Sweets | Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Parfaits

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When I was growing up, my mother cooked almost every night. Going out was reserved for special occasions and the rare evenings when she was too exhausted to think about putting food on the table. On those nights when we sensed a crack in her resolve, my sister and I would lobby for KFC, where I loved not only the crispy, salty fried chicken but also the whipped cream laden dessert parfaits. Kath always picked the one with chocolate pudding and I, the one that riffed on strawberry shortcake with those unnaturally red, gelatinous strawberries and too sweet vanilla cake. While you couldn’t pay me to come near one of those peel-the-foil-off-the-plastic-container confections now (or KFC for that matter), I still get a child-like thrill when excavating my way through parfait layers with a long spoon.  Continue reading

Greens + Things | Seared Steak Salad with Blackberries and Goat Cheese

Whenever I gather friends for lunch, salad is the number one request. It feels virtuous and leaves room for dessert, allowing us to linger in conversation without a food coma. Certain boxes need to be checked though, before I’ll put it on the table. Will it delight their tastebuds in a new way? Is it visually delicious? Will it carry them to dinner without hunger pangs striking at 4pm?  Check. Check. Check.

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Nibble | Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Carrot Hummus with Toasted Almond and Carrot Top Gremolata

Did you burst out of the gates with a new-year-new-you attitude on New Year’s Day? Full disclosure: I’ve lost my resolve as January comes to a close. Our family just returned from a ski trip to Telluride where we indulged in everything from an in-room dinner of beef short ribs over mushroom risotto to a mountain top lunch of cassoulet (seen below) at Bon Vivant. ‘Dry January’ came to a screeching halt as well, but I digress.

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(Mostly) Make-Ahead | Seared Salmon and Lemon Dill Sauce with Red Rice, Pistachio and Arugula Salad

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Seared salmon is a staple in our home. In fact, it’s the only fish preparation my definitively non-fish loving son will eat without complaint! Once you make it this way, I doubt you’ll ever go back. The salad is best at room temperature, so you can serve it immediately or prepare it a day in advance and set it out an hour before serving. The salmon isn’t make ahead, but it cooks in eight minutes max! By the time you set your table, the entire meal is ready. Continue reading

Sip | Rum Old Fashioned

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Evening temperatures have begun to dip into the forties, and the vines climbing our home’s stone and brick facade have shifted from dark green to shades of burgundy and blazing orange. It finally feels like autumn. Why not enjoy your first fire of the season with fall cocktails and close friends? It’s a simple and comforting way to usher in the season, where cozy sweaters and spirited conversation are the only requirements for guests. Continue reading

Classic Comfort | Wild Mushroom and Pulled Chicken Risotto

Wild Mushroom and Pulled Chicken Risotto

Who doesn’t love tucking into a creamy, piping hot bowl of risotto? I love to make this on the weekends for family and friends, when the pace of our home is a bit more leisurely.  This rustic yet refined version is the ultimate comfort food on a chilly autumn evening. Choose a good, dry white wine that you love to drink for this dish. And buy an extra bottle for serving! You and your guests can sip and chat while you stir. Continue reading

Grain Bowl | Quinoa Shrimp Salad with Cucumber, Tomato and Feta

Quinoa Shrimp Salad with Cucumber and Feta
Quinoa is one of my favorite ingredients. I frequently make a big pot and use it in different ways throughout the course of a week. A scoop warmed gently with almond milk, a pinch of cinnamon, dried fruit, and a generous dollop of honey and chopped nuts makes a wonderful, nourishing breakfast. A dinner side comes together in no time when you heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a sauté pan, add cooked quinoa, season well, and toss in a generous handful of chopped tender herbs and scallions. My favorite way to enjoy quinoa, though, is in a veggie and protein packed salad like the one below. Continue reading