Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Holiday Sweets and Baking

Almond Sugar Cookies

Enjoy some of our favorite Christmas and New Year’s recipes

Sweets and baking? It must be holiday season!

This week we’re collecting some of our favorite recipes (both sweet and savory) that we think you’d particularly enjoy this time of year.

Ready, set, glow!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Fennel, Orange, and Arugula Salad

Fennel, Orange, and Arugula Salad

Colorful and tasty, this salad makes an excellent winter starter

It’s peak citrus time in our part of the world. Fortunately, oranges fit in everywhere, right?

Especially salads. In this one, orange slices cavort with the anise-like flavor of fennel and the peppery goodness of arugula.

The result? A winter wonderplate.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Netherland Cocktail

Netherland Cocktail

A brandy-based classic with orange liqueur

December is here, so winter holidays are nigh. Send in the oranges! Better yet, pour the orange liqueur.

The Netherland Cocktail overflows with seasonal cheer. And its base spirit is brandy, which excels at warding off winter’s chill.

It’s a nice cocktail, indeed. But you may want to be naughty and have more than one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Royal Hawaiian Cocktail

Royal Hawaiian Cocktail

Named after the historic Waikiki Beach hotel

We’re back from a cruise that took us from Hawaii to Tahiti. But our heads remain in vacation mode, so we’re still craving beach drinks.

Royal Hawaiian Cocktail to the rescue! It features tongue-tingling dry gin and lemon, plus pineapple juice for that tropical touch.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Moroccan Roast Vegetable Tagine

Moroccan Roast Vegetable Tagine

Deep vegan flavor with subtle spicing

Tagines (aka tajines) are at the heart of Moroccan cooking. And when the weather turns chilly, these stew-like dishes satisfy.

This version is vegan, with sweet potatoes and cauliflower. It’s simmered in a tomato sauce that’s fragrant with cinnamon, cumin, and ground ginger.

Roast-veggie tagine is so succulent that meat eaters won’t complain. And you can make this dish ahead of time (in fact, it tastes better if prepared the day before you plan to serve it).

So get ready to Moroccan roll.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tomato and White Bean Soup with Escarole

Tomato and White Bean Soup with Escarole

This healthy and tasty soup makes a quick main course

Homemade tomato soup? Yes!

Add beans and a leafy green (like escarole) to the mix, and you have a hearty one-pot dinner.

OK, you could add some crusty bread and maybe a salad if you want a bit more. It would still be a quick and easy weeknight meal.

For a weekend dinner, just add a glass of wine. Red or white – your choice.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Stroganoff-Style Leftover Beef

Stroganoff-Style Leftover Beef

Classic flavor with roast or braised beef

Cooler temperatures are on the way in our part of the world. Cue Beef Stroganoff – it’s a hearty comfort dish that always tastes best in cold weather.

And you don’t even need to cook the meat, because you already have some leftovers on hand, right?

You can make the dish ahead of time, too. Just reheat it when you’re ready to serve for a no-fuss dinner-party treat.

Gives you a warm fuzzy feeling, doesn’t it?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Toronto Cocktail

Toronto Cocktail

A whiskey-based delight that’s perfect for Canadian Thanksgiving

The second Monday in October is coming up (on October 8, to be exact). And that means Canadian Thanksgiving!

What better way to celebrate than with a toast? And what better drink than the Toronto Cocktail? It’s named after Canada’s most populous city, the capital of Ontario — and a great city to visit.

So here’s to Canada: One of the best neighbors, ever.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Hot-Buttered Butter Lettuce Salad

Hot-Buttered Butter Lettuce Salad

Any butterhead lettuce (like Boston Bibb) works in this enticing dish

Things go better with butter. Even lettuce (trust us).

This dish is perfect for entertaining. Because the flavor and texture are sensational – and it’s a real conversation starter.

Discuss among yourselves.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Pumpkin-Spice Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin-Spice Pumpkin Soup

Deep flavor with a hint of chipotle heat

Autumn is near in our part of the world. That means soup – and pumpkins.

So we decided to combine those two autumn affiliates into one slurpy dish. It’s easy to prepare and makes a stunning starter.

