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Divas of Dish: Not your average PTA moms

Written By Pam Brandon and Anne-Marie Denicole On June 20, 2009

Meet the Divas of Dish

A note from Scott: After creating countless thank-you feasts for their children’s elementary school teachers, Anne-Marie Hodges and Pam Bandon began compiling recipes and tips, and in 2004 their cookbook, Culinary Confessions of the PTA Divas:  Stylish Recipes and Saucy Secrets for the Everyday Gourmet was born.  Along with delicious recipes, the book is a tale of food and friendship that began with a grass-roots crusade to uplift the status of dedicated teachers at Hillcrest Elementary in downtown Orlando. Divas of Dish

Their “Divas of Dish” column followed, and appears weekly in the Palm Beach Post. And now at Scott Joseph’s Orlando Restaurant Guide.

Since the debut of the cookbook, Anne-Marie has married and moved to Phoenix (now Anne-Marie Denicole), and Pam, a resident of Winter Park, has written two cookbooks for Disney Publishing (Delicious Disney and Delicious Disney Desserts) and has a third Disney cookbook that will be in bookstores in 2010.

The cookbook, which is a really fun read, is available for $15 (that includes shipping and handling) from Diva Pam, e-mail [email protected].  Here’s the first of the Divas’ columns on the flog.


No more rulers, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty—then again, there’s no reason to be unkind, it’s summer! Two magnificent months to pursue all things hedonistic: long, languid days at the beach, that juicy summer read, the ceremonial burning your to-do list, and the long-overdue absence of closed-toe shoes. 

Of course, it certainly wouldn’t be summer without great food to celebrate the season. The perfect time to entertain without a plan. Serendipitous backyard barbecues of burgers, dogs, and gooey mounds of ‘tater salad. And corn: sweet, juicy, munch-off-the-ever-lovin’ cob perfection. Oh sure, rolled in butter, with salt and cracked black pepper, it’s hard to top nature’s recipe, but the divas are here to say you can. With little effort, we are redefining the culinary bliss of the cob.

Consider your tender ears grilled a toasty, nutty brown, rolled in a spicy, smoky chipotle cream, then topped with grated fresh Parmesan cheese, scallions and minced fresh cilantro. What burgers? Suddenly, it’s all about the corn—and your backyard barbecue genius.

Nacho Average Cob

Serves 4
1 cup heavy cream
1 canned chipotle pepper, chopped, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce
4 ears corn
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Coarse salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan over medium heat, gently simmer the cream, chopped chipotle and adobo sauce, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

As the sauce simmers, cook the corn as desired. To grill, remove the husk and cook for several minutes, turning, until kernels are nicely browned.

To serve, drizzle the sauce over the corn and top with the scallions, cilantro and grated Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with coarse salt and cracked black pepper.

Diva note: For a fantabulous appetizer, cut the corn into 3 or 4 sections and serve on a platter with the cream, scallions, cilantro and cheese poured over top.    

We hope you find our reviews and news articles useful and entertaining. It has always been our goal to assist you in making informed decisions when spending your dining dollars. If we’ve helped you in any way, please consider making a contribution to help us continue our journalism. Thank you.

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