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by on December 12th, 2017

Popcorn Ice Cream

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How do I describe how good popcorn ice cream is?

Well, it taste like popcorn (my favorite food group), it’s smooth and full of vanilla flavor. Pair it with a sprinkling of salt, maybe some salted popcorn or caramel corn or my favorite with movie popcorn add-ins — Milk Duds (don’t do that any longer) and you will have a surprisingly good dessert. Crunchy, sweet, salty, what more could you want?

One beautiful night in Santa Fe back in September, with the sun going down and the temperature starting to drop my twin sister, two friends from high school (Pauletta and Judy) and me went to dinner at Eloisa restaurant. We had been to this restaurant as one of the stops on our walking food tour and during that tour they took us to the rooftop bar (Bar Alto) to show us the 360° view. A magnificent view to have cocktails before going to dinner downstairs and we knew we just had to go back there for drinks and dinner.

The Eloisa is in the Drury Hotel which is a historic renovation filled with artwork throughout the hotel (we didn’t stay there). My dinner for the night was a Beef Tenderloin with wood-grilled shrimp and a potato-corn gratin, asparagus and a spicy chipotle béarnaise. (Menu) None of us finished our steaks and we took leftovers back to the house for steak and eggs the next morning; we HAD to save room for dessert.

The Caramelized Brioche French Toast with popcorn ice cream and apricot sorbet sounded so interesting we couldn’t resist. I think I could do a better job on the Brioche French Toast (too thick and didn’t soak up enough of the cream mixture it sat in overnight), but the popcorn ice cream was so delicious and they told me (kind of) how to make it.

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by on December 6th, 2017

Pumpkin Bacon Spread

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Ok, I know what you are thinking — PUMPKIN AGAIN.

I promise, I promise, this is the last pumpkin recipe this year. I told you I couldn’t get all the pumpkin recipes posted before December.

So, if you have a jar of pumpkin butter left over from Thanksgiving, you just have to give this a try. Years ago when I worked at Williams Sonoma I often was in charge of doing the “tastings” during my shift, which meant I was trying to talk people into buying the things I was cooking even if they didn’t know they really needed to buy those products.

I remember the first time I was told to make this pumpkin dip. I thought it sounded terrible. And, I have liked salty and sweet taste together since I was a kid and dipped potato chips into soft serve ice cream. After making this several times and people immediately snatching up a jar of the pumpkin butter I decided to give it a try and I absolutely loved the taste of the salty bacon with the sweet pumpkin butter and throw in some cream cheese and green onions and spread on a crunchy cracker and it was on my list of things to “sell” when I worked. I knew if I could get people to taste it, they would be buying the pumpkin butter.

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by on November 30th, 2017

Pumpkin Salad with Goat Cheese with Maple Vinaigrette

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So Thanksgiving is over, that doesn’t mean you still can’t make this salad.

Didn’t Thanksgiving come and go in a wink of the eye? And all those little grandsons have gone home.

I had so many pumpkin things I wanted to share this year that I couldn’t fit them in before Thanksgiving. So if you can still get those little pie pumpkins, grab one and make this salad. If you can’t or don’t want to do a pumpkin recipe in December or for Christmas, substitute butternut squash for the pumpkin pieces.

Hopefully you aren’t like me and only think certain things should be cooked in certain months. I really need to get that out of my head – that stuffing/dressing can only be made in November. That is the only time I make dressing. Even though I might freeze leftover dressing, it really never gets eaten because it seems to just not fit in March when I’m cleaning out my freezer and find a dish of my Thanksgiving stuffing that was so delicious back on the day smothered with giblet gravy with some mashed potatoes and saurekraut sitting beside it. Now that has my mouth watering and me wanting some dressing. Maybe I could stuff pork chops with stuffing, that doesn’t sound very Thanksgivingly but would use up that dressing you may have popped in the freezer.

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by on November 24th, 2017

Chipotle Butter

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Compound butters…

While in Santa Fe back in September we had these wonderful Blue Corn Muffins served with chipotle butter. The butter was so good and had a little heat and a little sweetness to it and got me thinking about the compound butter post I had started years ago and never finished.

Compound butter is simply butter with elegance added and we all are aware that anything with butter is all that much better and when we are starting to see our herbs come to the end of their summer lives what better way to resurect them than to make a compound butter to put in your freezer for those cold (or chilly) months and remember what your herbs gave up for you. Typically compound butters are rolled into a cylinder shape and chilled or frozen and then pats of the butter are served on the steak, fish or even vegetables or even better a sweet butter with a warm scone.

I love making compound butters because it makes whatever you put it on so delicious. A compound butter simply means that there is some sort of flavoring or seasoning added to the butter. It can be a savory butter or a sweet butter to go along with your morning scones.

I think the first time I ever made a compound butter was when I made Chicken Kiev as a newlywed and wow, how wonderful it made something that wasn’t much more than a fancy fried chicken breast, rolled around a piece of butter and deep fried. But, when you cut in the Chicken Kiev and that herbed butter streamed all over the rice you had set it on, I knew then that I was going to like this new adventure of cooking for my family.

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by on November 19th, 2017

Pumpkin Walnut Squares

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Pumpkin Cake, Bar, or Square — Good thing!

Who doesn’t need one more pumpkin recipe for the holidays? When I found this recipe I wasn’t really looking for another cake recipe but decided to give it a try and I took it to craft circle to my expert tasters. I have to omit that I did not try it because I’m still on this diet. But, I got thumbs up from everyone that tried the cake and it was gone long before we broke for lunch.

Now, I wish I had tried the cake. I’ve done this before, on a diet, make something delicious and won’t try it. That’s crazy and I need to change and at least take a bite of the desserts I make.

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