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

Recipes

Soup People – Tortilla Soup

Soup People – Tortilla Soup

Some people are soup people. Take my grandfather, for example. He ate soup as a first course at dinner every day, even in the middle of the summer. That’s a soup person. My father-in-law also loved soup. He would eat soup as a full meal […]

Ham Transformed – Split Pea Soup

Ham Transformed – Split Pea Soup

I didn’t grow up eating much ham. It’s not that my family refrained from eating pork, we just didn’t cook ham. We had deli ham occasionally, along with salami and the other meats that are found in a Philadelphia hoagie. I have always loved the […]

Green Gold – Chimichurri

Green Gold – Chimichurri

After noting that I often serve empanadas with a bowl of chimichurri on the side, several readers asked for the recipe for this fresh, uncooked, herb-based sauce. It also goes beautifully as a marinade or finishing sauce on grilled steak, chicken, or fish. I love […]

All Things Dumpling – Empanadas

All Things Dumpling – Empanadas

I love all things dumpling, and every culture has their own; Italian ravioli, Jewish knishes and kreplach, Indian samosas, Tibetan or Nepalese momos, Polish pierogies, British pasty, Chinese wontons. The list goes on and on, and I love them all. As a teenager, I discovered […]

The Casual Cook – Sweet Potato Bisque

The Casual Cook – Sweet Potato Bisque

My wife Marci’s grandmother was French Canadian. When Marci was young, her family often had Sunday dinner at her grandmother’s house, and to hear her tell it, it was a grand affair. Fresh vegetables from her grandfather’s garden, a fresh made apple pie, and never […]

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, […]