Friday, June 25, 2010

Vinegar medicine

One of my sons called last night complaining of an earache. Now, I haven't really had to deal with earaches because my boys never got them. I was so lucky.....
So he called last night and said he had some ear drops. I also suggested that he get a heating pad- no wait- that's the old days. I told him to get an iron and iron a towel- no wait- that's still old days.....
get a towel and put it in the microwave; put the drops in your ear and put the warm towel against your ear or lay on it for awhile.
I quickly called my friend Cheryl and asked her for a homeopathic remedy. She suggested olive oil. She also suggested some vinegar....
I call my son back and told him about these other two ideas. He lives above a restaurant so why not ask them for some vinegar???
Several minutes later, I called him back to see how he was doing. He said he didn't want to ask the restaurant so instead, he had some red wine vinegar. He also tried the olive oil but felt the red wine vinegar worked better. Thanks Cheryl!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blue Beauty Cocktail

My mixologist- my husband, created a drink last night that I'd love to share with you because it was so refreshing and delicious. It kinda reminded me of back in the day, we used to looooovvve to drink the Rum Swizzles that our Club made. We eventually began making them at home- well, I'm getting off the topic of my husband's creation.
It's called Blue Beauty ~
1 nice BIG round glass
Crushed ice
Blue Curacao
Sweet and Sour Mix
To the glass add:
Crushed ice
1 shot bourbon
2/3 of the glass fill with Blue Curacao
Fill with Sweet and Sour Mix
Stir it up!

Dinner recipe, Summer Lamb

I created this yesterday, or adapted it yesterday for the new clients I'm working for- two of the clients LOVE lamb and I took the opportunity to adapt this dish to their liking.
Here is the recipe, adapted from Epicuruious~
Summer Lamb Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing
serves 4
3 T fish sauce
2 pinches sugar
2 T fresh lime juice
2 T water
1 T minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T oyster sauce
1 T vermouth
2 tsp tamari soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp brown sugar
1 2# leg of lamb, trimmed, cut into large chunks
1 bunch watercress, bottomw 2 inches discarded and cut into 1-inch lengths
3 c baby arugula/mizona torn in half
4 - 6 leaves Bibb Lettuce
1/2 c basil leaves
1/2 English hot house cucumber, halved sliced thin
12 cherry tomatoes ( I found orange tomatoes and cut them in half)
2 T vegetable oil
1/2 medium red onion, cut into thick wedges
2 shallots, sliced into thin rounds

Preheat grill.

For the Dressing:
Whisk all ingredients in small bowl to blend. Set aside.
For the salad:
Mix oyster sauce, vermouth, tamari soy sauce, minced garlic, and brown sugar in medium bowl. Stir in lamb chunks. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the lamb chunks from the marinade and place on hot grill. Grill on one side for 5 minutes. Turn and grill on other side for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest.Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add onion and shallots and saute for 1 minute. Combine watercress, arugula, basil, cucumber and tomatoes in large bowl. Add half dressing and toss to coat. Arrange Bibb lettuce leaves on large platter and add the watercress mixture.
After meat has rested for 10 minutes, slice into chunks. Top salad with the lamb chunks and serve.

The dinner menu was rounded out with:
Hasselback Potatoes, oven roasted asparagus with toasted Panko bread crumbs, Toasty Italian Bread, Fresh Fruit with Sabayon sauce and brownies.

Wedding food

No, I didn't do this wedding- not for 400 people! The wedding was held at the Palmer House in Chicago. It was the wedding of one of my many nieces- Caroline. The appetizers and the food were beautiful. The only picture I snapped was of the salad. Ew- gotta change the settings next time!But here is a copy of the menu~
Wild Mushroom Strudel
Mild Garlic Spinach and Red Pepper Gastrique

Cucumber Ribbon Salad
Tomato, Cranberry, Toasted Walnuts

Choice of Entree
Frenched Chicken Breast
Stuffed with Nancy's Camembert and Summer Tarragon
Filet Mignon
Pinot Noir Reduction

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Asparagus, Baby Carrot, Patttpan Squash
Saffron Poached Cauliflower and Red Pepper

Petit Sweets

Wedding Cake
Vanilla Sauce, Raspberry Coulis
Fresh Berry Garnish

Oh, I did get a picture of one of the desserts- mini sundae!

Friday, June 18, 2010

About My Dad- the lost decades,never captured

Jeanne,Linda, don't forget it's your Mother's wedding anniversary this weeknd.' As my sister and I were descending the stairs, to quickly get to school,we looked over our shoulder and saw our Dad standing in their bedroom, his profile outlined with the light of the window behind him as he reminded us of their special day.

