Last night was the 86th Academy Awards show, and the first time Spane had watched it with me. We had seen several of the nominated movies, and he’s old enough now, at 10, to appreciate and understand the ceremony. Of course, he had a lot of questions, like “When is dinner!?”
I wanted to make sometime special for the Oscars, even though our Oscar party was just the two of us. I thought I had white wine, but at the last minute realized I only had red, and I didn’t want to miss any of the red carpet show before the awards. Red wine is strong, so it needs strong flavors to go with it. Instead of vegetable or chicken broth, I used beef broth, and blue cheese goes great with beef, and has a good strong flavor. I added cherry tomatoes to give the dish some color.
I am so happy that it is finally getting cooler in Southern California. As a matter of fact, there was thick cloud cover this morning, and I had to wear a sweater. It was a good day for soup.
After making Crab Salad with Thousand Island Dressing, I had a half a package of crab left over. I also had some cream left over from making something else. I knew I needed to use that crab, I needed to use the cream, and I wanted something warm. I have always liked crab bisque, so I decided to make that.
I had this brilliant idea when looking in my pantry and spying a can of Great Northern white beans. I didn’t have that much cream, and I really wanted the soup to be filling. To compensate for not using real crab, or real crab stock, I added a little anchovy paste for flavor. Both additions worked beautifully. Honestly, if you wanted to, you could omit the cream completely, as the beans do a fine job of thickening without all those calories.
I really love peaches. I like peaches and cream ice cream, I like peach preserves, I like peaches out of hand, I just like peaches.
My neighbor brought me some peaches a few days ago, and I wanted to make something simple for breakfast for Spane. I suddenly remembered I had peaches in the refrigerator, and decided to cook them off, much like I did Rosy Peaches.
Peaches Sauteed with Marsala and Cream is a very simple recipe, and quite tasty. I served it over pound cake that I had lying around, but it would also be great on cereal, or on toast, or just in a bowl. You could have it for breakfast like we did, or as a dessert.
I like Mounds because I like dark chocolate a lot better than milk chocolate, and besides, dark chocolate is a lot better for you. Almonds are good for you too, and if you have an acid stomach, a drop of almond extract will fix you right up. If you don’t have access to almond extract, an Almond Joy will work, too, not just as quickly.
When I was perusing Pinterest I saw a picture of something called Almond Joy Pie that looked just wonderful, but when I read the recipe it called for custard. I’m sorry but I just can’t stand custard, so I decided to use the same lemon cream that I used for the Balsamic Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle with Lemon Cream instead.
This is a very simple pie to make, and unlike a real Almond Joy that has milk chocolate, this one uses dark chocolate. You get the best of both worlds, what more could you ask?
I really like watching America’s Test Kitchen, and follow them on Facebook. So, when they announced a Kitchen Challenge to make Chicken à la King, I just had to take up the challenge. What makes my Chicken a la King different? Well, it’s barbecue season, and my Weber was sitting outside, crying that it couldn’t join in the fun. I thought to myself, why not? Pimentos are nothing more than very mild chili peppers. I had some lovely yellow, orange and red sweet peppers, and I had some mushrooms and shallots. I also had a chicken breast. All those could go on the grill, couldn’t they? Sure, they could get a lot of flavor to add to a dish that I already really like.
The America’s Test Kitchen challenge is to cook like it’s 1917. Charcoal was developed from waste wood scrap in the Ford Motor Company in 1920, and renamed Kingsford thereafter. Kingsford was a relative of Henry Ford. The Weber grill was not invented until the 1960s but I’m sure that people were barbecuing in some sort of fashion in 1917 – how else would Henry Ford have been able to sell charcoal? I think I’m okay with the time-line, don’t you?
There was a wonderful tip from America’s Test Kitchen that I’ve been doing for quite a while, only not as efficiently. To protect iced cakes from plastic wrap, I’ve been sticking the top with toothpicks. America’s Test Kitchen uses spaghetti noodles – they’re more plentiful, and easy to break for whatever length you want.
So, when I decided to make my pie today, and didn’t want it getting over burdened with plastic wrap, I took linguine noodles, stuck them in, covered my pie, and stuck it in the refrigerator. Now it won’t pick up any bad smells, or have any of it come off with the plastic wrap. There’s a bunch of other transport tricks at America’s Test Kitchen.
Spane liked the Balsamic Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle so much that he asked me if I could make it again. There were fresh raspberries and blueberries on sale at the market, but I didn’t want another trifle, I wanted a tart.