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Cranberry Sauce…Finally!

25 Nov

My reliable cranberry recipe…finally got it after many sorry attempts that my family never even knew about!

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I have never posted a cranberry sauce recipe before because frankly every time I tried I ended up with a lip-puckering nasty gloopy mess and we’ve just used lingonberry jam from IKEA instead.

A happy surprise for the table A happy surprise for the table

So this year, I did not even tell my family I’d bought cranberries! I told no one that I was going to attempt it again. I just put it together surreptitiously on the day, figuring that if I failed yet again, no one would be the wiser. And wouldn’t you know, it came out deliciously — just the right tartness and sweetness, beautiful color and rich texture. It was great on the turkey and the ham, and even on bread! I have visions of using it on duck or venison one day…(Mad Dog? Are you there?)

I used a recipe from Simply Recipes (one of my go-to spots for solid…

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Beat the Heat with an Electric Kettle

20 Jul

It’s just a tiny help, but when it is really hot, like today in Downstate New York, and you’ve spent the whole day driving home from Upstate New York (we’re talking about nine hours with stops and traffic) so that even your eight-year-old agrees it’s too hot to cook and almost too hot to eat, well,  macaroni and cheese from a box (nominally organic, but I cannot fool even myself on how stupid that it is to think it is any better than Kraft) is a good option.

However boiling water is a hot operation, so I use the electric kettle to boil the water then transfer the water to a pot on the stove. Electric kettles are common in England (my dear friend and kitchen co-conspirator, Kate, turned me on to them) for tea and such and they generate a lot less heat than a stovetop kettle or pot. I also love that they turn off automatically when the water boils; in my current life full of distractions I often forget I’ve put water to boil, so it is much safer!

 

Electric kettles shut off automatically when the water boils, so they are safer than stovetop boiling!

Electric kettles shut off automatically when the water boils, so they are safer than stovetop boiling!

 

 

Setting the Global Table: NCC lecture series on food

20 Apr

Here’s what I’ve been doing while I have been away from you: organizing a speaker series on global food issues as co-chair of the International Education Committee’s Spring Speaker Series subcommittee at Nassau Community College. Which is to say, I have been super-busy and having loads of fun (but getting a bit anxious too).

The series is in full swing now, so here is the schedule (I’m afraid you missed the first day, but there are two more days of events). Featured speakers are my dear friend, Zarela Martinez, whose eponymous restaurant, PBS shows and excellent cookbooks have made her a James Beard Who’s Who honoree, and sustainable food activist and social entrepreneur Ellen Gustafson, who pioneered fashion to benefit the hungry with FEED bags, an idea she made successful with Lauren Bush. Ellen is a veteran TED lecturer…I am so excited!!!

ZarelaAcademic Senate’s International Education Committee

Spring Speaker Series

Setting the Global Table

April 20, 21 and 23, 2015

Subcommittee Co-Chairs:  Natalia de Cuba and Maryanne Kildare (LINCC)

 

Monday, April 20, 2015 – Tower 11

 

11:00-12:15
Can the Sweet Potato Save the World?
One million hectares of land worldwide are planted with potato varieties developed by or obtained through the International Potato Center whose mission is to work with partners to achieve food security, well-being, and gender equity for poor people in root and tuber farming and food systems in the developing world. Joel Ranck, head of the Communications and Public Affairs Department at the Peru-based International Potato Center will Skype in to the college to explain the role of his not-for-profit agency in defeating poverty and world hunger and answer questions on how scientific and genetic research can further these goals.
Moderated by Natalia de Cuba Romero (LINCC)
 
12:30-1:45
The Effects of Climate Change on Food: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Professor Carolyn Monastra will be using photographs and stories from her project The WItness Tree in a discussion about the effects of climate change on global food production. The negative impacts of extreme storms, sea level rise, drought, water rights, and global land grabs will be discussed along with positive solutions like permaculture, WOOFING, CSAs, and food-coops.
Presented by Carolyn Monastra (Art)

 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – CCB 252-53
9:45-11:15
What We Eat and What It Means: The Global Food Traditions of NCC students (Plus: LINCC students share their top picks for the Long Island and NYC restaurants which serve their national cuisine)
LINCC Student panel, coordinated and moderated by Maryanne Kildare (LINCC)

 

11:30-12:45
FEATURED GUEST SPEAKER
Zarela Martinez Talks Mexican Food and Culture: The James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage honoree, PBS food personality, cookbook author, historian and restaurateur who pioneered real Mexican cuisine in New York discusses her career, her journeys and her varied national cuisine.
Zarela Martinez’ appearance is sponsored by The NCC Foundation and The Latin American Studies Project

