Category Archives: winter

Spiced Cranberry Vodka

december 17, 2013

spiced cranberry vodkaVisitors bearing homemade treats are always welcome at my home during the holidays.  A gift of handcrafted limoncello made by friends a few  years back was sipped with extra pleasure, illustrating that gifts handmade with care are treasured all the more by the lucky recipients.

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Ginger Scallion Sweet Potatoes

november 16, 2013

Ginger Scallion Sweet Potatoes

At Thanksgiving many of us take the literal approach to preparing sweet potatoes by making them even more sweet.  Candied yams, sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows…nothing inherently wrong with these dishes, except that some folks simply do not care for treacly sweetness alongside their savory foods.

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pasta with kale apricot pesto

march 22, 2013

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fresh Bombolini gluten free shells with kale apricot pesto

 

What I love about greens : kissed by the first frost of autumn, they are tender and flavorful; picked in springtime, they are equally tender and just as flavorful.  Something else to love about greens ? Their versatility in the art of cooking.

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herbed mushroom spread

march 15, 2013

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herbed mushroom spread with Bonnyclabber Cheese‘s “Cendre” grapevine ash coated fresh goat cheese, caper berry and pink peppercorn

When I have a taste for snacks, I think spreads, dips and what Sheila Lukins, the late, great cookbook author of The Silver Palate series, refers to as “slathers”, as in something savory you can generously slather onto flatbread, croutons or thin slices of English cucumber.

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tomato orange soup

february 22, 2013

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One of the best attributes of soup is that unexpected and disparate ingredients join together in gastronomic harmony.  Summer and fall menus for The Good Eats Company personal chef service feature ” farmer’s market vegetable soup”.  List all the ingredients in this soup , call it a vegetable side  and the dish may seem busy; simmer and marry together and all seems well and good. Continue reading

chorizo sausage with lentils and tomato

february 15, 2013

chorizo sausage with lentils and tomato

 

 

Chris Mattera and Brad Hemp of Sausage Craft in Richmond, Virginia are masters of artisanal meats.  Merriam Webster defines an artisan as “one that produces something in limited quantities, often using traditional methods”.  Check, and check again.  Sausage Craft is a small operation, not a big box warehouse, using responsibly sourced meats to turn out tasty and unique products, selling wholesale to local restaurants, shops and caterers.

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fruit and nut chocolate bars

february 8, 2013

fruit and nut chocolate bars

 

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.  You can be a sweetheart and purchase gorgeous artisanal chocolate from Virginia’s own Gearharts Chocolates, made with Shenandoah valley cream and butter and finished by hand.  Or, you can get ambitious and impress your beloved with homemade fruit and nut chocolate bars with today’s easy to follow directions.  Or, you can do both, doubly endearing you to your chosen recipients.   Continue reading

turkey meatloaf with sundried tomato, spinach and feta

january 25, 2013

turkey meatloaf with sundried tomato, spinach and feta

 

 

My favorite comfort meal has always been meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  And my favorite meatloaf is made with ground turkey ( nice and creamy), sundried tomato, spinach and feta cheese.  This colorful variation of the American classic makes frequent appearances on my personal chef menus for The Good Eats Company.  Just for today we will call this a winter entree, but I enjoy it all year long, making it for myself when I start to miss its distinctive aroma.

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red quinoa and black lentils with kabocha squash

january 18, 2013

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There is nothing  more satisfying than eating a meal that sticks with you for hours and makes you feel just right : invigorated and not drowsy, satiated and not bloated, comforted, yet knowing you have eaten your carbs virtuously.  Today’s vegan meal is brain food.  High protein black lentils and red quinoa, paired with the antioxidant power of cashews and dried cranberries, plus the beta-carotene of kabocha squash, et voila!  Food for the brain, and the hungry belly.  Sure, it all sounds healthy, but what you really want to know is…does it taste good?  The answer is a resounding yes. Chewed thoughtfully (this meal cannot be fully appreciated on the run, as both lentils and quinoa require some jaw power) with a wispy side salad and your favorite beverage, this dish satisfies and uplifts the spirit.  I call this dinner, but you may offer it up as a filling side dish; it would be welcome at any dinner or brunch buffet, enjoyed by diners of any persuasion.

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salad dressings 101

january 11, 2013

lemon caper caesar dressing

lemon caper caesar dressing

Folks are deeply into New Year’s resolution mode : salad green mixes are flying off the shelves and merchants cannot keep up with the demand.  So.  You have resolved to eat more salads and fewer French fries.  And what are you putting on your colorful, crunchy salads?  How about propylene glycol alginate, high fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate?  Not quite what you had in mind when you signed up for better health in 2013, huh?  I thought so.  These keep your commercial salad dressings shelf-worthy, but who knows what they do to our bodies, our temples.  I would love to convince you that making your own salad dressing is easy, cost effective and a healthier choice overall.

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