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

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

Fresh Corn Soup

Fresh shucked Corn Soup.  Corn cut straight from the cob and sautéed lightly with some onion and shallot and a little bit of garlic.  Simple.  Seasonal.  So delicious.  I love to add the finishing touches at the end with a bit of crunchy pancetta and chopped jalapeno.  But you could add fresh crab and a dash of hot sauce instead.  Or just a little bit of fresh corn.  Or....just lemon juice.  It's all up to you.  Kind of like a taco bar.  Just put this out with a few fixins and ... Continue Reading

Summer Fruit Puff Pastry with Mascarpone Whip Cream and Peach Glaze

Oh the sweetness of summer fruit....there is nothing like a fresh picked raspberry.  Or a peach straight from the tree.  Or a buck of cherries that came from the cherry tree in the backyard so perfect with their bright red skin.  This puff pastry dessert is a celebration of all that delicious summer fruit in season.  I used Ranier cherries, fresh raspberries, and fresh peaches but you can use whatever you have on hand that you like.  Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries....you can't go ... Continue Reading

Brown Sugar and Bourbon Glazed Bacon

Part of my Father's Day menu is this mouth watering and super simple Brown Sugar and Bourbon Glazed Bacon.  It contains all the necessary elements (sweet, salty and little back-of-the-mouth tang from the Bourbon).  And it's the perfect accompaniment for any brunch but particularly a Father's Day brunch that features all things bourbon, bacon and beer.  I bet you know a dad out there who will love this amped up version of bacon!  And if you aren't sure of the bourbon part (or if you want to ... Continue Reading

Whiskey Caramel Sauce

Father's Day, or any occasion really (like Tuesday), is just better with a little whiskey caramel sauce to drizzle on top of your ice cream, on top of brownies, over fresh fruit, or to lick right off the spoon.  Not to mention packaged in a glass jar it also makes a great hostess gift or a little bonus Father's Day gift.  I packaged the whiskey sauce with a bottle of beer and a little glass jar of the same whiskey that I used in the sauce.  It's a trio that most any dad would love! ... Continue Reading