Friday, December 17, 2010

Beef Stew with Cabernet

A cold, snowy day calls for some comfort food. As I was doing my shopping earlier today, I ran into one of my parishioners who was in search of beef stew meat. Call it a light bulb, a "Eureka!", or my stomach's articulating what it wanted, but beef stew sounded just perfect, and the store had stew meat! I quickly grabbed carrots, onion, celery, beef broth, and some wine so that I, too, could enjoy this cold-weather favorite. Jackie was going to use her slow-cooker, but I knew I wanted to first brown the beef and then cook it in my dutch oven, mainly because I lack patience for these sorts of things.

So here it is: Beef Stew with Cabernet. It's pretty free-form, with a few basics. the longer you cook it, the thicker it will get. If you're impatient like I am, cornstarch comes in really handy. I dried the cubes of beef with a paper towel and then rolled them in a mixture of flour-black pepper-garlic powder-kosher salt, shaking off the excess. I browned the meat before adding the remaining ingredients, but you don't have to, although it adds flavor.

Beef Stew with Cabernet
- 1.5 pounds of beef stew meat
- 3 ribs of celery, diced
- 1 onion the size of your fist, roughly chopped
-1/2 bag of baby Yukon Gold potatoes, or whatever small potatoes you'd like, cut into quarters (about 2 cups' worth)
- about half a small bag of baby carrots, each carrot cut into thirds
- 1-32 oz carton low sodium beef broth
- roughly 4 tbsp olive oil (enough to coat the dutch oven to brown the meat and then saute celery, onion, and carrot-- aka mirepoix)
- about 1/2 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, depending upon your taste and how much liquid you'll need
- flour for dredging (about 1/2 cup or so), plus whatever you want to use to season it
- salt and pepper to taste (and please use kosher salt as it is harder to oversalt as the grains are larger)
- 2 bay leaves
- cornstarch if you know you're short on time or impatient (about 3 heaping tsp)

Wash your veggies. Chop the onion and carrots, and dice the celery, placing them into a small bowl. Get them as close to the same size as possible. Quarter your potatoes.

Combine the flour and seasonings on a plate so that you can dredge the beef. Dry the beef cubes with a paper towel, then dredge them in the flour mixture. Place the dredged cubes on a plate or wire rack as you add olive oil to your dutch oven. Make sure to really get the excess flour mixture off as too much can lead to burning in the pan!

Add about 2 tbsp of olive oil to your dutch oven to begin over a medium-low (if you're using cast iron) or medium burner. Once it is hot, add several cubes of beef at a time to the dutch oven to brown, turning them with tongs after about 2 minutes. **Do not crowd the beef into the pan!!!** This will make the beef steam instead of brown, and that is not what you want. Patience will ensure some good-looking beef cubes. Make sure to keep an eye on the beef so that there is no burning, wiping the dutch oven with a paper towel to remove the excess flour if needed. When the cubes are browned, place them onto a plate.

Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pan, adding a bit of olive oil beforehand to make sure they have enough to saute. Once they are colorful and the onions translucent, add about a cup of the wine and deglaze the pan, using your tongs to scrape up all of the good bits.

Add the beef and potatoes to the dutch oven along with the beef broth, salt, and pepper. The liquid should cover the beef and veggies, but if it doesn't, add some water. Add about another cup of the wine, then cover the dutch oven and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes.

Stir the mixture, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and let the stew simmer for about 30 minutes. Check to see how it is thickening and check the seasonings. Adjust accordingly, then set your timer for another 30 minutes. Follow this procedure until the meat is fork-tender, the stew is seasoned as you want it, and it is as thick as you'd like.

I find the meat is as tender as I like it after about 2 hours of cooking, but I thicken the stew with cornstarch. The way to do this is to add a teaspoon (or a heaping teaspoon in my case) to some cold liquid, mix well, then gradually add it to your hot stew. Bring it to a boil, then let it cook for a bit. I did two heaping teaspoons of cornstarch in water (making a slurry) after about an hour and a half of cooking, then let it cook for a half hour longer. At that point, I mixed another heaping teaspoon of cornstarch with a cup of wine, adding it as I had the previous cornstarch slurry. Let it cook for about 10 more minutes, and then you should be good to go!

