• Smörgåsbord

    Book Review: Food Lover’s Companion

    I received a copy of the Food Lover’s Companion book for Christmas a couple of years ago, and it is one of my all time favorite presents.   And this girl loves presents!  My sister gave it to me and couldn’t believe I was reading it like a novel.  Well, to me, it’s a real page turner.  I have since given it as a gift to many of my friends.   Whenever I hear a new food term, or spice, or process, usually through my addiction to the Food Network, the first thing I do is grab my FLC (Food Lover’s Companion).  Have you ever wondered what a “hen of the…

  • The Pantry

    Leek as an Onion Substitute

    Last week I was talking to my friend, Karla, about a client of mine who doesn’t like onion. How can I possibly cook without onion? I’ve cooked with leek many times before, but never have needed an onion substitute. Karla told me when her sister-in-law, who is not an onion lover visits, she replaces onion with leek. So that Sunday when I went to the Brentwood Farmer’s Market, I bought a huge bunch of leeks. Huge! They are at least 15 inches long. So, I have been using leek everyday since then. I especially like them in my scrambled eggs. Native to the Mediterranean countries, the leek is a vegetable…

  • The Pantry

    Restaurant review; BAR FOOD

    Found a great new place to go for drinks and small plates; BAR FOOD, opened March 17th, St. Paddy’s Day, which is very appropriate since owner/chef, Jason Killalee, hails from Dublin, Ireland.   It opens every afternoon at 5pm, and serves free hot dogs (usually $2) until 6pm—I think.  At least my friend Helen and I got them for free.  Nice touch.  We weren’t real hungry, so we actually only ordered the Calamari for $8.50, and we both were very, very pleased with it.  It came very lightly battered with a spicy mayonnaise dipping sauce and lemon.  I actually preferred just a bit of lemon with it because it was cooked…

  • The Pantry

    Appetizers for 150

    I just made appetizers for a party of 150 people! It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. My friend Carol helped me prepare seven different dishes; a fruit and cheese platter, two chicken dishes, cucumber cups, salad skewers, quesadillas, and brownies. Didn’t have much left, so I guess they liked it.

  • Smörgåsbord

    Kitchen Remodel in Los Angeles

    Take a look at this beautiful kitchen remodel of my friends home in Los Angeles, CA.  It was created with their innate design talent to accommodate not only their love of cooking, but also for their enjoyment (and gift, if I do say so myself) of entertaining.   Because of the spacious, roomy floor plan and with the beautiful travertine tiles, it is the perfect kitchen for entertaining large parties, but also can be comfortable for smaller gatherings.   

  • Quick Bites

    Sur La Table Easter Specials!

    That great store, Sur La Table,is having an Easter Special through April 12th!  Click on the link on this page (on the lower right of this article) to peruse, enjoy, and purchase! Sur La Table – Easter Collection Basket Full of Goodies.  Charming décor, gifts and bakeware help fill the home with delightful treats for an extra special Easter day. Expires 4/12/09.

  • Quick Bites

    What is “Smoke Point”?

    Smoke point refers to the stage at which heated oil reaches its limit and starts to smoke.  After that point, the oil is no longer useable for cooking because it will make food smell and taste unpleasant.   An oil’s smoke point is determined by how it was processed and the additives that it contains.  The oils with lower smoke points are generally unrefined.  The higher smoke point a particular oil has, the better it is for frying.   The following are approximate smoke points for different types of oil:   Sunflower;  390 degrees Sesame Seed, Olive and Corn;  410 degrees Canola;  435 degrees Grape seed;  445 degrees Soybean, Safflower and…

  • The Pantry

    Meatloaf I Actually Like!

    My most hated supper when I was growing up was MEATLOAF! Hated it! And by the way, I never use the word “hate”. To me it’s just a four letter, bad word. But meatloaf (I’ll call it ML from now on) just made me want to cry and throw a tantrum (please no comments from those who knew me as a child). For about a hundred years since my childhood, I have resisted ordering ML in restaurants, even when it is on the “specials” list…oh, please, it is NOT special, its MEATLOAF! I am usually up to trying anything, but ML, no can do. Well, today I was searching for…

  • Quick Bites

    A Favorite Quote

    Here’s a quote from the very, very funny writer Erma Bombeck, who made so many of us laugh everday back in the 1970’s (the olden days!). She was brilliant. “It is ludicrous to read the microwave direction on the boxes of food you buy, as each one will have a disclaimer: “THIS WILL VARY WITH YOUR MICROWAVE.” Loosely translated, this means, “You’re on your own, Bernice.” – Erma Bombeck

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