Potato Salad with Lemon, Rosemary & Pancetta

Piquant Potato SaladPotato Salad with Lemon, Rosemary & Pancetta Soup and Salad When it comes to potatoes, there aren’t many tuber techniques we won’t at least try once.  That includes one that has become a summer side favorite over the years … Potato Salad with Lemon, Rosemary & Pancetta.  This potato salad pairs perfectly with everything from Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken to Mr. C’s Grilled Flank Steak. Try to use a Meyer lemon, which has a nice sweet, lemony flavor that you won’t get from a regular lemon. We are fortunate that the neighbor’s lemon tree hangs over into our yard, providing Meyer lemons for most of the year. As for the rosemary, if you have room in your garden … Read more…

Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole and Cilantro Slaw

Marvelous Meatless BurgerSpicy Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole and Cilantro Slaw Main With meatless burgers becoming more and more popular, I decided to try these burgers for a meatless Monday.  Although Tom is a registered meat-aholic, he was on board with my experiment, because he likes beans and also acknowledged that we should try to eat a little healthier. This recipe from Southern Living calls for baking the beans first to dehydrate them and then refrigerating the patties before cooking so they don’t crumble when cooked. Sounded good to me! I followed the recipe exactly the first time and they were good, but I knew they could be better. I am currently obsessed with Trader Joe’s Italian Bomba Hot Pepper … Read more…

Scrambled Eggs, Bacon and Cheddar Breakfast Crescent Roll Ring

Bringing Home The Bacon … and Eggs … and Cheese Scrambled Eggs, Bacon and Cheddar Breakfast Crescent Roll Ring Breakfast After salivating over a Kerrygold ad that featured an egg crescent ring dish, I emailed Kerrygold and they sent me the recipe together with some coupons! I had not tried either of the sweet cheddar cheeses called for in the recipe — Dubliner and Skellig — but they were both so good we will be adding them to our charcuterie platters from now on. The Skellig is “produced with milk from grass-fed cows that graze on the green lush pastures of Ireland. Kerrygold Skellig is for the real cheese lover; it delivers exceptional flavor – rich and tangy, with a … Read more…

Strawberry Balsamic Bruschetta on Cinnamon Sugar Crostini

Sweet Strawberry StarterStrawberry Balsamic Bruschetta on Cinnamon Sugar Crostini Starter Here is a recipe I came across in one of my favorite food magazines, Fine Cooking. With flowers blooming and strawberry season pumping into high gear, this would be the perfect appetizer at that Mother’s Day brunch you’re hosting for your mom this year. So happy to SEE everyone at last! What sets this recipe apart is the cinnamon sugar crostini. Toast the baguette slices in the broiler for one minute. Take them out to cool and then spread the other side with the cinnamon sugar butter … Yes, cinnamon sugar butter! Return to the broiler for one more minute until the toast is bubbling and golden brown. Don’t walk … Read more…

Mr. C’s Strawberries Armagnac

A Berry Boozy Dessert Mr. C’s Strawberries Armagnac Dessert Just when I thought I didn’t have any more recipes from my late stepfather Mr. C, I rediscovered this delicious way to serve those gorgeous strawberries that are just coming into season. I love the first berries of spring as they are so big and juicy, and ooze strawberry deliciousness. There is a lot of booze in this recipe, and I do not have a substitute for any of it, so I would not serve this to any of the under-21 set. (You don’t need to use the bottle of cognac below that we were told by a server cost $3,000 at the bar in Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City … Read more…

Guinness Chocolate Pudding with Irish Whiskey Whipped Cream

The Proof Is More Than In The PuddingGuinness Chocolate Pudding with Irish Whiskey Whipped Cream Dessert Here is a recipe I found on BBC Goodfood, which uses rich dark chocolate and Guinness stout. Guinness is Tom’s favorite beer, and I love chocolate! It seemed like a good recipe to attempt for St. Patrick’s Day. I think it is better than lava cake … light, yet super chocolatey that falls somewhere between a brownie and a truffle … Wow! I combined a bar of Lindt 85% cocoa dark chocolate with a Lindt dark chocolate sea salt bar. The Lindt flavored dark chocolates are only 47% cocoa so be sure to use at least one bar of the 70% or greater. Next … Read more…

Irish Amy’s Potato Leek Soup

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling Irish Amy’s Potato Leek Soup Soup and Salad My mom’s nickname was “Irish.” Her father was Emerson Carey, how much more Irish is that? She told us she was 95% Irish and 5% Scottish, and I know her favorite holiday was St. Patrick’s Day. When I learned Ireland has a deal where you can obtain dual citizenship and move there if your grandparents were from Ireland, I looked into it. Imagine how disappointed I was to learn that my grandparents were born in Kansas. No Irish retirement for us. Anyway, my mom made the best potato leek soup … warm, velvety, creamy. This may even have been the recipe that cinched the deal with my … Read more…

Old-Fashioned Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies

Just Like Mom Used To Make Old-Fashioned Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies Dessert This recipe for peanut butter cookies is from my mom’s very first cookbook, Miss B’s First Cookbook, which she received in 1950.  My mom would have been eight at that time, so I suspect the crayon markings all over the book are mine.                      These are the cookies I grew up with. It was my job to press the fork tines into the cookies to form the hatch marks. I love the first instruction: “Have Mother light the oven …” I have updated the recipe a tad using butter instead of shortening and adding ground dry roasted peanuts to boost … Read more…

Mushroom Leek Gruyère Soup with Puff Pastry Top

Chase The Winter Chill Away Soup Mushroom Leek Gruyère Soup with Puff Pastry Top Soup and Salad As soon as the calendar said it was winter, Tom started begging me to make soup. Mushroom Leek Gruyère Soup is a recipe I haven’t made in some time, but it is a yummy, hardy, delicious, chase the winter chill away soup. Plus, it is just as good with or without the puff pastry top. I found this recipe in a 2001 Holiday Cooking magazine, and I pretty much make the recipe as indicated. The recipe does not specify which type of mushroom to use, but we like Cremini mushrooms which are brown and have a slightly nutty flavor. Buy your mushrooms whole, … Read more…

Emeril’s Hot Jalapeño Crab Dip

Creole Crab Emeril’s Hot Jalapeño Crab Dip Starter Just in time for your New Year’s Eve soirée! This elegant, creamy hot crab dip from Emeril is just what you need to nibble with champagne. Tom’s nephew brought this dip to Thanksgiving many, many years ago. It was so AMAZING, and I loved it so much, that he bought me Emeril’s Creole Christmas cookbook as a gift that same year (although the dip recipe is not in there, there are lots of yummy recipes and menu ideas). It must have been 1997 as that was the year the cookbook came out. Emeril is practically unrecognizable!                                 … Read more…