Wednesday, June 29, 2022

The Sunshine Cocktail

The Sunshine Cocktail
Cool and refreshing, the perfect answer to summer’s heat

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

Smacked (Smashed) Cucumber Salad

Smacked (Smashed) Cucumber Salad
Spicy chili crisp livens up this classic Chinese side (or first course)

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

The Golden Cadillac Cocktail

The Golden Cadillac Cocktail
This retro celebration-in-a-glass makes a great dessert drink

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

White Bean and Fresh Greens Salad

 White Bean and Fresh Greens Salad

Arugula and spinach zip up this hearty summer salad

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

The Barbotage Cocktail

The Barbotage Cocktail
Made with sparkling wine, this drink is sort of like a Mimosa – but with more style

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

Seared Steak with Arugula and Spinach

Seared Steak with Arugula and Spinach
Fresh herbs, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice liven up this simple summer supper

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

Bacon Jam with Jalapeño

Bacon Jam with Jalapeño
A zesty spread for breakfast breads or predinner canapés

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

Pasta al Limone with Artichoke Hearts

Pasta al Limone with Artichoke Hearts
A lighter version of a classic – with a zesty flavor addition

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

The Knickerbocker Cocktail

The Knickerbocker Cocktail
This 19th century drink is kinda, sorta like a raspberry daiquiri

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

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros

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

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stir Fry

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stir Fry
Quick, healthy, and tasty – an ideal vegan weeknight dinner

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

Creamy Lettuce Soup

Creamy Lettuce Soup
Delightful springtime flavor in a quick and easy soup

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

The Tulip Cocktail

The Tulip Cocktail
This spring charmer uses calvados (or applejack)

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

Fennel and Apple Salad with Smoked Salmon

Fennel and Apple Salad with Smoked Salmon
Crisp, bright flavor makes this a terrific starter

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

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Manhattan Clam Chowder
This easy, vegetable-rich dish is made from pantry staples

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

Creole-Spiced Shakshuka

Creole-Spiced Shakshuka
Louisiana seasoning and andouille crank up this classic breakfast or dinner dish

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

Wheat Berry, White Bean, and Spinach Sauté

Wheat Berry, White Bean, and Spinach Sauté
Mushrooms add homerun flavor to this simple vegan dish

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

The Tipperary Cocktail

The Tipperary Cocktail
Irish whiskey makes this classic a natural for St. Patrick’s Day

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

Buckwheat Pancakes

Buckwheat Pancakes
Nutty and funky, buckwheat adds extra flavor to your morning pancakes

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

Wheat Berry Chili

Wheat Berry Chili
Tasty and warming, this vegan comfort dish is perfect for Meatless Monday

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

Tex-Mex Sloppy Joe Cobbler

Tex-Mex Sloppy Joe Cobbler
Fancy enough for your Super Bowl party, easy enough for weeknight dinner

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

The Remember the Maine Cocktail

The Remember the Maine Cocktail

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

Joe's Special Scrambled Eggs

Joe's Special Scrambled Eggs

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

Pasta with Peas, Prosciutto, and Cream

Pasta with Peas, Prosciutto, and Cream
This classic combo makes for a quick, tasty dinner

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

Cream of Celeriac and Celery Soup

Cream of Celeriac and Celery Soup
 A flavorful but not-too-rich winter starter

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

The Eye Opener Cocktail

The Eye Opener Cocktail

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.