Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Moroccan-Spiced Cucumber and Chickpea Salad

Moroccan-Spiced Cucumber and Chickpea Salad

Healthy Mediterranean flavors power this summertime main or side

When the heat is on, we like to eat cool. Enter the main-course salad.

This Mediterranean dish has a base of crunchy cucumbers and toothsome chickpeas. Then we spice it up with Moroccan-themed flavors.

We had planned to visit Morocco in person later this year. Looks like that won’t be happening, so we’ll have to travel virtually – with the assistance of our recipe collection.

Our imaginations will visit the sights. But our taste buds will get the real deal.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Leatherneck Cocktail

The Leatherneck Cocktail

This homage to the US Marine Corps sports blue curaçao

Fourth of July is coming up. So let’s pursue some happiness, shall we?

And what better choice than the Leatherneck Cocktail? It honors the US Marines – who played a starring role in America’s war of independence.

Back in the day, the Marine uniform included a high leather collar. So “leatherneck” soon become a nickname for Marines.

That collar was uncomfortable – very stiff and rough. But its namesake cocktail? Comfortably smooth. And just stiff enough.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Pasta Salad with Tonnato (Tuna) Sauce

Pasta Salad with Tonnato (Tuna) Sauce

Ham and peas add scrumptiousness to this summer classic

Pasta salad is a summer staple. And why not? It’s loaded with flavor, easy to make, and generally delicious. Plus, you can prepare it ahead of time.

It’s also versatile – you can change up the ingredients or the pasta shape to make a new (yet comfortingly familiar) salad each time.

Just think of the pastabilities.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Gin-Gin Mule Cocktail

The Gin-Gin Mule Cocktail

Mint and ginger spice up this modern classic

Mules, we’ve heard, like to boast that their ancestors were horses. And true to form, this drink descends from some thoroughbred cocktails (more on that later).

But right now, you need to slake your thirst, no? So let’s mix up this refresher.

It’s a summery combo of gin and ginger beer (hence gin-gin), topped off with a fragrant mint garnish. And it can charm the hind legs off a donkey.

So lift a glass of this to your lips and kiss our  . . . mule.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Tonnato (Tuna) Sauce and Dip

Tonnato (Tuna) Sauce and Dip

This classic Italian dish is basically tuna mayonnaise

Tuna + mayo? Primo flavor pair.

This classic recipe makes it even better with capers and anchovies. Then smoothes the mixture into a velvety sauce.

Tonnato sauce is great on veal (and other meats, too). If you thicken it a bit, it turns into an excellent dip for crudités or chips.

Mayo-nificient.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The Rose Cocktail

The Rose Cocktail

Light on alcohol but full of flavor, this Parisian classic is a refreshing summer apéritif

Sipping a cocktail in the City of Lights – what could be better?

But traveling to France is a challenge right now. So we need to conjure up the spirit of Paris at home.

Starting with this pastel enticer. The Rose Cocktail has herbal tones and fruity highlights, yet its profile is decidedly dry. That makes it perfect for sipping before dinner. Or on the deck during a hot afternoon.

The Rose has a low alcohol quotient, so you can have two without worries. That may come in handy: We have a feeling this is going to be a long summer.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Chicken and Black Bean Nacho Dip

Chicken and Black Bean Nacho Dip

All the flavor of regular nachos, but easier to make (and eat)

Nachos! What could be better?

Well, how about easier-to-make nachos that don’t fall apart on the way to your mouth?

Enter this nacho dip. All the traditional nacho yum in a dip that stays put on tortilla chips.

Your washing machine will thank you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Mexican Cucumber, Tomato, and Bean Salad

Mexican Cucumber, Tomato, and Bean Salad

Serve this vegan delight as a starter or a main

The weather is warming up in our part of the world. So? Salad days! 

This classic combo of cucumbers and tomatoes is one of our faves. We’ve added black beans and sweet corn, then infused the vinaigrette with lime, cumin, and coriander.

The result? A terrific Mexican-themed salad. You can serve this as a first course, but we prefer to make it a main. Add some crusty bread or tortillas, and you’ll be happy chompers.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Mushroom and Chickpea Curry

Mushroom and Chickpea Curry

Green peas and jalapeño liven up this quick, healthy one-pot dish

Pantries and freezers: They’re the new go-tos during this involuntary staycation. Fortunately, your menu doesn’t need to suffer.

Most ingredients in this dish are things we usually have on hand. The fresh components (such as mushrooms and jalapeños) are ones that keep for a few days, so you don’t need to run to the grocery store too often.

We made this dish for a weeknight dinner. But we would happily serve it to friends for a weekend feast. When we can see friends again.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

The Old Pal Cocktail

The Old Pal Cocktail

Make friends with a Prohibition-era charmer

The Old Pal is practically cocktail royalty. His daddy is the classic Negroni. And his sibling is the charming Boulevardier Cocktail.

The Old Pal himself sports rye, dry vermouth, and Campari. That makes him the lightest, driest, and spiciest of the trio.

Just the personality you want in an old pal, no?

