Thursday, August 30, 2007


Grilled Green Lip Mussels With Tarragon Aioli


Okay, so I went, let's see -- 14 years (?) without eating mayo.

Yup, you read that right. 14 years. I think I was counting calories. Or perhaps...avoiding my fate...

Then, one glorious afternoon, as it sat, glistening in a small ramekin, mixed with chipotle chiles and a touch of parsley - along side some marigold hued sweet potato fries - I started tentatively back in. I never looked back.

In those first few days back from self-restriction-Island, I became a tad bit obsessed. I ranted. I raved. I ate it with a spoon. (Sick! And yet...) I considered slathering it on as a moisturizer. I became a vocal proponent. A knife wielding advocate.

Mayo man, it's da bomb.

Sure, it has some (fantastically) over the top negatives associated with it. Spoiled luncheons. Fat. A certain way of coating the mouth.

But to this lil" blogger, its' the bestest.

I mean come on now kiddies - it's oil! It's a touch of mustard! It's eggs. It's magically delicious.

Pair it with a few of my favorite things (mussels and tarragon) and voila...dining perfection.

A simple sauce, without compare. Livens up briny mussels and makes for a meal to remember.

Fragrant, rich, mouth wateringly divine.

Try this, and enjoy.

2 lbs mussels, cleaned (I used green lip...)
1/2 cup mayo
2 cloves garlic, mashed
pinch of salt
a hearty pinch of minced tarragon
a loaf of rustic bread, sliced thick
olive oil

Combine the mayo, garlic, salt and tarragon. Mash up with a mortar and pestle (or should that read: Mash in a mortar using a pestle? Either or, I suspect you get the idea) or in a food processor. Set aside to rest while you finish up.

Heat a grill to HIGH. Like insanely high. The hottest it will go. Throw on your mussels on the lower bit and the bread (which you have sliced and slathered with oil and pepper.) on the upper rack. Shut the top. (If you don't have two racks...put the bread on some foil to the furthest edges.) Let cook for 3 minutes. When the lil" guys are open, pull them out quick.

Scoop the mussels into a bowl. Top generously with giant glops of that sinful mock-aioli. Serve with bread. Relish the moment. Repeat as needed.


Aioli - a cold egg and oil emulsion with olive oil and garlic. Many variations of this sauce are made. Basically is is a garlic mayonnaise. AAA

Tomorrow is World Blog Day!

In Greece a week of forest fires have have laid waste to at least 454,000 acres of land, most of it in the Peloponnese, the glove-shaped southern peninsula where about a third of Greece's olive oil is produced.
The flames might not devastate the overall olive oil industry in Greece, the world's third-largest producer: Initial estimates indicate about 4 percent of average annual production will be lost. -AP

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Indian-Spiced Seared Tuna

Greetings and salutations my fine friends!

D'ja miss me?

Yea, I missed you too.

The summer is flying by, with good times being had all around. Busy stuff indeed.

Met a macrobiotic rock star (who is weirdly related to my teenaged crush.) who changed my world for about 30 seconds with his guru-esque ways. Went to the Aquarium. Got a sunburn (ouch.) Wished I could somehow know in advance where Britney Spears is gonna be so I can avoid her. (The papparazzi crush around that poor child is surreal. And annoying. Especially when you are in the car behind her. Im just saying.) And generally hung out, maxin' and relaxin' as I'm prone to do.

But I'm back for a bit just to say hi-how-do-ya-do and share a recipe I am just wild over.

It's a real interesting combo of intense flavors and vivid psychedelic colors. Perfect for a light summer meal, or just when you want to rebel against the macrobiotics in general.

Try it my peaches, and enjoy!

4, 4 oz. tuna tuna steaks
2 chiles, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1 T. grated fresh ginger
1 T. tumeric
1 T. garam masala
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 cup cilantro

Puree the chiles, garlic, onion, ginger, tumeric, garam masala, lemon juice and cilantro in a food processor and puree. Add some salt. Puree again.

Cut the fish into large chunks. (Mmm. Chunks.) Coat the fish with the puree and let sit for 10 minutes at room temp.

