• Carrots and Green Beans with Chardonnay Sauce

    I made this at both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners this year.  Pretty to look at and delicious to eat — make it in stages:  the day before cut, parboil, and shock veggies; the morning of your dinner, toast the breadcrumbs;  an hour before eating, make the sauce. 5 Tbs. unsalted butter 2 cups coarse fresh […]

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    Carrots and Green Beans with Chardonnay Sauce

  • Carrots with Pistachio Herb Butter

    Five star carrots with great flavor! These are super easy to make ahead for a big dinner.  I made the compound butter the day before, and cooked the carrots in water early Thanksgiving morning.   Right as the kitchen got crazy with all the last minute dishes having to find room in the oven, I […]

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    Carrots with Pistachio Herb Butter

  • Roasted Chestnuts

    Chestnuts roasting on an open fire . . . My first taste of roasted chestnuts was on Regent Street in London one Christmas.  My parents took us to see the Christmas lights and store windows, and on a corner was man roasting chestnuts in a little brazier.  They were warm and buttery and rich tasting, […]

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    Roasted Chestnuts

  • Chestnut and Sausage Stuffing

    I’ve been making this stuffing for over 20 years.   I love it — so, why is it that I only eat it once a year? Active time: 1 hr Start to finish: 1 3/4 hr 1 (1 1/4-lb) loaf country-style bread, crust discarded and bread cut into 3/4-inch cubes (8 cups) (though I still […]

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    Chestnut and Sausage Stuffing

Roasted Chestnuts

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire . . . My first taste of roasted chestnuts was on Regent Street in London one Christmas.  My parents took us to see the Christmas lights and store windows, and on a corner was man roasting chestnuts in a little brazier.  They were warm and buttery and rich tasting, […]

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Mom’s White Fruitcake

Christmas isn’t Christmas without our mom’s fruitcake.  You either love it or hate it, but you know the holiday season has begun when she starts looking for her recipe!! 1/4 lb. chopped candied citron 1/4 lb. chopped candied orange peel 1/4 lb. chopped candied lemon peel 1/4 lb. chopped red cherries 5/8 lb. chopped candied […]

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Almond Crescents

1 cup shortening (half butter) 1/3 c. sugar 2/3 c. ground almonds 1 2/3 c. flour 1/4 t. salt 1 c. powdered sugar 1 t. cinnamon Thoroughly blend the shortening/butter, sugar and ground almonds.  Sift the flour and salt together and then work the dry mixture in to the sugar mixture. Roll dough with hands […]

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Cranberry Orange Tea Bread

1/2 cup pecans or walnuts 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon orange zest, finely minced 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces 1 large egg, well beaten 3/4 cup freshly squeezed […]

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Cranberry Orange Cookies

Yes.  I fully understand that the Christmas cookie season is over.  But it’s always the season for a delicious cookie, and this is one of those.  My mom used to make an angel food cake (which I never like, Mom — sorry) with an orange glaze that she poured over the top which I absolutely […]

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Mom’s Delicious Chocolate and Pecan Toffee

Christmas just isn’t Christmas until Mom’s toffee arrives! 2 c. (1 lb.) butter 2 1/2 c. sugar 1 package (8 oz) semisweet chocolate chips 2 packages (4 oz each) of milk chocolate 6-8 oz of pecans, ground Lightly butter an 11 x 15″ shallow baking pan and set aside. Combine butter and sugar in a […]

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Cider Glazed Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

I know balsamic glazed brussel sprouts with bacon are the rage these days, but don’t you think the balsamic vinegar can take over the flavor of the sprouts at times?  I found this new recipe on the Kitchn blog, and modified it a bit, and have had these for dinner the past three nights.  I know, but they’re great!


The original recipe called for baking sheets — and I would probably use them if I were making a lot.  I used an oven proof skillet (cast iron is awesome), and it worked super well.   There are two recipes below — the first one is when I make a double serving of the brussel sprouts — the second is bruised sprouts for a crowd (8 to 10 servings).  Here’s how I made them:

Cider Glazed Brussel Sprouts for 1 or 2

Heat your oven proof skillet in the oven as you’re preheating the oven at 400 degrees.  BE SURE TO USE A POTHOLDER FROM HERE TO THE END!

  • 1/2 lb. brussel sprouts, cut in half through the stem.
  • 4 – 6 fingerling potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • 3 slices of thick cut applewood smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1″ pieces.
  • 1/4 cup apple cider.  The original recipe called for unfiltered apple cider — but I could only find that in giant containers.  I bought a bottle of Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider, and it made a delicious glaze.
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (the original recipe called for brown sugar)
  • kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
  • aleppo pepper (optional — I love the flavor and it provides just the a tinge of heat


Toss the potatoes with a teaspoon or two of olive oil — and toss the potatoes into the hot skillet and bake those in the oven for 5 minutes.   Then add the bacon to the skillet — stir potatoes, and cook until bacon begins to crisp — about 10   more minutes.   Then toss the Brussel sprouts in a tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, and toss those into the skillet, stirring the contents, and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Then take the skillet out of the oven — pour the glaze over the veggies and toss well.  Let the veggies sit in the glaze for a couple of minutes before serving.   Taste — and add salt, pepper and aleppo pepper to taste.  Eat ’em up!

