No Tricks, Just Treats: Caramel & Chocolate Apples

Drizzle close-up

In addition to cooking classes, I also offer in-home catering services through my business FOOD LOVE.  From intimate private dinners to large parties of 100 plus, I love this aspect of the business.  Instead of focusing on the intricacies of technique or rehashing the basics as I do in a cooking class, I get to test my skills and creativity as I develop a menu that is unique to the client and the event he or she is planning.

Granny Smith Apples

A couple of weeks ago, I had a party that I especially enjoyed catering.   There was no special occasion, just a desire to break-in a new home, celebrate fall, and watch football with friends.  While I loved putting a more sophisticated spin on tailgating favorites such as nachos, hot wings, and pulled pork sliders it was the desserts that really got me excited.

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On TV: Pork Shoulder with Root Vegetable Stew

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I posted this recipe on Minced about a year ago, but enjoyed digging it out again for a spot on Charlotte Today this morning.  Made from humble ingredients, a long cooking time transforms this stew into something that is anything but ordinary.  Enjoy!

Pan-Seared Black Bass over Black Lentils

Pan-Seared Black Sea Bass over Black Lentils

I grew up grouper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.  In search of the big one, we inevitably pulled up a lot of Rock Bass.   Members of the grouper family, these smaller fish, also known as Black Sea Bass, share a love of deep water and rocky habitats with the Red and Black Grouper we were seeking for our table.   After reeling up 80 feet of line, the sight of a Rock Bass and no bait meant this fish endured a lot of angry muttering as I slipped it off the hook and tossed it back into the sea.   Catching sometimes a dozen in one morning, we never kept a single one.

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On TV: Banh Mi Burgers

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Back in August, a visit to Charlotte by President Obama prevented me from sharing a particular banh mi recipe with you.  I still posted the recipe here, but the segment that got interrupted due to his visit didn’t air until September.

I thought now might be a good time to remind you to make this burger.   I’m thinking that breaking them out for a tailgate might make a lot of hungry fans very happy.

White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Cookies

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie

Have you ever wondered if your oven has hot spots? While I would never recommend sacrificing these cookies to the cause, cookies can be a great way to discover where the hot spots are in your oven.  I recommend buying a roll of refrigerated pre-made cookie dough from the grocery store.   Slice the cookies as desired and spread them over a baking sheet.  Bake, without rotating or switching racks, for the indicated time.  Pull the cookies out and see what cookies, on which part of the baking sheet, have browned more than others; those are your hot spots.

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Chicken Challenge Meal #5: BBQ Chicken Pizza

Ready to Eat

It’s the final meal of the Chicken Challenge.  If you’ve made it this far, I hope you are feeling quite pleased with yourself.  After all, you’ve taken one chicken and managed to feed you and someone else 4 meals.   You are a provider, a waster of nothing, and a person who is probably ready to eat something other than chicken.  But not yet…

BBQ Pizza
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Chicken Challenge Meal #4: Udon Noodle Bowl with Chicken, Greens and Egg

Printer Friendly Recipe

After the richness of last night’s chicken pot pie, this udon noodle bowl will be a refreshing, yet still filling, meal.  I love this combination of flavors, but be creative as there are so many ways you can change things up from using a noodle other than udon to adding different vegetables.

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