Wild Rice Salad with Butternut Squash and Arugula

january 16, 2016

wild rice salad with butternut squash and arugula

The most versatile salads have several characteristics. They are easy to assemble and have components that may be made ahead of time so that putting all together is a snap. They may be served as a salad course, or as a side dish. They can stand alone, or serve as the base for grilled meats, seafood or tofu. Here is such a salad, made to please a variety of palates and served recently at a holiday dinner in my home.

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Meyer Lemon Mezcal Cocktail

january 2, 2016

meyer lemon mezcal cocktail

Have you noticed the full page of craft cocktails at your favorite restaurants? No longer content to offer the usual manhattans and martinis, bartenders are upping the game with seasonal ingredients and herbs and homemade bitters, tempting with signature drinks to start your dinner with flair.

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Ginger Sesame Brussels Sprout Salad

december 19, 2015

ginger sesame brussels sprout salad

Brussels sprouts. You either hate them or love them. If you are in the former camp, perhaps you were coerced as a child into eating those mushy green orbs, straight from the freezer bag to the vigorously boiling water. Cooked into submission, they reeked of stale cabbage.

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Pear Cheddar Chowder

december 4, 2015

pear cheddar chowder

 

Some of the best meals are eaten with a spoon. Pureed soups are great, and thick chunky chowders are even better. I make so many soups that I rarely order them in restaurants, but if a well populated chowder presented itself, I would reconsider. Especially if it contains cheese.

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Almond Apple Tart

november 13, 2015

almond apple tart

 

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and the dreaded pumpkin shortage trumpeted in the news recently has not affected supplies in local grocery stores.Yet. I planned this dessert as an antidote to said shortage, but if you are like me, you enjoy an array of desserts at the holiday table, and having your pumpkin pie in addition to a creamy apple dessert is not considered a conflict of interest.

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Pimento Cheese Stuffed Dates

october 30, 2015

pimento cheese stuffed dates

 

There are iconic Southern dishes that have become staples of the American culinary experience. No New South restaurant worth its salt would fail to offer Shrimp and Grits, creamy with cheese and flecked with bits of cured pork. The New York Times recently profiled local eateries vying for the best fluffy biscuits, but we know the most outstanding are made with White Lily Flour, a soft winter wheat, and full fat buttermilk. And then there is pimento cheese…. Continue reading

Parsley Chive Potato Salad

october 16, 2015

parsley chive potato salad

As the nights grow cool and frost becomes inevitable, I try to think of recipes to use my tender herbs before they become dormant. Late autumn and winter cold leave me only rosemary. Not that that’s a bad thing; seasonality makes me appreciate what I have when I have it available.

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Steak with Apple Jalapeño Salsa

october 2, 2015

steak with apple jalapeño salsa

When apples are paired with meats, the usual suspects are pork and chicken. Rarely does one think of apple and beef. I hope to alter that perception with a spice rubbed grilled flat iron steak accompanied by a refreshing citrus kissed apple salsa.

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Ginger Plum Chutney

september 18, 2015

ginger plum chutney

 

 

We’ve had a good run with stone fruits in Virginia this summer. The white and yellow peaches have been outstanding, softly perfumed and ripe for  eating straight from the farm stands. All colors and shapes of plums have tempted me with their beauty, but my favorite stone fruit was the squatty yellow donut peach, with its adherent stone and dense, sweet flesh.  Continue reading

Zucchini Cilantro Soup

september 4, 2015

zucchini cilantro soup

 

This time of year may have you wondering what to do with all that zucchini on the counter, some as big as rolling pins. You may have grown it in your garden, or your neighbors may have gifted you with their excess. If you have exhausted your options, consider this versatile soup which can be served chilled, at room temperature or lightly heated.

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