Cider Glaze

Meanwhile put the apple cider, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup into a small pot, and simmer on the the stove top until it is reduced by half.  It won’t look thick at this point because it’s so hot.  Remove from the heat — and if it is super sticky, you’re on the right track — you can warm it before you pour it over the Brussel sprouts.


Here’s the original recipe from the Kitchn Blog.

Serves 8 to 10

1 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved through the stem
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup unfiltered apple cider
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds. Divide the bacon between 2 rimmed baking sheets and spread into an even layer. Place the baking sheets in the oven and heat to 400°F.

Place the Brussels sprouts in a large bowl or pot (something large enough to easily toss them), drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Remove the hot baking sheets from the oven. Stir the bacon. Divide the sprouts between the 2 sheets, and arrange them cut-side down into an even layer.

Roast for 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and stir the Brussels sprouts and bacon. Return the baking sheets to the oven, switching them between racks and rotating them from front to back. Roast until browned and tender, 12 to 15 minutes more, depending on the size of the Brussels sprouts. Meanwhile, make the glaze.

Heat the apple cider, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Cook until it’s reduced by about half and thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.

When the Brussels sprouts are ready, remove the baking sheets from the oven. Turn the oven off. Combine the Brussels sprouts onto one baking sheet, drizzle the glaze over the sprouts, and stir to combine. Return the baking sheet to the turned-off oven and let sit until the Brussels sprouts absorb some of the glaze, about 2 minutes more.



Lemon and Rosemary Shortbread Cookies



Butter, tart, and a little exotic with the hint of rosemary. These are my second favorite cookies in the world.

3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 lemon, zested and juiced

For the cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Lightly butter the foil and sides of the pan.
Pulse the sugar with the lemon zest and rosemary in a food processor until well combined. Remove 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture and reserve.
Add the butter, salt and vanilla to the food processor with the sugar and pulse until combined. Add the flour, about 1 cup at a time, pulsing to combine after each addition, scraping  down the sides of the food processor to incorporate all of the flour.  Continue to pulse until a dough comes together.
Turn the dough out onto the prepared baking pan and press it evenly into the pan. Poke the dough all over with a fork and sprinkle it with the reserved sugar.
Bake until the edges are golden brown and the center is golden, about 25 minutes. As soon as it’s out of the oven, use a bench scraper or knife  to cut the shortbread into 1-by-3-inch cookies or use a cookie cutter like I do. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the cookies using the foil as handles. Cool completely on a rack.
For the icing: Combine the confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest and juice in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Whisk in 1 tablespoon water or more for the desired thickness.
Drizzle the icing over the cookies and allow to set, or serve the icing alongside to dip or drizzle upon serving.

Fried Garbanzos with Parm and Sage


I know you THINK you don’t like garbanzo beans — and I know this because I HATED them for decades.  As far as I knew they were those slimy anemic looking round beans carelessly tossed on an iceberg and tomato salad at diners.  But I grew up, as we all must, and discovered roasted or fried garbanzos — a true revelation.  I’d rather have homemade garbanzos rather than canned ones, but if you’re going to fry a snack, well rinsed canned g’s work just fine.  Cold beer and garbanzos, icy prosecco and garbanzos–my fave! Here you go, Beth!

Two 14.5-ounce cans garbanzo beans
Vegetable oil, for frying
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup small- and medium-size fresh sage leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
aleppo pepper to taste

Rinse the garbanzo beans and drain them well. Line a baking sheet with a couple layers of paper towels and turn the chickpeas out on top in a single layer. Let the chickpeas dry thoroughly, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours (the drier the better).

Fill a medium pot with vegetable oil to a depth of 2 inches. Bring the oil to 350 degrees F over medium-high heat. Add the sage leaves and fry until a shade darker and crisp, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with a little salt.

Add half of the garbanzos and garlic cloves to the oil and fry, stirring often, until the garbanzo beans are golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and aleppo pepper. Return the oil to 350 degrees F and repeat with the remaining chickpeas. Cool completely.

Balsamic Maple Grilled Chicken and Summer Veggies

All the flavors of summer, grilled and glazed with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Easy and completely delicious.

