Torta di Ricotta

I wish I could share the source of this recipe, but I can’t. It dates back to the days when I borrowed cookbooks instead of buying them. I would get stacks of cookbooks every week from our local library, zerox favorite recipes, glue them onto large index cards, and then go back for more. This

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Lemon Pudding Cake

Rarely have I made dessert for my family, unless it’s a special occasion. I have nothing against desserts, but to me, they’re not part of a daily meal plan. I believe everyday food should be nourishing, so I save cakes and pies for celebrations. However, when I was a private cook for a family, I

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Cherry Sangria

Before my older daughter lived in Spain for a summer, I’d never been crazy about sangria. I liked wine just fine without any tampering. But when she came back and made sangria for me the “real” way – I gained great respect for it. I happen to be the worst bartender around. You’d think I’d

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Rosemary’d Dip

Bean dips are so delicious and versatile, and easily enjoyed year round. One of my favorites is my personal white bean dip with spices, which was printed in Gourmet magazine. This one is similar in the use of white beans, but instead of spices, I only use fresh rosemary. So if you like rosemary, you’ll

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Szechuan Peppered Steak

I first learned about Szechuan peppercorns and Szechuan pepper salt from the Chinese Cooking cookbook of the Time Life Foods of the World Series. The pepper salt was made as a “dip” for Szechuan duck. Now, I like pepper and salt, which are the ingredients in Szechuan Pepper Salt, but dipping meat into this mixture

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Shrimp and Grits

I first had shrimp and grits when I tagged along on a business trip my husband took to Charleston, South Carolina. I ordered shrimp and grits one night, because it was the thing to have in Charleston. I’d previously not been a huge cornmeal fan. Well, thank you Charleston. I’m a huge fan now. The

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Sweet Chili Shrimp

A while back I came across a cookbook called The Chinese Takeout Cookbook. When I first saw the title, my snobbiness took over and I refused to look into it further. But then I came across the cookbook again, and it got me thinking about the whole idea of Chinese takeout. I don’t do takeout

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Oeufs à la Neige

My mother visited my husband and I once in 1982 after we moved to Houston, Texas. We had made dinner reservations at a well-known French restaurant in order to treat her to a fine dining experience during her stay, even though it was very expensive for us back then. The first part of the dinner

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Cuscuz de Galinha

I fell in love with this Latin American dish, not just because it’s so pretty, but because of the peasant nature of it. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Essentially it’s cooked, meat-filled cornmeal layered with peas, that’s then topped with hard-boiled eggs, hearts of palm, tomato slices, and olives. Then the whole thing

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