The Year of Maple Syrup

Maple Thyme Chicken Thighs and Pears

2014 was the year that failure was recognized as an attribute towards the journey of success. That’s if the lesson was learned from the act of failure. This recipe was a difficult dish to develop. It was perfect the first time. The second attempt was too sweet. The third try lacked a flavorful taste. And, when the dish was finally successful, it was perfect.

Continue reading The Year of Maple Syrup

The Magic of Fresh Pasta

Rosemary Chicken Stew with Stir-Fried Collard Greens

Besides being known for its Italian style-New York pizza, Saraghina recently opened a new bakery. Essential Italian pantry items, such as bread, morning pastries, olive oil by the pound, spices, cheese, candy and more, are the shop’s speciality. It’s freshly made pasta by the pound is the star. Having access to fresh pasta close to my apartment is a game changer in my menu planning. It means serving dinners made elegant with fresh pasta, and the meals aren’t time consuming. Ironically, the first recipe using Saraghina Bakery’s pasta was a time-consuming Rosemary Chicken Stew with Stir-Fried Collard Greens.

Continue reading The Magic of Fresh Pasta

Parade.com: 3 Ways to Spice Up Your Acorn Squash

Spicy Roast Acorn Squash

Even as a so-called health nut, I love winter squashes roasted until they’re buttery and sticky-sweet. They’re drizzled with olive or coconut oil, or a little soft butter is brushed on slices. Perhaps they’re sweetened with brown or coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey. A bit of sea salt and fresh black pepper are sprinkled here and there. In my creative mind, winter squashes are flavored with any combination of herbs and spices. Continue reading Parade.com: 3 Ways to Spice Up Your Acorn Squash

Parade Magazine: Roast Sweet Pepper Pizza

Roast Red Pepper Pizza

Now that cooler nights are here, I can turn on the oven to it’s highest temperature to make pizza. This pizza has a mild spicy cornmeal crust that most kids will love. It’s topped with homemade roast peppers with a smoky and candy sweet taste sans the spice. The peppers are layered over a herbal ricotta cheese and baby spinach leaves. Balancing the sweetness of the pizza, salty kalamata olives gently top the roast peppers with a handful of shredded parmesan cheese (try it with asiago, too). The result: A pizza that warms your family’s soul into the first few days of autumn.  Continue reading Parade Magazine: Roast Sweet Pepper Pizza

Our Moms Make the Best Potato Salad in the World

Creamy Herbal Potato Salad

In Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Oprah Winfrey’s character, Gloria Gaines, the matriarch of her family, is introduced peeling potatoes. In another scene, she’s telling a friend the secret to her famous potato salad: Dill. Ironically, this Creamy Herbed Potato Salad was made weeks before the movie debuted. Although this salad doesn’t use dill, this is a recipe to experiment with your favorite combination of herbs.  Continue reading Our Moms Make the Best Potato Salad in the World