Friday, May 18, 2007

May "Try This!" (sorry it took a while)

From my friend S, the next edition of "Try This!"

Try This!

May 2007


Pecan Pear Pesto over Baked Brie

2 pears – cored and chopped

1 C pecans

2 T honey

1 T Moroccan spice

1 T salt

¼ C fresh parsley

Toast pecans and chop. Add spices and honey and stir until caramelized. Add pears and parsley, blend in a food processor. Serve over baked brie.

I had this appetizer recently at a restaurant in Ithaca, NY and it was SO amazing that I got the chef to give me the recipe! The savory pecans along with the slight sweetness of the pears and honey, and the added spice makes for the most perfect topping to the warm brie. It’s heavenly!!

- Marilyn

Pasta with Lemon Sauce (Rotini with Salsa di Limone)
(Substitutions listed in parentheses)

1 pound penne pasta (rotini)
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half (1-1/4 lbs Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced)
1 lg lemon, finely zested and juiced
1C shredded mozzarella cheese (1C crumbled feta or ricotta salata)
1tsp kosher salt
1tsp freshly ground pepper (1/2 tsp)

Cook pasta al dente, reserving 1C of cooking water.
Combine cooked pasta with remaining ingredients, adding half of the cooking water. Toss to combine, and add the remaining water if needed.

I adapted this recipe from Giada on the Food Network. I didn't have some of the ingredients, but I thought the basic premise of the recipe sounded great. The pasta was very good when I made it for dinner and served it hot, but I preferred the leftovers, which I ate cold as a pasta salad. Either way, it was easy breezy and yummy. Enjoy. (For the record, I listed the ingredients that I used, but I included Giada's recommendations in parentheses. I'm sure the dish would've been better with the recommended cheese, but I can't eat cheese, so I put what I had into my husband’s dinner. I also liked the extra pepper.)

- Sommer

Linguini with Butter, Arugula and Pecorino Romano

courtesy Giada DeLaurentiis

1 pound linguine
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups very finely grated Pecorino Romano
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped arugula

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

Add the linguini and cook until it is al dente, about 8 minutes.

Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Immediately toss the hot pasta in a large bowl with the butter to coat.

While tossing the linguine, gradually sprinkle the cheese, pepper, and enough of the reserved cooking liquid evenly over the linguine to moisten.

Add the arugula and toss to combine. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt. Divide the pasta among 6 plates and serve

This recipe claims to serve 6. I guess it could, but it usually serves us two plus a little for lunch the next day. So good! Add extra arugula for more of a bite.

- Lori


Fiber One Chewy Bars

They taste absolutely wonderful and have 9 grams of fiber in each bar. My favorite flavor is the oats and chocolate. You'll find them near the granola bars in your grocery store. - Tamarah


Kathleen Lolley (

Love, love, love her! And feeling very “wanty” about

just about everything she's made. - Sara


Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

I am in the middle of this book right now and it's an intelligent page-turner, especially for those who like whodunits with true plot. There are three case histories that the reader realizes somehow intertwine. Detective Jackson Brodie investigates them all while trying to deal with his own life, complicated by a messy divorce, questions about his life, and paternal worries about his own pre-adolescent daughter. I've really enjoyed its twists and fascinating characters.
- Kary

The Dogs of Bedlam Farm: An Adventure with Sixteen Sheep, Three Dogs, Two Donkeys, & Me

by Jon Katz

It's a long title. It's such a wonderful read for anyone who loves animals - it's a true story about a writer who buys a farm more or less for his 3 border collies.


The South Beach Diet by Arthur Agatston

I know this is a book that everyone has heard of, but I wanted to give it my recommendation. I’m not using it as a diet book, (and I don’t even think the book should have diet in the title) but more of a lifestyle approach. With diabetes on the rise, this method of eating is an excellent approach to get control of your blood sugar.


What About Brian (ABC – Monday 10pm)

I never watch primetime shows anymore, but I was sick recently and went to to watch some free shows while I was lying in bed. I ran across this show and loved it! I watched all 22 episodes from this past season. It has great writing, realistic and touching story lines, and isn’t overly dramatic. It’s produced by JJ Abrams, the same man who brought us Alias and is known for his great work in television.


Children of Men

This is a terrific and dark/grim movie. I highly recommend it.



The Louis Vuitton Necklace for Cheap!

For those of you who read the Spring Vogue you probably saw the beautiful cloth beaded Louis Vuitton necklace. It sells for $750, but below are instructions to make your own for under $2!

- Marissa

1) Find some thin fabric. The best kind for this project is silk or satin. Vintage scarves work great for this pattern.

2) Cut a 5"/55" piece of fabric. If you are using an old scarf just cut the 5" pieces and sew them together to get the 55" length.

3) Sew the fabric inside out along the 55" edge.

4) Use a safety pin to turn the fabric inside out.

5) Use wooden beads roughly 1" in diameter to create the necklace. Put the first bead in the tube and center it in the fabric. Tie a tight knot on both sides of the bead.

6) Work 8-10 beads back and forth on either side of the first bead. The desired length is up to you. My preference is 10 beads.

7) When you're done threading the beads tuck in the fabric ends and sew them.


Are you in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)? Looking for a way to better manage household tasks? Check out the Fly Lady! Very helpful and practical. The Fly Lady yahoo group is fun to join - use a dedicated email address though - messages are prolific!

- Paula

For those who live to eat and for those of us who like to read about food. Recipes, stories, blogs, videos. If you want to find the best patio restaurants in Toronto, the best burgers in Kansas City, or the best best place to find frozen dumplings, this is the site to go to and get lost for about an hour. For instance I just now learned about nickel-plated cast iron skillets...

- Don

...we've been cooking on regular cast iron for decades and love it. Some people don't, it needs to be seasoned and you just don't wash it with soap and water as you do everything else. Nickel-plated iron sounds like the cat's pants, although it's pricey.

- Don

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