Me, Myself & Baby I

Out of the mouths of babes

Archive for the category “Recipes”

National Lobster Day

It’s going to be a fantastic weekend!  How can it not be when Friday is National Lobster Day!  Mmmmm…..my mouth is watering as I type this just thinking about succulent lobster meat and drawn butter.

There’s so many delicious ways to enjoy these tasty crustaceans.  Steamed, baked, rolls, tails, bisque, in mac and cheese, nicoise…the choices are endless.

My wonderful younger sister who is the ultimate fashionista and “foodie” recently introduced ME and MY husband to the gourmet lobster rolls from Red Hook Lobster Pound.  One bite and I was addicted.  I literally stalk them on twitter (@lobstertruckny and @redhooklobster) to find out where in NYC their truck will be parked on any given day.  It’s worth the walk to score one of these to-die-for lobster rolls!  MY husband and I enjoy the Connecticut style (warm with drawn butter) while my sister prefers the Maine style (tossed in a light homemade mayo)

Jameson Tavern, one of the oldest operating Taverns in Maine (located right beside the L.L. Bean retail store in Freeport)  has have been Featured as a Favorite Maine Restaurant on the FoodNation Show. Bobby Flay was on site at the Tavern and exclaimed that Jameson had one of the best Lobster Stew recipes that he had ever tasted. MY husband is definitely in agreement!  He describes the stew as, “So good it is almost decadent. It was smooth and creamy with a splash of sherry.  A very hearty, delicious and memorable meal.”  Click here for the recipe for this outrageous Lobster Stew (recipe is courtesy of the Tavern)

Wanna feel even better?  Lobsters do NOT feel pain.  Whew!  Their nervous systems and brains are developmentally on par with those of insects. They have nerves but no ability to perceive stimuli as “pain.” The shrill noise you hear when you boil a lobster is steam escaping from the shell.  (So sometimes there really is gain without pain!)

National Lobster Day celebrates the fact that lobster is the largest of all seafood harvest in New England.   Popular worldwide and known as a delicacy, Lobster makes any occasion more fun.  So let’s celebrate.

Team (lobster) Gutterman at a wedding in Maine last summer

What’s your favorite way to eat lobster? 

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Going Out of My Comfort Zone & Calories Don’t Count Over a Holiday Weekend

Let me just put it out there right up front.  I am not a cook.  The best thing I make is reservations!  Seriously.  I didn’t even know how to boil water until college and my best friends in college can attest to us eating a lot of frozen yogurt as dinner (when we were eating plain boiled white rice)

When I got married, my husband sent me to Institute for Culinary Education (ICE) for a few classes.  I can’t exactly say they were “fun” but they were an experience for me—one I desperately needed.  My parents and my younger sister were all blessed with the cooking gene so I never had to try.  I preferred to enjoy eating their delicious creations.

Now as a wife and mother, I do have to step it up a notch and occasionally feed my family a home-cooked meal.  My husband jokes that our toddler is always going to associated “Dinner’s served” with let’s go down to the lobby and pick up tonight’s take-out from the Seamless delivery man.  Ouch!

Sometimes I do get into a cooking spurt.  It usually starts when I discover an interesting recipe and IF it comes out good, then my confidence is boosted and I am eager to make some other dishes.

The weather this week has been dreary, wet and gross.  Ian and I had been stuck in the house way too much.  It was good “comfort food” weather and I felt somewhat obligated to make my family a rich, hearty homemade meal, especially when I saw a tweet for Heather Christo’s Red Wine Risotto with Bacon + Onions.

I’ve previously made risotto a few times but with underwhelming success.  The champagne risotto I did was a big disappointed.  Honestly, I would have preferred to just drink the bottle of bubbly!  When the sun broke through, I dragged Ian to the supermarket.  (Yes, unlike Heather Christo who used scraps in her fridge, I needed to purchase almost all of the ingredients)  We needed something to do anyway.  My husband was excited that I was cooking him dinner.

When he got home from work, the house had a wonderful aroma.  Have you been privileged to smell Chianti simmering on a stove top?  It should be made into perfume–that’s how wonderful it smells!  I also love the color the risotto turned.  (Unfortunately I did not take any photos—the only hat I wore that night was my chef’s cap)

Here is the recipe for Heather Christo’s scrumptuous Red Wine Risotto With Bacon & Onions, along with step-by-step photos.

I will note that I was unclear which amount of red wine Heather was referring to in step 6.  I poured the rest of the bottle of Chianti I was using but think I was supposed to use the red wine and chicken stock mixture because I had plenty of that left in the saucepan when I was done cooking the risotto.  Plus, it would have been nice to have some left over wine to drink with our meal.

Aside from the constantly stirring (which is the secret to making risotto) I found the recipe super easy to make.  I did cheat and used pre-cooked bacon.

