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Showing posts from August, 2011

How to Improvise: Cajun Meatloaf via Great Good Food by Julee Russo

How many of your remember THE SILVER PALATE cookbook? I do. It's one of the first cookbooks I bought when I first began to pursue my interest in cooking. It was a huge hit in New York, as it was written by the Julee Russo and Sheila Lukins and named after their gourmet shop of the same name. Recently the book was re-issued in a 25th Anniversary edition, which gives you some idea of its importance in the pantheon of American culinary history. Yes, it was that important. In my opinion, it was as influential as Martha Stewart and Ina Garten aka The Barefoot Contessa, in establishing a certain, opulent, bountiful, American cuisine. And by rich, I don't mean expensive, I mean tasty.

After the wild success of The Silver Palate, Russo/Lukins wrote The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook, and then apparently wen their separate ways.

Julee Russo established a lovely bed and breakfast called the Wickwood Inn in Saugatuck, Michigan, which I hope to visit some autumn, and she wrote more coo…

Giddy Up -N- Go!: A Weekend with Beth

My friend Beth came for a visit last weekend. I haven't seen her in almost two years,  so we were looking forward to making the most of her visit. To say that she has boundless energy is an understatement. To prove my point, here's what we accomplished in one weekend....

On Friday, we took Henry to the Bark Park for a hike on their open trails. Afterward, we did a little shopping and then grilled dinner on the deck.

While we were enjoying margaritas and looking at the stars using the ipad for stargazing, I mentioned that I really wanted to do the Evergreen Road Race, which was to be held that weekend. So we got all the information online and .....


Got up the next morning at 6:30am to go to the high school to sign up for the race.

We then discovered that race day was Sunday, not Saturday....since we were already in the car, we took a drive up to Echo Lake, a beautifully scenic drive.

At 10:30 we took a Pilates mat class my local Pilates studio.

Afterwards, we sto…

Croatian Mushroom-Stuffed Tomatoes via Sunday's at Moosewood Restaurant

We return with joy to Sunday's at Moosewood Restaurant for another recipe using those vegetables I usually avoid. This time it's tomatoes and mushrooms.

What enticed me into trying this recipe is that last summer I featured a recipe of beef stuffed tomatoes by the Two Fat Ladies, which I loved. So I was anxious to try out this vegetarian alternative to see how it compared.

Once again, this recipe suits our requirements for easy summer dinners because it's light and easy to assemble.

Chopped baby 'bella mushrooms are sauteed in olive oil with your choice of fresh herbs ( I had thyme, oregano, and basil on hand) and salt and pepper to taste. You can also throw in spinach or another green if you want to add more depth and flavor.

Two eggs are then beaten in with a pinch of flour, to bind the mixture together.

Meanwhile, cut the tops off of your medium sized tomatoes and gently scoop out the insides with a spoon, careful not to puncture the sides. You want to create littl…

White Pizza with Arugula

I love Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa fame. Her recipes are elegant and yet accessible. Which is why I'm not very surprised when the other day I googled 'arugula, pizza', a recipe by Ina jumped to the top of the results page.

This simple, yet incredibly delicious, recipe was adapted by one she has on

What follows is my adaptation of her recipe....

I started with a low-gluten corn meal pizza crust. I sauteed minced garlic in olive oil and a bit of butter until it was fragrant. I poured the garlic/oil mixture onto the crust of the pizza, then topped it with slices of fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, and parmigiano reggiano. Then I popped the pizza into a 400 F oven until the cheese had melted and the crust was golden.

While the pizza was in the oven, I tossed a generous handful of arugula with a vinagrette made of olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and pepper. I dusted it with a few shavings of parmigiano reggiano.

When the pizza came out of the oven, I …