The Magic Freezer

Artichoke Braid

We love to entertain.  Some of us even remember to say when we have guests coming!  My freezer has to be well stocked for all of those ooops moments.  I can easily pull out the artichoke hearts and puff pastry and whip this up frozen to serve in less than an hour.  And when I'm really smart, I freeze half the recipe so I just need to bake off the ready assembled artichoke braid.

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All in the House

Pantry Pumpkin Pasta

Autumn is in the air.  That means it is pumpkin season!  Okay, okay, my birthday is Halloween, so I always I am ready to break out a pumpkin.  But, really, kids, this pasta is awesome.  All of the ingredients are on hand in my house, so they should be in yours as well.  The sauce cooks in the same amount of time that the pasta boils.  It's full of pumpkin goodness, vitamins, calcium, and butter.  So, you know, perfect.

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So Buttery

The Buttery Babe Pie Crust

An essential recipes.  Perfect for chicken pot pie, fall galette, quiche or anything else you want to fill it with.  Get your hands and your food processor dirty and then show off your mad pie skills.

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Full of Produce, so it Must be Healthy

Fall Galette

A galette is a rustic pie.  This one uses some of my favorite fall flavors - sweet potato and apple.  Go raid the farmers market then spend a little time drinking hot cider and making this galette.  You won't be disappointed.

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Autumn in a Bowl

Butternut Squash and Sesame Soup

A quick bowl of warm comfort - that is what this recipe is.  Super creamy without any animal product.  This soup has a touch of tahini to bring a little something special.  So yummy!

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Bread Bondage

Napkin Dumplings

I bake a lot of bread.  Sometimes there is leftover bread, so I pull it out of the freezer and use it in new recipes.  Since it is mid-September, I have been starting to plan out our Saturday Thanksgiving extravaganza.  I am totally bored with all of the variations on American stuffing - this year we will be having Viennese Napkin Dumplings!

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Crunch on That!

Savory Granola

Comfort foods are often a little soft or single textured.  This granola can change that right up.  Jazz up your pumpkin soup, morning granola or hearty salad with these crunchy grain clusters!  Chock full of oats, quinoa, millet and seeds, savory granola will punch you in the taste buds and keep you full and happy.

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Zucchini Overload

A chef once told me that "Zucchini is offensive to the palatte."  I don't think he realized how easy they are to grow in the garden!  So here is one of my many recipes to use up the bounty.

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Too Many Tomatoes

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of my favorite fruits.  I love them so much that there is one permanently placed on my left calf.  In the garden, I grow at least three varities each summer.  Since the garden is my happy place and tomatoes are my happy fruit, you can understand when I say that there are a lot!  This recipe is how I keep summer going all year long.

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Custardy Fruity Happiness

Pear Clafoutis

I like a dessert that I can mess around with and it still tastes good.  I really like a dessert that has minimal ingredients.  And I really, really, like a dessert that is so chock full of fruit I can serve it for breakfast and not feel even a tiny bit guilty.  Let me introduce you to your new favorite dessert...Clafoutis!

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Heaven "Scent" Cake

Semolina Cake with Orange and Anise

This cake is a sunny yellow, super moist and smells like a fancy after-dinner beverage.  It has no eggs and transforms to dairy-free easily.  Brighten up your dessert game with Semolina Cake!  So yummy, I couldn't even get a photo before my family devoured it!

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Of Course I Have an Apple Tree, or Three

Apple-Pear Sauce

Sometimes you have a lot of apples.  Like when the trees are super excited about fall, or you went on an apple-picking date, or it's after Rosh Hashanah and you are so over it, or you went overboard at Costco!  This is a great way to use up the fruit.  The pears add a gentle sweetness, the lemon a little zing.  Pour it over ice cream, dollop over yogurt, or go super old school and have it with a classic PBJ sandwich.

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I Ain't no Challah Back Girl!  Oh Wait, I Totally am.

