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Archive for the ‘sides, salads, and appetizers’ Category

“I have to be seen to be believed.” ~ Queen Elizabeth II

Roll out the red carpet and practice your curtsies. Polish your tiara if you like.

A very special guest is joining us for tea today!

Mr. Cornelius has been a fan of Her Majesty the Queen for a long time. He likes that she loves animals and chocolate, lives in several beautiful royal residences, always wears the best hats, and has reigned for an amazing 60 years!

A tea party lover from the start: Princess Elizabeth with her parents Queen Elizabeth and King George VI.

Needless to say, he was beside himself when she accepted our invitation. We spiffed up the dining room, stocked up on Earl Grey and Darjeeling (reputedly her favorite), and made finger sandwiches and cake.

She’s so photogenic!

We were a little nervous but she immediately put us at ease. Imagine our great surprise when she brought Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and Harry with her! They were such a jolly group and didn’t seem to mind dipping in hot water. :)

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Recently, Mr. Cornelius and I finally made one of the recipes from the Park Sisters’ new cookbook, Allergies, Away!: Creative Eats and Mouthwatering Treats for Kids Allergic to Nuts, Dairy, and Eggs (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013).

We wanted to whet your appetite for their upcoming visit next month and share a few details about their mouthwatering, kid-friendly collection of 70+ recipes — dishes your entire family can enjoy making and eating, whether they have food allergies or not.

Credit: Teddy Wolff/WP Express

If you remember when Frances and Ginger stopped by to tell us about their beautifully written, heartfelt memoir (Chocolate Chocolate: The True Story of Two Sisters, Tons of Treats, and the Little Shop That Could, 2011), you know that they own Washington, D.C.’s, premier chocolate boutique. Imagine how disheartening it must have been when they discovered that Ginger’s one-year-old son, Justin, had severe food allergies, making it too risky for him to even visit their shop!

When Ginger was pregnant, everyone assumed her child would be the proverbial “kid in a candy store.” Though Justin had to stay far away from chocolate covered peanuts, he did grow up eating a nice variety of tasty, nutritious meals and snacks, thanks to the conscientious, resourceful efforts of his mother and aunt.

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Hello, June!

Everything’s green and growing, and good things are happening . . .

1. Big Congratulations to Jorge Argueta and Margarita Sada for winning an International Latino Book Award for Guacamole: A Cooking Poem! The award was given for best Children’s Fiction Picture Book (Bilingual). Most of you know how much I love Jorge’s Cooking Poem series, and I’m sooooo glad to see a poetry book win in this category. Read my interview with Jorge to find out more about Guacamole. :)

jorge's award

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2. Happy Happy Book Birthday to Tara Lazar!!! Her debut picture book illustrated by James Burks, The Monstore (Aladdin/S&S, 2013), is officially out today!! Finally, finally, I’ll know just where to shop for all my monsterly needs. Sounds like such a wild and funny book — can’t wait to get my mitts on a copy. You can learn more by reading Tara’s recent interviews at Literary Friendships and Watch. Connect. Read.

monstore cover

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3. Since June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, we’re featuring several of Cris Arbo’s beautiful illustrations from What’s in the Garden? (Dawn Publications, 2013) in our blog header. Can’t wait to tell you more about this delicious book in my Poetry Friday post!

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4. Speaking of fresh veggies, I can’t wait to try this recipe for Asparagus Frittata, charmingly illustrated by Aliona Bereghici. Aliona’s recipe was selected as They Draw & Cook’s favorite for May 2013.

asparagus frittata

(click to enlarge)

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5. Finally, have you ever tried to grow a vegetable garden from kitchen scraps? The only thing I’ve ever done involved an avocado pit mounted on toothpicks. Check out this thoroughly cool video created by my niece Cobi at Veggietorials.com for some great ideas, and be sure to read her corresponding blog post for more detailed instructions.

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Know what else is good about June? Sir Paul McCartney’s birthday is on the 18th — he’s going to be 71!

“So if I’m cooking, I’ll be steaming vegetables, making salad, that kind of stuff.”

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Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

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Oy! It’s Hanukkah already and though I’ve been waiting patiently for a nice Jewish grandmother to adopt me, she hasn’t come forward yet. Cornelius suggested we should just go ahead and make our own latkes while we’re waiting.

Mmmm, latkes — the mere thought of crisp, golden potato pancakes with dabs of sour cream and applesauce makes my mouth water. I can picture mothers and grandmothers busy in the kitchen preparing their special recipes for loved ones, happy families gathered around the table eager to try the latkes first despite all the other delicious dishes being served. And why not? Latkes are irresistible and so comforting, a perfect ode to oil for the Festival of Lights!

Since I really wanted to impress any grandmotherly prospects, I decided to forego the classic white potatoes recipe in favor of something a little different. Actually, I got a special request from poet friend Gail Gerwin to share the Sweet Potato-Apple Latkes recipe from The Apple Lover’s Cookbook which I reviewed recently. I was only too happy to oblige, despite the fact that Gail is too young to be my grandmother (she’s a terrific cook, though, if you remember the delicious Stuffed Cabbage she made for Passover Seder this past April).

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Paul with daughters Stella and Mary (photo © 2011 Mary McCartney)

Back in the Dark Ages, when I was a dreamy 12-year-old listening to the radio in my bedroom with the pink curtains and wall-to-wall Beatles pictures, it was inconceivable that any of the Fab Four would ever age.

Well, it seems Sir Paul has decided to turn 70 today and I can’t think of any other classic rocker who’s managed to age quite so well. Still has his boyish good looks and charm, still writes, records, performs and tours, still the idol of millions all over the world. Whenever I see him, I still feel like that innocent middle schooler watching the Ed Sullivan Show, so lucky to have witnessed that watershed moment in history when popular music changed forever.

You probably know Paul is a longtime vegetarian, who, with his daughters Stella and Mary, launched the Meatfree Monday campaign in London back in 2009. Last fall they published The Meat Free Monday Cookbook (Kyle Books, 2011).  I just purchased the American edition (released March 2012), and decided to make one of the recipes to celebrate Paul’s birthday.

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