Luscious Fruit Curds

portrait of citrus courtesy of bon appetit
Lemon Curd is a thick, soft and velvety creamy custard made from fresh fruit juice that has a wonderful tart yet sweet citrus flavor and thick smooth texture. It is almost like the…

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Crackers, Toasts, and Chips–The Ultimate Collection

Once you start making your own crackers, chips, and crostini crackers for snacks, you won’t stop. You will be able to serve a tasty treat for the most discriminating of guests. They are easy to make and perfect for dipping in fondue, salsas, hummus, vegetable dips, and eggplant spreads.

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Duck Liver Pâté

I was served this fabulous appetizer pâté de foie de canard at a cooking class with local chef Scottie McKinney decades ago at the newly opened Hotel Meridien in downtown San Francisco. We sat in the corner of the empty dining room for the demonstrations. Never having been much interested in eating pâté, I flipped for this one.

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Appetizer Crostini

What are crostini? Literally translated to “little crusts,” they are Italian-style appetizer croutons. Usually slices of bread are toasted slowly until golden and then spread with a variety of tasty savory toppings, they are a clever way to use up day-old bread.

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Mexican Street Corn


A classic tasty snack street food, known as elotes, that is popular in restaurants now as a side dish. The mayonnaise/sour cream mixture is what helps the cheese adhere to the corn. In El Salvador, it is called elotes loco. Expect…

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Deli-Roasted Chicken to the Rescue

The rotisserie chickens from the supermarket delis have finally made their way into the mainstream American’s kitchen, not only as the centerpiece for a meal, but an ingredient as well. Once a rarity, now every market and warehouse like Costco I go to has their own roasted chickens, even organic chickens.

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Chipotle Hummus from The Prado in Balboa Park

Hummus is a mashed purÈe of chickpeas, olive oil, and lemon that is immensely popular in the Middle East. And America so it seems.

The traditional way to serve hummus is to spread it on a plate and drizzle it with flavorful olive oil. That’s fine for spreading, but if you are going to dip veggies into the hummus, it’s more practical to pile it into a bowl.

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Raincoast Crisps

A few years ago, my mom mentioned raincoast crisps, a multi seed cracker she was buying at whole foods. I had not had them but they were flying off the shelves and a big hit at the yearly Fancy Food…

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Large Batch Cranberry Orange Scones

Most recipes for scones and soda breads are the direct descendants of the nourishing whole-grain griddle breads prepared daily in rural Celtic and SScones. They are versatile. They freeze well. And they’ve become universally popular-whether for breakfast, tea time, or cocktail hour as a sophisticated alternative to sandwiches. cottish highland country kitchens. By nature they are coarse, crumbly, and chewy flat grain cakes. These were usually home fare, since they are best when mixed, baked, and eaten within a few hours. More and more, however, I am finding these marvelous quick dough breads have found a wider audience and have become the darlings of coffee houses and cafés.
With a few tips, scones are an easily made and satisfying addition to breakfast, tea, hors d’oeuvres, and the base for unusual sandwiches. They are at once tender, rich, flaky, and versatile. They are excellent plain or can be easily embellished with nuts, herbs, or even chocolate chips for flavor variations. They can be cut into endless shapes: wedges, squares, stars, hearts, or half-moons. Even better, they are fast to make. Entire preparation time for assembling, mixing, forming, and baking is about 45 minutes.
Use fresh ingredients such as aluminum-free baking powder, sweet butter, eggs, all-purpose and pastry flours for the best flavor. All types of flours, such as barley, oats, corn, rye, and bran, make beautiful scones. Liquids commonly used for moistening the dry ingredients include buttermilk, milk, yogurt, or cream.
Use the following techniques for perfect results: Quickly mix the dry ingredients with the cold fat to make big coarse crumbs, and when stirring in the cold liquid, a quick hand is again needed, so the air is not forced out of the dough. This is especially important when the scones do not contain eggs to help with the leavening. Measure the liquids carefully to make a soft, pliable dough that is gently kneaded just until the dough holds together. Too much liquid makes a heavy scone that is hard to shape.
Knead briefly, just enough for the dough to come together, since overhandling will make a very tough and chewy scone. The kneading is not a vigorous technique as called for in yeast breadmaking to active the gluten, but a very gentle working just to form a cohesive ball..
When rolling out the scone, keep it thicker than 1/2 inch to achieve the best shape. For even browning, bake only one sheet at a time in the center of a preheated oven. They will rise double their raw size in the oven. pay close attention to baking times. Always remember that after they are out of the oven, quick breads continue to cook during the cooling process and overbaking makes them dry, a disaster for the texture of the scone.
After baking and cooling, scones and soda breads can be frozen in heavy-duty plastic freezer bags for up to a month and reheated in a warm oven for 5 to 8 minutes. The shaped raw dough may also be frozen on a parchment-lined baking sheet and placed in freezer bags when frozen. To bake, remove the frozen scones from the freezer, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and immediately bake in a preheated oven about 5 minutes longer than specified in the recipe.

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Farmhouse Butter Churned the Food Processor

Any type of milk produces enough cream to be churned into a full fat butter. Homemade butter is easily made with a food processor in a fast, clean, and very efficient manner. Because making butter is so simple, it makes a great project for kids as well as adults. It’s a remarkably fast and easy process that lets you see for yourself where this ever-so-basic and familiar food comes from.

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