Wednesday, November 12, 2014

We’re back in the kitchen!


At the end of July we packed up our kitchen and moved it, along with the rest of our life, to the Coachella Valley in Southern California. Michigan had been our home for the last twenty years but after experiencing our first “polar vortex” and all that entails, we decided we had had enough.

Settling into our new home has consumed the lion’s share of our energies until this time but now we’re ready to get back in the kitchen and begin cooking again. Our change of venue won’t alter our food strategies; we remain committed to preparing dishes that invoke the foods we love with a more natural and healthier slant.

We are looking forward to adding more dishes to our repertoire that are based upon the local cuisine of the southwest as well as continuing to find inspiration in new culinary experiences. To help you avoid unnecessary additives found in pre-packaged foods we will persist in stressing the use of homemade ingredients whenever possible and practical.

So keep checking back with us here as we document our ongoing adventures in food and as always we welcome your feedback.

Cannellini and Escarole Soup

Cannellini and Escarole Soup

Whether you prepare Consommé, Bisque, Chowder or just Soup, you’re making something that just about everyone loves. 
Some soups, especially intense and clarified consommés or rich and creamy bisques are usually served as one of several courses in a meal. Others are equally appropriate occupying the “soup course” or as the star of the meal. 


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Baked Scampi

Baked Scampi


Here’s a dish that is so easy to prepare you’ll feel guilty when your dinner companion raves about it. The flavor combination of tarragon, garlic and lemon are a natural with just about any mild seafood. We use them all sparingly to avoid overpowering the distinctive but delicate taste of the shrimp.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Simply Roasted Asparagus

Roasted Asparagus

Number one on the list of the simplest things you can make in your kitchen is boiled water. Tap, pot, heat, done. Number two has got to be this dish. But roasted asparagus has boiled water beat, hands-down, when it comes to delicious things to eat. Frankly, asparagus prepared and served in any way is pretty okay in my book.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dirty Potato Salad

Dirty Potato Salad

Most potato salads have a nice, “linen” color. This one does not. Looks however, can be deceiving. Instead of boiling the potatoes we grill them until they are nicely charred, and mixing that flavorful carbonization with the pristine mayonnaise and sour cream doesn’t exactly look laundry fresh!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Roasted Broccoli Bits

Roasted Broccoli

There’s not a lot to say about Broccoli. Some people don’t like it and the most famous person to emphatically state his aversion to the humble vegetable was the 41st President of The United States, George H.W. Bush. He said he hadn’t like it since his mother made him eat it. My guess is that she, like many other people, didn’t know that you can do something other than steam Broccoli.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Roasted Golden Beets

Roasted Golden Beets

If a root vegetable is going to be cooked, in my opinion there’s no better way to do it than roasting. Any vegetable that can stand up to this cooking method will retain its own distinctive taste, its inherent sweetness is enhanced and it will become tender without giving up its natural texture. It’s also super simple and requires next to no attention; so you can spend more time with other, more complicated parts of your meal preparation.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Broiled Shrimp Cocktail

Broiled Shrimp Cocktail

Served as an appetizer, fish course, main course or mounded on a buffet, ice cold shrimp with a spicy seafood cocktail sauce is loved by everyone. My apologies to those with shellfish allergies, but then those poor souls are probably not reading this recipe.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Garlic Lemon Kohlrabi

Garlic Lemon Kohlrabi

How many times have you passed over this extremely versatile, albeit odd-looking, vegetable while strolling through your local farmer’s market or produce department? Sure it looks more like Sputnik than most vegetables - okay it’s the only vegetable that resembles a 1950’s Soviet satellite, but that’s no reason to shun it!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sweet and Sassy Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet is a nice word. It makes you think of nice things. Sour is not as nice a word. It makes you want to clench your jaw and pucker. And sassy is a kind of naughty word. It makes you giggle.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Black Bean Maque Choux with Cajun Chicken

