Chocolate Lava Cakes

dessert-chocolate-lava-cakes-iBusiness Class with Turkish Airlines is kinda sweet. And on our return flight from Istanbul back to the Great USofA this past weekend, one of the sweets served was a warm chocolate cake. I knew better than to be tempted by that offer…but i will share this authentic offering! Back in the winter of 2007, the don and I took a wee respite at the Ritz Carlton in Cancun. Whoa…that’s been a decade! They had just reopened after the devastation of Hurricane Wilma, and they were thrilled to have guests back in the hotel. As part of the major renovation, the Ritz added an all Viking Culinary Center. What a beautiful atmosphere in which to cook; added bonus, it overlooks the Caribbean Sea. That’s right. One of the courses I took with Chef Rory that week included this show stopper.  I was a bit afraid initially of my results, but it was perfection on a plate; and it has turned out perfectly in my home kitchen time and time again! Sharing the Love!

8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped or broken into pieces
2 1/2 sticks butter
5 egg yolks
5 whole eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbs all-purpose flour, sifted

Preheat oven to 425°.
In a small sauce pan, melt the chocolate and butter together over very low heat.
*Do not allow chocolate to get too hot.
Remove from heat and keep warm.
In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, whole eggs, and sugar.
Pour warm chocolate into egg mixture.
While stirring chocolate mixture add sifted flour slowly to avoid lumps.
Spray 6 soufflé cups with cooking spray.
Pour mixture into cups and place on a sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to rest 3 minutes.

To serve:
Go around edges of soufflé cup with a knife to loosen the cake.
Invert on to a plate.
Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on side of cake.

Makes 6 mid-size ramekins, or 8 small ramekins.

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Vegetarian Mini Enchilada

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I “Stomp”ed around Chicago with td (my husband of 41+ years!) and some friends for a few days just before the 2017 New Year. We happily played the usual suspects tourists…

beanposed with The Bean (formal name “Cloud Gate”) created and installed in 2006 by the amazing Anish Kapoor,

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hung out with blues great, Buddy Guy, 2012 Kennedy Center Honor Recipient (please watch this video with Morgan Freeman presenting Mr. Guy with the Honor), seized this magical photo op with him at his club, Buddy Guy’s Legends), bavettesand hopped from one fantastic restaurant and hotel bar to the next. No lack there, my friends! BONUS, we enjoyed dinner one night with James Beard Award winning chef Rick Bayless at Frontera Grill. I mean, we just couldn’t even decide what to order; it all was so tempting…so we began with hand crafted margaritas. I was so inspired with our dinner, that I flew home and waked up my own kitchen, and prepared this concoction. So…take this little jewel to the bank and thank Rick B. and Peg all the way! And PtotheS…

Be Sociable, Share This! Everyone has been sharing a LOT lately, so let’s unite and share something yummy, just a nice little recipe-no politics ever on this blog-just joy and fun!

southwestern-mini-black-bean-enchiladas10 miniature 4” flour tortillas
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz can refried beans
8 oz can red enchilada sauce
4 oz can chopped green chiles
4 oz shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tbs thinly sliced green onions
4 Tbs chopped avocado
4 Tbs chopped cilantro
1 fresh lime, cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease 12 cup muffin pan with olive oil or melted butter.
Tuck tortillas gently into cups.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes until crisp and browned.
Stir together black beans, refried beans, enchilada sauce, and green chiles in medium bowl.
Divide mixture evenly among baked tortilla cups.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Back at 350° until cheese melts, about 10 minutes.
Transfer enchiladas to serving platter.
Top evenly with lettuce.
Drizzle with sour cream.
Sprinkle with green onions, avocado, and cilantro.
Squeeze fresh lime juice over top.
Garnish with fresh lime.

The Kentucky 95

Happy Sunday! We rolled with a Kentucky 95 and Animal Crackers over this icy weekend. This just seems right for brunch, lunch, or five o’clock anywhere, or any time, really! We first tried this last summer with Bobby Flay at Bar Amercain. But in this cold and flu season, we felt a wee bit healthy drinking the oj! These ingredients are in most fridges, so no need to risk the icy driving if you’re still inside like we.