Adjust the seasonings per your preference. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Apple a Day...

I went to the mountains a week ago and stopped at an orchard on my way home (among other places, but the orchard was much more exciting than Home Depot!). After hearing of friends' success with making applesauce, I decided that I needed to try it. On a recommendation from the multi-talented Beth Somers, I bought York apples, and then I didn't touch them again until my friend Sandy arrived on Friday. Per his request, we had a culinary adventure in making applesauce, with such success that I will keep this one in my repertoire! Easy and good, you can tweak it to be sweeter or more savory. Mark Bittman of the New York Times says it's good to mix horseradish with applesauce if you're serving it with pork. While I did not do that, I did play with it quite a bit. Here it is.

ALW's Applesauce
- 4 good-sized York apples (if you're at an orchard or reputable produce place, ask what would substitute if they do not have any Yorks, or use the Interwebs to find a comparable apple)
- water to cover
- juice of one lemon
- 1 tbsp of good unsalted butter (I used Kerrygold, and I do think it makes a difference!!)
- 2 pinches of salt
- 4 tsp of brown sugar
- cinnamon to taste

Start by filling a bowl with water, juicing the lemon directly into it. Watch out for seeds!

After thoroughly washing the apples, core and cube them, placing them into the lemon water. You do not need to peel them as the skins will pretty much dissolve as the apples cook. Place the entire contents of the bowl into a minimum 2 quart pot with a lid, along with the 2 pinches of salt. I used my Le Creuset (naturally) multifunction pan, which is a 3 quart pot.

Turn the heat to medium (if using cast iron, higher if using aluminum or another type of pot) and bring the mixture to boiling. I covered the pot during this stage. When it begins to boil, turn the heat to low and let it simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure that the apples do not burn to the bottom of the pan!

The apples are ready for seasoning when they have gotten soft, and the peels have largely disintegrated. This will give your applesauce a beautiful pink color. Add the butter and brown sugar at this point, tasting to see if it is to your liking. Add cinnamon if desired. Play with your flavorings!

Let it cool a bit before serving initially. This is so yummy when still a bit warm, and the flavors have even more of a chance to meld.

Makes 4 servings.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chicken Piccata

I have been negligent in posting this recipe, but I assure you that it will be delicious! It is easy and tasty and easily expanded for company. For those who are gluten intolerant, you could use something else to coat the chicken before cooking it. Trader Joe's now has almond flour, and that might work (and up the nutritional factor!). Whatever you do, feel free to tweak it to your tastes. I began with a recipe from The Stuffed Cougar and adjusted it to my preferences. Add additional seasonings. Make it crispy! Do what you want. As long as it tastes good to you, great. I'd love to hear your tweaks!

Here it is, at long last...chicken piccata. This recipe makes one serving (just because it's easy quantities). Multiply as needed.

Oh, and this is not a lowfat recipe, but it surely is good. It's one of my treats!

Chicken Piccata
- 1 chicken breast (preferably thinly sliced or pounded to a nice thinness and not too big since you want it to cook quickly)
- enough flour to very lightly coat the chicken (about 1 tablespoon), seasoned with whatever you choose since it'll be really bland otherwise. (I recommend seasoned salt and garlic powder)
- bread crumbs to coat the chicken, with seasonings added, about 1 tablespoon (again, seasoned salt and garlic powder work nicely)
- 3 tablespoons butter (or less if you do not like butter, but I am partial to butter, and adjust the salt if you use unsalted)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dry white wine (make sure it's one you would drink and not swill)
- half a lemon (or more if it's not juicy since you need to end up with about a tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon capers (more or less depending upon your taste for capers)

Start by letting the chicken come up to room temperature.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet with the olive oil. If you're using enameled cast iron or the like, medium heat is what you need. If it's not, then you might have to go hotter in order to get a really good browning of the chicken.

Dredge the chicken lightly in the seasoned flour, shaking to remove the excess, then dredge in the seasoned bread crumbs. Getting the excess flour off is really important as too much makes the chicken gummy. Make sure to press the chicken into the crumbs so the breast is really well-coated.

