Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Friday May 06, 2011

Carole’s Concoctions:
To All the Mothers and Women in my Life

I am not feeling like concocting today.  I feel like reflecting.  I had an interesting week. Busy with work.  All good. But right now,I want to reflect on mothers and women.  I am not a Mom.  It is not my fate. I do have motherly instincts. I am lucky to have an amazing Mom and had a great relationship and connection with my Nana.

Many of my best friends are Moms and I am lucky to know their kids.

My friend AnneMarie is a Mom, a daughter and truly one of the best friends I have ever had. I have known her for 25 years and seen her grow and develop into one of the finest human beings I know. The love she bestows on her kids and family is palpable. She has given them roots and wings.

I recently visited with my best friend, AnneMarie.  AnneMarie has a brain tumor.  She is scheduled for surgery on May 18th or 23rd. I am an emotional mess. She is incredibly calm and cheerful. Wow. I am in awe of her grace, compassion for her friends and family and her bravery.  She said to me, "I can't control my pain, but I can control my suffering." My heart aches with admiration.

AnneMarie - you inspire me!!

To all the mothers, sisters, girlfriends out there - embrace, celebrate, cherish and love each other. I love you ALL!!

Friday April 22, 2011

Carole’s Concoctions:
Easter Pie and Earth Day Reflections

Time to make the Easter Pie.  And this one is not a concoction.  This one's from my family archives!! 

The cooking is always the centerpiece of our holidays.  But today I want to reflect on life, being alive and grateful for all I have.  It is Earth Day today. It is Good Friday. Be cognizant of the beauty of nature and our need to save and preserve. Be grateful for the mysteries of this wonderful life and the religious ceremonies that seek to explain and celebrate our great earth and all its creatures.

Never take any of it for granted - life, the planet, friendships, great food and family!! I just spoke one of my best friends in the whole world and learned that the tumor in her brain doubled in size in 6 months and she must have surgery. My heart aches for her and yet, I am in awe.  She is brave and calm.

So this Easter, I pray for AnneMarie.

Friday April 15, 2011

Carole’s Concoctions:
Fish Fridays

There are certain religious traditions that I can embrace.  One of them is eating fish on Fridays. It's a great habit to get into because fish is so good for you and it's delicious!!

Here's a simple and delicious recipe I developed: Dover Sole with Mustard Caper Sauce.  Serve with roasted asparagus and brown rice for a healthy and delicious supper!!

Friday March 18, 2011

Carole’s Concoctions:
Boston Flower Show - Come See Us - Sunday, March 20th - NOON

Here's what Mom, Jen and I have concocted to demo at the Boston Flower Show:

Out of the Container and Into the Pan  -  Recipes for the Boston Flower Show

Tarragon Chive Pasta Salad

1 lb Tri-color Rotini
3/4 cups olive oil - 1/4 cup to toss with pasta, 1/2 for the dressing
1 cup Scallions, sliced
3/4 cup Chives, minced
1/4 cup Tarragon, minced
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Red Pepper Flakes to taste

Cook pasta until al dents. Drain and toss in a large bowl with 1/4 cup f olive oil. Cool. Add scallions, chives and tarragon.
Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, garlic, sugar, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Slowly add in the 1/2 cup of olive oil in a stream until incorporated well. Pour over pasta and mix.

Best if pasta sits at room temperature for at least 4 hours or chill overnight and bring to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!

Serves 8-10 as a side.


Pork Tenderloin with Pesto Rub

2 Pork Tenderloins
8 garlic cloves
2 cups basil gently packed
4 cups parsley, gently packed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Place tenderloins on a plate. Pat dry.
In a food processor, first process the garlic, then add in the basil and parsley, then the walnuts, cheese, salt, pepper and oil. Do not over process. The pesto should be light green. Rub the pesto all over the pork, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
Grill the tenderloins to desired doneness. Slice to desired thickness and enjoy!!
Serves 4-6 as an entree, 8-10 as an appetizer.


Strawberries with Mint Simple Syrup and Lemon Zest

1 cup sugar
1 cup sugar
A handful of mint
4 cups strawberries
1/2 cup Mint simple syrup
Zest of one lemon

Simple syrup is simple - it’s one part sugar to one part water. Cook sugar, water and mint over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved and water boils. Remove and let cool. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Clean and cut up the strawberries. Add the syrup and lemon zest to strawberries and let sit for a few hours. (AKA macerate). Serve strawberries over vanilla ice cream for a refreshing dessert.

Serves 4-6.

Friday March 04, 2011

Carole’s Concoctions:
Dinner in a Flash!

I had the great joy of having my Mom on the radio show again this past Wednesday and we reminisced about cooking and food and one of the dishes we spoke about was a simple Cauliflower, bacon and onion pasta dish that Nana and Mm had in their arsenal for a quick quick dinner prep.  You know, for those days when you don't get home in time to make a more elaborate dinner or one that requires more time.  We chatted about how easy it is to whip something up if you have a well-stocked pantry and fridge.

So put this one in your arsenal - you will not be disappointed!!

Monday February 21, 2011

Carole’s Concoctions:
Maurice’s Menu

There is nothing that gives me more joy than cooking for friends.  Here's the menu that I made for my dear friend, Maurice Peterson's birthday party.  An evening of love, laughter and fun was had by all!!

(Maurice and Jim)


Guacamole and Chips

Hot Artichoke Dip

Cheese Board

Main Course

Chicken Divan

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore

Brown Rice



Heirloom Flourless Chocolate Cake


Maurice Martini - made with homemade ginger simple syrup and Absolute Citron

Red and White Wine

Boulderwood Spring Water - sine and con gas - gas a la sodastream

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