Heat your grill or grill pan.

Sear the tuna for about a minute per side (more if you want it anything past rare...)

Slice and serve with basmati rice.

Makes four servings.


Check out this awesome, random article on my darling Treva. She sure makes a kid laugh...

Marcobiotic: A very restrictive diet, containing mainly whole grains, considered by its advocates to promote health -

Garam Masala: Literally 'hot mixture'. This refers to a blend of spices much loved in Northern Indian cookery - Geocities

The company that makes Wonder Bread, the white bread with red, yellow and blue balloons on the wrapper said Tuesday that it was closing its Southland bakeries and laying off 1,300 workers. But junk-food lovers can take heart: The company locally will still make Hostess Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and other snacks. - LA Times

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Cucumbers in Rice Wine Vinegar

Now doesn't THAT look cool and refreshing?

Well my darling little peaches, it is.

Cool and refreshing.

Not to mention a snap to create and just as easy to enjoy.

I tell you, it's a winner.

Perfect with cocktails, or as a side dish on these hot summer nights, this creation is sure to tempt.

So try it, and taste the joy.

1 hothouse cucumber
1 red bell pepper
1/2 of a small onion
3/4 cup sweetened, seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of white pepper

Using your sharpest knife or a mandoline slicer, cut the cucumber into the thinnest rounds you possibly can.

Do the same with the onion.

Next up, the pepper.

Toss those with the rest of the ingredients. Let marinate 15 minutes or up to 3 hours.

Taste and adjust salt and sugar as needed.

(Want to change it up? Add fresh ginger, or sesame seeds. Red onions are nice too!)


Cucumbers are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables, having been cultivated since about 8,000 B.C.

Rice wine vinegar is made from rice and creates a less acidic product than other types of vinegar. It is available sweetened or plain.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Jambalaya Cakes

When the Ombudsman starts givin me the eye, I know it's for one of two reasons.

He either thinks I've crossed some sort of line, or he is craving this delectable.

I like to pretend its always the latter. (Oh how wrong that assumption is...)

But when he is looking for tasty delights, I sometimes go a bit over the with this Jambalaya.

Its fantastically sophisticated, and at the same time, as homey as can be.

Just like him, except, this one you can nibble on (and frankly, he doesn't take to that.)

Its a stellar example of uptown-downtown dishy-ness.

Sure, sure there is a lot going on with it, but that is just sometimes the way to go.

And please do realize, you can stop the dish before it becomes cakes, and eat it. I just cant resist going overboard sometimes. Its my way of "crossing the line."

So try this my peaches, and taste the joy.

1 link andouille sausage, chopped
1/2 pound chorizo sausage, also chopped
½ pound shrimp, in shell
2 T butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, juice reserved
Pinch of sugar
3 bay leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp cayenne
½ cup smoked ham
1 – 2 cup chicken broth
3 T fresh parsley, minced
1 cup long grain white rice
1/2 cup parmesan (optional)
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, beaten
2 cup panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying

In a medium saucepan, combine the bay leaves and stock and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp shells and cook until they turn pink. Strain broth and reserve.

In a Dutch oven sauté the andouille sausage and chorizo in the butter. Remove the meat and sauté the onion, celery and bell pepper until translucent. Add ¼ c. of the tomato juice.

Chop the tomatoes, sugar, thyme, chili powder and cayenne and cook until all the ingredients are combined and soupy. Add the sausage, chorizo and chopped ham, stir to combine all the ingredients. Test for seasoning.

Strain liquid off and add enough chicken stock to make 2 ½ cups. Add rice to the pot over medium to high heat and begin adding the liquid to the pot just enough to cover each time. Continue stirring and adding until the rice is cooked through. Check for seasonings. Add parsley and spread on a sheet pan to cool.

When the rice is cool enough to handle add the egg and form it into small patties. Coat in panko bread crumbs.

Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet. Fry the cakes until golden on the outside.

Garnish with shrimp, mango and avocado salsa.


