Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One Year Later - More More


The Dinner You Missed

Or maybe you were one of the 42 who attended our monthly Food & Wine dinner at Sevy's Grill last night, "A Summer Evening in New England".

I thought I'd share with those of you who couldn't make it photos of the delicious dishes. Including the reception of Ipswich clams (served community style at each table) the five courses and five wines for $59.95 represents a great meal deal. Throw in a little discussion of each wine and the opportunity to try different flavors from afar course-by-course, well it's gourmet eatertainment.

The reception, a petite morsure starter of Fried Ipswich clams was paired with Cristalino sparkling wine.

First course, the Maine lobster roll was possible thanks to friend Willy Warner at Steve Connolly Seafood in Boston, who not only shipped us the fresh lobster, but the Wonder"ful" New England style hot dog buns. From the top they look like regular buns, but the sides are like oval slices of bread, which you butter and then brown on a griddle. This was paired with a California Chardonnay, Calera from the Central coast.

On to two lovely seared scallops from the Georges Bank, accompanied by a colorful succotash and lemon thyme butter. Accompanying was a dry, clear Mauritson Sauvignon Blanc.

The "main" course, a maple glazed beautifully rare sliced venison was served with a side of Johnny cakes, beets, broccoli and a mushroom sauce was paired with Mauritson's 2006 Dry Creek Zinfandel.

The meal ender, a delicious fresh berry cobbler with lime whipped cream was paired with an Argentinian Torrontes, Finca La Linda 2008.

The seafood for this meal was flown fresh, overnight from Boston along with the hot dog buns. Steve Connolly's has an exclusive retail arrangement with TJ's Seafood Market, and if you want to try your own New England roll, they could probably source the authentic bread for you if you called ahead.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Restaurant Rant - Is $9.99 All It Takes?

It's been hot here, I realize that. Sunday afternoon it was 103 degrees in Dallas, 107 if you believed my car thermometer as I left the Dallas Convention Center where I attended the SW Food Expo. And maybe losing our electricity at home for 7 hours that day didn't help my mood. By evening, when the subject of dinner came up (and the status of our electricity still undetermined), my choice was 1) cold, with frozen beverages and 2) TV, so I voted for a chain named after a day of the week, which The Boy seconded and carried the vote of 3.

What occurred was such a sorry story of a bad experience I find it hard to share - except the highlights. As in the specious sell of a $9.99 "crunchy pecan-crusted chicken breast comes warm and sliced atop crispy Romaine lettuce", which arrived protein frigid with a chilly pecan crust that made me wonder, do they really cook this on site then chill it down, or does it come off the truck this way and the kitchen just slice it?

And to further the transgressions, when a guest asks their server if the $4 frozen strawberry margarita comes in a large size, a true salesman says "Absolutely, I love you, let me get you 2 or 3 or those" , NOT "well it's a lot more expensive". Larger sales must not be a priority in a place that is marketing it's new low-priced menu, and I'm certain that the lower prices are not necessarily helping in retaining their best and brightest staff. Not to load on our obviously ill-equipped server, but when the chef comes out, does a 360 in your station, and then comes back with a rag and starts wiping your tables, maybe it's time to think about another paying job.

Hubby said, "It starts at the top," and I couldn't agree more. From having to ask for silverware and napkins (twice), to noticing every waiter that passed by our table went by with empty hands (passing by empty tables filled with dirty dishes). It starts above the management of this particular location, it falls upon the shoulders of those "selling" this chain to guests, employees, franchisers, investors. It falls on those who think the public can be fooled by a $4 weak-ass margarita and a dumbed down $9.99 chicken salad.

One Year Later - More

At least once a day I check my counter stats, and I can say pretty consistently the top six searched items for the last year fall under the following classifications (from lowest to highest search hits):

6. Chef Casey Thompson
5. Doozie sandwiches
4. Chef Richard Chamberlain
3. Nick and Sam's Grill
2. Golumpki soup
1. Chocolate Angel Too

If anyone has made my golumpki soup, feel free to leave feedback if you had any improvements to my recipe.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Home Kitchen - Home Fries In Under 20 Minutes

"Home Fries?" My heart did a pitter-pat as I read this on the menu of a recently opened NY deli transplant in my neighborhood. Also known as American fries, Cottage fries or Country fries, they are typically pre-cooked potatoes pan-fried in butter or oil. Sad to say this deli had not the real thing but the typical "quickie" version of deep fried uniform mini-cubes of processed potato.