Later that night, we all gathered to mourn our loss, his death. His death was the late news and the breaking news. It was on the morning news- it was on all the Milwaukee stations. It was so sad. He died trying to get back to a wedding anniversary party he had planned at the home of our dear friends the Burns.Our friends didn't live far.
When I received an interruption on the phone line from an Oshkosh operator, who wanted to speak to our Mother, I told the lady Mom would call her back. The operator asked me where Mom could be reached and I gave her the number. ( Phone calls back then, were different, especially if your call was interrupted) My sister and I were scared. I told my sister I would run, in the fog, to our neighbor's house to see if everything was ok- like, if I could see Dad's car. Just as I rounded the bend to see their house in fullview, I heard my sister scream through the fog 'it's all right Jeannie, come home'. Minutes thereafter, Mother, followed by a long procession of cars down our driveway ( we were like, what is this???) came in and told us that Dad had died in a car crash. So, so sad.

Lost Decades with Dad

Nearly 5 decades have gone by. I still miss my Dad so much. Last night I was with three very special friends: Fether,and Marty and Beth in Milwaukee. Fether recounted that night I received the devastating news about my Dad. It was 1963, two weeks before JFK's assassination. That night, Fether was there along with Marty.... Hearing Fether remember, recount that awful night, was so special and so endearing to hear that today- nearly 50 years later. I now know I was in shock. No therapy for us back then. But I had friends. Thanks Fether! You don't now what it's like till you have gone through it but none of you had to go through it, yet, you were there. I love you all.

I smiled when he picked me up.

I smiled when he filmed me.

I was the first born. . One of Dad's sayings: 'No more nonsense' as seen here with my sister Linda demonstrating 'no more nonsense'.

I danced with him while standing on top of his shoes.

My most recent years have led me to discover how very special he was to his family. A hotel man, Pfister Hotel, and how he managed it with a wife who defied many cruelties. The contemporary words would be: texted to her.

He thought I'd be a great entreprenaur. And I wanted to be that, very much. But then, Dad left us. Not his choice.
Mom always said her life changed at that moment. She was right. Again. So sad. She was a one woman man. She never wanted to marry again. Her love was gone. And so was my Dad. I was 15 years old. And Mom was 44.
Miss you Daddy!
Jeanne and Linda (and dog Taffy xxx)with neighbors Karen and Carol Rueping

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Upside Down Butterscotch Apple Cake

Time to do some practicing with some recipes that are in my 'To Try' file. I wish I could get better with the camera- I know having a light box would help but I'm just not there.....yet!
So, here is the recipe for this apple cake. I got it from Epicurious. You can get it there too. Otherwise, here it is~Baker's sugar, a favorite of pastry chefs, is also called superfine sugar. It measures the same as regular but dissolves more quickly. It's available at some supermarkets. You can also make your own by whizzing granulated sugar in a food processor until powdery.


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup baker's sugar (superfine sugar) or regular sugar 2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

Butterscotch-caramel apples

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter 1/3 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1/3 cup butterscotch morsels

2 8-ounce Golden Delicious apples, peeled, halved, cored, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

For cake:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix flour, baking powder, mld salt in medium bow1. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Gradually add sugar and beat until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until blended. Beat in flour mixture, then sour cream. Stir in chopped apple. Set aside while preparing butterscotch-caramel apples.

For butterscotch-caramel apples:

Melt butter in 10-inch-diameter nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add brown sugar and butterscotch morsels; stir until melted and smooth and mixture is bubbling, about 2 minutes. Add apple slices to skillet and cook until golden brown, using tongs to turn slices, about 3 minutes per side (there will be a lot ofliquid in skillet). Remove skillet from heat and let cool 3 minutes. Using tongs, arrange apple slices in skillet in concentric circles or other pattern.

Carefully spoon cake batter in small dollops atop apples in skillet. Using offset spatula, gently spread batter evenly to edges of skillet (batter will seem to float on top of apples and pan juices). Bake until cake is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in skillet 10 minutes. Run knife around edges of cake to loosen. Place large platter atop skillet. Using oven mitts or pot holders, hold platter and skillet firmly together and invert, allowing cake to settle onto platter. Serve cake warm.

Test-kitchen tip: If your nonstick skillet doesn't have an ovenproof handle, wrapping the handle in _ friendly/234162

Friday, June 11, 2010

Treetop dining in Thailand

Wouldn't this be fun?? First you have to get to this place. but read about it- what fun! I found this on Urban Daddy~And when the sun's about to dip below the shoreline, head to a beachside eucalyptus tree, where you'll find a rattan-and-steel bird's-nest just big enough for four (available at the in-house restaurant starting in July). Climb in with your dinner companions, and you'll be hoisted up into the treetops for Thai fusion with an epic view... and the waiters will take care of you by flying back and forth from a nearby tree via zip line.

