It’s that time of year again – THANKSGIVING!

by irene on November 20, 2011

Yes, it is that time of year again.  The time when hordes of family descends on the house to stuff themselves full of Thanksgiving holiday cheer.

Somehow, my house has become the traditional Thanksgiving venue.  This isn’t really a problem… I’d consider it more of a culinary challenge.  This year the guest list consists of 21 people, which means preparing a 30 pound turkey.  Yes, it is true.  Turkey do come in 30 pound sizes.  Who really knew?

I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few weeks pondering the ways that this whole meal can be simplified.   Of course, I do that every year, and in the end it always feels like the house has been hit by an atomic bomb.  Still, there’s always hope that it will be more organized.

I’ll be chronicling along the way, but here’s the menu so far:

  • 30 pound fresh turkey
  • Gravy
  • 15 pounds of mashed potatoes
  • Italian Sausage and Wild Rice Dressing
  • Cauliflower and Broccoli in Cheese Sauce
  • Corn Casserole (brought by a guest)
  • Green Bean Casserole (brought by a guest)
  • Okra (brought by a guest)
  • Black-eyed Peas (brought by a guest)
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Assorted Pies (brought by a guest).

That doesn’t look so tough, does it?  Ha!  Let the chaos begin!

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BLTs Never Grow Old

by irene on July 3, 2010


There are several firsts that we look forward to during the cooking year.  The first “real” arugula in the spring.  The first grilled New York Strip of the season.  And, without a doubt, the first BLT made with home grown tomatoes.

Nothing touches home grown tomatoes.  Even farmers’ market tomatoes just aren’t the same.  Pulling a plump, juicy tomato from the vine, feeling the heat of the flesh from the sun, cutting into the tomato and getting that smell of ripe summer… it just does not get better than that.  Especially when it is the very first tomato of the season.

We reserve the first tomato of the season for our BLT ritual – served al fresco, with wine, for lunch. Our goal, which we hit almost every year, is that this tomato is ripened by the first weekend of July.   But the details of the BLT tend to vary from year to year, depending on what is on hand and at its freshest.  This year our BLT contained Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Bacon, arugula, Butler Farms Fresh Brebis Cheese with Garlic and Herbs, and farm fresh sweet onion.

And yes, it was as good as it looked.

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Food Safety and TMM’s (Tubular Meat Modifiers) or Our Children Are All Going to DIE!

May 28, 2010

Ok maybe that second headline is a bit over the top. There has been a lot of fretting about the dangers of choking on hot dogs because of a policy statement on children and choking issued in February by the American Academy of Pediatrics. With summer upon us and the sizzles and smells of tubular […]

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Chicken Parmigiana

November 2, 2009

Chicken Parmagiana is perhaps one of the simplest, most under-made recipes. At least it is here at Cuisine Capers. It is hard to say why that is, given that it is a full-flavored, hearty dish that really hits the comfort spot.

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It is Lutefisk Season

October 8, 2009

It’s that time of year again, when the crisp fall temperatures stir the hearts of Wisconsin’s Norwegian brethren. The aroma of rotting fish and rutabagas is in the air.

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Media Chef – Digital Cookbook

October 5, 2009
Media Chef Digital Cookbook from Belling

For you wired technogeeks who love to cook, Belling has just come out wth a new digital cookbook. The Media Chef holds about 48 instructional cooking videos and can also be used as a calendar, a media player and a photo frame.

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Season Two of The Next Iron Chef Premiers

October 4, 2009

So tonight season two of The Next Iron Chef kicks in. Much more serious than The Next Food Network Star, The Next Iron Chef pits true professionals against each other in a duel of the kitchen. The winner becomes, obviously, one of the Iron Chefs that make appearances on Iron Chef America.

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Paula Deen Defends Herself On The View

September 25, 2009

It is reprehensible to me the way that Barbara Walters approached Paula Deen on this interview on “The View” recently.

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California Wine Country 2009 – The Winery Dogs

September 13, 2009

They love their dogs in Sonoma County. The dogs are a big part of the family and culture.

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California Wine Country 2009 – The Restaurants

September 13, 2009
Scopa, Healdsburg

One of the most pleasurable epiphanies of our trip to Healdsburg was that the restaurants there are world class. We took advantage of this, as well as restaurants along the way throughout the trip.

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California Wine Country 2009 – Dry Creek – In Summary

September 13, 2009
Bella Vineyards, Dry Creek

There is no question that Napa’s main drag offers more of that in a concentrated tourist friendly package. But this was our fourth trip, and the primary focus was on wine

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Seghesio Family Vineyards

September 13, 2009
Seghesio Family Vineyards

The history of wine in the Healdsburg area is pretty much the history of the Seghesio Family.

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California Wine Country 2009 – Dry Creek – Day Four

September 13, 2009
Rosenblum Cellars

Our last day in Healdsburg was to be a short one as we had made plans to drive back to San Francisco to have dinner before flying home the following day. Still, we managed to stop in on two wineries before we headed back to the city.

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Rosenblum Cellars

September 13, 2009

We had an event scheduled at noon, which left us with some time on our hands, so we decided to take advantage of it and visit the tasting room the Rosenblum Cellars maintains just south of the main plaza.

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California Wine Country 2009 – Dry Creek – Day Three

September 13, 2009

On day three we planned to start at the southern end of Dry Creek Valley and work our way north. This would allow us to visit most of the other wineries we had planned on while ending up close to our hotel. We were able to hit all of the wineries on our list, while discovering new favorites that were previously unknown to us.

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