Buttermilk Cornbread

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There I was, staring at a perfect pot of chili (recipe to come tomorrow) trying to decide what to have with it.  Of course there would have to be the ubiquitous accompaniments-shredded cheese, diced onion, sour cream, avocado and fritos.  But, I still wanted something else.  Now I know what you’re already saying.  Cornbread is probably right at the top of your list.  But I’m not kidding you when I tell you it didn’t come to me for at least a 1/2 hour. When it did finally trickle into my somewhat thick brain I did the requisite slap to the forehead, followed by uttering of … Continue reading

Nectarine and Heirloom Tomato Salad with herb ranch dressing

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Nectarines and other stone fruits are everywhere right now.  Every grocery store I wander into seems to have piles of them and at great prices too.  That’s how this salad came to be.  I’ve actually had the idea of making this salad for a few weeks-even bought the ingredients numerous times.  But life gets in the way sometimes…and family members eat the ingredients.  Really son?  I could never get you to try a nectarine before and now you eat two.  Oh well, at least he now likes nectarines. After getting my ingredients this time and fiercly protecting them from prying hands and … Continue reading

Grilled Avocado and Mango Salsa

Grilled Avocado and Mango Salsa

So it was another night of grilling here in Southern California because it was just too darn hot to cook inside.  This time it was steak and chicken breast that I had in the freezer.  The recipe for the steak will follow soon but I just had to get this salsa on here.  It paired great with both and was a refreshing addition to the meal.  The smoke flavor from the grill really changes the flavor of both the mango and the avocado.  While Mexican food purists would probably poo poo on the idea of grilling an avocado, I cannot say enough … Continue reading

Sautéed Yu Choy with garlic and chives

Sauteed Yu Choy with garlic and chives

Yu choy is one of my favorite Chinese greens that I find at my local farmer’s market.  It’s a long leafy green with yellow flowers and tender stalks.  While some of the greens I find there can be on the bitter side, yu choy is very mild and actually has a little sweetness to it.  The best description I can give is the leaves taste similar to spinach and because the stalks are tender when young, they cook up quite fast. This vegetable is commonly used in stir fries and is added to a variety of dishes, but I prefer … Continue reading

Sausage Herb Dressing with dried cranberries

Sausage and Herb Dressing with dried cranberries

Thanksgiving dinner just isn’t complete without dressing to go with the turkey.  While some prefer to stuff it in the cavity while the bird cooks, hence the name stuffing, I prefer to cook it separately.  I find the turkey cooks more evenly and the dressing crisps up on the top yet remains moist inside. Now I know many people will be grabbing boxes of Mrs. Cubbison’s and doctoring it up, but really – how hard is it to cube bread and toast it a little.  The difference in flavor is night and day; one tastes like cardboard (not that I’m an … Continue reading

Broccoli Cheese Sformato

Broccoli Cheese Sformato

Before you start googling “Sformato” I’ll save you the trouble.  It’s an Italian custard, similar to a French soufflé but not nearly as airy.  They can be sweet, but most often are savory as I’ve done here.  And although they are commonly done in a ring mold, I find the individual ramekins work better.  Many recipes call for milk thickened with a roux, but by using the heavy cream that step can be omitted, albeit with more fat.  This is such an easy recipe and will even win over your non broccoli loving family members. (See Linda?  You liked it!)  … Continue reading

Grilled Romaine Salad with Chipotle Caesar Dressing

Grilled Romaine Salad with Chipotle Caesar Dressing

As I’ve stated before, Caesar salad is one of my all time favorites and grilling anything in the summer is one of my favorites things to do.  So combining two of my favorites was a natural.  Grilling romaine quickly over high heat leaves wonderful char marks on the outside leaves and gives it a natural smokiness and the addition of grilled tomatoes along with the spiciness of the chipotles in the dressing compliment perfectly.  If you haven’t tried grilling lettuce, you’re in for a treat.  Enjoy! I started by making the dressing.  I my blender I combined 5 garlic cloves, … Continue reading

Easy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Easy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Few side dishes can compare with simple, creamy mashed potatoes.  They’re the perfect compliment to most any meat.  Steak,braised short ribs, barbecued ribs, fried chicken, grilled chicken, roasted chicken, pork chops, pork roast and the list goes on forever.  The kids like it and adults do too.  But unfortunately when I have them at a restaurant, they’re often not creamy and buttery, but more like the taste of what I imagine eating cardboard would be.  The potatoes are on the plate merely as an afterthought.  Would it kill them to add a little flavor to the potatoes?  After all, they went through the … Continue reading