The recipes on this blog are a combination of things I've learned over the years and meals inherited through generations of adoration for good food. They are a cherished property, so please be good to them.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sun, Sand and Surf

I'm happy to say that I won't be posting for at least a week. I'll be looking at this view for 6 days.
Here is where I'm going tomorrow. It's got all the charm of the beach without the traffic and hotels and insane crowds, similar to it's neighbor, Ocean City Maryland. Oh and they have a THIS, which is where I will be when I'm not looking at the view above, eating "Marsh Mud" ice cream which is possibly the best ice cream ever made. Complete and total vacation indulgence.
Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Sometimes a girl just needs comfort food and last week in the middle of August, I made this meatloaf, in spite of the heat.

1lb ground beef (turkey is good too)
1 c fresh basil, rough chop
4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 c Italian breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Form a loaf (hence, meatloaf) and place on a cookie sheet. Cover the top of the meatloaf with marinara sauce Bake on 375*F for about 1 hour or until done.

(If you are a true Baltimore hon, this is great the next day...slices of meatloaf on white bread makes a great lunch!)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Peach Cake

When I was growing up, on Sundays, my parents might stop at our favorite local bakery for all sorts of treats. One of my favorites is their peach cake. I had some beautiful peaches at home and while this cake is not the same as the version I love, it's got all the same tastes and delights as the original. I still recommend going to the bakery if you are in the neighborhood, because some of their items are a must have!

Prepare the peaches:
2 c sliced, peeled peaches
2/3 c sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 lemon, juice and zest
3 tbsp clarified butter

Combine the first 4 ingredients together in a bowl. In a well greased deep 8 in cake dish or pie plate, line slices of peaces along the bottom of the plate. Pour the clarified butter over the layer of peaches.

Sift together:
1 c all purpose flour
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Beat together:
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp clarified butter
1/4 c milk

Combine wet and dry ingredients until blended. Do not over mix the batter. Pour the batter on top of the peaches to cover. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until cake is firm and golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes and then invert onto a platter.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Balsamic Chicken with Peppers

This picture doesn't do this dish justice! I tried this because a dear friend bought me a lovely bottle of lemon balsamic vinegar for my birthday, and I thought the flavors would compliment the ingredients in this dish. I served this with some couscous and it came together in under 30 minutes.1 lb chicken breasts
1 each: red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, large onion : sliced thin
3 tbsp thyme leaves
2 tbsp chopped basil
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Sprinkle each side of chicken breasts generously, with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp oil in large saute pan over med-high heat. Cook chicken breasts until golden brown, flipping once, for about 8 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Add remaining oil and saute the peppers and onions
for about 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar, scraping up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the herbs and continue to cook about 4 more minutes. Return chicken to pan, and spoon the mixture over the chicken and cover pan. Simmer on med-low heat for about 4-5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Summer Fruit Salsa

I am re-posting this recipe (I didn't have a working camera at that time) as it's the perfect time of year for it.
I served this on top of Mahi with a green salad. This is great to have the next day with blue corn chips as a snack.

Summer Fruit Salsa
1 cup each; small diced: Strawberries Pineapple Mangoes
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 Jalapeno , de-seeded and finely chopped
1 good handful of fresh mint
1 lime juice and zest ( I had some leftover key limes, so I used 4 of them)
1 tsp coarse salt

Mix all ingredients together in a reactive safe bowl and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving to let flavors meld.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Grilled Potatoes

Mu husband only likes potatoes that have a crispier texture to them, so I am always looking for new ways to do a potato (since I love them in any form). I consulted my mother, the head chef, and she recommended this method. My husband loved them and I couldn't agree more!
3 large baking potatoes
fresh thyme leaves
olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cloves of garlic, minced

Cut potatoes lengthwise, into 1/4 inch slices. Place in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and cook until just fork tender. Remove slices and place into a bowl of iced water. Allow to cool completely, remove from water and place on paper towels to dry.
Once dry, coat the potatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic and thyme. Grill over indirect heat for about 3-5 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned and crisp.

Sunday Morning Harvest

I planted my first garden this year, quickly after settling into our first house. I grew up with parents who took lawn care and gardens to a whole new dimension. Gorgeous gardens, dedicated know the type. The whole effort paid off because even though I dreaded lifting a finger when I lived at home with my parents, I have become hooked on a new hobby!

I planted squash late in the planting season (Mid June) and so I am just getting a huge amount of yellow flowers and the beginnings of squash.
You can see a few tomato's are coming through (My plants came back with a vengeance after I thought they had lost the good fight in late June) and I've got a ton more on the way.
The herbs however, have been most rewarding. (I couldn't keep a plant of basil alive the balcony of our apartment last year, but somehow I've got this to look forward to every day of Summer!) Pictured: Mint (2 variations), Basil, Tarragon, Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Five Spice Chicken

All of the five flavors - sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, and salty - are found in five spice powder. A standard recipe calls for fennel, cloves, and cinnamon, along with star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. I used a prepared five spice powder from a specialty store. (**Cooks note: My other fave is to sprinkle the powder on deep fried chicken wings, a true indulgence.)

1/3 c lite soy sauce
1/3 c Hoisin sauce
2 tbsp honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp Chinese five spice

Add all ingredients together and simmer, allowing the liquid to reduce and get thick, about 8-10 minutes.

I slathered this on chicken breasts as they sat over a hot grill. Served with some carrots sauteed in butter, honey and garlic.