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Showing posts from December, 2006

A New "Rug" and "Curtains"

Happy New Year's to all!

Thank you to all the wonderful readers and fellow bloggers for this great year of blogging. So often, I try to understand the loyalties and friendships that develop via comments, e-mails and blogs. I don't understand but I do so very much appreciate it. Happy New Year, everyone! May 2007 bring much kindness, much generosity and very very much "wuv"!


In the last three weeks, the move-it-around and shake-it-up mood struck with a vengeance.

On a whim, I entirely swapped the dining room and living room -- not something recommended two weeks before Christmas but which did, happily, result in a luxurious "new" dining room with a fireplace and a beautifully organized hutch (many thanks to my fourteen-year old nephew's lovely sense of asymmetrical symmetry, thank you Alex!) AND a cozy and useable "new" sitting room with wonderful light and a garden view.

But if you look around a bit, A Veggie Venture has a new rug and curtains …

Kitchen Parade Extra: Black Pepper Almonds ♥

Just in time for New Year's gatherings both fun and fancy, this week's Kitchen Parade column features almonds roasted in a sugared pepper. Be careful: they're addictive!

Kitchen Parade has a collection of ideas for New Year's occasions, the bubbly celebrations on New Year's Eve, morning-after breakfast and brunch, even comfort food for New Year's Day.

For good fortune in the New Year, don't miss out on the recipes for lucky black-eyed pea salad and lucky black-eyed pea soup!

Already dieting? Kitchen Parade can help with Weight Watchers recipes and low-carb recipes too.


What exactly is this Kitchen Parade, you ask? It's the published newspaper column that my Mom started when I was a baby and that I've been writing since 2002.

Kitchen Parade is known for great recipes for all courses, with lots of Quick Suppers, family favorites and kitchen tips plus special sections for Weight Watchers and low carb recipes.


If you'd like Kitchen Parade columns and reci…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Jesus' Birthday Cake

If you look for ways to instill faith in children, especially at Christmas, this week's Kitchen Parade column shares one from my family, Jesus' birthday cake. There are recipes too, but not for cake. You'll understand why, when you read the column.

Many blessings to you and your family, however you celebrate this season!



Looking for last-minute Christmas ideas? Kitchen Parade has many holiday ideas.

What exactly is this Kitchen Parade, you ask? It's the published newspaper column that my Mom started when I was a baby and that I've been writing since 2002.

Kitchen Parade is known for great recipes for all courses, with lots of Quick Suppers, family favorites and kitchen tips plus special sections for Weight Watchers and low carb recipes.

If you'd like Kitchen Parade columns and recipes delivered via e-mail straight to your In Box too, just click over to Kitchen Parade, then add your e-mail address to the Never Miss a Recipe box on the right.

Or just check out this we…

Festive Celery, Cauliflower & Apple Salad ♥

Today's simple, healthy salad recipe: Just celery, apple and cauliflower tossed with toasted nuts, dried fruit and a lemony vinaigrette. The freshness and crunch are so appreciated during the usual rich foods served during the holidays but it's also one of my favorite salads to throw together for supper at the last minute, especially during apple season or when a fresh bunch of celery is especially pretty. Seasonal but also a Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Easy Weeknight Supper. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.
For some reason, my annual cookie swap created an unusual level of angst: I couldn't decide what to bake. I couldn't decide what to serve.

So absolutely everything was decided and prepared at the very last second and when my friends started to arrive at ten o'clock on Saturday, the floor wasn't swept (oh well), the Christmas carols weren't programmed (oh dear) ... and even the simple

Kitchen Parade Extra: Quick Supper: Date-Night Chicken ♥

Quick Suppers are a specialty at Kitchen Parade. (Just check the Recipe Box.)

But this week's column is extra special: it features a bachelor special, a one-dish chicken and broccoli supper guaranteed by a now happily married cousin to 'reel them in'.

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Looking for Christmas inspiration? Kitchen Parade has lots of lots of ideas including for holiday baking.

If it's snowy and wintry, Kitchen Parade knows just what to cook to warm everyone up.

If you're watching Weight Watchers points and calories between holiday parties, Kitchen Parade can help. Counting carbs? Kitchen Parade has low-carb recipes too.

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What's this Kitchen Parade, you ask? It's the published newspaper column that my Mom started when I was a baby and that I've been writing since 2002.Kitchen Parade is known for great recipes for all courses;
including lots of Quick Suppers and long-time family favorites
my best kitchen tips
plus special sections for Weight Watchers and low carb recipe…

Celery with Tomatoes, Olives & Capers ♥

Cooked celery is so good!

