Someone's In The Kitchen With Moozie

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Sponsorships Closing

Frykitty tells us that official sponsorship is closing at 9PM Pacific/Midnight Eastern tonight. You'll receive your reminder notice in the next day or two with a link to the National Kidney Foundation's donation page. Instructions will be in the reminder note.

Current standing is $1730.00!

If you would still like to sponsor after the offical close, you can still do so. Simply go to the NKF's donation page, and send a screenshot of your confirmation page to blogathon (at) missy-ga (dot) info. Don't forget - if you donate $50 or more, you'll get a .PDF of the whole blog, in publication order, so you can find the recipe you want quickly!

Thanks again to everyone who helped keep us awake and make Blogathon a roaring success.

See you next year!

--Moozie out.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Good morning, Sunshine!

Hey, look at that! We've come full circle. I did this for what, again now?

Oh yeah. The NKF.

The National Kidney Foundation provides education and outreach services for kidney patients, their families, living donors and transplantees. They also raise funds to help sponsor studies to search for cures to chronic kidney diseases.

It's an important mission - 1 in 9 Americans suffers from a chronic kidney disorder. Half of those people don't even know they're sick, and most - like David did - will only find out accidentally. The National Kidney Foundation works to raise awareness of kidney disorders and encourages the public to talk with their doctors about kidney disorders so they may be caught and treated early, before irreversible damage is done.

Together, Dear Sponsors, we raised a grand total of $1671.90 for the NKF, to help them continue the search for better treatment alternatives, new research paths...and David's cure.

Each of you have my profound gratitude - for your pledges, for your commentary, for your belief that I would make it to the end of this thing. From the bottom of my very tired heart, I thank you.

I won't speak for David...but I'll bet he thanks you, too.

Big shout out to my Monitor, Kathy, and the rest of Team bSpies! You kicked ass! Thank you so much!

Moozie's Kitchen is now closed. Last one out, please shut off the lights and lock the door.

Good morning and good night, y'all.

More Administrivia

We're almost done here. The stove is off, the deep fryer well cooled, the coffee pot is set up, but not for me. The floor is swept and the sink scrubbed out, and now all that's left are a few odds and ends.

Sponsorships will be open for AT LEAST the next 48 hours, so if you haven't sponsored yet but want to, you still have time.

Sponsors who pledged $50 or more will receive a copy of the entire blog in .PDF format on Friday. No, not earlier, I'm sleeping Sunday and then there's this work thing I have to do.

Someone's In The Kitchen With Moozie will remain up indefinitely. At some point in the next week or so, I will turn comments off to fend off spam. If you have a question about sponsorship or recipes posted here, and this is after comments have been turned off, you can send me an e-mail at blogathon (at) missy-ga (dot) info

Eggs Benedict

4 egg yolks
3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pinch ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 cup butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 eggs
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
8 strips Canadian-style bacon
4 English muffins, split
2 tablespoons butter, softened

To Make Hollandaise: Fill the bottom of a double boiler part-way with water. Make sure that water does not touch the top pan. Bring water to a gentle simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon water.

Add the melted butter to egg yolk mixture 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time while whisking yolks constantly. If hollandaise begins to get too thick, add a teaspoon or two of hot water. Continue whisking until all butter is incorporated. Whisk in salt, then remove from heat. Place a lid on pan to keep sauce warm.

Preheat oven on broiler setting. To Poach Eggs: Fill a large saucepan with 3 inches of water. Bring water to a gentle simmer, then add vinegar. Carefully break eggs into simmering water, and allow to cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Yolks should still be soft in center. Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon and set on a warm plate

While eggs are poaching, brown the bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and toast the English muffins on a baking sheet under the broiler.

Spread toasted muffins with softened butter, and top each one with a slice of bacon, followed by one poached egg. Place 2 muffins on each plate and drizzle with hollandaise sauce. Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve immediately.

Creme Brulee French Toast

The sun is up, it's time for breakfast! I have completely lost track of the number of Socials I've prepared this for, after snatching it from Epicurious in '99 or so.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
6 (1 inch thick) slices French bread
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon brandy-based orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Mix in brown sugar and corn syrup, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Remove crusts from bread, and arrange in the baking dish in a single layer. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla extract, orange brandy, and salt. Pour over the bread. Cover, and chill at least 8 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the dish from the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature.

