Archives for March 2015

My New Marcel’s Family by Jenny Chang

“The years teach much which the days never knew” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The above is one of my favorite quotes because it reminds me that even in the hard, crazy, hectic days, we persevere and glean profound wisdom as time moves on. And before we know it, we are sharing those little bits of wisdom to those around who will listen.

I’m very much living the thick of my days with 3 children (nearly 11 yrs, 9 yrs, and 7 yrs old) at home, a husband who travels frequently for work, and me working both part-time and volunteering as a director for a local non-profit. Carpool isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity. Relying on the kindness of neighbors and the “it takes a village” mentality is humbling. With afterschool activities from Tae Kwon Do, basketball, baseball, soccer, and dance/piano lessons, it’s a wonder that cars aren’t equipped with mini-fridges and microwaves. There are many times where I wish they were.

Retail1I have the incredible privilege to work alongside many women at Marcel’s who have journeyed this path of motherhood and crazy hectic days, who are now able to pause and enjoy some of the peaceful tranquility that comes from having sent their grown children off into the world. And I often hear the words, “enjoy these days of endless shoes in the doorway because those days will soon be gone.” And I pause and wonder… will those days really soon be gone? I can’t imagine it, but am told it many times over and over again.

To my fellow Marcel’s moms, thank you for being a reminder that these days are short, that my time with my children won’t last forever, and that I should pause and enjoy some of these moments to simply watch them, listen to them, and hug them. Continue to remind me over and over again, particularly during those long days of raising 3 children whose schedules and lives sometimes seem to overshadow my own.

Your presence and encouragement has served this mother of 3 in more ways than you can imagine, not just with your words but by your example. Continue to share your little bits of wisdom because this mom will try hard to listen. Having been at Marcel’s now for over 6 months, I consider myself more than fortunate to have found a new family here, one that doesn’t just talk the talk but has walked my walk!

Make Do With What You Have by Jamie Bordoshuk

With both kids out of the house, my wife and I decided to try our hand at living in California for a couple of weeks. Why not? We had nothing keeping us here. The thought of warm weather, sunshine and the beach was all the convincing that I needed to book those two airline tickets out of this Midwestern icebox.

Two weeks in someone else’s kitchen. Our beautiful rental home in Santa Barbara, two blocks from the beach, boasted a “gourmet kitchen”. True, it had a six burner Viking range. But, where was the overhead light? The built-in Sub Zero refrigerator was huge. But, only one shelf? Tons of cabinets and drawers, but not a single spatula to be found. No cheese grater, but enough lemon and lime squeezers to put a full-service margarita bar to shame.

As my mother used to say, you just have to “make do with what you have”.  Despite the meager supplies, I decided to forge ahead with Friday’s dinner party for our California friends and family. I would make two lasagnas – one for the California vegetarians, the other for us Midwestern meat lovers.  Thursday was sauce day. I literally opened every drawer at least three times looking for tools, pots, pans and serving pieces. At home, it was second nature to locate everything without even thinking about it. I quickly realized that I would have to improvise if I was going to pull this off.

Two mismatched pots sat side by side on the Viking range. One tall, dark and non-stick. The other was squat, bright and stainless steel. The sauces simmered all afternoon and by 3 o’clock, the kitchen smelled absolutely amazing – just like home. I turned off the pots to cool and we went out for our daily walk on the beach.

tgl-lasagnaFriday morning came around and it was time to build my lasagnas. As every good chef knows, preparation is the key to success. I guess that warm ocean air had gotten to me, as I didn’t think to look for two 13 x 9 pans BEFORE I decided on the lasagna. After 20 minutes of opening up every cupboard and drawer again and again, I remembered my mom’s wise advice. Make do with what you have.

I grabbed a 5×8 loaf pan and a pie tin and got to work.

Classic Meat Lasagna
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  • 1⁄2 box lasagna noodles, no-boil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 t. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small onion, small chop
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. dried oregano
  • 1 can 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can 14.5oz diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb. Ricotta cheese
  • 1⁄2 lb. Provolone cheese, sliced
  • 1 lb. shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
Instructions
  • In a sauté pan, heat oil. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté until it begins to brown. Add ground beef with some salt and pepper and sauté until cooked through. Stir in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, oregano and Worcestershire sauce. Cook on a simmer until thickened slightly - approximately 25-30 min. Remove from heat.
  • In a 9x13 pan, spread a small amount of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan. Layer in the following order: Lasagna noodles, sauce, thin layer of ricotta, provolone, a sprinkled layer of Mozzarella, another layer of uncooked noodles. Repeat layering process to the top. (The last layer will be Mozzarella)
  • Cover lasagna pan with foil & place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until nice & bubbly (approximately 45min.). Remove foil & continue cooking until cheese on top begins to brown slightly.
  • Remove from oven & allow to sit for 20 minutes. Cut & serve.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Window Dressing by Rita Cevaal

One of the many enjoyable responsibilities of working at Marcel’s is coming up with ideas for our store windows. Changing the windows is always a fun, challenging, but sometimes strenuous activity at the store.

During the planning process we are inspired by merchandise and current events occurring in the store, community, and world. We have highlighted everything spanning from our own cooking classes, the local spelling bee fundraiser to the Olympics.

The challenge is to always have something that is fresh, current, relevant, interesting, and fun! We plan them out several months in advance in order to assemble all the necessary props, whatever they may be. For example, we searched for some type of old stove in window to use for our display about pie baking. We called Young’s Appliances and they were kind enough to bring over to set up the cutest yellow vintage stove in our window.