My Favorite Challah

It's that time of year, kids.  When I go through a twenty pound sack of flour in about a week.  And a few flats of eggs.  And several bottles of honey.  It's Challah Time!  Here is my favorite, along with some step by step pictures for fancy round loaves.  Challah is great no matter how poorly you braid it.  And if you are me, it's pretty poorly. 🙁

Gimme That Challah Recipe!

Gimme That Winston Braid!

Gimme That Challah Bowl!

Roots on Roots

Creamed Turnips

The darling of root vegetables (ok, not a potato, but I love them!) teamed up with a hit of sharp horseradish.  Tame the whole thing out with a dollop of cream cheese and a flurry of chives.  Festive, comforting and pretty.  Kinda like me.  Except for that comforting part; I'm a little bitter.

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I Win the Toast Game

Semolina Sourdough Bread

Avocado Toast.  Tomato Toast.  Poached Egg Toast.  Buttered Toast.  All the Toasts need to start with a good bread.  This one is our current favorite.  Perfect straight from the oven, freezes nicely and toasts like a dream.

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Cake for Summer Lovin'

Coconut Lime Crunch Cake

I like a Pina Colada.  And Dancing in the Rain.  But this cake is better than both - combined!  Buttery and a tiny bit tart.  The crunchy-chewy coconut crust adds intrigue while the zip of lime adds interest.  Its like a late night flirtation...in cake form!

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Love is a Cookie

French Almond Macaron

When I lived in Upstate New York and would come visit Chicago, my best friend would always make sure that I had enough Macaron in my bags to last until the next trip home.  When The Bunny and I were dating, he would surprise me with little boxes of perfectly plump Macaron.  These cookies are how love is expressed...at least to the Buttery Babe!

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Crunch, Crunch, Crunch

Thai Turnip Slaw

I love rich, fatty, glorious creamy foods.  I love pastries oozing butter.  I love foie gras.  I love mashed potato that is equal parts heavy cream and spud.  But sometimes, even I, the Buttery Babe, need to eat a few veggies.  And when I do, I like them to be super crunchy so that I know I ate them!  A fex extra chews is good for the tone of my jaw muscles, right?

This Thai inspired slaw is super flavorful with garlic, mint, basil and chili.  It has turnips and carrots for crunch and vitamins.  No mayo, so it is a great carry-along to a picnic, BBQ or a not-sad desk lunch.

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Alien Veggies for Dinner

Kohlrabi Rosti

Yes, I make a lot of things in my skillet.  I think by now you understand that I have a thing with pancakes.  But this one has a sexy name.  Rosti!  And is completely made out of vegetables.  So there.  Super healthy!  Ok, there is a smidge of butter in there...

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Summer in a Bite

Vegan Summer Rolls

I always pack my lunch for work.  That way I know I will like it and it will have some type of nutritional value.  These Summer Rolls have protein, veggies and fresh herbs.  Plenty of flavor and texture to make my miniature break see like a quick getaway to Southeast Asia.  Perfect cold or room temperature, vegan and gluten free.  Could you really ask for anything more in a recipe without butter?

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All Day Pancakes

Savory Dutch Baby

Pancakes are really the perfect food.  Top with butter, fill with veggies, add some eggs.  Make them spicy, crunchy, plain or surprising.  Here is an excellent pancake to eat for any meal, or cut it in wedges for a fun appetizer.  Cheesy, chive-y batter, roasted seasonal asparagus and a festive whipped cream garnish.  Get the cocktails ready...this one is ready in less than half an hour!

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Something from Nothing

Bits and Pieces Lasagna

Sometimes there are a bunch of random things in the house that need to get eaten but they just don't make sense together.  There isn't enough of anything for it to be a meal, but combined, they can be a wonderful hearty treat.  The common thing that can bring all socially awkward refrigerator stragglers together?  Noodles, of course!