Bake uncovered 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until puffed and lightly browned.


I still want sushi, but it never hurts to look at chocolate!

Is it my birthday yet?

Chocolate crepes!

Puppy pretending to be chocolate.


Is it very weird of me to be hungry for sushi at 6:30AM? I just feel like that would make my tummy happier. Well, that and some sleep...

Look what I found...

Elegant sushi.

Sushi pretending to be fast food.

Cupcakes pretending to be sushi.

Chocolate pretending to be sushi.

Picture time...

I think we've reached the picture portion of Blogathon 2006.

It's not that I've run out of recipes...I've got books and binders and recipe boxes and the whole Internet for all of that! - it's just...well, I've been up for way too long.

I'm feeling punchy and my stomach is unhappy and it's just so damned hard to be coherent at this hour. There may be another recipe or two before we close this out and finally go to bed, but it's getting hard to spell and I'd rather not expose anyone to what might appear to be the deranged witterings of a drunken monkey with Internet access.


Maybe I should go have a banana and think about this a little more.


Years ago, when I lived in Germany, my host mothers used to make this dessert. I've prepared several variations of it myself over the years, including as a cheesecake, but I think I still like the traditional Schwarzwälderkirschtorte the best.

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup kirschwasser
1/2 cup butter
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon strong brewed coffee
2 (14 ounce) cans pitted Bing cherries, drained

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon kirschwasser
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottoms of two 8 inch round pans with parchment paper circles. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until combined. Pour into 2 round 8 inch pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool completely. Remove paper from the cakes. Cut each layer in half, horizontally, making 4 layers total. Sprinkle layers with the 1/2 cup kirshwasser.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar, pinch of salt, and coffee; beat until smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add a couple teaspoons of cherry juice or milk. Spread first layer of cake with 1/3 of the filling. Top with 1/3 of the cherries. Repeat with the remaining layers.

In a separate bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon kirshwasser. Frost top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with chocolate curls made by using a potato peeler on semisweet baking chocolate.

Dude, you are SO fired.

We seem to have lost a sous.

Gadabout kids, sleeping on the job...

Andalusian Gazpacho

Over Memorial Day weekend, David and I spent a lot of time out in Kenn's neighborhood, looking for places to have a snack. He has to eat a lot more often than he used to, which is great overall, since he always ate sparingly before, but is also disconcerting, because...well, he ate so sparingly before!

We've always taken a certain pleasure in sharing meals together, though, and were deighted to find a little cafe called Bittersweet. In addition to pastries and coffee, Bittersweet served light lunches, and the day we were there, Gazpacho was on the menu. This one gets pretty close to theirs.

1/2 pound tomatoes (about 2 or 3 medium)
1 cup onions, chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 medium bell pepper, seeds removed
5 ounces pimiento
14-ounce can tomato juice
1 clove garlic
2 tsp olive oil
2 or 3 slices of bread, cubed
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp tabasco sauce
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp chives, chopped

In an electric blender or food processor, combine half each of the tomatoes, onions, cucumber, bell pepper, and pimiento with enough of the tomato juice to facilitate blending.

Blend covered at high speed for at least 30 seconds to thoroughly purée the raw vegetables.In a large mixing bowl, combine the puréed vegetables with the remaining tomato juice and chill for at least 2 hours. You may also elect to chill the serving bowls at this time.

Meanwhile, rub the interior of a skillet with the clove of garlic, and add the olive oil. In the skillet, sauté the bread cubes over medium heat until golden brown. Set aside until serving time.

Chop the remaining tomatoes, onions, cucumber, bell pepper, and pimiento, and combine in a small mixing bowl while adding the red wine vinegar, Tobasco sauce, salt, and pepper.

Thoroughly combine all ingredients and marinate at room temperature until serving time; or refrigerate if you won't be serving the gazpacho within an hour.

To serve, place equal portions of the gazpacho in the chilled soup bowls. Add about 2 tablespoons of the marinated vegetable mixture to the center of each serving. Sprinkle with the chopped chives, and garnish with a few of the toasted bread cubes.

Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi

I made this at New Year's for some folks who weren't able to eat the main course, and it went over very well. It ended up being way more popular than I had anticipated!

