Beth’s Blog

Convenience Foods Make Weeknight Cooking a Snap

Sunday April 20, 2014

Poultry is the ultimate weeknight supper. But how to jazz up the old standbys and not add alot of time in the process? Enter the boneless chicken breast since the bone-in breasts and legs cook at drastically different times. They cook exceptionally fast and are extremely versatile.

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Let’s Make A Little Beef Stew

Sunday April 13, 2014

Stews used to be relegated to winter cooking, but with the crock pot, I realized that a good stew is all-season comfort food. Stews are a great lunch as well as supper, too. Put on a batch of rice in the rice cooker and voila, excellent satisfying meal in the making. Slow moist heat is what the slow cooker specializes in, so stews are one of the premium dishes to make in them. Most novices go for a chili (bean stew) or meat stew first.

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Baby Beef Stew Classico

Sunday April 13, 2014


I thought I better put one other one-serving down-home-style, nothing fancy, lottsa veggies, mom’s beef stew in the NYMSC for Two book since I use the 1 1/2 quart slow cooker so often. I cut my own stew meat from…

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Merlot Beef Ragôut

Sunday April 13, 2014


Here is a wonderfully classic beef stew adapted from a recipe simply called Beef en Casserole once on the menu at the now defunct Russian Tea Room in New York City.  I use a quality Merlot red wine, since the…

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Frito Pie

Sunday April 6, 2014

Frito Pie, one of the great fun foods of the Southwest, consists of chile con carne (beef in red chile sauce) ladled over Fritos corn chips, and topped with shredded cheddar cheese and, if desired, raw onions and, if you’re feeling flush, pickled jalapenos and sour cream.

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Coffee and Cake

Sunday March 30, 2014

I remember being turned on to freshly roasted specialty coffee in the early 1970s. It is was in San Francisco’s North Beach at the bohemian Cafe Trieste, a bustling coffee house opened in 1956 by an Italian fisherman’s son to serve cappucinos and those decadent, delicious Italian pastries that are so flakey when fresh and scatter crumbs all over the table after every bite. Shortly after, Peet’s opened in Berkeley and Menlo Park and people lined up to buy their coffee beans every day of the week. I traveled in Guatemala and the mountains were planted with coffee. But every food stall and restaurant table had a jar of Nescafe instant coffee. I would walk on the beach in Champerico after traveling at Lake Atitlan and watch the boats be loaded with the sacks of beans.

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Italian Lemon and Anise Sweet Bread

Sunday March 30, 2014

My favorite Italian flavors–lemons, walnuts, anise, and raisins–are the spirited Mediterranean additions to this barely sweet cake, which you will be proud to serve for a festive occasion. It also toasts nicely after a day or two.

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Chocolate and Brown Sugar Poundcake

Sunday March 30, 2014

I enjoy poundcake so much that I devised a decadent chocolate version. I got the idea to glaze it and serve it with a creamy whipped topping from Gourmet magazine. What a hit with coffee drinks! For the best flavor, use India Tree brand dark brown sugar.

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Microwave Cooking: Salmon with Crème Fraîche and Dill in Parchment

Sunday March 23, 2014

Cooking fish “in parchment,” is so simple you can assemble the packets in a few minutes once you have your ingredients. The edges are folded to create a little cooking bag which becomes an airtight steaming pouch. It is one of the fastest methods for cooking fish with the least cleanup.

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The Microwave: Baja Fish Tacos

Sunday March 16, 2014

Fish tacos from the microwave start to finish? Yes. And the fish is perfect too. Fish tacos are no longer a regional Mexican secret. Homemade is just as good and people are wild about them.

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