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Rugelach beauty 5


It always feels like Chanukah sneaks up on me and I’m totally unprepared.  Maybe it’s that moving start-date thing or not enough time has passed since I’ve put away my Thanksgiving dishes. (Actually, that’s a lie. My gravy boat is on the dining room table as I write this.) Or maybe it’s just that this time of year is crazy in every direction. Anyway, like almost everything else in my life at the moment, this rugelach recipe is coming in under the wire.

This year, instead of making the traditional apricot jam, raisin and walnut rugelach, I’ve decided to mix it up a bit. (more…)

15 Dec 2014

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Asian Chicken & Lettuce Wraps

Asian chicken lettuce wraps are a favorite of mine. The sweet and savory meat filling with jolts of ginger, garlic and chili against the cool, crisp lettuce is a refreshing, splendid combination. They’re traditionally served as an appetizer but they make a fairly regular appearance at our dinner table served with steamed white rice or fried rice and some steamed broccoli.


06 Dec 2014

Baby Romaine, Pomegranate & Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette Holiday Salad

Holiday SaladI have one last recipe to share with you before Thanksgiving day—a simple, yet very festive and beautiful holiday salad.  It’s a perfect combination of texture and flavors and is refreshingly light and bright – a great counterpoint to a heavy holiday meal. (Have you picked up on the fact this is my favorite holiday? A day to be with family, a reminder to be grateful and share with others. No presents. No religion.)

This salad will have your taste buds dancing with crisp baby romaine lettuce, thinly sliced radish and fennel and crunchy-sweet pomegranate seeds, all lightly cloaked (more…)

24 Nov 2014

Brandy Pumpkin Pie

pumpkin pie

In the last post I suggested that you make a homemade stock for turkey gravy. Now here I am proposing that you make a pumpkin pie filling that’s made from scratch— not a can. (Work, work and more work.) I have nothing against canned pumpkin…feel free to use it if you want.  It’s just that pumpkin pie made from scratch has a fresher, sweeter and more distinct flavor. The filling in this recipe is smooth and custardy, scented with brandy and plenty of warm spices. And, it’s easier than you think, plus there is something gratifying about making it from scratch.


19 Nov 2014

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy & Apple Pie Cookbook Giveaway

Turkey Gravy

I’m just gonna have to put it right out there. This make-ahead recipe for turkey gravy involves making your own stock. I know what some of you are thinking: Really? On top of everything that has to get done to pull off Thanksgiving dinner, you expect me to make a stock from scratch, too? I know. It sounds bad. But, please hear me out because, truly, there are lots of good reasons why you should make this gravy. (more…)

16 Nov 2014

Chile & Cocoa Spiced Steak Tacos with Grilled Poblano & Onion Salsa

steak taco

More often than I’d like to admit there’s an exchange at our dinner table that seems like it was written for a scene in the Australian movie, The Castle. (Have you seen it? Some of the funniest movies I have ever seen come from Australia and this one may be on the top of the list. ) In The Castle, a working class, tow truck driver and father of four, Darryl Kerrigan, has an exaggerated reverence for his family and their house (aka his castle).  When government officials demand that he sell his home so that they can expand the airport right next door, he fights back…all the way to the Supreme Court. Here’s one of my favorite scenes from the movie.  (more…)

04 Nov 2014

Roasted Squash & Whipped Feta Tartine with Pistachio Dukkah

Squash & Feta Tartine with DukkahIn developing this recipe for a farmers market cooking demo I’m doing tomorrow, I took my cue from chef Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen. My version of his squash toast (yep, that’s what he calls it) moves away from the New England flavors he embraces to the souks of the Middle East.  I can’t help myself —that’s where my food sensibilities first took hold. (more…)

24 Oct 2014

West African Vegetarian Peanut Stew


I think I’ve just discovered the most satisfying, hearty vegan recipe known to mankind. Imagine what you get when you cross an Indonesian satay with an Indian curry—you end up with a West African peanut stew. This traditional stew (also known as groundnut stew, domoda, or maafe) is usually made with meat and vegetables. My version forgoes the meat but bolsters it with a bounty (more…)

10 Oct 2014

Grilled Cornish Game Hens with Grape-Verjus Sauce


Grilled CH:Grapes 9EK fav


Cooking out on a hot grill on a cool, crisp fall evening is, well… just delicious. For me autumn is just about perfect for just about everything (well, maybe not sunbathing). We had out-of-town guests this past weekend so I pulled together a simple, fall-inspired meal. The main event was Grilled Cornish Game Hens with Grape-Verjus Sauce. I served it with some creamy, cheesy polenta and a salad of bitter greens, parmesan and walnuts. (Drooling yet?)


27 Sep 2014

Cardamom Panna Cotta with Cloudberries in the Land of the Midnight Sun


panna cotta


This past summer we were invited to visit my sister-in-law’s family in a small village on the very northern tip of Finland. I will admit Lapland wasn’t on my bucket list, but I’m not one to pass up an invitation to visit a foreign land. (more…)

12 Sep 2014
My Front Burner by teslathemes
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