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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

Blueberry Crostata


Blueberry Crostata


I find myself stashing all sorts of fruit this time of year.  (Is that a disorder…fruit hoarder?) It doesn’t matter that I already have a hefty collection of blueberries, plums and peaches at home.  If I see some at a farm stand or farmers market, I still buy more or pick more of my own.  It’s my way holding onto summer.


29 Aug 2014

Grilled Lamb Chops & Garlic Scapes with Romesco Sauce

grilled lamb chops with romesco sauce

It was a thrill to see our “art-filled, wanderlust home” profiled in Apartment Therapy last week. Seeing it opened my eyes to how much both our home environment and my cooking have been influenced by my travels. I saw how my approach to home decor is the same as my philosophy towards cooking. I like to cook food that is eclectic and bold, yet comforting and definitely not too fussy. I guess the same thing could be said to describe my digs!

Speaking of bold, this recipe for Romesco sauce is (more…)

24 Aug 2014
My Front Burner by teslathemes
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