Category Archives: condiments

smoky tequila cider cocktail

Smoky Tequila Cider Cocktail

november 2, 2018

smoky tequila cider cocktail

 

A well-crafted cocktail (or mocktail) is a refreshing start to dinner. You can’t go wrong by following the seasons and employing ingredients that speak to whatever nature is serving up, so local apple cider is the star of this fall beverage.

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garlic roasted peppers

Garlic Roasted Peppers

october 18, 2018

garlic roasted peppers

I’m finally getting around to reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, in which food choice and overabundance are believed to have engendered paralysis in today’s kitchens. With so many options in our crowded market aisles, we sputter at decision time. What to have for dinner? We have good intentions. Colorful vegetables are purchased at grocery stores with the operative plan being to cook them up on the weekend and enjoy them all week. Excitement turns to dismay when we see these same vegetables staring at us reproachfully from the way back of the shelf four days later, unchopped and uncooked. We are time-challenged and over scheduled. Continue reading

autumn fruit salad

Autumn Fruit Salad

september 20, 2018

autumn fruit salad

A visit to my local roadside stand tells me the seasons are beginning to change. Sure, there are still tomatoes and cucumbers and squash, but now we see the first autumn apples and crisp Asian pears. Soon there will be fragrant apple cider and pumpkins of every color and stripe. I love combining local produce to bridge the seasons, as with this spring’s Asparagus and Shiitake Stir Fry, marrying the tender spears of spring asparagus with the last of winter’s butternut squash.  Continue reading

Eggplant Dip with Harissa Aioli

august 22, 2018

eggplant dip with harissa aioli

Eggplant has been looking and tasting good at the roadside stands this summer. Roasting brings out the slight sweetness of the vegetable and reduces the astringency of eggplant, which has the unfortunate honor of being in the top three of least liked veggies when I tally my client preferences. The others are brussels sprouts and lima beans, but I always figure that someday folks will have their epiphany and decide these are loved and enjoyed after all. One can always hope.

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Spring Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

june 13, 2018

spring quinoa breakfast bowl

A friend recently consulted a nutritionist who advised her to eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch and a pauper at dinner. I get it—we really should start our day with a hearty meal and end the day lightly to promote restful sleep and sensible habits. Can’t say I always eat a light dinner unless I’m dining at home because evenings out are my favorite type of entertainment and I want a little of everything! Small plates rule, I say. But let’s not examine my habits too closely unless we’re talking about breakfast. Big breakfasts are my thing, whether we’re serving breakfast tostadas or a breakfast salad or a loaded smoothie bowl. No sweet pastry for me. Continue reading

Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette

may 30, 2018

vidalia onion vinaigrette

 

Sweet Vidalia onions are back in season and I’m putting them to good use. Know how they say you can eat them raw? Ever tried that? Me neither, but their mild flavor allows them to take up residence in salads, salsas and sandwiches without imparting a strong oniony aftertaste. You have nothing to fear from this seasonal salad dressing in the way of offending others!

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Strawberry Banana Walnut Ice Cream

may 9, 2018

strawberry walnut ice cream

 

 

An early summer memory of growing up in the South involved banana ice cream. My mom and I would sit under a fragrant magnolia tree on the side porch, watching heat lightning, in floral cotton nightgowns, enjoying what we deemed homemade banana ice cream. In actuality, we simply smashed a ripe banana and mixed it with soft vanilla ice cream so the term “homemade” is relative. Continue reading

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

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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Grilled Chicken and Nectarine Salad

august 18, 2017

grilled chicken and nectarine salad

 

My favorite event in culinary training was market basket day, when we were asked to craft a multi-course meal from items in the basket. A similar concept shows up on cooking competition shows these days, only the time crunch is more exaggerated. We had most of a morning to come up with creative turns on, for example, red peppers/whole chicken/shallots/apples.I was always astounded at the level of creativity of my classmates and the dozens of different ways simple items could be transformed into dishes with complex flavors and showstopping presentation. When I make a new monthly menu for The Good Eats Company clients, I may look around and see what surplus items might be made into savory and sweet entries on the menu. Lots of walnuts? Time for walnut chocolate caramel tart, and perhaps a walnut crusted roasted fish.  Continue reading