Coleslaw with Microwave Boiled Dressing

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To Boil or Not to Boil

The good thing about boiled dressing and cabbage is that once the hot dressing hits the cabbage, it immediately wilts it. That’s a good thing if you sometimes don’t want your coleslaw to feel like eating tasty tree trunks. The other good thing about a boiled dressing is that the coleslaw has to refrigerate to get to serving temperature, and while it’s doing that it’s absorbing all that flavor.

Coleslaw made with mayonnaise dressing is great, too, especially if you have other vegetables like carrots, or fruit, like raisins or pineapple in it. Then you don’t want to necessarily use a hot dressing. The hot dressing is also a lot richer than its cold brethren.

Too Hot to Boil Anything!

Considering it’s a holiday, I wanted to have the richness, but I also didn’t feel like standing over a hot stove. Well, I came up with a solution. The Microwave is my friend, and your coleslaw’s friend, too. Boiled Dressing without the fuss!

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California Mission 4th Grade Project – Misión de la Imaginación

California Mission 4th Grade Project

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Spane is going into 6th grade this fall, so his California Mission project is long over. When I took pictures of the project, I took them on an ancient “dumb” phone, hoping that some day I would be able to retrieve them. When my computer went to the hospital for a new motherboard, it also came back with better bluetooth, and I was able to finally get the pictures off the phone.

If you are a parent with a child going into 4th grade this fall, and you live in California, this is something you are going to have to deal with. California Missions are part of the California State Common Core 4th grade curriculum. There is no getting out of it. But, for crafty parents, that’s a good thing! You might have so much fun that your child may find himself or herself on the sidelines, wishing to take part in the great project. Don’t do that – it’s a great time to spend time with your child, and learn together. You can even take a trip to your closest mission!

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Strawberry Tiramisu

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This is one of my favorite desserts. I haven’t made it in quite a while, because I have a minor child, and A) don’t want to share with him, and B) don’t want to eat the whole thing myself. So when Easter came, and I knew people were coming over, it was a perfect opportunity.

We have a wonderful Persian bakery, Flor De Cafe, in Glendale, and that was where I was finally able to find real lady fingers. Real lady fingers are crisp and readily absorb liquids. The stuff at the supermarket that comes out in Strawberry season is spongy and will not absorb the liquids correctly for this classic dessert. Ergo, another reason I have made this in a long time.

I was able to find Mascarpone, a wonderful Italian cheese with a texture reminiscent of cream cheese. Mascarpone is slightly sweet, and has a silky texture. It is made from cream and some kind of citric acid. It’s expensive, another reason I don’t make this dessert very often. Well, I found some at my local Armenian store, from the wonderful folks at Sadaf, and it was great. As I was writing this, I came across a method for making homemade Mascarpone, so I will be doing that from now on.

We have a wonderful Farmer’s Market in Glendale on Thursdays, and I was able to get some big, lovely, organic strawberries form my Tiramisu. It made it very special.

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Mothers Day Bacon Crusted Mini Quiches

Bacon Crusted Mini Quiches

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I have been pinning to my Recipes I Gotta Try Pinterest Board for quite some time, and the other day I decided it was high time I started actually trying some of the things I pinned.

This egg dish has got to be the easiest thing in the world. I have asked Spane to make this for me for Mother’s Day, it’s that simple. You can prepare it at night, and bake it in the morning. You don’t have to stand over a hot stove cooking eggs, while they are baking, you can take your time doing what you normally do – get the kids up, dressed, and ready, read the paper, check Facebook and/or other social media, even contemplate your navel. Just pour, bake and serve , that simple. Of course, you don’t have to make these for breakfast, you can use them as appetizers or as a healthy snack.

Having made these a few times, however, there are some caveats. To prevent sticking, it’s important to make sure the bacon is hugging the surface of the muffin tin as closely as possible, otherwise, egg will get in there and stick. Try to use solid pieces of bacon without any holes. Grease the muffin tin with the bacon. You can also use appropriate cupcake holders, makes cleanup a breeze!

The ratio is about 2 muffin tins to each egg, without other ingredients. If you want to add more ingredients, like cheese, or vegetables, it is a little less, and you will have to compensate for that. Remember to fill only two-thirds full because the eggs expand and puff up.

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Fantasy Island Bars

Fantasy Island Bars

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It’s time for me to go to a high school reunion, where we will sit around and talk about all the good things that we remember for that time. One of the things I remember is going to one of my classmates homes over Easter vacation, and her mother had left a pan of Magic Cookie Bars in the refrigerator. As I was perusing the pantry this morning, I realized I had everything I need to make them.

I took out the stuff that I needed, and then it occurred to me that perhaps instead of making something that everyone might remember, I could make something that everyone will remember from here on out. It occurred to me that I could make some kind of tropical bar, considering I have coconut. Tropical bars led me to thinking about Pacific Islands, and the most famous Pacific Island of them all, Fantasy Island!

Fantasy Island was a television series that originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company network from 1977 to 1984. It was on at 10:00 pm on Sunday nights right after Love Boat. It stared Ricardo Montalbán as Mr. Roarke, and Tattoo, played by Hervé Villechaize. Popular film and television personalities guest starred on the show. The premise of the show was that guests would come to the island to live out some kind of fantasy, aided by Mr. Roarke who would often warn them of the danger of some fantasies.

Well, there is no danger in these Fantasy Island Bars, unless you eat too many of them!

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Fennel Cashew Crusted Pork Loin

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Fennel Cashew Crusted Pork Loin

We really like pork loin in our house. It’s small, and cooked correctly, tender and moist. The problem with pork is that it can dry out easily, so it is important to keep it moist, or cook it so that it retains its moisture.

I make Pork Chops with Fennel, and I wanted to do something similar with my pork loin, but still keep it moist since I was going to roast the meat.

I put all the ingredients for my crust in a small food processor, then mixed that with Panko bread crumbs. I washed my pork loin under cold running water, patted it thoroughly dry, then coated it liberally with olive oil. Coating it with the olive oil did two things:

  1. It allowed the crust to stick to the meat.
  2. It added a moisture that patting the meat had removed

I let the crusted roast rest in the refrigerator for a half an hour to let the crust harden and make a better moisture barrier. Knowing that it wasn’t going to be producing a lot of liquid, I put it on a rimmed baking sheet covered with foil, and cooked it in a medium oven while my Blue Cheese Risotto with Merlot was cooking. Then I let it rest for three minutes while a microwaved broccoli for our Oscar Party dinner. It was a show stopper!

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