Ania’s Polish Potato Salad

Polish Potato Perfection Ania’s Polish Potato Salad Side  Our recipe is courtesy of a former co-worker, Ania, who brought this to a potluck 25 years ago.  It was the one of the best potato salads I had ever tasted, but it was different from most potato salads I grew up with. This is really light on the mayo and mustard, so the vegetables and apples really shine. The first thing I noticed about Ania’s salad was how each ingredient was neatly diced.  It looked like it took hours to prepare the ingredients. Ania told me the secret is to use an egg slicer to evenly slice the potatoes and apples.  My salad does not even come close to the appearance … Read more…

Mr. C’s Creamy Coleslaw

It’s All In The Dressing Mr. C’s Creamy Coleslaw Side Here is another fabulous recipe from my late stepfather Mr. C. This dish pairs perfectly with his Grilled Flank Steak with Chile, Cinnamon and Cumin Marinade. I wish I had more of his recipes, but this is the last one I have been able to locate. The secret ingredient in this creamy dressing is Bernstein’s Italian Salad Dressing!  Since it only calls for five tablespoons, Mr. C would frequently use the remaining Bernstein’s to marinate fish and then grill for yet another delicious dinner. Quick tip on shredding the cabbage: Remove any wilted outer leaves. Cut the cabbage head in quarters and remove the tough white core. Separate the remaining … Read more…

Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

Frankie & Remi Turn 12 Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Dog Biscuits Dog Treats Frankie and Remi turn 12 on June 18. While we usually have a dog party with friends Kona and Kaleia, this year we stayed home so they could practice social distancing.     Actually, I hate to say it but they are slowing down a tad. While we used to be able to take a four-mile hike, the mile around the block is more their speed these days.  Slow walks … … chasing the ball …                  … and barking is what they like to do best. Oh yeah, and eating! On past birthdays, I have made them the Barefoot … Read more…

Orange Chocolate Chunk Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Best.  Cake.  Ever! Orange Chocolate Chunk Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache Dessert I have been working from home since mid-March and, judging by the empty shelves of flour at the market, everyone but me has been baking! Thumbing through my cookbooks for inspiration, I came across the Barefoot Contessa’s Parties!, which was the first cookbook I ever purchased. Ina has a recipe for Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake with chocolate ganache that she said was a big hit at her store.  Yum! This recipe uses the zest from four oranges together with fresh squeezed orange juice and buttermilk to make a delightfully moist, citrusy Bundt cake with big chunks of chocolate and, as if that isn’t enough, the moistness is sealed … Read more…

Bacon Burgers with Pancetta and Balsamic Onion Jam

Bringing Home The Bacon … Burgers! Bacon Burgers with Pancetta and Balsamic Onion Jam Main WOW… what more can you say about this recipe we found in the Fine Cooking Grilling 2016 issue?  We think we make pretty, darn tasty burgers, but this recipe blew them all away and is well worth the effort (actually, pretty minimal effort) of making the Pancetta and Balsamic Onion Jam.  Of course, if bacon is not your thing, then this recipe isn’t for you. The Fine Cooking recipe is for bacon burgers with bacon, onion, balsamic jam but we are really more pancetta fans. After first discovering pancetta on a long-ago trip to Italy, I almost always use pancetta when a recipe calls for … Read more…

Strawberry Leche de Madre

Blended Brunch Delight Strawberry Leche de Madre Cocktail The saga of the evolution of today’s refreshing brunch cocktail is somewhat muddled in time, but its path to me is thanks to a friend of my parents, a famed Hollywood and Las Vegas set designer, who also had a connection with some bigwigs at Jose Cuervo in Puerto Vallarta. My dad was a custom house broker, and his company imported costumes for the Lido de Paris at the old Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas in the 1970s. The art director who designed the elaborate and huge sets for that show was Harvey Warren. Soon, my parents became good friends with Harvey and his wife Marge, not to mention Madame Bluebell (Margaret … Read more…

Potato, Soy Chorizo and Veggie Hash with Eggs

Breakfast For Dinner  Potato, Soy Chorizo and Veggie Hash with Eggs Dinner  Breakfast, it’s what’s for dinner!  After a long day, there are times we just can’t figure out what we want for dinner. Truth be told, it happens to us a lot. It’s on those nights that we tend to gravitate off the dinner grid toward making something that might be considered breakfast. Here’s another oldie but goodie that we make all the time. Use whatever vegetables you like best or have on hand, but you can never go wrong with a good base of onions and bell peppers. If you leave the chorizo out, spice up your veggies with some cumin, chili powder and dried oregano. You get … Read more…

Three Carrot Recipes for Spring: Mary’s Roasted Carrots with Thyme and Brown Sugar; Roasted Carrots and Oranges with Cumin and Toasted Walnuts; and The Barefoot Contessa’s Orange-Braised Carrots and Parsnips

Carrots … Let Me Count The Ways Three Carrot Recipes for Spring:  Mary’s Roasted Carrots with Thyme and Brown Sugar; Roasted Carrots and Oranges with Cumin and Toasted Walnuts; and The Barefoot Contessa’s Orange-Braised Carrots and Parsnips Side Here are three recipes for your spring table (or any time!). One recipe braises the carrots with parsnips and orange juice. The other two recipes are for roasted carrots, one with orange slices and cumin topped with refreshing Greek yogurt and toasted nuts; the other is from my friend Mary who roasts her carrots with olive oil, thyme and brown sugar. All three of these vibrant, jewel-toned dishes remind me of spring, are delicious, super easy to make and get bonus points … Read more…

Tom’s Gruyère Mac and Cheese

Almost Like Being In Switzerland Tom’s Gruyère Mac and Cheese Main While visiting the Château de Gruyères in Switzerland in 2003, the skies opened with such a torrential downpour that we had to duck inside a nearby quaint restaurant for lunch. On the menu was an incredible Gruyère Macaroni and Cheese served in a large wooden bowl that I have continually tried to replicate over these many years (constantly evolving). The entire success of this dish depends on the quality and type of cheese you use.  Use a good quality Gruyère cheese; don’t use the American version of Swiss cheese as it is missing the buttery, nutty flavor of the Gruyère.  I know it is a pain (literally when I scrape my … Read more…

Irish Coffee

“Top o’ the Mornin’ to ya!” Irish Coffee Cocktail According to The Guardian, “The Irish Coffee is relatively unusual among cocktails in having a clear and undisputed provenance: it was created in the winter of 1943 by Joe Sheridan, chef at Foynes Port in Limerick, for cold, weary passengers from a transatlantic flying boat forced to return to Ireland because of bad weather. The drink became an airport speciality and, after the war, was taken back to the States by a journalist from the San Francisco Chronicle, who persuaded his local bar, the Buena Vista Cafe, to recreate it for him. Today they claim to serve as many as 2,000 Irish coffees on busy days.” It just so happens, the … Read more…