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Janet A. Zimmerman

Janet A. Zimmerman Cooking for Two Blog

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Green Beans, Cold and Hot

Thursday May 15, 2014

Thai green bean saladUsually I prefer green beans warm or hot. I love them roasted with garlic chips or mixed with mushrooms in garlic cream sauce. But when the weather is hot, it's a welcome change to feature green beans blanched and chilled, as in this simple Thai-inspired salad. If you're in the midst of a heatwave, you could even add a few cooked shrimp and turn it into a main dish. How cool is that?

Image © Dave Scantland

Cilantro: Like it or Not?

Thursday May 8, 2014

Steak taco with chimichurri

People tend to feel strongly about cilantro; some love it, while others liken it to eating soap. I happen to like it, so I buy it frequently. Even so, it can be tough to use it all up before it starts to get slimy, so I keep a file of recipes that call for it, like these steak tacos, which use it not only in the bright green chimichurri sauce but also in the pico de gallo that tops them. It's a cilantro lover's dream (or a cilantro hater's nightmare).

Image © Dave Scantland

Devilishly Good

Tuesday May 6, 2014

Deviled ham

Deviled ham has a questionable reputation. If, like me, you grew up only knowing the spread in the little can, you may think of it as something you eat only when you're desperate. But when you make your own deviled ham, you'll find out that it's not only tasty, but also very versatile. Sure, you can eat it on crackers as a snack or make it into cute little sandwiches for tea, but it's also great spread on toast and topped with a poached egg. Spread it onto crostini and run it under the broiler for a quick appetizer. Add it to grilled cheese sandwiches. Try it and you'll think of even more ideas.

Image © Dave Scantland

April Showers Bring Grilled Cheese

Friday April 18, 2014

Grilled Pimento CheeseApril, it turns out, is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month. (What will they think of next?) I personally don't need a reason to make grilled cheese sandwiches, whether it's with pimento cheese and bacon, or ham and Gruyere in a croque monsieur. I'd even count tuna melts and patty melts, because that's just the kind of girl I am.

Image © Dave Scantland

Easter Salmon

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Honey-mustard glazed salmonThe problem with Easter dinner for two, as I mentioned above, is that the traditional entree choices aren't kind to a couple. If you're not inclined toward rack of lamb, why not start your own traditional with this savory glazed salmon for Easter dinner? The honey mustard glaze might even remind you of the old-school Easter ham. Pair the salmon with the rest of this elegant Spring menu for a new Easter classic.

Image © Dave Scantland

Traditional Easter Menu

Sunday April 13, 2014

Rack of lamb

When you're cooking for two, finding a traditional Easter menu can be a challenge. I like ham, but the thought of trying to finish even a small ham fills me with despair. Likewise with a leg of lamb. Fortunately, there's a cut of lamb that's perfect for two, and special enough for holidays -- rack of lamb. This recipe, with a tangy caper-herb sauce, is a great choice for spring. Start with warm asparagus mimosa and finish with creamy lemon mousse, and you'll have a classic Easter dinner menu.

Image © Dave Scantland

My Favorite Things: Lemon Curd

Friday April 4, 2014

Meringue shells with lemon cream

Much as I love chocolate, most of my favorite desserts start with lemon -- lemon curd, to be precise.

It's easy to make a small batch (just enough for two desserts) but it also lasts in the fridge or freezer for weeks, so if you want to make more for later, you can. Once you have your curd made, you're only a few steps away from outstanding lemon bars or lemon mousse. With a little more work, you can even make delicate meringue shells filled with lemon cream and -- of course! -- lemon curd.

Image © Dave Scantland

Spring has Sprung

Monday March 31, 2014

Asparagus mimosaEven though asparagus is now available throughout the year, there's something about it that still says Spring to me. When it's at its best, we like to serve it as a separate course. Grated egg, cheese and bread crumbs top warm asparagus in this version of Asparagus Mimosa.

Image © Dave Scantland

Great Ingredients: Eggs

Tuesday March 25, 2014

Avgolemono soupSometimes, eggs seem magical. Not only are they delicious on their own or as the main element of a dish like quiche or egg salad, but as an ingredient in all kinds of recipes, they're a culinary marvel. They can thicken and enrich soup, such as Greek avgolemono (shown); add body to lemon curd; lighten a souffle or mousse; bind bread crumbs to shrimp or flour to chicken for frying; and emulsify mayonnaise or Hollandaise sauce. They're inexpensive and last for weeks in the fridge. What more can you ask of an ingredient?

Image © Dave Scantland

St. Patrick's Day Leftovers?

Tuesday March 18, 2014

Potato-Cabbage-Corned Beef Salad

If you cooked corned beef brisket for St. Patrick's Day, chances are good that you have some left over, along with the rest of the head of cabbage and perhaps a few boiled potatoes. If that's the case, have I got a dish for you.  Read More...

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