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Warm Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Shallots and Bacon

This is a wonderful warm salad on it's own combined with Butternut Squash, Bosc Pear, and Star Anise Soup as a complete meal. Ingredients for the salad: 4 slices bacon cut into 1/4 inch dice 1 pound Brussels Sprouts, any brown or damaged outer leaves discarded 1 large shallot, finely diced Kosher salt and freshly ground white and black peppers Method for the salad: Brown diced bacon in large sauté pan, careful not to burn. Spoon browned bacon onto paper towel to drain using … [Read more...]

Butternut Squash, Bosc Pear, and Star Anise Soup

This weeks inspiration comes from the pear tree in my back yard and my weekly CSA at Green Meadow Farms.  Squash soup is a classic and star anise really brightens it up.  I think a warm salad lends a certain elegance. Check out this excellent pairing Warm Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Shallots and Bacon. I love using different types of fun, small plates and bowls for serving.  This time of year you don’t have to go any further than your back yard to find some fun plate garnish as … [Read more...]

Delicious Corn Chowder – Vegan & Gluten-Free

From Susan O’Brien’s “The Gluten-Free Vegan” Cookbook (Amazing as a stand alone meal on a chilly night or the perfect starter for a holiday gathering) Serves 4-6 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 leek, chopped (white part only) 1 small onion 2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash 2 red potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and cubed 2 cloves garlic 1 can of light coconut milk 2 cups (frozen or fresh) white or yellow corn (organic if possible) 2 small bay leaves ¼ cup chopped fresh … [Read more...]

First Course Antipasto with Mint Pickled Blueberries

“Pickled blueberries?” That piqued my interest. It was on the menu at Brine (www.brineoyster.com), one of my favorite restaurants on the North Shore. The minute I saw it I knew I wanted to try to make it on my own. And, I had just discovered an acre of wild blueberries at the Breakheart Reservation in Saugus – the tiny little blueberries that actually taste like, well, blueberries. I don’t have any rigid rules when it comes to a beautiful antipasto plate, as long as it has some of the … [Read more...]

Ratatouille with Oven Dried Tomatoes, Roasted Red and Yellow Peppers

I love this time of year!  The fall bounty of eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, squash, onions, and garlic is irresistible.  I looked in my refrigerator and everything I needed to make ratatouille was staring right up at me. When I was working at La Cuisine Catering in Los Angeles, a lifetime ago, my boss and mentor, Tom Byrne, used to brunoise all of the vegetables and serve them in cucumber cups, or Belgian endive spears for beautiful vegetarian appetizers. I love to serve this version with … [Read more...]

Roasted Red and Yellow Beet Salad with Valley View Chevre, Shiso, and Pistachios


Roasted Red and Yellow Beet Salad with Valley View Chevre, Shiso, and Pistachios  Goat cheese and beets go together like Roy Rogers and Trigger.  Add in a flavorful crunch from some salted pistachios and a big flavor pop with some shies leaves, and you have a wow of a first course. It also all works nicely as an appetizer on a crostini. Make sure the ingredients are made with love!  I live about two miles from a goat farm called Valley View Farmstead in Topsfield, MA. They make a delicious … [Read more...]

Late Summer Peaches with Richardson’s Farm French Vanilla Ice Cream


Late Summer Peaches with Richardson’s Farm French Vanilla Ice Cream Peaches and summer are synonymous. I got some beautiful, late summer specimens at  Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury – sweet, juicy and perfectly firm.  Combine them with some vanilla ice cream from Richardson’s and take your taste buds to summertime heaven. By the way, Richardson’s Farm in Middleton has been around for over 300 years.  You can visit the cows in back while you eat your ice cream, it doesn’t get much fresher than … [Read more...]

Cucumber and Grilled Lime Intermezzo


  I love being surprised with an intermezzo. It doesn’t happen often, so it’s a treat, a bonus, a freebie – that makes the experience of dining more special. And with me, more is always better. It should be just a bite or two, clean, fresh and bright. Here’s a light, refreshing recipe that makes good use of New England’s summertime abundance of cucumbers. 1 cucumber 1 lime 1 T. fresh chopped mint 1 T. fresh finely chopped chive olive oil 1 t. honey Kosher Salt Fresh ground white … [Read more...]

Everyday Aphrodisiacs

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Ingredients close at hand can create foods fit for seduction.  by Amy Reiley  You don’t need to set aside a day and an arsenal of expensive ingredients  to cook an aphrodisiac meal. Many of the foods that have been regarded as aphrodisiacs throughout history are probably already in your pantry. Ingredients like garlic, walnuts, carrots, cinnamon, and vanilla offer a fascinating folkloric history that includes strengthening our desire and staying power. Fortunately, modern nutritional research … [Read more...]

Superfoods and Two Delectable Recipes by chef Julie Morris


Superfood - Micronutritional Powerhouses  On the quest for a balanced life, chef and author Julie Morris’ mission is simple: to share recipes and nutrition tips that make a vibrantly healthy lifestyle both easy to achieve and follow.  Superfood. Admittedly, this term has been tossed around in the marketplace a lot, to be fair, it’s a rather broad term with no official parameters. But in the Oxford Dictionary, superfood is defined as, “A nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial … [Read more...]

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