Let's Eat

"Let's eat!" was always something I loved to hear growing up. I knew that whatever was going to be on the table would be prepared with love by my mother or grandmother and would be delicious. And suddenly, I had a family of my own. I must confess that I have put things on the table and said "Let's eat" with far less enthusiasm. What had changed? I was doing the cooking for one thing. Cooking alone can be a balm for the soul, but it can also feel isolating if everyone else if in the living room visiting. Cooking together has been a favorite pastime for my husband and me. We even went through a period where we were cooking our way through a Cajun cookbook. We couldn't eat it all by ourselves. We started inviting friends over and called it "Friends in our Kitchen". That was fun and when it was time to call "Let's Eat!", the joy had returned. So, for cooks who like to cook and for people who don't have time to cook but still want to eat, I get it. I tend to be both of these depending on the amount of time, energy, and interest I have at any given moment. One thing is for certain, I keep great recipes and get rid of the ones that aren't. I am also pretty good at taking a ridiculous recipe and simplifying it without loosing any of the yumminess. Eating well is one of life's great joys. Slaving in the kitchen is not.

  • Let's Eat

    Instant Pot: Poached Pears in a Mulled Wine Reduction

    First Time Amazement I am not a huge fan of cooked fruit.  Pineapple on a pizza?  Nope.  Apples and pork?  No, thank you.  Fruit pies are hit or miss with me as well.  I do love a cobbler, though.  I just made poached pears in mulled wine in my Instant Pot.  They were incredible and didn’t remind me of any of the cooked fruits I had had before.  They were super sweet.  The mulled wine reduction was what made them so good.  The spices (cinnamon, bay leaf, and cloves) did their job by adding depth and complexity to the wine.  The wine gave the dish an extra level of fruitiness. …

  • Let's Eat

    Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons

    Preserved Lemons I had never heard of preserved lemons until I wanted to make a Moroccan chicken recipe.  Of course, the recipe called for preserved lemons and the cookbook helpfully included the recipe for the lemons.  Some would say that I am a planner.  I make lists and I use sticky notes, but doesn’t everyone?  I do not however, plan my meals three weeks out.  And that is how long it takes to preserve lemons.  The recipe called to me though and I had continued to put off making it because of those danged lemons.  There was only one thing to do.  Make the lemons and have them ready and…

  • Let's Eat

    The Cheese Making, Goat Milking Lifestyle Surprise

    Hobby to Lifestyle Change Looking back, it is easy to see how I went from cheese making to a goat milking lifestyle.  I can, sort of explain it to most open-minded people.  It made sense (really?) to get goats to milk.  When we decided to make cheese, the natural progression was to make cheese we need milk.  To make goat cheese, we need goat milk.  Goat milk comes from goats.  We should get goats to milk. But the addition of the goats meant that a cheese making quickly went from a lark hobby to full-on lifestyle. Once upon a time I said I wanted to make cheese.  Our favorite cheeses…

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    Five Cheeses for the Beginning Cheese Maker

    Plans Are Like Swiss Cheese… Some have holes in them.  Certainly, my cheese making journey had plenty of holes.  If you want to know how many holes, check out this blog post.  If I were going to begin the cheese journey again, I think I would focus on making the soft cheeses that are ready in a week or two and leave the aged cheeses to the professionals.  And yes, there would be lots of my favorites that would be left off my cheese making list.  However, there are several soft cheeses that will keep us satisfied for a lifetime.  Here are our top five cheeses that are perfect for…

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    Dangerous Cheese Making: Lessons in Time Commitment

    Hobby or Major Time Commitment? Cheese making as a hobby is a pretty cool choice.  We are a cheese crazy family.  We love nibbling on all different types of cheese.  Indeed, we have spent a fortune at cheese counters around the world purchasing our favorites and trying out new cheeses.  It appeared to me that cheese making was a logical thing to learn.  But not all cheese is created equally as I quickly learned.  Cheese making can be a serious time commitment if you let it.  The time requirements vary greatly for different kinds of cheeses.  Some take months, some just a few days.   Some you drain the curds, salt…

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    Do You Need an Instant Pot? Yes!!!

    New Gadget or Must Have? I love a new kitchen gadget.  I bought one of those things that peels, cores, and spiral slices an apple about twenty years ago.  I have used it about five times.  It works great, but I just don’t need to peel, core and spiral slice apples all that often.  I have some other things that have ended up in the bottom of a drawer, taking up space.  Jerry has been trained to question my need of a new gadget because I love them, and then I leave them…in the drawer. That was probably his first thought when I said I needed an Instant Pot.  “You…

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    Scallops in a Lemon, Anchovy and Basil Reduction

    I’ve Said This Before, But… A great recipe is a thing of joy.  Scallops in a lemon, anchovy and basil reduction is one of our favorites and for good reason.  It is easy to make and puts any restaurant meal to shame.  The lemons give a bright burst of citrus acidity to the scallops.  The anchovies provide an earthy saltiness.  The basil give the dish a bit of color and a nice herbal punch. We have altered it over the years to suit our tastes.  Don’t be afraid of the anchovies.  They make the meal.  Be sure to have all the ingredients prepped prior to beginning.  This meal cooks too…

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    Who Has Time to Make Bread? You Do!!!

    Bread Making Tradition Nana made yeast bread most Sundays and every holiday meal.  Her Parker House Roll recipe (pictured above) was especially delicious.  Buttery brown tops that were just the right mixture of soft and chewy.  So good in fact, that my mother would grab another roll with honey instead of dessert.  I took it for granted that, like other things she made, that I would be genetically blessed with her ability.  Nope. Suddenly, I was grown, and living far away from home for my first Thanksgiving as a married woman.  To make things more interesting, my in-laws came to celebrate that holiday with us in our one-bedroom apartment.  The…