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

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

Greek Kebab Skewers

If you can't travel to Greece this year then bring the flavors and aromas of Greece to you. We are all missing travel right now and looking for ways to stay connected to the world around us.  I love watching cooking travel shows on Netflix like 'Feed Phil' and 'Chef's Table' for inspiration and to feel like I've actually been somewhere! When I was a young twenty something I had the chance to go to the Greek Islands and let me tell you it was an experience I'll never forget and, especially now, ... Continue Reading

Smoked Salmon Spread

What is the difference between a spread and a dip?  In my book, a spread should be thicker (not runny) and a dip should be able to be scooped up and eaten with a chip or a delicate cracker.   You don't want your spread dripping through your bread and making it soggy and you don't want your chip to get stuck mid dip - like a tire in the mud. This smoked salmon and cream cheese spread is meant to slather on toast or a bagel for a simple but delicious breakfast.  But, I will say, that I did ... Continue Reading

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

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

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

The Perfect Meatball

Oh yeah.  I said it.  It's a bold move to call this the perfect meatball but I really think I may have a winner.  Take it from the girl who has made countless meatballs over the years and tried every kind of technique and recipe out there.  This recipe is culmination of my years of learning and refining.  And the best part?  It's a pretty straightforward, basic recipe.  No gimmics.  But trust me....this ain't your mamma's meatball.  It is crunchy on the outside and oh-so-tender on the ... Continue Reading

Ultimate Leftover Turkey Sandwich

Fast forward a few days from now to that inevitable leftover turkey staring you down in your fridge as you ponder what wondrous midnight snack you can make with it.  Sure, the classic cranberry and cream cheese sandwich comes to mind but why not try a new leftover turkey sandwich with a fresh twist?  This ultimate leftover turkey sandwich comes to life with caramelized onions, fresh spinach, and a creamy mustard and horseradish sauce that may just change your whole view on leftover turkey.  ... Continue Reading