Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies
A holiday-appropriate dish that’s rich, scrumptious, and totally decadent

Ready for festive? You’ll need some chocolate.

Happily, these chocolate cheesecake brownies jingle all the bells.

Because chocolate. And cheesecake. And most of all, brownies.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail

The Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail

Allspice dram adds extra depth to this classic recipe

Looking to jump start the holiday cheer? Look no further than the Hot Buttered Rum, a drink that probably fortified US colonists during their war for independence (more history in the Notes).

Our version is a mix of dark rum, spicy allspice dram, sugar, boiling water – and butter, of course. Mix and serve in a heatproof mug.

It’s an elixir that will warm your heart (and maybe even redden your nose). What could be more cheery than that? 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Cornmeal Drop Biscuits

Cornmeal Drop Biscuits

Terrific flavor, easy to make

American-style biscuits are a great addition to any festive dinner – like Thanksgiving. They’re also wonderful for breakfast.

These biscuits include cornmeal for extra goodness and flavor. And because they’re drop biscuits (rather than ones you roll and cut), they’re very simple to make.

We find that appealing. Because simple are us.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Top with butter and maple syrup for a breakfast blowout

Looking to feed a breakfast crowd on Thanksgiving morning? Or maybe the day after? We’ve got you covered.

Canned pumpkin purée provides the base flavor for these Pumpkin Pancakes. Then we add pumpkin-pie spices for extra zest. It all makes for an exceptionally tasty treat.

So maybe prepare an extra big batch? Because these will go like, well, hotcakes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars


Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars
An autumn-appropriate dessert that’s rich, creamy – and totally company worthy

November means peak cranberry in the US. Cranberry sauce, relish, and salads are staples on Thanksgiving tables.

But cranberries like dessert, too. As in these Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars.

Because why should pumpkin pie have all the fun?

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The Rusty Nail Cocktail

The Rusty Nail Cocktail

This mix of Scotch and Drambuie makes a great pre- or post-dinner drink

The Rusty Nail Cocktail was a big hit in the mid-20th century. Not so much in the 21st.

That’s too bad, because the drink has lively, pleasant flavor – and color perfectly suited to autumn. It’s somewhat sweet, which makes it an ideal after-dinner drink. But not so sweet that you wouldn’t want to sip it before the prandial phase.

Or while cooking that Thanksgiving turkey.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Curried Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

Curried Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

Hearty, healthy, tasty – perfect for a quick weeknight dinner

Autumn is soup weather! Yeah, we always say that, don’t we? Doesn’t make it any less true though.

For this soup, we combine peak-season sweet potatoes with chickpeas and warming curry spices. Then we add red bell pepper and sweet green peas for an extra pop of flavor and color.

Looks good, tastes better. Our kind of food.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Pumpkin and Ricotta Gnocchi

Pumpkin and Ricotta Gnocchi
A lighter version of a traditional Italian favorite with full fall flavor

Dumplings! We’ve never met one we didn’t love. And gnocchi top our list of faves.

Since it’s autumn, we’re making these plump little pillows of goodness with pumpkin. And we’re pairing that with ricotta cheese (rather than the more traditional potato) to make for a lighter dish.

Because lighter means we can eat more. And when it comes to dumplings, more is always better.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Asian-Style Shrimp and Grits

Asian-Style Shrimp and Grits

Spicy chili crisp adds flavor and depth to this starter or main

Shrimp-and-grits is a classic dish from the southern US – and one we love. We also love Asian-style shrimp stir fried with chili sauce. So why not combine them?

This Asian-Style Shrimp and Grits would make a great starter, with piquant flavor that can wake up any taste bud. Or you could serve this dish as the main event. Because it’s so tasty that a starter portion might not be enough to satisfy you.

And it’s good to be satisfied.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The Lion's Tail Cocktail

The Lion's Tail Cocktail
Bourbon and allspice dram pair up in this bracing autumnal pleaser

It’s October – and what’s not to like? Pleasingly cool evenings cry out for heartier food. Not to mention drinks with a bit of zip.

For the latter, consider the Lions’ Tail, a bourbon cocktail that features spicy allspice dram and zesty lime juice. Its lively flavor will chase away the chill.

Perfect for sharing with your sweetie while gazing into the fireplace.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti

Homey, cheesy, hearty, comforting – family food at its finest

Baked Ziti (aka baked pasta or pasta al forno) can be made with any tubular pasta. No matter what shape we use, though, we always call it baked ziti. Because that’s the name we’ve always known it by.

