Blood Oranges, Grapes and Italian Pistachios in Rose Water

May we ring in the New Year on a refreshing start. The holidays gave me a few extra pounds that I intend to give away by Spring. I forgot we were invited to a Kwanzaa celebration. That means, I don’t have to cook a New Year’s dinner. After the midnight champagne toast, it’ll be nice to wake up to a citrus salad and lounge around the house until it’s time to socialize. Happy twenty-ten.

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Sherry Scallops over Sautéed Spinach

When I told the boyfriend we were having scallops for dinner, his response was neutral. In previous times, he claimed he didn’t like tomatoes. Now, he only eats my tomatoes. His blatant disdain answer about eating spaghetti squash was patiently received. He later asked for seconds. This time, his dislike for scallops was carefully revealed, “You’re making it… I might like the way you cook them.” His only criticism about this dish: it was an appetizer portion.

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Buttermilk Pancakes with Caramelized Pears and Pecans topped with Vanilla Whipped Cream

Buttermilk Pancakes with Caramelized Pears and Pecans topped with Whipped Vanilla Cream
Buttermilk Pancakes with Caramelized Pears and Pecans topped with Whipped Vanilla Cream

After a few years of warm winters, it was a treat to wake up to a winter wonderland. And, it’s a blessing to have a fully stocked refrigerator. We served our sweet breakfast with green tea and faux mimosas (orange juice with wine instead of champagne). We happened to have a cheap bottle of wine, because it was going to be used in the chicken stew for dinner later in the day. We watched church services via live-stream from the internet. When service was over, the sweets were ready.

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Buttermilk Cornbread just as Easy as a Cake Mix

It was the eventual boredom of playing with Barbie dolls, other kids being busy, or watching television shows that lead me to the kitchen. It occurs to me now; my father was the only family member in an open room, without closed doors. Sundays were the days, in which my father spent all day in the kitchen. As I grew older, I would read the newspaper, and we would talk about current events and opinions. These talks intertwined with my basic cooking lessons, and cooking would become an intuitive skill. With little hands, I peeled carrots, potatoes, a garlic clove or an onion. I watched boiling pots and pans as my father made a quick dash into the vegetable garden. Cheese or vegetables would be grated. I learned how to correctly prep and mince vegetables. Sauces would be stirred or whisked. Ingredients would be pre-measured for cakes as I anxiously waited for Dad to pour the batter into the pan. I loved licking beaters and bowls. My sister and I had a babysitter who did not understand why we were the only kids who didn’t like licking the batter from her instant cake mix. Out of modesty, we simply told her no thank you without an explanation of comparison. Although, we were happy for a slice.

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