apple ginger cocktail

Apple Ginger Cocktail

november 6, 2019

apple ginger cocktail

When you live in a state that boasts of the world’s apple capital (Winchester, Virginia), you stock up on as many apples and apple products like fresh cider and apple butter as you can during the peak season. Hoping to craft a cocktail with apple essence, I roamed the aisles of the local liquor store and found not one, but several, brands of Virginia apple brandy. The friendly sales clerk schooled me in the difference between applejack (apple plus grain spirits with a lighter flavor profile) and apple brandy ( apple cider aged and possessing a rich depth). Woods Mill Distillery in Faber, Virginia, produces a fine smoky tasting apple brandy which was used for today’s autumn cocktail. Continue reading

sausage vegetable cheese grits

Sausage Vegetable Cheese Grits

october 23, 2019

sausage vegetable cheese grits

Meals eaten from a big bowl with a big spoon taste better, and that’s a fact, according to certain authorities. Okay, my authority and not necessarily others. It’s my favorite manner of meal delivery—big salad, big bowl of chunky soup and for this breakfast, big bowl of cheese grits topped with autumn veggies and local sausage. Continue reading

slice of apple butter streusel cake

Apple Butter Streusel Cake

october 9, 2019

slice of apple butter streusel cake

Go ahead, open that little jar and take a good long sniff. The aroma of nutmeg means fall is here. Apples and cinnamon go hand in hand, but when paired with nutmeg, apple becomes more apple. You can be  generous with cinnamon, adding to suit your taste. Not so fast with nutmeg, since it can easily overpower a savory dish like potato gratin or sweet baked goods like cakes and cookies. A little bit goes a long way with this cozy coffeecake. Continue reading

closeup of lemon maple roasted chicken

Lemon Maple Roasted Chicken

september 25, 2019

closeup of lemon maple roasted chicken

In summer, the neighborhood fills with the aromas of simple grilled foods. Fall is when the party shifts indoors and the house smells like a cozy restaurant. Here’s a recipe to guarantee you and your family or guests will feel like patrons at a corner cafe where comfort reigns supreme. Continue reading

Apple, Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Apple, Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

september 11, 2019

Apple, Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

 

The morning air is cool, the light fades earlier in the evening and my favorite roadside stand is packed with crisp Asian pears and apples. I am ready to say goodbye to tomato and cucumber salads until next summer and more than ready to embrace the complexity of fall flavors and textures. Continue reading

Nectarine Almond Cake

august 28, 2019

Nectarine Almond Cake slice

It’s easy to get spoiled when you live in a climate where stone fruits, specifically peaches and nectarines, are available at local roadside stands and markets. I cannot remember the last time I purchased those fruits from the grocery store. Why would I, when the aroma and texture of Virginia stone fruit beckons, with white and yellow peaches and nectarines and cute smooshed donut peaches nestled in rustic baskets calling to me each time I make a run for vegetables. Continue reading

Crab Corn Chowder

Crab Corn Chowder

august 14, 2019

Crab Corn Chowder

In Virginia and Maryland, the blue crab capitals of the Eastern seaboard, there are two types of crab aficionados.  Those who grab a pile of crabs, spread them out on newspaper and then pick for hours on end and those like me who like our crabmeat in a nice little tub labeled “jumbo lump”. Continue reading

feat oregano dressing with local produce

Feta Oregano Dressing

august 1, 2019

feat oregano dressing with local produce

When the heat index hit triple digits this summer, the idea of generating more heat in the house with actual cooking seemed foreign to me. All this lovely local produce needed to be enjoyed with a minimum of fuss and bother. Enter the chunky flavorful salad dressing with feta and herbs. Continue reading

Cauliflower Corn Tomato Salad

july 17, 2019

overhead of cauliflower corn tomato salad

When in the thick of summer, take advantage of local summer produce, and generate as little heat as possible. That’s a good couple of loose rules to follow when you want something bright, crunchy and easy for serving at home or taking to a dinner gathering. Continue reading

raspberry peach shrub with 2 ounces shrub

Raspberry Peach Shrub

july 3, 2019

raspberry peach shrub with 2 ounces shrub

Some years back, a client gave me some pamphlets touting the benefits of pure apple cider vinegar. There were hundreds of uses listed and one could never remember them all; it was overwhelming . Household uses were listed with abandon. Although it seems a waste to use pure organic apple cider for cleaning (that’s what white vinegar is ideally suited to accomplish), I do use it for cooking and livening up both sweet and savory dishes. And I drink just a little bit each and every day.

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