Jambalaya is a Creole dish that combines cooked rice with tomatoes, onion, peppers and almost any kind of meat, poultry, or shellfish. Similar in many ways to Spanish paella, the term is derived from the Spanish jamon for ham.

Gonzales, Louisiana hosts an annual Jambalaya Festival

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Monday, August 06, 2007


Cherries Jubilee


So remember last week when I took a hiatus from my blog?

Yea, me too.

Good times, good times.

Oh wait, not SO good.

But actually, now that I mention it, still in progress…the hiatus I mean. (What can I say, I'm still a busy girl...)

And yet, here I be. Bloggin’ away.

I just had a few loose ends and didn’t want to leave them hanging, as it were.

So the hiatus is on hiatus, and it is time to say a few words of love…big, heartfelt, full-to-the-brim and possibly overflowing, love for my friends.

I am one blessed lil’ kitten to have many good friends.

Some who I had lost touch with and found through their blog, some who make TV shows, some who I met through their blogs, some who have no idea what a blog is, and some who…I have never met.

Let’s talk about that lot.

First, there is Columbus Foodie, who I “met” (though, I know and read her blog) through Dispensing Happiness, ( What a fab woman) and her Blogging By Mail extravaganza.

Oh wow. Here is a person I have never laid eyes on, and yet love. She gave me a gift after all. I’m easy that way.

Last week, there arrived (shamefully, opened many, many days after receipt. Gulp. Sorry.) in my doorway , a box of her extraordinary home made jams, a bag of incredibly cool multicolored local popcorn, the coolest note and an Ohio restaurant review magazine, all of which rocked my world. I was just floored. And thankful.

Then, there is this woman. (Hear her roar.) Shauna, of Gluten Free fame. Another woman who I have never laid eyes on, and yet, recently invited me to her wedding. (!)

Of course, being a total dolt, I didn’t open the invite until yesterday (ergo my horrible manners and complete lack of acknowledgment and thanks. Which I am in the process of remedying. Promise.). I was so touched, so overwhelmed, so floored, so flabbergasted, I cried. (And again cursed myself and my bad mail-gathering habits.) And it made me realize that (kinda) knowing people like her is one of the many reasons I blog.

But back to the jam…one of the sensational jams Columbus Foodie sent along (along with a fragrant Pumpkin Butter, simply delicious Strawberry and heady Mixed Berry. All made by her with local ingredients. How much do you love that? Sigh.) was Sour Cherry. I was head over heels enamored. I fully admit, I ate it all. Lip smacking goodness. That is one girl who can jam...

I loved the sour cherry jam in particular, I think, is because we don’t get fresh sour cherries much in these parts. And apparently they are the only type one should cook with. Despite my recent forays into sweet cherry baking.

See, I now know sour cherries are for cooking and not the sweet ones because I also got a box of sweet Washington Cherries, from Eliza at ChefShop.

How come?

Why, my dear-heart, Gluten Free Girl of course.

I guess Eliza of ChefShop asked Shauna who she thought might like some of their deep red delights, and my name was offered up. And when they came, I (was totally shocked) emailed darling Eliza with a few questions, (and many thanks) and she told me that sweet cherries a la Washington are for eating, and that’s it.

So I ate my fill and shared some of the many pounds that arrived with some of my “real world” friends.

And lo, it was good. And better, and the best.

But wait…there’s more…since I'm speaking of jams, and blog-friends and whatall...

I am compelled to mention one last virtual friend. Who I think appreciates a good virtual tale indeed, and hopefully is reading this. Yet another person I have not met, and yet (sincerely do) adore. A woman who was asking recently about jam. Maybe I could coerce Columbus Foodie into sending her some…make things a full circle. With no loose ends. To bring a smile to her face as well.

Okay my dolls, that is all for now.

I will be back…but for now, the hiatus continues…



The cherry symbolizes the sweetness of character that is derived from good works.

Cherries Jubilee - A dessert of pitted Bing or other dark red cherries, sugar and Kirsch or Brandy, which are combined, flambéed and spooned over vanilla ice cream. - Epicurious

The concept of the Jubilee is a special year of remission of sins and universal pardon. - Wikipedia


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