My husband, John, was raised in New Orleans and he is an incredible chef. Since my mom’s birthday fell close to Mardi Gras this year, we went all out to create a colorful, flavorful celebration in her honor!
This was actually funny. One of the early selections from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan was for Potato Gratin. It sounded wonderful to me, and I followed the recipe, but just did not like the results. They looked good, but lacked flavor. They were a favorite of many of my fellow Doristas and we agreed to disagree.
The fabulously creative blogger, Sabrina, at The Tomato Tart immediately rallied to help earthquake victims in Japan last spring. She asked her fellow food bloggers to lend a hand, and the result was the On-line Bake Sale for Japan. As many of you know, my father was in the Navy, and I moved to Atsugi, Japan, when I was just five years old. After living in California for most of my life, the worst earthquake I’ve experienced was in Japan. Naturally, her plea touched me on a number of levels, so I signed up and offered 2 dozen of my Amazing Oatmeal Cookies which were purchased by a generous woman for some of her friends living in a rest home.
This was the first time my blog surged in number of hits and followers. It was elating to see people who didn’t know me like what I was doing. I was thrilled with how this dish turned out and humbled by all the positive support from fellow chefs and Doristas!
For my dad’s birthday, John, my brother, and I created an enormous feast featuring homemade egg rolls, four main course selections, and a Mojito Cake for dessert. Maybe I’m being sentimental, but it was a wonderful meal with so many choices – colorful, delicious, and festive! This was a meal that was as much fun to prepare as it was to eat – and we all enjoyed our time together.
I went to the Le Crueset outlet in Camarillo, CA, and apparently my enthusiasm shone through as I talked to the store manager. She offered me a job on the spot – and I really wanted to accept it! Imagine getting discounted Le Creuset products at a discount! But, alas, my husband thought one job was enough for me with all my hobbies and other interests – but, I’m still considering it as a post-retirement job! Anyway, when I mentioned that I had a cooking blog, she invited me to give a cooking demonstration! I was thrilled! She gave me a specific pan to work with and I created this recipe to use the pan in as many was as I could think of. I’m hoping to give another demonstration soon.
Foodness Gracious – a very talented chef, photographer & dad
Patty at Patty’s Food – a fellow Dorista who is a master at plating food & food photography
Kris at Miss Kris Kitchen – another Dorista whose posts make you feel like part of her family
Chris at The Cafe Sucre Farine – who makes the most beautiful salads and loves fresh ingredients as much as I do
Ana at Sweet Almond Tree – a fellow Dorista who cooks with fresh mediterranean flair