First Course | Chilled Spring Asparagus Soup with Crème Fraîche and Chives

Eight more days! I can’t believe the dinner we’re hosting for Ragdale is almost here. Last week I shared the article from Forest & Bluff highlighting the evening’s menu, and I promised to share the recipes. This will be my first course, a chilled soup that heralds the arrival of spring.

Chilled Spring Asparagus Soup with Crème Fraîche and Chives, Fletcher + Fork

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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 “Sweets | Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Parfaits”

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

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

Summer Sweet | Blackberry Brown Sugar Crumble Bars

Blackberry Brown Sugar Crumble Bars

The first time I tested this recipe, I tried using only fresh blackberries and they were good yet frustratingly a bit too sour. Terrific with ice cream, of course, but not perfect on their own. Enter blackberry jam. The combination of fresh, tart berries with sweet jam nestled into the buttery dough allowed the bars to stand deliciously alone. Continue reading “Summer Sweet | Blackberry Brown Sugar Crumble Bars”

Pantry | Oats and Honey Granola Bars

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These wholesome, honey-kissed granola bars have become a favorite of my daughter Hannah and her tight-knit crew of friends. In fact, one has been patiently waiting for me to post this recipe (Julia, this is for you!). Perfect as an anytime snack or crumbled over yogurt for breakfast, they are leaps and bounds better than the store bought version, and a fraction of the price. Continue reading “Pantry | Oats and Honey Granola Bars”