All posts filed under: recipe

Heirloom Tomato and Herbed Ricotta and Goat Cheese Tart

August is playing a trick on us.  It’s usually a million degrees here, but between overcast skies, afternoon thunderstorms and temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, I’ve almost convinced myself that Autumn is right around the corner.  So pervasive was this thought that I actually turned on my oven and made this Heirloom Tomato Tart! I know I’ve been waxing poetic about heirloom tomatoes these last few weeks, but I cannot resist! Tomatoes are just so juicy and sweet and plump this time of year that I cannot help myself. Fresh tomatoes are here and we are stuffing our faces with them every chance we get! Before long, it will be October and all we’ll have are canned tomatoes or at worst, those awful mealy, off-season tomatoes at the grocery store!  So, I hope you’ll bear with me for one more week while I continue to gorge myself with vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes! This tart was inspired by a dear friend and coworker who makes the most amazing comfort foods!  She is the Queen of Cream; the Baroness of Bacon!  Everything she makes is just filled …

Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Caprese Salad and That Time I Broke the Cat.

DIY and I just don’t get along and I’ll tell you why.  Home improvement projects, on the whole, are NEVER as easy as they look, and sometimes, when you’re me, they can cause a cascade of unfortunate events that just might make you decide that the ugly wallpaper in the bathroom just might be fine for another year. It all started last Saturday morning.  It was that glorious, early morning golden hour, before the cats were awake and meowing, before breakfast needed to be made.  HGTV was on in the background, I was reading the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens on my iPad and then an article popped up on my Houzz app that gave me 11 (really awesome) reasons to paint my interior doors black!  Do you know Houzz?  Houzz is awesome.  It’s a huge database of Things You Want to Do To Your House But Should Really Call a Contractor for.  “This is a great idea!”, I thought. “This is going to be an easy, low budget update!”  So, with visions swirling …

Gnarly Tomato Water Bloody Mary with Hot Pepper Infused Vodka

I will be the first to admit that Bloody Marys have always been a bit of a mystery to me. Is it soup? Is it breakfast? Is it a non-pharmaceutical hangover cure? Aside from the Bloody Mary that one of my favorite restaurants in town makes (they serve them up spicy with a big piece of peppered bacon as a garnish), I’ve never really enjoyed them. If I’m really honest, that big piece of bacon is a major reason why I like that one! Until now, I was prepared to accept the fact that like the Negroni, the Bloody Mary would forever be a mystery to me. So, when I saw a recipe for a Tomato Water Bloody Mary in the pages of Food and Wine Magazine this month, first, I was intrigued and then a lightbulb went off in my head!   Since I’m already a chronic over-purchaser of certain items (in-season tomatoes, limes, and lemons, for example) and after last weekend’s baby shower, I ended up with an insane amount of leftover cocktail tomatoes! Added to that, we harvested what was left of …

(BABY!) Israeli Couscous (BABY!) Asparagus and (BABY!) Mushroom Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

Ahh, babies.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had babies on the brain. Most of my peers had kids so long ago that they are now old enough to be productive members of society; but a month ago, one of my closest and dearest friends had a baby boy the day after my birthday!   I cannot tell you how excited I am that a new baby has come into our little group of mostly child-free friends! I don’t have children of my own and that’s not entirely by choice.  I struggled with infertility for many years before coming to the realization that one day my lady parts were going to become my undoing.  That realization came in 2007 when I landed in the hospital with a collapsed lung caused by severe endometriosis.  The following year, almost to the day, my lung spontaneously collapsed again. That time, I spent 6 grueling weeks in the hospital having 4 unsuccessful surgeries before finally heading to the Mayo Clinic for treatment.  Remember when I mentioned my scars a few weeks back?  That situation accounted for …

Cedar Planked Salmon with Sriracha-Ponzu Glaze

  I am a girl who loves to grill!  For me, grilling season starts early at the first signs of spring. At that point, it’s still a choice whether I cook outside or just turn on the oven.  Then as summer takes hold, grilling becomes an all-out necessity and maybe even a little bit of an obsession! I can honestly tell you that during the summer, if we are eating cooked food, odds are, it was cooked outside on the grill!  And what a grill it is!  I picked out the biggest propane grill I could afford and thanks to the Husband who converted it to natural gas, there’s no more running to the propane exchange in the middle of dinner!  I’ll tell you in one word why I love a gas grill:  convenience!  With the turn of a knob (ok, five knobs), I am cooking. No fuss, no hassle.  I have baked desserts on the grill, pizzas, artisan bread, casseroles and even kale! Whoever said that the grill was the man’s domain never came to my house, …

One Salt to Rule them All: Rosemary-Thyme-Basil Herb Salt

One taste of this herb salt and you are going to be in love and you are going to use it for anything and everything this summer–from meats and vegetables to your Saturday morning eggs; you are going to find yourself reaching for it and wondering how you’ve lived your whole life without it!  At least, that’s how I felt about it the first time I tried it!  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember that I learned about this herb salt last year from The Splendid Table.  The concept is so simple–fresh, pungent garlic is minced into a couple of tablespoons of coarse kosher salt, then fresh herbs are added, bunch by bunch until you’re left with a verdant handful of the best smelling stuff on earth! Of all the things we planted this year, the herb barrel in the front yard is truly the only thing that can be described as “bountiful”.  French Thyme, Lemon Thyme and Red Creeping Thyme are starting to climb out of the barrel and drape over the sides.  The basil is abundant! …

Ponzu-Marinated Shrimp Skewers with Nectarine Chutney

We are officially in the thick of summer! It is hot, hot, hot and when it’s like this, we try our best to cook everything outside on the grill so that we don’t heat up the house! I’m sure many of you can relate! So, with that in mind, I wanted to make a dish that was easy to make, yet so bold and flavorful that even my husband, who had declared himself “not a fan of shrimp” would become a believer! Sweet, succulent shrimp is marinated in a bath of cilantro, Thai basil, garlic and Ponzu; grilled over a hot flame, then topped off with a sweet and spicy nectarine chutney! It’s a perfect summer meal–light, flavorful and kicked up with just enough spice to keep things exciting! If you’ve never had Ponzu before, you must give it a try. It is a Japanese condiment that is made from vinegar, lemon juice and sudachi, a Japanese citrus fruit. It has a light citrusy flavor that really compliments the shrimp; plus, the ponzu doesn’t “cook” the shrimp the way …