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Exotic Snacking at its Best

Vietnamese Rice Crepes

Crunchy, veggies, carbs, protein and spicy!  Yes, this has them all!  Plus it is vegan and gluten free.  My adaptation of the classic Vietnamese Rice Crepe is quick to throw together, is to riff on and delicious to boot.  Fill your kitchen with the smells of a night market and your belly with the best of snacks.  Open a cold beer and enjoy it all with friends!

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Gimme That Sauce!

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Emotional Eating to the Rescue

Sweet Noodle Kugel

This recipe is designed to bring comfort to those who have lost a loved one.  Full of butter, sour cream, cottage cheese, noodles and two types of sugar, there is nothing here that won't make you feel better.  Our "Shiva Kugel" can be served at a fancy brunch, too.  The Bunny asks for it whenever he thinks that he can get away with it.  Here's the thing...don't mess with it!  Real butter, full fat dairy, all the sugar.

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Hot Melty Cheese Love

Baked Brie in a Bread Bowl

Sometimes something is so good, you need to stop everything and just be a part of it.  This Brie is one of those things.  3 ingredients melded together so deliciously that all you can do is eat and smile and eat and smile.  It is warm, gooey, cheesy, jammy and crunchy...all at once!

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I Feel Pretty, oh so Pretty!

Hazelnut Meringue Cake

Cake is a glorious creation.  It's yummy, pretty, and way too easy to consume vast quantities of.  This cake is a little annoying to make, but lovely.  It has no oil, no dairy, and is gluten free - perfect for the occasions when you have a bunch of people all on different diets.  Also, the recipe makes two layers!  You can serve as is, or put a little whipped cream and berries in the middle.  I serve it with a Rose All Day Compote and some Prosecco!

Gimme That Cake!

Gimme That Compote!

 

A Kugel is a Square is a Casserole!

Broccoli Kugel

A recipe my mom, Gidge, taught me to make as a little girl.  When I started to bring college friends home for the holidays I needed to explain what kugels were, so I brought out my favorite childhood term for kugel - squares!  I explained that all traditional Jewish foods are square or round.  Kugels are square; Matza Balls and Latkes are round!  A handful of staples and 1 hour are all you need to make a holiday ready veggie.

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Gimme the Cookie and Nobody gets Hurt!

Passover Mandel Bread

Cookies are a girl's best friend.  Ok, so are diamonds, bubbly wine, and...oh wait...actual friends!  Anywho, back to the cookies.  These are delicious almond scented nut cookies, based on an old family recipe.  Be traditional and say "mandelbrot" or be trendy and say "biscotti!"  Either way, make the cookies, share the cookies, eat the cookies.

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I miss the Spring!

Broiled Feta with Spring Salad

I love the spring.  I love to work in my garden, drinking rose, thinking about all of the delicious veggies and fun parties that we will be having in the summer.  Spring is foreplay, and it is magical.  So is this super easy feta dish.  Eat it.  Pretend you are warm, tan, famous, and entertaining somebody who is very attentive.

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Can't Pronounce It, So Just Eat It!

Japanese Cabbage Pancakes

Okonomiyaki have become kind of an obsession lately.  We eat a lot of green vegetables - cabbage, kale, chard, collards, and I am always looking for a new way to cook them.  Over the summer I made so many variation of these pancakes that I thought The Bunny would rebel.  But he powered through.  Now we have a perfected version.  It whips together quickly, can be bulked up with any goodies lurking in your kitchen and will make you look like a bad ass if you can pronounce the name of this yummy treat!

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Whap Goes the Chestnut!

Chestnut Pasta

I got lost in Tuscany trying to go to the Torture Museum, so ended up spending a lovely day in Sienna.  As I was staring off into the vista, a chestnut fell from a tree and hit me on the head.  A tiny accident that created a life long love of the smoky, buttery morsels of delight known as Chestnuts.  This pasta is easy to make, pairs beautifully with mushrooms or just butter and cheese, or can be used to make luscious ravioli.  Chestnuts...not just for roasting anymore!