This dish is easy to put together. Its flavor and character resemble lasagna, but it’s a much simpler dish to assemble. Kind of a poor man’s lasagna, we suppose.

But the flavor couldn’t be richer.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Roast White Beans and Eggplant with Tomato

Roast White Beans and Eggplant with Tomato

We use corona beans in this terrific main/side – but any white bean will work

Nothing brings out savor like roasting. Today we’re applying its magic to white beans and eggplant. With some spicy tomato sauce to liven things up.

We like to serve this dish as a main course (if you go that route, you might also want to add a salad and/or some crusty bread). But it also makes an excellent side dish.

However you serve it, we suggest adding a glass of wine. Just so you can offer a proper toast: Buon appetito!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Mexican-Spiced Braised Short Ribs

Mexican-Spiced Braised Short Ribs

Hearty and flavorful, this dish will warm up autumn

Chillier weather is headed our way. So we’re pulling out the braising pot – which is dusty after not being used all summer.

Braised beef short ribs are a fave around here. And we love Mexican-style dishes, so adding chilies is a natural.

We think you’ll love these short ribs. Serve them to guests, and they’ll love you too.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Italian Corona Bean Salad

Italian Corona Bean Salad

Use any white bean to make this easy, tasty main or side

A hill of beans, you say? Coming right up.

Today we’re using corona beans (aka royal corona beans), a large white bean that’s very popular in Italy. Their size makes them perfect for an antipasto dish or salad. But if you don’t have corona beans on hand (they’re hard to find), you can substitute any white bean for this dish.

Coronas are worth the effort to search out, though. If for no other reason than to say you’ve bean there, done that. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Picon Punch Cocktail

The Picon Punch Cocktail

This Basque-inspired drink delivers sparkling flavor

As summer wanes, we’re looking for drinks that can ease us into autumn.

Enter the Picon Punch, an afternoon cooler that works equally well as a predinner drink. Its flavor is bracing, with lively orange undertones.

The Picon Punch is not a particularly well-known drink, which makes it a fun choice for introducing to friends.

Because that’s what friends do.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Chimichurri Sauce (or Dip)

Chimichurri Sauce (or Dip)

This traditional Argentine herb sauce is great on grilled meat or fish

Chimichurri Sauce mixes minced parsley (and often cilantro) with lively spices and vinegar. It’s a traditional topping for grilled steak in Argentina. But it’s also tasty on any grilled meat, fowl, or fish.

This sauce takes only a few minutes to make. And, conveniently, you can prepare it a couple of hours ahead of time.

The flavor is so enticing, you’ll be tempted to use it as a spread or dip. Ask us how we know.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The Rum Julep Cocktail

The Rum Julep Cocktail

This Tiki classic delivers complex, festive flavor

Need mint in your julep? We’ve got that.

But this drink offers a twist on the julep theme, using rum instead of bourbon. (Two rums, in fact.) Plus two fruit juices and other assorted ingredients.

So making this cocktail is a bit of a production. But totally worth it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Quick and Easy Piña Colada Fudge

Quick and Easy Piña Colada Fudge

Make this booze-free, no-cook beauty in a mixer

Craving sweets but don’t want to turn on the oven during hot summer days? We have the answer!

You can make this addictive Piña Colada Fudge in mere minutes, using just a mixer.

Unlike a real Piña Colada, this one has no rum in it. But you can always accompany it with a tipple if you wish. Because summer.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The Nui Nui Cocktail

The Nui Nui Cocktail

Tame summer heat with this 1930s Tiki smooth sipper

It’s hot outside (where we live, at least). So let’s seek relief in liquid refreshment.

Today we’ll quench our thirst with the Nui Nui Cocktail, a Tiki classic. It’s a delightful combo of rum, fruit juice, and flavored syrups.

Fearless ingredients combining forces to beat the heat? A heroic feat of satiation, we say. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Mexican Street Corn (Esquites) Salad

Mexican Street Corn (Esquites) Salad

This sheet pan version features jalapeño and red bell pepper for extra flavor

Did someone say “fresh sweet corn”? It’s in season around here, so let’s enjoy it to the max!

No need to wrestle with a slippery cob, though. For this dish, we cut off the kernels and roast them, then add a lively mayo- and cheese-based dressing.

