Cooking and Chef Recipes
African Fruit Fool a Mother's Day Treat from the Divas of Dish
Ahhh, Mother’s Day – the only day of the year when you’ve got an excuse to stay in bed and let the kids (and hubby) bring you breakfast with the paper and a steamy latte.
Instead of a messy repast of bacon and eggs (and a messy kitchen for you to face), show them this sweet, easy recipe that we think is just right for nibbling in bed, and a nice counterpoint to a cup of coffee. We sampled it years ago on a Disney trip at Boma – Flavors of Africa restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
A little bowl of sweetness that’s perfect for sharing. Happy Mother’s Day from the divas.
Diva Coctel de Camarones
There are dozens of ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Beyond boxed taco shells heaped with beef and melted cheese, we envision a lighter and más auténtico menu.
Pulled from sparkling Mexican waters (or your grocer's freezer), nibble succulent wild shrimp, chilled for hours in a tangy sauce spiked with fresh herbs, tomatoes and chipotle chilies. The Mexican shrimp cocktail is all about the sauce, thicker and sweeter than ceviche, with an unexpected splash of orange soda. Scoop it up with crunchy corn tostadas or lettuce cups. For sipping, mix up a batch of lusciously light wine margaritas. Cool, bubbly and sans tequila (after all, “seis de Mayo” is a workday.
Crunchy Creamy Chopped Southwestern Salad from the Divas of Dish
As temps and hemlines rise, the divas rally 'round the green stuff. Gone are the days when unwieldy cuts of iceberg, tomato and cucumber ruled the bowl, today we are tossing in all things edible: cooked, raw, blanched or toasted with creamy and non-creamy dressings, preferably fresh.
We love this chopped salad for its crunchy texture. Cabbage replaces softer lettuces, along with sweet-crisp jicama, scallions, peppers, chilies, lots of fresh cilantro and pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds). Substitute the chicken breast for lime-marinated grilled shrimp, or serve the salad simply, as a side dish or veggie entree.
To go with, we're whisking up a from-scratch creamy cilantro dressing. As with any dish, we encourage your creativity. Inspired add-ons might include a drizzle of low-sugar barbecue sauce, corn relish, tortilla strips or crumbled cotija cheese.
Sweet Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Ah, tomato season in Florida, such a joy to find the sweet, juicy orbs ahead of the Northern imports. We have a back yard full and love them straight off the vine. But nothing beats a slow-roasted tomato – so sweet you’ll swear that someone snuck in some sugar.
Romas are good, but any tomato will do, especially those that are starting to get a little too soft. A slow roast brings out the best, so that even second-rate tomatoes turn into something special. We use them in pasta, chopped on fish, on sandwiches, warm in a cool, crisp salad for a little pizazz. They make a satisfying snack right out of the fridge – but be careful, we guarantee you won’t eat just one.
The Other Red Sauce
Consider this the other red sauce: naturally sweet red bell peppers, preferably organic, roasted with garlic until nicely charred, whirred in a blender until smooth, then married with a dollop or two of creamy, decadent butter. Caramelizing the ruby red beauties renders them even sweeter, creating the perfect complement for pasta, roasted veggies or just about anything grilled.
As you probably already know, red bells are one of the most healthful veggies one could lust after. Swoon for vitamins A, C, and B-6, along with lycopene and all those free-radical-fighting antioxidants. A bit of roasted garlic and extra-virgin olive oil make the super sauce a super food.
As we couldn't go wrong, we're pairing the sauce with blissfully buttery sea bass. To go with, try grilled asparagus or just-wilted spinach tossed with feta.
Divas of Dish
After creating countless thank-you feasts for their children’s elementary school teachers, Anne-Marie Hodges and Pam Brandon began compiling recipes and tips, and created their cookbook in 2004, Culinary Confessions of the PTA Divas: Stylish Recipes and Saucy Secrets for the Everyday Gourmet was born in 2004. Along with delicious recipes, the book is a tale of food and friendship that began with a grass-roots crusade to uplift the status of dedicated teachers at Hillcrest Elementary in downtown Orlando.
Since the debut of the cookbook, Anne-Marie has married and moved to Phoenix (now Anne-Marie Denicole), and Pam, a resident of Winter Park, has written two cookbooks for Disney Publishing (Delicious Disney and Delicious Disney Desserts) and has a third Disney cookbook that will be in bookstores in 2010.
What is a Flog?
A flog is a food blog with news and reviews of restaurants. Here you'll find all things edible, lots of things to drink, including expert wine advice, and lots of other stuff.