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What's Cookin'?, January 31, 2007 - You Can Cook With Confidence & Style
January 31, 2007

You can cook with confidence and style!

A Belated Happy New Year!

Yes, I took some time off to spend with family and friends this past month so I am behind on my self-imposed schedule for my web site and newsletter.

So much for New Year's resolutions! But I must confess, I had a great holiday season and hope you did as well.

Proof of the type of things I was doing is shown in the picture to the right. My grand daughter and I love to cook together. (I don't believe that is a standard chef's hat she is wearing.)

I do like the fact that I am in total control of my website and newsletter schedule, however. That is one of many reasons I still enjoy working on both.

Building your own website and publishing a newsletter is not at all like owning a brick and mortar storefront like my restaurant.

In truth, most small businesses run the owner, not the other way around.

This is not true of owning a website. If you want to learn more, Watch SBI's Video Tour. You'll be fascinated.

Or, if you'd rather read about it, visit my online story about how I got started.

In a rush? Just click on Read About SBI.

Although I spent time with family and friends, I also spent some time working on the website and on my e-cookbooks.

The reason I started the website remains the same: To provide quality recipes, information about food, cooking tips and articles you can use and enjoy immediately and forever.

Our mailing list continues to grow. Thanks to those who forwarded the last newsletter to some of your relatives and friends. That's a great help!


  • New Navigation Improvements On Website! See, I was also working. :-)
  • A Very Important Day - Or Date??? Valentine's Day! Romantic Dinner Suggestions With The Recipes And More! Don't forget about your valentine or the rest of February could be very cold.
  • Email Testimonial From A Reader About A Recipe She Tried - You Need To Know

New Navigation Options

One of the things accomplished this past month to enhance everyone's ability to easily navigate the website.
  • There is a new page called a "Site Map." It is like an index or table of contents. Theoretically every page on the website has a link from the Site Map to that page. You can access the Site Map through a link at the bottom of every page. To view the Site Map, just click on Site Map. How cool is this! ?

  • Valentines Day Menu Suggestions
    For You And Your Sweetheart

    Valentines Day is generally the most romantic day of the year. Romantic dinners, the exchange of small tokens of affection, handwritten notes or romantic cards can all play a role in helping people express their love for each other.

    Don't forget to plan something special for your loved one! If you do forget, the rest of February could be very cold.

    Let me help you plan for your evening of romance. Prepare an extraordinary, romantic meal that will help you express your love. Select the perfect cocktail, entree, side dish and dessert from my suggested Valentines Day Menu. With these recipe suggestions you will tell your Favorite One - "I Love You."

    Plan the entire Valentines Day for romance. Use your best tableware, just the right stemware or glassware, candles, fresh flowers and a luxurious tablecloth.

    Or, as an alternative, decorate with tea lights and place colorful placemats on your coffee table with several cushions on the floor (kids in bed?).

    All of these Valentines Day menu suggestions will ensure you do not leave your valentine alone too long. Some of these items you should prepare in advance (yes, I'll explain what and how). Then you can focus on enjoying dinner ...not to mention the fun that will follow!

    If both you and your loved one like to cook, plan and prepare the Valentines Day meal together! Oh! What fun!

    And please remember, the little touches make all the difference. Warm the plates in the oven and be sure to add attractive garnishes. Keep the food portions small and enjoy your meal at a relaxed pace to avoid feeling too full. The goal is to create a Valentines Day meal that excites - not one to put you both to sleep.

    Valentines Day Menu Suggestions


  • Cosmopolitan
  • Manhattan
    Classic Cocktails - Sophisticated - International. Each Is A Famous Restaurant Drink Recipe


  • Crab Cakes
    Enjoy these crab cakes with a glass of Pinot Grigio
  • Bread With Pesto & Mozzarella
    French Bread or Artisan Bread. Enjoy this appetizer with either Merlot or a glass of Chardonnay


  • Beef Tenderloin With Bleu Cheese Butter
    A fairly thick cut but not a large portion. Savour every bite! And slowly sip a glass of Merlot wine.

  • Chicken In Brandy Cream Sauce
    Besides the brandy and cream, the sun-dried cranberries are an important ingredient in this secret restaurant recipe. Chardonnay wine or White Zinfandel go well with this deliciously rich entree.

  • Seafood Fettuccine
    A signature restaurant recipe - a famous restaurant pasta recipe with almost any combination of seafood you like best. Try a glass of Chardonnay!

    Dessert Choices

    Either of these desserts can (should) be made ahead, making one less thing to prepare on the evening you cook your Valentine dinner.

  • Kahlua Mousse
    A recipe for the coffee - Kahlua lovers in the world. It is a light, creamy, wonderful finale to dinner.
  • New York-Style Cheesecake
    Yes, this is easy to make and you will have some left over for the next day. Having a piece (or two) the next day may mean your Valentines Day Events get extended!

    Dessert Beverage

  • Chocolate Covered Cherry Cocktail
    Try this restaurant recipe - it is "dessert in a glass!" Serve this famous restaurant drink in a champayne flute. Great eye appeal. What an end (beginning?) to a beautiful evening! What a great Valentine's Day!

  • Oh! Did I forget the promised schedule for putting this fabulous Valentines Day together! ? Of course not.

