Archive for the ‘Appetizer’ Category

Savory Roasted Pears

November 4th, 2014 1 Comment
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  My sister and I recently went to this display of Flora Metamorphicae, 4,000 flower sculptures created by six Norwegian artists.  The flowers travel the world and the displays are changing and unique to the surroundings in which they reside.  Each flower is different, some resemble natural flowers and some spring from the imagination realm of its maker.  All are incredible.     More images of Flora Metamorphicae                  .   This exhibit is

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Plum Ketchup

October 14th, 2014 1 Comment
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  (A visit to the Niagara Escarpment, more photos below…)     Close your eyes and open your mind to let ketchup become more than you think it is.   That red puree we think we know so well has origins in China (doesn’t nearly everything?!?) as a fish-sauce condiment called kê-chiap or ke-tchup (From slate.com “the syllable tchup—pronounced zhi in Mandarin—still means “sauce” in many Chinese dialects”) made from fermented fish and spices.  During centuries of its evolution the base ingredient of ketchup has shifted to salted anchovies, then soybeans were used in certain regions,

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Mini Eggplant Pizzas

October 7th, 2014 No Comments
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  For the last month or two colorful eggplants have been brightening the palette of our local Farmer’s Market.  This picture of dazzling garden abundance is from my friend and photographer David Cavagnaro of the Pepperfield Project.  Color and shapes!  Many of these varieties can be used but the size and sweet flavor of the skinny Asian eggplants make them perfect for these little pizza bites.   Part of the nightshade family, eggplant are high in potassium, fiber, vitamin B’s and numerous phytonutrients.  Read more about their

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Tarragon Sugar and a Faroe Islands dinner

September 23rd, 2014 8 Comments
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… Fresh tarragon with sugar was not my original idea, but reading it in a menu convinced me this was the meal I wanted to attempt to recreate for a Scandinavian dinner for my friend Dennis, the generous Dane who loves to host elaborate festivities. The Faroe Islands were the geographical highlight of this year’s feast, small bits in the North Atlantic between Norway, Scotland and Iceland, an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark.  Puffin, seal and whale blubber are common foods eaten there…but we

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Herb and Chevre Orblettes

September 12th, 2014 No Comments
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  The Holiday Music Motel We were wandering around Sturgeon Bay looking for a place to stay since it appeared as though a storm was descending, and though we like camping…it takes real dedication to set up WHILE it’s raining.  Vacationland of Door County is host to a plethora of cabins, cottages, condos, campsites, B&B’s, hotels, motels, resorts, and it didn’t help that we are easily overwhelmed by choices, especially when tired.  The warm neon sign of the Holiday Motel

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Sweet Potato Falafel

August 6th, 2014 No Comments
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  These orange lumps turned out to be great munchables.  We served them at an event as a gyro substitute with yogurt tzatziki, then the next day we ate them as leftovers, and the day after that I packed a few along for a road trip and they held up well to the trials of travel.  Moist, not quite as intense as falafel, easy because they are baked, and best of all… ORANGE…I am definitely adding these to the catering repertoire.    

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Beetroot Salad with Juniper Berries

July 30th, 2014 No Comments
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  How is ‘beetroot’ different from a beet?  Not.   You’ve already heard me say what I’ve said for decades….beets are back.  They are back stronger than ever and people are asking for them—I even served a beet salad at a wedding last summer.  Don’t be afraid of your root vegetables.   I (not a Scandihoovian) was posed with cooking another ‘Norwegian’ dinner last April and I wanted intriguing flavors to share with the group….but not too interesting since most diners were in

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Carrot Flower Garnish

July 24th, 2014 2 Comments
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  Maybe not something you do every night, but these gems are stunning on a plate.  I recently made these as a garnish for a wedding dinner to be set atop the saffron rice pilaf next to the pesto green beans.  Color!!  We eat with our eyes as well so why not occasionally feed our oculars a feast.   Accessorize. Garnishes are like the perfect pair of earrings, condensed nuggets of beauty. They are about enriching and augmenting, enhancement of the senses is a wonderful thing.  Adding contrasting

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Cucumber White Gazpacho

July 15th, 2014 2 Comments
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  Before we get to refreshing cucumbers, here are more photos from the Willow Gathering in June.  These are from classes led by the two Danish instructors Ane Lyngsgaard and Eva Seidenfaden.         You can see the soaked willow on the floor in the background.               The booklet describes Baskets4Life, a group of Danish weavers that converge twice a year for one week to stretch themselves to new dimensions of their art and to thoroughly enjoy

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Stuffed Mushrooms with Caramelized Onions, Bacon and Gouda

July 8th, 2014 1 Comment
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  The plan seemed doable. I wanted a photo of the stuffed mushrooms resting on a serving tray mere minutes before they would be introduced to the hungry post-wedding crowd.  Anyone who is or has been involved with catering or restaurants will know how incredibly funny that notion was.  Over and over I bring a camera to events telling myself THIS time I will have the presence of mind to snap the shutter at that moment the delicacies are perfect, and two moments before they vanish or become not so perfect. The

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