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Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?
Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?

Dessert is often the forgotten course. It is the final frontier for many busy cooks who want to put out a nice meal but simply do not have the time. Skip the purchased cookies, chiffon cake and pre-cut fruit from the salad bar (I know you cheat and buy the fruit pre-cut!).

Simple Pleasures
Simple Pleasures

Summertime is all about nostalgia. I love summer nights and crave the childhood treats that made summer so memorable. One of my favorite memories is of making S’Mores. We used to gather round the dying charcoal from a grill or campfire and toast (and burn) marshmallows and assemble the classic and messy delicious sandwiches.

Falling in Love Again
Falling in Love Again

As a chef, I am always looking for new flavors and ingredients. Sometimes I fall in love with a familiar ingredient all over again and will spend weeks experimenting with it in new combinations. My new and old favorite ingredient is Pimenton Ahumado. This stuff is quite simply the bomb!

Just a Bite
Just a Bite

I grew up in a very adventurous household. I did not know it at the time, but we were really different from other families. I grew up in the suburbs outside of Chicago and from all outward appearances we were probably very typical. My father was a pretty average suburban dad with one eccentricity…he liked to travel the world with food. He was an incredibly adventurous foodie (way ahead of his time).

Fried Chicken, Sweet Potato Salad, & Passion Fruit Mojitos
Fried Chicken, Sweet Potato Salad, & Passion Fruit Mojitos

Memorial Day is the unofficial kick-off to summer and what better way to start it off than with a crunchy piece of fried chicken? Summertime is all about relaxing and having fun, so take a break from the diet and enjoy. The fried chicken and potato salad can be made up to two days ahead of serving.

Brisket 101 Brisket 101

The usual method of cooking brisket is to dump a bunch of onions, garlic and then a saucy type concoction over the meat, cover it and cook it until it has shriveled up and shrunk in size by about one half. The sauce ingredient ranges from a cola beverage to jarred chili sauce. YUCK! I am convinced that the reason chicken and brisket often share star billing on holiday and Shabbat tables is that some well intentioned cook shrunk the brisket and panicked and threw in some chickens to cover all bases.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Blistered Sweet Potato Fries Grilled Skirt Steak with Blistered Sweet Potato Fries

Time to fire up the grill! Instead of the usual potato salad or french fries, try these tender and piquant sweet potato fries. If you do not have a grill, the entire meal can be prepared stove top with a hot skillet.

Count Down to Mother’s Day
Count Down to Mother’s Day

This is my first year in many years that I do not have to work on Mother’s Day. Woo-Hoo! I have been excited for months. I kept cautiously checking the calendar at work and each time confirming with myself that “no one books an event on Mother’s Day.” True enough, nobody booked an event. I have the entire day all planned out.

Salmon
Salmon

It sounds a little silly to say that I am passionate about salmon. Nevertheless, I am! I could eat salmon almost every day. Sometimes I actually do eat it every day. I love the bright color and have been known to gather the staff around to admire an especially beautiful filet. I am not sure they share my enthusiasm, and I am positive they don’t think that it looks like jewelry…

Unburdened
Unburdened

I think we are supposed to end Passover feeling unburdened and brand new. I feel neither. Do not get me wrong-I had a great Pesach. The weather was amazing for Chicago in March/early April and we were able to get outside and take walks. We ate great food and enjoyed some fun family time. But I have this nagging feeling that I did not do the holiday the way I should have.

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