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

Gingerbread Financiers

Are you the kind of person who loves to cook but doesn’t always have a lot of time during the week?  Well, “The Weekend Kitchen” might be for you.  Every second Friday I will feature a weekend-oriented post, with a recipe(s) that you can tackle at a more leisurely pace when you have time on your hands.  It might be something that requires some advanced preparation, or multiple steps, or just a little more time than the ordinary weekday cooking.  You get the picture?  In the weeks to come we could be braising, preserving, baking (in big batches), getting ready for the holidays, making fresh pasta, hosting a dinner party…there is no end to the possibilities.  Let’s start with these amazing gingerbread financiers.   read more

Compound Butter

Compound butter is one of the easiest ways to add a punch of flavor to cooked vegetables, steak, chops, and fish.  And, it’s terrific slathered on good bread.  It consists of softened butter to which you add several complimentary, flavor-packed ingredients.  Garlic and herbs are the most popular choices, but you are only limited by your imagination.  Savory and sweet spices, citrus zest and juice, honey, brown sugar, mushrooms, artichokes; these are all components of compound butters that I have enjoyed.  But this is the first time I’ve made compound butter with black garlic. read more