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April 2011 posts

Win a Dream Vacation on Georgia's private Eagle Island

Eagle Island Lodge Dreaming of your own private island vacation? Your culinary chops could win that dream vacation for you.

Enter your best Shrimp Recipe for the chance to win your private island getaway to Capt. Andy Hill's Eagle Island.

Wild Georgia shrimp are an essential ingredient in coastal diets and Capt. Hill invites you to enter your best Shrimp Recipe for the chance to win your private island getaway to Eagle Island.

Some of the Island’s amenities are:

· Eagle Lodge with sleeping accommodations for 10-12

· Two full Lodge bathrooms, one outdoor enclosed luxury shower

· Great room with full kitchen, dining table & sitting area with fireplace

· Outdoor kitchen equipped with oyster roaster, two grills and ice machine

· Wrap-around screened porch with swinging couch, hammock hot tub for six

· Private dock with a deck for entertaining, fishing and deep-water access

· Internet access, DIRECTV® · Peace, quiet, tranquility, seclusion and total privacy!


Submit a Shrimp Recipe including all ingredients and preparation to Leigh Cort Publicity at

Accompany the Shrimp Recipe with a 100 word essay about why I want to win “My Dream Private Eagle Island Vacation”

Include name, address, telephone #. Entries based on originality.

Deadline for entries is August 30, 2011

Entrants must be 18 years or older

All entries become the property of

You MUST Answer the following question from website: If you bring your own boat to Eagle Island, Capt. Andy will credit your stay $____

The 5-Moon Grand Prize Winner Receives: 1. Two nights on Eagle Island for up to (6) people ~ Sunday thru Thursday 2. 5 pounds of fresh wild-caught Georgia shrimp 3. Eagle Island Luxury Tote Bag 4. Keepsake Coastal Georgia Map 5. Eagle Island Cap

Pickles always seem so mysterious to me.

I know how to make quick bread and butter pickles, but there is a whole other category of pickling that mystifies me.

Kim chee, which I love for its garlicky-heat and tangy taste,for instance, is technically a pickle, although it's not like any pickle I grew up eating. The pickled baby onions I ate in India were delicious and a treat I never imagined I'd be noshing on.

I think it's time to take on the pickle. Anyone have some great pickle recipes to share?


Sometimes you just need some soup noodles to make everything just right.

My son was feeling a little less than perky after his first day back from Spring Break.

I like a good swim to rinse off any bad energy I'm feeling from the day. When my son suggested I make soup noodles after we got in from the rec center, I was happy to oblige.

It was a great way to use the leftover chicken and corn on the cob. I snipped a little fresh basil and cilantro for garnish, stirred in a little Thai garlic chili sauce and we had comfort food.


Easter project gone seriously awry. There were eggs-ecutions in our backyard today. A lone mutant survivor.


Secrets to delicious flame-kissed food!

Okay, you got my attention.

Better Homes & Garden's latest tome dedicated to all things cooked over open flames is out (Wiley, March 2011, US $24.95, 271pp).

Fab photos for those who need to know just how it looks plated as well as great how-to pictorials. Fantastic section devoted to grilling basics for newbies - from grill types (and various cooking elements) to essential tools.

More than 200 recipes with step-by-step instruction. Even my non-cooking BF will be grilling like a pro with this comprehensive cookbook.

Can't wait to check out the chapetr on seasonings - marinades, brines, rubs, and sauces. Oh, my.

Grill It!

Good morning my beauties! I love these old-fashioned trellis roses. They make me want to sit in my lawn chair with a glass of sweet Iced tea and watch the birds.


The tamale queen has spoken

Hot Tamales!

Truthfully, I was expecting making tamales to be a lot harder to accomplish than this.  

Finding a tamales recipe was a snap thanks to the internet - although deciding which one to actually use (and. yes, modify since I can't ever resist my own little twist). Since where I live has a large hispanic population, finding ingredients was simple. 

All I didn't have was lard and that was just because I was too lazy to drive to the carniceria at the last minute.  Note: There was an industrial size container of lard at my local grocery, but I'd have to be making some huge batches of soap or something to use all of that baby.

So the house was clean, the patio swept and the laundry put away when I got my Hot Tamales project under way.  I anticipated spending more time in prep, but that portion went a lot faster than the anticipated two hours.  Of course, I did make a half batch, which believe me is more than enough for the two of us.

The meat filling was, well, not hard. My one deviation was to brown the chicken breasts (and fry my spices too a la my Nepalese mother-in-law's instruction). Then just boil until tender and shreddable.

I used instant corn masa and instead of lard. mixed the tamales dough with corn oil.  That part went really well, getting the dough to the consistency of thick peanut butter was like skipping through a field of daisies.

For some reason I thought wrapping the tamales would be trickier, but no. That part was a no-brainer too.  

Now we're just waiting for the taste test.  Two hours on the steamer and we'll let you know.

San Francisco, CA April 15, 2011 The San Francisco Waterfront Challenge, a new weekly "identify-the-photo" game, is giving prizes to waterfront-savvy locals and visitors of the city.

The challenge starts on April 20th and continues for six months.

One prize will be awarded each week with prizes ranging from two free tickets for a Red and White Fleet Bay Cruise to free appetizers at Knuckles and Eclipse restaurants.

Here's how it works:

Each Wednesday at noon, a photo taken somewhere along San Francisco's waterfront, from the Golden Gate Bridge to AT&T Park, will be posted online at San Francisco Waterfront

SF Waterfront Challenge rules are on the website.

The first person who identifies the location where the photo was taken wins that week's prize.

Answers must be emailed to

All photos used in the contest can be found in the San Francisco Waterfront iPhone app, so that even people who have never set foot in the City by the Bay can participate.

Winners will be announced each week on the San Francisco Waterfront website.

The contest is sponsored by Knuckles at the Wharf/Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf, the Red and White Fleet, and Eclipse at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco.

Just in time for my latest kitchen adventure is Roberto Santibañez' new book, Truly Mexican (with JJ Goode, Wiley Hardcover, April 25, 2011, $35.00, 272 pages).

I love tamales, well practically any meat-filled, lard-infused treat will do, so I'm eagerly anticipating the arrival of the New York chef and restaurateur's latest book.

 If I can't get my hot tamales from local pushcarts, I'll have to make my own. In preparation, I've laid in the supplies for a big batch of tamales - corn husks, masa harina, pasilla chiles, etc.

The chef promises fast, fresh and authentic Mexican for the home kitchen. I'm sure he'll deliver like he's been doing since 2009 at his Park Slope place, Fonda.

Santibañez is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and the culinary partner of The Taco Truck in Hoboken, NJ.

The Mexico City native is also author of Rosa’s New Mexican Table.

Tamale time this weekend!

Truly Mexican