Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Beet and Red Onion Salad

Beet and Red Onion Salad

Refreshing and lively, this is the perfect summer starter

As the weather grows warmer, we need something to tease our appetites. Something like this simple-to-make (and delightful-to-eat) summer salad.

It’s got great color, and better flavor. And it’s a wonderful way to use all the locally grown beets that show up in markets this time of year.

Can’t beat that.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Cucumber and Smoked-Salmon Salad with Feta

Cucumber and Smoked Salmon Salad with Feta

Serve this tangy dish as starter or main

Cucumbers and smoked salmon, tossed with creamy feta cheese dressing. What’s not to like? Especially when you add green peas for color and radishes for perk.

Serve this dish of scrumptiousness as a starter. Or spoon up extra-large portions for a light main course.

This salad is quick to make, so it’s ideal for weeknight dinner. But it’s also fancy enough to serve at your next dinner party.

Like maybe your Mother’s Day celebration this weekend?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Blood and Sand Cocktail

Blood and Sand Cocktail

Named for a Valentino movie

Ready for a scotch-based drink inspired by a bullfighting flick? Of course you are!

In 1922, Rudolph Valentino was at the height of his fame. Cinemas everywhere were showing his latest work, Blood and Sand. It was thrilling stuff.

And this namesake drink does the film justice. A mix of scotch, Cherry Heering, sweet vermouth, and orange juice, the Blood and Sand Cocktail smolders with dangerous allure. Just like Valentino himself, you might say.

Still not enough to persuade you? Well, there’s also a tequila version of this cocktail, which is perfect for Cinco de Mayo (more about that in the Notes).

Olé!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Deconstructed Fish Tacos with Grits

Deconstructed Fish Tacos with Grits

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, a new twist on a classic dish

Tacos are the ultimate fast food.

So let’s slow them down a bit, shall we? Because sometimes we need to savor. This dish keeps all the flavor of the original, but makes things more knife-and-fork friendly.

We replace corn tortillas with grits (also made from corn, so lots of savor there). Then we mound the other ingredients on top, for an open-faced taco.

The result is fancy (and good) enough for a dinner party. But easy enough for a quick meal. Nothing fishy about that.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hot Bacon Coleslaw with (or without) Jalapeño

Hot Bacon Coleslaw with (or without) Jalapeño

Serve this as a side, or use it to top a BBQ pork sandwich

Cookout season will soon be here. So it’s time to seek out side dishes!

Like this one. Coleslaw is always a hit. And you can’t go wrong with bacon. Put them together and . . . instant favorite.

This dish is terrific all by itself, too. Or use it to top a pulled-pork sandwich, or even to garnish fish tacos.

This coleslaw is versatile. And that’s no hogwash.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Strawberry-Spinach Salad with Balsamic Poppy-Seed Dressing

Strawberry-Spinach Salad with Balsamic Poppy-Seed Dressing


This seasonal starter says spring!

Ah, spring. Warmer weather. Tender fresh baby spinach. And strawberries!

Those two ingredients frolic like bunnies in this tasty – and gorgeous – salad. Then we toss them in balsamic vinaigrette (with poppy seeds) for even more perk.

It’s the perfect start to Easter dinner. Peeps ahoy!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Rob Roy Cocktail

Rob Roy Cocktail

Even non-scotch drinkers will enjoy this Manhattan variant
   
A scotch-based cocktail? Aye!

The Rob Roy dates back to the 19th century. And it has aged well – much like its signature ingredient.

The drink probably was named after a popular operetta. Which is appropriate, because you’ll soon be singing its praises.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Braised Greens with White Beans

Braised Greens with White Beans

This vegan Italian-style dish makes a great side or main

Dark, leafy greens are some virtuous eats. Cooked Italian style, they bring on the flavor, too.

Best of all, greens cook quickly. So you can whip up this dish on a weeknight. It makes an extra-tasty side. Or pair it with some bread (we favor cornbread or garlic bread) and you have a complete meal.

Virtue never tasted so good.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Glazed Radishes

Glazed Radishes

Buttery, slightly sweet, with a mild earthy note – these taste like spring

It’s radish season!

Not impressed? This recipe may change your mind.

When you glaze radishes in butter and a bit of sugar, they lose most of their sharp edge. And they develop a deep, rooty flavor that pairs particularly well with roast meats. Best of all, glazing radishes is an easy way to cook them.

So make more than you think you’ll need. Everyone will want seconds. Maybe thirds. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Potato Gratin

Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Potato Gratin

This easy casserole makes a one-dish St. Patrick’s Day meal

Ready for St. Pat’s Day? Craving some corned beef and cabbage, but don’t have the time to make it? We’ve got the solution.

This dish combines the three most popular elements of a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner – corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes – into one scrumptious dish. And you can use deli corned beef rather than cooking your own – a real time saver.

