Good friends are like good recipes: they always come through for you when you need them.
3-day-old Sophie in our old kitchen (Dec. 2004)
Shortly after we returned home from the hospital with new baby Sophie, my good friend and neighbor Monica showed up at our door with a big bowl of Mexican chopped salad. I didn’t think I was craving salad, but we devoured every last citrusy drop. I think I even licked the bowl. Somehow Monica knew just what I needed without having to ask. Maybe it’s because we’re both from Seattle, and both get a little giddy when the usually-sunny skies over New Jersey turn gray and overcast. “Seattle day,” we’ll cheer in accord. Continue reading →
It’s easy to get into a recipe rut – making the same thing over and over again because it’s what you know. You know which ingredients are needed and keep them stocked – or can grab them quickly at the store without a list. You know you can crank it out quickly – say, before soccer practice or a lacrosse game. And, you know how it will turn out and that everyone in the family will eat it. This Garlic-Lime Chicken is at the top of my rut list – a weekly regular during grilling season, and often a winter guest star via the grill pan or broiler. Continue reading →
Old-world panna cotta is experiencing a renaissance these days, and for good reason. This no-bake, gluten-free dessert is a giggly blank canvas for seasonal flavors and embellishments, from rhubarb compote to gingerbread crumbles. Sounds fancy, but panna cotta is really just barely-sweetened Jell-O made with cream (or milk or Greek yogurt) instead of water. Since it must be made ahead (in order to set up in the fridge), panna cotta perfect for entertaining. Busy restaurants love it for this reason as well.
Back in 1999, when I was voted one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs, I began experimenting with all kinds of different flavorings, shapes and toppings for panna cotta.
While many of our friends are lounging around in sunny locales this week for spring break, sipping Piña Coladas (or Shirley Temples) and worrying about nothing but SPF coverage, we are hunkering down at home – gearing up for another snowstorm (?!) and making To Do lists for our New Jersey “staycation”.
Got leftover corned beef and need a break from sandwiches or hash? Try adding it to these quick drop biscuits – no kneading or rolling required. Along with a pot of cauliflower soup, it’s what’s for dinner in our house tonight.
Last year for St. Patrick’s Day I decided to surprise my Irish-American husband with a traditional corned beef and cabbage supper. Surely he would be thrilled and grateful, overcome with joyful childhood memories? Well – not exactly.
Even though the promise of spring is only a few weeks away, my vegetable garden is still a threadbare blanket of winter’s despair.
OK – that’s a little dramatic, but month after month of cold, dark days can really bring on a case of Spring Fever in a person. The remedy? Planting a pot of pea shoots or micro salad greens indoors, to savor spring a little earlier than Mother Nature intended.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day – an especially fun and goodie-filled holiday for kids, as well as for women with creative, generous, romantic spouses . . .
While expressing love with a Valentine’s card is always appropriate, a little homemade treat can make the sentiment even sweeter. These Oreo cookie pops look fancy and festive, but can be assembled and decorated in less than half an hour. Sweet mother of shortcuts!
Are you as excited as I am about watching TV this Sunday? The suspense, the egos, the drama – man, I love those commercials!
Another reason to get excited about this Sunday? An excuse to eat nothing but snacks and appetizers all day long. Sometimes I wish every meal could be comprised of nothing but appetizers. (And aren’t the hors d’oeuvres always the best part of a wedding or any catered event? Why is that?)
If you’re looking for a super-simple, super-delicious appetizer for Sunday, or for any day, try these 3-ingredient Blue Cheese and Bacon Dates (with Green Olive Tapenade, but that adds a few more ingredients). Not a fan of dates? I bet that’s because you’ve never tried them stuffed with blue cheese and snuggled in bacon, baked until the three ingredients meld into one crisp, salty-sweet, mind-blowing bite. (Did that all just sound like a commercial?) Continue reading →