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

Summer Corn Risotto

My favorite summertime veggie is fresh corn. It's everywhere and it's cheap and it's sweet and crunchy right off the cob.  The best thing is almost everyone loves corn, right?  The biggest problem we seem to have is figuring out what else to do with it.  Corn on the cob....check.  Done and done and done.  Corn and black bean salad is another favorite side dish of mine that is great for picnics or summertime BBQ's because it holds up well and can sit out without wilting.  So here's my ... Continue Reading

Roasted Mushroom, Cauliflower & Rainbow Chard Gratin

Fall is the smell of roasting vegetables.  At least in my kitchen.  And this roasted mushroom and cauliflower gratin mixed with sauteed onions and Rainbow Chard really puts me in that happy place where I can picture myself with a big bowl of hearty roasted veggies and crunchy, cheesy topping curled up in a chair next to a fire and reading a book.  Okay that might not actually happen.  More likely I'll be eating big spoonfuls out of the pan as I dash off to my kid's soccer game or basketball ... Continue Reading

Crispy Duck Fat Potatoes with Rosemary Sea Salt

Potatoes cooked in duck fat and sprinkled with rosemary sea salt is a match made in heaven.  Yes.....the French really know what they are doing.  This is a classic French dish that pairs so well with steak or even with something like Mussels or a bold chicken dish. "Why duck fat?" you may ask. It has a higher smoke point than olive oil and so it's good for roasting at high temperatures to get that crispy outside on the potato.  But more importantly it packs in a ton of flavor. And duck ... Continue Reading

Spanikopita Bites

Spanikopita bites. Flaky, delicate crunchy bites of phyllo pastry stuffed with loads of spinach and creamy feta cheese.  That's the Spanikopita we all dream about biting into, right?  The traditional Spanikopita is made with phyllo dough that is buttered and layered then stuffed with a spinach and onion mixture and Greek feta cheese then topped with more buttery phyllo. It usually is assembled in the shape of a pie or in a large 9 x 13 in baking dish and then baked and cut into large squares ... 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

Tomato and Red Pepper Feta Spread

Tomato and Red Pepper Feta Spread. Fresh tomatoes! It's the peak of summertime and once those tomatoes start ripening on the vine they just keep coming don't they?  At first you are excited to see those first few ripen on the vine and turn from pale green to a perfectly ripened, sweet, juicy red.  But after a few weeks of non-stop tomatoes you are practically giving them away to anyone who will take them. And even if you aren't growing them in your garden they are in season and on sale in ... Continue Reading

Corn and Sweet Potato Salad

Corn and sweet potatoes are an irresistible combination. Plus it's summertime and you probably have corn coming out of your ears.  Okay....that was a terrible attempt at humor but hopefully this recipe for Corn and Sweet Potato Salad hits a better note with you.   I call it a salad but it's really a side dish or a hash.  There are many names for it but whichever you choose it's delicious and easy to make. Corn is probably on sale by the bucketful where you live as it is here in ... 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