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Recipe trials, failures and Triumphs

OK, I admit it. I fell off the wagon. I warned you all that I am a little F.A.D.D.  I picked my recipes for the week.....then got side tracked. Disinterested. Taken out to dinner. Tired. But I did squeeze a few things in, and as promised wanted to share the past two weeks cooking adventures. I will apologize - no photos this week - remember I said tired? Mentally tired that is. Enough about that though - let's talk food.

I had a recipe for orange marmalade, which I love. As does one of my clients. It is citrus season...yes - now is the time. I chose blood oranges to make it special. Made the recipe (8 days later) and was less than thrilled with what looked like candied orange peel. Where was the marmale? This recipe needed some work. Not to waste a whole bag of oranges, I went back to my heavy bottomed pot, added water and sugar, the orange peel and some cranberries I had left over. Another version of this recipe added campari - that could be good. I let it boil away, got it to 210F and scooped it back to the jars. Delicious!!! I love a thick cut marmalade. The campari added a nice bitterness to complement the blood orange, and the cranberries added nice plump globes of color ad sweetness. No specific recipe here - but try the variation on your favorite marmalade recipe.

Next up - Lemon Meyer Jam. Which is not jam at all. It is a savory sauce really, used on fish, veggies and chicken. Meyer lemons are not as sharp in flavor as a regular lemon (also not as "lemony") but this sauce has been served so far on cod, asparagus, potatoes and pasta. Delicious and oh so fancy seeming. Nice way to dress up a boring meal with the citrus flavors of winter. The light yellow color is really pretty on greens too. 

I attempted a Williams-Sonoma Chili recipe that my husband hated...skanky beer? Bad beef? Just not his thing? Whatever the end decision (none of which I believe is to blame) this two bean jalepeno and beef concoction was a bummer, so I am not even going to share. I ended up making him a ground turkey and chipotle chili from the pantry - much better. The jalepeno coleslaw with cilantro as a side was a big hit however. Colorful, low fat, and spicy - he loved this one. Would be good on a pulled BBQ chicken sandwich for sure!

I also felt inspired (though hadn't thought so initially ) to make a tabouleh. Bulgur, mint, parsley and tomatoes with lemon and olive oil....my own recipe based on many resources - pretty much the classic. Good, but realized I went a little too light on the olive oil - easy fix. 

Valentine's day I was in the mood for pasta. I made a porcini, vidalia onion and spinach whole wheat pasta linguine, complete with a creamy (vegan) mushroom and marsala sauce - so good and comforting. Perfect with a nice bottle of red. A little smoked sardine and light salad to start - a box of chocolates to nibble - no we did not eat the whole box - and the evening was quite romantic, watching the Olympics.

A friend gave us a German saukraut with champagne that we tried with vegan dogs. A little too sweet for my taste to be honest, but a good horseradish mustard and some caraway seeds helped. So a very uneventful week in the chef's house. I promise to give you something more interesting in the weeks to come - complete with photos......Even a personal chef can have a bad day cooking. But it isn't often! Now off to cook for a ladies night blizzard party. Blizzard was just the bonus.....stay warm, keep cooking and eat well!



21 Comments to Recipe trials, failures and Triumphs:

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Bon Appetite De Lisa on Sunday, February 16, 2014 1:24 AM
Marmalade is a delicious tangy spread to have on your toast for breakfast. This marmalade recipe is surprisingly easy to make and uses plenty of oranges.
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I think you like to do adventure with your food with a hope that you might come up with a taste you have never tasted before (I mean a good one). Though, I am going to try your recipe but still feel lil hesitated when it comes to experimenting with food
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