Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sandra Day O'Connor Presented with Cookbook

Recently, Gail and Charles Lucky attended the 25th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. They had been to it in the past and knew that since it was the 25th anniversary, extra special events would be featured.

When they learned that Sandra Day O’Connor, retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, would be the keynote speaker, Charles suggested to Gail that she give Justice O'Connor one of our cookbooks, Tastes & Treasures. Right before Justice O'Connor gave her speech, Gail had the opportunity. Justice O'Connor graciously accepted it with the comment, “I love to cook. I will treasure the book.”

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mediterranean Pasta Salad & Chocolate Peanut Treats

Two League members brought recipes from Tastes & Treasures for the luncheon at our February meeting. Bonnie Newhoff prepared the Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Basil (page 175) and Margaret Baker made the Chocolate Peanut Treats (page 162.)

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Basil

Basil Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups fusilli or penne
6 ounces haricots verts, trimmed
Salt to taste
2 large tomatoes chopped, or small grape tomatoes
Sliced kalamata olvies
2 cups fresh basil leaves, stacked and thinly sliced
1 (7-ounce) can oil-pack tuna, drained and flaked
2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced or chopped
Capers, drained and rinsed
For the viniaigrette, whisk the vinegar, basil, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl until combined. Add the olive oil gradually, whisking constantly until the olive oil is incorporated.
For the salad, cook the pasta using the package directions and drain. Toss the hot pasta with a small amount of the vinaigrette in a bowl. Blanch the green beans in a small amount of boiling salted water in a saucepan until tender-crisp and drain. Immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and drain.

Layer the pasta, tomatoes, olives, basil, green beans and tuna in a large salad bowl, drizzling each layer with some of the vinaigrette. Toss lightly and top with the hard-cooked eggs and capers.

Serves 4.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Game Day

It is hard to live in Phoenix now and NOT be a Cardinal fan today. Everyone is wearing Cardinal red. We are having a Super Bowl party and I went right to Tastes & Treasures cookbook for food ideas. Cowboy Caviar seemed like a great choice and it is very tasty. I borrowed Cumin from my neighbor and bought Coriander in the grocery store aisle under Mexican foods. It is tiny balls so I crushed it with a rolling pin. The two flavors are interesting. I would have never used them but am glad I did. The dressing also calls for fresh garlic. is confession time. I have never used fresh garlic and did not know how to do it. Thank goodness my daughter in law is such a great cook. I had watched her mince garlic cloves but then I could not find the garlic press. Knowing it was buried in the draw of utensils that I rarely used, I began to look. Found a cherry pitter, lemon juicer, apple sectioner. Then I got lucky and found one half of the garlic press. After much digging (you can tell by now that I don't cook much) the other half appeared and I was good to go. Except one garlic clove seemed like a lot so I stopped there. Oh well. This is a new version of Cowboy Caviar. Then two avocados did not seem like enough so I added another. Love them in anything. And the aroma of fresh cut cilantro is yummy. This is a photo of our good friend, Earlene Alauria, holding Cardinal cupcakes and me with the Cowboy Caviar ...Go Cards.