Steamed Flounder in Parchment with Vodka Martini Relish

 

To answer the obvious question, yes, I like to play with my food.  I especially enjoy putting my own twist on recipes like turning a dirty vodka martini into a vodka martini relish.  It has the wonderfully boozy, briny, olive flavors you expect, along with some added sweetness from the red onion and piquillo peppers.

Continue reading

Curried Lentils with Roasted Beets, Chickpeas, and Fresh Spinach

 

The side dishes that show up on the holiday table have started to look the same every year. I’m all for tradition and love a large helping of creamy mashed potatoes, however, how many green bean casseroles do you need to eat before you decide it’s time to broaden your options?

Continue reading

Vegetarian Meatballs with Fresh Herbed Tomato Sauce

 

It seems strange to call these meatballs, meatballs considering there isn’t any meat in them, however every other word I tried to come up with to describe them just didn’t sound right.  So we’re going with meatballs!  Whatever you want to call them, they were fantastic!  The creamy lentils were the perfect binder to hold the ingredients together, and the earthy, deep roasted flavor from the vegetables, paired with the bright acidity from the pesto and herbed spicy tomato sauce were a match made in vegetarian heaven.

Continue reading

Pepper Shrimp with Pad Thai Salad

 

Shrimp is one of my favorite seafood proteins. It has a sweet, unique flavor, a gorgeous color when cooked, and is the most versatile seafood ingredient available.

For this recipe, I kept the flavors on the shrimp simple with a touch of salt, and garlic powder, plus a bit more black pepper to pull in the spicy flavors from the pad thai dressing. So what you taste is a perfect ratio of sweet, spicy, crunchy and salty.

Continue reading

Tuscan Grilled Halibut with Arugula on Toasted Ciabatta

 

Sandwiches are insanely versatile and are a great option for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  For me, a sandwich is first and foremost about the bread, especially ciabatta.  It has a wonderfully soft chewy center and crunchy outer crust that can hold up to anything you serve it with.  The next qualifier would be the ingredients to put in between the bread, and they have to have lots of flavor and texture.  Let’s be honest and admit deli lunchmeat just doesn’t do it.

This hearty sandwich is an ideal choice for your next winery picnic.  Pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy the delicious flavors of the fresh, delicate, grilled fish, the deep richness of the sun-dried tomatoes, the briny capers, and the bright hits from the fresh basil, parsley, and arugula.

Continue reading

Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry in Spicy Peanut Sauce over Glass Noodles

 

I love this recipe – in fact, I’ve made it three times since I first created it because my husband, daughter and I all decided it was our new favorite. The aromas from the spicy peanut sauce and the vibrant colors from the vegetables immediately tell your taste-buds to get ready for that first flavorful bite!

Continue reading

Ginger Glazed Pork Ribs with Apples, Cabbage & Noodles

 

I consider myself very fortunate to have had a Hungarian grandfather and a German grandmother. Not because their genes contributed to my curvaceous European figure, but because of the wonderful recipes their families brought with them to this country.

And even though the sticky, sweet, falling apart tender pork ribs were a big success the night I made this meal, it was the apples, cabbage, and noodles that really hit home. The very first bite took me back in time to weekend family dinners, raucous conversation, and rich, flavorful food.

Continue reading

Grilled Salmon Gyro with Yogurt Flatbread

 

My family loves grilled salmon, so it’s a frequent item on our weekly menu. To add a little variety to our dinner one night, I decided to serve the salmon gyro-style. I knew the sweet, tender salmon would pair well with the creamy yogurt, fresh dill, and cucumber, but I have to admit, it was the first time I had ever attempted making my own flatbread.

Having now made them and experienced the freshly cooked, warm, tender, chewy flavor of a home-made flatbread, I’ll think twice before buying the store bought, preservative filled flatbread again.

It took a couple of tries with the first two dough balls, but I came up with my own process hack that made making them super easy. So, of course, I had to share my new-found hack with you!

Continue reading

Grilled Portobello Caprese

 

It’s kind of a joke in my family how much I love fresh from the vine-ripened tomatoes, and it is common to see me pluck a ripe, juicy gem from one of the plants in our garden and pop it in my mouth before it even makes its way into the house. So this recipe is an homage to my obsession with summer ripened tomatoes and a twist on a traditional Caprese salad.

Continue reading