Raves and Faves 23

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A Cuban sandwich pairs exceptionally well with Apple Cider Sangria. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend of Cuban extraction providing the Cuban sandwich, then life just doesn’t get any better.

This inventive Apple Cider Sangria was a lovely way to welcome friends and fall recently. Get the recipe by clicking here. The link will take you to an excellent food blog called Fresh Tastes, A Celebration of Food and Cooking, and it’s part of a bigger collection of all things food-related appearing on the Public Broadcasting System network. Who knew PBS had a food blog? I’m going to start checking it regularly. In the meantime, I’ll be stirring up another pitcher of this sangria soon.

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Commercial kitchen products. This 2.5-quart container with lid is perfect for storing soup. I bought a package of two at Sam’s Club, a good source for workhorse knives, half sheet pans, and skillets. There’s also a couple of restaurant supply stores in my area. Last week I went to one and bought the stainless steel inner container of a bain marie to keep on my countertop for storing all food debris destined for the compost bin.

That Chunky Tomato-Red Pepper Soup, by the way, is delicious. The recipe is in this month’s issue of Country Living magazine (also a favorite regular read), and happens to be detailed on the magazine’s web site, too. Click here for how to make it.

(May I take a moment to point out the obvious, that this is not a food-styling blog. It is a real-life look at what goes on in my kitchen, and sometimes my bowls of soup don’t look very presentable.)

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My favorite kitchen hack (this week) is using an electric kettle to make hard-boiled eggs. (Thank you, Alton Brown.) Fill the kettle just below capacity with tap water. Add several large eggs very carefully, lowering them into the water individually on a spoon. (Make sure the water level hasn’t risen above the maximum mark. Adjust, if necessary.) Put the lid on the kettle, turn it on, and once you hear the distinctive “click” that signals the boiling point being reached (when my Cuisinart kettle automatically turns off), set a timer for 10 minutes, and let the eggs sit. Once 10 minutes have passed, pour out the hot water water and replace with cold water to keep the eggs from overcooking. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of cold water to continue to cool. You’ll have perfectly hard-cooked eggs without the hassle of watching a pot for signs of boiling. This is a high-risk, high-reward endeavor. If you boil eggs that perhaps got handled a little roughly on their way into the kettle, causing one or more to crack, start over with intact eggs. Cleaning the kettle after an egg has leaked inside while being boiled is no fun. Ask me how I know. And, yes, I use that same kettle every morning to make tea for breakfast. There’s no flavor transfer from the eggs.

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I am crazy about Urban Decay’s Naked 2 Basics eye shadow palette. The small case holds six matte eye shadows, all cool-tone shades of nude, taupe, and brown. A little eyeliner in Urban Decay Mushroom completes the look – a notch better than natural, but not overdone. As I approach the crepey years, less is definitely more.

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God bless the sales clerk in the women’s foundations department of Dillard’s in North Little Rock who told me to put on my Spanx camisoles by stepping into them, not pulling them on over my head. After years of near strangulation in the wrestling match that is sometimes known as getting dressed, this news is life-changing. I don’t wear Spanx every day, but when the outfit and occasion call for it, it’s nice to complete the process without circus lady contortions.

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetHomemade waffles for breakfast.

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5-IMG_6117“Zenith,” by A. Mary Kay of Lindsborg, Kansas

State of the Art exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. I loved it.

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A monarch butterfly stopping for lunch at a cone flower outside my front door. The migration south is underway.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. S. says:

    Always ready with the Cuban sandwiches to go with your delicious cocktails! (Speaking for J, of course)

    1. cookbookwall says:

      Sounds like a lovely way to spend an evening! Tell J to start the assembly line!

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