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Tag Archives: Cooking

I’ve moved!

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Hello Friends and Neighbors!  Can you hear me?  Is anyone still out there? 

I know.  I know.  I’ve been AWOL for some time now.  I really don’t have a good excuse.  Just, you know, got busy with work, went to Disney, the holidays, went to Disney again, work, went to Boston, planted my garden and a ton of pots and plants, and just plain ran out of time. 

BUT I have to confess that I have been cheating on you a little bit.  However, I still feel the need to chronicle my culinary adventures. . . SO I started an instagram account.  You can find me by searching for my user:  allaboutmycharmedlife  If I was fancy I would post the link for you 🙂  I also post under #eatwell and #savor 



Hope to see you soon 🙂


Roasted Pineapple Tart

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Or Tarte Ananas Roti, if you prefer.

Let me tell you a tale about a pineapple and a vanilla bean.  Before you can get to the Roasted Pineapple Tart, you have to get past the Roasted Pineapple.  It’s all a very time-consuming process.  Actually, to tell the truth, before the pineapple, you need the Sweet Almond Pastry.  I made that yesterday and let it sit in the fridge.  For the pineapple you basically steep the vanilla bean and then caramelize the sugar.  Then it all roasts together for an hour and 45 minutes.   Oh, and there’s rum.

As the vanilla was steeping Jake came into the kitchen and said, what is that intoxicating aroma?  Well, maybe he said smell, but definitely intoxicating.

Once you get past the dough and the pineapple next you have to conquer the coconut cream.  Said cream calls for ground coconut, or as they put it in Laduree Sucre, coconut flour.   Now, I’ve been around, and I’ve heard some things, so I am under the impression that coconut flour in France is a little different from what we have here.  So going along with the idea of ground coconut, I probably should have just ground some coconut.  Instead, I used powdered coconut, which is really for making milk.  Before it went into the oven, it looked exactly as I thought it should, and it tasted even better.  Yes, of course I licked the spatula.  I was even nice enough to share it with Jake.  That doesn’t always happen, you know.

I just wanted to show off my perfectly whipped cream.

I think that’s where it all went south.  Although the texture still looked great after folding in the whipped cream.

So after you top it with half the pineapple and then bake it for 45 minutes — I hope you’re not in a hurry — this is what happens.

I know, it’s not pretty.  It puffed up so much that some of the pineapple fell to its demise on the oven floor.  Fortunately, it settled down a little after cooling, and I managed to camouflage it a bit.

Those are vanilla beans all over the place.  I swear, I didn’t pick the pieces off the oven floor.

In the end, it was a little soft, and not very photogenic, but it was tasty for sure.  I’m suspect it will firm up in the fridge.   Whatever happens it will not go to waste.  All in all, it was totally worth the effort.

Eat Well and Savor.



Chicken Chop Suey

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I never use chopsticks.  I am severely chopstick-challenged.

Don’t let the brown rice fool you.  This was really good.  And, in typical Ellie Krieger style, the serving was huge.  You can find this in the Food You Crave.

Frankly, though, there’s a lot of prep work.

Slice the celery, scallions, garlic, napa cabbage, shiitakes.  In fact, as if that’s not enough slicing, you can then slice the sliced bamboo shoots.  On top of all the slicing, you also have to cook the rice, the chicken, and the wonton wrappers, and toast some sesame seeds.  Before I forget, EK says 10 to 12 minutes for those wontons.  I am here to tell you that they took about seven minutes.  Of course, every oven is different.  Isn’t that what they say?

Once all the slicing was done, it went pretty fast.

EK says that her Grandma used to make this.  My Grandma isn’t much of a cook, but she loves to go to the Salem Willows in MA and get chop suey sandwiches.  I highly recommend them too.

I was so worn out after all the slicing I forgot to sprinkle on the toasted sesame seeds.

By the way, in my humble opinion, it ain’t chop suey unless there are bean sprouts, and maybe a water chestnut or two.

Eat Well and Savor.

House of Schwarzenberg Pot Roast

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If you know more history than I do, and it wouldn’t take much, I’m sure you realize that tonight we had royal pot roast.

This recipe comes from Clementine Paddleford and The Great American Cookbook.  It was in the Vermont section and even though I have spent many years in New England, I have not made it to Vermont.  Apparently, back in the day, Princess Anna Maria Schwarzenberg lived in Bethel and CP went to see her.  This recipe comes from her family’s cookbook, written in 1824.  And I thought only the von Trapps hung out up there in the hills.

I knew this was going to be good.   How can something with 2 cups of wine, 1/2 cup of cognac, and 1/3 cup of sherry come out bad?  The usual aromatics are hiding under there, but I had to take a picture of my tomatoes.  I am very proud of these, since I peeled them myself.  I personally don’t think it’s a huge accomplishment, but it’s something I usually don’t do because most recipes call for the canned variety.  My husband was certainly impressed because to him it’s unheard of.  I remember my mom doing it many times on the farm.  I had a pretty good idea how to do it, but I did look it up to verify.  Cut an X on the bottom, put in boiling water for 20 seconds, drain, and then rinse with cold water.  For medium-sized tomatoes it should peel off in four pieces.   I had one big one that required a little more effort.

I was also pretty happy that this recipe had cabbage.  I love cabbage, and there aren’t too many ways to prepare it, especially since I will be eating the whole thing alone.  Unfortunately, I think the head I bought was too big and it didn’t cook in the amount of time specified.  No worries, it is simmering away now in the leftover juice from the roast.

One more criticsm:  more carrots.  One is not enough.

All in all, not as good as my mother’s boiled dinner.  But Jake did give it a 9 out of 10.

It did fall off the fork and melt in the mouth.

Eat Well and Savor.