Jeanette - Off The Cuff

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Blogger at: and -- My name is Jeanette, and I was born in Sweden, but unlike the famous Muppet, I am not a professional Swedish Chef. I actually studied design and photography. I also was a freelance indie-rock critic for several magazines from 1998-2005, and had an in-house PR company for a while. Cooking is in my DNA--my dad's brother was a chef and their father was a pastry chef, my mom's mother was a caterer, who published a cookbook of traditional Finnish breads and pastries when she was 92. Everyone else in my family loves to cook, and we're not afraid to experiment. I have a yen for interior design and remodeling.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Worthy Cause

If you have a few minutes, please click this link:, & watch the video... Greg is a very good friend of my brother up in Seattle and he is running from Washington State to Florida to raise money for two young inner city kids from Louisiana, that he met while volunteering at a shelter. 

So if you can spare $5, or more, pitch in, & if you know someone at a local paper along the route, or if you're a blogger who can help spread the word, please join me in making this guy's run a success! We're so quick to donate to our favorite Kickstarter rock-groups who want to make a new album, but this guy just wants to put two disadvantaged kids in a better school than the one they currently go to.   He has already made it as far as Colorado!  That's quite a ways he has come, but he has so far to go yet. 

So please help out!  He has a registered non-profit organization & your donation is tax deductible.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sockeye Salmon with basil-yogurt dressing

Sometimes I actually say something out loud before deciding if it sounds like a good meal idea.  Today I said "basil-yogurt dressing" and a light bulb came on! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Zucchini-Blackberry Pancakes

Didn't I say I had zucchini coming out of my ears the other day?  Yes.  So today I thought I'd make a zucchini breakfast option.  With a grated yellow zucchini (although green would be fine, too) and some blackberries, and a modified whole grain pancake recipe from my own arsenal of recipes, I came up with a fairly quick and delicious morning meal.  Bonus for the fiber, vitamins and garden-freshness!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Holy Guacamole!!

I'm a major guacamole fiend.  I can easily justify eating half a bowl myself, because hey... it's a vegetable, and it's the "good fats" and has tons of fiber, too. Plus it's so excellent with tortilla chips, or over a quesadilla or slathered on enchiladas, on a toasted bagel,  or even just on a spoon.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Quinoa Risotto with Chicken, Zucchini & Bacon

I was in an experimenting mood tonight, and I have so.much.zucchini from my veggie garden that I'm trying to come up with interesting ways to eat it.  I have both tiny little baby zucchini, and bigger ones. As I am learning in my foray into vegetable gardening, the best zucchini shouldn't get too big or they get dry and seedy.  So I'm happy to have some of these little tender ones, because they are so delicious!

A long while back, I made an almond-fig brown rice risotto which was very delicious, and I thought I'd try something in that vein but with quinoa instead, and feature the zucchini, along with some left-over bacon, and my go-to chicken tenders. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fudge and Peppermint Ice-Cream Cake

Many, many moons ago, in 1984, which was the first year my family moved from Sweden to the US, we stayed a night or two with some acquaintances during a road-trip, and they served up this amazing ice-cream cake.  I dutifully hand-wrote the recipe down from their index card, making sure to spell everything correctly, since I was still learning English, and for the last 28 years, this has been one of our favorite desserts.   I just spent a half hour scouring Google for an identical recipe and did not find one.   Even the official Nabisco website does not have this recipe. Alas, I cannot credit an original source other than the Crandall family in Iowa.  If anyone out there knows the source, please message me, and I will gladly put a link in. 

Last week for my birthday, my mom asked what I wanted for dessert, and of course, I said "Oreo Mint cake".  Since she was the one who prepared it, I only have just the one photo of it sitting there on the fancy plate.  I do have the recipe, still hand-written in the back of my old childhood cookbook, so I will type it up for you, despite the lack of prep-photos.

Please make this.  It's so good. And, oh yeah... it has TWO sticks of buttah in there... Please consult your doctor if you have any sort of heart-disease history.