Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Follow these steps from local personal chef Darlene DeMesa, and your guests will be raving about your Thanksgiving bird.
Turkey is a Thanksgiving Day staple. Thanksgiving just isn't Thanksgiving without it. Before you head to the store, Cherokee County personal chef Darlene DeMesa offers these turkey tips: If all else fails, call the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line at 800-288-8372. Darlene DeMesa started The Main Course personal chef service in 2006. She's a member of the United States Personal Chef Association and graduate of the Culinary Business Academy. Occasionally, she contributes recipes to Canton-Sixes Patch. For all of her recipes, go to the Cherokee County Personal Chef Darlene DeMesa topics page.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
It's been a family staple.
For as long as I can remember, my family has been making the 1905 salad. Coming from Tampa, FL, I have grown up eating Spanish food. There's a landmark in Tampa called the Columbia Restaurant. It serves some of the best Spanish/Cuban food in Florida. One particular item on the menu is the 1905 salad. It's name originates from the ancestors of the original owners of the famous restaurant. They immigrated from Cuba to Tampa and started a small coffee/sandwich shop in 1905 that is now known as the Columbia Restaurant. This salad is one of my favorites. It's always served at our family gatherings. When I returned home to Tampa recently for my mom's 79th birthday, this salad was definitely on the table. The recipe is adapted from the Columbia …
Saturday, September 24, 2011
This dish brings me back to my youth.
I was shopping at Kroger the other day when I came upon a bag of bay scallops. I was taken back to my days growing up in Florida when my family used to go to our favorite seafood restaurant. I would love to order the broiled bay scallops, scampi style. They were so good. I decided to recreate the dish of my childhood. I've actually never bought this particular bag of frozen scallops. I rarely buy scallops because I can't find fresh bay scallops around this area. However, these were actually very good. They were only $5, too. So this meal is a very economical dish that can be prepared any night of the week. It's also a fancy appetizer that will impress your company. I decided to serve the scallops with pasta, but my second choice would have…
Thursday, September 22, 2011
The newest venture of the Ippolito family comes to Downtown Woodstock.
Overview: The Ippolito family's Northern Italian-style restaurants have been in the Atlanta area for more than 20 years. Ipp's Pastaria and Bar is a modern update on the same great Italian food and atmosphere. It's a great addition to Downtown Woodstock, which has flourished with the arrival of several restaurants and shops in the past few months. Décor: The look has been updated, but Ipp's Pastaria and Bar still has the charm of the 1904 house it calls home. There are booths, tables and a quaint outdoor patio with a view of Downtown Woodstock. The restaurant has a friendly atmosphere. It is a great spot to have a romantic dinner or a night out with friends and family. Entrée: The menu is basic Italian fare. Bruschetta, calamari and salads…
Saturday, September 17, 2011
A rich and creamy pasta, this dish has a bit of a kick.
Pasta is such an easy and inexpensive meal to make. You can add almost anything to pasta and make a meal. This dish is a little more extensive, but the flavors are worth it. I make this dish for my clients and they just love it. Because of the cream, it's not something you want to eat on a regular basis. However, it's a great dish for company or a large family. I usually serve this dish right after cooking because the consistency of the sauce can change when reheated. Served with a nice salad and some garlic bread, this dish will satisfy everyone. If you can't find chorizo sausage, you can substitute any spicy sausage you like. I once used a spicy chicken sausage. Delicious. INGREDIENTS 1 pt. half and half 8 oz. cream 3 tbsps. butter 3 …
Thursday, September 15, 2011
This Holly Springs restaurant does not have the authentic Mexican food you can find elsewhere.
There are several Mexican restaurants in the area that I frequent on a weekly basis. I decided to try Los Gavilanes Mexican Restaurant in Holly Springs. It was an OK experience, but I think I may stick with my usual spots. Overview: The restaurant has a nice atmosphere with booths and tables for seating and a full bar. It also has weekly food and drink specials. The location is in a shopping plaza strip mall. It's a bit of a drive if you live in Woodstock or Canton. The restaurant was full for a Wednesday night. Décor: The interior, which is decorated nicely with Mexican art and a bar, has the feeling of a Mexican cantina. There's a small patio outside for nice weather. Entrees: I ordered several appetizers—cheese dip, guacamole, and Los …
Saturday, September 10, 2011
You don't have to turn on an oven for this one.
Trying to find meals that don’t require turning on your oven is a real challenge. I always turn to salads for great summer meals that are satisfying and healthy. One of my favorite salads is Caesar salad. Although it’s not the healthiest dressing, you can put on as little or as much dressing as you'd like. I like to make my own Caesar dressing, but you can always buy your favorite at the store. Try making your dressing and you can alter the taste to your liking. You may already have everything in your pantry, except the anchovy paste. Anchovy paste is sold at most grocery stores, usually in the same vicinity as the salad dressing. INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts Poultry seasoning or your favorite chicken …
Saturday, September 3, 2011
It will be the easiest meal you make.
I love easy and delicious meals. This is one of my favorites. When I want something healthy, quick, inexpensive and delicious, I make this dish. I usually keep frozen tilapia in the freezer for quick meals and I always have rice on hand. There’s always a great recipe for each. I happened to buy a very large bag of spinach at my local warehouse store to add to my juicer in the morning. I wondered how I could use it. This recipe came to me because I love rice with fish. Mixing spinach in with the rice is a good way to add something healthy. I use Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends for fish, which is found in most grocery stores. INGREDIENTS & INSTRUCTIONS Tilapia: 4 tilapia filets 3 tbsps. of butter ¼ cup of blackened seasoning 1…
Saturday, August 27, 2011
This salad is so easy for a hot summer day.
I love dishes that you can make in a flash. This dish is one of them. I always keep the ingredients on hand for a last-minute salad. It’s great to take to parties and picnics. By using yogurt, you save on fat and calories. The kids will love it. It’s sweet and juicy with a little crunch from the coconut and almonds. Most of these ingredients can be kept on hand for making this dish any time you need it. I like to buy large bags of almonds and coconut and then transfer them into small plastic bags and keep them in the freezer for easy use. I will also buy the canned fruit when it’s on sale and keep several in my pantry. INGREDIENTS 2 15-oz. cans of mixed fruit (with cherries and grapes), drained 1 11-oz. can of mandarin oranges, drained. 1 …
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Everyone needs a great roasted chicken recipe.
Everyone should roast a chicken at least once. If you find a recipe that produces an amazing roasted chicken, stick with it. I love this recipe. It’s so simple and the chicken comes out perfect every time. All you need is some lemons and a whole chicken. It’s also a great recipe for company because you can make several at a time. I usually ask the butcher at my local grocery store for some cooking twine. They’re usually more than happy to give you some. Serve this chicken with some mashed potatoes and broccoli for a wonderful, healthy meal. INGREDIENTS 1 whole chicken ½ cup fresh lemon juice 2 whole lemons Salt and pepper Fresh herbs for garnish (rosemary, thyme, etc.) INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. 2. Clean chicken and remove …