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3/4 oz Makers Mark or other good quality bourbon
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz fresh orange juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
Ice cubes
Champagne, chilled
Lemon or orange twist for serving

Combine bourbon, lemon juice, orange juice, and simple syrup in tall glass over ice.
Stir well.
Strain into wine glass filled with crushed ice.
Top up with champagne.
Garnish with a twist.

The Great Swan Adventure, 23 Years and Counting

Hardee Swan Sporting a Fantastic Mignonne Gavigan Scarf Necklace!

Hardee Swan Sporting a Fantastic Mignonne Gavigan Scarf Necklace!

Exactly 23 years ago, on this 23rd day of December, PaPa took Brenton, William, and me on a swan hunt. We set out around 5am for the drive to Lake Mattamuskeet, where we met up with Tony, our guide for the day. It was a misty morning, perfect for the shoot ahead. PaPa, the very definition of gentleman, sportsman, and teacher, was thrilled beyond words! We were settled in the blind by 7:45, and before 9:00 both Brenton and William had “bagged” their first swan, at the wonderful, adventurous age of nine! And that mount has lived in my dining room ever since the taxidermist delivered it a few weeks later! We have decorated that swan with lots of neck-pieces over the years, but I do believe that this necklace of Mignonne Gavigan’s is the best look that the Hardee Swan has ever sported. So…happy December 23rd to each and every one of you, and may you have a Merry Merry Christmas! Memories…may we stack them up every single day until the pile is so high it touches the Heavens!

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PtotheS…Since we completed the hunt so early, we rode around with Tony is his big ole truck listening to Aaron Neville and shooting mistletoe out of trees!

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October and Breast Cancer Awareness

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Lobby of Burj al Arab, Dubai, October 2013 ©PEGhardee

As we near the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I celebrate family, friends, and everyone proud to be survivors of this disease. Blessings to them. I had my annual mammogram this month, and when I checked out they issued a lovely little pocket calendar just chocked full of healthy hints. So, I’m here to share the love by sharing a few of those great tips, because some things are just worth passing along:

Be in charge of your breast health.
Perform routine self exams; over age 40 get your mammograms annually.
Keep your heart healthy.
Check your blood pressure routinely.
Get moving. Do something physical daily to boost your immune system and get your metabolism going.
Cook at home as often as possible with fresh ingredients.
There are tons of healthy recipes right here on this blog to keep you going!
Manage stress over the upcoming holiday months.
Keep your commitments in check…don’t add too much to your list!
Balance work, home, and play.
Practice time management.
Keep a relaxed and positive outlook.
It’s going to be a fun season, so enjoy it!

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More Pink in the Burj al Arab for Breast Cancer Awareness.

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Gotta Love a Photo in a Mirror! Burj al Arab, 2013.

Gotta Love an Ice Bar

From Phone 046Happy F.R.I.D.A.Y! I know you remember how much I adore, love am obsessed with an Ice Bar, right? My most recent adventure was at Frost in Boston, celebrating Gray’s birthday. At a chilly 21°F, 30 minutes was about the right amount of wrong for us. From Phone 032From Phone 031

Acting all childlike, we then traipsed across to the Rose Kennedy Greenway, and hopped on the Carousel for a ride on the artfully handmade animals. Prezza was the next stop for a divine Italian dinner. There’s no substitute for experience, and that night we enjoyed more than our fair share. Then…back to the real world!From Phone 052From Phone 059

I LOVE a photo in a mirror...This comes as BO surprise to my family!!

I LOVE a photo in a mirror…This comes as NO surprise to my family!!

Flower Arranging in Hotel Rooms, part one

From Phone 929Warning…I’ve done this a time or two…and a LOT this particular past spring and summer, all for joyous family celebrations. Jump along and take a gander. This was Brenton’s 30th birthday in DC. You may be wondering why I put myself through this exercise; the truth is that when traveling to these bashes I like the way my arrangements turn out a bit better than those of an unfamiliar florist. Now don’t give me that you crazy person look! Pic on the left is of one of my work buckets in the loo of our room at the fab Hotel Monaco. Request from the birthday gal…peonies and hydrangeas, also my favorites!

Another work bucket and 2 completed arrangements on the bench in background.

Another work bucket and 2 completed arrangements on the bench in background.

IMG_4815And here are a couple of the completed arrangements placed in the lovely courtyard of the divine Co Co. Sala, venue for the celebration.

The bar!IMG_4822IMG_4835

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