Maple Walnut Shortbread

Most of the brilliant fall colors are gone, and today it’s cold and grey.  As I walked around the yard and saw this solitary leaf on the sidewalk, the words of an old song came to mind:


“All the leaves are brown, and the skies are grey”.  Three weeks ago the trees were just beginning to lose their leaves and I noticed this abandoned bird’s nest that had been hidden by the foliage.  read more

Crepes and apples

Weekends are the ideal time to enjoy a leisurely breakfast, and these crepes are perfect for just that.  What I love most about crepes (besides the taste) is the lovely, lacy look of them, with their slightly ragged and crispy edges.  Crepes are the ultimate do-ahead dish, because, ideally, you must make the batter and refrigerate it before you assemble your crepes.   read more

jam turnovers

Why are family recipes so important?  Memories, of course.  Memories of the person who made those special dishes and the times you spent together.  I’ve come to the conclusion that, even if my version of my Grandmother’s turnovers isn’t exactly like hers, the goal is still the same.  And, that is to nourish those precious memories, of her and the good times we all spent as a large extended family. read more

Dakota bread

Do you love whole grain breads?  Here’s a recipe that will meet all the criteria for a delicious, easy to make, beautiful crusty loaf of multigrain bread.  It won’t take all day to make and it won’t involve an ingredient list as long as your arm.  And, the texture is chewy and coarse, without having the heft of a doorstop.   read more

Chocolate pudding

It’s major comfort food time here.  The weather has been cool and rainy and dreary.  Here’s the perfect way to cheer up your loved ones:  homemade chocolate pudding.  This one bears no resemblance to the instant and packaged versions that some of us grew up with. read more

Braised beef

Braising is one of my favorite cooking methods, but, it is time-consuming.  What I find really rewarding though is the fact that you can take humble and relatively inexpensive items and make them really special.  It’s the magic of long, slow cooking that will elevate those simple ingredients to the level of sublime.  And, as the seasons begin to change, braised dishes offer the ultimate in cool-weather comfort food.

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Broccoli with sauce

I admit it:  broccoli is not my favorite vegetable.  I cooked it for many years because it was one that the children would eat, but I was unimpressed.  Lately I’ve been cultivating a new and improved relationship with broccoli, and all the other broccoli-related greens.  One of our favorite pasta dishes is orecchiette  with rapini and sausage.  I like to stir-fry broccolini with chiles and garlic.  Sometimes these greens end up atop a pizza, complimented by the taste of melting rich cheese.  So, by adding my favorite broccoli “flavor pals” to some lightly steamed florets, I came up with a new and delicious way to prepare ordinary broccoli.  read more