My Dad used to make "American fries" (as we called them) growing up, he was the early bird in the family and made his three girls breakfast every morning when we were young. Hubby does a fabulous Southwest version on our Easter and Mother's Day brunch menu, but I love the old traditional potatoes and onions sauteed until burnt darkly browned. Yum.

Most recipes tout the value of this dish, utilizing left over potatoes from dinner the night before. Right. I've developed my own recipe that takes about 20 minutes, or just enough time to cook a pound of bacon in another pan. Please note that I make a big batch - because the leftovers are wonderful mixed with cheddar cheese and baked in a pan for dinner.

QUICKIE HOME FRIES
Wash 4 large potatoes cut in half, cross-wise. Poke each with fork 6-8 times, microwave for 3 minutes. Turn over potatoes and microwave an additional 3 minutes (until tender). While potatoes are microwaving, large dice 2 large onions. Heat pan (medium high) with 2 TBL. oil, when hot add onions. Remove potatoes from microwave, while hot, peel and dice the potatoes and throw them in the pan with the onions. Add another 2 TBL oil, let cook until potatoes and onions are brown on the bottom (5 minutes), then flip. Keep cooking until desired doneness. Season them however you like, Sevy's Seasoning, onion salt, dried herbs, fresh pepper, chili powder, whatever floats your personal boat.

Did You Know? Potatoes (a member of the nightshade family) turn green with exposure to light, it is an indication that a toxin, solanine, has reached a not-good level. Not that it could kill you, but it can cause gastric distress (upper and lower) and headaches. Yuch. So make sure to remove any greened potato "meat" when you peel. Also, solanine can be at an increased level even in some potatoes that are still white - so if a potato tastes bitter - don't eat it!

Food Find - Lemon Cucumber

Well, actually I found it a few months back, at Lowe's garden center. But I just harvested the first one today, and sliced it open. Tastes like cucumber.

Sized about the same as a baseball, the firmness was more like a softball. The inside flesh while crisp is not as crunchy as the traditional variety and the skin is much softer (though that may be due to my familiarity to more of a industrial cucumber product).

There was no bitterness, it has a very slightly sweet flavor - but so do green cucumbers that have not been deprived of water when growing. It has a nicely mellow aftertaste, and a slightly higher acidity - but it does not taste like lemons. I would say that the seeds were a little tougher, I would probably remove them if using this in a dish. Burpless? Time will tell.

Concerned that perhaps I'd waited too long to harvest, I decided to pick another (younger) lemon cucumber. No, while slightly crunchier, it had less flesh and less flavor, so the larger one seemed to be at the peak.

So while I'd like to say we'll be featuring these at the restaurant, we may have to wait until a few more blooms decide to fruit - these were the only two I had on my plant. Hopefully I'll have a few more in the next month.

Current Kitchen Sale


I love ordering things from Current, from monogrammed post-it-notes to wrapping paper, I've never been disappointed. It's not high tech, but it is low-priced, and often I find the "perfect gift" for that hard-to-shop-for person (oh, you know someone too?). In their July catalogue I noticed a page of fun kitchen gadgets advertised at (up to) 75% off regular prices.

So I decided to investigate a little more on-line. With 12 pages of goodies-you-didn't-know-you-needed, there were some definite discounts to be found.

Like the Gingham Kitchen Labels (30 for $1), or the fishy Lemon Squeezer (originally $10.99, now $5.00).

Know a slider perfectionista? They have a tool for that, it makes five perfectly shaped sliders and comes with a scoop so you don't even get your hands dirty ($18.00)

Some things I am definitely considering purchasing, like the Big Bopper Floating Cooler ($37.99), to keep me company poolside.

For the Hillcrest Panaders, maybe we could make Cake-on-a-Stick ($8.99) and sell them at summer school.

And I'm also eyeballing metal bread baskets that have been marked down from $10.99 to $5.00, I'll have to ask the boys at the restaurant if they are "Sevy worthy", because they are a pretty darn good deal.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday's Sports Recipe

From yesterdays Dallas Morning News, a delicious Hillcrest recipe from former student Matt Sulentic ('06), "Hillcrest-ex slams Frisco". Umm, shouldn't that be "Hillcrest-ex grand slams Frisco"? As in to win the game? Whatever. The Boy played one season with Matt, he was a great role model (well except for the chewing thing, but it didn't catch on). We taught him how to wait tables at the 1st Annual Panther Pancake Breakfast.