 

2:30-3:45
FEATURED GUEST SPEAKER

Zarela Martinez returns to discuss Latino-Americans: Re-branding Ourselves in the New U.S. Landscape, covering career and business outlooks for Latino entrepreneurs and those who want to understand the growing Latino market.
Zarela Martinez’ appearance is sponsored by The NCC Foundation and The Latin American Studies Project
 
4:00-5:15
The Sacred Morsel: Sanctity and Ritual in Cultural Foodways
NCC students present their exploration and research into the many ways different cultures and religions find spiritual nourishment through food.
Panel coordinated and moderated by Linda Hittleman (Hospitality)

 

 

Thursday, April 23, 2015 – Tower 11
  9:45-11:15
FEATURED GUEST SPEAKER

Obesity and World Hunger: Two Sides of the Same Global Problem
Ellen Gustafson is a sustainable food system activist, author, innovator and social entrepreneur. Her first book, “We the Eaters: If We Change Dinner, We Can Change the World” was published by Rodale Press in May 2014. She is the Co-Founder of Food Tank: the Food Think Tank, with Danielle Nierenberg. She is also founder of a small sustainable home goods company called the Apron Project. Before the launch of Food Tank, Ellen founded the 30 Project, a campaign that has helped to change the conversation about the global food system by connecting hunger and obesity. She is also the creator of the ChangeDinner campaign and HealthClass2.0, which are helping individuals change the food system at dinner tables and in schools.
This lecture is sponsored by the Student Activities Office
11:30-12:45
Global Agriculture – Challenges and Visions
The top problems for humanity for the next 50 years will be energy, water and food. Professor Birgit Woelker says agriculture and the way we produce food provides hope for a clean and sustainable future.
Presented by Birgit Woelker (Biology)

 

1:00-2:15
FEATURED GUEST SPEAKER
Social Entrepreneurship
Ellen Gustafson, veteran of three TED lectures and founder, with Lauren Bush, of the FEED bag project, returns in the afternoon for a second lecture, this time on Social Entrepreneurship.
This lecture is sponsored by the Student Activities Office
 
All programs are free and open to the public

Easter Meal – Shellfish, Lamb Chops, Asparagus, Brusssels Sprouts and More

5 Apr

Fast forward to 2015 and our Easter menu is very, very similar to this one from a couple of years ago….Happy Easter to all!

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While it is not set in stone, this is what we will most likely be eating tomorrow for the big Easter meal. We’ll start with shellfish (and Sauvignon Blanc for the growns, flavored seltzer for the kid), then simple lamb and vegetables (probably some couscous with pesto made by the little man as an additional side). We are off to the farm today, so I’ve run out of time…Happy Easter to all, if I don’t see you before then….lamb

Light Mediterranean-style clams

I like the way they turn frilly under the broiler!I like the way they turn frilly under the broiler!

 Crispy Beer-Battered Oysters

Fantastically crisp beer battered oysters Fantastically crisp beer battered oysters

Simple and Perfect Roasted Baby Lamb Chops

Beautiful (and fun for kids to grab and tear into)Beautiful (and fun for kids to grab and tear into)

Roasted Asparagus and Sweet Red Pepper Dipping Sauce

asparagus

Brussels Sprouts – Sauteed and Sassy

brussels sprouts

 Grilled Potato Disks (Like Fries, but grilled!)

Crispy on the outside, crunchy on the inside! Crispy on the outside, crunchy on the inside!

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Natural Easter Egg Coloring Update: How-To, Cheap Tricks…Canned Beets?

29 Mar

This reblog comes because we’ll be doing our eggs tomorrow…and and testing a few new vegetable colorants. Expect a fresh post with even more natural coloring options soon!

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We colored our Easter eggs the natural way again this year and learned a few things we want to share with you! In this post you will find the basic how-to for red-pink, yellow, and violet blue and you can make your own color blends from there, plus get some ideas for making it easier and more decorative.

2014-04-15 Easter eggsAnd we’ll answer the question: Can I use the juice from canned beets?

We got some interesting colors and cool effects! We got some interesting colors and cool effects!

Click here for the original post from last year or just follow these simple instructions. Scroll past the recipe for more ideas, advice and suggestions!

DO wear an apron! DO wear an apron!