So you’ll have more time to celebrate. You lucky leprechaun, you.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Moroccan-Spiced Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

Moroccan-Spiced Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

This vegan dish is spicy but not wild

An aromatic blend of sweet potatoes and chickpeas? Sign us up!

This soup sports flavor that’s assertive but not overpowering. And it’s light enough for a first course. Or you could ladle up extra-large portions, pair it with salad and crusty bread, and serve it as a main dish.

Tasty, zippy, versatile – it’s a real meal deal.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Blackthorn Cocktail

Blackthorn Cocktail

Made with Irish whiskey, this elixir is perfect for St. Pat’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up soon. So how about a drink?

We suggest the Blackthorn (sometimes spelled Blackthorne), which mixes Irish whiskey with sweet vermouth, absinthe, and bitters.

It’s bracing and tasty. And just right for getting your Irish on.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Quick and Easy Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole

Let the good times roll with this spicy New Orleans classic

Mardi Gras – aka Fat Tuesday – is next week. And you know what that means, right?

Par-tee!

Even if you don’t have much time to cook, you can whip up the perfect dish. Shrimp Creole (a classic dish made all over Louisiana) is extremely fast to put together.

Which works for us. Because less time in the kitchen means more time to eat and drink. And party!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Chunky Chicken Chili with Green Chilies

Chunky Chicken Chili with Green Chilies

Warm up with a spicy and flavorful bowl

This time of year, the days are short in our part of the world. And the nights are cold. Fortunately, we have chili to keep us warm.

Chicken chili is a bit lighter than the beef version, so we don’t sink down in our snowshoes. But green chilies and white beans make it plenty tasty and hearty.

Good thing this recipe yields a big batch. You’ll want seconds.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Chocolate-Rum Truffles

Chocolate-Rum Truffles

With rich and decadent flavor, these are a natural for Valentine’s Day

Chocolates for Valentine’s Day? Mais oui!

But you needn’t buy expensive bonbons in heart-shaped boxes. Because these homemade truffles are outrageously good – and they look fancy, too.

Best of all, they’re easy to make. So you’ll have more time to sip champagne with your sweetie.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Hanky Panky Cocktail

The Hanky Panky Cocktail

Perfect for Valentine’s Day

In February, our thoughts naturally turn to Hanky Panky (the cocktail, of course).

And if the name sounds like the title of a Noël Coward play, well, that’s fitting: It was invented for an actor who mentored Coward.

More history in a bit. First, we need to learn how to mix this beauty. Because your sweetheart awaits.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Super Bowl Recipe Roundup

Chocolate Fudge with Nutella
Chocolate Fudge with Nutella

Loads of tasty ideas for your game-day feast

The Super Bowl is coming up on Sunday, February 5th. And that means parties!

Looking for ideas on what to serve? We’ve got you covered.

We’ve assembled some of our favorite football-friendly recipes. And we’ve just scratched the surface. You can find lots more in our Recipe Index.

So let’s get started. No need to flip a coin.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Real-Chili Chili Mac Casserole

Real-Chili Chili Mac Casserole

This cheesy gratin is comfort food for the whole family

Chili. Cheese. Pasta. Bring ‘em on!

And this dish does, in delicious combination. It’s a quick-bake casserole that makes a perfect cold-weather meal. It even gives you an excuse to use leftover chili.

You can have this dish on the table in about 30 minutes, so it’s great for weeknight dinners. But it’s tasty enough for company, too.

So take this along to your next pot-luck event. Like maybe your neighbor’s annual Super Bowl party. Who cares which team wins the game? You’ve won the meal.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Cabbage Chili with Spicy Sausage

Cabbage Chili with Spicy Sausage

Black-eyed peas add savor to this healthy cold-weather pleaser

Cabbage chili? Yeah, not something you’re likely to find in Texas. But totally worth having.

Particularly since cabbage has almost no calories. Many of us are diet conscious this time of year, so that’s a winner.

But the biggest winner is the flavor. We’ve loaded this dish with lots of dried chile powder and other spices, so it has all the deep chili flavor you expect from, well, chili.

This dish makes a great weekday meal, but it’s good enough to serve at an informal weekend gathering with friends. Like, maybe, for football playoffs or the Super Bowl. Score!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Fanciulli Cocktail

The Faniulli Cocktail

This classic charmer is essentially a Manhattan made with Fernet-Branca

The Manhattan Cocktail is one of our favorites. It’s a smooth combo of rye or bourbon and sweet (Italian) vermouth, spiced up with Angostura bitters.

Well, replace the bitters with Fernet-Branca (an Italian liqueur), and you have the Fanciulli Cocktail. This drink is largely forgotten today, but it seems to have been quite popular in pre-Prohibition America.

Time for a revival, no? Especially since the the Fanciulli’s spicy flavor makes it perfect for winter sipping.

We like to serve the Fanciulli as a predinner drink, though it’s great any time of the day. Well, maybe not for breakfast. But you know what we mean.