Corn Waffles with Warm Lobster Salad for a Summer Brunch


“Brunch:  the socially acceptable excuse to drink before noon.”  Anonymous

“Brunch for me, is an extended breakfast that should be enjoyed whenever you have time properly to engage in cooking and eating.” Yotam Ottolenghi

Throwing a brunch is one of our favorite ways to entertain in a more relaxed way.  Throwing a brunch in the garden, well, that puts me in my happy place!

A year ago Prince Charming dropped the hint he’d really love to try these corn waffles with warm lobster salad from Boston restaurateur Jeremy Sewall.  Corn season had already passed so I filed the recipe and I waited until fresh corn and lobster were in season again to try it.  It was the star of a recent summer brunch menu where it won rave reviews.  It is a quintessential summer dish.  The waffles, chock full of freshly shucked corn, were outstanding.  Topped with lobster salad?  Out of this world!  Thick, fluffy and with a terrific texture, these waffles were the best I ever tasted.  I added pancetta and Old Bay seasoning to the original lobster salad recipe and more herbs to the crème fraîche.  The lobster salad comes together in minutes and was a fresh, light addition to a more traditional waffle meal. Continue reading

Summer Entertaining: Throwing a BBQ Party for a Crowd


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

Grilled Cornish Game Hens with Chimichurri Sauce


“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

Citrus and Fennel Cured Salmon


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

Strawberry~Shortcake Cookies


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.

image Continue reading

Strawberry~Chèvre Arugula Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing


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

Deedee’s Best Pulled Pork~ Summer Crockpot Cooking


“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