Cooking In Stilettos...
Thursday, August 28, 2008 Obsessed With: Le Creuset Caribbean Braiser...


One of the best used pieces of cookware in my kitchen is my Le Creuset Braiser. I bought it 2 years ago and it just is a workhorse in my kitchen. I bought it in the sassy red at the time because there was no such thing as Caribbean line. As Teal IS my favorite color, I really am starting to convert my kitchen to shades of teal and chocolate (with the occasional sassy red from my initial LC purchases).

However, lately I've been wanting to add more to my LC Caribbean collection and I encountered this 3.5 qt. braiser in Caribbean. I'm thinking, it might be good to have two, no. I use it much like a fry pan as well.

What do you think - should I add a new addition to the household?

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Posted by Lys :: 1:09 PM :: 6 comments

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Saturday, August 23, 2008 Save The Date: Barefoot Contessa's Back To Basics To Be Released

You can tell the holiday shopping season is approaching by the number of things becoming available for pre-order.
One thing that is sure to be a hit this season is the latest offering from Ina Garten aka the Barefoot Contessa. Her new book, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: How To Get Great Flavors From Simple Ingredients, will be available for sale on Oct. 28, 2008. Not a bad idea for a holiday gift for that person that adores cookbooks or even yourself.

When it comes to fabulous dishes made from simple ingredients, Ina Garten has it down pat. I adore watching her show on the Food Network and think that some of her tips have definitely helped me with my cooking prowess over the years. You know I'll be having this shipped to me as soon as it's available.

[Pic courtesy of BN.com]

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Posted by Lys :: 12:54 PM :: 2 comments

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Friday, August 22, 2008 G. Garvin's Website Relaunches...


If y'all watch Turn Up The Heat's G. Garvin as much as I do, you know he is one of those chefs that will make you pay attention. His cookbooks are a staple on my shelf and he just makes cooking seem simple.

I was sad when his website went down but, per his official blog, it's back and brand new and shiny.

Check it out at www.chefgarvin.com

Welcome back Chef!

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Posted by Lys :: 10:22 PM :: 0 comments

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Thursday, August 21, 2008 Wishful Thinking: All Clad Slow Cooker...

I'm a gal who wants a gorgeous kitchen without the Bill Cosby gadget clutter as much as the next gal and this All Clad Slow Cooker is screaming my name.

However, at $249.95, the price tells me "Hold up. Wait a minute!" and I back away slowly.

However, much like me on the hunt for a rockin' stiletto at Neimans, the price doesn't stop me from fondling whenever I'm in Williams Sonoma. The cool stainless steel look, the removable braiser that can go on the stove top - heaven for a cooking diva, no? Sadly, my little slow cooker doesn't go stovetop to slow cooker.


Ahhh well, a gal can at least look, right?

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Posted by Lys :: 3:47 AM :: 2 comments

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Monday, August 18, 2008 (Another) Night At The Bourbon...

While I was in Philadelphia last weekend, plans were made to have dinner at one of our fave spots, Bourbon Blue. I encountered this spot first in April and it's one of those spots that just sticks in your memory. See, while the Bourbon is great for cocktails and catching up with friends, one can't ignore the fact that the cuisine there is top notch. IMO, their executive chef, Mark Ziebis, is a culinary wiz. My friends know that when I'm in town, that a night at the Bourbon is on the agenda somehow.

Of course we started again with the Blackened Chicken Quesadillas with the cilantro sour cream and salsa fresca. For entrees, Meowmix was predictable with her favorite Parmesan & Cornmeal Encrusted Scallops while at the expert advice of our server, I opted for the Blackened Tilapia with Pecan Butter Sauce. Of course, it was futile to even TRY to resist the Espresso Martinis that Heather whipped up nor the Blueberi Stoli Lemonade that Anthony plied us with that evening. After dinner, you must check out the downstairs club as the DJ rocks, there's live bands on Saturdays and, as a matter of course, the bartenders will always take care of you.

Now, I didn't paparazzo much as I lost the pics in the Blackberry Crash heard 'round Philadelphia (and I'm still in mourning) but Meowmix was smart enough to snag a shot of not only her Scallops (check out that presentation) but also the Cornbread and the infamous Creole Butter.

Parmesan & Cornmeal Encrusted Scallops with Vegetable Orzo


For the record, the last time I went, I begged, whined and pleaded with our server, Mark, to get me the recipe from the chef for their Creole Butter. Believe me when I say it was TO. DIE. FOR. Mark took heed of my whining and told me 3 little ingredients. I came home and tried like mad to replicate it. It was close, but not quite. I hit frustration level because while my attempt was good, it just didn't have that za-za-zuu. In stiletto speak, it's like wanting Jimmy Choo and getting 9West. Nice but just not IT. You see my point? And y'all know I refuse to settle.

Well, this time I was determined that if I had to bribe a senator to get that recipe, I would. Thankfully, the powers that be at the Bourbon took pity on a gal and kindly relinquished the hold on this recipe. We'll call it an early birthday present.

Many thanks to the crew at the Bourbon Blue for their fabulous service and always lookin' out. If you are headed out the Philadelphia way, check them out at 2 Rector Street, Manayunk, PA 19127; (215) 508-3360; www.bourbonblue.com


Bourbon Blue's Cornbread and Creole Butter

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Posted by Lys :: 12:13 PM :: 1 comments

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Sunday, August 17, 2008 Obsessed With: Williams Sonoma Foulard Tablecloths

I'm in love, people - with a tablecloth. Yes, I know - this is the second tablecloth obsession in a year.
I'm waiting on pins and needles for the fall Williams Sonoma catalog but I happened to catch this on their website: Foulard Tablecloths in Gray.

