Fried Green Tomato Caprese Stacks

Fried what? If you haven't lived in the south a fried green tomato may sound like crazy talk.  But trust me when I say they are strangely appealing and even down right delicious.  They are more acidic than regular tomatoes, even a little sour which is why it pairs so nicely in this dish with fresh, sweeter tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. So what is a fried green tomato?  It's actually traditionally  a tomato that didn't ripen at the end of the growing season and, instead of wasting it, some ... Continue Reading

Steak Bites over Bacon Wrapped Potato

with truffle mushroom and horseradish sauce Steak and potato.  Yeah, it's been done about a million different ways so there's nothing new under the sun here except we are just going to go for it in the decadence department.  I'm throwing it all in.  Juicy New York steak, bacon wrapped around a slice of potato and then crisped to perfection, mushrooms sautéed in butter and then tossed in black truffle oil. Oh and to top it off there is a creamy horseradish sauce and of course a few chives ... Continue Reading

Grilled Peach and Burrata Salad

Summer peaches.   Firm yet sweet and ripe.  They are the quintessential nostalgia of summer days gone by when the weather turns cooler and we are faced with peaches that - let's face it -are nowhere near as good.  Not sun kissed.  Not tender. They almost never seem to fully ripen.  Am I right?  So let's get down to a summer salad that sings the praises of the perfect summer peach while we still can. This salad is so simple and elegant and can be either an appetizer for four or a dinner ... Continue Reading

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms over Fresh Summer Corn Puree

I don't know about you but I've kind of got a weakness for stuffed mushrooms.  And I don't care what they are stuffed with I tell myself they are healthy because it's basically just a veggie.  My mind skips right over that part about the cream cheese or cheddar or bacon and settles firmly on little bites of veggie that taste ah-mazing.   I love just simple parmesan and herb stuffed mushrooms or the classic sausage with cream cheese.  But I'm always looking to up my game in the kitchen and ... Continue Reading

Cheesy Cornbread topped with Jalapeno & Sour Cream

This recipe I made with my cooking club girls in mind.  We all love cheese and we all love spice and this little bite of heaven has both of those.   The jalapeno part is optional if you don't like spice just leave it off as a topping.  The dollop of sour cream adds a little more moisture but you could also do warm honey and butter and that would be delicious, too.  So make the cheesy cornbread as base for what you like on top. When I lived in Berkeley, California - oh so many years ago now ... 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

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