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Taco Soup with Chicken

Taco Soup with Chicken

Traditional flavor in a quick dish = easy Taco Tuesday

Tacos. What’s not to like? Well, they can be messy to eat, OK. But we have a fix for that.

Taco Soup gives you all the flavor with none of the greasy lap blobs. It’s an easy one-pot dish that’s perfect for weeknight dinner. But it’s still jazzy enough for weekends.

Of course, this dish is a natural for your Cinco de Mayo celebration next week. And May 5th just happens to fall on a Tuesday this year.

We think that’s a sign.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Penicillin Cocktail

The Penicillin Cocktail

Drink to your health!

Let’s be clear upfront: Antibiotics like penicillin don’t work on viruses. So this won’t cure COVID-19.

But the Penicillin Cocktail can help ease the coronavirus blues. With its smoky, soothing flavor, this drink is attitude adjustment in a glass.

So mix up a round for your next virtual cocktail hour. It’s good for what ails us.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

We Need to Take Some Time Off

Black Velvet Cocktail

Alas, not an April Fools’ joke

We’re sad to report that Father of Kitchen Riffs passed away recently. The “oldster,” as we affectionately called him, was 99 and lived a good life. His doctor advised us several weeks ago that the end was coming, but it’s still a shock when it does.

So we’re taking two or three weeks off.

Oh, and the picture that tops this post? It’s the Black Velvet Cocktail, which reportedly was invented to commemorate the passing of Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria.

It’s an appropriate drink for us this week. We lift our glasses to The Oldster.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Spring Lamb Stew

Spring Lamb Stew

Celebrate the return of warmth with this classic dish

Spring means flower buds, baby bunnies – and fresh, local veggies.

Spring Lamb Stew – called Navarin Printanier in France, where it’s very popular – is a century-old dish that’s perfect for the season. After a long winter, who doesn’t want to celebrate with the freshest produce from local markets?

Spring fever never tasted so good.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Irish Leek and Oatmeal Soup

Irish Leek and Oatmeal Soup

This ancient Celtic soup is a great way to eat your oats

Ready to eat like a Druid? Because this dish dates back millennia, to the ancient Celtic world. It was originally called Brotchán Roy (or maybe Brotchán Foltchep – opinions differ).

The flavor combination may sound unusual, but our version is delish. In fact, it tastes like cream of leek soup.

So give it a try. And decide that oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast anymore.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Glazed Carrots with Guinness

Glazed Carrots with Guinness

The perfect side dish for St. Patrick’s Day

Corned beef and cabbage for St. Pat’s? You’ll need a side dish.

What better than these colorful (and nutritious!) Glazed Carrots with Guinness?

Eat your veggies in style. You’ll probably want seconds, too. Because beta-carotene, right?

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Irish Rose Cocktail

The Irish Rose Cocktail

A delightful way to enjoy Irish whiskey

St. Patrick’s Day is on the horizon. So we’ll need to have a drink. Or three.

And what better drink than Irish whiskey? It’s good on its own, of course. But if you’re inclined to fill your shaker with ice, the Irish Rose is one of best cocktails you can mix up to celebrate March 17th.

It’s a beautiful drink, too. And as we know, pink and green pair nicely.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Pasta with Broccoli and Garlic

Pasta with Broccoli and Garlic

This quick and tasty recipe is a great way to eat your veggies

Love pasta, but need more veggies? We have just the dish.

This recipe is light on the pasta, heavy on broccoli. It’s sauced with a dollop of olive oil (but includes plenty of garlic for flavor).

Pasta with Broccoli and Garlic is easy and fast, so it’s great for quick weeknight dinners. It’s even tasty enough for weekend company.

So take a walk on the light side.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Port Wine Sangaree Cocktail

Port Wine Sangaree Cocktail

Refreshing and flavorful, this classic is delightful any time of the year

So how’s the weather? Hot or cold, it doesn’t matter. This drink will thrill whatever the temperature.

We favor the chilled version of this cocktail. But serve it warm if you need some cold-weather cheer. It’s an all-season pleaser.

No matter where in the world you happen to be, it’s the perfect time for a Port Wine Sangaree (and that even rhymes).

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Italian Sausage and Lentil Soup

Italian Sausage and Lentil Soup

This comforting soup is dinner in a bowl

Warming food that’s simple, quick, and tasty? Bring it on!

This meaty, spicy Italian Sausage and Lentil Soup is easy enough for weeknight dinner, but flavorful enough for sharing with friends. Like, when you’re watching a big game on TV.

We hear there might be a super-big one coming up soon.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The Hot Toddy Cocktail

The Hot Toddy Cocktail

Beat winter’s chill with this classic libation

January means serious cold in our part of the world. Time to warm up!

And what’s more warming than a Hot Toddy? It combines the firewater of your choice (we prefer rum, but any brown liquor works) with a bit of sugar and boiling water. The result is a smooth sipper that will chase the chill away.

Oh, and if you’re unlucky enough to have a cold? The Hot Toddy will make you feel loads better.

Just what the doctor ordered.