sharing meals and memories all year long

Sep 23
What do you do when you realize after the first sip of a newly opened bottle of wine that it isn’t really your style? That the dry rosé the wine shop sold you is way too sticky sweet? You make Rosé Lillet jelly, that’s what. And it’s perfect.
Rosé Lillet Jelly 2-3/4 cups rosé wine 1/2 cup Lillet 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1.75 oz powdered pectin (one packet) 4-1/2 cups granulated sugar 7 half pint size canning jars, cleaned an sterilized
Combine the wines with the lemon juice and whisk in the pectin until thoroughly dissolved. Bring to a boil then add the sugar. Stirring constantly, bring to another boil, and boil rapidly for 2 full minutes. Remove from heat and quickly skim off the white foam. Transfer to jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims, secure the lids, and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. Remove the canner lid and let sit 5 minutes, then remove from the canner to a dish towel lined tray or countertop. Let sit for at least 8 hours, then label and store for up to a year. (If they last that long.)
This jam is so delicate and light, it’s great with cheeses such as goat or Brie. Also wonderful as a base for a glaze for pork or chicken, and lovely on a mozzarella grilled cheese sandwich. Enjoy!

What do you do when you realize after the first sip of a newly opened bottle of wine that it isn’t really your style? That the dry rosé the wine shop sold you is way too sticky sweet? You make Rosé Lillet jelly, that’s what. And it’s perfect.

Rosé Lillet Jelly
2-3/4 cups rosé wine
1/2 cup Lillet
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1.75 oz powdered pectin (one packet)
4-1/2 cups granulated sugar
7 half pint size canning jars, cleaned an sterilized

Combine the wines with the lemon juice and whisk in the pectin until thoroughly dissolved. Bring to a boil then add the sugar. Stirring constantly, bring to another boil, and boil rapidly for 2 full minutes. Remove from heat and quickly skim off the white foam. Transfer to jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims, secure the lids, and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. Remove the canner lid and let sit 5 minutes, then remove from the canner to a dish towel lined tray or countertop. Let sit for at least 8 hours, then label and store for up to a year. (If they last that long.)

This jam is so delicate and light, it’s great with cheeses such as goat or Brie. Also wonderful as a base for a glaze for pork or chicken, and lovely on a mozzarella grilled cheese sandwich. Enjoy!


Aug 12

Deviled eggs from heaven: one of the compliments from my last batch, not to brag or anything. But they were seriously damned good, and I’m pleased to share the joy. It helps to either have a garden with flowering herbs or get a big bunch of herb blossoms from your CSA or local farmers’ market. Herb blossoms are just as edible as the leaves, and as a bonus they’re gorgeous and impressive. They can pack a punch, though, so don’t get too heavy handed when garnishing.

Heavenly Herbed Deviled Eggs
1 dozen week old eggs (cage free and locally farm raised if you can. and I say week old because older eggs peel better.)
1/2 cup mayo
1/3 cup minced fresh herbs (basil, dill, tarragon, oregano, parsley, etc)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
A few good pinches sea salt 
A few good grinds of black pepper
Small bunch of herb blossoms (thyme, basil, oregano, dill, etc)

Steam your eggs. Yes, steam. Put them in a steamer basket with enough water to just come up to the bottom and steam for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes then cool in an ice bath, peel and slice each egg in half lengthwise. Scoop out the yolks and set the whites aside.

(Pro tip: if you are prepping your eggs ahead of time for assembly elsewhere, line your egg carton with plastic wrap and put your empty egg white halves back together and place each empty egg back in the lined carton. Cover tightly with plastic and store in the fridge.  Fill a ziplock back with your finished yolk filling - you can snip the tip and place the whole bag in a piping bag with tip when you’re ready to assemble.)

Take your yolks and push them through and fine mesh sieve with a rubber spatula. This sounds fussy but trust me, it’s worth it. Combine the now smooth and lump free yolks with the mayo, Dijon, herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Pipe your herby yolk mixture into your whites. Top with a delicious herb blossom (I used oregano blossoms) and reel in the compliments. Enjoy.


Jul 23

We chose to live in our current home largely because of the incredible backyard with ample room for city gardening. To compliment a gorgeous assortment of always blooming flowers, we have planted radishes, pole beans, strawberries, lots of herbs, onions, kale, tomatoes, one little sweet pepper plant, and brussels sprouts we will enjoy come fall. It’s a wonderful bounty, and brings me so much joy as I teach my son about growing our own food. Local and seasonal at at best.

This first year of our garden is teaching us a lot. Eight kale plants is A LOT of kale. Cilantro goes to seed faster than we can use it. Neighborhood bunnies love strawberries. And, at least during the summer months, I will always have beautiful bouquets of flowers and quick an easy side dishes and condiments at my disposal.

We hosted a dinner party the other night where the only element I knew I wanted to make was salmon. Gazing out into our backyard, I looked at our bounty of kale and giant bushy parsley and decided to utilize them as well. The results: a tart and sweet kale salad with kohlrabi, pepitas, and cherries, and butter roasted salmon with gremolada atop Israeli couscous. Light and summery and seasonal and delicious.

Butter Roasted Salmon with Gremolata
adapted from Mark Bittman

2 lbs salmon
4 tbsp butter
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
4 tbsp roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 garlic clove, minced

Preheat the oven to 475. Salt and pepper your salmon, and cut it into manageable portions.

Make the gremolata - mince the parsley, and combine with the lemon zest and garlic. Set aside.

