Beef Stew with Charred Rainbow Carrots

Oh Top Chef you've done it to me again.  I swear I watch that show and just am blown away but the creativity that comes out of those chefs on the fly and under stressful conditions.  On a recent episode one of the chefs charred carrots on a wood smoker and then used them as the star of his vegetarian dish.  The judges went wild for it and, for me, it reinforced the idea behind how I like to cook - highlight one simple ingredient to make a twist on a classic dish. While this isn't Top Chef ... Continue Reading

Buttermilk Blue Cheese Coleslaw with Jalapeno and Cilantro

Coleslaw, for me, was never that exciting.  Sometimes goopy.   Sometimes bland.  Sometimes downright questionable on how long it's been sitting out  and therefore easily passed over.  I mean is that just me?  I don't think I can ever recall someone saying, "Oh good you brought coleslaw."  But I wanted to change that and give this simple side dish a chance in the limelight. So for this Labor Day, to go alongside my slow cooked ribs, I set out to make a coleslaw that has some real bold ... Continue Reading

Blistered Pepper and Heirloom Tomato Sauce

Summer heirloom tomatoes.  I think that may be all I need to say about this post.  I mean, right?  The colors and flavor of summer. And when it all comes to a screeching end it's so sad. That day when you walk into the grocery store and there is one little overripe heirloom tomato left on the shelf.  Then it's back to those flavorless winter tomatoes that make me want to cry and run from the grocery store.  Oh wait - that may have happened once.  Don't judge. Well I'm getting ahead of it ... 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

Caprese Cups with Blackened Shrimp

It's summertime and that means lots and lots of summer tomatoes and classic Caprese salads right?  Well....it used to.  A big ol' platter set out to share with family and friends is a memory from last year.  This year it's all about how do I still socialize and picnic with friends but keep things to an individual portion.  This is my answer to that.  Caprese cups.  They can be made individually by each person and best of all the ingredients can be packed up before assembled and brought to ... 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

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