I had so much fun playing in the kitchen for our Halloween menu! My daughter is a senior in high school now. I feel our Halloween days are going to be limited or come to an end. She will be off doing her own adventurous and more grown up things very soon! But for now while I still have her attention and have her at home, I wanted us to have a good old fashioned, fun filled Halloween.
She’s been past the age of trick or treating for some time now. Nowadays we usually decorate our patio with old and new Halloween decorations…I have a box of decorations I’ve collected over the years of her growing up that she still gets excited to pull out! And, I love to get in the kitchen and make some fun fall festive foods. We all gather on the patio for a simple little party and hand out candy to all the adorable kids. My daughter still loves to see and and talk to all the little ones dressed up in their little costumes. She jumps up with the candy bowl every time she sees trick or treaters walking up!
Here’s a look at this years menu and some fun pictures of our night…
Who loves pie? I know I do! I don’t consider myself a dessert lover but I do love pie! I love it so much, I nicknamed my daughter Pie, because she’s the most perfect thing in the universe…just like pie!
So you can imagine how thrilled I was to be able to attend a pie baking class, taught by the lovely and talented Kate McDermott (ArtofthePie.com)! Kate had come all the way down from Washington state, on her Pie A La Road tour. The class was an intimate affair, held in my friend’s charming chateau in Marina Del Rey. The scent of blooming flowers mingled with the ocean breeze and wafted through our kitchen. A perfect spring day–and a perfect day for baking pies!
We made a mixed berry pie. You can find the recipe on Kate’s Web site. The filling was well-balanced, slightly sweet, and perfectly tart, but that was the easy part. The hard part was conquering the crust, but we persevered, and the result was worth it: a gloriously flakey crust!
Making a great pie crust is flat-out intimidating. Kate put us at ease with her “Just Chill” chant which applies to more than your nerves. She chills all the ingredients used to make the crust so it’s all the same temperature, even the bowl! And I did a quick mental chill to get myself in the same zone as my ingredients. Remember, your state of mind is really just another ingredient!
Here’s a look at our: Day of Pie Baking with Kate Mcdermott…
Growing up catholic we would eat fish every Friday during Lent. In catholic school they’d always bring Mc Donald’s fish sandwiches on Fridays during lent. I know…GROSS! But, I was a kid and didn’t know any better. I did develop a love for fish sandwiches, I think probably from this life experience. My love for cooking and creating my own healthier versions of food I consumed as a child shines in these tasty sandwiches! It doesn’t have to be Lent anymore for me to eat a fish sandwich. It does so happen to be Lent right now so for all you religious foodies, give these a try…
- 1 lb. Alaskan Cod
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup corn meal
- 2 cups buttermilk
- butter lettuce
- beef tomato
- poblano pepper
- hoagie buns
- your favorite cocktail or tarter sauce (i make my own)
- 4 cups of frying oil
- in a large bowl pour in buttermilk season with salt and pepper and a few pinches of dill (dry). Slice fish into pieces the same size as buns and toss into buttermilk.
- mix flour and cornmeal together, season with salt, pepper and dill. with a fork lightly fluff.
- heat oil in cast iron or heavy bottom deep skillet over high heat. (prep for sandwich: thinly slice, tomato and poblano pepper)
- get a piece of fish from buttermilk, dredge through flour until coated, lightly shake and lay in hot oil. depending on the size of your pan only fry two or three pieces at a time. (do not over crowd. you will have a soggy mess.) fry about two minutes each side. drain on a paper towel (or paper bag).
- Warm buns a bit and assemble your glory!
Whole Foods is having a One Day Sale on Parmigiano Reggiano! For more than half off the regular price of $21.99, on Friday the 13th you can get this beautifully exquisite cheese for only $9.99 a pound! You should absolutely check out your local Whole Foods for this amazing deal. If you don’t understand what all the hype is behind Parmigiano Reggiano I will share a little information on this hunk of heavenly cheese.
The Story of Parmigiano Reggiano
Parmigiano is a name protected cheese and each wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano carries proof of its authenticity. During production, the rind is impressed with the number of the “caseificio” or cheese house, production date and pin dots forming the words “Parmigiano Reggiano.” The pin dots guarantee that the cheese was made under regulation of the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano, conforming to its stringent standards of quality. After one year of aging, each wheel that passes the test is branded with an oval certification mark and left to finish aging. Almost every piece we cut at Whole Foods includes part of the marked rind, so you can verify it is Parmigiano Reggiano!
This carefully made cheese is always a raw cow’s milk cheese and exclusively made in the regions in and around Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and Bologna, Italy. Traditionally the cows are fed only grass and hay therefore producing “grass fed milk”. There, of course, are knock off versions of this Italian hard cheese. Outside of Europe it may be referred to as Parmesan. Grana Padano is another variation of the former only from a different region in Italy with less strict rules on what the cows may eat and how it is aged, etc.
Now you may be thinking…what am I going to do with a pound or more of Parmigiano Reggiano? I’ll give you some suggestions. It can be grated in a food processor and stored in an air tight container in the fridge for over a month, making it easily accessible for tossing in salads or over pastas. It will also look marvelous and be a big hit on holiday cheese boards!
This exotic superstar is nothing like the waxy pre packed already grated or shredded cheeses that are much cheaper. You will absolutely taste the difference. Whether you’re cooking with it, using it for garnish or serving it on a cheese board, Parmigiano Reggiano will change the way your food tastes! It’s such an extraordinary cheese that when we crack open wheels of it, we always put a cheesy smile on our customers faces after giving them a sample! It is usually much pricer but for one day you will get the luxury of buying it for over half off! I say go for it and use it instead of the cheaper knock off versions for as long as you can!
This gallery contains 11 photos.
I love fun quirky days to celebrate and eat lots of food. St. Patrick’s Day is definitely one of those days! Usually I make Guinness battered fish and Chips. But, this year my dude inspired me to make this delicious Lamb Pot Pie and I came up with these exciting bright green mash potatoes! No […]
One of my favorite things to serve at holiday parties is my Cranberry Chutney. It’s a quick and easy recipe to throw together and it goes great with roasts or foul.
- 1 pkg whole cranberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 red onion diced
- 1 orange juice and zest
Toss everything into a sauce pan and cook over high heat until sauce comes to boil. Lower heat to medium low and cook until cranberries are tender and sauce is thickened. About thirty minutes to an hour.