Wednesday, November 25, 2020
We see leftover poultry in your future. Chilly weather too.
So why not take them both on with this warming soup? Add some roast cauliflower to the mix and you’ll increase the comfort quotient even more.
Who knew you’d be giving thanks for leftovers?
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
This quick, tasty vegan dish is great for meatless Monday
Need meatless savor in a hurry? Something nutritious and comforting?
Say hello to lentil and cabbage curry. The hearty umami of lentils will tickle the taste buds of even the most confirmed carnivore.
Chew on that.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
An easy, seasonal dessert for fall
Chilly weather and short days can be a downer. So whip up some cranberry cheer.
Cranberries are the iconic autumn fruit, arriving in our markets just as winter threatens. And they’re a staple on Thanksgiving tables in the US.
But they’re also wonderful in baked goodies (like this Cranberry Buckle), where their tart edge cuts through sweet, cakelike surroundings like a happy surprise.
So buckle up.
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Smooth, perky flavor enlivens this bittersweet Martini variant
Ready for some retro? The Fin de Siècle will whisk you back to the golden age of cocktails.
But no need to reset your taste buds to 1920. This drink’s complex, bitter-tinged flavor would be right at home on today’s craft cocktail menus.
And you won’t need to use bootleg gin.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Easy, Tasty – and Ideal with Crackers, Crostini, or even Ice Cream
Roasted grapes? Yeah, they’re terrific all by themselves. But add chili crisp (a spicy Chinese condiment) and you have a powerful pairing.
We particularly like to use this combo in a tasty dip (which you can also use as a spread, topping, or sauce).
Prepare to smack your lips.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Deep flavor in this hearty main-course soup
Caramelized onions are smooth and mild, yet intensely flavored. And they make every other ingredient they touch taste much better.
They play a starring role in this Caramelized Onion, White Bean, and Tomato Soup. We like to ladle up big bowls of it for a main course, often served with a side of crusty bread. But you could serve smaller portions as a starter.
Even if onions make you cry, these will soothe your tears.
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Savory, sweet, and spicy – and quick enough for weeknight dinner
Sweet grapes paired with savory sausage? Yup, it’s a classic.
This Italian dish is most often served as a simple sauté flavored with balsamic vinegar and sometimes garlic. But we like to combine it with pasta for an easy main course.
With a glass of wine, of course. Because grapes.
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
This 1904 creation features an unusual combo: Scotch and sloe gin
It’s rare to find a cocktail that uses Scotch. But one that adds sloe gin to the mix? And absinthe? Sounds bizarre, we admit. So of course we had to try it.
And are we glad we did! The flavor is outstanding – much more enticing than the sum of its parts.
Love these new-fangled modern inventions.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
AKA spatchcocking, the fastest way to roast poultry
Looking for comfort food as fall chill arrives? Roast poultry is your pal.
Especially if you butterfly the bird first. It’s the easiest path to the perfect plate: No trussing required and the poultry cooks more quickly. It roasts more evenly too – so both white and dark meat come out properly done and juicy.
So in this season of political rivalry, here’s our platform: A chicken in every oven.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
A gluten-free version of the famous Catalan tomato-and-red-pepper sauce
Romesco sauce originated in the Catalan region of northeastern Spain. No two recipes seem to be quite the same, but virtually all of them include red chile pepper (both fresh and dried), tomato, garlic, and nuts.
Traditionally, this sauce is served with seafood. It’s also terrific with grilled meat and poultry, or when used as a dip with chips or crudités. Or as a sauce on vegetables.
Versatile and delicious. Two of our faves.
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Adding white beans to this classic braised dish makes for a quick main course
How about a Mediterranean holiday? Virtual, of course.
This Mediterranean-Style Okra and Tomatoes dish features garlic, thyme, and fresh basil. It’s basically a quick braise. Adding white beans makes it a complete vegetarian meal, perfect for weeknight dinner.
So we can’t travel to the Mediterranean? No worries. The flavors can still travel to our kitchens.
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Tangy tingle for your tongue in this easy and satisfying starter (or main)
We love to start with soup. Sometimes we stop with it, too.
Especially when the soup is as hearty as this Creamy Curried Carrot and Chickpea Soup. It’s full of luscious cream and nourishing chickpeas. Just combine it with a salad and some bread for a quick and easy dinner.
Curry in a hurry? Just what you need to spice up your weeknight.
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Spicy rye and bitter orange usher us into autumn
We’re starting to notice the change of seasons. The sun slants lower in late afternoon, the breeze seems to be freshening.
So let’s sip something autumnal. The Brooklyn Cocktail hits just the right note of spicy and astringent (much like its New York City eponym).
Meet you across the Manhattan Bridge.
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Perfect for a party – or even as a main for dinner
Dips are a natural for entertaining, of course. But sometimes we even have them for dinner.
And why not? They’re quick to make and quite tasty.
Take this White Bean and Tuna Dip, for example. It’s nutritious and comes together in just a few minutes. Add some bread, plus maybe some crudités, and you have a complete meal.
Ready in a jiffy. Gone in a flash.
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Cool, colorful refreshment for hot summer days (and nights)
Need a long, tall sipper that’s not too boozy? Just conjure up an Aperol Spritz (aka Spritz Veneziano).
It’s one of the world’s most popular cocktails. And why not? The Aperol Spritz is super refreshing, with a bright, tingly flavor.
It makes an excellent aperitif. And, because it’s low on alcohol, the Aperol Spritz lets you hold off the heat all afternoon long.
Just call it the summer tamer.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Add fresh basil for an extra taste of summer sunshine
Sweet corn is in season around here – and we’re ready for one of summer’s glory foods.
You can eat it right off the cob, of course. Slathered with butter, it’s the ultimate summer comfort food. But it can be a bit messy.
So let’s take those ingredients and combine them into a plated dish. But brown the butter first, for extra flavor. Then add fresh basil for an extra hit of warm-weather goodness.
The result? A dish worthy of a summer dinner party. When we can have those again.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Fresh summer berries. What could be better? Well, maybe a cocktail that salutes their perky flavor.
Like the Bramble. It celebrates blackberries, which grow wild in much of the world — to the delight of berry pickers.
So mix up a Bramble for a hit of summer-suffused refreshment. Without the thorns.
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
This Malaysian charmer may be the only Tiki drink to use Campari
Ahh, Tiki drinks: The soul of sweet laid-backness. Nothing bitter about them.
So what is Campari doing in this cocktail? Just enjoying a tropical vacation with its new friends, Jamaican rum and pineapple juice. The result sings like a nightingale and ruffles no feathers.
Mix up a Jungle Bird next time you’re yearning to fly away to Kuala Lumpur. And make enough for your friends. They’ll flock to this one.
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Tequila and lime-fueled tingle in a cooling summer dish
Cheesecake? Absolutely! But who wants to turn on the oven in this heat?
Enter Margarita Cheesecake Mousse. It’s a rich, no-bake tongue pleaser that’s loaded with flavor.
The taste mimics that of its namesake cocktail. But there’s no hangover if you have one too many.
We’ll, um, drink to that.
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
This Tiki classic is the signature drink of a famous San Diego restaurant
The days are long and hot in this part of the world right now. So you need a refreshing cocktail, no?
Preferably a slow slipper with lots of fruit juice and a healthy jolt of rum.
So may we introduce you to our friend, Mr. Bali Hai? We think you’ll get along.
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
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
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
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
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
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.
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.