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

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

Beer Braised Sausage Sloppy Joes

Part 2 of my Father's Day menu that includes everything Beer, Bacon or Bourbon are these Beer Braised Sausage Sloppy Joes.  Not the most elegant dish, I know, but flavorful and sure to please Dads everywhere who just want to relax and enjoy a good meal.  And it pairs wells with beer.  Did I mention that? I decided on sweet Italian sausage as the meat because it is readily available and already has some good flavor.  But I amped it up a but by adding in some diced pancetta, fresh ... Continue Reading

Bacon Caprese Cups

Father's Day is coming up and in honor of all the bacon loving dads out there I wanted to create a menu that includes bacon and/or beer in every dish.  I'm starting out with these Bacon Caprese Cups and we'll see where it goes from there!  Caprese Salad is so delicious and simple.  It celebrates the beauty of a perfectly ripe, sun-kissed tomato with just a few simple ingredients like creamy mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, olive oil and salt.  While this version might make a purist cringe ... Continue Reading

Pork Chops with Apple, Onion, & Bacon

Pork and apples are a classic combination.  And why not add a little more pork to your pork with bacon?  These pork chops will be a new Fall favorite for you because they are super moist from brining them in apple cider and herbs and then there is this AMAZING punch of flavor on top of the pork chop from the onion, bacon, and apple mixture - all cooked down with some bourbon and brown sugar.  Yes, bourbon.  Even if it's not your drink of choice it really is the perfect addition to this ... Continue Reading

Pulled Pork Tacos with Fried Plantains

Slow roasted pork tacos....tender, juicy and fork tender.  Is there anything better?  Really?  Yes, there is.  These tender pulled pork tacos with perfectly golden brown fried plantains (think not sweet bananas) topped with a crisp carrot and cabbage slaw and a slightly tangy, creamy sheep's milk feta cheese.  I mean...there is a reason this taco is my most requested dish when I entertain.  Seriously just the perfect bite. So here's the lowdown on this awesome taco.  The pork can be ... Continue Reading

Pork Tenderloin with Dijon Honey-Maple Sauce

My family loves pork tenderloin for dinner.  And it's relatively easy and inexpensive to make so I love it, too.  But what makes it memorable meal versus an okay meal?  In my opinion there are three simple but key steps to making a great dish.  First is really marinating the pork first, for at least a few hours, to let those flavor seep in.  In the marinade below I used a variety of flavors, some of which were used in the sauce as well.  Second, you want to really get a crust on the ... Continue Reading

Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet with Kale Walnut Pesto

There is really nothing like a slow cooked meat, veggie and bean dish that uses lots of wine and herbs.  I mean the flavors just have hours and hours to meld together and get to know each other - like old friends.  And somehow those wonderful combinations seep their way into the beans and create this rich stock that is so much better than just chicken stock alone. I used a round clay earthenware kind of pot for this dish, and covered it with foil for part of the cooking time and then left it ... Continue Reading

Super Bowl Bites – Pancetta Wrapped Shrimp, Paprika & Pepper Jack Cheese Dip, and Candied Pecan Crostini with Gorgonzola & Honey

Looking to wow your guests with a super bowl menu that is both delicious and a little bit sophisticated?  This one has it all.  It’s perfect for a gathering of both sexes – a little something for everyone.  If you are having a larger crowd you can certainly double or triple the recipe to meet your needs.  And if you want something more substantial to round out the menu I’d recommend a slider bar.  Mini burgers served on slider buns or brioche rolls and then an array of fixins’ so ... Continue Reading

Sausage, Fennel & Goat Cheese Pizza

Sausage and fennel, fennel and sausage - two of my favorite flavor combinations and they happen to be reminiscent of fall, too.  Fennel sausage in your turkey stuffing?  Yes, please.  This recipe isn't exactly a Thanksgiving dish but it's a great one to serve whenever you are entertaining guests this holiday season or as an appetizer to your Turkey Day meal because it's relatively easy and the first few steps can be done ahead of time, making it simple ... Continue Reading