Put your butter in an oven proof rimmed pan or baking sheet large enough to hold all of the salmon and place it in the oven until the butter melts and just barely starts to brown. Pull the hot pan out of the oven and tilt it to make sure the butter is evenly distributed. Place the salmon in the butter, flesh side down. Roast for about 5 minutes, then flip the salmon over and sprinkle the gremolata over the fish. Roast for another 3-4 minutes until just barely cooked through. Serve immediately.


Jul 15

GBH Provisions

I’m thrilled to announce a new collaboration with my good friend, Michael Kiser, the one and only Good Beer Hunting. We recently got together to work on the first installment of a new series on his blog, pairing simple good food with great beers. Head on over to Good Beer Hunting  to check out GBH Provisions #1  to read about my pimento cheese spread paired with a delicious brew from Ommegang.

photo credit Michael Kiser, GBH


Jul 14
Is there anything prettier than this salad? I think no. Roasted tricolor beets, blue cheese, parsley, pistachios and a sweet and tart peachy vinaigrette. Perfection.
Scrub your beets well and trim off the end that the greens come from. Arrange them in a large baking dish (red beets separated in a little dish of foil to avoid discoloring the golden and striated beets), toss in a healthy bunch of fresh thyme, a sprinkling of salt and pepper and a little water and cover tightly with foil. Roast in a 400 degree oven until pierced easily with a knife, about 45 minutes to an hour. Let cool then slide the skins off and slice however you wish. Arrange in a serving dish with fresh flat leaf parley leaves, then top with crumbled blue cheese and roughly chopped pistachios.
Make a quick vinaigrette: 2 tbsp each vinegar (I used a peach infused white vinegar) and olive oil (I used an orange infused oil), 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp Dijon, pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Whisk vigorously to emulsify.
Drizzle vinaigrette over your gorgeous salad and share it with people you love.
xoxo

Is there anything prettier than this salad? I think no. Roasted tricolor beets, blue cheese, parsley, pistachios and a sweet and tart peachy vinaigrette. Perfection.

Scrub your beets well and trim off the end that the greens come from. Arrange them in a large baking dish (red beets separated in a little dish of foil to avoid discoloring the golden and striated beets), toss in a healthy bunch of fresh thyme, a sprinkling of salt and pepper and a little water and cover tightly with foil. Roast in a 400 degree oven until pierced easily with a knife, about 45 minutes to an hour. Let cool then slide the skins off and slice however you wish. Arrange in a serving dish with fresh flat leaf parley leaves, then top with crumbled blue cheese and roughly chopped pistachios.

Make a quick vinaigrette: 2 tbsp each vinegar (I used a peach infused white vinegar) and olive oil (I used an orange infused oil), 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp Dijon, pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Whisk vigorously to emulsify.

Drizzle vinaigrette over your gorgeous salad and share it with people you love.

xoxo


Jul 12
Last farm vacation meal - cumin rubbed grilled cod tacos with pickled red onion and lime aioli, and an avocado, cilantro, corn and sungold tomato salad. As tasty as it was pretty. 

Last farm vacation meal - cumin rubbed grilled cod tacos with pickled red onion and lime aioli, and an avocado, cilantro, corn and sungold tomato salad. As tasty as it was pretty. 


Jul 8
Another simple meal from our farm vacation in the Upper Peninsula. Grilled chicken thighs with ginger scallion sauce, herbed couscous (another application for the super versatile herb butter), and a farm fresh broccoli, radish and carrot slaw with shallots, toasted pepitas and a simple red wine vinaigrette. Couldn’t be simpler, or more tasty.

Another simple meal from our farm vacation in the Upper Peninsula. Grilled chicken thighs with ginger scallion sauce, herbed couscous (another application for the super versatile herb butter), and a farm fresh broccoli, radish and carrot slaw with shallots, toasted pepitas and a simple red wine vinaigrette. Couldn’t be simpler, or more tasty.


Jul 7

On a recent vacation to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with some friends, I happily took charge of keeping our bellies full. I prepared some delicious simple menus with seasonal ingredients, made more special with flavorful condiments like a versatile compound butter with tons of fresh herbs from our garden at home.

Herb butter is just about the easiest thing to make. Let a stick (or two, or three depending on how many applications you anticipate and how many people you’re feeding) of butter soften in a bowl. I use salted butter, but unsalted works just as well if you just add a but more salt to the mix. Mince a good handful of any combination of herbs you like - I used tarragon, sweet and purple basil, thyme, anise, oregano, dill, parsley and sage. I also added a little bit of my homemade garlic salt, but you could add a little minced fresh garlic for more kick. Mix it all together and pack it in a jar for easy fridge storage.

The uses are endless - we ate our herb butter on grilled corn, atop fresh radishes with a little sea salt, on toast, in scrambled eggs and on warm hard boiled eggs, with fresh corn waffles, and for frying grilled cheese sandwiches.

It’s the little things that can elevate a simple meal to something really special.


Jun 10

Wow, that was a long hiatus. Good news is I’m breaking out of my hibernation, trying to keep my tail from falling between my legs. Everyday life has a sneaky way of taking over, and I’ve learned that I’ve really got to fight to stay afloat sometimes.

There is a new project on the horizon, just as the tomato plants are budding, the lettuces are being harvested and our CSA is about to begin. Stay tuned, friends. I’ve missed you.

xo


Nov 22
Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I’ll be back soon. XO

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I’ll be back soon. XO