This has been the most out of the ordinary winter with 65° temps in February. On this particular cloudy morning I have a little extra time so I’m attempting to make breakfast a bit out of the ordinary too.  In the hustle and caios of school day mornings it’s easy to forget how easy baked eggs are to make. I’ve been trying to step up breakfast to a more whole food level. It’s been ages since I’ve purchased a box of cereal.  Sadly the kids usually end up with oatmeal or a hard boiled egg and banana on the run.  Today will be much better.

You don’t need fancy dishes or special equipment. You can make baked eggs in muffin tins or even a pie plate. Today I made them in individual soup pots but you can make several servings in one shallow dish. Today I used ingredients I had in the refrigerator. Puff pastry, brie and prosciutto left over from a weekend charcuterie board, a bit of fresh pesto and of course fresh eggs. It’s really just a step up from eggs with ham and cheese. Prosciutto is a cured ham that has a salty, sweet flavor with a melt in your mouth texture.  

Don’t stop there! The beauty of baked eggs is the unlimited list of delicious ingredient options. View full post »

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What is your favorite cookie, the one you just have no power to resist? Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons have become my weakness. I first tasted this cookie at the home of my friend Allison.  She made a batch for our visit and at first bite I was hooked. Allison graciously shared her recipe and they have been my go to cookie ever since.  Recently I took a plate of them to a dinner party and they were a huge hit. I made a large platter.  I often over bake!?  Happily, guests took some home.  The next day, my friends were chatting in a group text about rationing the remaining bits of their cookies because they so enjoyed them.  I’m constantly asked for this recipe. So, here you go friends… the recipe you have all asked for.  

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  • Kevin Horcher - If the cookies we bake using this recipe are only half as good as the one’s Sally made and brought to our house, we will be ecstatic! And yes, I have never really enjoyed coconut either, until tasting these truly delicious macaroons. Thanks for sharing the recipe.ReplyCancel

    • admin - You are so welcome my dear friend!ReplyCancel

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Many years ago my Mom added a New Orleans gumbo to the daily lunch menu in her restaurant. Since then, it’s been a popular dish that people line up for.  She gave me the recipe years ago but honestly, (true confession) I’ve never made it.  This week I decided to give it a try.  Mardi Gras is right around the corner and this is the perfect dish for the celebration. Her recipe includes chicken but does not include shrimp. Of course I had to change it up just a bit.  I wanted to add shrimp and I lightened the seasonings a bit for my gang that like things on the mild side.

I was curious about what the difference was between étouffée and gumbo.  What I found was that gumbo is a mix of vegetables and meat or shellfish with thickened stock. It’s traditionally served as a soup alongside rice that’s cooked separately. Unlike gumbo, which is considered a soup because of it’s thinner consistency. Étouffée’s a main course, made of one type of shellfish (crawfish or shrimp, for instance) that’s been smothered in a thick sauce and sometimes served ladled over rice.

What makes the broth that binds gumbo so special is the roux it is started with.  What is a roux? It’s basically the heart and soul of every gumbo recipe. It’s a simple combination of oil and all purpose flour that is slowly browned to perfection to get that nice, deep, and rich flavor that gumbo is known for. In this case we’re using equal parts of each. For best results, I suggest using a high heat oil. You can use corn, canola, or vegetable. I don’t suggest using olive, avocado, coconut, or any other oil that has a low smoke point. You need something that can really withstand the heat and the longer cooking time. View full post »

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This post is my way of bidding farewell to winter. Even though this has been the easiest winter I can remember I’m still over it.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a nice long spring, easing us into summer.  It seems here in Chicago we go right from the dead of winter into mid summer.  I’m NEVER ready.

I love that citrus season is at its peak in February. It’s like a little reminder that there’s abundant sunshine somewhere. 

I’m sharing two of my favorite desserts to make with this season’s citrus. One is made with almond flour which I think adds a unique texture and flavor to anything it’s used in. Making my own almond milk is next on my list.  I hear its super easy and the difference is delicious. View full post »

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When I discovered Kiss Melons I was inspired to come up with something new to make with it. I’ve made melon salads and melon balls wrapped in prosciutto and I know that adding sweet and savory together can become something special.  I decided to add Kiss Melon to a classic grilled cheese sandwich to create a new taste sensation. I’m going to ask you to trust me on this one. The first time I tasted this sandwich I instantly thought it was easily the best grilled cheese sandwich I have ever eaten. Melon in a grilled cheese sandwich is life changing.  Kiss melon is a bit sweeter than a cantaloupe but you could easily swap in your favorite melon. tableanddish_grilledcheese-9929View full post »

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