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon of your favorite spice blend.  I’m a Savory Spice Shop junkie, so I used three different spice combos to see how they would taste:   Georgia Boys Barbecue rub on skewer 1, Catanzaro Herbs on skewer 2, and California Citrus rub on 3 — they were all so yummy that I couldn’t pick a standout.  So just sprinkle your chicken with your favorite spice combo ( but I wish you’d try some Savory spices — you’ll love them!).
¼ teaspoon sea salt
fresh cracked pepper

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders or breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
2 red and/or orange bell peppers, deseeded and chopped into bite-size chunks1 small red onion, chopped into bite-size chunks
1 zucchini, chopped into bite-size chunks
1 summer squash, chopped into bite-size chunks
10 slices bacon

If you plan to grill with wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in warm water for at least 30 minutes before grilling
Mix the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, your spice blend and sea salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes, until slightly thickened. Toss the chicken pieces with the balsamic glaze. If you have time, marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours. I didn’t have the time, so I tossed the chicken into the cooled syrup and started stacking the skewers — and it was delicious even with just 10 minutes of marinating.

Weave the bacon, chicken, and vegetables onto 12-inch skewers. You will probably need two pieces of bacon for each skewer though I stretched with just one. Start by piercing a piece of bacon near its end, and then add a piece of chicken. Weave the bacon around one side of the chicken and add a piece of zucchini or onion, repeating until your skewer is filled. Add bacon as needed.
Preheat your grill to medium high, or preheat the broiler.

Grill the skewers for about five minutes per side or broil for about 8 minutes per side, brushing on remaining balsamic/maple glaze once more on each side, until the bacon and chicken are cooked through. Let the skewers rest for five minutes and serve hot, preferably accompanied by a cold glass of white wine or icy beer. DUH-LICIOUS and EASY!!!

From a calculated whisk.com

Cauliflower, Apple and Walnut Salad


cauliflowerDinner last night — mmmmmm! all my favorite flavors — fresh veggies, walnuts, lemon and manchego cheese!

Serves: 4

Cauliflower and Walnut Salad
1/2 head of cauliflower – cored and cut into florets
2 celery stalks – trimmed
3 radishes – tops removed
1/2 small green apple – cored
1/4 small red onion
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves – finely chopped
manchego cheese
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
Flakey sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
Simple Lemon Vinaigrette
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup walnut oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

Make the Dressing:

Zest the lemon into a small bowl and then squeeze to add the juice. Whisk in the Dijon mustard. Then, gradually whisk in the oil until a smooth emulsion forms. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Assemble the Salad:

Remove the strings on the celery with a peele. Then, thinly slice the cauliflower, celery, radish, and onion on a mandoline into 1/8-inch thick slices, or use a sharp knife or food processor.

Soak the red onion in ice water for 10 minutes to soften its bite. Drain and pat dry. Slice the apple into 1/8-inch slices before gently tossing the ingredients together in a large bowl with the parsley.

Drizzle in the dressing and use your hands to gently toss everything until evenly coated. Use a vegetable peeler to shave wide, thin slices of manchego over the salad. Be generous. Then, crumble the walnuts in your hand as you sprinkle them all over the salad. Season with a pinch of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper before serving.


recipe by Evan Kulman

Mexican Street Corn Salad

The flavors of summer. A delicious and quick summer salad. The original recipe calls for raw corn — super fast!  I grilled my corn because I preferred that flavor.
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1 cup cooked red quinoa, use package directions
3 cups corn (about 4 ears), cut from the cob (I prefer to roast the corn on the cob. I wrap each ear in foil seasoning it with a little salt and some ancho chili powder. I put it on the barbecue with the lid closed for about 20 minutes, turning it every few minutes.  Let cool and slice off the cob).
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
2 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1-2 limes, juiced
3 tablespoons cotija (or feta), crumbled
chili powder to taste (I also used makrut lime salt and Peruvian Chile lime seasoning from Savory Spice shop
1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 avocado
salt and pepper to taste


Add the quinoa and raw corn to a large mixing bowl with the chopped jalapeño green onions, cilantro, half of the lime juice to taste, cotija cheese and a dash of chili powder. Toss to combine.

Remove the avocado from the skin and discard the seed. Place the flesh of the avocado in a blender or food processor with the remaining lime juice (TASTE AS YOU GO!) and blend until smooth. Add a few tablespoons of water as needed to make the mixture smooth, it should be a similar consistency to a mayonnaise. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the avocado mixture from the blender, toss it with the corn and quinoa mixture and top with the shredded jack cheese. Season with salt and pepper as needed and serve.

Little Gem Salad with Buttermilk Vinaigrette

I am addicted to little gem lettuce — it’s kind of like a miniature romaine.  Lunardi’s, a grocery store near my house, carries it, and it’s the only place I can find it except for the farmer’s market occasionally.   This is a pretty and delicious salad —  my new fave.


