Chicken & White Wine Stew

As a novice cook, I often turned to Jamie Oliver’s book, Jamie’s Food Revolution.  One of my favorite recipes is his “Basic Stew Recipe,” in which he gives multiple options for meat-and-booze combinations to make a variety of different stews. This is followed by numerous recipes for different stew toppings such as dumplings, pastry, and…

Steamed Artichokes with Creamy Mustard Dipping Sauce

  With the whole e. coli-Romain lettuce scare that has impacted the country over the past few weeks, my local grocery store rid its shelves of all lettuces, making green-leaf salads a scarce commodity.  In lieu of salads with our meals, I’ve been adding extra servings of vegetables.  One of my favorites is steamed artichokes….

Creamy Marinara Tortellini & Sausage

  I threw this recipe together this evening on a whim and was quite pleased with the result.  My husband is not a huge fan of red sauces, so, when making pasta dishes, I often mix in a little heavy cream to make a pink sauce.  Bulk Italian sausage packs such an incredible flavor punch…

Queso Cheesesteak Sliders

Beef and cheese is such a great combination.  Hello, Philly cheesesteaks!  But if you don’t live in the central northeast (think Pennsylvania and New Jersey),  they are hard to come by…at least if you’re talking about a proper cheesesteak (I’m a “whiz with” kind of girl—translation: steak with cheese whiz and sautéed onions).  But I…

Herbs de Provence Roast Turkey

I first started hosting family Thanksgivings back in 2006.  My parents were coming to visit me in my little apartment outside of Bel Air, Maryland, where I worked as a teacher.  I really wanted to impress them with my cooking prowess, but as a rookie, I was nervous about tackling the turkey.  After spending hours…

The Best Damn Cranberry Sauce

Everyone has their favorite Thanksgiving side dish.  Mine is cranberry sauce.   More specifically, my Mum’s cranberry sauce.  It’s so freaking good, I dream about it year round.  This is not an exaggeration.  Anytime I serve it, my friends beg me for the recipe.  It’s super simple to make and can be prepared days in…

Chipped Ham Barbecue Sandwiches

  Chipped ham barbecue sandwiches are a Pittsburgh classic.  The key ingredient is Isaly’s chipped-chopped ham, which is cut so thin you might describe it as shaved instead of sliced.  If you don’t live in Western Pennsylvania or Eastern Ohio, chances are good that Isaly’s isn’t an option.  In that case, buy whatever smoked ham…

Pear Mimosas

When planning my Thanksgiving menu, one of the first things I do is choose a signature cocktail to serve with hors d’oeuvres.  This year, I’m turning to an old standby: Pear Mimosas.  This happens to be one of my favorite holiday libations, and I make them frequently for Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities.  It’s a refreshing…

Mississippi Pot Roast

A few years ago, Mississippi Pot Roast became all the rage.  There are thousands of recipes out there and I have tried many.  The standard components for this delectable, slow-cooked meat are a beef pot roast (duh!), a jar of pepperoncini peppers, a stick of butter, and a packet of ranch dressing mix.   Somewhere,…

Brown Butter Spiced Crispy Treats

We were invited to a get-together this past weekend at the home of one of my husband’s colleagues.  While I love to cook, I was excited at the prospect of not having to prepare any food.   Then, around 10:00 the night before, my husband informed me that this was a potluck occasion and we…