4 slices white bread
1/2 cup milk
1 pound frozen spinach, thawed, with the water squeezed out
8 ounces ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 ounces grated Parmesan
1/4 cup flour

Garlic Butter Sauce:

3 1/2 ounces butter
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 tbs chopped fresh basil
1 ripe tomato, diced

Remove the crusts from the bread and soak in the milk in a shallow dish for ten minutes. Squeeze out excess milk from the bread. Place the bread, spinach, ricotta, eggs and Parmesan in a bowl. Mix well, cover, refrigerate for an hour.

Fold flour in well. Dust your hands with flour and roll heaping teaspoons of the mixture into dumplings. Drop them gently into boiling, salted water in small batches, and cook for about 2 minutes or until the gnocchi float.

For the sauce, combine all ingredients and cook over medium heat until the butter is a nut brown color.

Daikon and Carrot Salad

8 inch piece of daikon
2 large carrots
1 tsp salt
3 tbs caster sugar
4 1/2 tbs rice vinegar
1 tbs sesame seeds

Cut the daikon into 3 pieces. Peel the skin off. Peel the carrots, then cut them into 2 inch pieces. Slice both vegetable lengthwise, then crosswise to make thin matchsticks. Alternatively, you can use a grater or a mandoline

Place the vegetables in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, mix well with your hands, and leave for 30 minutes. Drain the vegetables well, squeezing excess water gently out with your hands.

Mix the sugar and rice vinegar together in a bowl, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the vegetables, stir well, and refrigerate overnight, stirring at least twice prior to serving.

I must confess...

I would leave my family behind in a heartbeat to wander around and eat all over the world with Anthony Bourdain.

This is not to say that I would abandon my beloved geeky Alton for the Bad Boy of Food...but I'd definitely step out on him for a while. And really, who wouldn't?

I love this guy, hard drinking, cigarette smoking, utter vulgarity and all. I love that he not only can use the word "fuck" on every third page of his cookbook and get away with it, he can use the introduction of every recipe to take the piss out of some snotty Thomas Keller wannabe who has either forgotten or who has chosen to pretend otherwise that cooking professionally is a hard, dirty, exhausting thing, and your pretty little CIA cert. doesn't mean all that much if you're not willing to get your hands (and likely every other part of you) dirty to get the job done.

Tony Bourdain is the cook's cook. He doesn't shiny it up and make the restaurant life sound exciting and glamourous. I'm a ten year veteran of That Life, so I appreciate his no-bullshit, no band, no glitter approach.

These are the things I'm noticing, flipping through recipes to share with y'all at 3AM.

By Request: Two Berry Cobbler

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 1/2 cups halved strawberries
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk

Melt butter in a shallow 8-inch square baking dish in a 350F oven

Combine blueberries and strawberries in a bowl; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar, lemon rind, and, if desired, cardamom. Toss to coat.

Stir together remaining 1 cup sugar, walnuts, flour, and baking powder. Add milk, stirring until blended. Pour into baking dish; spoon berry mixture with juice into center of batter. (Do not stir.) Bake at 350F for 40 to 45 minutes.

Sesame Beef with Bamboo Shoots

I miss going to the Saigon Bistro. I believe I shall kick and scream on Monday until I get to go. When I get there, I'm probbaly going to have this.

3 tbs oil
12 oz. thinly sliced beef sirloin
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 spring onions, cut into 1 inch lengths
8 oz. bamboo shoots, thinly sliced
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs oyster sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons sesame seeds, dry roasted

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Stir fry the beef until it changes color. Remove beef from pan, set aside. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, stir fry the garlic, spring onions and bamboo shoots for 2 -3 minutes. Add the fish sauce, oyster sauce, salt and pepper, then return the beef to the pan. Stir fry for another 3 minutes or so, until beef is cooked and tender. Serve with steamed rice.

The best thing about this dish? It's super quick - just 20 minutes from prep to table!

Mocha Java Milkshake

I need...caffeine...and sugar.

Time to fish out the blender!

2 cups cold milk
1 cup cold strong coffee
4 - 5 scoops vanilla ice cream (hey, didn't we make that at the beginning of the Blogathon?)
4 tbs Hershey's Special Dark syrup

Blend on high until smooth. If you like it thicker, add ice cream until it suits you.

