Christmas Cookie: Lemon Squares

There is not much time left to get your Christmas baking in.  I’ve been churning out my regulars this week but I wanted to add a new one to the rotation: lemon squares.  They are pretty popular any time of the year but I think they’re great around Christmas since they are a bit lighter…

Since it’s Apple Season – Homemade Apple Pie

I looked back among all of my posts and discovered I’ve never posted about making an apple pie.  I’m not surprised as there are probably a million apple pie recipes out there, so why add another one?  I’ll tell you why.  Firstly, because I made one for Sunday Dinner this week; secondly and more importantly…

Apple Onion Chutney and Canning for the First Time

So I’ve been making good use of the smoker this summer and one thing I feel you always need when barbecuing is a good sauce to accompany the meat.  Steaks have marinades and chimichurri but one condiment which I think goes great with cured and smoked meats is this apple onion chutney. 

How to make Aioli: A perfect condiment for grilled foods

Aioli, when made from scratch is very unlike the flavored mayo you get at places passed off as aioli.  It’s much creamier, packs quite the garlicky punch, and can be used to enhance the flavors of almost anything from soups to grilled vegetables to meat to crostini.  Aioli is also very easy to make and…

White Bean Bruschetta with Duck Skin Crackling

It has been a real whirlwind spring so far.  I’ve been really busy with work (a good thing) and in our spare time we’ve been revamping the back yard, tearing out shrubs, expanding the patio, making some raised bed gardens (an even better thing).  Cooking has temporarily taken a back seat.  However, this past Sunday…

Herb Butter – Kitchen Essential

Herb butter.  Compound butter.  Hotel butter.  No matter what you call it, it’s one of the easiest items you can make and add to your kitchen essentials cupboard.  It’s also a good example of how a simple uncomplicated item can have tremendous effects on anything you cook.  Finish off your vegetables with it, plop a…

Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli – A Refreshingly Light Sunday Dinner

After New Year’s and the end of carb-overload season I’m always looking to create some lighter yet fulfilling meals and I think pastas are a great blank canvas for this.  It had been a while since I made ravioli so I decided we’d have some for Sunday dinner.  The only major question was, what kind…

Couscous Salad (don’t worry, summer’s almost over)

Ok, back to summer salads!  This particular couscous salad is Cheryl’s favorite.  I’m not sure if there’s a special ingredient in it she really likes or if it’s the combination of everything, but whatever it is she gets very happy when I make it.  As with most of my summer creations, this couscous salad is…

Homemade Peach Pie

You can tell we’re really getting into summer by the types of fresh fruits and vegetables now filling the produce aisles in abundance.  Cherries, green beans, and the newcomer of the past couple weeks, peaches.  Time to make one of my favorite summertime desserts: Peach Pie!  I’ve been discovering many people are secret peach pie…

A Cooling Cocktail for 4th of July – Bittered Gin Sling

Happy 4th of July!  Happy Birthday America!  Ridiculously hot here today in Chicago so Cheryl and I have been doing the most American of things today: taking advantage of central air conditioning and watching the Tour de France and Wimbledon from our couch.  We’ve got a picnic to attend later when it’ll hopefully be cooler,…