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Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Valentine’s Day Cooking Class

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on February 17, 2019

For something different than the usual dinner at a restaurant for Valentine’s Day, we signed up for a Publix Aprons Cooking School class. We’ve enjoyed these before, and the night’s menu looked appealing. It was a popular choice. The place was full with 48 people present to watch the demo-style class.

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As we waited for the show to start, one of the chefs poured us each a welcome glass of Cupcake Sparkling Rosé wine. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I grew up on rosés before learning to appreciate drier varieties. Remember Lancer’s?

First course was a Pistachio Shortbread with Goat Cheese, Strawberries, and Mint-Honey paired with a Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. This was almost like dessert. The shortbread was a tasty cookie. The wine went well with this selection but it was a bit too fruity for my taste. I’d like it better before dinner.

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The next course was really good and very hearty. I could have made a meal out of this alone. We got a generous portion of Seared Sea Scallop Chowder with Smoky Sourdough Croutons paired with Bread & Butter Chardonnay. This wine went on my “I Like It” list. The soup was delicious. You could vary the recipe at home and make it with shrimp or lobster instead. If you use scallops, remove the abductor muscle from the sides.

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The main dish showed me a cooking technique I’d never heard of before. It used a temperature-regulated water bath. You insert the food in a vacuum sealed plastic bag, so you’d also need the vacuum device. I’ll never make this at home with all the extra equipment required, but the meat was tasty and tender. The dark things are purple potatoes. Sous Vide Lamb Loin with Butter-Roasted Radishes, Carrots, and Baby Potatoes paired with a La Crema Pinot Noir. I liked the dry red wine. Tip for pearl onions: cut off the bottoms and blanch in boiling water for a minute, and the skin peels right off.

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The dessert, a Butterscotch-Toffee Budino (pudding) was paired with a Veuve Cliequot Brut Champagne. Apparently, the tinier the bubbles, the more expensive the brand. This one had lots of tiny bubbles. The pudding was like a dense flan, a rich dessert that melts in your mouth.

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We had a gourmet meal and wine for a decent price, plus we got to see an entertaining cooking demo and take home the recipes. Let’s check their calendar and see what’s appealing that is coming up next.

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Posted in Florida Musings, Food, Recipes, That's Life | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Publix Cooking Class – Seafood

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 5, 2018

We started the evening at Publix Aprons Cooking School with a glass of light golden sparkling Chloe Prosecco. This was a pleasant drink that’s good for sipping before dinner.

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The first course began with Grilled Shrimp Skewers accompanied by Corn and Pineapple Relish. This corn would make a good side dish by itself. The dish seemed reasonable to make at home, although I’d substitute parsley for the cilantro. The wine with this starter was a Buried Cane Chardonnay. It was a medium gold color, and I liked it enough to put it on my buy list.

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Cooking Tip: If you want to know if the oil in your pan is hot enough, add a couple of kernels of popcorn. When they pop, the oil is ready. Be careful the popped corn doesn’t hit you in the eye, so avoid leaning over the pan.

Next we watched the chef prepare Louisiana Lump Crab Cakes with Tasso Tartar Sauce. These were really good; crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I could eat a meal just with these crab cakes. They were served with salad greens.

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In keeping with our seafood theme, the main course was Key West Jerk Snapper with Papaya and Red Pepper Jam. We each got a firm piece of fish that was moist and tasted good with the sauce. The wine was a Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc with a medium gold color. This was light and fruity.

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Cooking Tips:

Don’t marinate fish or shrimp with citrus, such as orange or lime juice, for more than an hour and a half or the citrus might cook the seafood, as in ceviche.

Dry the fish by patting it with paper towels before frying it. Our chef used a stainless steel sauté pan.

Pigeon Peas with Rice accompanied the fish as a side dish. This had a tomato base, unlike the version I like to make. The Earth Heart Erath Pinot Noir was good with this entrée.

Dessert was a divine Mississippi Molten Chocolate Cake, otherwise known as a lava cake. It melted in our mouths, the heat dissolved by a scoop of vanilla ice cream. My mouth is watering at the memory. I wasn’t fond of the Stella Rose Prosecco that came with this last course.

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Needless to say, I came home and conked out. Too much to eat and drink, but it was definitely worth the effort. I can’t wait to sign up for another class. Look for one near you at Publix Aprons Cooking School.