When the butter is fully melted, place the chicken breast into the pan. Cook it for about 4 minutes on the first side, then flip and do about 3 minutes on the other side. Check for even browning. When both sides are nicely browned, remove the chicken from the pan.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine and lemon juice, scraping the browned, chickeney bits from the bottom of the skillet. Taste for seasoning and add as needed. Add one more tablespoon of butter and the capers and check for taste again (especially if you get some of the brine into the sauce). If needed, add the final tablespoon of butter to round out the sauce. It should taste rich, lemony but not too tart, and a bit buttery.

Add the chicken back to the pan to warm it through, turning it to coat it in the sauce. Serve it on a plate that can hold the sauce, or if you choose to serve with pasta or rice, in a bowl. Mangia!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Spicy Roast Chicken with Grape Tomatoes and Marjoram

...aka my go to dish for company!

I found this recipe originally in my Bon Appetit calendar and thought it sounded delicious. Trial proved that right! I've made a few changes, namely putting the quantities for serving two people. The original recipe also called for cherry tomatoes and for using a baking sheet, which I can't imagine as you'd risk losing some of the sauce. The tomatoes get extra sweet and intensely flavored, and the garlic and marjoram provide a nice balance.

If you can't find fresh marjoram (and it must be fresh), use oregano since they are similar in flavor. I was able to find a nice little marjoram plant at Whole Foods the other day, along with some exquisite Hanover grape tomatoes.

You'll need a small or medium glass baking dish (which will hold two chicken breasts plus a pint of grape tomatoes), a garlic press (mine is Zyliss-- reasonably priced and works very well), and crusty bread to sop up the sauce (or use rice if you have someone with a gluten allergy). Tweak the amount of salt to your taste and dietary needs. This has always been a hit in my experience!!

Words cannot express how good this dish is so make it straight away. You don't have to tell anyone how easy it is!!

Spicy Roast Chicken with Grape Tomatoes and Marjoram
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts-- not too big!! Cutlets would also work. Make sure to let them come to room temperature before cooking!!
- 1 pint grape tomatoes (Lucky you if you can get some yummy local ones!!)
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tbsp (add more if you feel you need it)
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed (chopped will not work anywhere near as well so don't even try it, and don't go overboard on the garlic as there is such a thing as too much of it in this recipe)
- a palmful of crushed red pepper flake (adjust to your desired spiciness)
- 1 tbsp fresh marjoram, chopped (plus more if you want some for garnish)
-salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Season your chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides, placing them in your baking dish.

Wash your tomatoes and marjoram, draining the tomatoes and letting the marjoram dry on a kitchen towel.

Place the 1/4 cup of olive oil in a mixing bowl. Press your garlic cloves right into the bowl, scraping every bit of garlic into the bowl. Measure a palmful of crushed red pepper flake and crush with your thumb to release more of the heat. Add a bit of salt and pepper to your liking. Add the grape tomatoes.

Chop the marjoram. A mezzaluna works really well for this, and I recommend getting one if you don't have one. Throw it into the mixing bowl, reserving what you want for garnish. You will want at least a tablespoon's worth in the tomato mixture.

Toss the tomato mixture and then pour over the chicken breasts, making sure to spread the tomatoes out as evenly as you can get them. Drizzle a bit more olive oil over the top and then place the baking dish in the oven.

Bake at 450 degrees for 35 minutes. It will not dry out, thanks to the olive oil and tomato mixture!

Serve on plates or in pasta bowls with crusty bread alongside. Enjoy!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New digs lead to a new post

Hello from Kilmarnock! I know it's been a while, but moving threw a wrench into many plans. Fortunately, I am no ensconced in the vicarage, complete with much larger kitchen. I look forward to many posts about my culinary adventures in this kitchen!

I am posting a picture of the brand-new cooktop, installed this week. On the left side, you will see my new Staub chicken pot, procured at half price. Bargains on fabulous cookware are a tremendous delight!

Tomorrow, I will post the recipe for chicken piccata, one of my favorites both for entertaining and for comfort. Huzzah for good food that is easy to cook and satisfying to guests!