Just for giggles, top with whipped cream and chocolate jimmies.

It occurs to me that if I actually MAKE this thing, someone is going to have to come over and scrape me off the ceiling so I can keep my posting schedule!

It's1AM. Do you know where your cookies are?

Raw Chrusciki

Into the hot oil bath...

Out to drain...

All dressed up with powdered sugar.

I cannot BELIEVE we're still cooking at 1AM!


Colleague Andy Czernek sent along a recipe for Chrusciki earlier this week - Polish bow tie cookies.

Alex and I have decided that these would be our last Real Time Cooking dish of the Blogathon. At some point, we do need to get the kitchen at least half-assed recovered!

Andy nabbed the recipe from Martha Stewart (who knows whose sweet Busia that tired old hag stole it from!), I cut it in half, because no WAY are we eating 7 dozen cookies any time soon:

1/2 tbs unsalted butter
1 large egg
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pure orange extract
1/2 tsp pure lemon extract
1/2 pure vanilla extract
1/2 distilled white vinegar
1/2 tablespoon rum
1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp grated orange zest
1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
Pure vegetable shortening, for deep-frying
Sifted confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling

Melt butter, and combine with eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar, salt, extracts, vinegar, rum, and sour cream in a large, heavy mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium-high until lemon colored. Add citrus zests. Gradually add enough flour to produce a fairly stiff dough. Turn out onto a floured board, and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, adding flour if necessary, until dough blisters, becomes elastic, and can be handled easily. Cut dough in half, and wrap one half with plastic wrap; reserve at room temperature.

Roll half of dough very, very thin, and cut into strips about 4 inches long and 1 1/4 inches wide. Cut the ends on a diagonal. Slit each piece in the center, and pull one end through the slit. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and cover with a towel to keep moist. Repeat with other half of dough.

Heat shortening in a cast-iron frying pan to 375F, and fry the dough strips, a few at a time until lightly browned, about 1 minute, turning once with a long fork or tongs.

Drain chrusciki on brown paper bags; transfer to a cooling rack, and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

The dough is still being kneaded.

Photos to follow!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Moozie's Kitchen... trashed, y'all. Like, a bomb hit it. A tornado wandered through (and stopped at the fridge on its way by).

Alex is commencing with the cleanup...but we do have one more treat in the works.

Yeah, we know. It's midnight, and sane people don't cook at midnight. But we never claimed to be sane - least of all Alex.

Even Jack is having a midnight snack and going to bed...

...and Bailey has decided that now is as good a time as any for a nap.

...but we still have more.

Stick around.

Hey Laura?

How's this for a cake?

Over in the Blogathon forum, HellKitten, who is blogging for the Canadian Cancer Society, posted a super cool cake recipe. Go on over and say hello!

This is apparently her great-grandmother's recipe, and does it ever sound tasty!

I absolutely MUST make this cake this week!

Maple-Brown Sugar Cake

Brown Sugar Cake:
1/2 cup marg. or mazola oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla or Mapeline (mapeline is best)
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk

Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg. Sift in flour.
Add baking powder and salt alternating with milk.
Bake at 325 for 40 minutes.

Icing for Brown sugar cake:

1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp milk
a few drops of Mapleine

No, I'd never heard of Mapleine either, but I went looking for it and found it here

Dear gods, I want cake now. Because I haven't been eating all day. Not at all.

By Request: Peanut Butter...Pie!

Paula Deen's Peanut Butter Pie makes me so very happy!

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 graham cracker crust, store-bought or premade

Whip cream with 1/4 cup sugar. Mix all other ingredients until smooth and fold in whipped cream until well blended. Pour mixture into a graham cracker crust and chill for several hours before serving.

It's rich, but not over the top, and tastes fandamntabulous with a little Hershey's Special Dark syrup drizzled over it.

By Request: Salsa

Two for Tiffani, both nabbed from a Mexican themed online gift shop I stumbled on while working:

Two Tomato Salsa

2 cup diced unpeeled plum tomato
1 cup unpeeled green tomato
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper.
1/4 cup chopped purple onion.
1 tbs finely chop jalapeno pepper
1 tbs finely chop fresh cilantro
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt.
1/8 tsp coarsely ground pepper.
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir well.

