Summer is the season of relaxed entertaining. Bringing the party outdoors creates a memorable setting with each garden inspiring its own style. From a suburbian backyard, to a tiny urban terrace to a vast country acreage, the outdoors offers a canvas for creative entertaining. No one throws a better party than my garden club friends. To highlight garden party guidelines, join me at our recent garden club social, held on a member’s gorgeous farm property. Continue reading →
“Take Monday Off” read the subject line of an email my husband had sent to me on the last day of a beach vacation without him. Thinking he had forwarded a link to a travel review for a weekend escape in the famous Wall Street Journal column of the same name, I opened the link to find a dozen close up photographs documenting the step-by-steps execution of the Williams-Sonoma Grilled Cornish Game Hens with Chimichurri sauce recipe and a note saying “I tried my best.” Well if that is not love, I don’t know what is! Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I present my guest chef, Chris Hardinger, and his very fine contribution to the blog. He did say the recipe was a lot of work but this taste tester declares it was worth it! Delicious, different and company-worthy. I just might go away more often! Continue reading →
Cured salmon also known as gravlax is a silky smooth salmon cured in a mixture of salt, sugar and spices. It is Nordic in origin and its preparation goes back to the Middle Ages. In ancient times the salmon was fermented and salted then buried in sand, hence the name “grava” , to dig. Essentially the salmon is coated in the brining mixture then tightly wrapped in plastic film, placed under a weight and refrigerated for 2-3 days(if your fillet is thinner or not very fatty, reduce the curing time). Salt draws the moisture out of the salmon’s flesh, changing its texture and taste. The weight helps draw moisture out and infuse flavor into the fish. At the end of the curing period, rinse the salmon and slice thinly to enjoy. The first time you try curing your own salmon, start with a classic mix of seasonings such as lemon and dill. Continue reading →
If you are looking for a version of the classic springtime dessert that can travel, these soft cookies are for you! These not-too-sweet cookies are made with cream and studded with chunks of fresh strawberries in a biscuit-like dough, evoking the famous dessert they are named after. This portable treat is more like a scone than a true cookie.
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One of spring’s greatest joy is the arrival of local strawberries. Plump, ruby red and oh-so-sweet, they are worth waiting for all year! One bite and you know this is how strawberries were made to taste! After eating my fill of luscious berries one-by-one from their slender stems, the windfall of sweet juicy berries begged to be showcased in a recipe where their sweetness could be enjoyed simply.
I decided on a big layered salad. Continue reading →
“Summertime, and the livn’ is easy.” Ella Fitzgerald
Even with rising temperatures, don’t put away the crockpot! More often associated with cold weather cooking, the crockpot is your best summer secret weapon to get dinner on the table while you are out enjoying summer activities. With the additional bonus of not heating up the kitchen as much as conventional oven cooking, crockpot cooking makes perfect sense in the hot summer months. If your family mostly grills in the summer, the crockpot can be put into action for sides like baked beans(recipe here).
Whenever I make pulled pork, I scan the refrigerator for sorry looking condiment jars with dredges of their original contents. Pulled pork is an occasion to clean out the fridge. Continue reading →