This soup mingles sweet and zesty in a smooth mix. Because pumpkin spice isn’t just about cinnamon. Pumpkins can take the heat.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Chicken, Green Chile, and Pozole Ragù

Chicken, Green Chile, and Pozole Ragù

Serve this Mexican-inspired dish over polenta or grits – or toss it with pasta

Hatch green chilies? Bring them on!

They’re in peak season right now, so we can find them fresh (or roasted) at our local markets. But they’re also available in cans at most grocery stores (or frozen from online vendors).

Hatch green chilies are the star of this Mexican-inspired ragù. But no worries if you can’t find them. You can substitute poblano or Anaheim chilies, which also have great flavor.

Good to have choices, isn’t it?

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Monte Carlo Cocktail

Monte Carlo Cocktail

Elegant as its Riviera namesake

The Monte Carlo is super smooth. Fitting, that.

It’s a rye-based sipper, which makes it nice and warming. That’s perfect for autumn (which is rapidly approaching in our part of the world).

This drink will perk you up on a chilly night. And you want to be perky, don’t you?

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Cloister Cocktail

Cloister Cocktail

Chartreuse and citrus sparkle in this little-known charmer

We’re transitioning to autumn in our part of the world. And looking for a predinner drink, of course.

Hence, The Cloister Cocktail – a gin-based palate cleanser with bright citrus and sharp Chartreuse.

Never heard of it? Most people haven’t. But we need to change that.

Because a drink this good shouldn’t be, well, cloistered away.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Chilled Plum Soup

Chilled Plum Soup

Aromatic spices and (optional) chipotle energize this seasonal pleaser

Plums are overflowing our supermarket displays this time of year. They’re just begging us to take them away from their overcrowded bins. So how can we leave plums off the dinner menu?

This savory soup gives the succulent stone fruit a starring role. It’s a terrific starter for a festive meal.

So cheer up your summer-weary guests with a cool spooner. And give some plums a home.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Navy Grog Cocktail

Navy Grog Cocktail

Citrus and three types of rum make this a Tiki classic

Tiki drinks tend to be rum heavy. Especially this one.

The Navy Grog combines three different rums with two types of citrus. The result is magic.

Rum thing, that.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Green Goddess Dip, Dressing, and Sauce

Green Goddess Dip, Dressing, and Sauce

A classic favorite with bright, tangy, herbal flavor

You’re probably thinking salad dressing. And why not? Green Goddess gets greens.

But this recipe also works well as a dip or sauce. Maybe even better.

Fresh herbs are the key to Green Goddess. They provide the green hue – not to mention the terrific flavor. That means summer (when herbs are at their peak) is the perfect time to make it.

So serve up some Green Goddess. Then graciously accept adoration from your guests.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Hemingway Daiquiri Cocktail

Hemingway Daiquiri Cocktail

Born in Cuba, refreshingly citrus

Ernest Hemingway liked to drink. Often. In quantity. And long into the night.

He inspired some drinks, too. Including this one, most likely. It features grapefruit juice – one of his favored cocktail mixers.

So Hemingway loved this drink. We predict you will too. But watch that quantity thing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Blueberry-Lemon Parfait

Blueberry-Lemon Parfait

Quick, no-bake, and cool

Ready for retro cool? Back in the day, parfaits were the “company” dessert. And why not? They look fancy, taste great, and are easy to make.

Best of all, you can serve them straight from the fridge, so they make the perfect end to a summer meal.

No need to worry about dessert for your next dinner party. Just chill out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Paloma Cocktail

Paloma Cocktail

Mexico’s favorite tequila-based drink

Tequila based? You’re probably thinking Margarita. But in Mexico, the most popular cocktail is pronounced “La Paloma.”

The Paloma is a tall, cool sipper. That – plus great flavor – makes it perfect for fighting summer’s heat. With the weather we’re having in our part of the world, we need all the coolth we can get.

Bring on The Paloma. Por favor.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Summer White Bean and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Summer White Bean and Vegetable Stir-Fry

A Mediterranean one-skillet dinner that’s quick, easy, and healthy

We’re enjoying summer’s bounty of vegetables and herbs in our part of the world. But the weather is unremittingly hot, so we don’t want to spend much time cooking.

