Cooking and Gadgets

mustardroastedpotatoes.jpgIn addition to being an absolute pasta freak, I am passionate about potatoes. I could eat pasta everyday and potatoes, probably every other day. I love them every which way. A number of years ago Oprah's personal chef at the time wrote a cookbook called In the Kitchen with Rosie. It was a huge bestseller and featured very low fat recipes. There were some good recipes and techniques in the book. One of the recipes that made a big impression on me was called Mustard Roasted Potatoes.

The Mustard Roasted Potato recipe was red potatoes tossed with Dijon mustard, cumin, paprika, chili and cayenne. The potatoes roast in the oven and become all crusty and delectable. It's a great technique and can be endlessly varied. I've incorporated plain yogurt, fresh herbs, and different kinds of mustard. I like the Moroccan mustard from Dulcet Cuisine for this recipe because it has so much flavor you don't need to add any additional spices, but feel free to experiment and try any spiced mustard you like or add some spices.

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beachshore.jpg One of the delights of living in the Pacific Palisades is being able to take daily walks along the beach. The walks are great for exercise but also to enjoy the way the beach, ocean, and sky look in the early morning. I have to admit that I would never have discovered the pleasures of walking on the beach had it not been for my wife. For Michelle taking a walk is as necessary as breathing. I think she learned the benefits of walking from her mom, Helen. Whenever we visit her parents in New Jersey, she and her mom head to the boardwalk to take a long walk. This is their way of catching up and clearing their minds before the day begins.

This morning we walked with our friends Janet, Kelly, and Annette. We hadn't seen Kelly for a month because she and her family had been in Europe. She told us that one of the high points of the trip was a crème brûlée she'd eaten in Paris. That dessert was so delicious she couldn't stop thinking about its perfect crust and flavorful custard.

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Sometimes the best gifts are ones that are home-made. I was especially charmed by this cookbook Paul Mones made for his son. Now, if he'd only teach my kids to cook! -- Amy Ephron

ALL THE BASICS YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BE ON THE ROAD TO BE A GREAT COOK

spicesrackBASIC SPICES AND COOKING ITEMS YOU SHOULD HAVE

KOSHER SALT OR SEA SALT
BLACK PEPPER

GARLIC POWDER (NOT GARLIC SALT)
ONION POWDER
RED CHILI FLAKES
CHILI POWDER
CUMIN POWDER
CORIANDER POWDER
CINAMMON
SOY SAUCE
BALSAMIC VINEGAR
CANOLA OIL
BOX OF CORNSTARCH
MAPLE SYRUP (THE REAL STUFF NOT CORN SYRUP SHIT) OR HONEY
KETCHUP
TOMATO PASTE
HOT SAUCE OF YOUR CHOICE
POLENTA (INSTANT KIND)
BROWN OR WHITE RICE OR QUINOA
1 BAG OF FLOUR

*BOX OF ARM & HAMMER BAKING SODA THAT YOU OPEN UP AND PUT IN BACK CORNER OF REFRIGERATOR ON FIRST SHELF – GREAT FOR ABSORBING ODORS - CHANGE EVERY MONTH IF POSSIBLE – ONLY COSTS LESS THAN A BUCK AND WHEN FIINSHED PUT DOWN GARBAGE DISPOSAL – CLEANS IT WELL – ALSO PUT USED LEMONS DOWN DISPOSAL AS WELL.

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Sometimes we post letters that one of us receives just because they're so hilarious and on-point. That's how we feel about Don Seigel's response to Tracy Newman when she invited him to hear her play at Genghis Cohen.

Tray,

ImageRegrettably, we won't be able to make the show on Saturday night. I forgot that I invited my father-in-law over that night for dinner and the Pacquio fight. We will, however, catch you the next time you are there, or somewhere else.

As far as my cooking, I have discovered the absolute delight of the slow cooker. We've had one for years, but I never used it until a few months ago. Since then I have picked up a wonderful cookbook with recipes designed specifically for the slow cooker from Williams-Sonoma.

Yesterday, after dropping Julian off at school in the morning I returned home to make a Cuban Chicken. I cut up a chicken into eight pieces and browned the pieces for ten minutes in three tablespoons of olive oil and salt before placing them into the cooker.

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bisque1.jpgHey, I’m not the one who shouted it out…they did, but I did consider the concept once before.  You see, I have this group of tremendous and passionate foodie friends; they inhabit my supper club and like me, live their lives, loving and adoring food.  They are the ones who said it, proclaiming raucously this particular Lobster Bisque was better than sex.  Before I knew it, the terms orgasmic and seductive were thrown out there.  I unexpectedly felt exposed at the dinner table.  Had I really created something better than sex?  I guess that depends upon the state of your sex life but I will say this, this bisque is incredibly sexy.

It all started in the late 90’s when my husband and I would frequent “The Grill”, a restaurant at the Ritz Carlton-Laguna Niguel.  Our friend Jim was the head chef and we were in love with his version of Lobster Bisque.  We would sit at our table, almost giddy with excitement until our waiter delivered the empty, shallow bowls except for the two prawns placed strategically in the center.  He then artfully ladled in the velvety goodness until only the prawn’s tails were visible.  He quickly left us to privately slurp the exquisite bounty present before us.

We desperately wanted to replicate the amazing bisque in the confines of our own kitchen.  Every visit to the restaurant, every taste, brought us a little closer to bringing its luscious taste to fruition in our own home. 

 

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