June 30, 2010

A Sumptuous Salad

Roasted Beet and Radicchio Salad

My family spends the summer teetering on the fence between dietary endeavors and comforting summertime favorites. One night it's smoky baby backs slathered in coffee-infused bbq sauce and mixed berry crostatas...or strawberry shortcakes. The next night we offset the previous day's calorie-fest with a healthy farm-stand salad and grilled fish or chicken. It's a tricky balance between what we want to eat, and what we should eat. There are plenty of times, however, that what we want to eat IS what we should eat! Those occasions consist of dishes boasting bold colors, audacious flavors, ample texture, and lots of contrast!

June 27, 2010

The Virtues Of Bread

Fresh Focaccia Loaves.

You can buy decent focaccia at the bakery, but NOTHING beats homemade bread! Yet, there's that one little ingredient we so often don't keep around the house...patience.

June 23, 2010

A Multi-Purpose Meal

Dutch Babies with Mulberry-Rhubarb Compote.

It's nice to find things that serve more than one purpose. Dryer sheets, for instance, are perfect for softening laundry, freshening stinky shoes and gently scenting the clothes in a packed suitcase. Coffee grounds...not only for your daily cup, but also for flavoring meat rubs and desserts, boosting your potting soil and an excellent exfoliator. I can't even begin to list the endless uses for Sharpie markers or pickling salt!

June 20, 2010

The Best Things In Life...

Ginger-Wheat Mulberry Muffins.

Last Saturday I woke up early. The plan was to head straight to the farmer's market...alone. It's fun to go with the family, but I usually try to leave before anyone else in my house is awake--so I can have a little me time and pursue the farmer's market at my leisure. This time, my little guy Carson, woke up before I had a chance to sneak out and quickly got dressed to go with me. The two of us roamed the market in search of  unusual veggies, fresh local goat cheese, berries, and smoked trout. We came to one vendor that had a table covered with mulberries. Carson couldn't remember ever trying a mulberry, so we bought a pint and headed home with our bundle of goodies!

June 16, 2010

That Man Can Cook!

Spicy Coconut French Toast...

My husband is adorable. He is! It's amazing how a person's quirky little behaviors can develop into all the reasons you love them! Let me tell you about his kitchen habits.

June 13, 2010

Honoring Dad

Coffee Brushed BBQ Ribs...

Looking back on my childhood, there are certain things about my dad that stand in the forefront of my mind. Good things.

June 09, 2010

When Life Gives You Lavender...

French Lavender Lemonade.

Love thy neighbor--and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier. ~Mae West

We live in an older neighborhood with mature trees clustered about, and homes dating back to the 1890's. My house is on the main drag through our neighborhood with a picturesque little church across the road. It is a fairly busy street in our bustling pedestrian community. We get all the action right outside our windows. Runners, dog-walkers, strollers, bikers, the 4th of July parade, the Halloween extravaganza, the dog blessing ceremony (Asheville is a unique community)...it all happens directly in front of my house.

June 06, 2010

Party At My House!

Strawberry Brie Tartlets...

My husband and I are party people. We are always looking for an excuse to lay out a glorious spread of edibles and aperitifs. What's better than a warm amalgamation of friends, food and music? Not much that I can think of. We think of our home idealistically, as a meeting place where people can relax, connections are made, friendships are developed, where inspiring conversations are aroused...a place of both reasoning and laughter.

June 02, 2010

Less Is More

Sweet and Smoky Salmon with Ginger Mahogany Rice...

My cooking style and culinary outlook have changed drastically in the last several years. Looking back, I remember coming home from work and spending hours in the kitchen, whisking, roasting, pureeing, bruleeing... learning. It was my hobby and my escape. As with all things I enjoy, I studied cookery. I was on a mission to prove something--if only to myself. My goal was always to create a masterpiece.

Seven years ago a life-altering change occurred...