His family is nice too, good things happening to good people. Welcome home, Matt.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One Year Later

"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." - Jack London

So I've learned in my almost full year of blogging. That having been said, it's really not so difficult because in some way, every day, my life is about food and restaurants. The true test is to take the every day and make it into something worthy of reading. Not all days have had this result, sometimes I'm just passing along information or giving an editorial opinion, and a few posts have had absolutely nothing to do about food whatsoever. But I would count many of those non-food posts as some of my favorite work.

I've written about what got into me, a former home-working accountant (well, actually I'm still that) who having done the jobs like fund raising, PTA President, den mom, homecoming parade co-chair, turned onto the internet as a new source of playtime. No curses to SideDish for this time-eating addiction, they allowed me to post a series of restaurant business blogs last June that whet my appetite for more. So began The Dallas Cook Book in July '08.

And yes, I really do have over 1,000 cookbooks, every trip to Half Price Books adds another 10 or so. Lately I've been concentrating on (possible) historically significant publications from Dallas and Texas, because not enough honor is paid to our rich food history. Thank goodness The Boy is headed off to college, I can use his bookshelves next.

But before the birth of this blog, came the articles for SideDish. Re-reading my Restaurant 101 posts is a pretty amazing look back at a year in turmoil for our industry. Here's an update on the six subjects:

Lesson 1 - Texas' Revised Franchise Tax. It was revised again this year, but while changes this year help the smallest earners (up to $1 million in sales), it still does not address the high costs our industry cannot deduct from sales to arrive at this tax amount. As sales fall, our deductible variable costs also fall, giving very little franchise tax relief to our industry.

Lesson 2 - Staffing. I tried to make this a positive post at a time when many restaurants were failing, little did we know how many were to follow. Not only have counter service restaurants thrived in this economy, some chefs have become "mobile entrepreneurs" taking their restaurant on the road with NO servers. In this economy there is a readily available workforce, but an unwilling capital market to invest in the traditional restaurant.

Lesson 3 - Club Memberships. Still a throttle around the neck of growth of the restaurant industry in Dallas proper. Too bad, because the tax implications can be huge. Until given the same competitive advantages of a restaurant located in a wet area, you will see limited restaurants opting for the higher costs and extensive requirements of a Private Club license. Especially when there is plenty of available "wet" lease space waiting to do a great deal in the 'burbs. IJS, Mary Suhm - Addison (Southlake, Frisco, Plano) is calling.

Lesson 4 - Minimum Wage Increase. Last July it went from $5.85 to $6.55 and on July 24, 2009 it goes from $6.55 to $7.25, or a 24% increase in one year. Mphmphmphmph (hand over mouth).

Lesson 5 - The Necessities of a Good Accountant. Admittedly a boring post - so, so, business. But the difference between a restaurant surviving these economic times and not can sometimes come down to these boring matters. I credit "mlh" in the comments section with providing me the spice to create TDCB (that and my son telling me I could set a blog up for free, and then doing it for me in less than 15 minutes).

Lesson 6 - Investing In A Restaurant. Co-written with my husband Jim, it was my favorite post (do Jack and Suzy Welch have this much fun?). It brought back the feel of what we had accomplished 13 years ago when we got the last investor to "cash in" on our dream of Sevy's Grill. Several brave new souls were looking at entering the industry (I'm lookin' at you H&M), and the ten points are succinct and timeless.

While this is an unpaid venture, you can't discount the satisfaction of producing something others will read. It's pushed me to expand my life beyond the unsmiling, "Why is petty cash short", numbers role I play at work. I don't just observe, I now participate in food and in Dallas in ways that don't necessarily require me to cook. And I like to think of it as practice for my very-naughty-chefs wives-FICTIONAL book, working name: "Good Kitchen Bitches".

Monday, June 22, 2009

Count On This - Abacus Has Some Great Deals


Each day of the week a different special is happening over there. What caught my eye in the mailbox was the notice for this Thursday, June 25th when not only can you get FREE hors d'oeuvres from 6 pm until close in their bar, they will be featuring the fine wines of vintner Agustin Huneeus (Quintessa) from 6 pm to 8 pm.
"Agustin Huneeus, who brings us Quintessa will be celebrating the release of Illumination Sauvignon Blanc 2008, the newest addition to Agustin's portfolio. Along with Illumination we will be sampling Veramonte Pinot Noir 2007, a wine made in conjunction with Paul Hobbs, and Faust 2005 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon."
Most likely these wines will be very difficult for the average consumer (or private club) to obtain, so if you have a hankering for a little Illumination, IJS, head on over.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Closed

Quizno's, southwest corner of Preston and Forest. That still leaves plenty of places to eat on this corner.