Mango Salsa

1 large mango, peeled and cubed (small cubes)
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 tbs fresh basil, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbs red wine vinegar
3 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (skip this if peppers aren't your thing.

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well.
Let stand at room temperature half hour before serving or refrigerate up to 24 hours. Use it quickly, this does not keep well and will go over fast.

(Note to Monitors: This entry was deleted and reposted due to technical difficulties.)

Smile and say CHEESE!

Tecumseh, MI, that little place up North I visit every week, is the home of one of my favorite food shops ever - The Boulevard Market on East Chicago Boulevard at the corner of Evans Street.

Owned and operated by Erika and John Aylward, with frequent appearances by daughters Gina, Julia and Jamie, the Boulevard is another one of those lovely, rare places where when you walk in the door, you're family.

You can't beat the place for fun. I love that I can walk in, snuggle a handsome man and a beautiful woman, then ask "What's new?", and end up well fed. Erika and John know their cheeses, and the shop is crammed to bursting with things to complement their cheeses - fine wines, interesting beers (Mocha Java Stout!), cheese knives, chocolates, good bread, sausages, fancy crackers - even a wide array of sea salts and spices. And walking in on Truck Day?

"Hey Maggie! Look at this cool new cheese we just got! Wanna try it?"

These people have parted me from so much money with that one sentence. They know my tastes and are always introducing me to new yummies and re-introducing me to old favorites. Samples? Sure. Try before you buy, and you don't even have to ask.

These are a few of the cheeses I've grown to love:

P'tit Basque - French (Pyrenees) - Sheep's milk. The texture of this handmade cheese is very firm, with a rich, extremely nutty flavor. It slices extremely well, and would be a wonderful complement to a thick, fat burger. It's also just heavenly on its own.

Idiazabal - Spanish - Sheep's milk. Hard, dry, but not crumbly. Rich, full body with a hint of smokiness. The texture is similar to Parmesan, but more velvety.

Murcia Al Vino (Al Vino Drunken Goat) - Spanish - Goat's milk. Semi-firm. This cheese is soaked in Burgundy wine during the ripening process, lending it a faintly pink tint closest to the rind. When served cold, the wine is sharply noticeable, but as the cheese comes to room temperature, the texture becomes more buttery and the sharp bite of the wine is replaced by a smooth, mellow hint of it. Wonderful alone, but even better with a whole wheat cracker.

Manchego - Spanish (La Mancha) - Raw sheep's milk. Hard. In spite of Manchego's hardness, the texture is smooth, not at all grainy. It tastes faintly of salted walnuts, and has a strong, salty afterbite.

Cantal fermier -- French - Raw cow's milk. Semi-hard, creamy, with a buttery taste and texture. This stuff just melts on the tongue.

Humboldt Fog -- American (McKinleyville, California) - Goat's milk and culinary ash. This cheese comes in tiny little wheels of a pound each, and is a modern cheese. It's only been around for about 6 years. The texture immediately under the (edible) rind is a bit soft, like cream-cheese, giving way to a firmer texture inside. Like Morbier, there is a line of culinary ash in the center, giving the mildly sharp cheese a slightly smoky finish.

Reblochon -- French - Raw cow's milk. Semi-soft, golden yellow and smelling faintly of freshly baked bread, this cheese has a smooth texture and a sweet, nutty flavor.

These are just some of the cheeses I've grown to love in the past year and a half, and I'm always looking forward to the newest additions.


My back hurts after cooking for the better part of 12 hours, and I could really use a bit of booze.

Booze, alas, makes me verrrrrry relaxed, and that's probably not the best thing for me to be for at least another 12 hours.

In the meantime, I'm dreaming of Mojitos:

3 oz light rum (Bacardi Silver is nice)
Juice of 1 lime (Fresh lime, please!)
2 tsp sugar
3 sprigs of fresh mint
1 sprig of fresh Stevia (a sweet herb)
Soda water

Toss the mint, stevia, and sugar into a mixing glass with a splash of the soda water. Gently muddle them until the sugar is dissolved and you can smell the mint. Make sure the mint is well bruised.

Add the lime juice and the rum, shake well with ice, strain and serve over cracked ice. Garnish with mint and lime.