Fortunately, we have stir-fry. It’s a quick and easy way to showcase almost any vegetable you can think of.

This dish takes only about 20 minutes total for prep and cooking. Stress-free weeknight dinner, anyone?

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Salty Dog Cocktail

Salty Dog Cocktail

A refreshing drink for the dog days of summer

Hot enough for you? In our part of the world, it seems like August already. So we’re breaking out the most cooling drinks we know.

Nothing says refreshing like a citrus-based drink. In the Salty Dog, that means tart, tingling grapefruit juice. Plus, the drink’s salted rim adds even more tongue tingle.

And that’s no shaggy dog story.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Carrot Slaw

Carrot Slaw

Mustard adds tang to this French-style dish

Coleslaw doesn’t require cabbage (really). You can use almost any shredded vegetable to make slaw. In France, carrots are a popular choice.

And what a terrific choice it is! The bright color and vibrant flavor of carrot slaw will liven up any picnic or cookout. Plus, you can make this dish several hours ahead of time.

Tasty, make-ahead dishes are gold. In this case, 14-carrot gold.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Tip Top Cocktail

Tip Top Cocktail

This light, low-alcohol classic tastes like summer

When the temperature soars, our appetites wilt. We’re just not in the mood for heavy food or drink.

Tip Top Cocktail to the rescue! This drink doesn’t contain much booze per serving—less alcohol than you’d find in a glass of wine, in fact. And its crisp, refreshing flavor revives our appetites. So it’s an excellent pre-dinner drink.

All around, this cocktail is—wait for it—tip top.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Marinated Mushrooms

Marinated Mushrooms

This make-ahead Italian-style dish is ideal for summer entertaining

During the lazy days of summer we want to be, well, lazy. But we still want to entertain. So we look for dishes that are easy to make, preferably ones we can prepare ahead of time.

Enter these Italian-style marinated mushrooms. Flavored with olive oil, lemon, and vinegar, they make a wonderful appetizer or side dish. And they taste better when made several hours ahead, or even the day before serving. They’re also delicious when cold or at room temperature – so they’re perfect for the picnic table.

Plus they taste really good! Kind of addictive, actually. Magic mushrooms, you might say.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Fluffy Ruffles Cocktail

Fluffy Ruffles Cocktail

A pre-Prohibition charmer for the #MeToo era

Fluffy Ruffles? Is that a thing?

Indeed it is. A person, actually – albeit in comic-strip form. And her namesake drink has sensational flavor.

The name evokes fancy dress, so it’s perfect for weddings, graduation parties, and other June events.

But it also recalls an earlier era of women’s activism (more about that later). So feel free to drink it in jeans or yoga pants.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Summer Cocktail Recipe Roundup

Cape Codder Cocktail

Cool ones for hot days

Summer is here in our part of the world. Now that we’ve celebrated Memorial Day in the US, we’re ready for flip flops and tee shirts. Not to mention tall, cool drinks.

So we’ve decided to kick off the summer season by rounding up some seasonally appropriate cocktail recipes. We’ll race you for the hammock.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Collard Greens and Radish Slaw

Collard Greens and Radish Slaw

Coleslaw with attitude for picnics and cookouts

Umm, coleslaw. Now that summer is on the way in our part of the world, we can’t stop thinking about it. And variations on it.

Like this collard-greens version.

Collard greens are a close relative of kale, that rock star of veggies. And like kale, they’re flavorful, nutritious, and versatile. Use them in coleslaw, and you’ll find that a familiar dish has acquired an entirely new personality.

That’s a good thing. Because with Memorial Day right around the corner (officially kicking off cookout and picnic season here in the US), you probably need all the coleslaw recipes you can get.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

French-Style Braised Lettuce and Peas

French-Style Braised Lettuce and Peas

Cream and mint add pizzazz to this traditional dish

A classic French dish that’s quick and easy? Mais oui!

This duet of lettuce and peas makes a perfect starter or side. So serve up the flavor without the fuss.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Roast Green Beans with (or without) Garlic

Roast Green Beans

Intense flavor in a quick and easy dish

Markets are bursting with fresh produce in our part of the world. Including green beans (aka string beans or snap beans). So why not roast a mess of them?