    Preparation Schedule For Valentines Day Menu

    Four to Five Days In Advance of Dinner:

  • Print the recipes you have selected
  • Purchase needed liquor and wine:
      2 one ounce bottles of brandy if you chose to prepare the Chicken In Brandy Cream Sauce
      1 bottle of Kahlua for the Kahlua Mousse
      Creme de almond, creme de cacao and creme de menthe for the Chocolate Cover Cherry
      Liquor for Cosmopolitan or Manhattan
      Wine you wish to serve with your selected entree

  • Prepare your Bleu Cheese Butter and/or your Gorgonzola Butter and put in freezer
  • Prepare your sugared walnuts and store them in an air tight container (these can also be purchased if you are short of time)
  • Purchase or select the candles you wish to use
  • Select the dishware and glassware you intend to use (appetizer plates, salad and dessert dishes, dinner plates or pasta bowls, stemware, tablecloth or place mats and a vase for fresh flowers)
  • Purchase a Valentines Day Card or better yet, I think, write a special note to your Valentine

    One or Two Days Before Dinner:
    Purchase the groceries you need for the recipes you selected (do not purchase seafood more than one or two days ahead)
    Purchase fresh flowers
    Prepare New York Cheesecake if that was one of the recipes you selected for Valentines Day

    One Day Before Valentines Day:
    Peel and cut potatoes, place them in a sauce pan and cover with cold water and a lid and refrigerate
    Prepare Kahlua Mousse and pour or pipe into dessert glasses or dishes, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
    Set table (if possible, even after dinner for next day)
    Got the flowers and card?

    Valentines Day:
    Early in day -

  • Prepare crab cakes, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
  • Prepare garlic bread
  • Place greens for salad in a salad bowl, cover with film wrap and refrigerate

    One hour before showtime -
  • Cut bread for appetizer, place on sheet pan and cover with plastic wrap
  • Place ingredients, except ice, for drinks in a shaker or other container and refrigerate
  • Uncork red wine and allow to "breathe" for a time before serving
  • Uncork white wine just before serving

    After your guest arrives- Showtime:
    Add ice to the beverage shaker or container, shake and strain into appropriate glass (martini glass), serve or pour wine and serve if not having a cocktail
    Fry crab cakes and serve with selected sauce or
    Spread French or Artisan bread with pesto sauce and top with cheese and finish under the broiler until cheese is melted and then serve

    Showtime Continues On Valentines Day:
    (Remember - take your time, relax - no one is in a rush)
    Put potatoes on to cook, adding 1-2 teaspoons of salt (if serving potatoes)
    Place garlic bread in pre-heated 325 degree F oven until hot (turn oven down to 250 degrees F to hold the bread if you are not ready for it)
    Finish the salad you selected, plate and serve to table
    Mash potatoes and hold in oven, crockpot or over low heat while you prepare the entree
    Cook steaks or chicken or fettuccine recipe, plate and serve
    Serve dessert when you and your guest are ready for it

    Exchange cards or notes and have a wonderful evening! What a Valentines Day to remember!

  • I received this very nice testimonial and of course, I wanted to share it.

    What I loved about the Turkey Pot Pie Recipe-

    The ingredients are simple and the recipe is easy, but most of all it is delicious!

    Another great thing about it is how much it makes. It is a large batch which you can freeze in smaller quantities to take out later and put in a fresh pie shell and bake. Or as we did, you can make homemade pies and put them in the freezer to take out and enjoy a ready made dinner at any time!

    Speaking as a mother I have one last thought ...even though the recipe is excellent as it is, if you have children you know they can sometimes be finicky so you can use ingredients your family prefers such as carrots, peas, and/or green beans and the pot pie is still wonderful.

    To sum it up I'd say it's delicious, easy and convenient for the busy lives most of us lead these days. ENJOY!

    Mindy Wilcox
    Washington State

    Electronic Cookbooks Or E-Cookbooks

    The lady who emailed the very nice comments about the Turkey Pot Pie Recipe also took the time to tell me how much she likes (loves) the large e-cookbook I wrote.

    She explained she had never tried an electronic cookbook (or any electronic books) before but that she was delighted with the one I wrote.

    She explained that she really didn't know what an e-book was or how one worked. She "took a chance" on mine.

    She says she enjoys sitting at the computer with her children, reading different recipes and then deciding which one they want to cook on a particular day.

    She is pleased she can print the one recipe she wants and take it to the grocery store for shopping and then to her kitchen to prepare it.

    I share her comments because I am finding out that many people have never used an electronic cookbook before.

    Give mine a try! You, too, will be pleased.

    My first large electronic cookbook, "Real Restaurant Recipes: Food That Built a Business - Volume One."

    The e-cookbook contains over 200 restaurant recipes (all categories and meals).

    Subscribers to "What's Cookin'?" can purchase the electronic cookbook using the link Real Restaurant Recipes Volume One.

    You can cook with confidence and style.

    Purchase the cookbook and save it to your computer. Use the recipes throughout the year. You, your family and your guests will all be pleased!

    To see a copy of the Table of Contents, click on Table of Contents.

    Want hardbound cookbooks?

    Recommended Online Resource: for Cookbooks

    Reader's Survey - Please Help Me to Serve You Better

    By answering the questionnaire, I will be able to provide you with the information and recipes you want most. Click on Take The Survey to help. Thanks!

    I am building my web site (sharing my interests) without any technical knowledge and I love it. The "all-in-one program" that allows me to do this is called "Site Build It!"

    If you have a few minutes, watch the video called SBI Video Tour.

    Want proof? Just click on Content Is King.

    Go ahead, take a video tour of the program and its components? Here is your link to do so: Video Tour. It's a recipe for success.

    Thanks for subscribing to my newsletter and helping to support my efforts to bring you quality recipes and information.

    Please email this newsletter to your friends. - THANKS!

    ”See” you soon! Be happy and stay safe.
    Bookmark Real Restaurant Recipes
    Copyright © 2007

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