So maybe don't order the soup.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I'm resanitized!

Today I spent the morning get re certified for my sanitation certificate. These people who teach the class- they are really fun. It has to be an uneventful thing to do everyday and sometimes they do it several times a day. The biggest emphasis is on cross contamination and temperature Danger Zones for food. I have to admit I get very upset with staffers who don't know how to handle food: ie. disposable gloves- they are to be used once and once you handle food, you don't continue to wear the glove and touch other surfaces. In fact, once you wear the glove, you take it off, throw it away and you are suppose to wash your hands once again. Does anyone know how long you are to wash your hands? At least 20 seconds and you are to wash up to your elbows! How many people, connected/working with food, actually do that? How many know you are not to dry plates etc. with a cloth towel? And don't get me started on utensils! And it's a pain to tell them these things and then they forget. I will be devoting some blog time to sanitation but I know the gov't rules vary from one state to another.
One of my favorite three shows ( now it's down to one because the others have ended) is Dinner Impossible. Chef Robert- what a character! I don't know how he does it. I want to see the behind the scenes. He yells at his sous chefs, but they are so competent and Chef really depends on them, he barks at the volunteers,( they are difficult, they don't get the timing of it all) but if it's a cute blonde who's helping him,i.e. the recent Brooke on the Speed Dating episode, he's a gentle lion.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Worst Cooks

I don't know about that show Worst Cooks in America. Well, it seems that the ones that move forward have something going for them. In other words, the very first round, it seems they eliminated the one who is really a terrible cook. That person is the one who really needs help. The contestants are given demos and shown a presentation and given the recipe. There is so much they have to absorb at one time! At least, that's the impression. Are they taught how to fold on a cutting board? Are they taught how to use knives? I am glad I can cook and glad I could learn over time.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cocktail Party

A cocktail party was set up to look like a dinner party. The table was set, and at each place was a charger with a food item. The menu:
Asparagus Roll ups
Spinach crepes with crab and shrimp
Turkey Burgers
Beef Tenderloin Sandwiches
Mexican Rumaki
Artichoke Puffs
Chicken Empanadas
Shrimp Shooters
Cannoli Pokes
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Salted Caramel Dipped Strawberries

Earth, Wind, and Fire theme- Shining Star

Check out my menu for music in the park, with Earth, Wind and Fire. I used several short legged tables. Covered them with various cloths typical for the names: Earth, Wind, Fire.The tables had sides on them and then each guest received a boxed dinner that contained a beef tenderloin sandwich, cointreau marinated fruits and a delicious brownie with Four different flavored icing dots.
The menu:
Earth table
Beet Salad with Fig Vinaigrette
Potato Salad
Roasted Carrot Salad

Wind Table
Bean Salad
Deviled Eggs
Crab cakes with avocado sauce

Fire Table
Red Pepper, Goat Cheese Tart
Spicy Thai Noodles
Blue Cheese Ham Slaw

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Memorial Day weekend

My husband and I were invited to the Lake Geneva summer home of one of his brothers. My husband and two of his brothers played golf while the sils went to Skips for a delicious hot dog and theee most delicious crunch, salty french fries! After that we went to Black Point Mansion. It was a summer home built in 1888 by Conrad Seipp.

In 2005 it was turned over the State and became a museum. One of my sils is a volunteer at Black Point. Our tour lated 1 1/2 hours and I don't think the docent would have stopped telling us stories if my sil hadn't told her the time was about up! Whew! It was fun!! Then the 3 of us walked part of the shore around Geneva Lake killing time till we met our husbands and we had a wonderful Q back at their house.

Images from our holiday weekend....

Memorial Day

Typical weather for Memorial Day.

But it shaped up long enough for us to enjoy dinner outside.

It started with the American pie Cocktail- a Guy Fieri ( Food Network), creation.

And we had some Brie Crostini, a Thai Beef Salad, marinated Bratwurst, Drunken Baked Beans ( from FoodChatter @ Mixing Bowl)
and a Strawberry Rhubarb pie. YUM!

Graduation Party

This was FUN! I was so looking forward to catering this party and it was pulled off with one week's notice!
Here's the Menu: Pita Pizza bites
Steak bites with bloody Mary Dipping Sauce- no labor either
Bagel Dogs -with cheese sauce, ketchup and mustard
Brie crostini
deviled eggs
mini cheese balls – ranch, blue cheese, Mexican
Baked Potato Fingers with Spicy Avocado dipping sauce
The other part of this fun menu was it's ease in execution and transportation to the event! All around, this was just wonderful. Val, my client suggested the Bagel Dogs which were an incredible, over the top, hit!