Category Archives: appetizers

Tomato Eggplant Stacks

august 4, 2017

tomato eggplant stacks

 

Remember the vertical food craze — towering foods precariously perched on plates and daring you to topple them with puny knives and forks? Pretty to behold, but not always practical to eat without messing up tablecloths and clothing. Intimidating and not always user friendly. These stacks are not like that. Continue reading

Moonshine Melon Mint Cocktail

may 12, 2017

moonshine melon mint cocktail

 

Is it summer yet? The calendar may not agree with my assessment, but in Richmond summer appeared sometime in February, when we passed the 80 degree mark, and in April when we soared into the nineties. A stout refusal to turn on the air conditioning (in April!) got me thinking about ways to cool off in front of a fan on the back deck as I fired up the grill.

Continue reading

Sesame Shrimp Toasts

march 18, 2017

sesame shrimp toasts

Most people grow up eating Chinese food (well, American Chinese food) in restaurants with their families or as takeout. Oh, those adorable white paper buckets! My family ate canned chow mein noodles with canned “chop suey” and that was some exotic stuff on the home front. My introduction to restaurant quality Chinese food came late in my college years, when my pals and I explored the DC suburbs in search of cheap eats.

Continue reading

Apples and Oranges Cocktail

december 2, 2016

apples and oranges cocktail

 

 

Forget everything you ever heard or read about moonshine. Forget the still-in-the-woods scenario, the comical backwoods fellers trying to stay one step ahead of the revenuers (think Andy of Mayberry), the shadowy figures skulking around parking lots peddling their hootch.

Continue reading

Goat Cheese Quesadillas

november 4, 2016

goat cheese quesadillas

 

 

 

If you’re like me, you keep a stash of emergency items in your freezer that are easy to defrost, heat and enjoy when life gets over scheduled. Usually it’s my Turkey Meatloaf with Sundried Tomato, Spinach and Feta, each portion individually wrapped and ready to devour with a super quick version of smashed potatoes.

Continue reading

Spicy Salsa Verde

october 21, 2016

spicy salsa verde

There was a time when purchased salsa meant watery tomato product flecked with a few bits and occasionally livened with something tart and something providing heat. Serviceable, but not very exciting, and certainly not worthy of your chips or quesadillas or other homemade dishes.

Continue reading

Smoky Vegan Cashew Cheese

may 6, 2016

smoky vegan cashew cheese

 

There was a vegan cheese spread I used a few years ago for a client who stopped eating dairy, with a persistent longing for the texture and taste of a creamy cheese, but with a strong dislike for the soy substitutes available. This cheese was made from oats and had a light caramel color and hickory smoke flavor. It was so delicious I purchased some just for me and indulged.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

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