Friday, October 30, 2009

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

On Wednesday night, I got together with a couple of pals to carve pumpkins. I arrived armed with sharp knives, some Vosges bacon chocolate and a yummy mixture of sugar and spice to make those pumpkin seeds nice.

As the ladies carved, I put myself in charge of pulling the seeds out of the pumpkin guts. By the way, I brought all of the pumpkin guts home and pureed it for use on Sunday - more on that this weekend!

Sugar and Spice Mix
- 5 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 Teaspoon salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/4 Teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper

More after the jump...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ode to You, Tiny Delicious Cabbages

Growing up, your favorite vegetable was the brussel sprout, right?
Yeah, me either. In fact, one of my earliest childhood memories is of my mother burning brussel sprouts in the oven, and of me being so disturbed by the smell, I asked for a new family. Well, fortunately, I did not get the new family I asked for, but I certainly never approached a brussel sprout again. That is, until about 2 weeks ago.

I was perusing the lastest issue of Martha Stewart Everyday Food, and happened upon a "recipe" for brussel sprouts. (I use quotes, because it wasn't very complex.) And you know what? They looked GOOD. So I tried it.

Oh. My. God. Suddenly, I cannot get enough brussel sprouts! They were meaty, and smoky and nutty, all in one.
Non-complicated technique, slightly modified from Everyday Food,  after the jump.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Cookie Will Help!

Photo courtesy of Etsy's Scrumptulicious Shop

I'm not usually in the habit of repurposing the blog posts of others, especially given that I just launched my own new blog. But I read about this woman's story on A Great Full Day, a blog I enjoy, and asked Lindsey, the author, for permission to re-blog to help spread the word about this amazing family.

So today is Friday and for many that means pay day. Sadly Kristen doesn't get a regular paycheck anymore. I found Kristen's blog and my heart immediately went out to her. A few years ago her husband was diagnosed with a life threatening kidney disease that left him unable to work. In 2008 she too lost her job. Now her family is struggling to pay for medical bills, prescriptions and day to day expenses. They've given up their cars and other non-essential items (that many of us take for granted) in an attempt to make ends meet but have still come up short...some days they aren't sure they'll be able to pay for their home. 

More after the jump...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tini, Take Two

Photo respectfully borrowed from

Last spring, I visited Tini on Washington Street with my buddy Melina. As she can tell you,
I did not have a good experience for a number of reasons:

1. It was during Lent. And given that Melina observes Lent, and Tini's tappas plates are meant to be shared, we had to avoid the meat. We ended up with some randoms that were not what I would have chosen.

2. In the very small restaurant, at the horseshoe shaped bar, I was at the end of the horseshoe, just before the bathroom door. It felt more like I was in the bathroom. Eww.

But this weekend, Stacey and I were looking for a place for a little dinner, and she had never been to Tini. So I decided to give it another go. I have to say, I'm glad I did. My opinion completely changed. Here's what did it:

1. The Recession Pour: I chose a the very tasty Palo Alto Sauvignon Blanc for an easy-to-swallow $6.

2. Our first dish was the Tini Weenie. The name alone is enough to make anyone smile.

The saurkraut on top was to die for, and the bread was just buttery-crisp enough. Yum!

3. Next up, the special: a seasonal venison stew with perfectly tender meat and flavorful roasted vegetables.

See that fluffy goodness on top? That's fried feta cheese. Let me say it again.
FRIED FETA CHEESE. Need it one more time?

4. Finally, we indulged in the Tini fries.

Now, these fries probably won't set your world on fire. But the mix of hot sauce and another mayonnaise based sauced was the perfect combo. Bonus points if you drag the fries through the venison stew gravy. Heaven.

So. Visit Tini. Go early. Go with just one other person. And make sure to get some meat. You'll be delighted just like I was... this time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New Hampshire Fun

Last weekend I escaped the city with my pal Stacey in favor of Center Ossipee, New Hampshire for a little R and R. We borrowed a coworker's house, which turned out to be a rounded treehouse, high above the other homes, overlooking a lake. We brought all of the provisions one could possibly need for a ladies weekend away, and proceeded to relax - Coquettish Cook style.

On Friday night, we took it easy, relaxing with some wine and cheese. My new favorite combo: blue cheese, figs and honey... mmm...

Saturday, we woke up refreshed and ready to check out our surroundings. First we checked out some scenery. (Photos after the jump.)

Welcome to the Coquettish Cook!

Hey, nice to see you here! Thank you for visiting my brand new blog! I'm leaving Lowther, Rinse, Repeat behind for now. It was a terrific outlet for me to get my random thoughts down. But then I started to really develop my ideas for The Coquettish Cook and here we are!

So this is where you can find me from now on. As usual, I'll be sharing with you my best successes in the kitchen (and the occasional mishap,) and bringing you along on some yummy journeys around the city and beyond. But there are some new features I want to bring to The Coquettish Cook that I hope you'll love:

1. The Top Five
2. Reader Contributions
3. From JWU, With Love

That's right. This December, I'm starting the continuing education culinary diploma program at Johnson & Wales. You have no idea how excited I am! Cooking has been my passion for such a long time. But I never thought of it being anything more than a hobby until J recently encouraged me to pursue it. My first class, Soups, Stocks & Sauces, starts on December 6th. JWU encourages its culinary students to photograph their dishes as they go - how convenient! So you'll hear plenty about my misadventures in cooking school. PS... You should see the knife set that students get. Yippee!

So again, welcome. I hope you enjoy coming along for the ride!