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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: In the holiday kitchen with Chef Donna Desfor

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Dec 22, 2015 9:25 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, December 22, 2015:

This may be the busiest week of the year for holiday revelers.  The stores are all packed with shoppers looking for that last-minute gift or a bargain.

Christmas dinner is probably already planned but if not, Chef Donna Marie Desfor has a few ideas to keep the meal from complicating the next few days.

On Tuesday's Smart Talk, Chef Desfor makes her pre-Christmas appearance with a theme of Simplify, Celebrate and Savor the Holiday.

She'll have lots of fun ways to dress up your table, with food; dress up your food with edible garnishes; quick snacks from ingredients in your kitchen, and fun things to do with the kids to create lasting memories and lasting traditions.

As always, we'd like to hear about your holiday celebrations and traditions too!.

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Chef Donna Desfor

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  • Joe Ostrander img 2015-12-22 09:29

    Hi. This year we are doing a nacho/taco bar for Christmas. I got the idea by listening to NPR last year during Christmas time. The story talked about being overwhelmed trying to keep up traditions at Christmas, traditions that many don't really care about. One of those in our house was the Christmas meal and what MUST be included. Very overwhelming and stressful, so this year we decided to do something that is much easier and more drop-in friendly. Plus the kids think it is cool that they don't have to sit at the table at a prescribed time to eat something that they don't want to eat.

  • Chef Donna img 2015-12-22 10:49

    Here's the recipe for the Grilled Calamari. You don't have to have the spice blends listed, just use salt and pepper, or get creative and see what blends you have in your spice pantry... give them a try!
    Recipe: Grilled Calamari
    Serves about 4 to 6

    You don’t need a deep fryer to enjoy delicious calamari. In fact, we’re willing to bet that once you try this easy grill recipe, you’ll never want the fried stuff again!

    Ingredients
    From The Spice & Tea Exchange®
    ¼ cup TSTE® Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    2 teaspoons TSTE® Bacon Smoked Sea Salt, ground in a spice mil
    Optional: ½ teaspoon TSTE® Tomato Tarragon Blend

    From the Grocer
    About ½ pound squid tubes, cleaned and rinsed, then dried on paper towels
    Panko bread crumbs, lightly toasted

    Optional dipping sauce:
    Ingredients
    From The Spice & Tea Exchange®
    ¼ cup TSTE® Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    TSTE® Florida Sunshine Grinder Blend (about 10 or 12 generous grinds), to season

    From the Grocer
    Zest from 1 lemon
    Juice from 1 lemon

    Preparation
    Combine the olive oil and ground TSTE® Bacon Smoked Sea Salt in a bowl. Drag the tubes through the oil and toss well. Cover and marinate for up to 24 hours. Grill over high heat for about 1 ½ minutes each side just until tubes are plumped; do not overcook. Slice the tubes about ½-inch thick. Sprinkle with some toasted bread crumbs and a little TSTE® Tomato Tarragon Blend.

    Optional sauce: To make the dipping sauce combine all the ingredients.

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