72 posts by Sonya Keister

Pimento Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Chicken

Pimento cheese is essentially a cheddar and cream cheese mixture with a few spices thrown in there and little bits of jarred pimento, which is just a sweet cherry pepper that has a very mild heat.  It's a southern classic and, having spent a few years of my life in the south, one that is nostalgic in the way only Virginia ham biscuits with butter can come close to.  It's so easy to make and it keeps well in the fridge. There are probably lots of great recipes out there for this spread but I ... Continue Reading

Strawberry Gelato

The end of summer. Fresh strawberries. A local farm.  Eggs, cream, milk, sugar.  The beginning of a new school year.  My kids. These are a few of my favorite things.  I thought maybe making some fresh strawberry gelato from the strawberries we picked up at the farm down the street could be a new family favorite tradition to mark the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year.  And so this year I surprised the kids when they got home from their first day with this little treat. ... Continue Reading

Wild Cod with Creamy Herb Sauce

Fresh, wild cod is one of those fish that even people who don't really like fish often will eat.  It's used in the fried version of fish tacos or fish and chips.  I love it and I especially love it just seared with a light and creamy herb sauce on the side.  This is one of those filling but calorie friendly meals for the summer.  And....it's gluten free.  Which for me, my friends, is a new thing I'm trying out.  I do have a tendency to add bread and pancetta to every recipe I make so this ... Continue Reading

Summer Corn Risotto

My favorite summertime veggie is fresh corn. It's everywhere and it's cheap and it's sweet and crunchy right off the cob.  The best thing is almost everyone loves corn, right?  The biggest problem we seem to have is figuring out what else to do with it.  Corn on the cob....check.  Done and done and done.  Corn and black bean salad is another favorite side dish of mine that is great for picnics or summertime BBQ's because it holds up well and can sit out without wilting.  So here's my ... Continue Reading

Rosemary Skewered Shrimp with Blistered Tomatoes and Brown Butter Vinaigrette

Rosemary Skewered Shrimp with blistered tomatoes and brown butter vinaigrette may be a mouthful to say but every little bit of this sentence will make sense to you when you take your first bite.  I have to admit, I went fancy on you this time.  I've been publishing a lot of easy weeknight meals or 'unfussy' recipes but every once in awhile you need something in your arsenal that takes just a little bit more effort and has that 'wow' factor.  And I think this dish has it.  You will get ... Continue Reading

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Stuffed portobello mushrooms make the best gourmet weeknight meal.  Perfect for date night or even a casual evening with friends because the presentation is elegant but really the flavors are something everyone is familiar with. I mean who doesn't love a cream cheese and sausage stuffed mushroom as an appetizer at any cocktail party, right? So why not take the same idea and make it into a meal?  But even better because it's a little lighter without all that cream cheese and with a touch of ... Continue Reading

Chicken and Mozzarella Puff Pastry Cups

Leftover chicken? Busy week night? Weekend brunch? These versatile chicken and mozzarella puff pastry cups are the 'go to' for any occasion.  They can be served right out of the oven - gooey and hot -or at room temperature as part of a brunch buffet.  And they reheat beautifully in the oven for a few minutes.  This makes it a great do-ahead dish, too.  How do you make these magical little cups?  Here's the play-by-play....and it couldn't be easier. Game Plan Start with a few good ... Continue Reading

Egg and Avocado Toast

Egg and Avocado Toast.  It doesn't get any simpler than that.  It's like the perfect little black dress. It can be dressed down and casual for every day events like breakfast at home for one or dressed up with a few accessories for a special occasion like a bridal shower or luncheon for twenty. Basic Version So lets talk options. I decided to use hard boiled eggs because they are an easy do ahead step and they slice beautifully.  Plus, who wants to stand there and make eggs twenty differ... Continue Reading

Citrus Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee is an all-time favorite dessert of....well almost everybody.  There is just something about that thin, crunchy layer of caramelized sugar as it cracks beneath the weight of your spoon and that smooth, creamy custard that lies just beneath.  I am so hungry just thinking about taking that first delectable bite! This Citrus Creme Brulee version is from my cookbook - The Savory Gourmet.  I did not do a step by step version of this when I first created it but the full recipe is ... Continue Reading

Shrimp Nachos

Warning! Highly addictive Shrimp Nacho recipe below.  If you have any shrimp lovers coming over on game day this is nacho recipe is a must have.  Best of all, you can make the salsa, bean and corn mixture and even the shrimp ahead of time and then just assemble and bake when the game comes on!  Touchdown on the prep. I secretly love football junk food.  It's a fact.  There is something so comforting about some chicken wings and nachos and a good old seven layer bean dip.  Nostalgia?  ... Continue Reading