Pumpkin Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls

I may be jumping the gun a bit with this post. I know fall hasn’t officially arrived yet, but I’m ready for some fall flavors. It’s interesting every year to observe my cravings following the change of seasons. During warm weather seasons, I’m drawn to lighter fare, like salads, veggies, and chicken, and fish. Cooler weather finds me craving soups, stews, and casseroles. [Read More…]

Salmon Burgers with Pickled Onion and Lemon Garlic Mayo

Salmon Burgers with Pickled Onion and Lemon Garlic Mayo

As a child, I always got excited about burgers. Whenever it was burger night during the summer, my parents ceded grill duty to me. Being the budding epicure that I was at the time, I’d practice meticulous grilling techniques, making sure the charcoals burned just the right amount of time to avoid flare-ups. I’d flip the burgers with perfect timing, so they had prominent grill marks, but were never overdone. When everything was off the grill and on the table, I’d quickly inhale two burgers slathered with mayo and mustard and topped with garden fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and onion. Usually, homemade French fries occupied a prominent spot on my crowded plate. [Read More…]

Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita

The end of summer is closing in, and I’m desperately trying to ingest as many local, organic tomatoes as I possibly can. I eat tomatoes all year round, but supermarket tomatoes pale in comparison to the ones I get at my neighborhood farmer’s market. One of the farmers grows at least seven or eight varieties, and he can tell you details about the flavor profile of each one and offer the perfect use for them.

These tomatoes are so beautiful that I can’t resist getting some of each type. One of my favorite ways to eat them is in a salad with cucumbers and Vidalia onions. After a couple of days of eating that salad, though, I’m on to figuring out other ways to use them. I frequently puree the tomatoes, turning them into a rich sauce that I can freeze and enjoy during the cold months. However, the beauty of these tomatoes is lost in a sauce. [Read More…]

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Pita Pockets with Lobster Tarragon Salad

Pita Pockets with Lobster Tarragon Salad

We've traveled to many places around the globe, and Provincetown, Massachusetts on the tip of Cape Cod is still our favorite of all vacation spots. In fact, we'd like to live there part-time at some point in our lives. We've spent many summer vacations in P'town, but this fall, we're taking a two-week road trip there, three dogs in tow, for a couple of weeks. While we're there, we're going to work, shop for groceries, cook, and see what it's like to actually live there. We've only been to … Read More

“Fried” Chicken, Okra and Tomato Corn Cakes, and Chipotle Peaches

"Fried" Chicken with Okra, Tomato, and Vidalia Onion Corn Cakes

My family called me a bean pole when I was growing up. When I was in high school, I was 6'1" tall, and I weighed in at a whopping 130 pounds. I got all the jokes, including "when you turn sideways you disappear"  and "you have to run around in the shower to get wet"! Obviously, I was blessed with an over-the-top metabolism because I had a ravenous appetite. From the time I came home from school until dinner time, I was munching on something. It wasn't unusual for me to devour a whole bag of … Read More

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Figs and Red Onion

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Figs and Red Onion

Fig season is here, and when I saw big, plump, black mission figs on the market shelves last weekend I had to buy some. I've said before that figs are not my most favorite fruit. I've never really enjoyed them raw, but last year I made grilled lamb chops with roasted figs and my opinion of them shifted. Something about the roasted figs in a savory dish changed my mind. Sweet and savory dishes always get my attention. … Read More

Grilled Corn with Chipotle Lime Butter and Cotija

Grilled Corn with Chipotle Lime Butter and Cojita

  When I was a kid, I loved watching plants grow. I always enjoyed going to my grandparents' garden and seeing all the vegetables maturing. I was fascinated by a germinating seed that ultimately produced food I would eat. One summer I wanted to take ownership of a plant that I could nurse to maturity, so my grandmother helped me plant a corn kernel in her back yard. Over the next several weeks, I couldn't wait to drop by her house to see how my corn stalk was progressing. … Read More

Grilled Seafood Skewers with Tomato Basil Butter

Grilled Seafood Skewers with Tomato Basil Butter

I lived in Jacksonville, Florida for a couple of years early in my career. One of the things I remember most about those days was the access to fresh-out-of-the-water seafood. I frequented a small market where everything in the store was right off the boat, and there wasn't a trace of fish smell. The owner always had fresh jumbo shrimp, scallops, grouper, and snapper displayed beautifully on ice. … Read More

Brown Butter Nectarine and Blueberry Cobbler

Brown Butter Nectarine and Blueberry Cobbler

If you live in the South, cobbler is in your blood. We Southerners grow up eating the ubiquitous dessert from an early age. Although there are may variations of cobblers, the one that I remember was the Peach Cobbler at Shelaine Restaurant in my hometown. The fresh peaches were baked with a thin, crisp, buttery crust that was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I've never been able to master that type of crust. It was thinner and more delicate than your average pie crust. … Read More

Welcome Home, Milo!

Milo the Labradoodle

I want to acknowledge my absence from the blog for the last couple of weeks and offer an explanation. We took a 9-day vacation and spent the following weekend with friends at their lake house, but the real reason is that we have a new addition to our family. … Read More

Horseradish-Crusted Strip Steaks

Horseradish-Crusted Strip Steaks

We're just back from a marathon drive up the West Coast. We started in Los Angeles and drove along US 1 to Brookings, Oregon in 8 days, stopping somewhere different every night. Whew! Marathon is an understatement, but it was an amazing drive with lots of windy, curvy ups and downs and incredible vistas. One of our stops was the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Built by American publishing magnate, William Randolph Hearst, the expansive estate sits atop a mountain on the Central Coast overlooking … Read More

Mushroom, Burrata, and Arugula Crostini

Mushroom, Burrata, and Arugula Crostini

Burrata seems to be everywhere these days. I frequently observe it on restaurant menus around town. I'd had it before in an appetizer and I knew it was delicious, but I  didn't pay too much attention to exactly what type of cheese it was. As I was thinking about making something with this special cheese, I did a little research into how it's made. Burrata, which translates to "buttered", is a semi-soft Italian cheese and cousin to fresh mozzarella. The origins of this cheese are in the Puglia … Read More

Calzones with Smoked Chicken, Collards, and Pimento Cheese

Calzones with Smoked Chicken, Collards, and Pimento Cheese

There's nothing better than something smoked for the Fourth of July. It doesn't matter whether you're making ribs, pulled pork, salmon, or chicken; it's just not the 4th without some form of outdoor cooking. Whenever I fire up the smoker, I make enough of whatever I'm cooking to last for several meals. Last week I smoked a couple of chickens with plans to make a Summer Pizza with Smoked Chicken. Chicken is one of my favorite things to smoke, so with extra in the fridge, I knew I could put the … Read More

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