Well it’s already that time of year, and as per usual it snuck up on me….again. Since catering is my full-time job, this time of year always goes by way too quickly because of the ridiculous amount of holiday parties we cater at work. This year was a little strange because all of our clients packed their parties into a 2 week period. Since Thanksgiving was early this year, the weekend of December 1st was just too early I guess for people to start thinking about spreading their Holiday cheer. So the last couple weeks were hectic, with everyone wanting their event on the same days. I think one day we had food for 5 parties all leaving between Noon and 4pm. With a couple 14 hour days under my belt, cooking at home was sporadic at best. I love to bake holiday cookies and desserts though, and tried to take advantage of the little time I had (this of course was between holiday shopping, wrapping, nursery decorating, etc.). Continue reading
In my last post (about shrimp tacos) I was complaining that the cold weather needed to make its exit because I was ready for warmer temperatures. But now I am trying to preserve Winter? Don’t get me wrong, I am still ready for Spring to be here, but I thought I would embrace the last couple weeks of Winter by saving the best fruit of the season and turning them into a marmalade.
Yep, that’s right. Pistachio nuts have their very own day of celebration. Every year on February 26th we are supposed to rejoice in the pistachio (and my mother-in-law – she is lucky enough to share her birthday with the pistachio – Happy Birthday Susan!). For some reason I don’t find many reasons to use pistachios on a daily basis, and I rarely have them in my kitchen. To honor this 9000 year old nut, I bought a pound last time I was at the store. I wasn’t sure what I was going to use them for right away, but I knew I wanted to use them with these awesome Tahoe Gold Mandarin Oranges. I thought it would be a great flavor combination since pistachios and mandarins are both prolific in the Mediterranean. Continue reading
The company I cater for is lucky because we get to do all the catering for the local art museum. A new exhibit just came to town that highlights the Art Deco movement of the 1920’s. The premier event was last night, and we did a seated dinner for 200 guests. These events are always fun because the menu is in the style of the exhibit. Since the Art Deco movement started in Paris, the food we made had french flair but was still seasonal. We also added some modern touches to the classics. The passed apps included foie gras mousse in puff pastry with a port wine gelee, beet and goat cheese napoleon with a mandarin reduction, and a seared scallop tostada. Continue reading
Citrus! I know the market seems a little dull at the moment with all the root vegetables, hard squashes, and dried peppers and beans. But don’t fret, you can still get your fresh fruit fix in with oranges, grapefruits, pomelos, limes, blood oranges, and tangerines. My favorite at the moment? The cara cara orange. It’s a red fleshed naval orange that is super sweet and juicy. I just picked up some organic ones at Whole Foods for $1.99/lb. They are great by themselves, but I have also been throwing them on salads or in my yogurt. And did I mention they are seedless?