Au revoir (or retype),
Anne Lane

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tri-Tip Steak

I love tri-tip, ever since my boyfriend introduced me to it. It has so much flavor and requires so little to prepare it for cooking. Trader Joe's has both tri-tip roasts, marinated and unmarinated, as well as trip-tip steaks, which are thinner and smaller slices off of the roast. There is not much marbling so it's a lean cut. You can also ask a butcher if they'll give you one. Try it out. I think you'll really like it. I ate this with some peewee potatoes (aka smaller than new potatoes!) tossed with a bit of butter, salt, and pepper. It was so good and so easy.

Tri-Tip Steaks

- One package tri-tip steaks (I got a pack of 4)
- garlic salt
- freshly cracked black pepper (or multicolored if you'd like)
- olive oil

Preheat a grill pan or grill. Pat both sides of the steaks dry, then season the top side liberally with the garlic salt and pepper. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the seasoned side.

Place them seasoned side down on the grill pan or grill, repeating the seasoning process on the unseasoned side.

Let them cook for about 3 minutes per side, more if you want them more done. This will get you medium rare steaks, which I generally do not like but are delicious with tri-tip.

Let them rest for a few minutes before cutting them, then dig in!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Warm-Weather Treat

The weather here is finally feeling like Spring (and sometimes Summer)! Because of this, certain treats take on a different appearance, taking the usual and making it into something else. Case in point: brownies into brownie ice cream sandwiches. These can be customized any way you like, using different flavors of ice cream or adding things to the brownies. They are easy, too, and make a batch of brownies so much more fun! Here are the basics. Put your variations in the comments, and have fun!!

Brownie Ice-Cream Sandwiches:
(Makes about 12 or so, depending on how big you cut the brownies)

- 1 box of your favorite brownie mix and all the required ingredients
- your favorite ice cream flavor(s), softened but not completely melted (it can be good to do this in the fridge)
- any decorations you like for the edges of the sandwiches: sprinkles, crushed cookies, etc.

Bake the brownies according to the directions, using a 9x13 pan. This will make the brownies thin enough that they are perfect for layering with the ice cream. You can make the brownies cake-like or chewier, depending on your preference. I went with chewier.

Let the brownies cool completely!!!! this process will be a huge mess otherwise. I'd begin with cooling them at least a half-hour on the counter, then moving them to the fridge for some extra cooling. Cut them once they are cooled, making sure to cut them in roughly the same size so they make nice sandwiches.

Pull out your ice cream and cut brownies. Take two brownies of the same size (or as close as you can get them), laying the top side down on a plate. Fill with a scoop of ice cream, gently placing the top layer over the bottom. Decorate the edges with toppings if you desire.

Eating them right away (or close to it)? Place them on a cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper in the freezer, making sure they're flat. Making treats for later? Wrap each one in wax paper or plastic wrap, and then place them on the cookie sheet.

Let them freeze for at least an hour and then enjoy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Steak Diane (a la Marian Rey!)

Christmas in my family means food-- lots and lots of food. One of the things we love is beef tenderloin, which always seems to get bought in massive quantities. Of course, I don't consider it to be a chore to have to come up with ways of eating the stuff, especially since my sister in law showed me how she makes Steak Diane. Marian Rey makes it for them a lot since it's easy, tasty, and satisfying.

When I don't have beef tenderloin available, I find inexpensive steaks, cut pretty thin since you want a quick cooking dish. Sirloin works great! This is an excellent dish to make when you don't have many supplies on hand. As long as you have butter, olive oil, shallots, and lemons, you have the basic makings.

Here it is for two people. It's a great dish for company. Just increase everything to your liking.

Steak Diane (a la Marian Rey)
- 2 steaks (sirloin, about a half inch thick)
- 2 good sized shallots, minced fine (more or less, according to your taste)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (more if you need it when you saute the shallots)
- 2 lemons, each about the size of your fist
-salt and pepper

Pull the steaks out of the fridge at least an hour before you plan on cooking them. They need to come up to room temperature in order to cook properly. I mean it!

