Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Yup, this is our last blog post. More details on that in a bit. But first let’s concentrate on this delightful fall-themed drink.
Applejack and orange juice celebrate autumn flavors. Brandy and grenadine add extra punch and tingle. The result?
A drink that says hello to fall. Even when it’s saying goodbye.
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Autumn arrives this week in our part of the world. So we’re looking forward to seasonal treats.
Cranberries and oranges are two of our fall faves. Here, we combine them in an easy, tasty sheet cake – great for desserts or snacks.
Perfect for company, too. Let them eat cake.
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Labor Day has come and gone in our part of the world, which means kids are back in school. So maybe you need some snacks for them?
Like these Peanut Butter Bars. They’re tastier than cookies – not to mention more dense and less dry. Plus, they’re easier to make because you don’t have to form individual cookies.
Best of all, kids love them! And we’ve noticed that adults can’t resist them either. That includes us. Though whether we’re kids or adults is still up for debate.
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
The days are becoming shorter in our part of the world. And the weather is a bit less sultry. So our cocktail choices are turning from tall coolers toward short bracers.
Like this one – a most excellent combination of gin, dry vermouth, apricot liqueur, and Cointreau.
Wednesday, August 31, 2022
Florodora (the musical) features disguises, intrigue, and complicated silliness. But don’t worry. With this cocktail, you’ll never lose the plot. It’s a delightful combo of gin, raspberry liqueur, lime juice, and ginger beer. Which makes it a nice slow sipper with perky flavor.
And that’s no song and dance.
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
Fresh local produce! It’s super abundant in our markets right now. So we’re using it any way we can.
In this easy sauté, for instance. Squash, sweet corn, and beans are a traditional American combo, dating back long before European settlement. We added tomatoes for extra color and zing.
Because it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that zing.
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Tiki cocktails often feature rum and fruit juice, a tasty pairing that lends itself to slow sippers. Like the Beachcomber’s Punch.
This soothing elixir packs a lot of flavor, but just enough alcohol to let you know you’re imbibing a grown-up drink.
Because you don’t want a hangover to distract you from summertime lazing.
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
It’s peak peach where we live. So while the local supply lasts, we’re using fresh peaches as often as we can. That means plenty of desserts, yeah. But peaches also shine in savory dishes.
Like this stir fry. Peaches pair particularly well with pork. When you add chili crisp? It makes a delightfully spicy dinner. And one that’s quick, so you can make it anytime.
Cause even weeknights should be special, no?
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
It’s hot in our part of the world, folks. And humid.
So we need a hit of cool, refreshing Tiki. The Never Say Die is one of the most interesting Tiki potions we know. It’s a bit of a production to make, but totally worth it.
‘Cause the heat is on.
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Looking for a light but lively dish to open your next dinner party? Melon is here to help.
Watermelon is at peak season in our part of the world. So we give it the starring role in this company-worthy first course.
What a cool way to start the evening.
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Polynesian-themed sippers known as “Tiki drinks” charmed much of the US (and the world) in the mid-20th century, before falling from favor. They’re staging a revival now, and why not? Many feature rum + fruit juice — one of the best cocktail combos we know.
The Ancient Mariner is a delightful example. Its rich, soothing flavor makes for a perfect afternoon sipper.
So why not beat the heat with a beach-themed treat?
Wednesday, July 13, 2022
Quick pickling – also called refrigerator pickling – is an easy way to pickle almost any vegetable you can think of. It’s much faster (and much less work) than the traditional canning process.
Red onions are a great choice for pickling. They make a tasty topping for burgers, tacos, and BBQ. Even scrambled eggs. You can also use them as an ingredient in wraps and sandwiches. Or add them to a cheese/charcuterie board for extra color and flavor. Or just drop them atop cream-cheese covered crackers.
Some people say you can even eat them all by themselves, out of the jar, standing in front of the refrigerator. Not that we’d ever do that.
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Need a cooling, cheering summer refresher? Something you can make in quantity for a crowd? Or just by the glass for yourself and friends?
Punch to the rescue! Philadelphia Fish House Punch was one of America’s earliest “mixed drinks.” Several founding fathers drank it. Who knew they were such party animals?
Take that, George III.
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Looking for a peppy predinner potation to start your summer evenings? This delightful combo of white rum, dry vermouth, and pineapple juice (with a hint of grenadine to add flavor and color) is just the drink.