Gimme That Pasta!

Heart of Goat!

Goat Cheese Tempura

Crunchy, creamy, salty, sweet, and just a bit naughty.  Whip up a quick batter and be ready for a cocktail worthy appetizer in just a few flicks of the whisk!  Top these tempura globes with a few of my favorite things...honey and freshly cracked black pepper!  Make these now, and make my pepper mill proud!

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Crunch, Crunch, Crunch!

Crunchy Cheese Fritters

This recipe seems to hit all the right notes, without even trying!  Mix some ricotta with some Parmesan, hid a melty cheese nugget in the middle.  Bread and fry to golden brown and delicious (GBD for short)  Consume vast amounts while drinking sparkling wine and gossiping with your friends.  Yep, just about perfect....I want some right now!

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Melty Cheese, Be Mine!

Mexico City Quesadillas

I am always craving crunchy and cheesy.  Preferably in the same bite.  Add a little heat, now I am in love!  I first had these quesadillas standing on a street corner in Mexico City and I have never been the same.  Crunchy edges, gooey center, and the fun of a project.  Change the filling up to make them yours.  Big, tiny, or in-between, Mexico City Quesadillas are always a hit!

 

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Basta Pasta! (Said No One, Ever!)

Fresh Pasta

I love butter.  And I love carbs.  So naturally, I love buttered noodles.  But they can take a turn to the fancy side when you make the pasta by hand.  It's not hard, you don't need expensive toys or obscure ingredients. Just a counter and a rolling pin.  Or an empty wine bottle if you don't have the rolling pin.  And we ALL have empty wine bottles!

 

Gimme That Pasta!

Something to Taco 'Bout!

Hand Pressed Corn Tortillas

Sometimes the simplest things bring the most pleasure.  Mixing some masa harina, water and salt to form a dough.  Roll it out and 2 minutes later - literally - you are shoving hot, fresh tortillas in your mouth.  Make me a Margarita and start grilling the skirt steak, Bunny, 'cause Taco Tuesday just go a whole lot better!

 

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Must Have Carbs!

OMG Sour Cream Scones

Well, we conquered the Lemon Curd.  And while some do advocate for eating it with a spoon, out of the bowl, in the glowing light of the fridge, I like something a bit more civilized.  Join me for a scone, won't you?  I promise good gossip, a spot of tea, and a glass of bubbles!

Gimme That Scone!

 

Fancy Lemons for My Fancy Man

Meyer Lemon Curd

I'm a happy girl.  I cook all day, hang out with my Lagotto Romagnolo puppy, and have an awesome husband.  But there are still a few things that make me even happier!  Bubbly wine, sparkly diamonds, and High Tea!  The Bunny is so smart that he proposed at high tea - all my favorite things at once!  Lemon Curd is essential for tea, and life, really.  Tart, sweet and buttery.  Yum!  Try this one with Meyer lemons and whole eggs.

 

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BUTTERnut Makes it Better!

Butternut Squash Phyllo Cigars

Tender roasted squash, caramelized onions, salty feta, a touch of honey...I could keep listing all the reasons that this appetizer is delicious, but then I would just be reading a recipe!  Crank up the oven, pour a glass of wine, and get yourself into a phyllo-frenzy!

 

Gimme Those Phyllos!

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Paolo il Gnoccho

Potato Gnocchi

You know that the Buttery Babe has a thing for International Dumplings!  The Bunny loves his potato dumplings...and he loves mushrooms...and he loves cream...so - Potato Gnocchi with Mushroom Cream Sauce.  I know the way to my man's heart is thru his tummy.  These are not so complicated and just as good with a drizzle of melted butter if you don't make the sauce.

 

Gimme Those Gnocchi!

 

Almost as Good as Bert's...

Butter Cookies

My grandmother was always generous with sharing her recipes.  But there was something not quite right with each one.  I've spent years perfecting the ratios to my father's favorite cookies.  One day, maybe.  Until then, enjoy the butter cookies.  They should be served with percolated coffee or Scotch for the most authentic flavor.

