Category Archives: condiments

platter of asparagus blue cheese salad

Asparagus Blue Cheese Salad

April 30, 2024

platter of asparagus blue cheese salad

Asparagus teaches me patience. Yes, we find this bright green harbinger of spring in supermarkets all year long. No, it does not taste the same in cold months. I am thrilled to welcome asparagus back. Continue reading

mugs of ginger shrub green tea

Ginger Shrub Green Tea

February 6, 2024

mugs of ginger shrub green tea

The height of cold and flu season is here. With this in mind, let me offer you cold weather comfort with this beverage. Whether or not you feel puny, this warming cup soothes the soul . Continue reading

dipping into creamy black eye pea dip

Creamy Black Eye Pea Dip

December 27, 2023

dipping into creamy black eye pea dip

A new year begins in less than one week. Good luck comes in the form of delicious food, particularly if the food in question is black eye peas. This Creamy Black Eye Pea Dip with southwest flair comes at the perfect time for sharing your kitchen with ones you love. Continue reading

maple apple dessert sauce on ice cream

Maple Apple Dessert Sauce

October 17, 2023

maple apple dessert sauce on ice cream

The thrill of the hunt begins each fall at the roadside stands. I look for unfamiliar varieties of apples to try for cooking and eating. This year it’s the Ozark Gold apple. This variety is a little over fifty years old, so not exactly new, but new to me.

ingredients for maple apple dessert sauce

Bright bands of sunny yellow and burnished red decorate this fruit. It’s an early type so I bought up a mess of apples before others take its place. Soon there will be Stayman and Empire and the marvelously crunchy Evercrisp. I do love a crisp apple to remind me of Virginia’s bounty. This chef also likes to add apples to all manner of sweet and savory dishes before the stands close for the season.

Maple Apple Dessert Sauce is a cinch to make and it stores in the fridge for a couple weeks. Plain vanilla ice cream becomes something ethereal. Waffles and pancakes get the salon treatment with an unexpected alternative to syrup. Apple and ginger make a compatible couple. Imagine the decadence of this sweet sauce ladled sparingly on top of Gingerbread Ice Cream  .

waffles with maple apple dessert sauce

This dessert sauce is chunky and thick with apples and toasted pecans. You will need to gently heat it in the microwave if not used right away. It becomes very thick once refrigerated. If you want the sauce to be more pourable, add a few drops of extra maple syrup after heating.

closeup of maple apple dessert sauce

Maple Apple Dessert Sauce

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes about 2 ½ cups

ingredients 

1 ½ pounds apples, peeled and chopped (about 5 cups total)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅔ cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ½ cup apple cider
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup chopped toasted pecans*
*to toast pecans, keep halves whole for even toasting, then chop; 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes will give a nice color and flavor

directions

  1. In heavy nonreactive saute pan, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Add apples, salt, maple syrup, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Once mixture begins to sizzle, add apple cider and keep at a low simmer, uncovered, until thickened, stirring gently occasionally, about 35-40 minutes.
  4. If mixture looks thin and watery, it will thicken on standing.
  5. Cool to room temperature and add toasted pecans.
  6. Use immediately or refrigerate up to 1 week.
  7. To serve, very lightly microwave to soften until spoonable and use over ice cream, puddings, cake, pancakes or waffles.
  8. If you’d like this to be  even more pourable, add a few drops of maple syrup to the warmed sauce.
plate of salmo with cucunber corn salsa

Salmon with Cucumber Corn Salsa

September 6, 2022

plate of salmo with cucunber corn salsa

 

Simple is best. A nice piece of fish, prepared well, with summer’s bounty of local vegetables : that’s a perfect meal. Today’s recipe honors the last of  fresh corn season. Virginia sweet corn is starting to peter out, but fortunately colorful autumn fruits and vegetables are taking its place at the stands. Continue reading

platter of summer veggie shrimp cups

Summer Veggie Shrimp Cups

Summer Veggie Shrimp Cups

august 24, 2022

platter of summer veggie shrimp cups

 

Eating light and cooking minimally go together well. This recipe for shrimp and summer vegetable lettuce cups is colorful, light, easy and versatile as appetizer or entree. You can also customize for spicy heat, types of vegetables and different proteins. Use this as your summer template. Continue reading

jar of homemade smoky barbecue sauce

Homemade Smoky Barbecue Sauce

june 28, 2022

jar of homemade smoky barbecue sauce

Grilling season is here, y’all. You need good barbecue sauce whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or carnivore. Homemade Smoky Barbecue Sauce is the condiment of your dreams. Whisk good quality ingredients and simmer for five minutes. Done. Store in your fridge for months and months. Continue reading

closeup of strawberry sugar snap salad

Strawberry Sugar Snap Salad

may 17, 2022

closeup of strawberry sugar snap salad

Spring salads lead to lighter eating for the upcoming summer season. It’s time to step away from heavy foods and crunch into bright, crispy seasonal fruits and vegetables. This Strawberry Sugar Snap Salad has plenty of color and crunch. Moreover, the heady Thai basil dressing and peanuts take this pretty salad in a more exotic direction. Continue reading

closeup of meyer lemon peppercorn vinaigrette

Meyer Lemon Peppercorn Vinaigrette

april 5, 2022

closeup of meyer lemon peppercorn vinaigrette

Meyer lemons are short in season, yet long in flavor. These thin skinned golden citrus fruits sport a floral aroma. They possess a lemony sweetness that is less astringent than the juice of regular lemons. Because their skin is so thin, one can eat the whole fruit sliced thinly in desserts and savory dishes. Continue reading

clementine cardamom cocktail

Clementine Cardamom Cocktail

february 22, 2022

clementine cardamom cocktail

 

 

Nearly all cocktail recipes in this collection of recipes may be enjoyed alcohol-free as mocktails. Today’s Clementine Cardamom Cocktail is no exception. This is a good thing, for kids and everyone else who avoids spirits. An attractive seasonal beverage, with or without spirits,  is a reliable conversation starter and always welcome at the table. What made you think of these flavors? Very likely whatever is in season and paired with  herbs and spices not used in past recipes. Continue reading