Lowcountry Shrimp Boil

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Before we get into talkin’ bout shrimp let’s chat a little about exactly what the term ‘Lowcountry’ means because it’s certainly a treasured area in this country’s vast variety of regional cuisines. According to John Martin Taylor, author of Hoppin’ John’s Low Country Cooking, Lowcountry is an area that stretches along the South Carolina coast from the Savannah River in … Read More

Shishito Peppers

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Shishito peppers have started showing up on menus the past couple years and some would say they’ve even become the new darling of the chile pepper family. There is currently a Japanese varietal now being grown in the US in summer through fall but they are pretty much available year round in the states thanks to the imports from Mexico … Read More

OKTOBERFEST… A GERMAN TRADITION EMBRACED IN THE U.S.

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Fall has always been my favorite season of the year. I still have vivid memories of so many activities that I enjoyed with siblings and relatives growing up in Michigan. They all seemed more enhanced by the chill in the air and the gorgeous bursts of red, orange and gold foliage along with the smell of burning leaves. Yeah, this … Read More

Portobello ‘Fries’… A Marketing Story

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Portobello mushrooms are not a separate species, rather they are just large creminis. Once they grow to a size of 4”-6” in diameter they are called Portobellos really just to they can be marketed differently. How it got its name isn’t really clear, I mean, how did the ‘Patagonian Toothfish’ become ‘Chilean Sea Bass’… or ‘Slimefish’ become ‘Orange Roughy??’ Here … Read More

Grilled Flatbreads

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You’re probably doing a lot of backyard grilling this summer so next time you’ve got it fired up I’m going to show you a really simple way of preparing flatbreads for your parties that make great buffet table appetizers. It’s a two part process where you first grill your dough over your gas or charcoal grill then when you’re ready … Read More

Smoky & Spicy Tuna Salad

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The summers between my college years were spent working in a collection of different restaurants and nightclubs in Manhattan. It was during these summer stints that I fell in love with the idea of someday owning my own restaurant. Of all the restaurants I worked in, my favorite was Maxwell’s Plum located on the Upper East Side. Maxwell’s Plum Interior … Read More

Revisting an old favorite – Melon & Proscuitto

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Sometimes it’s really true that some of the best dishes are the simplest. Living in Southern California we get spoiled being able to buy just about any product item year round but, having grown up in the Midwest, I try to enjoy fruit that is truly in season locally. Right now we’re into melon season and my favorite has always … Read More

Grilled Summer Figs

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A couple days ago as I was wondering through the produce section at Gelson’s and I spotted for the first time this season what is probably my all-time favorite seasonal fruits….fresh summer figs. I don’t know of any fruit that evokes more of a sensual arousal in foodies than the fig. In fact, even in ‘pre-foodie’ times  D.H. Lawrence wrote … Read More

Leftover Mashed Potatoes

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‘Cassie’ my Michigan Mom, was a pretty resourceful, if not amazing cook. More often than not she prepared 3 meals a day for the six kids in our family, me being the oldest. Breakfast every morning for sure…pancakes, eggs, bacon, waffles, french toast, oatmeal…and I’m talking from scratch here….there were no frozen waffles to be found in our freezer. Next … Read More

Summer is here and so are the Heirlooms!

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It wasn’t all that long ago that the only way you could enjoy tomatoes that really tasted like tomatoes was to grow your own. When I was growing up as a kid in southern Michigan we always had a backyard garden and in addition to corn, squash, potatoes, and beans we always had a few tomato plants. I can remember … Read More