laura Groch
It’s pumpkin’s season to shine, and why not? Full of nutrients, fiber and beta-carotene, it’s always a winner in the kitchen.
But sometimes it needs a little help.
I clipped a recipe recently for a Butternut Squash Macaroni And Cheese from Dr. Oz’s Continue reading
Lima bean poppers from the San Dieguito Heritage Museum’s Lima Bean Festival 2015. Photo by Laura Groch
The San Dieguito Heritage Museum in Encinitas is holding its free annual festival from noon-4 p.m. Oct. 8. That’s this Saturday.
I’ll be helping judge the entries (and entrees), which will have a broader reach now, since the festival has morphed from being all about the limas to a Beans and Greens theme this year. Even when it was limited to limas, that didn’t stop people from coming up with lima Continue reading
Free cowboy cookie from Black Angus. (Sorry, we had blown out the candle by the time we rememberd to take a photo.) This was in addition to a free birthday dinner, available by signing up on the restaurant website. (Sorry, the dinner was already eaten, too.) Photo by Laura Groch
Who doesn’t like free stuff on your birthday? This family sure does. Let’s see — on or around my birthday recently, I got a free steak dinner from Black Angus, a free seafood meal from Rubio’s, a free chicken dinner from El Pollo Loco — are you starting to see a pattern here?
If you sign up for the birthday gig — sometimes it’s called “the birthday club” — at your Continue reading
Create an appetizing antipasto-for-dinner plate using goodies from the fridge, and “special” snacks from the pantry.
Sometimes you get tired of figuring out what’s for dinner. Sometimes it’s just too dang hot to cook (or even think about cooking). Sometimes you aren’t up to preparing a meal, but don’t want to drag yourself out to a restaurant (or even to the phone to order in).
So — what’s for dinner? Time to put out an appetizing dinner of appetizers. More Continue reading
Sugar-and-liqueur-soaked fruit is an easy topper to cake or companion to ice cream. Photo by Laura Groch
I recently brought this cool and easy fruit dessert to a warm-weather dinner party, where, I was happy to see, it was polished off, except for the “polite” spoonful left in the serving dish.
With berries and stone fruits in season now, this is a versatile option, especially if some of the guests, as in our group, must avoid gluten.
The dish started as a trifle — layers of liqueur-soaked pound cake, pudding, fruit — but I Continue reading