Or you could do it the way Stina and I do: muddle a handful of mint and some sugar in the bottom of a pitcher. Wedge up some limes, squeeze them into the pitcher, then toss the limes in. Throw in a handful of cracked ice, pour in about 1/2 a pitcher of rum and 1/4 pitcher of soda water. Stir well. Sit in the back yard and drink until the pitcher is gone.

Repeat as needed! (It's 87 degrees in Toledo at 9:30PM. I expect we'd need to repeat it a lot!)

There is much to be said for a late supper...

A starter of Garlic Soup...
A salad of Red Oak leaf lettuce and Pineapple tomatoes from my garden...
Grilled chicken breasts with an AMAZING Gingered Mango-Habanero Sauce...
Sauteed zucchini from my garden...

A glass of Cherry wine...

Vanilla ice cream topped with still slightly warm Cherry Wine sauce...

No pictures...the camera batteries are recharging, as are my own.

We're halfway home.

Alex and I still have one more cooking trick up our sleeves, but we need to rest our feet and backs for a little while. Stick around...we still have plenty of recipes and food talk, and recipe requests are still welcome.

Thanks once again to my fabulous sponsors, and don't forget that if you pledge $50 or more, you'll get a copy of all of the recipes in .PDF format on Friday.

Grilled Chicken Breasts in Gingered Mango-Habanero Sauce

I know it seems kind of late to be having supper, but the fact of the matter is that we've been eating all day. We've gt lots going on, and we'll have plenty of leftovers for grazing tomorrow ('cause we are going to be WAY too tired to cook!).

This is going to be the last of the Real Time Cooking dishes, with the possible exception of something sweet a little later tonight.

I've had some chicken breasts marinating in the Gingered Mango-Habanero Sauce for a while now. I expect they've picked up a nice bit of the flavor, now it's time to grill them.

I've got the grill on medium heat - gas, alas, as charcoal is just way too impractical for a blogging event!

Grill these about 4 minutes per side.

Time for supper, see you in a few!

Stuffed Rice Balls, Roman Style

I've been making these a lot lately. I got the original recipe from Mario Batali's Molto Italiano cookbook. In the meantime, I've messed with it (like that's any surprise), and have made several variations of them.

In some Tapas places, these are called Arancini.

Heat your deep fryer to 375F.

1/2 cup dried mushrooms, reconstituted and finely chopped
5 tbs olive oil (I used Zoe for this one, but I'm also fond of Bio Sitia)
5 tbs butter
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped finely
4 ounces crumbled bacon (or if you want to get fancy, prosciutto)
2 cups arborrio rice
2 large eggs
1/2 cup parsely, chopped
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (or a hard cheese of your choice. I used a well aged Leerdammer today)
1 pound Caciotta al Tartufo, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (this is a Tuscan truffled cheese. You can use mozzarella or provolone - smoked is nice!)

1 canister bread crumbs

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the olive oil and butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the arborrio, stir to coat, then add 4 cups of hot water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook until all the liquid is absorbed.

Turn the rice into a large bowl, allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then add the parsely, mushrooms, cheese and eggs.

Make egg shaped balls of the rice, tucking a cube of cheese inside and closing the rice over the cheese. Roll in bread crumbs, round out...

...and deep fry til browned.

Garlic Soup

Everyone yells for this soup every time I host a Social. It's been adapted from a recipe Kenn and I found on Epicurious 6 or 7 years ago - the photo on the left is two large heads of garlic, roasted.

2 heads of garlic, separated but not peeled
4 tbs olive oil

1/4 stick butter
1 large Vidalia onion, choarsely chopped
4 tbs chopped fresh thyme
1 head of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 quart chicken stock or broth
1 bottle crisp white wine (I like Pentamere's Celebration White)
1 pint whipping cream

finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 350F. Place unpeeled garlic cloves in small glass baking dish. Add olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cover and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Transfer cloves to small bowl.

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and thyme and cook until onions are soft and translucent. Add roasted garlic and raw garlic cloves and cook 3 minutes.

Add chicken stock; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, purée soup in blender or food processor until smooth. Return soup to pan, add cream and wine and bring to simmer. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes.

To serve, grate Parmesan cheese (or Piave Vecchio) into the bottom of the bowl. Ladle soup over, then squeeze a lemon wedge over the top. Awesome with crusty bread, a nice white wine and a salad, or a terrific starter course.