• Thai red curry with chicken

    Thai Red Curry with Chicken

    I love curry. I love curry. I love curry. Do you get the sense that I love curry? Sometimes, I will go for an entire week and have it everyday. Making a good thai curry requires a little more than … Continue reading

  • peaches and burrata with pear balsamic

    Peaches and Burrata with Pear Balsamic

    I have this pear balsamic vinegar that is so delicious, I just want to find new dishes to use it on. I tried this spin on a traditional caprese using peaches instead of tomatoes and burrata cheese. Burrata is a … Continue reading

  • pork and sausage ragu with pappardelle

    Pappardelle with Sausage and Pork Ragu

    I love the idea of a great hearty Sunday dinner with the family or sometimes in our case, the neighborhood. In the summers, we set up a few long tables in our front yard and serve Sunday dinner at 5. … Continue reading

  • Curried Cauliflower Soup

    Curried Cauliflower Soup

    This soup has got a kick. My husband’s comment was, “This is good fire soup”. If you are sensitive to spice, you may want to take down the amount of curry paste you use. Ingredients 1 tablespoon ginger, minced 4 … Continue reading

  • arugula salad with proscuitto and poached eggs

    Arugula Salad with Proscuitto and Poached Eggs

    Here is a favorite for my husband to make for me on Mother’s Day. He loves anything with a poached egg and he is also the egg poaching master of the family. It is very easy to assemble and so … Continue reading

  • Spicy Edamame Recipe

    Spicy Edamame

    My daughter and I had these at a sushi restaurant and they were fantastic so I recreated it at home. They are packed with garlicky, spicy, sesame goodness. I think my daughter sat and mowed through about a pound of … Continue reading

  • chile braised pork

    Chile braised pork

    I have always loved a great enchilada sauce and the flavours in a great enchilada filling, but I don’t always want an enchilada. So I developed this recipe that combines all the things I love. I made it for a … Continue reading

  • spicy rosemary white bean dip

    Spicy Rosemary White Bean Dip

    I love the flavours in Tuscan Bean Soup, so I thought, hmm, maybe that would work as a dip. And it does! Great spread on crostini or for the carb conscious, just as great with veggies too. When I entertain, … Continue reading

  • gingerfriedrice_a8c6690a-0488-4844-a432-7e238249f93a_grande

    Ginger Fried Rice

    Here is a super simple but delicious fried rice. The eggs on top should be runny so you can mix it into the rice as you eat. We were fortunate enough to get these beauties from our friend Julie who … Continue reading

Mapo Tofu

I was always intimidated by the idea of making Chinese food because it seemed too difficult. I mean, its nearly impossible to get good Chinese take-out where I live so how could I possibly do better? But alas, I was forced to face my fears when we spun the globe and my daughter’s finger landed on Guiyang in the Sichuan province of China. So I popped open my laptop and was delighted to discover that one of our favorite Chinese dishes, Mapo Tofu could be on the menu. I grew up eating a version of this dish that is a fusion of Chinese and Korean cuisine. Korean Chinese cuisine was created by the ethnic Chinese population who lived in the Korean port city of Incheon and is for most Korean’s the only style of Chinese food they know. I am happy to report that the family thought this dish was in fact much better than what we find in the local Chinese joints around us. I double this recipe for our family and have a little leftover. It is super fast to make.

Serves 3-4


1 package of tofu, rinsed and patted dry
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 oz ground pork or beef (not lean)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons gochujang (korean chili paste)
1 tablespoon black bean garlic sauce
1 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 teaspoons water
4 scallions, chopped


Cut tofu into 3/4-inch cubes. Dissolve cornstarch in water and set aside.
Heat a wok over high heat and pour oil into the wok, pouring it down the side and swirling it to coat the bottom and side. Stir-fry the garlic and ground pork and brown the meat. Then add in black bean sauce, stock, soy sauce, gochujang, tofu and a pinch of salt. Stir in cornstarch mixture and simmer, gently stirring until combined, about 1 minute. Stir in scallions and simmer for another minute. Serve with steamed rice.

Chicken in Riesling Sauce

This dish is a take on coq au vin but with riesling instead of red wine. I’ve adapted a recipe that I found in Food and Wine by adding a roux to thicken the sauce a bit. My family loves this dish with the thicker sauce because it becomes more like a gravy and clings to the chicken more. I also had to add some white meat versus just dark meat like the original recipe calls for because my son will only eat white meat even though I explained to him how much more flavor the dark meat has. I guess that’s what I get for raising an independent thinker. Be prepared, this dish takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to prepare.

Serves 6 – 8


5-6 lbs of whole cut up chicken (about 2 chickens)
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 cups riesling
2 cups chicken stock
4 thyme sprigs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream if you can’t find
2 tablespoons flour


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides. In a large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Brown each chicken piece on both sides in batches, 4-5 minutes per side. Be sure not to crowd the pan or the chicken won’t brown. When done with all the chicken, set aside and pour out the grease and disregard. Then heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil and sauté the onions, carrots, celery and garlic until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and deglaze the pan. Let wine boil for 1 minute. Add chicken stock and thyme and bring to a boil. Nestle the chicken into the pan, cover and braise in the oven for 1 hour.