Sevy's Grill June Food and Wine Dinner

Join us at Sevy's Grill on Monday, June 29th at 6:30 pm for our monthly dinner featuring a "Summer Evening in New England". Four courses plus reception, specially created by our chefs and paired with select wines to compliment each dish, $59.95 per person (plus tax and gratuity).

Seating for this event is limited, reservations are required and may be made at (214) 265-7389 or email SevysCatering@aol.com . Great food, great wines, great value - hope you can join us!
RECEPTION
Fried Ipswich Clams
Cristalino, Sparkling

FIRST COURSE
Maine Lobster Roll
Calera Chardonnay, Central Coast, 2007

SECOND COURSE

Georges Bank Jumbo Sea Scallops, Summer Succotash and Lemon Thyme Butter
Mauritson Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek, 2007

THIRD COURSE
Maple Glazed Venison Roast, Johnny Cakes, Harvard Beets and Chanterelle Mushroom Sauce
Mauritson Zinfandel, Dry Creek 2006

FOURTH COURSE
Fresh Berry Cobbler with Lime Whipped Cream
Finca La Linda Torrontes, Argentina, 2008

Why I Love Geeks

Thank you GeekSquad guys at Best Buy, you gave me my life back, my laptop. And all the records, at least the most important ones. I promise to backup faithfully every day and to not blow up my hard drive again with heated blog posts.

Back to posting, poolside.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

WhataHotBurger

Temperature at 3:00 in the Whataburger drive-thru at Central and Forest, 100 degrees.

Hello Summer! Just like you like it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

It's Salsa Day, Cha Cha Cha

Today is Salsa Sunday at North Haven Gardens, and I decided to make a fresh salsa for entry. But I'm always torn about entering these things, being married to a professional chef and owning a restaurant, does that give me an unfair advantage in the competition? Well if people really knew how talentless my cooking is ...... but reality has nothing to do with perception these days. So because my traditional recipe of salsa (grilled: tomatoes, onions, 3 kinds of peppers, and garlic; add cilantro, touch of tomato paste, salt and lime juice, blend in blender) was taught to me by my husband I decided to forgo this delicious dish (it also makes a wonderful summer soup) and come up with one of my own.

I took North Haven Gardens suggestion to get kind of crazy, utilizing vegetables (cucumbers, peppers) growing right now in my garden (and also a few backups from Tom Thumb) to come up with a one-of-a-kind salsa based on an ubiquitous dish we would eat all summer in Michigan.

"NOT MY GRANDMOTHER'S PICKLED CUCUMBERS" SALSA
3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, small dice
1 large red onion, small dice
3 large anaheim peppers (or other mild yellow pepper), roasted lightly to remove skin, seeds removed, small dice
2 large jalapeno peppers, roasted lightly to remove skin, seeds removed, very fine dice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 TBL. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper

Mix all in bowl, let rest overnight. Drain excess liquid. Adjust seasonings and heat level.

Judges for this event include Bliss Raw Cafe, Jeffrey Kowitz of Taco Joint, Lisa Petty of Dallas Eats and Eddie Garza of Dallas Vegan. You may enter as many salsas as you'd like (1 cup minimum) between 9am and Noon, winners will be announced at 1:30 pm with samples available for tasting.

Stick around after the salsa contest for another of NHG's great FREE classes, "Canning For Beginners" at 1:30 pm. I grew up canning bushels of tomatoes in August, in an un-airconditioned house, peeling scalded tomatoes with dull knives that nicked the hands. But come December it was all worth it when we'd open a jar and have a family favorite "Tomatoes on Toast" (just like it sounds) with next-to-fresh deliciousness.

Mr. Brinker, It Was A Pleasure Serving You

Even non-Brinker servers broke out in sweat when Norman Brinker came in for a meal. There was no finer compliment to a restaurant than to have this great man as a guest, after all he had thousands of his own places to choose from.

So if you would like to repay the compliment, you can visit Hillcrest-Sparkman Funeral Home today from noon - 6 pm for the visitation, or tomorrow at 2 pm there will be a memorial tribute to his life at the Meyerson.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Park Lane Is Now Open

Dropping Sister off at NorthPark yesterday, I decided to swing across the highway to the new development on the southeast corner of Park and Central. Dick's was open, as were a few other retail places, but for the most part things were pretty empty. Lots and lots of parking and security was everywhere.

