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

Endive Boats with Caramelized Walnuts, Blue Cheese, and Asian Pear

Endive Boats with Caramelized Walnuts, Blue Cheese, and Asian Pear

There are times when adding a salad to the menu of finger foods is a great offering when having a party. But salads are messy – partygoers need a plate and a fork and two hands, making it difficult to hold a drink, all while […]

My Daughter’s Thanksgiving – Onion, Olive, and Rosemary Focaccia

My Daughter’s Thanksgiving – Onion, Olive, and Rosemary Focaccia

My daughter doesn’t like Thanksgiving – neither the holiday nor the food. Never has. It’s not because of the people or the family gathering, but rather it’s because of her birthday, which is always during the same week as Thanksgiving. Some years, including this year, […]

A Fall Canvas – Truffle Potato and Caramelized Onion Tart

A Fall Canvas – Truffle Potato and Caramelized Onion Tart

It is always better when food looks good, in addition to tasting good. In upscale restaurants chefs have to be artists on two fronts; each course is a meticulously prepared work of art, not just in terms of flavor combinations, but also as a fleeting, […]

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 […]