Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Beauty isn't worth thinking about; what's important is your mind. You don't want a fifty-dollar haircut on a fifty-cent head." ~ Garrison Keillor

How she wore her hair: short, short (think Demi Moore and Sinead O’Connor)

The glamourisation of pregnancy as represented...Image via Wikipedia

The 90s –– What's Hot / What's Not

Perriere / tap water

arugala / iceberg

The Rainmaker (1997 film)Image via Wikipedia

John Grisham / Ian Fleming


olive oil / corn oil

the Rachel / the Afro

chardonnay / rose`

Pilates / Jane Fonda

“Pulp Fiction” / “Moonstruck”

low sodium / high fat

Year 2~Day 33 +005/366: Hair Style - Step-by-StepImage by Old Shoe Woman via Flickr

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cranberry and Pistachio Holiday Biscotti

For a printable version of recipe click on this link.
Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti

1 small naval orange
3 eggs, large
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder (check date for expiration)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups dried, sweetened cranberries

Cranberry Pistachio BiscottiImage by athena. via Flickr

1 1/4 cups pistachio, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a large cookie sheet. Cut the orange into half and each half into quarters (including the rind). Process the orange chunks in a food processor until it breaks down (the rind will be in larger pieces than the pulp). You will have about 3/4 cup of processed orange. Set aside.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs and sugar until light and creamy. Add the processed orange and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add butter and stir.
In a smaller bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With a wooden spoon add and stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture (the dough will be stiff). Stir in the cranberries and pistachios until well combined.
On the buttered cookie sheet, place 3 evenly sized long mounds of dough. With wet hands (to prevent sticking) shape and form the dough into 3 slightly flattened logs about 12 inches in length and 3 to 4 inches wide.
Bake the logs in the middle of the oven until golden, about 30-35 minutes (depending on your oven). Place the cookie sheet on a rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Transfer the logs to a cutting board and with a serrated knife cut each log at an angle crosswise into 14 to 16 slices.
Arrange slices (laying down) on the cookie sheet (you will not have room for all the sliced logs at one time). Bake for 7-8 minutes, turn the slices over and bake another 5-6 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool. Repeat until all sliced biscotti have been baked again.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 10 days or place cooled biscotti in freezer bags and freeze for 3 months. Biscotti do not require thawing therefore may be eaten frozen.

Makes 42-48 biscotti

Monday, September 14, 2009

Biscotti at Noon

Biscotti-making class: $45

Sunday, Nov. 8

Noon – 3 p.m., Danbury, Conn.

Class size limited so register now!

Call (203) 733-8176 or e-mail

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Broccoli Rabe, Spicy Italian Sausage and Beans over Pasta

For a printable version click here

Broccoli Rabe, Spicy Italian Sausage and Beans over Pasta

Picture of :en:Rapini.Image via Wikipedia

Broccoli Rabe, Spicy Italian Sausage and Beans over Pasta

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, sliced thin

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1/2 pound spicy hot Italian sausage, removed from casing

1 large bunch broccoli rabe, cut in 2 inch pieces including peeled stems

8 ounces chicken or vegetable stock

1 can, 19 ounce cannellini beans, drained

1/2 pound dried pasta, rigatoni, ziti, mostacholli or farfali

1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste

1/3 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese for topping

In large deep skillet, saute onion in oil for 5 or 6 minutes until translucent, then add garlic and crushed red pepper (if using) for an additional 2 minutes.

Push onion and garlic to side of pan or set aside in small dish.

Using same skillet, saute sausage , mashing with a fork, until lightly browned. Return onion and garlic to skillet, add broccoli rabe and stock. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes until the broccoli rabe is tender. Add drained beans and stir until thoroughly mixed and heated.

While sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Cook pasta according to directions for desired doneness and when draining pasta, reserve 1-cup pasta cooking water.

Parmigiano ReggianoImage via Wikipedia

Plate pasta with sauce, using reserved water if more moisture is needed and top with grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The 90s

Celebrity Food

It was the Age of Aquarius, come at last. Tom Petty was Learnin’ to Fly while a number of us nervously snacked on veggie-chips and gazed up, waiting to witness the Hale-Bopp comet making its once-every-4200-years sunward pass. Bopping toward us in the final long blink of the old century, what did it signify about the new one we’d soon be entering? Would we be okay as we drove on into the next millennium?

Crack out the Pinot Grigio, we said. Might as well enjoy the show.

And what a show it had been since the 50s when American Bandstand ruled and Checkers was a cute little cocker spaniel that came with his own controversial politician (Nixon) and then morphed into a Chubby singer. Here in the new era it was Raves – dancing like having a seizure – and Dolly was the newest cute little animal to come with a controversy (cloning). The first Big Mac was sold in Moscow. And we learned about all of these via that ever-spreading genius thing we were now calling the World Wide Web.

Tattooed-and-pierced, grunge-minded youth of the day wore Doc Martens and retro polyester as they sang “Losing My Religion” like daring acolytes drunk on the Eucharist wine behind the sacristy, while baby-boomer Married with Children types fretted about losing data on their hard drives.

As the Dot-com bubble burst and terrorists bombed the World Trade Center, we held our breath, casting an uneasy eye towards the rest of the world.

Twin Towers view from Empire State Building 86...Image via Wikipedia

Some looked inward. Men with thinning hair explored a softer side, accompanying Robert Bly on a drum-beating journey of self-discovery. Others dared to look out. Women went to war alongside men in Kuwait; in the boardrooms of cities big and small, even in video games like the one where uber-sex-symbol Lara Croft’s goal was to conquer a man’s world, we women were pushed-up and plunged out via our Wonderbra, but determined to smash the glass ceiling of our professional lives.

Okay, most of us didn’t exactly aspire to be Lara Croft. Until we vied to have it all on our own terms –– marriage, kids, a career. Also shiny, sleek hair like the cute Rachel on Friends, a style that could be pulled back into a ponytail as we sweated at pilates in the gym.

We tried Feng Shui and environmentally friendly paper. We read Julia Child’s “Appetite for Life” and began a quest for more meaningful experience, much of it involving food. Lemongrass chicken from that Thai place we’d discovered. We could make that! And, hey, who couldn’t master the art of Mexican cooking as long as we didn’t wimp out on the hot sauce?

We rediscovered the power of homemade soup, made even better with fresh produce from local

food growers and organic low-sodium chicken broth. We gorged ourselves on the Food Network, where celebrity chefs fused eclectic combinations and brought them to our tables.

Food Network Logo.Image via Wikipedia

Meanwhile, we eyed the coming Y2K crash that the fear mongers and computer-snake-oil salesmen screamed was bound to happen but didn’t. And we inched our way over the line into 2000 celebrating with caviar from a free Russian republic and champagne from a France still in love with a pre-Bush Clinton presidency.