It is spring in Michigan, the time of year when I get a bit of a green tinge from eating too much local asparagus. And, since I planted my very own crop last year, this is a special season as I had the chance to savor a few of my own spears – but just a few. Asparagus, a perennial, cannot be harvested in the first two years after planting. This allows the shoots in years one and two to grow into tall lacy plants which send lots of nutrients to the roots for later harvests. But, of course, I couldn’t bear to wait until year three. So, I cheated and picked just a few spears. They were a true guilty pleasure!Continue reading
Growing up in my family meant time out for a cocktail at the end of the day. I knew Dad was home from work when I heard the clink of the glass rod against the wall of the cocktail pitcher. He was definitely a stir-don’t-shake kind of guy when it came to his evening Manhattan (although the shaker was always on hand when needed).Continue reading
A group of busy women were looking for efficient ways to raise money for our favorite charity: the Constance Morris House, a Chicago area shelter for victims of domestic violence. We had tired of exhausting raffles and holiday events. But what else could we do?? “Perhaps a second-hand clothing shop?,” someone suggested — “something sustainable rather than multiple whirlwind events?” We thought it was a fabulous idea! Continue reading
Life lessons from a dog, you wonder?? Yes, absolutely.
Here are a few of my favorites: Continue reading
What could be a better finish to our seasonal party than a shortcake with peak-of-season local berries? Since our party was in June, strawberries were just the ticket. It is August now and, at least here in Michigan, local strawberries have moved over to make room for our luscious blueberries and blackberries. No worries. You can use any seasonal berry or mix of berries in this easy dessert.
There are a number of reasons why this dessert is so easy for a party menu: Continue reading
This summer party was a group effort – a beautiful backyard provided by our hosts, menu by A Global Garnish and food/drink contributions from all attendees. Don’t confuse this group effort with a potluck, which has the emphasis on luck. If you’re lucky, a potluck party will have a good distribution of appetizers, main dishes and desserts as well as a mix of ingredients/flavors. But why leave all this to chance?? If you give out menu assignments, you KNOW the final meal will all come together. Further, you save your guests the trouble of wondering: “what should I make?”. Continue reading
Summer solstice – time to enjoy the glorious evening daylight, the early summer climate, lush gardens and early seasonal produce. Could there be a better time for an outdoor party? My clever friends thought not. Continue reading
Cooking lessons are so much fun. I still dust off some of my old lessons when asked or, occasionally, as donations to charity. So, when a friend asked to sell one of my lessons at a live charity auction, I was delighted. The lesson, “Stocks and the Five Mother Sauces”, was from my repertoire of tried and true lessons. I could teach it in my sleep. Piece of cake. Sure, I would be happy to donate the lesson.
Then came the surprise from the buyer: Continue reading
Three posts in one week – a first for me. Sorry I’m clogging your in-baskets, but I thought I would do my best to finish what I started before Thanksgiving.
This post will wrap up the key things you need to do a week (or a few days) ahead of your Thanksgiving dinner. Continue reading
Since I’m cooking two Thanksgiving dinners in two U.S. states this year, I am fully immersed in “do-ahead” mode. How else could I possibly manage??
Working through my list in Do-Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner (Part 1), I have made my turkey stock and gravy, asked friends to bring pies and ordered my turkey. Now is the time to make my favorite part: stuffing Continue reading