Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Roasted Pepper & Tomato Soup with Bacon & Apple Grilled Cheese

Look, it's not a newsflash - you know the drill. It's cold. It's damp. It's gray. It's time for tomato soup and grilled cheese. But you're not six. You don't want canned soup and plastic cheese. You want to be able to wax poetic about this de rigeur comfort food. You want flavor, dammit, and you want it now.

I can help you with that. I got what you need. You need bacon (you know you want it). You need roasted red peppers (oh, that charred sweet flavor). You need gruyere and comté (fancy-pants cheese. Really, 'nuff said).

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hearty Winter Potato Salad featuring Idaho Fingerling Potatoes

Everyone has a favorite family recipe for potato salad* but generally we think of it as a summer side dish to be served alongside hamburgers and grilled chicken in the backyard. Here is a warm, hearty winter version made using Idaho® fingerling potatoes combined with kale - a great winter green - and a cannellini bean sauce instead of the usual mayonnaise based binder. And of course, everything is better with a little bacon to garnish the top!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Herb Roast Chicken - Step-by-Step Photo Instructions to Truss a Chicken

Roast chicken is one of my all-time favorite dishes. Sunday dinners at my grandmother's tiny apartment often centered around a golden roasted chicken with crispy skin. When my husband wants to show me he loves me he'll say, "honey, want me to make a roast chicken?"

Whether you serve it with a simple green salad and rolls or a variety of complex side dishes, roast chicken is a classic comfort food and perennial favorite of multiple generations. Making a fabulous roast chicken has less to do with the flavorings and more to do with the method of production. Knowing how to truss the chicken and sear the skin to a crispy finish will make your Sunday dinners as memorable as Grammie's were.

Friday, February 10, 2012

American Beauty Cupcakes - Chocolate & Roses for Valentine's Day

There is something about a chocolate cupcake, particularly topped with fluffy pink frosting, that just makes me all happy, bubbly, and excited. Years ago, whenever I was having a bad day at work or just wanted a treat, I would drive over to Russos during my lunch break and pick up a half-dozen (don't judge - they came in packages of six!) of their homemade chocolate cupcakes with pink frosting. I would share some with my favorite co-worker, Claudia, and bring some home. But usually I ate two, er... one, at my desk and felt immediately that all was right with the world once again. (Note to self - next birthday make yourself a chocolate layer cake with pink frosting).

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Boozy Brownie Truffles ~ Homemade Valentine's Day Candy

Just in time for Valentine's Day these brownie truffles are the perfect confection for the one you love. Never was homemade candy so easy... or so addictive and delicious. These decadent little bites are perfect for gifting or for a sweet, liqueur-soaked after dinner treat. If you don't drink alcohol or are making these with kids omit the liqueur and use my faithful favorite of d'Arbo syrup instead.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chocolatelove: Molten Chocolate Cake ~ with Raspberry Lava!

Molten chocolate lava cake. Its very name conjures up decadent rivers of rich, dark chocolate encased in tender, fragrant cake just waiting for my fork to pierce the side and erupt into a creamy pool of deliciousness.

Excuse me, just have to wipe up this drool...

To me the only thing better than a molten chocolate lava cake is a molten chocolate lava cake with a raspberry center. This classic and elegant presentation will up the "wow" factor a notch. Not a fan of raspberries? Just omit them and follow the rest of the recipe or get creative with the suggestions at the end.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Are You Ready to Rumble? Chicken Enchilada Lasagna

I am incredibly excited to announce that I won the Boston Globe's Superbowl Recipe Rumble today for my Chicken Enchilada Lasagna. As one of ten finalists selected by Boston Globe Food Editor Sheryl Julian, my recipe was ultimately chosen as the winner by Chef Paul Wahlburg, owner and Executive Chef at Alma Nove in Hingham, MA (and big brother to Donnie & Mark Wahlburg).

Chef Wahlburg wrote: "... [the] chicken enchilada lasagna is the winner. The great mix of spices and the use of both the thigh and breast of the chicken is fantastic. All of the flavors will blend well together. The use of the collard greens and the corn tortillas really bring it all together. I like that it could be an entree if you served it with a salad, or also simply an appetizer. This dish is super for Super Bowl Sunday! Go Pats!"