In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet. Add mushrooms and cook over high heat without stirring for 5 minutes. Then season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring for another 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

When chicken is done, transfer the chicken to a platter. Then strain the solids out of the braising liquid. In a small skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, then whisk in flour to make a roux. Slowly add in some of the braising liquid, continuously whisking to ensure there are no lumps. Then incorporate into the braising liquid. Bring to a boil and then simmer to thicken, whisking occasionally. Add in creme fraiche. Add chicken and mushrooms into sauce and simmer for 3 minutes to heat through.

Smothered Pork Chops

Okay, this is my Throwback Thursday recipe. These pork chops are a great retro, homey dish. Make sure you don’t over cook the pork chops or they will be as tough as shoe leather. We served this with a wonderful wedge salad and it felt like we were back in 1975!


1 cup flour
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
sea salt
6 pork chops about 3/4” thick
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cream sherry
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
chopped flat leaf parsley for garnish


Season pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Combine flour, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne on a plate and dredge each pork chop in the flour mixture. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil, When the oil is hot, lay each pork chop in the pan in a single layer in batches. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Set pork chops aside. Add in about 2 tablespoons of the seasoned flour mixture and whisk to incorporate. Whisk in sherry and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in chicken broth and bring to boil. Then add in heavy cream and heat through. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. Add pork chops back into sauce and ensure each piece is coated. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Classic Italian Meatballs

With my husband’s Italian heritage, meatballs are near and dear to our hearts. After lots of experimentation to make the best, classic meatballs that are not dry, we’ve discovered that ricotta cheese does the trick. We also started taking a small piece of the meatball mixture and cooking it for 30 seconds in the microwave just to taste for seasoning. We’ve had too many mishaps where our meatballs are under seasoned and once they’re cooked, there’s nothing you can do about it. Here’s our recipe for our favorite meatballs.


2 1/2 lbs ground beef (80/20)
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
about 3 teaspoons sea salt
basic marinara sauce


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in a medium pan and sauté onions and garlic until soft, about 7 minutes. Set aside and let cool. In a large bowl, combine beef, ricotta cheese, cooled onion mixture, parsley, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and eggs. Mix with your hands until all ingredients are blended well. Test for seasoning (see above for our microwave trick) and adjust as needed. Then form 1” meatballs and place them on a baking sheet. Make sure they do not touch so they cook all the way around. Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes. Remove them from the oven and put them into the heated marinara sauce. Serve with pasta or on their own with additional grated parmesan.

Basic Marinara Sauce

There are many many things you can do with a good basic marinara sauce. Serve it over pasta, use it for meatballs, add cream to it for a tomato cream sauce, braise meats. Here is a very traditional, standard recipe that I always use. The quality of the canned tomatoes is key here. I always try to buy canned tomatoes from San Marzano like the San Marzano or Cento brands. I also always buy the whole peeled tomatoes and then will just puree them with a stick blender or if I want a chunkier sauce, I will just smash the tomatoes with my hands.


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 – 28 oz cans of whole tomatoes (san marzano) – pureed
3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
sea salt (about 2 teaspoons – adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent, about 7 minutes. Then add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add in pureed tomatoes and parsley. Stir to mix and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Marinated and Grilled Skirt Steak

My family loves meat. We love a great steak, preferably aged, prime steaks or a beautiful filet mignon. But we can’t eat that all the time or we’ll go broke. So I have to come up with ways to make cheaper cuts of meat appetizing. Here’s a great marinade for skirt steak which is a pretty tough piece of meat so its best served very thinly sliced. I keep the onions slices thick so we can grill those along side and serve them with the meat. The onions are super flavorful and make a great accompaniment to the steak.


3 lbs skirt steak
4 limes, juiced
5 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 large yellow onion sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 tablespoons honey
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt


Season the skirt steak with sea salt on both sides and set aside. In a large bowl, combine lime juice, garlic, onion, cumin, coriander, honey and ground pepper. Then whisk in olive oil to combine. Add in steaks and ensure they are completely coated and covered. Marinade for at least 1 hour, up to 1 day covered in the refrigerator. The longer it marinades, the more flavor you will get and the more tender.

Pull out steaks from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you are ready to grill them. Light the grill and allow it to heat up for about 10 minutes. Then grill the steaks for about 7 minutes per side. Place the onions on the grill as well and grill them alongside. Grill onions for about 5 minutes, then place them on top of steaks while the steaks finish cooking to keep warm. Pull the steaks off the heat onto a platter and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice thinly against the grain and serve.

Radishes and Greens

I’m not sure if we’re weird because we love radishes, but we really do. We’ll eat them raw with butter and sea salt or sautéed with butter. Either way, they are delicious. For this recipe, I really wanted to use the radish greens, but they were not in prime condition so I had to buy other greens to substitute in. You can use any hearty greens you like for this recipe. I know that kale is the super star lately, but chard, turnip greens, collard greens, any of them will do.


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 lbs radishes, washed, trimmed and quartered
10 oz swiss chard (or mustard greens, turnip greens, radish greens or kale), washed, trimmed and chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
squeeze of lemon juice
3 tablespoons chives, chopped
sea salt
fresh ground pepper


In a large skillet, heat butter over medium high heat. Add radishes and sauté for about 5 minutes until they get tender but not mushy and the liquid evaporates. Once the liquid evaporates, let the radishes sit without stirring in order to get some nice caramelization on them. Season with about 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and remove them from the pan and set aside.

Add the olive oil into the skillet and then add in the garlic, sauté for 1 minute then add in greens. Saute the greens for about 10 minutes, add in the squeeze of lemon juice, and season with another 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add back in the radishes and the chives, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

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