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Monday, March 2, 2015

Meatballs for a Crowd


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The Silver Fox had to bring a dish to an all-male get together this afternoon. I thought some all-male meatballs woulds be perfect for them and for me. As it happens, these meatballs, which are baked rather than fried, are easy to make and when napped with a flavorful gravy they are absolutely delicious. I sent them with sandwich rolls, but they are also great when paired with buttered noodles or creamy mashed potatoes. This is a straight foreward recipe that is quick to put together. The thing that sets this dish apart from others like it, is the wonderful onion gravy in which the meatballs are warmed. The recipe can be doubled to double or triple if you need to serve more than 12 people. I do hope you'll try this recipe. Here's how the meatballs and their gravy are made.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ina's Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I made these for myself this weekend, because, as you know, butter cookies enriched with jelly and peanuts are just what you need after being sedentary for a month. I'm sure they moved directly to my hips, but not before I enjoyed every buttery morsel. These cookies are the adult version of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and while I can't promise for sure, I think they will make you feel like a kid again. The recipe for the cookies was developed by Ina Garten and while most folks who have made them like the cookies, others have found them to be dry and crumbly. I can't speak to what their problems might have been, but I can tell you we enjoyed the cookies and I would make them again. Because the bars are expensive to make, I want to share some tips with you. The measurement of flour can be tricky because of the way we scoop it. In a perfect world, we'd all weigh our flour and results would be consistent from one kitchen to another. That's not going to happen any time soon, so, I wanted to let those of you who decide to make these know how I measured mine. I have for years been a fluff, spoon and level gal and I suspect the quantity of flour that I use is a smidge less then that used by those who fluff and scoop. That distinction can sometimes be important and probably explains why some folks ended up with dry and crumbly cookie bars. It is equally important to let these sit for at least an hour before you cut them. This is the type of cookie that improves with age, so I made mine the day before I cut and served them. Our bars were very moist and we really enjoyed them. These are not an everyday cookie but if you are looking for an occasional treat, do give this recipe a try. Here is how the cookies are made.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

Nankhatai, Pokhara and the Gurkha Honor Code


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...At this time of year, the Silver Fox and I begin to winnow our list of potential holiday destinations. Our choices this year are more constrained because safety considerations have to be factored into the final decision. Friends, still in foreign service, have advised us to avoid Indonesia, Russia and Egypt. Remaining on the list are various possibilities that include an extended tour of European cities, an Alpine trek, a safari in Tanzania and, at the top of both our lists, Antarctica, which we would both do in a New York minute if we can massage the finances needed for the journey. Bob would also like to revisit Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. These countries have a charm all their own and they are hard to forget. Pokhara, in Nepal, is, and I suspect will remain one of my favorite places on earth. Most Himalayan treks and climbs begin here and the town is surrounded by mountains of aching beauty. It is also the area from which the Gurkhas come and many of them return here to retire. It goes without saying that the crime rate in Pokhara is quite low. Gurkhas have been part of the British Army for almost 200 years, and the bravery and prowess of these Nepalese warriors has never been questioned. They have a strict code of honor and believe "it is better to die than be a coward." A retired colonel who hiked with us shared his belief that all warriors carry within them an expiration date. Rather than try to change that a Gurkha is trained to be ready for it. We were in Pokhara for the Hindu feast of Diwali which celebrates the victory of light over darkness and we able to sample all the special foods associated with the holiday. The cookie I'm featuring tonight is an eggless shortbread that is a Diwali favorite. The cookies are delicious and easy to make. Here is the recipe.

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