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Publix Aprons Cooking School

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on May 9, 2018

We’ve enjoyed the cooking classes at Publix Aprons Cooking School in the past. This evening’s Australian Wine and Dine theme appealed to us since we like Australian wines. Did you know we went to Australia on our honeymoon, among other places? Visions of Ayers Rock rose in our minds as we read the menu. This would be a fun night.

This class drew a full house. The place was packed, and three chefs took turns doing the demonstrations. You can choose hands-on or demo classes where the chefs do the work. Either way, you sample the food and accompanying wines. None of the portions or drink pours are huge but your stomach is filled by the end.

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Tonight we started with a 19 Crimes red wine called “The Uprising.” This was really good and will go on my buy list. This brand is fun as every cork relates a different crime. I have two of them in my home office. One reads, #11. Stealing roots, trees, or plants or destroying them. The other one says, #15. Clandestine marriage. Imagine this being a crime. It could provide fodder for lots of stories.

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The started course was Barbecue Shrimp with Spring Pea Salad. This seemed relatively easy to make. The shrimp were tasty, and I liked the pea salad that was served cold. It could easily be heated as a vegetable side dish. Did I mention that you get all the recipes to take home? With this course, we had an Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc. It was light golden in color and a bit fruity. We liked it. Our tablemates called it “refreshing.”

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Next on the menu was Crispy Scalloped Potatoes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraiche. These potatoes took a bit of effort to make, being sliced and dipped in batter than fried. They were crispy tasty, and I liked the smoked salmon with them, but I’d probably use potato latkes or vegetable pancakes from the freezer section instead. The accompanying wine was 19 Crimes Chardonnay. This was a nice golden color and dryer than the sauvignon blanc with more body.

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The entrée was Marinated Pepper Steaks with Wild Mushrooms and Couscous. We’re not big meat eaters these days, but this dish was delicious. The beef is cut into thin strips, marinated and then stir fried. Then it’s mixed with mushrooms, bell pepper strips, sliced onions and diced roasted tomatoes. The wine was 19 Crimes 2017 Shiraz. It was a deep burgundy color and tasted stronger (or drier) than the first wine.

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Dessert was a Double Chocolate Lamington Cake with Coconut. It tasted like a coconut-coated brownie cake. While appealing to chocoholics, this dish might have been better served with a vanilla sauce. The last wine was a 19 Crimes Cabernet Sauvignon. It tasted very dry to our palates. Out of the three reds, we preferred the first one the best.

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We got the recommended app on our phone called Living Wine Labels. It’s fun to scan a 19 Crimes wine bottle label and see what happens. Overall, we greatly enjoyed this class, although it’s a lot to eat and drink by the time you’re done. We’d better go for some long walks this week to wear off the calories. I already know which class I want to sign up for next. Do you go to cooking classes or experiment with new dishes at home?

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Posted in Florida Musings, Food, Recipes, That's Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Aprons Cooking School

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on August 16, 2017

Publix Cooking Class

We always enjoy the cooking classes at Publix Aprons Cooking School. You can choose between demo classes, where the chefs do all the work, or hands-on where you don the aprons. My husband and I like the demos. We sit at white clothed tables and follow along with our set of printed recipes while the chefs explain each preparation method. For our latest class, they started us off with a welcome glass of Chateau St. Michelle Pinot Gris. I liked this light golden white wine.

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The first dish was an Apple Pear salad. As one chef showed us how to prepare the ingredients and mix the dressing, two other guys dished out the food onto a series of plates for serving. The salad was delicious, a balance of sweet to the tang of blue cheese. This was paired with a Chateau St. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc. It was too fruity for my taste.

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Next we enjoyed an Alaskan Salmon Terrine with Asparagus Sauce. We always learn tricks of the trade or new info at these events, and tonight we learned about salmon. Here are the five different types/grades from the top rating down: King, Sockeye, Coho, Keta, and Pink. Keta (from the Arctic) has more oil than Sockeye so is good for grilling. (Any mistakes here are due to my misinterpretation.) Sockeye is never farmed. This dish, that looked like a paté, reminded me of gefilte fish. The asparagus sauce was a very good accompaniment as was the Chateau St. Michelle Chardonnay served with it.

