How to Properly Sear a Steak

You’ll never find me at a steakhouse. Steaks are one of the easiest things to cook yourself, and they are sooooo much more expensive at restaurants.  Steaks don’t need fancy sauces to taste good, and frankly, you don’t want anything to cover up the natural flavors of the meat.  All a steak needs is...

Chocolate Chip Amaretto Cake

Every year for Christmas, my dad orders heaps and mounds of goodies from mail order food companies around the world.  One of my favorites every year is this fantastic Chocolate Chip Amaretto Cake…but it’s $30 for one of these things.  $30!  That’s a lot for cake.

Orange Scented Crème Brûlée

I recently dined at one of my favorite restaurants, Va De Vi, and had an orange crème brûlée for dessert.  When I dine out, I don’t eat, I investigate (LOL).  With each bite my mind races around and thinks what is going on in here?  I noticed the crème brûlée had a fairly strong...

Golden Crusted Fluffy Biscuits

Mmmm biscuits…you split one with a fork, slather with butter, and your teeth sink into the fluffy interior, and finish with the robust crunch of the crispy golden crust.  If you’ve only ever had biscuits out of a can, then no, you’ve never had a real biscuit.

Honeydew Melon and Mint Sorbettifreddo (No Ice Cream Machine Required)

Sorbettifreddo…yeah, I made that up.  I made this via the semifreddo technique, but it has a consistency closer to a sorbet than a custard, so it’s sort of a cross between the two.   After I had purchased a honeydew melon the other day, I sat down with my Flavor Bible and thought about what...

Rum Sauteed Pineapple with Vanilla Citrus Mascarpone Cream

I wish this dessert photographed as well as it tastes.  Because it deserves it.  This stuff is absolutely delicious, scrapeworthy, and bowl licking good.  If you haven’t ever had mascarpone before, be prepared to be blown away.  It’s this thick and creamy Italian cream cheese (it’s what they use in tiramisu, if you are...

Pecan and Cornmeal Crusted Chicken with Honey Mustard Sauce

This is one of the most satisfying dishes I have made in a while, and it kind of came about by accident.  Catfish was on sale for $3.99 the other day and I originally made the pecan cornmeal crust for that, but when I had some leftover, I decided to try it with one...

Cherry Liqueur Macerated Dark Cherry Almond Crisps

When I was in Portugal a couple years ago, I bought this sweet cherry liqueur from a tiny little town named Óbidos.  It’s a famous local specialty, and after I tasted a little sample, I decided it definitely merited some space in my suitcase!  The other day I noticed the poor little bottle of...

No Oil No Fat Crispy Roast Potatoes

The crispiness of these potatoes just boggles my mind.  This recipe uses absolutely no oil, no butter, no lard, no shortening, no fat whatsoever.  It is crispy completely from the way that it is cooked.  The interior of the potato is fluffy and soft, and the outside has a robust crunch to it.  Don’t...

Dark Chocolate Cake with Roasted Chestnut Buttercream

OH MY WORD this cake is GOOD!  I saw some fresh chestnuts at the grocery store, snagged the little treats (they only seem to pop up around the holidays), and decided to turn them into a roasted chestnut buttercream.  Then I picked up my handy dandy Flavor Bible for pairing ideas and decided a...

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pinenut Sprinkled Roast Pears with Butterscotch Sauce

I love poached pears, but I decided I wanted to do something different last night.  For this recipe, you roast the pears in the oven, and the pear juices drip down into the bottom of the pan and integrate into the sauce, to make a pear-butterscotch sauce (YUM does that sound good or what?!?)

Seared Ahi Tuna with Orange Mint Avocado Salsa

While I love eating rich winter foods like mac n cheese and pot roast, sometimes I crave something refreshing.  This seared tuna dish is exactly that.  I love seared ahi tuna to begin with, but topping it with the sweet and vibrant orange pieces, the clean flavors of the fresh mint, the heat from...

Blackcurrant Black Tea Macarons

This was my first adventure in macaron making, and while I won’t say it’s my last, these are certainly a “once in a while” treat.  Macarons are very trendy right now, and I had been seeing them everywhere, so I decided to use my leftover egg whites from the Meyer Lemon Curd to make...

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

All the butternut squash soups I’ve seen start with a mirepoix base (or none at all), but I took this on the sweet and spicy route instead, and I’m glad I did.