It looks so lovely for a fall table.

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Posted by Lys :: 5:34 PM :: 0 comments

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Saturday, August 16, 2008 Save the Date: Giada's Kitchen Set For Release

Now THIS is some news... September 30, 2008 guess where your gal will be? She'll be leafing through the latest cookbook from Giada de Laurentiis - Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites.

You can pre-order it from Barnes & Noble and, if you really are adventurous, combine it with any coupons and cash back for that little extra somethin'.


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Posted by Lys :: 9:14 PM :: 0 comments

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Weekly Question: Spice Organization...


What is your best tip for keeping your spices organized?
Let us know in the comments...

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Posted by Lys :: 5:26 PM :: 0 comments

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Friday, August 15, 2008 Taking Stilettos To A Whole 'Nother Level...

The *new* thing is to go grocery shopping with reusable bags, no? I mean, I have my Publix bags for shopping at Publix; Fresh Market bags for shopping at Fresh Market and Steve Madden and Sur La Table for extras. I love the fact that I don't get barraged by plastic bags on the regular and they are not cluttering up the house.

So when Chic & Charming posted this lovely Chic & Green Tote, you know I oooh'd, ahhhh'd and HAD TO HAVE. I mean, c'mon, this is Cooking in Stilettos - why not Shop in Stilettos, right? Jus' sayin'. You can check it out HERE.



*Pic courtesy of Chic & Charming

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Posted by Lys :: 4:24 PM :: 1 comments

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Thursday, August 14, 2008 Obsessed With: Mesa Grill Seasoning Set...


If there's a spice rub or something when I'm shopping, I'll stop and investigate. If you saw my spice pantry, I swear you would laugh yourself silly.
This is something that I have been wanting for the longest: The Messa Grill Seasoning Set. Well, namely, Bobby Flay's infamous 16 spice poultry rub which, if I actually FOLLOWED directions in the Mesa Grill cookbook, I could ATTEMPT to make. However, I'm not that brave and to find all the ingredients ummm.. well that would be tough here in Orlando.

However, this set looks like it is just what the doctor ordered.

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Posted by Lys :: 6:03 AM :: 1 comments

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008 Tried & True: Giada's Chicken or Steak with Balsamic BBQ Sauce

This is one of those recipes I go to when I want to put a little oomph in my step. Now, this in NO way means I'm abandoning my fave Barefoot Contessa BBQ Sauce, but this is good for when you want a little somethin' different.

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Chicken or Steak with Balsamic BBQ Sauce

Recipe and Photo courtesy of Giada de Laurentiis; Food Network.com

For the Balsamic BBQ sauce:
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the chicken or steak:
4 pieces chicken (any combination of breast or leg-and-thigh pieces) or 4 pieces of New York strip or Club strip steak
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the BBQ sauce:
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by 1/3, about 15 to 20 minutes.

For the chicken or steak:

  • Place a grill pan over medium heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.
  • Season the meat with salt and pepper.
  • Lightly coat with some of the BBQ sauce using a pastry brush. Place the meat on the grill.
  • Place the remaining BBQ sauce, still in the small saucepan, over low heat or on the edge of a gas or charcoal grill and allow to gently simmer while the meat cooks.
  • Cook the chicken about 8 minutes per side.
  • Cook the steaks starting at about 4 minutes per side until a meat thermometer reads the desired temperature, 120 degrees F for medium rare, 135 degrees F for medium (about 6 minutes per side), 155 degrees F for well done (about 9 minutes per side).
  • Continually brush the meat with BBQ sauce every few minutes.
  • Remove the meat from the grill and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
  • Serve with the heated BBQ sauce alongside.

Alternately, the chicken can be baked in the oven.

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Place the chicken skin side up in a baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the baking dish from the oven and spoon the BBQ sauce all over the top of the chicken.
  • Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.

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Posted by Lys :: 5:55 PM :: 1 comments

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Saturday, August 2, 2008 Cooks Illustrated & America's Test Kitchen...

FYI- you are hereby on notice. I read this post and am OUTRAGED at your representative's behavior, condescending tone and superiority complex. As I deal with IP law quite often, for your representative to act like this is just horrid - over a modified potato salad recipe.

That being said, Cooks Kitchen and America's Test Kitchen - we're breaking up. I'm not buying your magazine or frequenting your websites. Your emails will be deleted. Conde Nast will get my attention from here on out. You have lost a loyal reader.

Foodie Bloggers, check this post out and register your comments if this is something that gets your goat. Melissa should have NEVER gone through this drama. Much thanks to Don for the heads up.

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Posted by Lys :: 8:00 PM :: 4 comments

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Friday, August 1, 2008 Flanboyant Eats Shares The Wealth...

I've been so bad, I know. I've been wrapped up in planning this soiree in Philly but I will be back with the quickness, pinky swear!

In the meantime, stop by Flanboyant Eats and check out how paying it forward resulted in a little package on Chef Bren's lap which she's now sharing with y'all.

And if you don't have Flanboyant Eats bookmarked, c'mon now. Would I steer you wrong :)

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Posted by Lys :: 3:09 PM :: 0 comments

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