Coloring Easter Eggs the Natural Way

1 dozen hard-boiled eggs, cooled (make patterns with crayons or wax pencils before dipping)

Three pots, each filled with 2 Cups water

HOT PINK – 1 large beet, chopped (peel can stay on)

YELLOW 2 Tbs…

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Filete de pescado entomatado (Fish filets in spicy creole sauce!)

20 Mar

Tonight’s choice for Lenten dinner…easy and bold in flavor!

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In the supermarket the other day, Leandro asked for fish for lunch. This is not in itself odd…everyone in this family is island-born somehow, we all love fish, and he is a huge fan of River Monsters on Animal Planet (which I strongly encourage, because I think Jeremy – the mad fisherman — is quite hot and much better to watch with my son than Diego the animal rescuer – why, why, why do he and his bloody cousin, Dora the Explorer, have to shout everything they say? –  or Phineas and Ferb – who are quite sweet, but not nearly as compelling as flesh and blood Jeremy and his sunburnt, craggy-faced, understated British delivery, rod-wielding self ).

So I picked up some wild caught tilapia to accommodate him, and because I suddenly got a strong craving (antojo) for fish in salsa criolla.

Fortunately, I had all…

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The Best Ever Slow Cooker Beef Stew

16 Mar

Why the reblog: In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I am making this beef stew in the slow cooker….It is easy to do and I have prepared it until the broth and slowcooker stage. I will “set it and forget it” tomorrow morning when I leave for work….

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I’ll tell you more about the party I made this large amount of Beef Stew for, but I can’t tell you right now, because I am still recovering from the fun and therefore just going to do a workmanlike job on this post…can’t manage much more…

Brown those veggies...I don't even like celery, but this worked beautifully! Brown those veggies…I don’t even like celery, but this worked beautifully!

(…let me tell you that getting the little man to soccer at 9 a.m. this morning was a testament to a mother’s love. Actually two mothers’ and one dad’s love, as right there beside me this morning were two of last night’s guests cheering on their kid in the freezing cold! We came home and ate this for leftovers!) 

Don't skip the browning of meat and veggies...it really draws out sweetness and adds complexity Don’t skip the browning of meat and veggies…it really draws out sweetness and adds complexity

But for now, all you need to know about the party is that the theme was Anglo-Irish (Think…

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HELP ME WIN an EDDY AWARD! Vote now….

14 Mar

This is the LAST DAY TO VOTE! Let’s make one final push to make sure I win this one. THANK YOU for your support!

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Edible Feast has chosen my piece on Cameron Prather’s Watermelon Mojito Recipe

as a finalist for the EDDY Awards in the DRINK category!

Please vote for us (and photographer Doug Young)  by clicking here. Thank you and ¡SALUD!

Doug’s gorgeous photo….

!

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KID in the KITCHEN: Wild (Center) Whole Wheat Pancakes

3 Mar

National pancake day….

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(Reminder: I am a FINALIST for an EDDY Award! You canvote for my Edible Long Island piece on WatermelonMojitos  every day until March 15, 2015. As always, I deeply appreciate your support!) 

If you Google National Pancake Day, you will find a variety of dates, from September to Shrove Tuesday (before Lent) to this coming Tuesday, March 3, as declared by IHOP (International House of Pancakes). So I hereby declare that Natalia National Pancake Day shall be any day that I don’t have to be up at 5:30 a.m. and out by 7 for work and that my son wants to make them and I have the ingredients.

Yes, it is many degrees below zero and we are on a ski lift...am I smiling or grimacing? Yes, it is many degrees below zero and we are on a ski lift…am I smiling or grimacing?

Those stars aligned during the recent winter break from school. We spent the first part of the break with dear…

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Easy Steamed Clams for Me – Easy Linguine with Clam Sauce for the Kid

20 Feb

Fish on Friday? Try this quick linguine with clam sauce recipe that lets you serve kid and adult variations without ay extra steps!

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The problem:  I want steamed clams. My dad wants steamed clams. My son won’t eat them. Nor will my mom. I don’t want to cook two meals, because as much as I like to cook, this is not a bloody restaurant.

Cherrystones Cherrystones

The solution: Both my son and my mom will eat pasta with seafood flavor. So I steam the clams in a nice cooking liquid, remove the offending shells and shellfish for me and my dad, then plump up the liquid into a delicious pasta sauce for the other two.

yum, clams yum, clams

And so, we had a lovely casual dinner on the deck, with the remainder of the bottle of white wine, everyone enjoying the arrival of spring (and celebrating the absence of the mosquitoes that have been effing up our summer nights for the last few years).

linguine and clams linguine and clams (these clams were removed immediately after the picture…

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