In Mexico, the dish is known as esquites, and it’s very popular. Once you taste it, you’ll know why.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Test Pilot Cocktail

The Test Pilot Cocktail

This 1940s Tiki charmer is a great summer cooler

The Test Pilot Cocktail (which launched a host of imitators like the Jet Pilot, Ace Pilot, Space Pilot, and Astronaut) was invented by Tiki innovator Donn Beach. We say more about the history in the Notes.

For now, you just need to know that this slow sipper has two kinds of rum, plus other invigorating ingredients. The result in a spicy tongue tingler. You’ll love lingering over it on a lazy summer afternoon.

Because you probably don’t do enough lingering, do you?

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Okra, Tomato, and Chickpea Curry

Okra, Tomato, and Chickpea Curry

This vegan stir-fry style dish makes a quick and tasty weeknight dinner

Summertime, and the living is easy. Or it’s supposed to be, at least. Which is why we don’t want to spend a ton of time preparing weeknight dinners.

Stir-fry to the rescue! Today’s dish is Indian-themed vegan. This one-pot recipe is quick to make – and so tasty you won’t even notice it doesn’t contain meat.

Perfect for Meatless Monday. Or any other day. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The Beachcomber Cocktail

The Beachcomber Cocktail

Chill out with this charmer from Trader Vic

We’re reaching peak heat in our part of the world. Time to trek to the beach or plant ourselves beside the pool.

But after an hour or two in the sun, we get mighty hot and thirsty.

Enter the Beachcomber Cocktail, a refreshing combo of rum, Cointreau, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice. It’s a nice afternoon sipper – and dry enough for a predinner drink.

Liquid perfection, we call it.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Cherry Bounce Cocktail

The Cherry Bounce Cocktail

A riff on a drink made by Martha Washington

Cherry bounce dates back at least to 17th century England – and was quite popular in colonial America. In fact, Martha Washington made a big batch every year (we provide her recipe in the Notes).

Made the traditional way, cherry bounce takes a few months to age and mature. But we can’t wait that long. So we’re offering a cocktail version that’s much faster and easier to make, while still dispensing great flavor.

Martha (and George) would approve.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Pasilla Negro Chile and Tomato Sauce

Pasilla Negro Chile and Tomato Sauce

Great for meat, seafood, tacos, enchiladas – or pretty much anything

Pasilla negro chilies – also called pasilla chilies or sometimes chile negro – have deep, haunting flavor. But they’re not too hot for comfort.

Here, we pair them with fire-roasted tomatoes for a tangy sauce. One that’s great on almost any meat (try it with steak), rich seafoods (swordfish, anyone?), or Mexican-style dishes like tacos, enchiladas, and burritos.

You might even be tempted to dip a tortilla chip into it. Go ahead – we won’t tell.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Prado Cocktail

The Prado Cocktail

Like a Margarita on steroids

Margaritas are luscious. But maybe you’re ready for advanced imbibing?

Enter the Prado Cocktail, which takes Margarita magic to the next level. It substitutes maraschino liqueur for triple sec, making for edgier flavor. And it incorporates egg white, which adds a great-looking foamy head to the drink.

Looks good. Drinks better.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Strawberry Crumble with Chili Crisp

Strawberry Crumble with Chili Crisp

Sweet with a touch of spice, a perfect way to celebrate strawberry season

We love us some summer berries! Especially in baked goodies.

Like this Strawberry Crumble with Chili Crisp. We’ve taken a traditional recipe, then added an iconic Asian condiment for pizazz.

Because who doesn’t like pizazz?

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The Lucien Gaudin Cocktail

The Lucien Gaudin Cocktail

A gold-medal drink named after a French Olympic champion

Lucien Gaudin was an Olympic fencing champ during the 1920s (more history in the Notes).

His namesake drink has lively aroma, terrific flavor, and good looks. It makes a great predinner drink. Or a nice tipple while watching the Olympics later this summer.

En garde! 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Mushy Peas with Mint and Lemon

Mushy Peas with Mint and Lemon

A non-traditional take on the classic accompaniment for fish ‘n chips

Mushy peas are best pals with fish ‘n chips. But they also make a great sidekick for grilled or roasted meats, fowl, or other seafood.

Our recipe uses frozen peas (instead of dried), then adds mint and lemon. This all adds a bit of freshness and zip – and makes for quicker preparation.

