“Risotto”

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Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to splurge on duck breasts—you only need two servings. I haven’t decided if I will use the Duck Breasts with Raspberry Glaze recipe that I created for the new book or the Pan-seared Duck Breasts with one of the sweet chutneys from Carb Wars. Either way, I will be making my faux Risotto as the side dish. It is super easy, it tastes as good as the labor-intensive ones served in fancy restaurants, and we can enjoy it guilt-free,…

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BUSY, BUSY

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I’ve written a lot of blog posts in my head recently that never made it to the screen. There is so much I want to tell you about, but I just haven’t had time to get it done. I’m sending in recipes number 107 through 123 for the new book as soon as I figure the nutrition counts and add them. This batch is going in ahead of schedule because my summer is going to be very full. The laptop will be traveling with me…

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IRISH MUSINGS

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We think of corned beef and cabbage as a traditional Irish dish, but it is actually Irish/American. According to Bridgett Haggerty of the Irish Cultures and Customs website, cows were generally used for milk in Ireland and were too valuable to eat. Pork was cheaper, so a side of bacon was cooked with cabbage for Easter. The Irish in New York substituted corned beef for bacon, borrowing from their Jewish neighbors, and it has come to be associated with St. Patrick’s Day. She says that…

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EATING ROSES

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One of the most beautiful and memorable desserts I ever had was a tiny scoop of rose flavored ice cream nestled in the heart of a perfect, pale pink rose. It was presented simply, with no cookie or cake to steal the limelight. There were hundreds of guests at the event, and yet every petal was perfect and the ice cream was seemingly suspended in that fleeting, meltingly-spoonable-but-still-firm stage. To pull off such an ambitious feat was a staggering achievment for the restaurant staff. I…

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OK, THAT’S ENOUGH SNOW AND CHRISTMAS WRAP UP

It’s still snowing. We’ve been stuck at home for most of the week. We put chains on the tires in order to make it to my daughter’s house yesterday, but we had 6 more inches of accumulation while we were there and the trip home was a bit dicey. Today we got another 5 or so inches more than what you see in the picture above. The Seattle area seldom gets more than 2 feet of snow and they are not equipped to deal with…

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SOMETIMES A TURKEY IS A TURKEY

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Sometimes a recipe works the first time; more often it takes many tries to get it right. I had high hopes for the turkey I roasted for Thanksgiving. I did some research, wrote up a plan of action, and kept notes. I chose a hen turkey because hens have proportionally more meat than Toms. It had to be between 12 and 14 pounds–big enough to feed the family, but small enough for me to lift and maneuver by myself. I searched out an all-natural, fresh…

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SNOW FOR CHRISTMAS!

We don’t often have have snow for Christmas here, but it started snowing yesterday and we just managed to get to the airport and pick up my son who was flying in from Los Angeles before it got really nasty. My husband, Dean, learned to drive in West Virginia, so ice and snow don’t faze him, but we passed many cars that had skidded into the ditch or been abandoned in the middle of the road before we made it safely back home. By morning,…

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING

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“What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye! What calls back the past, like the rich pumpkin pie.” —John Greenleaf Whittier, The Pumpkin, 1844 “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.” — Cicero I’ll be making some of our old favorites today and trying out a few new recipes if I have time. I want to try a new pie crust using the vodka trick developed by the America’s Test Kitchen folks after I…

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

PUMPKINS (©) 2007, JUDY BARNES BAKER

We made a quick trip to Costco yesterday with Trick or Treat goodies on the shopping list. I am always conflicted about the ethics of giving away things that I wouldn’t eat myself, but just turning out the lights seems a bit Scrooge-ish and not likely to endear us to the neighborhood urchins. We don’t get many, since we live in a rural area, but I just can’t bear to disappoint them after they walk up the long, dark driveway to our door. Most parents…

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