Its fruity, snappy flavor will wake up your tastebuds. So share it with your friends and enjoy their delight, too.
Because into each life some sun should shine.
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Cukes! Is there a better veggie for beating summer’s heat?
For a quick pickled version, try them in this Sichuan dish. It combines cudgeled cukes with tangy extras. It’s terrific with Chinese food, of course. But it works just as well with traditional cookout fare. So skip the coleslaw and serve this as a side with pulled pork or barbecued ribs. Or hamburgers and hot dogs.
Smashing good stuff.
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
June celebrations (weddings, Father’s Day, graduations) are great fun. But then come the after-dinner speeches. You need something with heft to get through them. Preferably something that pairs well with dessert.
Enter the Golden Cadillac, a cocktail that was created to celebrate a newly engaged couple. And their car (more history in the notes).
But for now, cheers!
Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Summertime means salad days. So why not have a quick main-course salad for dinner?
We particularly like to mix white beans (garbanzos are good too) with big handfuls of fresh greens. Add a flavorful vinaigrette, and your dinner prep is done.
Time to eat!
Wednesday, June 1, 2022
June has arrived! Which means there are plenty of celebrations afoot – weddings, anniversaries, graduations. Time to break out the bubbly.
And we have a cocktail for that! The Barbotage contains sparkling wine, but it’s also fortified with cognac (or brandy) and Grand Marnier. The result is festive flavor with a hint of orange.
Perfect for toasting.
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
As summer approaches, we want easy, satisfying meals with bold flavor. Steak with salad is a classic favorite. So why not combine the two in one dish?
Add a tasty starter and a luscious dessert, and you have a terrific company meal. Oh, and don’t forget to add a nice bottle of red to your shopping list.
Your guests are worth it.
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
This bacon jam (you could also call it relish or chutney) makes a great addition to morning biscuits or toast. But it’s also terrific atop a cracker (preferably with a bed of cream cheese or pimento cheese) as a canapé.
Or use it on about anything you can imagine. If you can think of it, it’ll probably be good.
Because bacon. One of our favorite food groups.
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Not up for cream sauce in hot weather? We hear you. That’s why we’ve tweaked the classic recipe for Pasta al Limone (Pasta with Lemon) to create a lighter dish. Our version has all the flavor but none of the heavy stuff.
We’ve added artichoke hearts because they pair beautifully with lemon. The result is a dish that’s quick and easy enough for weeknight dinner. But good enough to serve weekend company.
Time to send out the invitations.
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
Amber rum, lime juice, and sweetener (in the form of raspberry syrup)? Sounds a lot like a raspberry daiquiri to us. Add a dash of orange curaçao, and you’ve got the Knickerbocker.
It’s one of the older cocktails on record, dating back at least to the 1860s.
And still good after all these years.
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Spicy, flavorful, and hearty, this traditional Mexican dish is ideal for breakfast, brunch, or dinner
The name translates as “Eggs Rancher’s Style.” It probably originated as a rib-sticking breakfast for ranch hands who needed to fuel up for a day of heavy labor.
We’re not cowboys, so we tend to serve Huevos Rancheros for brunch or dinner.
But anytime you eat this, you’ll want to say yippee-ki-yay.
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
When dinner time rolls around on a weeknight, veggie dishes can be a great go-to. Especially if you’ve been eating less than optimally during the day.
This stir fry (aka sauté or skillet dish) is ready to step up. It doesn’t take much prep work and the cooking time is fairly brief. So you can whip up dinner in a jiffy.
That’s our kind of short-order cooking.
Wednesday, April 13, 2022
Springtime means lettuce at its freshest. Hence this soup.
The name says “creamy,” but that doesn’t mean heavy. We add just a touch of cream (which you can omit if you want). So this is almost a diet dish!
Because if it’s spring, swimsuit season is just around the corner. Enough said.
Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Ah, spring! Balmy days, chilly nights. And the welcome appearance of flowers.
Like tulips. So the Tulip Cocktail would make a terrific springtime tipple, no?
It’s a wonderful mixture of French calvados (or American applejack), sweet vermouth, apricot liqueur, and lemon juice.
The Tulip Cocktail is a bit on the sweet side, but far from cloying – which makes it a delightful predinner drink. Floral, you might say.
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
It’s “shoulder season” in our part of the world. We’re still getting good-quality winter produce, and just starting to see spring favorites.
