Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Green Herb Dip

Perfect Pairing: Personalized Memory Cookbooks

You never need to buy, nor will you want to buy, store-bought dips after making this Green Herb Dip.  High praise, I know.  This fresh dip was another addition to the menu for the outdoor concert at Ravinia.  The Perfect Pairing for this recipe is very close to my heart.  I think any cook will love this idea, but more on that later.

I found the recipe in my favorite chef’s cookbook, Barefoot Contessa at Home.  Ina Garten, or The Barefoot Contessa, is something else.  Her recipes are classic, use great ingredients and are tried and true.  I even find myself using her lingo…. “How easy was that?”.  I do question her instruction of always using the “nice” or “good” version of something.  I am totally on board with using a “nice” olive oil or a “good” balsamic vinegar but sometimes I think a jar of cinnamon is a jar of cinnamon.  Now, if I am ever in Saigon I may pick up some very special Saigon cinnamon and it could change my life. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Parmesan Pepper Lemon Biscuits

Perfect Pairing: Caramelized onions, prosciutto and arugula

Yesterday I wrote about the wonderful evening I recently had at Ravinia seeing the Gipsy Kings.  When I was creating the menu I wanted to include a sandwich but not your everyday turkey sandwich.  I think one of the most important parts of the sandwich is the bread, so that is where I focused my time and energy.  I found this biscuit recipe in a Food Network Star cookbook.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Parmesan Thyme Crackers

I am a sucker for cheese and crackers, cheese and wine, cheese and bread… you get the picture.  Last Summer I made my own crackers for the first time (stay tuned for the original cracker recipe) and it was a revelation.  They were fun to make, easy and delicious.  These Parmesan Thyme Crackers are no exception. 


Welcome to Perfecting the Pairing!  I hope you enjoy the recipes and pairings posted here.  I do not claim to be a pro chef, writer, or photographer but I absolutely love to cook and to share recipes with friends and family.  Since I have little to no artistic or musical talent (it runs in the family), I find that cooking is my creative outlet.  I can spend countless hours reading cookbooks, cooking blogs, cooking magazines or watching cooking shows.  I never seem to tire of it!  I love trying new things and putting meal plans together, whether it is for a week of healthy meals or a dinner party with friends. 

I have toyed with the idea of starting a cooking blog for over a year.  I knew that I needed some sort of foundation, some kind of cornerstone idea that would keep readers (and myself) interested and engaged.  My original idea was to pair every recipe with a song because next to sharing recipes, I love to share favorite music.  I expanded on this a bit to include not only music but tips, techniques, kitchen tools, cocktails and anything else I think kicks the recipe up a notch.  I can’t promise to provide life-changing news on every post but I may just convince you of the necessity of spatulas, vanilla fig balsamic vinegar and reggae music. 

Let the pairing begin!
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