 

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Videos

It's Healthy...There's Fruit in the Middle!

Cranberry Bars

Leftover cranberry sauce from earlier? Or half a jar of apricot preserves lurking in the fridge?  Layer that luscious fruit goo between buttery, nutty, oaty dough.  It's practically a super food.  In a warm, crunchy square.  And it goes well with coffee, tea, toddys or egg nog.  Perfect for just about any occasion and questionable good for you - turn that oven on, baby!

 

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Videos

I want LATKES!!!

Savory Potato Pancakes

Better hit the gym early, 'cause you are not moving after consuming all of these delightful potato pancakes.  Bring on the applesauce and sour cream.  You might serve them as a side to roast chicken, but I say that the bird is the side when latkes are on the plate!

 

Gimme Those Pancakes!

Videos

It's a Sweeeeeet Potatooooooo!

Left Over Sweet Potato Pancakes!

Did you make too many sweet potato? On purpose or accident?  I won't tell.  Just make these easy pancakes and all is forgiven!

 

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Videos

Butter and Rosemary and Cookie! Oh my!

Rosemary Shortbread

Need a delicious recipe that can be a dessert or an appetizer?  Then you need my Rosemary Shortbread!  So buttery, so crumbly, so perfect for any occasion!

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Videos

I'll Bring the Berries!

Easier than the Can Cranberry Sauce

For some reason, I have issues with can openers.  They are just not my friends.  Oh well!  I have other redeeming qualities.  Lose the can and look like a culinary badass, just like the Buttery Babe!

Gimme Those Cranberries!

Videos

Did Somebody Say Biscuits!?!

Black Pepper Biscuits

Everybody knows how much the Buttery Babe loves her butter.  And her pepper mill!  Here they are, together at last!  Black.Pepper.Buttermilk.Biscuits!!!  I'm so excited that I might need a puff of my inhaler!

Gimme Those Biscuits!

Videos

International Dumpling Extravaganza!

Spaetzle

We just came back from Vienna - small town, many dumplings!  These "little sparrows" are easy to make and can be served many ways.  Just 3 ingredients are needed to make dinner a little more special.

Gimme Those Spaetzle!

Videos

Ras al Hanout

Moroccan Spiced Broccoli

Sounds exotic!  Heat that oven on full blast, whip up a tasty spice rub and you have a healthy side.  Add a sweet potato, poached egg or some chickpeas and "Top of the Shop" spice will be your new go to Meatless Monday dinner.

Gimme That Broccoli!

Videos

Date Night!

Salmon with Mustard & Rosemary

Make your dining room the best date night spot in town!  The Bunny and I love this easy salmon that we can throw together in 20 minutes.  A quick mayo-mustard-herb sauce keeps it moist and hazelnuts bring the crunch.

Gimme That Salmon!

Gimme That Potato!

Gimme That Turnip!

Videos

International Dumplings

Ricotta Gnocchi

Nuhh-key!  Gnochi!  Cutie!  Even if you can't pronounce these ricotta dumplings of delight you can eat them!  And you can whip up a batch in a flash.  Grab your ricotta, pour a glass of Champagne and impress yourself with your mad skills!  Don't forget the luxurious butter sauce.

Gimme That Gnocchi!

Gimme That Sauce!

Videos

International Dumplings

The Gnudi Know-How

Want a quick and healthy dinner or starter?  Get to know the Gnudi!  These little dumplings are chock full of greens and ricotta cheese.  A few minutes in simmering water, a splash of tomato sauce and you are golden.  Plus, they have a cute name.

Gimme That Gnudi!

Gimme That Sauce!

