My favorite part of the humble chicken is the thigh, braised in a savory sauce until the meat is meltingly tender and falling off the bone. This recipe for Chicken Tenders with Meyer Lemon Salsa makes me temporarily forget the pleasures of darker meat in favor of quick and easy preparation with no waste and no trimming. Chicken tenders are so readily available that I end up using them for nearly all my recipes for chicken breast. Continue reading →
You read the phrase self care quite a bit these days. Get good quality sleep and plenty of it, be sure to exercise mind and body, read thought provoking books and don’t skimp on the aromatherapy. The idea of eating well and thoughtfully so doesn’t always make the list. Let’s change that. Continue reading →
Ever skip a recipe with “grilled” in the title because you either don’t have a grill or don’t want to bother with grill setup? Me, too, except in this case my grill is currently snoozing and I’m too lazy to replace the tank. Cast iron grill pan to the rescue, and failing that, the oven broiler. Both of these are great substitutes for grilling. Smoky flavor will not be imparted but with items like shrimp which take minutes if not seconds to cook, that won’t matter. Continue reading →
Vidalia onions, those paper-skinned squatty sweet onions from Georgia, are back for a limited time. Eat them raw (they’re so mild you won’t suffer from onion after effects) while you can. Use this easy chutney recipe for preserving their goodness for months to come. You’ll dream of late spring when you slather it atop your grilled burgers in summer, your roasted vegetables in fall and your bean soups in cold weather months.
Here is a confession of sorts, although I feel no guilt in admitting that I cannot wait until summer to enjoy the taste and texture of fresh tomatoes. They are enjoyed raw in salads and roasted with garlic and olive oil. Grape tomatoes, cocktail tomatoes, Campari tomatoes—whatever name they are given, they taste lovely to me.
One of the easiest appetizers to serve for impromptu gatherings, pre-dinner nibbles and large crowds is a good spread for crackers and crisp vegetables. This is why hummus is so very popular. If it’s not homemade, there will be various flavors to consider at your local market. This cheese and walnut spread is like hummus for those who don’t fancy hummus. The consistency is similar and the versatility is similar in that you can use this make-ahead spread with crispy things, schmear it on on sandwiches and wraps and use it to add creamy cheesiness to mashed potatoes and polenta. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
Homemade vinaigrette in your fridge will inspire you to eat more salad. That’s a fact and I am witness to this truth. There is a very good reason to save jars and that is to fill them with dressings and vinaigrettes you have made in your very own kitchen, with love and care and seasonal ingredients. Local spring carrots would make a fine carrot honey vinaigrette. Last spring it was Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette and today the focus is on local berries.
The less done to fresh asparagus, the better. Brief blanching, quick roasting or a few hops in the saute pan will do. If you’re lucky enough to score some tender, first-of-the-season asparagus, no cooking at all is just fine. Shaved in a salad or finely diced, as in this Asparagus Salsa Verde, asparagus has a pleasantly grassy flavor and gentle crunch that is unlike any other vegetable. It needs a bright wake up from citrus or acid to come to life. This salsa combines fresh asparagus with lime juice and green as far as the eye can see—except for a few bits of red onion for flavor and contrast. Continue reading →