Oct 30, 2006


1 large onion, chopped
2 cups pumpkin puree
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. oil

1-3/4 cups chicken stock or canned broth

Salt and pepper to taste

1 bay leaf
1 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/8 tsp. dried tarragon

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 cup heavy cream

In a soup pot, melt butter in the 1 tbsp. oil over medium-low heat.

Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in pureed pumpkin, stock, 1-3/4 cups water, 1-1/2-tsp. salt, 1/4-tsp. pepper, the bay leaf, sugar, thyme, tarragon and nutmeg. Cover and cook over low heat 15 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf.

In a blender or food processor, puree the soup until smooth.

Return to the pot; add the cream and heat through.

Serves 8

Oct 26, 2006

Food Pun

Sign in restaurant window:

Eat now - Pay waiter."

Oct 23, 2006

Chicken Breasts With Apple Stuffing

For a complete meal, serve the chicken breasts with steamed broccoli or carrots and a green salad on the side.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 4-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts halves

2 slices whole-grain bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 [degrees] F.

Coat a shallow baking pan with vegetable oil.

Using a sharp knife, slice horizontally through the middle of each piece of chicken (like you're slicing a bagel), stopping before you cut all the way through.

Spread open chicken pieces, press down gently with the palm of your hand and place on prepared pan..

Mix remaining ingredients well in a large bowl. Spoon onto one half of each piece of chicken, then fold other half over. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Bake 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Serves 4

Oct 20, 2006

Apple Peeling the Video

What is the best way to peel an apple?

LookinAtCookin videos will show you how:

Apple Peeling Video

Oct 18, 2006

By L Veltman

The legend says that once Adam succumbed to the wiles of the wily Eve
and bit from the apple of which she took the first bite, a piece stuck in his
throat thus forming that lump that we call the Adam's apple.

Shame, man! Shame! Men have ever since been doomed to prominently
display this mark of their “fall”. That's what we would call a folk anatomy.

Scientifically this encumbrance of the neck, most prominent during
adolescence, is the anterior thyroid cartilage of the larynx. But old-time
anatomists, all the way through the mid-18th century, perpetuated the
myth since they could find no other explanation for this weird lump that seemed
to move up and down.

It was St. Jerome, in the fourth century, who first claimed that the Apple
was the forbidden fruit in question in Paradise.

This belief was perpetuated all the way to John Milton who claimed that it
was the carnal desire enflaming qualities of the innocent Apple that caused
Adam to cast lascivious eyes upon Eve.

Maybe that's where the phrase: got a lump in his throat comes from. In
any case is unlikely that he Apple has this lustful effect. The passion fruit
seems a more likely candidate.

Oct 16, 2006

Roasted Apple, Bacon, Frisee And Endive Salad

A great combination of sweet, sour, and salty.

2 large apples, peeled, cored, and cut into
1/4-inch-thick slices

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. honey

1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, or to taste

2 medium shallots, very thinly sliced and separated into rings

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips

2 medium bunches frisee lettuce, tough outer leaves removed

2 sliced raw endives

1. Preheat oven to 400[degrees]. In a small bowl, combine apples, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat, then transfer apple slices to a nonstick baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir, then continue to cook until golden brown and tender, 10 to 15 minutes more. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine shallots and vinegar. Set aside.

3. In a heavy frying pan over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp and brown, about 7 minutes; drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 3 tbsp. of the accumulated bacon fat and return pan to low heat. Remove shallots from vinegar, reserving shallots, and add vinegar to hot bacon fat, whisking until dressing is emulsified.

4. Arrange frisee in a bowl and add apples, bacon pieces, and shallots. Pour warm dressing over greens and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Oct 15, 2006

Old Vaudeville Food Joke

Bride: The two best things I cook are meat loaf and apple pie.

Groom: Which is this?

The Apple: from Kazakhstan to You

What is probably the most universal fruit in the world had it's origins in the mountains of central Asia where a species of tree that still grows there has been tentatively indentified as the ancestor of every apple we eat today. The "Alma", as it's known in the region, was eventually domesticated into the many varieties of apple we see today.

Chiefly propagated by grafting, eating apples are one of the first examples of bio-engineering by humans. Plant a seed from a store bought apple and you'll get a tree with very different fruit. Apples as we know them can only be obtained by human intervention and humans have been hard at work. There are thousands of apple varieties recorded and probably many more that have been lost to history.

Due to their easy storage in a cold cellar, apples are known the world over as a winter fruit. The apple provided an essential nutritional boost to people living in temperate zones where food became scarce in the cold. In Britain where the very tart Crab Apple has been grown since ancient times, cider was an important product as the nutritious and potentially very alcoholic drink could be stored and consumed over the long dark winter. Olden herbal medicine recommended drinking unsweetened apple cider to prevent kidney stones.

A dish called "Apple Moyse" was once concocted from leftover cider mash by combining it with egg yolks, sugar, butter and rose water. Cooked in a steamer, the resulting dish was seasoned with cinnamon and spread on biscuits. Apple butter seems to be an American decendent of this ancient recipe.

Apples were used medicinally in Europe for a variety of conditions, from gout to rheumatism to indigestion. It was thought that apple sauce helped the body digest greasy foods like goose and roast pig. Even rotten apples found a use as a poultice for sore eyes. I'll skip that one. The Chinese claim that apples are cooling to the body while strengthening the heart and lubricating the lungs. A lubricated lung is a good thing in Chinese medicine.

The United States was for many years an apple eaters paradise with hundreds of varieties bred around the country. This was almost completely lost with the advent of long-distance trucking. Before the 1930's, every region had it's own unique varieties of apple. Some were so esteemed that people would plan trips just to savor a particular region's specialty.