Videos

Rosh Hashanah Rundown

The Honey Cake

Tale as old as time.  Girl meets boy, girl gets family recipe, recipe is wrong.  MUST FIX RECIPE! My 2nd year making this cake was perhaps the most entertaining, and the most Emily and The Bunny ever.  I had made the cake, let it cool, and put it in the cake dome on the counter.  I then went to work.  When I came home at midnight, I freaked out because The Bunny had cut a huge wedge of honey cake as a snack, and it was being served in 2 days for holiday dessert.  The Bunny was in a world of trouble.  When I served the cake, everybody is chewing, and chewing, and chewing, looking around and not knowing what to do.  The cake was so dry and horrible.  "Bunny, why didn't you tell me the cake was nasty?!?" The Bunny's calm response: "Would I have been in more or less trouble?"

So here it is...it may not work for you.  The recipe has been adjusted so that it usually comes out nice, but Honey Cake is a fickle thing.

Gimme That!

And Some Whiskey Sauce to go with...

Gimme That!

Savory Breakfast

Dill Feta Breakfast Pastry

I don't like sweet breakfast.  But I do like pastry.  And cheese.  And herbs.  These are great for breakfast, or make them smaller and serve as an appetizer.  I won't tell you how to live your life.

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Big Girl, You are Beautiful!

Holiday Turkey

My darling mother taught me to shove a pound of margarine in the "tush" pour on a bottle of Italian dressing, wrap the pan tightly with foil and walk away.  The turkey would braise in its own little sauna.  This is an updated, less greasy, less chemically version.

My dad always carves the turkey, even when we are guests at other people's homes.  He was very mad when I declared that I could carve my own.  The best part of the holiday when I was little was standing to his right as he carved away, being fed tiny morsels of turkey and getting to pick at the carcass while he put the slices on the tray.

 

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Sunny Sunday

Romance on the Patio

A small miracle occurred; The Bunny woke up before me and took Kreplach the Puppy on a walk.  I woke up to the delightful smell of French Press coffee, puppy kisses, and Buddy Guy playing downstairs.  No, my favorite Blues man was not actually playing in the kitchen, but his voice is impeccable even through our speakers.  I put myself together, let The Bunny pour me a boozy coffee, and set breakfast to cook while we drank coffee on the porch and contemplated if we wanted straight Champagne or to add orange juice and pretend that a Mimosa was a healthy beverage.

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Windy Wednesday

Beef Carbonnade

The weather is finally cooling down here in Chicago.  It is time to start making stew.  Here is one of my favorites, and it is easy to make in the oven, the slow cooker or the Instant Pot.  I included a video tutorial, because that's how I go!

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Videos

Dinner Favorites

Creamy Polenta is Summer Heaven

You might have noticed a theme...I love polenta!  Overheard at a restaurant in Bologna, years ago, "Try the polenta...It's in season!"  I laugh every time that I say that sentence in my head, which is at least once a week.  Polenta is always in season, as it is a dried grain.  However, my tomato salad with fresh herbs, the corn kernels, and the luxurious burrata cheese make it a Summer must eat.  The recipe is below, and the how-to video is on the video page.  Everything tastes better when you cook along to my soothing voice!

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Videos

Labor Day

A Brisket is Born

I love brisket.  Braised in ketchup, beer and onion soup mix ala Gidge.  Pickled, smoked and steamed to pastrami perfection for Friendsgiving.  Cubed up as stew meat.  Ground into hamburgers.  All delicious.  I am a big girl.  I am a brave girl.  I will conquer the smoked brisket.  12 hours in my Big Green Egg, 12 tasty adult beverages.  Add sides, pickles, friends.  And my father telling The Bunny that I had had enough.  Yes, cut off in my own garden.

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Garden Delights

Eggplant for The Bunny

My husband, aka The Bunny, is particularly fond of Eggplant Parmesan.  Not the authentic versions that we ate all over Italy, not the modern versions that I have tried on molecular kicks, but true old school red sauce Americanized Eggplant Parmesan.  And it is his lucky summer...my eggplant shrubs are producing in overdrive.  Here's how to make my man very, very happy.

Gimme That!