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For the main entrée, we had Cedar Plank Wild-Caught Salmon, along with a Couscous side dish that contained corn and cilantro. I’m not a cilantro fan and the couscous was from a mix, so I’d probably choose another flavor. I did learn that if you want to take the kernels off a stick of corn, hold the corn on top of a bundt pan in the center hole, and then scrape downward. I’d also have preferred this fish to come with a sauce so it wasn’t so plain. The Chateau St. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon won my approval. Yes, we had a red wine with fish, and it worked fine.

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Dessert was homemade cheesecake with raspberry sauce. What’s not to like?

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You can see cooking lesson videos for yourself at https://www.youtube.com/user/LightsCameraCook/videos or check out the Publix cooking schools here: http://www.publix.com/recipes-planning/aprons-cooking-schools.

So did I make you hungry?

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Spaghetti Surprise

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 19, 2016

Last weekend’s dinner was one of my favorite dishes. It’s easy to make when you don’t feel much like cooking. This recipe requires that you have several basics on hand, but it’s called a “surprise” because that’s exactly what’s in it. You are using whatever foods you have in your pantry or refrigerator that you wish to use up.

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I started out by cooking a package of whole wheat angel hair pasta that we had in stock. You can use any kind of pasta or rice that you have on hand. Ditto for the veggies. Canned or frozen vegetables will work. I used canned chicken, but you could also substitute canned tuna. Any kind of shredded cheese or grated Parmesan will do. My husband wanted tomato sauce, but you could use Healthy Choice Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, Cream of Chicken Soup, or Cream of Celery Soup instead. Oh, and I threw in some fresh chopped basil and chopped onions. Other items I might add are a small jar of pimento or sliced water chestnuts for crunch. A can of diced tomatoes might be another addition, especially if you are using a soup for moisture instead of a tomato-based sauce. A splash of white wine could also provide moisture.

16 oz. package whole wheat angel hair pasta, cooked and drained
1 can chicken breast, drained and flaked
1 large can corn
1 large can peas and carrots
1 jar tomato basil sauce
Shredded cheddar cheese
Fresh chopped basil
Fresh chopped onions
Sliced almonds

What’s in your kitchen that you could mix into a casserole?

 

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The Trip Home: NC to FL

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on November 2, 2015

Coming home from Bouchercon, we took the western route as I-95 hadn’t fully reopened after the flooding in South Carolina. This gave us some lovely hilly vistas before we descended to the lowlands with their cotton fields and other crops.

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I got to shop for pecans along route I-75. I use pecan meal to coat tilapia, after dipping the fish into egg substitute, and then pan fry or bake it. The ground pecans are healthier than bread crumbs and give it a nice, crisp flavor. You can’t buy this in Florida, so it’s only on trips through Georgia or South Carolina that I can get them. I put the bags into my freezer until use.

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We were lucky to spot a southern country buffet along the way. I stuffed myself with the bounteous feast that included a salad bar, soups, breads, fried chicken, nut-crusted mashed sweet potatoes, veggies, and I forgot what else I ate but it was mostly comfort food. And the dessert bar had peach cobbler plus many more sweet choices. This meal probably accounted for the extra weight I gained.

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Doesn’t this make you hungry? Then stayed tuned for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Coming Next!

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Shrimp Brown Rice Recipe

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on February 21, 2015

Here’s an easy one-dish meal that you can serve alone or with a salad.

Shrimp Brown Rice

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
16 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. saffron powder
48 oz. low-sodium chicken broth
1-2 lbs. cooked, deveined shrimp
12 oz. frozen broccoli florets
8 oz. frozen peas

In a Dutch oven, sauté onion, red pepper, and mushrooms in oil until tender. Stir in the rice, garlic and saffron. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, then add broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Add broccoli, peas, and shrimp, and cook until heated through. Serves 6-8.

Shrimp Rice

Find more of my favorite recipes at http://nancyjcohen.com/fun-stuff/recipes/

 

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Mushroom Potato Recipe

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on February 13, 2015

Happy Friday the 13th and Valentine’s Day! Two whammies in two days. Here’s a hearty mushroom potato casserole to keep you warm this weekend. I served it at critique group this past week and my writing partners loved it.