1 small shallot
1 1/2 tablespoons Moscatel vinegar
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon creme fraiche
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

Mince the shallot, then place in a medium bowl, and add the Moscatel vinegar.  Allow to macerate for about 10 minutes.

Add the buttermilk and creme fraiche and stir.  Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

1 head of little gem lettuce
2 tablespoons toasted breadcrumbs
2 leaves of basil, chopped
1 radish, thinly sliced
8 thin slices of fennel (cut the bulb in half, lengthwise, then slice into half moons)

kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper

In another bowl, combine the gem lettuce,   toasted bread crumbs, basil, radish and fennel.  Whisk the vinaigrette, then pour over the salad.  Toss to coat the salad evenly.

To plate, stack the leaves from largest to smallest, making sure to include the vegetables and  basil.

Recipe by Brian Huston





Pasta alla Gricia

A 15 minute dinner from beginning to end with few ingredients — super delicious and so easy to make.   Be sure to save a cup of the water you cook the pasta in.  I’m straight up licking every drop off my fingers, it’s that good.


Kosher salt, to taste

1 pound spaghetti

1 tablespoon olive oil

7 ounces guanciale, cut into 1½-by-½-inch strips.  I can’t ever find guanciale in the third world country of Silicon Valley, so I buy 4 slices of pancetta at the deli counter and ask them to cut it in about 1/4″ slices.

½ cup white wine

1 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for garnish

a pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste

2 tablespoons minced parsley

Freshly ground pepper, to taste


1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Season the water with salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 9 to 11 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. DON’T FORGET THE WATER!!!

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the guanciale and cook, turning often, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Add the white wine and red pepper flakes, and cook until slightly reduced, 2 minutes. Pour in the reserved 1 cup of cooking liquid and bring to a simmer.

4. Add the pasta and the grated cheese and toss to coat. Cook, stirring vigorously, until a thick, silky sauce forms, 2 to 3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Divide the pasta between plates and garnish with the minced parsley and more grated cheese and freshly ground black pepper, and eat it up!

From Tasting Table

Lemony Cacio e Pepe e Pancetta e Limone e Arugula


Super fast to make AND contains all the major food groups:  pancetta, pasta, cheese and garlic, and lemon and arugula which are good for you.

From my new cookbook by my new best friend, Chrissy Teigen (shhhhh — she doesn’t know it yet)!


Kosher salt
12 ounces dried spaghetti
1/4 pound (about 3/4 cup) pancetta or bacon, finely diced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons (about 4 big cloves) minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
2 cups baby arugula

and don’t forget to save a cup of pasta water!


  1. In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti to al dente according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water (it comes in handy), then drain the pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the pancetta over medium-high heat until crisped, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the olive oil, then add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and black pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the lemon juice to the skillet, then toss in the drained pasta and toss to coat. Add the Parm and toss, adding the pasta water, a couple of tablespoons at a time, just to help the cheese coat the pasta–plus it makes the sauce silky and . . . unctuous (is that word?). Add the arugula and toss until it wilts, about 1 minute. Season to taste with additional salt, lots of black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Serve with more Parm.

As Chrissy and I like to say to each other:  This is the best — like go-to-sleep-grinning because what we just made was just so painfully, achingly incredible!!

Marcela Hazan’s Bolognese Sauce

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 7.22.03 AM

A long lazy Sunday with this braising slowly on the stove.  So worth the wait!


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons butterplus 1 tablespoon for tossing the pasta
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  •  cup chopped celery
  •  cup chopped carrot
  • ¾ pound ground beef chuck (or you can use 1 part pork to 2 parts beef)
  •  Salt
  •  Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
  • 1 cup whole milk
  •  Whole nutmeg
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 ½ cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
  • 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds pasta (used pappardelle)
  •  Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese at the table


  1. Put the oil, butter and chopped onion in the pot and turn the heat on to medium. Cook and stir the onion until it has become translucent, then add the chopped celery and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring vegetables to coat them well.
  2. Add ground beef, a large pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Crumble the meat with a fork, stir well and cook until the beef has lost its raw, red color.
  3. Add milk and let it simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has bubbled away completely. Add a tiny grating — about 1/8 teaspoon — of nutmeg, and stir.
  4. Add the wine, let it simmer until it has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients well. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down so that the sauce cooks at the laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through to the surface. Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring from time to time. While the sauce is cooking, you are likely to find that it begins to dry out and the fat separates from the meat. To keep it from sticking, add 1/2 cup of water whenever necessary. At the end, however, no water at all must be left and the fat must separate from the sauce. Taste and correct for salt.
  5. Toss with cooked drained pasta, adding the tablespoon of butter, and serve with freshly grated Parmesan on the side.