The only disappointment was that my son refused to even taste it so I had to come up with an alternative meal for him (Grrrrr!  So much for a home-cooked family dinner)  Also, my husband and I enjoyed it so much that there wasn’t any leftovers.  The recipe is for 6 but I served this not as a side but as our entire meal.

While I’m on the subject of cooking and food, I need to make you aware of these sweet treats for your Memorial Day Bash.  It seriously makes me want to have a barbecue just to serve these!  I am now following @pardonmycrumbs and @LifesABatchNic and can’t wait to see what creations they dream up next!

Here’s another great idea that even I can do.  It’s perfect if you don’t wantt o show up empty handed.  Remember it for July 4th too!

Simply wash fresh strawberries, then dry them completely. Next, dip about 2/3 of the strawberry into melted white chocolate. Before the chocolate hardens, dip 1/3 of the chocolate-dipped strawberry into blue decorating sugar. Now you’ve got a patriotic strawberry!

Wishing everyone a relaxing, fun and delicious Memorial Day Weekend with their friends and family!  I’m going to take the long weekend off mostly because none of us should be on our computers the next 3 days!  This year needs to slooooooooooooooow down.  It’s gone way to fast.  I want to enjoy every moment of summer.

Holy Guacamole, It’s a Cinco de Mayo Celebration Fit for a Derby

As a former tequila publicist, you didn’t really think I’d let Cinco de Mayo come and go without a special post to toast the day!

The only way I will drink a margarita is this recipe for the Partida Margarita.  And what ever you do, absolutely no salt rimming the glass.  If you use a premium, high-quality tequila like Partida, you do not need salt to cut it.

Here´s for cheering twice! Both the Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo happens to be on may 5th this year.

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican heritage to commemorate the French army’s defeat at the hands of the Mexicans at Puebla by the end of the 1900s. And with that goes cheering with tequila. The Derby Day is as we know – a day of never ending mint juleps – and since both are on the same day this year- why not try a new thing and make a Tequila Julep?

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup in a glass or julep cup

Add mint (6-8 leaves) and muddle very lightly, only lightly bruising them to get the oil out – not too hard because then you will release bitter stuff.

Fill up half with finely crushed ice and add your tequila of choice – I took 2 oz of Partida Reposado.

Now stir, add more ice and stir again until the glass is well frosted and heap plenty of ice on top! Garnish with a nice sprig of mint – and don´t forget to slap it to release the fragrance in the air.

Finally ….sip and dream…

I do not recommend drinking on an empty stomach so……

Gaby Dalkin is a private chef/recipe developer/food stylist/photographer and food writer specializing in simple  and sassy recipes for the home cook, who doesn’t make it a secret how much she personally loves eating avocado.  She’s even having a guac bar at her wedding this summer!  So anytime I am seeking a recipe involving guac, I go straight to the source!  These sounds like the perfect treat to whip up for Cinco de Mayo—or any time a craving strikes.

Goat Cheese Guacamole & life changing Grilled Guacamole

For a sweet, fun and colorful ending,

Cinco De Mayo Pinata Cookies

Eat & drink up!

If you happen to be so lucky to bet on the winning horse, celebrate with Partida Elegante.  Buenos Suerte!

Today’s An Acceptable Day to be SALTY & CRUSTY

Today (Thursday, April 26, 2012) is National Pretzel Day! Pretzels are a favorite snack in my household. I always make sure to have a bag on hand for my husband and son.

One of the necklaces I own (which is quite a conversation piece) is my gold pretzel salted in diamonds. I saw it at a jewelry trade show shortly after admiring the one Carrie Bradshaw wore on Sex & The City. People are constantly asking me about the significance to which my dad had come up with this response: “It represents my twisted life.”

On a tour of Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, America’s first commercial pretzel bakery (located in Litiz, PA) last summer, I was excited to learn that the term “tying the knot” has special significance concerning the pretzel. It seems pretzels were introduced into the wedding ceremony. The couple wished upon and broke a pretzel like a wishbone, then ate it to signify their oneness.

I have been craving Pret a Manager’s monthly sandwich special – the roast beef & horseradish on PRETZEL bread. Only a few more days to get it. I wonder what next month’s special sandwich will be and hope it’s just as delicious.

If I have you hungry for pretzels now, here’s a delicious recipe my sister-in-law makes which happens to be one of my husband’s favorites:

Break up a bag or box of big, fat Snyders beer pretzels and put in a bowl. Add 1 cup oil, an entire packet Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix, and 1 tsp of each of the following seasonings: garlic, salt, garlic powder, dill weed and lemon pepper. Mix all the seasonings with the oil right in the measuring cup and then pour over broken pretzels and stir to coat. Spread it out on a cookie sheet and bake on 350 for 10 mins. Stir and cook 10 more minutes. Enjoy!

Now excuse me while I go be a good wife and make some for my husband.

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