So this dish is perfect for a weeknight meal. And good enough for company.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Sautéed Peas with Prosciutto (or Pancetta)

Sautéed Peas with Prosciutto (or Pancetta)

Celebrate the glorious flavor of peas with this traditional Italian side

Is there a more quintessential spring vegetable than green peas?

Mix them with salty prosciutto + tangy olive oil, and you have a dish that’s verging on the addictive.

We’ll understand if you want to lick your plate.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Potato and Sausage Salad

Potato and Sausage Salad

Garlicky mustard vinaigrette adds moxie to this side (or main) dish

Cookouts are around the corner. That means potato salad on the picnic table.

But we like it even better on our dining room table. Add in some sausage, and it can even serve as a main course. Bonus: It’s quick and easy enough to make for a weeknight meal.

Tot another one up for taters.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The Mother-in-Law Cocktail

The Mother-in-Law Cocktail

This New Orleans charmer features complex, spicy flavor

Looking for a new twist on Mother’s Day? Try this tasty tipple.

It features bourbon at play with some spicy, jazzy companions (because New Orleans, you know).

Serve it and toast all the maternal spirits in your life. It’s the right thing to do.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Asparagus, Bacon, and Tomato Stir-Fry

Asparagus, Bacon, and Tomato Stir-Fry

This quick, easy dish is a terrific spring side or main

Fresh, local asparagus? We can’t get enough of it. Asparagus season is short, so we enjoy it while we can.

In this dish, for instance. It combines asparagus with bacon and tomato in a quick stir-fry.

Asparagus and bacon. What more could we want in life?

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Asparagus and White Bean Soup

Asparagus and White Bean Soup

This hearty main-course dish celebrates spring

It’s spring in our part of the world. But the weather service has issued a freeze warning. That’s April for you.

That’s also why we still crave hearty soups for dinner. Like this Asparagus and White Bean soup, which is quick and easy to prepare. It’s a wonderful weeknight way to celebrate fresh, local asparagus.

Because April. And asparagus.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Asparagus with Parmesan

Asparagus with Parmesan

Celebrate spring with this classic Italian dish

We know spring is here when locally grown asparagus starts popping up in our markets. So let’s bedeck ourselves with blooms and dig into a dish of Asparagus with Parmesan (aka Asparagi alla Parmigiana).

This simple, quick dish makes the perfect side or starter. You can even top it with a fried or poached egg for a light supper.

Now, don’t you just feel like hoppin’ down the bunny trail?

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

The Charlie Chaplin Cocktail

The Charlie Chaplin Cocktail
 Sip one of these while watching the Oscars

April brings both the Oscar awards and the birthday of film favorite Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin (born April 16, 1889). What better way to celebrate than with the Charlie Chaplin Cocktail?

It combines sloe gin, apricot brandy, and fresh lime juice in a sprightly mix that shouts spring. Show-stopping flavor, you might say.

Get the popcorn ready.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Curried Oatmeal Risotto

Curried Oatmeal Risotto
This savory side says oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast

OK, “risotto” derives from the Italian word for rice. But other grains can play too. And making a risotto-like dish from oatmeal takes less time and effort than using traditional rice.

This Curried Oatmeal Risotto also happens to make a terrific side dish for roast meat or fowl. It even has enough flavor to stand alone as a first course.

Savory oatmeal? Who knew?

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Scallion Gratin

Scallion Gratin

This tasty springtime side will have you craving seconds

Spring is prime time for scallions. Fresh local ones are available in farmers’ markets. And you can grow them easily in a home garden.

So why not give them a starring role at the table? This creamy, cheesy Scallion Gratin makes a great side dish for poultry, meat, or seafood.

But it’s so good, you may be tempted to double or triple the recipe – and make a meal out of it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Cabbage and Ham Stir-Fry

Cabbage and Ham Stir-Fry

Ginger, garlic, and jalapeño perk up this quick and tasty dish

Need a quick weeknight dinner that you can assemble from what’s in your pantry and fridge? Here you go!

This dish combines green cabbage with cooked ham. Because we always seem to have extra cabbage around St. Patrick’s Day, and often have ham in the freezer.

Mix in some spicy Asian flavors, and it’s stir-fry for the win!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Bacon-Braised Potatoes

Bacon-Braised Potatoes

This easy recipe from French chef Paul Bocuse is the perfect sidekick for roast meat or poultry

Meat and potatoes: A classic combo (and all in one dish, in this case).

These Bacon-Braised Potatoes make a great side for any hunk of roast meat or poultry. Though with these on the table, you may ignore the main event and instead zero in on the spuds. They’re that good.

