Scallion~Potato Fritters with Spicy Mustard Dip


I am often asked what is my favorite cookbook.  The truth is I don’t often use cookbooks but am seduced to try recipes featured in the splashy pages of magazines or food blogs.  An exception to this is a tattered, much loved cookbook that has travelled with me through moves across countries and homes.  It is rather plain and has nary a photograph in it.  It is the cookbook “Greene on Greens” by Bert Greene, a food columnist and author who died in 1988. Continue reading

Asparagus and Caramelized Shallot Deep Dish Quiche


The recipe for this quiche was born from what was available in the fridge at the time, the way most of my cooking usually goes.  Caramelized shallots layered in the bottom of the quiche add a depth of flavor which does not over power the tender spring asparagus. Continue reading

Easy Provençal Leg of Lamb


“It was a pleasure to feel one’s self in Provence again-the land where the silver-grey earth is impregnated with the light of the sky.”  Henry James

This recipe originated in Paris from Ina Garten’s friend Myriam Richard-Delorme.  Its simplicity of preparation earned it a place  in The Barefoot Contessa’s “How Easy Is That” cookbook.  A leg of lamb is placed in a roasting pot, rubbed with a Dijon- rosemary-garlic paste, smothered in tons of onions, garlic, fresh chopped up tomatoes and drizzled with honey to caramelize the roast without having to brown it first.  The result is a succulent, moist lamb with a flavorful sauce. Continue reading

Asparagus and Shrimp Microwave Risotto


Although risottos are often associated with colder weather this recipe is bursting with spring flavors and colors:  in-season asparagus, fresh dill and lemony shrimp.  I call it the cheater’s  risotto since, unlike stove-top risottos that require non stop stirring, this recipe is done start to finish in the microwave with just a couple of quick stirrings. Continue reading

Avocado Toast

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”
― A.A. Milne

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  This is more a how-to-make-this-fantastic-avocado-toast than a true recipe.  So simple, it can hardly be called a recipe. Continue reading

Provençal Mahi~Mahi En Papillote


“Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?”  Peter Mayle, A Year in Provence

Cooking “En papillote”  is a fancy way to say a  dish is cooked in a packet, usually made out of parchment paper, which seals in all the flavorful juices as it bakes.  It is so easy, it can get a weeknight meal on the table in mere minutes. Continue reading

Spring Bouquet In a Radicchio Vase~DIY Flower Arranging Tutorial


“A house with daffodils in it is a house lit up, whether or not the sun be shining outside.”  A.A. Milne

All at once my garden has burst into bloom and there are so many gorgeous flowers to cut and arrange.  Overnight the daffodils, Ice Follies, have opened up and are in abundance for cutting.  I love using unusual containers for flower arranging.   I thought the purple of a head of radicchio would compliment these white and yellow beauties and suit their size. Continue reading

Spring Pea and Edamame Salad with Shaved Pecorino


This salad is one of my favorite spring dishes and always very popular.  It is a salad that holds up well, can easily be adapted for a crowd and really livens up a box lunch.  Its bright citrusy notes with fresh mint satisfy our spring cravings for fresh flavors.  It is great on its own or as a side.

There are many ways to modify the recipe.  I have made it with all edamame, red onions instead of scallions and feta cheese instead of pecorino.  The possibilities are endless.  Make it totally your own!

The nutitional punch this salad packs is impressive.  Edamame is one of of those star legumes:  good source of protein, high in fiber, rich in vitamins A and C and a good source of iron and calcium.  Just 1/2 cup provides the fiber of 4 slices of whole wheat bread and the iron of a 4 oz  chicken breast!(WebMD)  Fava beans are a great source of folate and manganese as well as fiber and iron.(   This salad is not only tasty, it totally rocks on the nutritional front!

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Forcing Branches Indoor


“The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.  The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.”  Henry Van Dyke

Many cold-weary plant lovers can force branches for a taste of spring.  Forcing branches indoors is a rewarding gardening project when it is still too cold to be digging in the dirt.  Cut branches offer a sculptural simplicity in of themselves and provide stark arrangements with no need to embellish with other flowers or foliage. Continue reading

Peeps Show: Baked Peanut Butter Chocolate S’Mores


This is the first year the Easter bunny has not left baskets for the ummm….”kids”.  Their American grandparents had started the tradition of including Peeps in their Easter baskets more than 20 years ago.  That is a lot of Peeps over the years!   Now I can’t quite imagine Easter without this marshmallow confection.  So when I found Jessica Merchant’s hilarious post about this recipe, I knew it would be a fun way to still have Peeps at Easter.  It takes all of 5 minutes to assemble and 5 minutes to bake.

Continue reading