Cranberry Cordial

The four amigos, all sealed up and ready for the cure.

It’s that time of year again…time to start the gift making in earnest, and for the past 2 years I’ve made batches of homemade liqueurs for friends and family, namely Cranberry and Orangecello. Decoratively bottled, handmade liqueurs make wonderful gifts, will keep at least a year (if not used up well before that) and are really fun to make. Continue reading

You say Potato, and I say Frittata!

When I think of leftover roasted potatoes, I think “Frittata,” which is an egg-based dish similar to an omelet or a quiche, with added goodies like veggies, meat and cheeses. They are not hard to make and a fantastic way to use up some supplies in your fridge.

I’m still working through my CSA box goodies from last week, and tonight I have on hand some roasted potatoes, onions, a few grape tomatoes, bell peppers, ham, herbs, eggs and Parmesan cheese. If that doesn’t scream “frittata” I don’t know what does! Sometimes I add some raw spinach if I have it, or raw kale, which I do happen to have in my garden, so it’s going in, too. You can customize to your heart’s content. Continue reading

A Superb Summer Sandwich: Pan Bagnat

Recently, Pan Bagnat has come back across my radar. What a wonderful summer sandwich it is, and why haven’t I made it in such a long time? I believe the first time I tasted it was in the south of France, where it’s very common and you can find many different versions of it. It tasted so good on a hot summer day, was easy to make, and I made it many times right after we returned. But as time marched on, I somehow forgot about it. Then, just last week, I saw a post on a blog in France about Pan Bagnat made with fresh produce from a Mediterranean garden, and it looked so yummy that it brought the taste back to me, and I’ve been craving it. Continue reading

Staying Cool with a Classic

Sometimes when dinnertime rolls around, I feel like just sticking with the basics, and I seem to be in that kind of mood this week. Here’s another simple recipe for summer, that has a little kick of spice to it, but cools you down at the same time: Classic Curried Chicken Salad. For those who can’t eat curry, I’ve added a non-curry variation to the recipe, too,  substituting tarragon for the curry and pecans for the almonds in the form of a Tarragon Pecan Chicken Salad. Both make a wonderful main dish for a hot summer night. And if there’s just two of you, there will be more for tomorrow. Joy!

seedless red grapes

chopped celery

toasted slivered almonds

roasted chicken breast

Ode to Red Speckled Grits

Red Speckled Grits close up and personal.

You no longer have to be born and bred in the southern U.S. to have tasted grits in one form or another. Now a part of the mainstream food vernacular, they appear on menus and in recipes from grit cakes to souffles, and the ever popular shrimp and grits. But as a child raised in Alabama, I hated them! Usually over salted, or worse still, bland and runny, I just didn’t get it. To me, they were slop. Continue reading