Beth’s Blog

Buying Your First Slow Cooker and Universal Slow Cooking Tips

Sunday January 25, 2015

You can really have your choice of brands in buying a slow cooker. Any of the major brands are competitive–Rival, Kitchen Aid, Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, but for families you want the right size. That is the super size 6 1/2 to 7 quart model. This will give you some leftovers and still feed a family. Most slow cooker cooks end up with three different sizes, all for different dishes.

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Blondie is Far More Than a Musical Rock Group

Sunday January 18, 2015

Most people have never heard of Murray Jaffe. But if you shop at stores that stock mainstream natural foods like Whole Foods, you are familiar with products from a company called Barbara’s. From the best instant mashed potatoes (yes, there is such a thing–I use them in bread machine recipes all the time) to dry cereals with no refined sugar, the man who conceived, created, and promoted the products is Murray Jaffe. The moniker Barbara is the name of his daughter.

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Murray’s Blondies with Chocolate Chips and Nuts

Sunday January 18, 2015

Blondies by Esimpraim
Need a fabulous homemade treat for friends to nosh or dinner guests? Blondies take minutes to prepare.
Makes 16 2-inch squares for bite sized or 1 dozen bars

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3 ounces…

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Gluten-free Blondies with White Chocolate Chips

Sunday January 18, 2015

Just in case you love Blondies but can’t eat wheat, here is a recipe based on Murray’s Blondies. You can substitute an equal amount of a gluten-free flour mixture for the rice flours and cornstarch if you like. Makes 9 bars.

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My Catering Stories: Reflections in a Star of David Part 2

Sunday January 11, 2015

Back up at the house, Crystal headed to the Egyptian room to set up the tables and arrange the chairs and tablecloths. I stood for a moment assessing the space and walked into the living room. There were the muted sounds of people doing setup in other areas of the house. The caterer had arrived and I could hear pounding coming from large granite mortars and pestles; they were making fresh salsa for dinner.

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Cornucopia Of Bread

Sunday January 11, 2015

The directions for creating this cornucopia is adapted from Woman’s Day magazine, September 2007. While I made my cornucopia from French bread dough, I will leave the instructions for using refrigerated breadstick dough in case you don’t have time to make the dough from scratch. You can fill the cornucopia as the season dictates; it is always impressive. I filled mine with blood red roses, leather fern, and the spindle-shaped French rolls.

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My Catering Stories: Reflections on a Star of David

Sunday January 4, 2015

One day in early January I received a telephone call.”Hello, may I speak to Beth please,” came the soft toned voice. “Speaking,” I replied absentmindedly, used to unfamiliar voices inquiring about catering.”This is Mimi Fariña of Bread and Roses calling from Marin County. I am having a small fundraiser at Bill Graham’s house in Mill Valley next month and I was wondering if you, as a bread baker, would be able to do something for us.”

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Little French Rolls à la Bread and Roses

Sunday January 4, 2015

Even if you have never made bread before, you can make these rolls, known as petits pains in French. It is a simple and straightforward dough, even indestructible as long as you don’t kill the yeast. In recent years I have come to use doughs that are much more wet and sticky than this one, but I always come back to this basic recipe that was originally patterned after James Beard’s Cuban Bread.

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The Microwave: King Crab Legs with Not Your Mother’s Cocktail Sauce

Sunday December 28, 2014

Crabs are the second most popular seafood after shrimp. With the fishing limits put on Dungeness crabs, there is now a glut of King crab legs available to fill the gap. While crabs are usually sold as a whole body or as lump meat, King crab is sold in individual leggy portions with a bit of the body still attached. King crab legs are sold pre-cooked crab and frozen legs.

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Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Sunday December 21, 2014

Cassoulet is a dish that typlifies French home and bistro cooking and has somewhat of a legendary status among gourmands. As for most French cooking, it is a regional dish originally from the South West that has become popular all over the country and is standard bistro fare, or even bought canned.

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