Plums Star in a Delicious Fall Dessert

Although I have been filling my grocery cart with plenty of apples and pears—quintessential autumn staples– I’ve also purchased plenty of plums. I’ve bought these dark red to purple orbs to use in some of my favorite seasonal desserts. They are excellent in an apple and plum crisp  featured here on this blog in years past. And, I particularly like the following recipe for warm spiced plums topped with softly whipped cream, scented with honey.

Simple and delicious, these spiced plums take 30 minutes or less to prepare. You cut the plums into wedges and then sauté them until tender with sugar Continue reading

A Delicious Late Summer Salad

After Labor Day, many think of Summer as having ended, but Fall doesn’t start officially for a few more weeks.  At my local farmers’ market, there’s still an array of summer crops, including melons, vibrantly hued tomatoes, and plenty of fresh herbs, Recently, I used some of these late season beauties to create a salad of cantaloupe, cherry tomatoes, and feta tossed in a fennel seed vinaigrette.

This dish is simplicity itself. You need only to dice the melon, halve the Continue reading

Two Favorite Recipes Pair Up for a Delicious Summer Dish

Recently I combined two recipes—both staples of my summer cooking repertoire—into what turned out to be a delicious main course. I have often made and even included in my cooking classes Barbecued Salmon Fillets, but never have I garnished them with Fresh Peach Salsa, a condiment I usually reserve for grilled pork. However, earlier this week at the supermarket when I spotted a bag of local peaches perfectly ripe and temptingly priced, I had a eureka moment!  Why not pair that tangy peach salsa with fish such as salmon (already on my grocery list) instead of Continue reading

Variations on Salade Nicoise

Twice this summer, I’ve served salade niçoise as an all-in-one main course, but both times I made changes to this classic salad. On each occasion my spouse and I were entertaining friends who were allergic to or did not like tuna, so I substituted sliced roast chicken (conveniently purchased from the supermarket).  Along with the usual haricots verts, potatoes, tomatoes, olives, and hard boiled eggs, I included julienned red and yellow bell Continue reading

From Simple Appetizer to Delicious Summer Salad

Soon after we arrived on the south coast of Massachusetts for our summer vacation, I invited a good friend who lives nearby to come for an impromptu supper. At a local market I picked up a ripe cantaloupe, some thinly sliced prosciutto, and fresh mozzarella balls. At home I was planning to use them to make one of my favorite appetizers—skewers of cubed melon paired with paper-thin ribbons of prosciutto and fresh mozzarella balls all drizzled with basil-scented olive oil. All was going well until I realized I didn’t have any wooden (or metal for that matter) skewers in my rental kitchen!

Within minutes, though, I had a solution. I could simply arrange cantaloupe wedges on a platter and garnish them with mounds of mozzarella balls and Continue reading

An Old-Fashioned Dessert for July 4th and Beyond

A few weeks ago, my longtime assistant, Emily Bell, was culling her files and discovered a recipe for “Gran’s peach buckle,” a recipe she had made often for her grandchildren when they were youngsters. This simple dessert had been such a hit with her family that she shared the recipe with me.

Most cooks are familiar with crisps and crumbles, but fewer have assembled buckles. The late Richard Sax in his cookbook, Classic Home Desserts (published  in 1994) offers the best definition of these three Continue reading

A Quick and Easy Summer Potato Salad with Aïoli

Earlier this week, when good friends came for an overnight visit, I prepared Salade Nicoise for lunch and an all-American comfort food menu for supper. The latter included pulled pork barbecue sandwiches, a corn gratin, and easy-to-make potato salad. The potato salad –a big hit with our guests–was especially simple to assemble.

The secret to its robust taste was the garlic mayonnaise, or aïoli, that I used Continue reading

Delicious Turkey Burgers for Memorial Day

Even though summer is not officially here, Memorial Day weekend kicks off the new season for most of us. We pull out our grills, clean our decks, scrub our patios, and sweep our porches as we switch to al fresco dining. This year I’m reviving a recipe I created years ago while writing The Big Book of Backyard Cooking. I’ve added some new touches to Lemon Dill Turkey Burgers.

I had already eyed these burgers when Marilyn Cozad, one of my longtime Continue reading

A Savory Grape Tomato and Blue Cheese Tart for Mother’s Day

For those of you who are still deciding the menu for a Mother’s Day celebration, here’s a recipe for a foolproof tart that could anchor a brunch or lunch this Sunday, May 8th. I’ve been baking this savory tart for more than 10 years, and never tire of its robust flavors. With its flaky crust and delectable topping of sweet grape tomatoes and creamy blue cheese, this Continue reading