Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A European memory

Do you want to escape to Europe for just an hour? If so, I have a wonderful suggestion for you.

Last week, while in the Copley Square area of Boston, I suddenly recalled that I had heard that there was a café and restaurant at the Boston Public Library. Since it was nearly time for lunch, and I hadn’t been inside this gorgeous old building for a few years, I decided to investigate. The café is called Sebastian’s Map Room Café and you can purchase sandwiches, salads, fruit, beverages, etc and sit down and eat them in the café, or if you are as fortunate as I, to experience a spectacular cloudless summer day, you can take out your food to the courtyard , which is set in the midst of magnificent architecture, sculptures and gardens, and sit at comfortable wrought iron tables and chairs and enjoy a peaceful respite. As soon as I sat down I felt my memory transporting me back to similar settings in Europe, only here I was, in downtown Boston! Please realize that although the food at the café was quite tasty, it was more the ambiance than the food that recalled those wonderful times in Europe.

Monday, August 18, 2008

An updated version of my grandmother's salad

As I was mixing tonight's salad with some beautiful bright green Boston lettuce, I noticed the fresh blueberies sitting in my colander waiting to be rinsed. And I said to myself, 'Mutti, my grandmother, would certainly have approved of me adding these gorgeous berries to her salad.' Then I thought, how about a few toasted sliced almonds? Not only did it look wonderful, it tasted fantastic! So if you usually add strawberries or raspberries to your salad, try adding some blueberries and you'll be in for a real treat!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Two cooks in the kitchen

Here is a couple having fun, while cooking some quick and healthy meals together.

Steve really enjoyed pounding the chicken. Can you tell by his smile? Gina can hardly wait for her turn!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Camp cooking lesson #2

I returned to a local day camp to give a cooking lesson to a very enthusiastic crew. Quote from a 13 year old camper, "Mmm, the lemon brings out the soul of the chicken!"

They seem to have had almost as much fun washing dishes and pots and pans, as cooking!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Maggie's hint

One of my faithful newsletter readers sent in a tip that I think you might enjoy. Maggie K, from Framingham, MA, said that when she “wants a fast coffee cake to bring or serve” she makes the Blueberry Muffin recipe on pg 40 of my cookbook, From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours. However, instead of making muffins, she spreads the batter in a greased 8-inch square baking pan , sprinkles it with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon, as well as some sliced almonds, and bakes it at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. I took Maggie’s advice and tried it. The resulting cake was faster to prepare than muffins and not as sweet as a typical cake So if you’re looking for a quick coffee cake you might like to try Maggie’s suggestion and convert your favorite recipe for a dozen muffins into a quick coffee cake.

Thanks Maggie!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Couple of cooks

Amy & Jay wanted to increase their dinner repetoire and look what they've created!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

How to identify fresh fish

Whole fish should:

  • Look shiny

  • Have bright clear eyes that are almost protruding

  • Have firm and elastic flesh that springs back when gently pressed with a finger

Filets and steaks should:

  • Have firm and elastic flesh with fresh cut and moist appearance

All fish should have no fishy or ammonia smell

Cherry tomatoes - bite-size pleasure

I just picked the first cherry tomatoes from my own plants! They are absolutely delicious - almost as good as chocolate!