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How to Party like its Stardate 2016.08.08 – Star Trek at the Hollywood Bowl

Shrimp Lemon Risotto Stack | She Paused 4 Thought

My favorite part of living in Los Angeles is being able to go to the Hollywood Bowl. Live music under the stars with great food and friends is something I look forward to all year. I cook for days preparing for a four-hour picnic extravaganza.

When we purchased tickets to Star Trek night at the Bowl, I assumed it would be full of wildly dressed Starfleet officers and aliens. I have never considered myself a Trekkie, but I take great joy in creating a themed party.

Star Trek at Hollywood Bowl | She Paused 4 Thought

Turns out we were on our own, in our silliness. We were applauded, photographed and caused heads to turn and eyes to roll all evening. I haven’t had this much attention since I was in my 20’s. Thank you Gene Roddenberry, JJ Abrams & Hollywood Bowl.

Here is how our portable picnic of galactic glam all came together. Continue Reading →

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Shrimp & Veggie Saute w/Goldenberry Sauce

Shrimp Saute & Goldenberry Sauce | She Paused 4 Thought

While I was vacationing in Cartagena, Colombia I had a unique dish that has haunted my taste buds ever since. I scoured the Internet in hopes of finding Chef Jorge Escandon’s creation he calls “Tostones de La Madre Teresa” served at La Cevicheria.

I don’t have a proper translation or understanding of why the dish was named that, but I would like to think that perhaps its heavenly goodness inspires thoughts of Mother Teresa.

Whatever the hidden message in the name of this unique dish, I am so excited because I’ve recently discovered one of the key ingredients is available in the U.S. so wanted to share it with you!

Introducing Goldenberries:

Goldenberry Cape Gooseberry | She Paused 4 Thought

I first tasted these sweet and tangy bite-sized fruits when I purchased them along the roadsides in Colombia. I had no idea what they were, but once I unwrapped one of these golden globes of goodness, I knew I had to figure out how to smuggle them back to the states. Thank heavens they are now legally available here. Continue Reading →

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Toast Skagen & Other Swedish Successes & Failures

Photo by Cathy Nelson ArkleThis month’s LA Food Bloggers Meet Up is dedicated to ethnic heritage, and we are to bring a dish that relates to ours. Since I am Swedish, I set out to find a yummy dish to showcase my cultural background and make my Swedish Grandma proud.

Growing up in Iowa – which is full of Scandinavians – my Grandma Nelson led the pack when she made krumkake, fattigman and rosettes.  I wanted to make one of these specialties, but I realized they all require scary special equipment.

cathy nelson arkle(If you haven’t seen these before, there a good chance your not Scandinavian)

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Mexican Mania

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail from New School of Cooking

Mexican cuisine is considered one of the most diverse in the world, and traditionally passed down through the generations in an unwritten form.  This cuisine relies more on intuitive cooking skills, so today’s class was more of a “watch and learn, then do” lesson.

Techniques for Mexican cooking are basically the same across the country of Mexico, but it’s the ingredients that differ by region.  Contributing factors are Mexico’s vast size, diverse climates, geography, and different levels of influence by the Mayas, Aztecs and Spaniards

Indigenous Ingredients

Typical herbs and spices used in Mexican cuisine are chili powder, oregano, cilantro, coriander, cumin, epazote, cinnamon, and cocoa.

The grain staples are corn and rice. Other popular items are pinto beans in Northern Mexico and black beans towards the south.

Peppers and other ingredients in Mexican cuisinedried Peppers for Mexican cuisine

The one ingredient that seems to make its way into more Mexican recipes is chilies. They are grown in every state, there are over 150 varieties, and each one has its own distinct flavor. Continue Reading →

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methods & madness…
class 10: seafood – coming out of your shell

Meyer Lemon Rosemary Shrimp | She Paused 4 Thought

Recipes & Ramblings from Chef School

What a huge learning curve I had this week with shellfish. If you read last week’s blog, you know that I am a Midwest farm girl who had no experience with fins, scales, and particularly things that carry a house on their back! After this week’s class however, I am shocked at how easy most shellfish are to cook.

Shellfish are categorized according their skeletal structure:

  • Univalves – Single-shelled mollusks
    e.g. abalone, sea urchins, conch, escargot
  • Bivalves – Mollusks with two shells joined by a hinge
    e.g. clams, mussels, oysters, scallops
  • Crustaceans – Jointed exterior skeletons or shells
    e.g. lobster, crawfish, shrimp, crab
  • Cephalopods – Mollusks with tentacles attached directly to the head
    e.g. octopus, squid/calamari, cuttlefish

Buying Shellfish

When buying live crab or lobsters, look for movement. If you buy them frozen or pre-packaged and they are still moving—run.

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