Missing were restaurants. There may be some on tap, but they don't have any signage up about coming places. The world's biggest Whole Foods is going in on the south east corner of the development, plus there are already several restaurants located just outside of the development on Greenville and Park Lane. I did find one food spot with a sign up, FreshBerry Frozen Yogurt Cafe.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

How To Cook A Great Casserole, And Then How To Burn It

One of the things I've loved about 13 years involvement in public school is the interesting mix of ingredients. Every year it varies ever so slightly, teachers retire, new students transfer in, but the basic mix of our neighborhood school is the comfort food we crave. It provides our annual parades, theater, Friday night football games, a cycle by which we measure our alliance to our community. Everything and everyone is mixed up into one container, baked, and the delicious dish that emerges is a cohesive mass of delicate and exotic flavors.

Our recipe is not for all, I've learned to accept that not everyone wants a taste of this dish. Hey, I'm someone who doesn't eat seafood or fish so I get it. But when we talk about the recipes that would make Dallas a better city, education always seems to be a core ingredient to success. And we must acknowledge to make education in our city great requires more than just a private option, we must bring up our public schools.

So the Hillcrest community was thrilled when the Academic Success Program was introduced at the school two years ago. We all signed contracts agreeing to abide by the requirements of the program, attend parents/student group meetings, help our kids fill out the required forms, and in general, do whatever the wonderful Ms. Smith asked of us. Yes, we all knew this was a program whose primary (but not only) goal was to get students who were economically disadvantaged and potential first-time collegians into very good universities. And yes, some of the students in the program did not fit one or both of those classification, but all of the kids who participated, well they have been friends, classmates, academic competitors with each other for years, and have thrived on the challenge.

And here's the really important part - no student who wanted to work to participate in this program was left out. No one. Because it was at it's core a SELF-WORK program. The students had the expectation of achieving the goals set out on their timeline, from good grades, to letters of recommendation to transcripts, to applications to the FAFSA. For those kids without parental resources to navigate the complexities, ASP provided a more hands-on resource for them. And while located in one of Dallas' wealthiest neighborhoods, Hillcrest qualified for ASP through Title I funding because over 70% of the students come from families of low economic means, in fact the program was put into 12 DISD schools because of it's record of success.

Here is what ASP does: 1) Targets those kids who can meet academic requirements to entry into a four year university, 2) Exposes students to many more college opportunities through their extensive network and information, college open houses, and campus visits, 3) Provide a timeline and structure for students to complete all the necessary steps, 4) Source scholarship opportunities for students based on their academic achievements to apply for.

Here is what ASP does not do: 1) Try to convince kids into college - they must want it and be willing to do the work, 2) Provide funding or any financial support directly to any student, 3) Obtain scholarships for students - it is the scholar's academic and other achievements that earn them awards. ASP was not the only source of college entry for the seniors of Hillcrest, over 90 students listed 4 year universities on the graduation program, of which 33 were in the ASP program. But the rigorous requirements were more than some parents and students wanted to tackle.

So after two years of ASP, at the May Induction Ceremony it was gratifying to see the number of freshmen, sophomores and juniors who, driven by proven previous success, joined to make college entry their commitment over the coming years. Because the earlier ASP can begin to influence and help these targeted students, the greater their chance of success.

Then, in Saturday's DMN the bitter burning of our wonderful casserole, "Plan aids young Hinojosa", on the front page of the Metro section, right next to the article about teen offenders earning their GED while incarcerated. While I don't want to belittle their achievements, it was a strange juxtaposition in writing: glorifying the demons while demonizing the glory.

At issue seems to be that this young man came from a family of means, his father runs the school district, and he participated in this program. So I guess it raises two questions, if a school is receiving Title I funding for projects involving academics, does this require means testing of the students who participate? Because every day my children walk onto campus in some form or another, they are benefiting from Title I funding. So then do we "segregate" those students whose families have greater financial means on a campus from those who don't so resources cannot be shared? Of course not. I don't know of one middle class family that sends their child to Hillcrest to take advantage of the Title I "extra" funding. Their choices involve academics, community, allegiance (many parents are alumni) and friendships.