Because bacon.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Emerald Cocktail

The Emerald Cocktail

This gem of a drink delivers full Irish flavor for St. Patrick’s Day

Ah, St. Patrick’s Day. Always a day of rollicking good fun.

This year we’ll be enjoying the Emerald Cocktail – to celebrate the Emerald Isle.

So drink one of these, and your Irish eyes will be smiling.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Mushroom, Corn, and White Bean Sauté

Mushroom, Corn, and White Bean Sauté

This vegetarian dish makes a great main for Meatless Monday, or a terrific side dish

Looking for a simple, tasty vegetarian dish? We’ve got you covered.

This Mushroom, Corn, and White Bean Sauté has terrific flavor, is quick to prepare, and can be made largely from pantry staples. If you prefer not to go veggie, it also works well as a side dish with grilled or roasted meat or poultry.

Once you make this, we’re betting you’ll want to extend Meatless Monday to other days of the week – just so you can serve it again.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Smothered Cabbage with Bacon and Sweet Potatoes

Smothered Cabbage with Bacon and Sweet Potatoes

This flavorful, quick-cooking dish will turn cabbage haters into lovers

Cabbage doesn’t get much respect, we know. But that’s because so many people abuse it with overcooking.

Fortunately, this dish cooks quickly. So its flavors are allowed to dance (and there’s no cabbagey smell in the kitchen). Plus, we add extra zest with bacon and sweet potatoes. Enough flavor, in fact, to entice the most determined cabbage hater in your household.

So the cabbage might be smothered. But your appetite won’t be.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Steak with Mushroom and Wine Sauce

Steak with Mushroom and Wine Sauce
Make this tasty sauce ahead of time, then finish it right before serving

Need a special dinner for Valentine’s Day? We’ve got it: Succulent steak served with a rich mushroom and wine sauce.

This elegant meal is actually easy and straightforward to prepare. That means less time in the kitchen and more time at the table.

With your own special valentine.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The Creole Cocktail

The Creole Cocktail

Get your Mardi Gras on with this tantalizing tongue tingler

This time of year, our thoughts head towards New Orleans – home of Dixieland jazz and some of the best food in the US. Not to mention Mardi Gras.

Of course, St. Louis (where we live) also has a pretty rambunctious Mardi Gras celebration – probably second only to the more famous one in New Orleans. Not this year, though. COVID is seeing to that.

So we’ll celebrate at home, sipping a Creole Cocktail. Heck, we’re talking Mardi Gras – let’s make that two. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Senate Bean Soup

Senate Bean Soup

This hearty (and historic) soup will warm you up

Cold, gloomy weather? You know what that means. Soup!

With a new Congress in session – and the US Senate preparing to hold a historic trial – what could be more timely than Senate Bean Soup?

Its flavor will earn your family’s vote of confidence. By unanimous consent.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Italian Sausage and Tomato Sauce

Italian Sausage and Tomato Sauce

This homey pasta sauce features bold flavor

We love us some pasta. Comfort food at its finest!

Especially when we top it with this sauce – which is meaty with a bit of spicy zest. Combine your dish of pasta with a salad (and maybe some garlic bread) for a particularly satisfying meal.


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Southwest-Style Chicken (or Turkey) Chowder

Southwest-Style Chicken (or Turkey) Chowder

A quick and delicious way to use leftover cooked poultry

Have leftover cooked chicken or turkey? Need a warming, comforting dish to chase away the chill? Try this chowder. It’s a spicy mix of ingredients that you may already have on hand. Perfect pantry cooking!

Best thing about this dish is it’s ready in under an hour, start to finish. And you can freeze leftovers, so you’ll have another meal ready to go in minutes.

Winter never tasted so good.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Bobby Burns Cocktail

The Bobby Burns Cocktail

Celebrate the Scottish poet Robert Burns with this namesake cocktail

January 25th is the birthday of Robert Burns, perhaps Scotland’s most beloved poet. During non-COVID times, people throughout the world would gather on or about the 25th to celebrate at a Burns Supper. Much eating and drinking would ensue. Along with toasting.

We won’t be gathering this year. But we can still enjoy our favorite toasting tipple: The Bobby Burns Cocktail is a delightful combo of Scotch whisky and sweet vermouth, seasoned with Bénédictine liqueur.

Care to join us (virtually, of course)? Kilts and bagpipes optional.