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Chocolate Stuffed French Toast

Chocolate Stuffed French Toast

The first time I remember smelling chocolate cooking or baking when I was a young girl was growing up in Austin and occasionally Mom would make toast with chocolate gravy. Most of the time it was for a weekend breakfast or a late night treat Continue Reading

Jean Anderson’s avocado, black bean and tomato salad

Jean Anderson’s avocado, black bean and tomato salad

Sarah Moulton is one of my favorite chefs. I learned to cook by watching chefs on television and Sarah is one of my favorite. Watching Sarah Moulton on television is like being in the kitchen with your best friend. Sarah mentions her colleague Jean Anderson Continue Reading

Mediterranean Tabbouleh Salad

Mediterranean Tabbouleh Salad

I still remember the first time I tasted Tabbouleh. A local restaurant in Austin, the town where I grew up offered a Middle Eastern platter with crispy herbed falafels, lemony hummus and portion of tabbouleh salad with its bulgur wheat, tomatoes and parsley. For a girl who grew up on casseroles, garden vegetables and rabbit meat my family raised ourselves, this was the height of exoticism.
Tabbouleh lovers can have passionate opinions about the proper proportions of ingredients. I prefer a more filling salad that showcases bulgur as the main ingredient.

Mediterranean Tabbouleh Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bulgur wheat

  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

  • 1/4 cup good olive oil

  • 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (1 bunch)

  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (1 bunch)

  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (1 bunch)

  • 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup feta

Directions

  • Place the bulgur in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
  • Add the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper; mix well.
  • Cover and refrigerate. The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours.
  • When serving, sprinkle with feta.
Chicken Dorito Casserole

Chicken Dorito Casserole

Growing up, this recipe was a favorite in our house as Mom and Dad could both make this and there was always and abundance of chicken… or rabbit. Now that I am older and recreating this recipe for quick dinner, potluck or sick friend – I Continue Reading

Brown Butter Pecan Pie

Brown Butter Pecan Pie

To me, nothing says Thanksgiving and the holidays like a warm pecan pie.Growing up, Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday and going to Grandma and Pawpaw’s to celebrate was a special way to spend it. Memories of the smells of Thanksgiving in Grandma’s kitchen make me Continue Reading

Chicken Artichoke Stew

Chicken Artichoke Stew

This delicious and simple French stew is creamy, comforting and satisfying all year long. It can also be frozen up to 3 months, letting the flavors deepen and concentrate.

Chicken Artichoke Stew

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 large onions, chopped

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced sodium chicken broth or 3.5 cups of homemade stock

  • 6 medium carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed, halved lengthwise

  • 2 tablespoons capers

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • coarse salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • Generously season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a Dutch over (or 5-quart stockpot) over medium-high heat. Brown half the chicken on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining butter and chicken. Set aside to cool.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add 1/4 cup water (sometimes I use white wine here if I have a bottle open); scrape bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Add onions; cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute more.
  • Add broth and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Add carrots, thyme, and salt and pepper. Simmer until carrots are almost tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Cut chicken into small chunks and return to pot; cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Add artichokes and capers; cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. Stir in parsley and serve over rice.
Chicken Chili with Cheesy Hushpuppy Crust

Chicken Chili with Cheesy Hushpuppy Crust

Mom was a wiz in the kitchen, too. She was never afraid to try something new. When circumstances found us with 105 rabbits one summer, she was even able to find a close friend to fry some of them at a local Kentucky Fried Chicken Continue Reading

Swordfish Speedies

Swordfish Speedies

Spiedini or speedies, what an adorable word. It essentially means anything cooked on a skewer in Italian and I just love skewers. Grilled meat is right up there with chocolate and carbs for favorite food groups. These speedies lightened up with swordfish are a great Continue Reading

Not Your Average Tuna Fish Salad

Not Your Average Tuna Fish Salad

I make a half recipe of this for lunch at least twice a month. Even though the avocado keeps for a day in this salad, I prefer fresh avocado so typically make a smaller batch for Joshua and I. If you halve the recipe, go ahead and use a whole avocado. I’ve never heard anyone say, “gee, this has too much avocado.”
Also, I use frozen fish for this recipe more often than not. While it’s a nice luxury to be able to pick up a fresh tuna steak from Whole Foods for this recipe, the reality is I keep a 2 lb package of wild caught tuna steaks in my freezer most of the time, so this is my go to. As long as I don’t overcook it on the sear – it is one of my favorite lunches, fresh, frozen, however!


Not Your Average Tuna Fish Salad

One of my favorites from the Barefooot Contessa.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds very fresh tuna steak, cut 1-inch thick

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling

  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black, plus extra for sprinkling

  • 2 limes, zest grated

  • 1 teaspoon wasabi powder

  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (3 limes)

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

  • 10 dashes hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)

  • 1 to 2 ripe Haas avocados, medium diced

  • 1/4 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)

  • 1/4 cup red onion, small diced

Directions

  • Brush the tuna steaks with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the tuna steaks in a very hot saute pan and cook for only 1 minute on each side. Set aside on a platter, and cover with foil.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, lime zest, wasabi, lime juice, soy sauce and hot sauce. Add the avocados to the vinaigrette.
  • Cut the tuna in chunks and place it in a large bowl. Add the scallions and red onion. Pour the vinaigrette mixture over the tuna and carefully mix.

    Tips: This recipe can be easily halved and if you are only cooking for 1 or 2, and I would definitely recommend it as even a half recipe makes quite a bit.
Orange Sweet Rolls that taste like sunshine

Orange Sweet Rolls that taste like sunshine

I was raised in Austin Texas by parents who didn’t always have the income to put out a lavish spread on the table for my brother, sister and I. However, they were hard workers and had the intelligence and competence to turn even the meager Continue Reading