Lemon and Herb Grilled Whole Rockfish

As the weather warms with hints of summer’s imminent arrival, you might find yourself itching for a reason to enjoy more of your meals outside. I’ve certainly found myself drawn to the grill more and more as of late, and in this case, I wanted a simple meal that felt more…provençal?

I prepared this meal with one of my absolute favorite fish dishes in mind. Preparation is wonderfully simple: start with a whole fish and stuff the belly cavity with as much in the way of aromatics as you can possibly fit in there, oil the fish generously, and grill it until cooked through. This is the kind of dinner that costs you at most 10 minutes of effortful time, and after that, all you need to do is wait. The flavors are clean and delightful–a clean brininess, smoke tinges from the grill, and perfume of lemon, thyme, and rosemary throughout, all intermingled on delicate, moist flakes… click to read more…

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Blackberry Glazed Doughnuts

For the better part of my life, I had never really considered how simple and straightforward it would be to make doughnuts at home. Until making paczkis, I had come to accept that the likes of Dunkin Donuts were as good as it got. Oh how wrong I was.

Not only can you indulge for breakfast–you should. Saying its like having deep-fried cake for breakfast might make it sound like a not-so-healthy idea, but everyone should enjoy a good doughnut now and then…and this is a good doughnut. Tender inside, crisp and golden on the outside–just what a good doughnut should be.

I was largely by this recipe for cake doughnuts. This recipe is a solid base recipe to play around with flavor-wise. I went with a light touch of spice (cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla) and a sweet, tangy, purply blackberry glaze. I’ve also played with a coating of cinnamon-sugar, a dusting of powdered sugar,… click to read more…

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Fancy Schmancy Frank and Beans

I’m not sure what the weather has been like by you, but this winter has been so ridiculously mild. I’m someone who loves winter for the cold and the snow. Being able to go for a run in my shorts and to relax at home with the screen-door open, well, it throws me off. Despite this, I still crave the big, bold, hearty flavors you would find in winter food; something to warm your insides…even if they’re already pretty warm.

When I was young, on a rare occasion, my mom would put together a quick and simple treat for dinner: frank and beans. No its not fancy and yes, many people will lift up their nose at the thought. I loved it. Not really sure why–maybe it was just how infrequently it was a dinner option, but it was just one of those dinners that hit the spot. So I thought I would totally miss the point and make… click to read more…

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Penne with Squash Blossoms, Asparagus, and Sausage in a Light Parmesan Cream Sauce

As spring transitions to summer, a lot of fun, promising produce is available with the best of spring and the best of summer both still available to work with. This dish tends a bit more towards spring-time (especially since the weather is pretty steadily at 100°F+ everyday here lately), but you get the idea. This pasta dish has sautéed Italian sausage, a light, creamy sauce flavored with Parmesan and a fistful of basil but the stars are asparagus and squash blossoms.

As summer squash starts to take off, they put off a ton of blossoms (and baby squash), which, if you’ve never had them, are well worth a try. They’re a bit milder and delicate in both texture and flavor compared to their fully matured siblings, but they are still distinct and quite pretty. The easiest way to get a hold of squash blossoms if they’re not at your farmer’s market: plant summer squash/zucchini in your backyard (they simply… click to read more…

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Asparagus, Swiss Chard, and Goat Cheese Pizza

Spring time is when food starts to become more fun for me. All the interesting produce starts to slowly come into season again, teasing their way forward to the bounties of summer. One such beacon for me: asparagus. I love the stuff and will probably be eating it on a nearly daily basis in all forms for as long as it is locally in season.

I tend to love asparagus prepared simply–either grilled with a bit of citrus or paired with something tangy and creamy. This dish leans more in the latter direction: a freshly made pizza topped with asparagus, wilted swiss chard, and goat cheese. Do I tend to overdo it in the quantity of toppings when I make my own pizza? Maybe according to some, so top your pizza with however much you see fit–me? I’ll just be looking for excuses to eat more asparagus and this light pizza just screams… click to read more…

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Paczki (Polish Jelly Doughnuts)

With Mardi Gras right around the corner, there’s a lot of incredible food you should make a point of squeezing in before Fat Tuesday draws to a close. For your meals, a traditional fried chicken and andouille gumbo, a chicken and shrimp jambalaya, or perhaps a different spin on gumbo with a bit more winter squash will suit your fancy. However, all of these options neglect the sweet tooths out there, and for you, my people, there are paczkis.

I only recently heard of paczkis. These treats are Polish in origin (and pronounced like “poon-shkee”) and, to completely over-simplify them, resemble cake-like jelly doughnuts. The idea, as with all Fat Tuesday-centric food, is to use up and indulge in all of the things that aren’t to be consumed during Lent, and as such, these are more exciting than your everyday doughnuts.

Traditionally, these are a bit large and contain… click to read more…

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