dinner lesson #3.

In our quest to teach our daughters a thing or two about cooking, my dear friend Kathy and I ventured into our third annual mother-daughter cooking lesson…for peeks into previous meals, take a look at dinner #1 and dinner #2 from the past couple of years.

Both of the twenty-year-olds are currently living in off-campus housing this year, cooking on their own most nights…pasta, salads, quesadillas, leftovers and probably a bit of cold cereal on occasion.  They are fans of Pinterest, posting pics of fun snacks and menu items to try…so they are actually getting pretty familiar in the kitchen.  And yet, there are always lessons to learn…like the fact that when a recipe calls for three cloves of garlic, you can simply peel them off of one “bulb” and do not need to purchase three “garlics.” Wow. That would have been garlicky!  Tips and tricks for chopping, making a roux, and carmelizing sugar atop a creme brulee were all included in this adventure.

Dinner Collage

This year’s menu included:

Kalamata Olive Tapenade

(copycat of the Cravings Spread Trio) source: My Life as a Mrs.


  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until combined well. Serve with a schmear of Boursin (I used Alouette Garlic and Herbs) on top of lightly grilled flatbread cut into wedges.

Girlfriend Salad

(a family favorite from my dear friend and chef/baker extraordinaire-Kris Johnson!)


  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup lowfat mayo
  • 3 T. white wine vinegar
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Directions:  Whisk first four ingredients and gradually whisk in oil.  Season with salt and pepper.


  • chopped greens (we used Romaine)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries or craisins
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts (we used Diamond Glazed Walnuts)
  • Gorgonzola cheese (optional)

Directions:  Gently toss greens with desired amount of dressing.  Sprinkle with remaining ingredients, toss a bit more.

Boundary Waters Wild Rice Soup

(from the Dayton Hudson Restaurants via the Dayton’s Cookbook) Served in a Panera bread bowl.

  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 T. butter
  • 2-3 T. flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 to 1 cup cooked wild rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sherry

Directions: In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender.  Make roux by stirring in flour; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes.  Add stock; whisk in flour mixture until smooth.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. (To make thicker, add more roux.) Add cooked wild rice, salt, pepper and cream; simmer.  Add sherry and heat thoroughly. 6 cups. (Diced rotisserie chicken was added.)

Kincaid’s Burnt Cream

(based on the delish dessert at Kincaid’s in St. Paul)

  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 T. vanilla

Directions:  Heat cream over low heat until bubbles form around edge of pan.  Beat egg yolks and sugar together until thick, about three minutes.  Gradually beat cream into egg yolks.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour into 5 or 6 six-ounce custard cups/ramekins.  Place cups in baking pan that has about 1/2″water in bottom.  Bake until set, about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove custard cups from water.  Refrigerate until chilled.

Sugar topping:

  • 4 T. sugar
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar

Sprinkle each custard with about 2 tsp sugar topping blend.  Place on top rack under broiler. Cook until topping is medium brown.  Keep door slightly open and watch carefully-only takes a few minutes. (Or be brave and use a small torch to melt and carmelize the sugar.) Chill before serving.

6 thoughts on “dinner lesson #3.

      • Thank you! 🙂
        I had gotten the recipe in the early ’90s at the Marketplace Deli on the 3rd level of Dayton’s at Southdale, but wasn’t sure where I’d put it. So I decided to search online and found your site. I did end up finding my recipe and made it (Yumm!), but I’m glad I discovered your site because you have so many great recipes that I’m looking forward to trying.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s