This really hit the spot. It tasted 'spare' (though delicious) in contrast to 'rich' (and totally over-the-top delicious) offerings at recent holiday parties. And it calls for ingredients that are often on hand, just celery, canned tomatoes, olives and capers. If you haven't 'celebrated celery' recently, or ever, now's the moment!

LANGUAGE NOTE ... A reader recently brought my attention to the careless specification of a 'stalk' of celery when I really meant to call for one 'rib' of celery. It really peeves her so please join me in listing a rib unless we really mean the whole and entire stalk, which would be a hole pile of celery, for sure.

NUTRITION NOTES ... Low cal. Low carb. One Weight Watchers point. High fiber. Low cholesterol. Filling. Satisfying. Cheap. Good!

FROM THE ARCHIVES ... Other celebrations of celery are this wintry celery, apple and walnut salad, a simple braised celery, last week's Brussels …

Delicata Squash with Hot Pepper Glaze ♥

This simple squash from the October/Halloween issue of Martha Stewart Living really called to me. Once in the kitchen, however, the instructions stymied. "4 delicata squashes, cut lengthwise into 1-inch-thick wedges, seeds discarded" I puzzled. I pondered. What about the skin, shouldn't it be removed? And it's really difficult, dangerous even, to slice uncooked winter squash lengthwise: hard to get a grip, plus a knife can slip against the dense flesh and voila, there goes a finger.

So I trusted Martha and left the skins on. But I trusted my knife instincts and sliced the squash in half, lengthwise, down the center. I scooped out the seeds and then cut one half into rainbow slices. For a test, I roasted the other half whole, filled with glaze.

THE VERDICT The skins of delicata squash are definitely edible, though more skin-ish than many will appreciate. The hot pepper glaze is extraordinary. I would definitely roast delicata in the same rainbow slices again. I won'…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Cranberry Pudding ♥

If there's a single ingredient that evokes the holiday spirit, it's the cranberry. This week's Kitchen Parade column features three cranberry recipes. First up is a luscious dessert, an English-style cranberry pudding from an old family recipe ... plus two simple holiday treats, a crimson-colored cranberry applesauce and a cranberry champagne cocktail, both oh-so-festive!

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You know the good works from Doctors Without Borders? Without taking a dollar from your pocket, you can put one in theirs. Just click the "Color for a Cause" box on the right, then search for something red. Red mittens? A red sled? How about a racy red lipstick? That's all there is to it. Ten thousand searches will yield $10,000 for a worthy cause. If the ad is gone, the $10,000 goal has been reached.

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Meeting food bloggers is great fun. But yesterday Karen from FamilyStyle and I met up with a Mommy Blogger, Dana from Mamalogues. She's smart, she's funny ... she's…

Carrot & Daikon Refrigerator Pickle ♥

The traditional carrot and daikon salad that's used in the wonderful Vietnamese bahn mi sandwiches, just grated carrot and daikon in a "quick" pickle that's pickled without actually having to "can" the jar. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".
~recipe & photo updated 2015~
~more recently updated recipes~
2006: Refrigerator pickles, ya gotta love 'em. A few minutes of work, then wait a day or so: then there they are, ready to add piquancy to a plate, spark to a sandwich, specialness to a salad, for the next couple of weeks.

This grated carrot and grated daikon combination is especially nice, color-wise, taste-wise, easy-wise. It's great also on a plate, also tucked into a sandwich, like a banh mi.

2015: This time I envisioned nice, even skinny bits of carrot and daikon so pulled out the mandoline for cutting the carrot and daikon. What a pain! Not hard, just time-consuming to do it carefully – safety is key, check out the safety tips in

I ♥ Food Blogs: An Announcement

The December 2006 issue of Sauce, St. Louis' great food magazine, features a story -- yes, I'm the author! -- celebrating the world of food blogs.

It features all the St. Louis food blogs and some nearby Missouri and Illinois food blogs too. (Where did we go to high school? Just ask! Here's the current list of St. Louis food bloggers.) Check out the brand-new list of some of my favorite food blogs from across the world too. Where's that story again? Here!

SPECIAL OFFER: I'll send a box of Bissinger's Handcrafted Chocolates to a commenter (selected at random from all the comments by December 15th) who identifies a particular sentence edited by Sauce.

Hint: A real asset to St. Louis foodies, Sauce is also proudly MSM, main stream media. (Be nice, commenters, they really can't help it ... which makes it our job to help others understand by being both kind and generous. Plus Sauce has the greatest guide to St. Louis restaurants. And the hardest food quiz you'…

St. Louis Food Blogs

UPDATE
Please visit the
brand-new home for St. Louis food bloggers,
StlFoodBlogs.com.




One of the great pleasures of food blogging is 'meeting' people from across the world. But it's even more fun meeting people whose kitchens you can come to know, first in the virtual world and then in the real world.