MUSHROOM POTATO SAVORY

6 oz. box potato pancake mix
16 oz. sliced Portobello mushrooms
8 oz. container diced red onions
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
5 large eggs

Make potato pancake mix according to directions (will require additional eggs). Let sit to thicken. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread the potatoes along the bottom of the greased dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

In a large bowl, combine all the other ingredients. Pour on top of the potatoes. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until bubbly. Serve for brunch, or add garlic bread and a salad for a meat-free dinner. Serves 6-8.

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For dessert, try this wine cake:

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This Recipe, along with others, can be found on my Website.
Scroll down to the bottom, and you can download the pdf file.

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Moussaka Recipe

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on February 4, 2015

Moussaka

After buying a plump eggplant at the Swap Shop in Fort Lauderdale, I had a choice of three dishes to make with it: My chopped eggplant appetizer, eggplant parmigian, or moussaka. I chose the last one and made a substantial dish that will last us several nights. Full recipe below.

First I peeled and sliced the eggplant, then salted the slices. This bleeds out the bitterness.

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Next I made the beef mixture then set it aside while I did the sauce.

beef

Make sure you stir constantly during the sauce stage.

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Once the ingredients are prepared, you can assemble the dish. Cover and Refrigerate to bake later if desired.

assembly

And here is the finished meal. Doesn’t it look good enough to eat? Add a salad and a glass of red wine, and you are all set.

moussaka

MOUSSAKA

1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1-1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
15‑oz. can tomato sauce
3/4 cup dry red wine
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-fat milk
3 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan, divided

Salt eggplant slices on both sides and let sweat on a plate for a half hour, then rinse and pat dry.

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and onions and cook until beef is brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, wine, parsley, oregano and cinnamon. Simmer until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add flour and stir 1 minute. Gradually add milk, whisking until smooth. Boil until thickened, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.

Beat eggs in small bowl to blend. Whisk small amount of hot milk mixture into eggs. Return egg mixture to saucepan. Whisk constantly until mixture reaches a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.

Grease 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish. Arrange half of eggplant slices in bottom of dish. Spread meat mixture over. Top with remaining eggplant. Pour hot custard cheese sauce over eggplant. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup Parmesan. Cover loosely with foil and bake 1 hour. Uncover and continue baking until golden brown. Serves 6-8.

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Turkey Tetrazzini

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on December 19, 2014

It’s always useful to have some leftover turkey recipes around the holidays. Here are two of mine for turkey tetrazzini. I recently made the second recipe with accompanying photos. If you wish, you can freeze some fresh cut up cooked turkey right away after roasting. Then when you’re ready for a new dish and aren’t sick of poultry anymore, defrost the turkey meat and create a new dinner. Recipe number two serves 6 to 8 and is a one-dish meal that goes well with a salad.

TURKEY TETRAZZINI – 1

16 oz. whole wheat spaghetti or vermicelli
2 cups chopped, cooked turkey
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
12 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
10 oz. can Healthy Choice cream of mushroom soup
12 oz. package frozen mixed vegetables, defrosted
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup white wine
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Paprika

Cook spaghetti according to package directions, drain, and set aside in large bowl. In a large skillet, heat oil. Sauté onion, green pepper, and mushrooms until wilted. Add to spaghetti along with mushroom soup, mixed vegetables, cheddar cheese, white wine, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well to blend. Pour into greased baking dish. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and paprika on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, or until heated through.

 

TURKEY TETRAZZINI – 2

16 oz. whole wheat spaghetti or vermicelli
2 cubes chicken bouillon
2 Tbsp. butter
12 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
2 Tbsp. flour
¼ cup sherry, white wine, or chicken broth
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup fat free evaporated milk
4 oz. jar sliced pimento
14.5 oz. can peas and carrots, drained
2 cups chopped, cooked turkey
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ tsp. paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook spaghetti in large pot according to directions. Drain but save 2-1/2 cups cooking liquid. Dissolve bouillon cubes in this remaining liquid. In a separate nonstick skillet, sauté mushrooms in butter until wilted. Blend in flour. Add sherry and reserved cooking liquid. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Heat to boiling and simmer until slightly thickened. Next: Put cooked spaghetti into large bowl. Stir in mozzarella cheese and milk. Add turkey, mushroom mixture, peas and carrots and pimento. Stir until blended. Transfer to greased baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and paprika. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly at the edges.

Left Side: Before Baking                        Right Side: After Baking

Turkey Tet1    Turkey Tetrazzini

 

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