Black Bean Maque Choux with Cajun Chicken

Maque Choux, pronounced “mock shoe”, is traditionally thought to have come to us through the courtesy of the original French Acadians who migrated from Canada to Louisiana and the Caddo Nation Native Americans who introduced them to corn. I’m just grateful that someone had the good sense to invent this dish!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Coconut Curry Chicken

Coconut Curry Chicken

Sometimes, when developing a recipe, I’ll begin with the idea of what I would like the dish to become. In this case I knew I wanted the essences of curry and coconut. Now comes the fun part; I get to smell all kinds of wonderful things! I started by sniffing some shredded coconut that I keep on hand for making granola.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Italian Beef Sandwich - Chicago Style

Italian Beef Sandwich - Chicago Style

There are things that people do when they travel. You can call them traditions or habits or even superstitions. We’ve all seen photographs of the Pope, kissing the tarmac upon descending from an airplane. For me, it’s about food. (I know, who’da figured?)

Nonna’s Italian Giardiniera


Italian Giardiniera

Giardiniera is a staple condiment found anywhere in Chicago where you can get an Italian Beef sandwich. You can usually choose a hot or mild version of this delicacy depending on your tolerance for heat. My recipe is pretty much right in the middle. Aside from a sandwich condiment, Giardiniera can also be included in Antipasto or just served as a side for just about any dish hot or cold.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Chicken Puff Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

When I was growing up, chicken and other pot pies were not a homemade meal. Instead they came from companies like Swanson® and Banquet® to be served when mom didn’t have time to make dinner. But somehow, since that time, pot pies moved out of the frozen dinner category and into the realm of comfort food.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Parmesan Crunch Chicken Breast 




Parmesan Crunch Chicken Breast 


Boneless, skinless chicken is convenient, healthy, fast cooking and adaptable to a wide variety of uses. The problem is that much of the chicken character is missing because the bone and skin are well, “less”. So, when we prepare these healthier alternatives to their intact relatives, we have to add some sparkle and pizzazz.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cheddar Drop Biscuits

Cheddar Drop Biscuits

It seems that cheesy biscuits have become a “signature” item at every chain restaurant. They’ve become so popular that several chains now sell their own mixes so you can enjoy these treats at home.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spicy Drunken Shrimp

 
There is a little place tucked away in Homosassa, Florida named The Freezer Tiki Bar. This recipe was inspired by their most popular menu item that keeps locals, and visitors who are lucky enough to find out about the place, coming back again and again.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Split Pea Soup with Roasted Vegetables

Split Pea Soup with Roasted Vegetables

Soup can be made two ways. You can throw everything in a kettle and let it simmer for hours with very little supervision or you can finesse it into life in about an hour. This is one of the latter – you’ll be tending this most of the way through as you layer it with good things, some which just might surprise you.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pulled Pork Stuffed Buns

Pulled Pork Stuffed Buns

These gems are prefect for your next Super Bowl party or any game day buffet. The recipe is flexible enough to let you prepare hearty handful sized portions or smaller two bite nibblers. We begin by preparing our pulled pork in a slow cooker with a recipe so simple you’ll wonder what got left out. One of the many plusses of this recipe is that the meat cooks completely unattended and then you put it away for a day or two until you’re ready to use it. On game day, the hands-on preparation is super simple and leaves you with plenty of time to prep the house for guests.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Garlicky Garlic Meatloaf

Garlicky Garlic Meatloaf

Meatloaves are simple to make, quick to assemble, unpretentious to serve and everyone loves them! The simplicity comes from the choice of ingredients – just about anything you would serve with a meatloaf can go inside a meatloaf or you can keep it modest and let the flavor come from herbs and spices or simply your choice of meats.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Chicken Cutlets with Mushroom Sauce and Wilted Spinach

Chicken Cutlets with Mushroom Sauce and Wilted Spinach

Chicken simply seasoned, lightly floured and sautéed until crisp? Heaven! Anything with mushrooms, seriously, I love that! I grew up watching Popeye the Sailor and always ate my spinach and still do – as often as I can!