I cook because I love to eat. I garden because I love to cook.

Max's Kitchen and Garden

Max's Kitchen and Garden

I cook because I love to eat. I garden because I love to cook.

Recent Posts

Salty and Sweet – Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Manchego Cheese

Salty and Sweet – Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Manchego Cheese

When I was in high school, my friend Dave and I would drive miles to 12th and Shunk, deep in the heart of South Philadelphia, just to get water ice at Italiano’s. It was the best water ice we could find. A plethora of flavors […]

Time for Breakfast – Skillet Vegetable Hash

Time for Breakfast – Skillet Vegetable Hash

The extra hour gifted to us this morning by switching from daylight savings time to standard time makes it perfect to cook a big breakfast – including skillet vegetable hash topped with a fried egg.  Except in my family we don’t get the extra hour, […]

Early Thanksgiving – Butternut Squash Stuffed Mushrooms

Early Thanksgiving – Butternut Squash Stuffed Mushrooms

Maybe 21 or 22 years ago, shortly after my wife and I purchased our first home and before kids, we got a free turkey; supermarkets used to give them away a few weeks before Thanksgiving when you spent a certain amount on groceries. We didn’t […]

How Donna’s Sauce Became Steve’s Spaghetti

How Donna’s Sauce Became Steve’s Spaghetti

When I was younger I could never get tomato sauce right; it was always thin and watery. I tried fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato puree…it just wasn’t right. I gave up, in part because almost every strip mall on Long Island, where I […]

An Instant Classic – Chicken Piccata

An Instant Classic – Chicken Piccata

Every once in a while, a recipe jumps out from nowhere and sticks; it becomes an instant classic in my repertoire, one I make over and over. That is the case with Chicken Piccata. Many years ago, my wife and I were at a friend’s […]

Salsa Verde – Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Salsa Verde – Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

The first year I grew tomatillos, it was in a garden that happened to be on a nature preserve. I had a pretty good harvest. It was in the second year that I realized there was a problem. The tomatillos from the previous summer had […]

Salad on a Stick – Greek Salad Bites

Salad on a Stick – Greek Salad Bites

As we cross the threshold from summer to fall, I am harvesting the last of my summer vegetables before cool-weather, fall crops ripen in earnest. There are a few cucumbers and tomatoes hanging on the withering vines, and I want to savor the last of […]

The Great Basil Harvest – Pesto

The Great Basil Harvest – Pesto

My family loves pesto. It was the first meal I ever cooked for my wife, although she complained my pesto didn’t contain enough garlic. (Not a bad sign for a potential relationship.) Now we eat it on grown up grilled cheese sandwiches, sautéed veggies, and […]

What Am I – Chopped Liver?

What Am I – Chopped Liver?

Let’s talk about a type of food that most people wouldn’t make, let alone eat. Let’s talk about chopped liver. (Some will stop reading right now. I admire those who proceed.) I understand its lack of appeal. It’s made from an organ that many Americans […]

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

When I first met my wife, Marci, in graduate school, I courted her with food. I made everything from pesto to potato knishes, and omelets with beautiful fruit salads in the morning. I also made pico de gallo, a Mexican fresh salsa with chopped tomatoes, […]