Memorial Means More Than BBQ

Well it is Memorial weekend and what does that mean? Well it means more than BBQ. This year I wanted to do more than just stand at the grill to commemorate a day that most of the time I just don’t think about. Memorial day is meant to commemorate those who have fallen in the line of service for our country. It needs to be more than just the military, or officers, or firefighters. We can remember everyone who have gone before us. Each, whether they died for our freedom, security, or even safety, are our heroes, but there are so many more.

For many it is a lost husband or wife, child or parent, friend or relative. I want to make this Holiday mean more than I have before. I want to make it mean more than a day to BBQing, or that I get to spend the day off. I want to commemorate those who are heroes: PAST and Present!

In today’s society, it is easy for a person to be called a Hero – but it means much more TO BE ONE. If the media to catches wind of a great story, they can make that person a star or even a villain.

This weekend, I got the chance to be a caterer for a group of people who I enjoy serving with, but are all heroes in my eyes in some sort of way. Mothers with their children, Pastors with their congregations, engineers with their friends. These people are worthy to be heroes because they know what to give value to. Unfortunately many of those who deserve such a title don’t receive it, while others who don’t deserve it are called Heroes everyday.

So I say Kudos to those who are EVERYDAY HEROES in our lives, in the lives of their children and ours, to family, friends, co-workers. I say Kudos to those who have given up time with their families to serve, to protect, to give their lives. I say Kudos to those who have gone before us to give us the life that we have.

Next week I will talk about the INS and OUTS of what I made, but this week I just want to REMEMBER. As you are BBQing this weekend or whatever you do to celebrate this memorial holiday, don’t just brush it aside as a day that you get to take off. Take some time with your loved ones to “JUST REMEMBER!”

Pesto It’s Magic

Magic has always garnered the interest of both children and adults alike. There is David Copperfield, Houdini, or even just a dad pulling the coin out of a child’s ear. Recently I watched a friend of mine do this to another friend’s daughter, and all I heard was, “do it again.” She just couldn’t figure out how he did it. She wanted to know the secret. That is why I say Pesto is magic. Some dishes are just alright, while with other dishes we scream with glee, “Do it again, Do it again!” We are trying to figure out the secrets of great dining.

The best magic comes with great time, energy, and planning to make some of the greatest and most memorable performances that can be imagined. Most of the dishes that I have made for this blog have been fairly simple. Linguine Al Pesto Alla Moda Ligure from “A Culinary Courses Journey – Princess Cruises“, is not an easy dish to make, at least for a beginner. I think that the “talent-level” verdict is still out on this one, however, this is a delicious dish, and I am sure that there are ways to simplify it.

For instance, in following the recipe, I boiled the potatoes before adding them to the Linguine, but I don’t know that the potatoes are that necessary. I would recommend trying it both with them and without them, just to see what your taste might be. My mother-in-law enjoyed finding the potatoes as she was eating the pasta. Also make sure that you have all the ingredients before you begin. Ensure the herbs are fresh. I had to send my wife to get some things that I still needed and wait for her return. The Pesto can be prepared a day in advance, but more than that will affect the flavor.

I think that the hardest part really was handling it though. The recipe says that it serves 6, but it sure seemed like much more than that. I have a large Wok Pan that was filled to the brim. Trying to sear or cook the noodles a little bit near the end was difficult, because the wok was filled to capacity.

The best part of making pesto is that you do not have to use it for just this recipe. What about a pesto pizza, pesto tortilini, or pesto chicken? Getting creative is the best part of cooking other than getting to enjoy the meal. I say that Pesto is Magic, and you too can create enchanted meals to remember. So remember, “Any cook great or otherwise can create magic in the kitchen.”

Recipe:
Linguine Al Pesto Alla Moda Ligure <– Click here

Cinco De Mayo – Fiesta Tacos

Fiesta TacoThis has been an interesting week. It has been a while since I started this blog, and I have been enjoying all of the different dishes that I have made. There are a couple of things that I still want to talk about (a linguine dish and a potato dish), but for various reasons, I am not yet ready to report on them. I will definitely make these dishes again, because they are worthy of sharing with you.

It was Cinco De Mayo yesterday. To celebrate, I want to talk about a Mexican staple – the Taco Bowl. Well I don’t know if it is a staple, but if it isn’t it should be. Thank God for a bowl that you can eat, and an ingenious people who would think of such a wonderful thing.

I haven’t actually made a tortilla as of yet, but I have enough friends that sooner or later one would probably show me how. My focus right is just to shape the tortilla. I recently prepared a Fiesta Taco recipe that taught me how to do so.

Recently I purchased some Ramekins (custard dishes) for $1.99 each at World Market. They are small ceramic bowls that you can use to bake various delicacies. Basically, you just place the ramakins upside down on a baking sheet. Then you take some store-bought or homemade tortillas, and spray them with cooking spray. After spraying the tortillas, you place them upside down on the bowls to shape them. Cook them at 425 degrees F. until they are a golden brown, and viola, you have a bowl you can eat. LOVELY! Fill it with the stuff you like, and you have a delicious little taco salad. It’s a wonderful thing.

Just remember, “Creativity is a thing of life, and its even better when you can eat it.” Enjoy.