Let me introduce you to some of the best foodies, some of the best foodie friends, ever. Here they are, the St. Louis food bloggers, plus some nearby food bloggers we love to see every chance possible!

[Photo taken in 2006 at the first meeting of St. Louis food bloggers]



ST LOUIS FOOD BLOGS

(1) A Veggie Venture ~ by Alanna, my own blog and St. Louis' first food blog, with vegetable recipes from Asparagus to Zucchini (2005)

(2) FamilyStyle Food ~ Karen from Webster Groves cooks for husband, two kids and recipe contests and now for clients at DinnerStyle (2006)

(3) One Hot Stove ~ Nupur moved to St. Louis in 2006 and cooks vegetarian home-style Indian food. (2005)

(4) St Lo…

Favorite Sources for St. Louis Foodies

From time to time, local readers ask, "Where do you get [insert: great tomatoes, perfect peaches, great Parmesan cheese]?" So here it is, my favorite sources here in St. Louis, many in the Kirkwood-Webster area. Check back often for updated sources. If you have a favorite that's not on the list, please leave a comment!

St. Louis Vegetables, Fruits & Farm Foods &
St. Louis Farmers Markets &
St. Louis Cheese Sources &
St. Louis Meat &
St. Louis Sweets & Treats &
St. Louis Kitchen Shops &
St. Louis Grocery Stops &
St. Louis Bread & Pastries &
St. Louis - Worth a Stop! &
St. Louis Food Media &
Recipes with Special Missouri Products



See also St. Louis Food Gift Ideas



VEGETABLES, FRUITS & FARM FOODS

CJ's Produce
At the Kirkwood Farmers Market, fresh local produce

FAVORITES: Eckert's peaches, Cascade tomatoes for slow-roasted tomatoes


Centennial Farms
Many local apple varieties, some hard-to-find vegetables (Centennial is usually ha…

Celebrate St. Louis

It was 1993 when I moved to St. Louis, a city at the confluence of two great rivers, a place where small neighborhoods are shaded by large trees, a spot where old brick and historic architecture abound. In the first month, the recognition hit: I already felt more at home in St. Louis, even while still living in a hotel, than in all eight years in Dallas.

And as a long-time seasonal cook, it's only natural to seek out all-things-local. And so I do ... to celebrate St. Louis.

St. Louis Food Blogs
An introduction: St. Louis food bloggers plus some nearby food bloggers
Local food bloggers are featured in my story in Sauce Magazine
St. Louis: A Great Town for Foodies!
My favorite bakers, butchers and candlestick-makers in the St. Louis metro areaSt. Louis Farmers Market News

St. Louis Restaurant Reviews Occasional reviews (and rants!) by lifelong cook and restaurant goer, my friend the Foodie Patootie
Sofia Bistro
Brio's Tuscan GrilleMihalis Chop House
Liluma
Coming soon: Balaban's

Photo b…

Lemony Creamy Brussels Sprouts & Celery ♥

Oh this is good, I even made it twice! Lemon and Brussels sprouts are a terrific combination. You could skip the celery but truly, celery and Brussels sprouts are brilliant together too. If you shy from creamed vegetables, don't worry, this sauce is light and bright, not heavy and floury.

TIPS
If you're buying celery for this, look for a stalk with nice celery leaves
I accidentally made it with and without the celery seed, both are great
Use plenty of salt in the cooking water (or if you prefer to steam the Brussels sprouts, try this technique)
To better soak up the lemony creaminess, cook the sprouts just past al dente, then cut in half
For a gussied up version, I might stir in a small wad of Gorgonzola or a stinky blue cheeseTo make ahead:
clean, trim and X the Brussels sprouts, keep cold and covered (if needed, a day before but better a few hours before)
make the sauce but don't add the lemon juice and zest (a few hours ahead)
before serving, cook the sprouts, rewarm the s…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Butter Tart Bars ♥

Let the holiday baking commence! From now til Christmas, like many other cooks I'll be up to my elbows in flour and sugar and butter.

And here's the first tray to emerge from my oven, butter tart bars, a bar version of traditional Canadian butter tarts. It's easy to make, perfect for cookie trays ... and utterly delicious. Along with memories of riding the bus to-from my Canadian grandmother's, the recipe is in this week's Kitchen Parade column.

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Looking for other Christmas ideas? Kitchen Parade has lots of holiday inspiration.

If you're thinking about hosting a cookie swap, start here.

If it's snowy and wintry, Kitchen Parade knows just what to cook.

If you're watching Weight Watchers points and calories between holiday parties, Kitchen Parade can help. Counting carbs? Kitchen Parade has low-carb recipes too.

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♥ What's this Kitchen Parade, you ask? It's the published newspaper column that my Mom started when I was a baby and that I…