So this salad celebrates late-season fennel and apples. We mix them with celery and a lemony vinaigrette, then top it off with succulent smoked salmon.
It’s the beginning of a great company meal. And maybe a beautiful food friendship.
Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Clam chowder is a double classic, featuring both a creamy New England style and a brothy Manhattan version.
We love all that cream in the New England version, but its rich heartiness makes it a winter dish for us. Come spring, we like lighter, healthier Manhattan Clam Chowder. Plus, it’s a great way to load up on vegetables.
Serve this for dinner and you’ll know where the saying “happy as a clam” comes from.
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Shakshuka (aka shakshouka or chakchouka) is a spicy tomato stew that features a garnish of cooked eggs.
The dish probably originated in North Africa. Today, versions of it are found throughout the Mediterranean region. The basics of the dish remain the same no matter where it’s found, but the end flavor can vary.
We decided to put our own Creole-spiced spin on shakshuka, giving it a New Orleans vibe. Jazzy, in other words.
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Need easy vegan for Meatless Monday? Or maybe for hosting vegan friends? We have just what you’re looking for.
It’s a mix of cooked wheat berries, white beans, mushrooms, and fresh spinach. Add some herbs for extra flavor, and you have a luscious main dish that everyone at the table will like.
Healthy flavor. It’s what’s for dinner.
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
This drink features Irish whiskey and sweet vermouth (so it resembles a Celtic Manhattan). But there’s also green Chartreuse liqueur in the mix – which makes for an extra tangy drink.
And who can resist tangy?
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Ready for some pancakes (aka griddlecakes)? Now’s the perfect season. Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) is next week – and pancakes traditionally are on the menu.
These buckwheat beauties take pancakes up a notch. Because we like to buck the trend.
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Can the world ever have too much chili? We think not. Especially during these long, cold winter months.
Chili is often heavy on meat, but it doesn’t need to be. Much of its rich flavor actually comes from dried chile powder or fresh chile peppers. So it’s well suited to vegetarian or vegan variations. Meaning everyone can enjoy it.
So when it’s chilly out, you need chili in (your bowl).
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Seasoned, saucy, and tomato-fueled, Sloppy Joes are ground beef fun on a bun.
But we like to play with our food, so we couldn’t resist a few tweaks. The result is a Tex-Mex casserole version that adds spicy flavor and a presentation twist.
Kids will love these. But maybe have Margaritas on hand for the grownups in the room.
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Heering Cherry Liqueur and absinthe add spice to this Manhattan variant
The USS Maine was a battleship that exploded and sank in Havana Harbor in February 1898, during Cuba’s war for independence. Soon afterwards, “Remember the Maine!” became a rallying cry that pushed the US to war with Spain. We’ll provide more history in the Notes – but right now we want to discuss how good this drink is.
It’s a magical mixture of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Heering Cherry Liqueur, plus a touch of absinthe. So it’s a Manhattan Cocktail with extra zing.
The flavor will explode on your tongue. Fitting, we suppose.
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Spinach, mushrooms, and meat flavor this San Francisco classic
This dish, beloved on the US west coast, was created at Original Joe’s Restaurant in San Francisco.
It looks like breakfast fare. But the dish is so hearty and filling that it may work better for lunch or dinner.
It certainly does for us, because we’re just not that hungry first thing in the morning. Plus, if you serve it for dinner, you can pair it with an alcoholic accompaniment. Win win.
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Need luscious comfort food in a hurry? Pasta to the rescue!
This dish cooks so quickly that it’s ideal for weeknight dinner. But it’s tasty enough for weekend company, too.
So whenever you make this, buon appetito!
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Need a cream soup that’s not a calorie bomb? We’re here for you. Our Cream of Celeriac (aka Celery Root) and Celery Soup is hearty but not overly filling.
Which means you can enjoy this as a first course, and still have plenty of room for the main and dessert.
Perfect for warming up your guests.
Wednesday, January 5, 2022
This “morning after” drink delivers great flavor any time of day
Happy New Year! Still feeling the effects of late-night revelry? We’ve got a restorative beverage for you.
Some say the Eye Opener Cocktail is the perfect pick-me-up after a night that ended in the early hours of the morning. Because it contains an egg yolk, some might call it a health drink, too.
We just consider it a fun drink with interesting flavor. And it’s a bit of a conversation starter – that is, if you’re up for conversation after that wild New Year’s Eve you celebrated.