Mince the shallots as finely as you like. Your food processor or a large grater are good for this, too.

Salt and pepper one side of each steak.

In a skillet large enough to fit the steaks comfortably (not crowding as they need to sear and not steam), melt 1 tablespoon butter with the olive oil. Once the butter has melted and begun to foam, add the steaks. Leave them alone for a while! To be specific, this means don't touch them for at least 3 minutes. Salt and pepper the top side.

After your 3 minutes (or a little more if you like your steak a little more done) are up, use tongs to flip the steaks, being careful not to splash the hot oil and butter on yourself. Tongs give much more control than a spatula here. Again, leave the steaks alone for at least 3 minutes.

You'll be able to feel them getting firmer. You can measure doneness by the webbing in between your thumb and index finger-- both fingers together with webbing very flaccid equals rarer, mid-way spread is medium rare, about 2/3 spread is medium, and fully spread is well done. Put them on a plate to rest once they're done to your liking.

Add 1 more tablespoon of butter to the pan, then adding the shallots. Saute them until translucent, scraping the bottom of the pan either with your tongs or a heat-resistant spoon that won't damage your skillet.

Juice the lemons and add the juice to the pan. I prefer to juice them through a strainer to get the seeds, using a reamer to get as much juice as possible. If they feel really firm, microwave them for about 20 seconds, and you'll get more juice out of them. Deglaze the pan with this juice, and taste the sauce. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter if you want (I always want), and adjust the seasonings should you need to. With the salt and pepper on the steaks, you will have given this good flavor already.

Add the steaks back to the pan, warming them through on each side (about 1 minute per side). Serve on a plate with bread on the side for the sauce. Enjoy!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cheddar Chicken

Cheddar chicken. It's every bit as good as it sounds. I came across this while reading my May Real Simple magazine, and I'm posting the link to make sure I give proper credit! Remember, I do come from a legal background.

My tips? I doubled the garlic because I do love me some garlic. I crushed the crackers (Late July Ritz-type) in my Mini-Prep food processor, and next time I would put the garlic cloves right in with them so they got properly mixed. I would also add more crackers for more crunch!

Pre-shredded cheese tends to have additives to keep it from sticking together, which means it doesn't melt as smoothly. Yes, it's a pain to shred your own if you're using a box grater, but put the cheese in the freezer first so it's good and firm and easier to shred. If you do this in your food processor, do the same thing, and it'll make a time-saving trick even easier!

Friday, April 16, 2010


I finally figured out what to do with those shrimp: a good, garlicky scampi. It was easy and so, so good. Next time, I'll make it spicier since I like that, and I'll make sure to have bread on hand for the sauce or serve it over pasta or rice. Tweak it to your liking.

Scampi (for two)
- 1/2 pound shrimp, tail on but preferably deveined (get them as big or as little as you prefer)
- 3 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- crushed red pepper flake, to taste and crushed in your palm to release more oils (I did a small pinch this time and would do more like a small palmful next time!)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil (2 turns around the pan)
- 3 tbsp. butter
- salt if you do not use salted butter, or to taste
- pepper-- freshly ground, if possible!
- about a 1/4 c. of chicken stock, or extra white wine
- a splash of white wine (or more if you don't use the chicken stock)

About an hour or so before cooking, pull the shrimp out of the fridge so that it can come up to room temperature. You run the risk of shrimp that are cooked on the outside and raw inside if you don't do this.

Pull out a skillet, and turn the heat on medium-low. Add the olive oil and 2 tbsp. of the butter, letting the butter melt and foam. Turn the heat down at this point.

Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Burnt garlic gets bitter so make sure to keep a close "nose" on your skillet! As soon as it is fragrant, add the shrimp, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flake. Flip the shrimp after about 2 minutes.

After about 1 1/2 more minutes, making sure the shrimp is curled and pink, remove it from the pan. Keep it warm if possible. Add the stock or wine and the remaining butter. Turn the heat to medium so that the sauce begins to simmer and reduce.

Once the sauce has reduced and thickened to your liking (my preference is about the consistency of melted butter, which is appropriate here), put the shrimp back in the pan, giving it a couple of turns so that it gets coated in the sauce and is definitely warmed through.