Second question relates to a student in our public schools obtaining entry into (one of) our nations premier universities. Is it somehow less of an achievement when a young man, who works his butt off to not only get the grades but do all the extracurricular activities (Student Council 4 years, Varsity Baseball 4 years, top 1% score on the SAT's) and who also happens to have a parent who runs the school district? Does it denigrate the achievement of any student that their father or mother may have money, degrees or accomplishments? I say not when they are working to achieve it themselves, which this young man did.

I closed my eyes the other day at graduation, taking a big bite and enjoying the flavor of the celebration. Amy T. who I still remember as a 1st grader in computer lab ("right click, left click, double click") is off to college, she had over $1.2 million in scholarship offers from various universities. "Mijo", my eagle who I've written about twice is also college bound to a private school in Ohio, fully paid due to his academic success and lacrosse skills. I know he worries about his grandmother, a maid in a Preston Hollow home who he will have to leave caring for his two siblings, but he knows she has help in our community. Then there's Jeremy, son of Heather, self employed, single-parent mom. Jeremy made it to the State Finals on the mock trial team, then helped his mother recover from a double mastectomy. This fall he heads to Oklahoma on a full scholarship.

I have expressed directly to the editors of our citys only daily newspaper my disappointment in the "rush to print" this sloppy piece of work. Because here is what they missed: 1) there was no investigation into whether the ASP program was handled differently at Hillcrest than at any of the other schools they served, 2) While the district could not verify the Hinojosa's participation in group meeting, you'd think someone could have called a certain sports writer in their organization, Hillcrest senior dad, and also ASP participant, Kevin Sherrington in the Sports Department. "Hey Kev, you have a senior over there, ever seen the Hinojosa's at these meetings?" his answer would have been "Yup, every single meeting", 3) No research was done on the requirements, goals and functioning of the ASP programs, including apparently checking out their website, 4) Nothing, nada, squat, zip was written about the kids who did obtain great opportunities through the program at Hillcrest. So not only did they tear the top down, they didn't bother to lift the bottom up either.
Has it come to where our city newspaper is denigrating district graduates for their achievements based on the income that their parents make or if they serve the public? Going after a kid who has been a role model to others certainly is scorching the food we all have to eat. Because that is what it smells like to this nose, and believe me I know what burning casserole smells like.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Book For All Food Bloggers

Reorganizing my bookshelves last week to make a little room for a few more, I came across a reference book I'd purchased on-line a few years ago but never had a chance to delve into. But taking the time to read it this week, revealed a very practical guide for anyone who writes about cooking.

The Recipe Writer's Handbook, by Barbara Gibbs Osterman and Jane L. Baker (mine is an older edition than the picture, left) encompasses a range of topics relating to publishing - laws to etiquette. Covering areas from "The Philosophy of Recipe Writing" to "Recipe Testing" to "Recipes for Radio and Television", there are numerous insights and corrections to assist those who love food and want to write about it.

What makes a recipe "yours" as opposed to one you've found in a book or on the web? The "general rule of thumb is that three major changes are required to make a recipe 'yours.' " This could be in ingredients or procedure, but "even if you make such changes, it is a professional courtesy to acknowledge the source or inspiration for the recipe."

There is a whole section of "Food Authorities on Recipe Writing" from food editors and cookbook authors, as well as a mini-dictionary of the correct spelling (various tenses) of cooking terminology in the chapter, "Preferred Spelling of Commonly Used Food Words." For those who are metrically challenged, another section converts numbers to the American measurement standards.

Don't miss the "Resources" chapter at the end, nor the Bibliography that lists several writing, food and beverage reference books to hone your craft.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

National June Month

National Tomato Day was June 1st, I missed it, maybe you did too. But June is a busy "National" month, including National Hunger Awareness Month. Dallas-based Telligent Systems recently teamed up with the North Texas Food Bank and Tyson Foods (and 448 Texans who clicked on the webpage) to deliver 15 tons of protein to the hungry in our area through their Pledge to End Hunger initiative. Check it out, anyone can help with just one click - this is definitely the time to do it.

Other "National's" this month include National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, which includes National Eat Your Vegetables Day on 6/17; National Turkey Lover's Month (which raises the question, if you love the Turkey, how can you eat the bird?); National Dairy Month justifies the Paciugo gelato stop yesterday; National Soul Food Month; googling "National Candy Month, Dallas" brought up lots of links to DallasDirt blog over at DMagazine, sweet; National Iced Tea Month led me to Uniquely Tea, a tea blog with tons of tea information.

For the non-cook National food days, enjoy National Kitchen Klutzes of America Day on June 13th, there are even e-cards you can send your kitchen klutzy friends, here.