Mango Framboise Crepes with Meyer Lemon Curd and Raspberries

These crepes are incredible.  SERIOUSLY good eats.  I’m a really tough critic of my food and I’m always thinking “next time I’ll add a little more of this” or “next time I’ll cook it this way instead” but these crepes are perfection as they are.

A Bread Recipe for Those Who Don’t Know How To Boil Water

Okay, so obviously you know how to boil water.  But the point is, this recipe is absurdly easy.  I know a woman whose 4 year old son made it.  Yeah.  So you can DEFINITELY make it too.  There’s no starter or sponge, no kneading to the windowpane stage, none of that stuff.  Just mix...

Mango Serrano Chutney Topped Chicken Breast

I love versatile foods, and this is one of them.  Once you learn how to make it and understand the basic characteristics of a chutney, you can cook it to suit your personal tastes and what you have in your refrigerator (try it with apples, peaches, plums, tomatoes…I’ve even seen rhubarb chutney).  This is...

Taming the Unruly Pie Crust

Yes, it’s time to devote an entire post to discuss pie crust.  Why? Because a lot of people think it’s difficult and really, it’s not that bad. Store bought pie crusts are yucky (they have hydrogenated oil and a bunch of weird things I can’t pronounce) Pie crust is used for SO many things...

Grand Marnier Orange Walnut Tart

Bitchin’.  That was the word my friend Mike used to describe this walnut pie he recently made, which he said is basically a pecan pie but with walnuts and orange peel.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE pecan pie, so I knew I had to give it a try (plus, who can resist an endorsement like...

Winter Rub Pork Tenderloin with Marinated Kale

Have you ever had one of those days where you just want to make dinner work with what you’ve already got in your pantry?  My winter rub pork tenderloin resulted from one of those days, and not only is it really convenient, but it’s also a quick and easy dish to make.  The spice...

Holiday Spiced Orange Cranberry Biscotti

These biscotti cookies are pure Christmas.  They have all the quintessential holiday spices (cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg) along with tons of orange zest and plumped cranberries.   Biscottis are some of my favorite cookies, and I love how versatile they are (I’ve done chocolate chip biscotti, orange lavender, lemon white chocolate, and so on).  Not...

Flounder Burgers with Habanero Aioli

I love these burgers not only because are they really delicious, but also because they’re really cheap.  From time to time I check out the frozen seafood section of my grocery store, and I got a 2 pound package of flounder for $5.  Yes, $5.  That’s $2.50/pound!  Pretty awesome, right?  However, there’s a catch,...

Joanne’s Original Bread

This bread is proof that some of our best successes can come after making a mistake.  I came up with this recipe after misreading an interesting recipe for French Bread I found, and instead of throwing out two and a half cups of flour mixed with water, I decided to improvise and see where...

Double Bourbon Pecan and Walnut Pralines

Now that Thanksgiving is over and we’re getting into Christmas time, it’s time for some tasty pralines!  The first time I had them was in Savannah, and if you’ve ever been there before, you know that every other store is a praline candy shop.  They lure you in with the warm sugary samples and...

1-2-3 Fresh pasta with Shell Sauce

Fresh homemade pasta is certainly more work than opening up a box of Barilla, but if you have the right equipment, it is pretty easy to make (and SO worth it).  I make my dough in the food processor by pulsing my 1-2-3 ingredients:

Peanut Butter Caramel Semifreddo

Okay, if you haven’t had semifreddo before, you are missing out.  Really, I’m not just saying that.  The first time I had semifreddo was at the Gramercy Tavern in New York City, and I HAD to figure out how to make it.  I make a semifreddo probably about every week, and it usually only...

No Nonsense Caramel Sauce

Most caramel sauces call for starting with sugar and water in a saucepan, and such recipes instruct you to continuously brush off crystals that form on the inside of the saucepan with a pastry brush to prevent the sugar from recrystallizing.  You can avoid this problem by melting the sugar without adding any liquid...

Roasted Beet and Pink Stained Apple Salad with Herbed Goat Cheese and Toasted Walnuts

I never know what I’m going to walk out with when I go to the grocery store, but today I found some loose beets for 99 cents a pound and HAD to snatch a couple of them up!  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them, but when I got home...