Serve in a bowl (over the pasta or rice if you desire). Enjoy!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Matzo Ball Soup

Today is a beautiful day and not really soup weather, but I have been craving matzo ball soup. Since it is Passover and Maundy Thursday, this is an appropriate choice. I do not make mine according to a kosher recipe, but I love it. It adds a few elements for some flavor that really make it comforting and delicious to me! Remember that the beautiful thing with soup is that you can tweak recipes according to your own personal preferences, adding or subtracting ingredients as you like. Get the basics down, and you can make soup out of whatever is in season and what you want to eat.

Matzo Ball Soup, a la Anne Lane
- 1 package matzo ball mix or matzo meal (you'll need a can of plain seltzer if you use the meal)
- 1 quart chicken stock (Kitchen Basics is a great brand, and they also make an unsalted stock, which is great if you're cooking for someone on a sodium-restricted diet)
- 1 small onion, chopped as fine as you like
- 1 stalk celery, chopped as fine as you like
- 1 carrot, chopped as fine as you like
- olive oil (enough to saute the veggies in, which should be about 2 tbsp. or 2 turns around the pan)
- crushed red pepper flake, to taste (I find a very small palmful--equal to about 1 tsp. or so-- works well, and crush the flakes in your palm to release more of the flavor.)
- salt and pepper to taste
- a couple of pieces of the rind of parmigiano reggiano cheese (This might sound odd, but oh, does it add some great flavor!)

Start by making the matzo balls according to package directions, cooking them in salted water if desired. You can also cook them directly in the chicken stock, which is what I have done.

Saute the chopped onion, carrot, and celery in the olive oil until the onion is translucent and the carrot and celery have brightened in color. This should take no more than about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, crushed red pepper flake, salt, and pepper (and parmigiano reggiano rind, if using), and bring to a simmer. Add the matzo balls. If they are uncooked, you'll know the soup is done when the balls float, which takes about 15 minutes. If using cooked matzo balls, let the whole thing simmer for about 15 minutes any way. Simmering the balls in the soup allows them to take on more of the flavor of the chicken stock.

Serve in bowls, and enjoy.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Comforts on a rainy day

There's been a lot of stress within my community recently, and today's downpour did not help the mood. It was time to break out the big guns, aka some comforting foods to battle the blahs! It was time for some collards and biscuits. The biscuits were storebought (Immaculate Baking Company), but the collards were slow-cooked completely from scratch. The beauty of the collards is that they're really inexpensive to make, even if you buy organic.

You could add some kind of meat if you want, but I did these after having some totally yummy and vegetarian collards. They are very satisfying.

Here's how to make them:

Anne Lane's Collards
- 2 bunches of collard greens, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 2 small yellow onions, chopped as fine as you'd like
- 1 quart vegetable stock or broth
- crushed red pepper flake, to your taste (I do about 2 tsp., crushed in my palm to release their flavor)
- olive oil and butter-- combine according to your dietary needs, what you have on hand, and what you prefer!
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- salt and pepper, to taste
- apple cider vinegar, about a quarter cup (to taste)

Begin by heating the olive oil and butter in a minimum 3.5 quart pan that has a lid. Throw in the chopped onion and saute until it's translucent. Throw in the pressed garlic and saute until you can smell the garlic.

Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, throw the chopped collards and tomatoes into the pot, followed by the red pepper flakes and salt and pepper.

Bring the pot up to a boil, then reduce the heat to about medium. Cover the pot and simmer until the collards are tender, about 60 minutes. Check them every so often (I do every 20 minutes), adjusting the seasoning as needed. They'll only get better the longer they cook!

Add the apple cider vinegar about halfway through, adjusting the quantity to your preference. Finish with a pat of butter if you desire.

Serve in a bowl for best effect with some kind of bread to sop up the pot liquor. Enjoy!

The beginning is the very best place to start!

As promised, here is the very first post on my cooking blog! I am strictly an amateur, home cook who does it out of love for cooking and for eating. Please send me any recipes you enjoy, and I look forward to sharing my culinary adventures with you!