Lemon Blues – The Cookie That Slays

End of winter….the cold, the eternally fickle snow drop strafed by cold rains, the drear days drag on. Where to find some relief? Needing a bright spot, I decide to warm the house – warm my heart – bake cookies. This is usually a quick, easy fix!

Spicy Bulgogi

Despite it being a marinated meat that is traditionally grilled, and the grill being buried under about four feet of snow still, pan frying in the trusty man pan worked out perfectly for this particular dish


Our Korean themed cooking day was coming up, and I was armed with a list of Korean words that could either turn out tasty or go horribly, horribly wrong. I don’t know. I know next to nothing about Korean food because our go-to Asian cuisine for cooking at home is usually Thai.

Banchan – Korean Sesame Spinach

Banchan is the Korean term for a variety of small dishes served as an aside with a main dish or a bowl of rice. Many times when dining at Korean restaurants, your waiter will deliver banchan to your table after you’ve ordered and while you are waiting for your food to arrive. They are always set in the middle of the table and meant to be shared. In some ways, banchan reminds me of the amuse-bouche often seen in many of the more high-end American and European restaurants.

Zucchini Refrigerator Pickles

As a half-assed gardener with a strong brown thumb, the one thing I manage to successfully grow year after year is a surplus of zucchini. Don’t ask me why – I have no clue. Perhaps it’s the winning combination of neglect and a moist, rainy climate. At any rate, each year I have more zucchini than I could ever possibly eat, and a freezer full of shredded zucchini that takes up space. One can eat only so much zucchini bread, after all.

Flourless Chocolate Torte

Yeah, we’re filing this recipe under the “Survive It” category. Why, you ask? Because one of our dogs has an unhealthy obsession for chocolate, will stop at nothing to get herself into it, and has survived the consumption of it on multiple occasions. This torte was no exception. We have no idea how she is still alive. Despite the fact that our pit bull is 105 in dog years, and despite the fact that the barely eaten torte was sitting on top of a foot-tall spice rack on the counter, she still somehow miraculously managed to knock the dessert to the floor and consume at least one full pound of dense chocolate torte when no one was looking.

Basic Tart Dough

What is a tart? No, not a saucy medieval lady with wicked wiles, though that term has been used in times past. The simplest description would be that it is a type of pie. If you really get down to it, there isn’t much distinction between a tart, a pie, a flan or a quiche when it comes to the dough end of the equation – or much of anything else for that matter.

Wild Mushroom Risotto

What the heck is risotto and how does it do that thing it does? Hey, I though rice was an Asian thing, not Italian? Ok, here’s a quick breakdown for you. Risotto is indeed an Italian rice dish, more specifically a Northern Italian rice dish. Usually round, medium or short grain, the most common types of rice used for making risotto are Aborio, Carnaroli, Maratelli and Vialone Nano. You’ll have the most luck finding Aborio in American grocery store, but the latter three are truly the best when it comes to a killer risotto.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Vietnamese food is one of my favorite, and perhaps one of the more interesting, cuisines of Southeast Asia. Although Vietnam was originally part of Imperial China, the French swooped in during the early 19th Century, colonized the entire country, and introduced their cooking style to the locals. By 1954 the locals had kicked the French oppressors back out of their homeland, but the fusion of both foods and languages stuck like a porcupine in bubble wrap.

Beet Infused Cocktails

I cannot even begin to describe my love for beets. There are no words. I love everything about them; the smell and the memories it evokes, the taste in all the recipes I have ever tried, the color and its lightning flash ability to ruin all of my clothes in a nanosecond, and its ability to make me think I need to go to the hospital if I’ve forgotten I’ve consumed it. So why on earth did it take me THIS LONG to realize beets might also possibly make some rather kickass cocktails? I do not have an answer for that question, but I have finally dug out the libation chemistry set and started to experiment.

Kroppkaka Gnocchi

Kroppkakor, as the dish is called is a Swedish dish, hailing from the southern regions of the country. They are namely potato dumplings with a filling of onion and pork or bacon, then served with lingonberry preserves and sour cream. Seriously, I am drooling just thinking about it.

Chocolate Coffee Stout Bacon Cheesecake

It was the sort of dessert you would eat in a log cabin in a plaid flannel shirt after spending all winter growing a beard that might rival your chest hairs. The sort of dessert you would want after wrestling bears and spearing fish through a tiny hole in the ice.

Beer Candied Bacon

This was very nearly a survive it moment. I did so many things wrong with this recipe that I am amazed that I didn’t end up tossing a pound of bacon in the trash. My first mistake was that I had spread myself too thin in the kitchen that day and was running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Turkish Moussaka

Many years ago I knew an American woman who had married man from Turkey, learned how to cook his customary dishes, and would herself travel to his native land multiple times a year to visit the rug and jewelry markets. One night, while enjoying a dinner party at their home, I was introduced to Moussaka and many other traditional Turkish dishes. It instantly became one of my favorite go-to meals and I have made it several times over the years.

Irish Soda Bread

Saint Paddy’s Day is quickly approaching, and I cannot think of a better time to tap into my inherent Irish bloodline and pull out a long-standing family favorite recipe – Irish Soda Bread. Although I didn’t realize it until well into adulthood, I pretty much lived on the stuff when I was a tot. It took one bite from a batch made by a friend to make me trip balls down memory lane and get overwhelmed with fond childhood memories of my Great Aunt May – a passionate writer, chef, and dog-lover.


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