grown up comfort food

So something fantastic scurried through my twitter feed this week about April being grilled cheese month...   As I dug further down the cheesehole, I found out there was actually a grilled cheese showdown going on out in L.A. this weekend , which made me think:  What would I submit if I were entering?  My main ingredients instantly came to mind:  I flashed back to last weekend where I spent some time touring the vineyards of North Fork, Long Island.  On the tasting barn's wall at Shinn Estate, there was a framed magazine clipping of a fontina and grape flatbread pizza.  It was the kind of picture that made you stop and stare - or maybe that's just the food-lover in me.  Regardless, I was drooling at the mere sight of it and today I thought, why not fontina and grape grilled cheese? Read more »

pierogi: a labor of love

Taste and smell have a way of evoking memories of the past.  When Easter comes to mind (religion aside), it’s not the gathering on Sunday that I think about, but actually the night before.  Every Easter Saturday for as long as I can remember, we would indulge in a feast of kielbasa and my Grandma Mary’s homemade pierogi.  Usually the week or one of the weeks leading up to it, Grandma would voyage down to the Jersey shore and visit with my family.  During this time she would put her arthritis-stricken hands aside, throw on a comfy cotton house dress, and transform my mother’s kitchen into a pierogi factory by making potato and cabbage fillings, kneading dough, and stuffing, boiling, and laying out pierogi by the hundreds. Read more »

edamame hummus

One Friday over a month ago, I purchased a half-pint of Trader Joe’s edamame hummus while perusing the aisles.  While this was the first time buying this particular product, picking up something random at TJ’s is a regular occurrence for me.  They have a wide variety of enticing spreads, dips, and sauces in exciting combinations that are seemingly jumping off the shelves into my hand basket – “Try Me! Take me home!  I’ll make your life simpler and tastier!” Read more »

citrus salad with seared sea scallops and herb vinaigrette

I've been craving citrus...  Maybe it's my body's way of telling me I'm a little vitamin C deficient this week.  Who knows?  The one thing I was certain of was that I wanted to nosh on more than an elementary school snack of orange "monkey slices."  You know, when you slice whole oranges into fun little bite size wedges, pop one into your mouth, and flash your biggest monkey grin?  Yes, I still do this from time to time - huge turn on for the husband.  Anyhow, today I was feeling slightly more sophisticated.  My mind drifted off to a bed of baby field greens adorned with a medley of blazing citrus segments and plump seared sea scallops finished with a sweet basil vinaigrette.  Are you with me? Read more »