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Showing posts from 2011

WINE and CHEESE...HOOK ME UP MAGGIE!

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Maggie and Barney Treadway's inspiration for Wine & Cheese was their own riff off of the Parisian cafe experience. Lucky for Denver -- they hit their mark and then exceeded Paris in a spectacular way. Hey, I love Paris and rent apartments there for extended stays whenever I can, but I honestly have never come across an establishment like this in the City of Light.

Maggie's extraordinary palette makes every single plate that comes out of her kitchen something to savor. She's your personal cheese guru so you don't have to be intimidated by unfamiliar offerings because she's taken all of the guess work out... every single cheese is delicious. It's true that Murray's Cheese Shop on Bleeker in Greenwich Village is my personal Toys 'R Us and my husband calls them when I'm not answering my cell... but there have been times when I make a mistake and buy a cheese that is a bit off from the last batch that a dairy offered -- but when Maggie makes the selec…

EGGPLANT COMFORTER

I returned to Los Angeles from Greenwich Village NY and THE CUPBOARD was still staring me down. No prob. In LA we're experiencing "June gloom" which I love and makes me want to snuggle, curl up and be warm. I opened the cupboard and was confronted with a 24 oz can of whole tomatoes, a box of whole grain penne pasta and I immediately thought of a cozy night in front of the TV with Hudson and seconds or third helpings that are guilt free because they contain fresh vegetables. See? Virtuous. Follow my logic

Hudson had gone to the neighborhood farmer's market and gotten ripe tomatoes, fresh garlic (so fresh the skin hasn't become paper), onion, and a lovely eggplant. OMG! This is cupboard recipe is going to be SO GOOD!

EGGPLANT COMFORTER

24 OZ CAN WHOLE TOMATOES with juice
1 lb WHOLE WHEAT PENNE PASTA, cooked 3 min before al dente
1 head of garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 med eggplant, cubed
6 small fresh tomatoes, blended
1 TBSP olive oil
5 oz Regiano Parmiggiano grated
Sal…

RALPHAEL'S PIZZA CHILI

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Tonight I had like 8 minutes to jump into the challenge to feed Hudson and his staff working long hours in our home office. I squared my shoulders, put my arms straight up overhead, bent my knees slightly and dove head first into The Cupboard. LA is enjoying June Gloom now that it's June 1st, we call all cool days that. I figured that something hearty would be appreciated. I sprang out of the 5 walls of the cupboard with a jar of Ralph's Pizza Sauce (grabbed that for pizza night months ago but Hudson turned his nose up at it), a can of white Kidney beans and a small can of corn, red pepper and jalepeno. Why not transform the pizza sauce with chili spices?

Why not indeed. I can make chili with cut-rate jarred pizza sauce and Hudson won't know better. I'll make Ralph's brand name sound Mexican and everyone will salute me for the great ''South of the Border" meal.

Ralphael's Pizza Chili
11 oz can Corn, Red Pepper, Jalepeno
14 oz jar Ralph's Pizza Sauc…

NAUGHTY BEANS

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I've been craving comfort food all day. You know, one of those days when I wanted mac & cheese for breakfast, mashed potatoes and gravy for lunch and a nap. For tonight's Whatcha Got challenge my eyes went right to the can of black beans in the cupboard and I'm very excited about dinner. MMMM. I rooched around and found the packet of McCormick's Cheesy Taco seasoning mix. I used a teaspoon to flavor a Tex-Mex casserole that I invented a few months ago. I picture the McCormick test kitchen when their spice team came up with this stuff.

Chef: I think we could make our taco seasoning even more naughty
Scientist: Roger that. I've been working on a powder that tastes like Mexican queso on steroids.
Chef: Great. Let's mix it with our taco seasoning and get to work.
Scientist: Go easy with this queso flavoring, it's no joke.
Chef: Nah, I think death by queso and cumin isn't something our corporate lawyers can't handle

And then they lost their minds and went …

A SOUP YOU'D CONVERT FOR?

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Tonight, staring into my cupboard I remembered the day that I walked down the soup aisle at Ralph's and thought: "Hey, soup is a feel-good food and I can add soup to our evening meals. A soup starter would be a really civilized way to begin dinner and we'll feel good!"

So while I attack the What Cha Got challenge like Rambo, I eyed the partially used dry soup packets and made my move.

HEY I'M LUTHERAN SOUP
1/2 package Bear Creek Tortilla soup mix (0g trans fat! someone high five me!)
1/2 package Bear Creek Hot & Sour soup mix (0g trans fats, don't leave me hangin!)
1/2 Mishima Hot & Sour soup mix (no idea where I got this, might have been in a ramen package, but 'all natural' do I get points?)
1 package Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix
2 eggs
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Would any self-respecting Jewish person drop matzo balls into a melange of tortilla and hot/sour soup? I can assure you that I wouldn't know, but my Jewish friends are really cool so I'll a…

TAMALE PIE

Nothing could be quite so white trash as Frito pie, but I don't have any Fritos, so I didn't go all the way to the depths that I could have. However, I have 5 boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix. Here's what I whipped up for dinner last night out of the cupboard:

Tamale Pie
1 can Pinto Beans
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 Tbsp barbecue sauce
1/3 cup Parmelat milk (I keep it for guests)
1 Jalepeno (sliced)
1 Thai Bird Chile (minced)
1 egg
4 handfulls of frozen roasted corn
1 handfull sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 Morningstar breakfast veggie sausage patty, chopped

I pre-heated the oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl I mixed the beans, chiles, barbecue sauce, faux sausage patty, and corn, then dumped that into a baking dish. In the same bowl (why make more work for Hudson who does all the dishes) mixed muffin mix, egg, milk. Dumped that over the corn & bean mixture. Whacked the dish into the oven for 20 minutes, tested to see that the corn topping was baked, then sprinkled the cheese on top a…

WATCHA GOT?

Last Friday we had the exterminators spray our entire home. I get up very early in the morning for work and napping is one of my greatest pleasures so I pushed past the workers as they left and crawled into bed to sleep for 45 minutes. I woke up and my tongue was numb (it's since revived) and Hudson was staring at me in an accusatory fashion.

"Hey. I need my rest."
"Do you really know what's in our cupboards?"

I was only slightly defensive in my response. "Of course I know. I mean, I bought it didn't I?"
"How many cans of smoked oysters do you need -- cuz you know I'm not going to eat them."
"Depends, if I'm watching a good movie and I have pickled onions, 2 cans easy."

He grimaced and then challenged me. "Ivy, before you buy another canned or boxed grocery, use everything in this cupboard."

I was not the least intimidated and waved him off, "No problem."

So here is the challenge as I understand it: I ge…