Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Talk like a Pirate Day

Well ok...

I am not going to Talk Like a pirate... But lately I have been drinking like one!

When I was out on Long Island, I stopped at a little local liquor store where I found this strange looking bottle of rum... first off, it was 375ml (thank god, it comes in larger sizes). The gentleman who ran the shop, while applauding my new summer hat (the only hat that I have ever found that looks attractive on me... which is helpful for a person who WANTS to be a hat person) told me that this selection was a genuine sipping rum.

Now, I have heard these claims before. But I have never have truly experienced one.

Well, this is it!

It is sweet and spicy and subtle. I loved it. AArrgh!

Now, I have found another bottle, here in Chicago. And every evening I take a snifter. My one complaint? It is volatilizing much faster than I would have thought. On the plus side though, it makes it sweeter and more liqueur like.

Ahhh... the Pirates life for me!

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

A meal fit for a Tsar!

That is what the girls fixed for us last night.

Beef Stroganoff in fact.

So elegant, so tasty... such an old dish...

It turns out that beef braised in sour cream has been a classic part of Russian cuisine since the medieval period. Often the classic dish was flavored with mustard but did not include onions or mushrooms.

In fact, it was not until the fall of Imperial Russia that the dish became popular. It was brought to the U.S. by Russian and Chinese immigrants (where it was a very popular dish) and was served over rice or noodles.

The name Stroganoff is also something of a mystery. We know that Russian dishes are commonly named for the household that the chef worked in rather than the chef himself... So as nearly as we can tell Beef Stroganoff is named after the prominent Russian family.

For my girls, this was one of the first dishes that they learned to make. It gave them pride to be able to tell people that they could make something that sounds so impressive and elegant.

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Monday, September 10, 2007


S'more Cupcakes that is!

Inspired by everyone's favorite girl scout camping treat, the first recorded version of the recipe for s'mores appears in the 1927 edition of the Girl Scout Handbook. I created these little nuggets using regular cake mix and mini marshmallows that were dropped into the bottom of the liner cups. After baking the cupcakes per the box directions and letting them cool I dipped each cake in a rich chocolate ganache and then sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs.


Oh, I think that my guests this weekend thought so too... I only have six left of the 48 that I baked!

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Sunday, September 09, 2007


You folks must be thinking that I don't eat anymore.

Silly people... trust me. I am as fat as ever.

And I will get back to what I have been doing... over this last month. Really.

In the mean time I am previewing something that I started with my husband, Fun Daddy, or as he prefers to be called, Kevin. He came up with this crazy idea. See, we at Chez Maman drink a bit of wine..

Oh, Ok.. alot of wine. Why not find some way to talk about it online.... See Kevin thinks he can come up with some way that I can at least write off my wine drinking.... Crazy, I know. who would believe that.

In the meantime, feel free to take a look...


in the meantime, I will be cooking and eating and drinking mostly wine (although today I am onto cheap beer! whhoa!)