Oven heat concentrates and deepens the (already wonderful) flavor of fresh vegetables. And roasting veggies requires little effort – prep work is minimal.

Best of all, these beanies are equally good served hot or cold. So they’re both dinner-party perfect and picnic friendly.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Derby Cocktail

The Derby Cocktail

Celebrate the Kentucky Derby with a classic

Thoroughbreds are chomping to run for the roses. And you’ll need bourbon to watch them.

Enter The Derby Cocktail, a bourbon-based charmer that will quench your thirst while you lounge in the bluegrass.

We know you’ll like this one. We’ll even bet on it ($2.00 limit, of course)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Carnitas in Adobo Sauce

Carnitas in Adobo Sauce

A richly flavored Mexican favorite

Most of us know about adobo sauce, right? It’s the stuff that canned chipotle chilies are packed in. But have you ever made homemade adobo? It’s a great sauce or marinade for meat, especially pork.

Our method for making adobo sauce is quick and easy. And in this post, we serve the sauce with its best friend, carnitas.

So get ready to pig out for Cinco de Mayo.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mexican-Style Pork Carnitas

Mexican-Style Pork Carnitas

Use this succulent meat in tacos or as a main course

Carnitas means “little meats.” In Mexico, you often find these served as “street food,” usually in freshly made corn tortillas. But you can also use the meat in tamales, burritos, sandwiches — or just piled up on a plate.

Carnitas are perfect for festive occasions (think Cinco de Mayo). So grab that party sombrero and get your Mexican on.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Marinated Cauliflower Salad with Capers

Marinated Cauliflower Salad with Capers

This healthy Mediterranean-style starter can be made ahead for extra versatility

Cauliflower has been an “it” vegetable for years. And why not? It’s flavorful and nutritious, and works well in lots of dishes.

We particularly like to marinate cooked cauliflower in olive oil and vinegar, then serve it as a salad. Adding capers gives it tang. Tossing in some parsley and pimento ups the flavor and color.

Best of all, you can make this salad ahead of time. So it’s perfect for entertaining – no last-minute rush to get that first course on the table.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Pendennis Cocktail

The Pendennis Cocktail

This classic has the clear, cleansing flavor of an April shower

The weather is finally getting warmer in our part of the world. Soon we’ll be craving cool libations to sip during those long spring evenings.

The Pendennis Cocktail, with its pink hue and enticing apricot aroma, is perfect for that. Named after a Louisville private club, the drink is less well known than it deserves to be. Once you taste it, though, we’re betting this will become a regular in your drinks rotation.

Be sure to share it with your friends, too. They’ll toast your generosity.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Italian Ricotta and Cream Cheese Pie

Italian Ricotta and Cream Cheese Pie

Traditional for Easter, you can skip the crust for a gluten-free sweet

Should we call this a pie, a tart, or a custard? It has elements of all three.

Ricotta pie is an Italian favorite, especially at Easter time. With the addition of cream cheese, it becomes something halfway between pie and cheesecake. So we guess you could call this cheesecake, too.

But what’s in a name? We just call it delicious

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Welsh Rarebit

Welsh Rarebit

An open-face toasted cheese sandwich, extra savory

Welsh Rarebit – a/k/a Welsh Rabbit – is comfort food with savor. It’s quick and easy to make too, so it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner. Or maybe a midnight snack.

Fast and flavorful, this dish will put a twitch in any bunny’s nose.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wine-Braised Beef Short Ribs

Wine-Braised Beef Short Ribs

Served over mashed potatoes, comfort food at its finest

Spring may be coming, but it’s still plenty chilly in our part of the world. So we’re not putting away our braising pot just yet. And what better than braised beef short ribs to chase away the last days of winter?

After a few hours luxuriating in a rich wine sauce over low heat, the meat becomes soft, yet retains its toothsome character. And the rich flavor is succulent beyond belief.

Best of all, this dish tastes better cooked a day or two ahead, then reheated. So it makes perfect party food.

