Friday, July 30, 2010

I'm Diggin' Those Baked Clams

This past Wednesday, Paul and I drove down to the beach to meet our friends, Lorraine and Al, for Wine Night at Lola's.  We sat outdoors enjoying the warm breeze, feasted on some wonderful food, drank some good wine, shared a bunch of laughs and, overall, experienced a truly pleasant, relaxing, midweek summer evening.  After dinner, we walked back to Lorraine's place where Al opened a cooler filled with clams sitting atop ice, waiting to be transformed. They sent us home with a bagful of those beauties.  I knew what I would be doing Thursday night.

After some deliberation I decided to make some baked stuffed clams and a pot of my mother's Manhattan clam chowder. Did it matter that it was 86 humid degrees outside and we had 4, count 'em, 4 air conditioners running?   Not at all....some things are worth wasting energy over....Did I just say that?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sayonara Sushi

I have a love/hate relationships with my job.   Generally speaking, it can be very rewarding.  On the other hand, it can be very frustrating, bordering on depressing.  I help people with disabilities prepare for, find, and maintain employment.  In this economy, it is more than challenging.  The bright side of my day however, is being a part of an AWESOME team of women who face this challenge as a force to be reckoned with.  I am sad to say, but also happy for her, that our youngest team member, Morgan, is moving on...... to bigger and better things.

Morgan is a vocational rehabilitation counselor who has been part of our team for the last 3 years.  She has been a ray of light with a youthful exuberance that will be sorely missed.  Fran, friend and colleague, was gracious enough to host a "farewell brunch" for Morgan.  Since Morgan loves sushi and chocolate, I thought it only fitting to make Morgan some Brownie Sushi for her send-off.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Tale of Two Bruschettas

What do you do when you have a bunch of tomatoes that ripen all at once? ...
......And you hear the little gnomes in your herb garden calling ..."pinch these herbs...NOW!"
You listen to those gnomes!  Pinch some herbs, pick some tomatoes and with the addition of just a few more ingredients, you will be enjoying two bruschettas in no time.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm Lovin' Those Blueberries, Muffins, That Is!

Blueberries are awesome.  I haven't always felt this way about blueberries.  As a matter of fact, I can remember a time when I avoided blueberries at all cost.  I think I was traumatized by  blueberries when I was a child.  It must have been another 20 years before I saw the light.

The fresher the blueberries the better.  I am a firm believer in eating local produce that is in season.  I eat some blueberries everyday during the summer months... blueberries with Greek yogurt, blueberries and strawberries with cottage cheese or just a bunch of blueberries mixed with some melon and peaches....Blueberries are one of those "super-foods"

Sometimes you want more than just pop-em-in-your-mouth fresh blueberries. Blueberries that are baked in a tart or pie, or simmered into a jam are raised to another level...and sometimes you just need to go there.  Why not start your day on a high note with a  Blueberry Muffin?  These muffins are an adaptation of a recipe that I found in my mother's recipe box.  It was hand written on an index card, and not in her hand writing.  I don't know who to credit for their goodness....but thank you mystery baker.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pulling the Trigger; Time to Get Cooking!

What's the big deal?  I've spent more time trying to perfect the look of this blog than I care to admit.  Do I want it to look "foodie" or should it be abstract?  Should I use earth tones or should I use muted pastels?  Decisions,decisions!  So what did I do?  I pretty much scrapped everything, downloaded a picture of my berry tart, returned to default settings........ so now, I can present to you...... Kitchen Catharsis.  I have a tendency to over-think things.  That is a habit I am trying to break.

So the trigger is pulled, and I can get down to the business at hand, sharing my musings and culinary adventures with you. But who are you?  What happens if there is no "you"?  Here I go over-thinking things again.  Actually, I am doing this for me.  I don't know why, but it is something that I've wanted to do.  So here I am.