75 posts by Sonya Keister

The Perfect Giant Meatball

Let's face it, there is something really appealing about eating a giant meatball.  It's like a feat.  Sure you can eat ten smaller meatballs and you are bound to be just as full but there is so much less satisfaction than knowing you conquered the giant meatball, right?  And just the presentation alone is worth it, friends.  Here's your plate and your one giant meatball.  Enjoy.  People get a kick out of it.  Well...at least I do. I've made a lot of meatballs in my life and there are ... Continue Reading

Rosemary Garlic Croutons

Back to the basics.  Sometimes we don't have time for a big fancy meal but it's the little touches in an everyday meal that can make a difference.  Case in point?  Homemade croutons.  They take fifteen minutes to make, you can store them use them for a week (or more), but they add something special to an everyday salad.  And...you are using up some bread that is going stale and was probably going to get tossed anyway.  Win/win. You can use any kind of leftover bread you have but favorite ... Continue Reading

Apple-Fennel Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Fall is in the air and that means lots of apples around here.  And fresh pressed apple cider is in every grocery store right about now.  A classic flavor combination is pork, apples and fennel and a favorite way to combine those flavors is to stuff them into pork chops or a pork loin.  But I thought it would be fun to experiment with the same flavors in a different way.  Why not a fall salad instead?  And instead of pork chops what if I used prosciutto as the pork?  That got me excited ... Continue Reading

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