Blood Orange Black Pepper Cocktail

february 28, 2018

blood orange black pepper cocktail

Blood orange season is mercifully brief. Don’t assume I dislike this deep red tart fruit, but its short run at the markets assures that I indulge while available and pine for its presence once it disappears from the market shelves. I like seasonality and I like to miss things and not take them for granted. Moro oranges are like that for me. I suppose I could purchase the juice in a jar, but then I would miss the opportunity to slice into ruby flesh and fill my kitchen with the unmistakeable aroma of winy blood orange. Continue reading

Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken

february 15, 2018

lemon rosemary roasted chicken

 

This winter my perennial herbs really took a hit. After a few chilly spells, the thyme has the color and consistency of slimy sea kelp. In milder winters I have been able to harvest oregano for weeks after the first frost. This winter, all I have left is one herb —  a few scraggly spears of rosemary on my plants, and the most viable went toward today’s Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken. The house needed a really comforting aroma before guests arrived, and the rosemary contributed to the illusion I had been cooking all day. In reality there is nothing easier than roasting chicken thighs. No pan sear, no fuss, just marinate for a bit in the lemon garlic rosemary magic, roast and there you have it. A simple rustic meal emboldened with the bite of pickled hot peppers, on a creamy base of whatever suits your taste. Continue reading

Winter Fruit Salad

february 2, 2018

winter fruit salad

It’s so easy to toss together fruit salad in warmer months. Rinse some berries, cut up some melon and throw in something else for color, perhaps a few green grapes. During the chillier months, you have citrus at peak season but if you’re like me you don’t always think of those fruits as part of a salad. There’s peeling involved. Work to be done. But the payoff! A brilliantly hued platter of abundance and the opportunity to play with your food and make it pretty.

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Chicken Noodle Root Vegetable Soup

january 23, 2018

chicken noodle root vegetable soup

Nothing is more comforting in cold and flu season than a hot, steaming bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. Snow days beg for soup, as do those days when your head is clogged and your body aches. You needn’t be ill, however, to appreciate hot soup! Winter is that season for something that tastes like you, or someone, cooked all day to make that special dish just for your nourishment and pleasure. Continue reading

Peppermint Fudge Ice Cream

january 6, 2018

peppermint fudge ice cream

What to do with all that Christmas peppermint candy? Ice cream, that’s what, even though frozen treats may not be at the top of your wish list with this chilly start to the new year. To that, I say eat more ice cream and allow your body’s internal engine to crank up the heat for digestion of this all- season creamy dessert. Continue reading

Lemon Ginger Cocktail

december 26, 2017

lemon ginger cocktail

 

Do you love ginger beer with its nose-tickling heat and sweet? You will love this cocktail. Tis the season for holiday entertaining and this cocktail pairs well with crunchy, creamy, salty, chewy nibbles of all kinds. Your guests will think you’ve been toiling for hours, but just a little prep ahead of  time makes for a last minute assembly of a stunning libation. Continue reading

Holiday Chocolate Bark

december 8, 2017

holiday chocolate bark

Given the choice : homemade treat made with love, or store bought. Tough choice, huh? Bet you got it right! The thrill of knowing someone has taken the time, and effort, to craft an edible gift just for you? Well, priceless. That’s what this recipe is all about.

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Herbed Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates

november 24, 2017

herbed goat cheese stuffed dates

 

 

Holiday entertaining season is now in full swing. Offering homemade refreshments to your guests is the ultimate expression of love and hospitality. We are all time-starved during the big rush, and premade items are good for last minute visitors. With a little planning, you can present your guests with pretty, and pretty impressive, nibbles to go with your best holiday beverages.

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Butternut Squash Gratin

november 10, 2017

butternut squash gratin

 

Each year at Thanksgiving, folks divide up into two camps. Sweet potato and no sweet potato. For the sweet potato lovers, further subdivision yields the sweet sweet potato side dish aficionados  (marshmallow people, I’m talking to you) and those who insist on savory sweet potato dishes at the holiday table, like my Ginger Scallion Sweet Potatoes. Me, I like it all. I grew up with what my parents referred to as candied yams, sweet potato chunks swimming in a sweet glaze and more of an afterthought to the meal. It was our duty to serve them, but no one was clamoring for their presence. And if memory serves, they were canned and not fresh, an oddity because of the global availability of sweet potatoes in autumn. Continue reading

Chicken and Asian Pear Salad

october 27, 2017

chicken and asian pear salad

Rotisserie chickens are everywhere. Everyone sells them : grocers, big box stores, specialty carryout restaurants and food trucks. You buy one, eat half for dinner, then wonder what to do with the rest. The options are many, from simmering the remainder for soup or making a mayonnaise-based chicken salad, to simply slicing off pieces for your lunchtime sandwiches. Roasted chickens are the ultimate convenience food for time-strapped people who love the taste without the fuss and mess. But on occasion I have looked at the ingredient list of some of these chickens, and there are words that sound suspiciously like a science experiment and there are also fake flavoring agents masquerading as “natural flavor” enhancers which certainly don’t do us any favors. Continue reading