 

Because we are a kitchen store, we also have one window with a seasonally set table. It is always beautiful and elegant. Having a second window gives us the opportunity to highlight not only the current season or holiday, but we also get the chance to have a little fun. Hope you are enjoying the current “Prepare the Sides of March” window!

Soy Glazed Salmon Rice Bowls

Soy Glazed Salmon Rice Bowls
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  • 4 cups cooked short grain rice (sushi rice)
  • 1 english cucumber, sliced
  • 1 cup defrosted corn kernels
  • 1-2 carrots, julienned
  • 2 cups shredded romaine (or red leaf) lettuce
  • 1 lb salmon filet
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • 2 T. sesame oil
  • ½ t. wasabi powder (optional)
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil together. Pour over salmon filet. Place salmon on lined baking sheet and cook in oven for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, take remaining sauce (add wasabi powder, if you would like it to be spicy) and cook over medium / medium-low heat until slightly reduced (about 10 minutes).
  • Place ½ cup of cooked rice in a serving bowl. Add shredded lettuce, corn, carrots, and cucumber on top of rice. Add ¼ of the cooked salmon on top of veggies. Drizzle with a tablespoon or two of the reduced sauce.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

The Power of Breakfast by Lynn Dugan

We all know how important breakfast is…but more than half of American adults do not eat breakfast everyday and it’s estimated that 12 to 34 percent of children and adolescents regularly miss this morning meal. There are many benefits of eating breakfast that you won’t want to miss…here are the highlights:

  • Breakfast fuels your brain after the overnight fast.  That is why it’s called break-fast.  Your brain needs the energy and you benefit! Kids benefit, too.  Studies have shown that children do better in school (improved memory, alertness, concentration, and test scores) compared to kids who skip breakfast.
  • Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers.  Unfortunately, many people skip breakfast just to save calories.  The fact is that breakfast skippers are at a greater risk for weight gain and obesity.
  • Eating breakfast helps you meet nutritional goals, especially for whole grains, dairy and fruits.  Let’s face it, it’s hard to get all of the recommended servings of whole grains (3), dairy (3) and fruits and vegetables (5) in your diet even spread across three meals and one or two snacks.  If a meal is skipped, it is even harder to meet the requirements.  Breakfast is a natural opportunity to include whole grain (with ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, hot cereals, and whole grain toast and waffles), fruit (100% juice, fresh, canned, frozen or dried fruit) and fat-free or low-fat dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese).
  • Emerging research suggests that eating breakfast may improve your overall health, helping your heart, digestion, and bones.  All of these benefits may be due to the nutritional boost from breakfast- fiber from fruit and whole grains for heart health; fiber for digestive health; and calcium from dairy foods for bone health.

breakfast lynnOne of my family’s favorite breakfast recipes is baked oatmeal, especially on colder mornings. We often eat it topped with vanilla Greek yogurt and it keeps us satisfied until lunchtime.

Enjoy!

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Baked Oatmeal
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup melted butter or Earth Balance spread
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, quartered
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries, halved
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
Instructions
  • Mix oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix the milk, eggs, butter and vanilla; whisking to blend.  Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until moistened.  Add the dried fruit and sunflower seeds.  Stir to mix.  Pour into a greased 9×13 baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Serve warm (or at room temperature) with vanilla yogurt and chopped nuts, if desired.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Sourdough Blueberry Pancakes with Buttered Orange Syrup

Sourdough Blueberry Pancakes with Buttered Orange Syrup
Print
Syrup
  • 4 large oranges
  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
Pancakes
  • 2 cups sourdough starter (see recipe and notes below)
  • 1 T. honey
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • ¼ t. salt
  • butter, for frying pancakes
  • 1 cup blueberries
Sourdough Starter
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 T. sugar or honey
  • 1 T. or 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 2 cups flour
Syrup
  • Finely grate the zest of the oranges, place the zest in a small bowl and then juice the oranges into the same bowl.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When it froths, whisk in the sugar. Allow the sugar to cook in the butter for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and syrupy, and then stir in the juice and zest. Simmer until it reduces by half, about 15 min. Cover the pan to keep the syrup warm while you make the pancakes.
Pancakes
  • In a bowl, beat the sourdough starter with the honey, then beat in the baking soda and salt. Wait for a minute or two until batter bubbles and increases in volume as the baking soda and sourdough starter react.
  • Melt about a Tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium low heat. Pour ¼ cup batter into the pan and drop a few blueberries onto the pancake. Let the pancake cook undisturbed until the center begins to form bubbles, then flip the pancake and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes longer.
  • Serve with the warm orange syrup.
Sourdough Starter
  • Pour water into a 2 qt. glass jar or bowl, add and dissolve the honey, then the yeast. Stir in the flour. Cover with a clean dishcloth or cheesecloth and let it work for 2-5 days, stirring it about once a day. It will separate, the bubbling will subside and a yeasty, sour aroma will develop. Stir the starter once more and refrigerate it until you are ready to use it. To keep the starter going over time, you will need to feed the starter as you use it.
Feeding the Starter
  • While it’s been in the refrigerator, the starter will separate. Blend it back together, then measure out the starter required by your recipe (generally 1 cup starter) and set aside. Replace the amount you have removed with equal parts water and flour. Let the replenished starter sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours to give the yeast a chance to multiply and become active before you chill it again.
Adapted from The Nourished Kitchen
Adapted from The Nourished Kitchen
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/