Most apple varieties don't travel well so unique apples would stay near the region they were grown. When the food industry turned to trucking after World War II, the search turned to finding apples that could stand the jostling of an extended truck journey. By the 1960's only a few apple varieties could be purchased at your supermarket. And to many these apples were not the best as the time it took to get the apple to the shelf lost the just picked flavor.

Fortunately an apple renaissance is on it's way as people are rediscovering the apple heritage of the United States. Many varieties presumed lost are being rediscovered in abandoned orchards or in hidden corners of old estates and farms. And many apple farmers are experimenting and discovering new varieties never seen before. It's now not unusual to find dozens of different apples at local farmer markets. The range of flavors is amazing compared to the common store apple. From tastes that suggest rose perfume to very strong wine-like aromas.

Lookin At Cookin strongly suggests that the next time you visit a farmers market, try one of each, we are sure you'll discover a variety you'll like. This writer's favorite last year was the Northern Spy apple, a variety discovered in the early 1800's. How it got that name I couldn't guess. For further info on the many apple varieties, here is an excellent website: http://www.applejournal.com/use.htm .

Oct 12, 2006


October is apple month at lookin at cookin. In honor of that fruit we will run a series of postings about the apple.

Apple 1

We're talking about the royal family of vegetables here; the Rosaceae which includes the Rose, the Queen of all flowers and the Apple the king of all fruits. Just like the Rose has been used to symbolize all flowers, the Apple has often symbolized all fruits.

Biblical legend has it that in the Garden Of Eden the serpent gave Eve the Apple with which she tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit of knowledge. Thus it appears that the Apple has gotten a bit of a bad rap from day one. Such is not the case.

The Bible does not state that it was an Apple, simply that it was a fruit. So maybe it was an eggplant, a potato or even a baseball that was responsible for man's full from grace.

As a matter of fact maybe the original evildoer were wasn't even a serpent. Maybe he was a lawyer.

Oct 11, 2006

Farfalle (Bow Tie Pasta) Salad with Arugula Pesto

MAKES: 4 to 6 servings

8 ounces yellow wax beans and/or green beans, rinsed
ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch lengths

12 ounces dried farfalle (bow tie) pasta

About 3/4 cup arugula pesto

3 tablespoons grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese

1/2 cup yellow and red cherry tomatoes, stemmed, rinsed, and halved


1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring 4 quarts water to a boil; add beans and cook just until barely tender to bite, about 1 minute. With a skimmer or slotted spoon, remove from water and transfer to a colander; rinse under cold running water until cool.

2. Bring water back to a boil. Add farfalle and cook until tender to bite, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain.

3. In a large bowl, mix pasta, beans, and 3/4 cup pesto. If more sauce is desired, add up to 1/4 cup more pesto. Top with cheese and halved cherry tomatoes.

Arugula pesto.

NOTE: This recipe makes extra arugula pesto; cover and chill up to 1 week or freeze airtight up to 1 month.

In a food processor or blender, working in batches if necessary,

1 pound rinsed arugula leaves (about 10 lightly packed cups)

1/2 cup roasted and chopped pine nuts

1/2 cup grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt.

Combine the arugula, pine nuts, cheese, lemon juice and garlic in the food processor. Pulse motor a few times, just until mixture begins to come together. With motor running, slowly pour 1/2 cup more extra-virgin olive oil through feed tube or top of blender and whirl until mixture is smooth. Add more salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste. Makes about 3 cups.

Oct 8, 2006

How To Make A Great Apple Pie

There hundreds of apple pie recipes, from American apple pie, Amish apple pie to European sour cream apple pie and topsy turvy apple pie.

Yet there is on basic apple pie all the rest are based on, and we have the video that shows you how to make the best basic pie at Lookin At Cookin Apple Pie.

Watch How To Make A Great Apple Pie

Apple Pie Notes

Some History

Apple pie traces its origins to England at the time of Chaucer. Contemporary recipes list the ingredients as good apples, good spices, figs, saffron, cloves, cinnamon raisins and pears. The missing modern ingredient is sugar. No one really knows why but there theories that range from the expense of Egyptian cane sugar to the medieval English lacking a sweet tooth.


Apple Pie – A very independent and forgotten movie - (1976)

A gangster relates the story of how he started his life of crime, beginning when as a child he faked his own kidnapping in order to get money from his parents for the "ransom". However, it turns out that the "gangster" may not be exactly what he seems.

What Imdb says about the film.


Apple Pie a la Mode – refers to apple pie served with a scoop of ice cream (usually vanilla) on top.

How Apple Pie a la Mode go it name.

According to the historians of the Cambridge Hotel in Washington County New York, Professor Charles Watson Townsend, dined regularly at the Cambridge Hotel during the mid 1890's.

He often ordered ice cream with his apple pie. A diner seated next to him, asked what it was called. He said it didn’t have a name, and she promptly dubbed it Pie a la mode.

Townsend liked the name so much he asked for it each day by that name.

When Townsend visited the famous Delmonico Restaurant in New York City, he asked for pie a la mode.

When the waiter proclaimed he never heard of it, Townsend chastised him and the manager, and was quoted as saying; "Do you mean to tell me that so famous an eating place as Delmonico's has never heard of Pie a la Mode, when the Hotel Cambridge, up in the village of Cambridge, NY serves it every day? Call the manager at once, I demand as good serve here as I get in Cambridge."

The following day it became a regular at Delmonico and a resulting story in the New York Sun (a reporter was listening to the whole conversation) made it a country favorite with the publicity that ensued.