Lobster Weekend

Summer in New England equals at least one Lobster Weekend.    Don’t take your lobster so seriously. Eaten correctly lobster is playful yet technical, messy, finger food meant to be eaten in a very simple fashion. You only need a few essentials when steaming your lobsters at home. 4 -6 / 1.5# lobsters 18 quart  Stock Pot with lid Large Tongs Lobster crackers, kitchen mallet for hard shells Drawn Butter Lemon Wedges Newspaper 2 Large bowls Lots of napkins   lobster2   Think less is more when planning your menu around lobster. The lobster is most important by default and everything you put around it diminishes. Keep it simple; some boiled new potato with a touch of fresh dill and sea salt, rustic bread, steamed corn, lemon and butter. Nice. Place 2-3  inches cold salted water in pot. Cover with ...

Meet Maggi

Maggi and I go way back. We met about 30 years ago in NYC. I was visiting my Dad one school vacation when  his Polish girlfriend Joanna came by to cook us a lovely meal. During preparation she pulled out her silent partner... Maggi. The two of them made the most delicious salad,  it's no wonder my father married her... Joanna that is, not Maggi. Maggi has been around since the late 1800's and is a vegetable protein based  meat enhancer that is essentially Eastern Europe's equivalency to soy sauce.  Maggi was developed as an inexpensive alternative to enrich the flavor of soups and stocks during economically challenging times.  Now a Nestle product, Maggi is available all over the world and most likely can be found in your local super market. So, I'm a big soup maker but I have be honest, ...

Pumpkin Chiffon Martini

I love a challenge almost as much as I love a really good cocktail! So when my bff asked me to create a Thanksgiving Inspired Adult Concoction, I was more than happy to help out, besides, what are friends for? This tasty task was sure to be fun, but it did come along with a few guidelines. Not too filling, fattening or sweet easy-do-ahead batch recipe creative rimming on glasses 'Pumpkin Martini' was the very first image to flash through my brain when recruited. I knew it had to be creamy and a little sweet to truly get the effect I was going for. Pumpkin Pie, Meet My Shaker! Here is where a little innovation and a trip down memory lane happens. See, back in the late 80's and early 90's I had a lot of ...

Rustic Apple Tart

Apple picking season is here! This is a great activity NOT to be overlooked in New England. Orchards from Harvard Massachusetts to Little Compton Rhode Island are welcoming families of all ages to stroll the groves and fill up on apples, cider and other seasonal treats. Not only a great way to get a hearty dose of the great outdoors, apple picking inspires all kinds of wonderful kitchen activities! I've been busy cooking up local varieties in all sorts of delicious ways; but hands down, my favorite way to incorporate these crisp, seasonal sweethearts into my culinary regime is in my simple Rustic Apple Tart.  Free-form and individually unique, these tarts are quick to make and can stand up to any Apple Pie! Don't sweat the labors of homemade pie crust (unless you enjoy cruel punishment, go right ahead), years of ...

Flounder Poached in Coconut, Ginger, Basil Broth

Living on the South Shore has it's perks, and fresh seafood is definitely one of them! I have strict rules when it comes to seafood and demand quality. The best way to determine freshness is by performing the good old fashion 'sniff test'. Never be afraid to ask your fishmonger for a whiff. If they say 'no' they have answered your question and that's your cue to find a new monger! Fresh fish should never smell fishy... it should smell like the ocean. Having lived in New England my entire life I have had countless opportunities to experiment with all different types of fish. Although I could never choose a favorite, this flounder recipe is so delicate, so pretty and so flavorful it is almost mind boggling. Flounder Poached in Coconut, Ginger, Basil Broth has been the ...

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Life is funny. Maybe that's why we have the Pineapple Upside Down Cake! This quirky cake has been showing up around the holidays for my entire life. See, my 93 year old grandmother, Damma, is a big fan. She showcased this sweet treat whenever the opportunity arose, and each time that cake came out my grandfather Pops would fall in love with her all over again. I must admit, for me the treat was all about the visual, as even now I haven't fully developed a passion. If you are going to equate the Pineapple upside down cake with a particular holiday, I pick Independence Day! The fourth of July is fun and free; and is the quintessential 'home' for this Vintage Americana Treasure....

Fire & Flavor YOUR Fish TONIGHT!

On a quest for fresh fish this past weekend I happened upon these nifty grill mates 'Fire & Flavor' at the fish counter - Roche Brothers that is - These planks were calling my name. I visualized my meal instantly! I always forget how much I like cedar plank grilling until I run across a recipe or a cedar product like this one. Dinner was decided. 'I'll have 3 salmon and 3 tilapia..... pleeeeease'. I dashed home and started soaking! See, we've done this before and the results are always DIVINE! The flavor is intense and so satisfying. Cedar planks from the  market are always convenient, but the reality is you can go to Lowes, or any home improvement center, and grab a bundle of cedar ...

Beautiful Brie

Cheese is certainly one of the MAJOR food groups in my home and my life for that matter.  At any given time there will be, on average, a variety 7 different cheeses in my refrigerator. Among the variety there is 1 common denominator, Brie, beautiful, creamy, satisfying, Brie. I could go crazy listing the different types of Brie's available in local markets, so to  narrow the field here are some old standbys that always do the trick for me. Camembert- soft creamy cow's milk cheese, a great companion to any cheese board going. Ages beautifully in a gooey sort of  way, really good with crostini rosemary olive oil crackers. Saint Andres Triple Creme- my husband always smiles when I pull out the Saint Andres, it is a sign that we are celebrating something. For max satisfaction and for fullest taste potential make sure this delicacy achieves room ...

Jicama.. Who Knew?

  Jicama, pronounced 'hikemah', is one of my favorite ingredients!!  Fresh, crisp, versitile Jicama is soon to be one of your favorites as well. I first came across this mysterious root years ago while thumbing through a few Bobby Flay recipes (sigh... I always need a good sigh when mentioning Bobby Flay).  His recipe is a simple slaw spiced up with chilis and a hint of lime. I immediately went on the hunt for Jicama and discovered it's pretty easy to find and has WAY more uses than a simple slaw. If you are inspired,  head straight for the produce department of your supermarket and find the section with all the weird exotic  fruits and vegetables that you always want to buy but have no idea what to do with when you get home. When you find the 'potato look-a-like' your hunt is over. For the most part, like a ...

Minty Lamb Chops

 With Easter just a few shorts days away some of you may be contemplating going out and letting the restaurant do all the work, or maybe trying your hand at a home cooked holiday feast. Okay, let's weigh your options and think about this one for a minute. If you call ahead you may get a reservation at your favorite restaurant, they will undoubtedly do all the cooking and cleanup, so there is a little plus, but keep in mind even the best restaurants are never that good on busy holidays, and here's why. Typically restaurants offer a 'special' menu on holidays so the poor chef is off his/her game, forced to change the creative flow of the kitchen for one day. The staff, from the waiters to the dishwashers, are working while the rest of the world has the day off, ...