Okay, so it’s Monday the 14th, and Valentine’s Day is upon us.  Maybe you didn’t get out this weekend.  Maybe you spent too much time enjoying that big, bright thing in the sky we haven’t seen for weeks and didn’t have any time left over for love-errands.  Perhaps you are, as I am, more excited about it being pitchers & catchers day than Valentine’s Day.  Perhaps, also like me, you can’t see paying four times the cost on roses or chocolates or dinner out JUST because this is the prescribed day we’re supposed to enjoy these things.  Doesn’t matter.  I’m not here to judge, people, I’m here to help.  And today I’m helping by sharing not one, but two super easy, inexpensive, and best of all, quick-to-make recipes that you can still pull off in time for tonight.

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I’m not a big fan of winter.  Here in the Midwest, snow and ice don’t bring visions of fresh powder and days on the slopes, or crunchy-snowshoe-walks through silent groves of pine trees.  They bring slippery, rump-busting sidewalks, numb-fingered mornings spent attacking your windshield with an ice scraper for what feels like the umpteenth time this year, and most of all, a complete and total lack of color.  It is SO. DAMN. GREY. OUT. THERE. And by this time of year it is really starting to get to me.

But I’m a pretty lucky girl, and I caught a bit of a break last week.  A few of them, actually… Continue Reading »

Ok, so now that we’re good and lubricated, let’s start cooking.  If we’re going to spend time together, you have to know that I am absolutely, positively NO good at keeping a secret.  Seriously. It takes all the effort I have to not tell my loved ones what I’m getting them for Christmas, and I’m known to give  gifts weeks early just because I was so excited and couldn’t wait.

So when I started this blog, I had in mind that once I’d been around a while, gotten a feel for things, gotten good at this, that then, and only then, would I share my very best recipe with you.  Every cook has one.  The one you’re known for.  The one that makes people cancel prior commitments to show up at your place for dinner.  The one that your S.O. would rather have for their birthday dinner than a restaurant meal.  The one you’re not even so sure you should be sharing, because this is really the dish that makes your reputation, and what will become of you once ANYONE can do it?  Which as it turns out, anyone can, because as impressive as it looks on a plate, it is totally easy.

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you Roasted Chicken.

and it smells even better!

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This is the perfect drink for a snow day, and it was on just such a day last year that I had a Manhattan Revelation!  I was home from work due to weather, and decided to bundle up and slog down the block to a local tavern with a friend. I sat down at the bar & ordered up my favorite cocktail.  The bartender immediately referred me to her co-worker behind the bar.  “He’s the one you want making your drink.” she said,matter-of-factly.  My curiosity was piqued, so I agreed to let him drive.  The drink he handed me blew my bourbon-lovin’ mind!  Not only was there the belly-warming strength of the bourbon, but something else- something almost spice-cake-and-cinnamon flavored hanging out on the back end.  It wasn’t cloyingly sweet, but it was toasty-warm and balanced and the best darn Manhattan I had ever tasted.  I HAD to know how he’d done it.  So I asked. Continue Reading »

testing out adding an image here.

i can haz alt text?

Madeleines are such pretty cookies!


all this blog-work is making me hungry.  Tonight its frozen pizza topped with leftover barbecued pork jowl and some sweet onion.  I’m reading Mark Kurlansky’s “The Food of a Younger Land” , which is a collection of writings about food from the 1930s, as part of a WPA project called “America Eats”.

And the postings here are not at all going to be ramblings about my day to day- I’m really just testing blog tools tonight.


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First taste

Hi!  If you’re here it’s because you’re one of the handful of friends I have invited to check out this- my new blog.  It’s kind of nice, it still has that new-blog smell.  I’ll be updating here about once a week as I detail my adventures in the kitchen with friends.  Mostly I’ll be focusing on my Sunday night dinner parties, so you’ll find cocktail recipes, food recipes, pairing suggestions, and a few surprises.  I hope you like it!