There are some dishes where even a carnivore won’t miss the meat because an explosion of flavors transcends every expectation. When you maximize flavor combinations, even the most ordinary dish becomes extraordinary.
So, you might ask, how does one learn to maximize flavor and become a culinary flavor superstar? A great starting point is the The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, a brand new and truly amazing reference book that allows you to unleash your inner creative chef and turn up the flavor volume way high in your cooking. Continue reading
Fresh and dried peppers are essential ingredients the world over. Yet while growing up in the Midwest, I could remember only eating sweet bell peppers. This meant that I had a lot to learn about one of the most popular, unique and diverse foods on our planet. As luck would have it, I was invited to a special cookbook event at Melissa’s Produce to launch their latest cookbook “The Great Pepper Cookbook”. This was the perfect opportunity for me to begin exploring all these exciting flavors and have some fun! Continue reading
Sweet corn was a welcome summer favorite at our home in the Midwest. I don’t know who was more excited about it, the raccoons or me. My furry friends were always on standby, holding a saltshaker in one paw and a stick of butter in the other. Like me, they would do almost anything for a fresh, sweet ear of corn.
Original photo by Ravi – altered by Cathy
The patient creatures would wait until late at night when the house was dark, under the stars they would self-serve our precious corn. Dinner was shared on the lawn with much enthusiasm and happy chatter. Merrily they shucked each ear, nibbling the corn a few rows at a time, just like me. When sweet corn is good, it is very, very good.
In truth those masked mischievous mammals were a menace, but in the end we were resigned to share our crop. Continue reading
Life of a Spanish Party…
“Salad cannot be the life of a party,” a friend said to me recently. As an inveterate salad lover, this gave me pause for thought. “Well, why can’t salad be the life of a party,” I said to myself, then to my friend. And I took it upon myself to prove that, indeed, salad CAN be the life of the party!
Salad traditionally has some tough competition for center stage: savory appetizers, mouthwatering meats and luscious desserts all vying for attention. For a salad to be a contender for stardom it would have to rock the stage. What could be better, I got to thinking, than a little pyromania? Aha! I knew I was on to something. Let me explain.
I have experience lighting things on fire… even if it was my childhood friend (sorry Pam). I didn’t understand that gasoline in a can plus playing with matches while burning trash equals somebody’s getting burned, and the other somebody getting grounded. Fortunately, Pam didn’t get hurt, because she knew to roll in the dirt and NOT because I tried to put the fire out on her leg by beating her with a plastic trash can. Oh the lessons we learn! Fast forward several decades… Continue reading