It’s so good your guests will applaud. Or even better, request seconds.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Paddy Cocktail

The Paddy Cocktail

This Prohibition-era classic is an Irish whiskey Manhattan

OK, we’re not wild about the name of this drink. Back in the day, “paddy” was pretty much an ethnic slur against Irish immigrants. Fortunately, these days the insult has lost most of its sting.

That is the name of the cocktail, though, and has been since the drink was invented (probably in the 1920s). And since the drink tastes really good, we’ll just have to live with it.

Because once you taste this, you won’t want to live without it.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Mediterranean White Bean Dip

Mediterranean White Bean Dip

Garlic and lemon liven up this healthy appetizer

Appetizers, we love you. Maybe too much. Could you tone down the fat and calories, but keep the flavor?

Voilà – Mediterranean-style white bean dip!

This dish is made with pantry staples, so you can whip up a batch quickly if you have unexpected company. It’s healthy stuff, too, so no one needs to feel guilty.

And you’ll be bikini-ready for your next trip to the Côte d’Azur.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Asian-Spiced Chicken Noodle Soup

Asian-Spiced Chicken Noodle Soup

Rev up this traditional favorite with ginger, garlic, and jalapeño

We’re trudging through cold-and-flu season in our part of the world. Time for chicken noodle soup (a/k/a liquid penicillin).

You could buy canned soup, of course (and the leading brand’s logo is museum quality when painted by Andy Warhol). But homemade is so much better, especially when you add an Asian angle.

This soup is so good you may look forward to getting sick. And creating your own work of art.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Chicken and Celery Stir-Fry

Chicken and Celery Stir-Fry

Ginger, garlic, and fermented black beans add sizzle

Lunar New Year arrives on February 16. So how about some Chinese-inspired stir-fry?

Asian cooking can look complicated to Westerners, but it’s actually pretty simple. It’s all about the prep – the cooking takes very little time.

So fetch some flavor for the Year of the Dog.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Between the Sheets Cocktail

Between the Sheets Cocktail

This flirty variant of the Sidecar is perfect for Valentine’s Day

Interesting name, no? But perfect for Valentine’s Day. And this drink tastes even better than it sounds.

Kiss kiss. Sip sip.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Cajun-Spiced Chicken and Andouille Chili

Cajun-Spiced Chicken and Andouille Chili

Zesty, flavorful – and perfect for Mardi Gras or the Big Game

So we have the Super Bowl this Sunday, followed soon after by Mardi Gras. Calling all party planners!

This Cajun-spiced chili serves up New Orleans in a bowl, which makes it perfect for both events. Best of all you, can make it a day or two ahead of time – because the flavor only improves as it rests in the fridge.

All planning should be this easy.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Jalapeño Black Bean Dip

Jalapeno Black Bean Dip

Easy and spicy, this Tex-Mex fave also makes a terrific spread

The Super Bowl is rushing toward us like a 300-pound lineman. So get those party platters spinning!

You’ll need plenty of munchies and goodies. One of our favorites is this spicy Jalapeño Black Bean Dip. It’s an easy recipe, and fast to make. So you’ll have more time to spend with your guests.

And watch your team win. Or not.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Moroccan-Spiced Orange and Olive Salad

Moroccan-Spiced Orange and Olive Salad

Snappy and satisfying, this makes a great dinner starter

Oranges and olives together? Don’t judge.

Sweet oranges are actually a great match for salty, briny olives. And this dish is easy to make, so you can serve it any weeknight.

But it’s also fancy enough for a dinner party. So you could say this salad is diversity on a dish.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Cuban-Style Black Bean Soup

Cuban-Style Black Bean Soup

Chase away winter with this warming soup

Here in the US, arctic weather has elbowed in. Time for hot soup!

This Cuban-style black bean soup is particularly tasty and nutritious. And you can make a vegan version, so no one gets left out in the cold.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Stork Club Cocktail

 Stork Club Cocktail

The signature drink of an iconic NYC nightclub

The Stork Club delivered. Founded in 1929, it gave New Yorkers a classy place to eat and imbibe – away from the prying eyes of Prohibition enforcers.

And its namesake drink made the cloak-and-dagger worth it. A smooth combo of gin, Cointreau, and citrus juice, the Stork Club Cocktail offers the perfect start to your night on the town. No password needed.