green goddess dressing

Green Goddess Dressing

My husband and I just returned from a relaxing and fun-filled weekend in San Francisco. We had a wonderful time discovering new restaurants and revisiting old favorites, wandering around the city, and watching the Italians and Kiwis race for the Louis Vuitton Cup and the right to face Oracle/Team USA in the 34th America’s Cup which is being held in San Francisco Bay. I’ll be posting more about our trip later, but I wanted to share this recipe first. Continue reading

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lobster rolls

For many Americans, Monday’s Labor Day holiday marks the unofficial end of summer. Don’t let these last carefree days quietly slip away without a proper send-off. Celebrate with a backyard party or a picnic at the beach or park. Keep it casual, yet festive by serving lobster rolls with corn on the cob, potato chips, and brownies for dessert. Doesn’t that sound like a perfect feast to mark the end of a fun-filled summer?

Lobster Rolls (sandwiches filled with sweet and succulent lobster meat) are most popular in the New England states — especially Maine, Connecticut and Eastern Long Island.  There are two ‘schools of thought’ when it comes to serving lobster rolls: warm or cold . . . In Connecticut, lobster rolls are served warm, with just a drizzle of butter.  In Maine and in Long Island, mayonnaise is either spread on the inside of the bread or mixed with the lobster by itself and in some cases with diced celery and herbs.

classic comfort food: chicken pot pie

I was drawn to this recipe of chicken pot pie from the first moment I saw it on the cover of the cookbook Easy Comfort Food: Simple Recipes for Feel-Good Favorites. This version of chicken pot pie is fairly simple to make, especially if you use frozen pie crust or puff pastry and grocery store rotisserie chicken.  The recipe also calls for my favorite herb of the moment, tarragon, which pairs very well with chicken. Best of all, this chicken pot pie does not contain anything I have to pick out, namely carrots or peas.  I added shiitake mushrooms to make the filling more hearty and because I like mushrooms.  To get all the fond, or caramelized browned bits of chicken stuck on the pan, I also recommend deglazing with some white wine.  This step adds wonderful flavor to the filling.  I converted this recipe from one large pie into 4 individual ones because the pies served in ramekins makes for a nicer presentation and they’re easier to serve.  To ensure that there is ample pie crust for each serving, I cut the dough into rounds and placed a piece of dough on the bottom of each ramekin, added the filling, and then topped it with another piece of dough.

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my urban vegetable garden


Chris & I devoted most of the last week of August working on our new garden.  Chris tilled and leveled the soil and removed some tree roots left by two huge trees in preparation for the placement of four new raised beds he built.  I had it fairly easy; I was in charge of  selecting, buying and planting all the vegetables and flowers.  I included flowers around the vegetables to add splashes of color amidst all of the green foliage.  I also transplanted all the herbs that were scattered around in different pots to a single raised herb bed.  Now most of my herbs – French tarragon, Greek oregano, Italian parsley, rosemary, sage, lemon thyme, and garlic chives are together.  I also have basil but I read that it is the perfect companion to tomatoes so I planted them together in a separate pot.  The basil is supposed to keep insects away and even enhance the flavor of the tomatoes.

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egg salad sandwich

What makes a good egg salad sandwich?  Everyone has their own answer to this question.  For me, it  all starts with fresh, perfectly cooked soft-boiled eggs.  I add a little crunch for texture, a little acidity to balance out the creaminess of the eggs, and a dollop or two of mayonnaise to bind it all together.  I add a sprinkling of fresh herbs and spices to brighten the flavor.  All the ingredients are mixed together and put between two pieces of lightly toasted and buttered white bread.  The butter prevents the bread from being soggy.  I often cut the crusts off the bread as well.

Some people add olives, capers, pickles, dill, chives, and/or whole grain mustard, etc.  Personally, I add some tarragon, curry powder, and dry mustard to make my perfect egg salad.   I love the taste of tarragon and it goes perfectly with eggs.  It’s really very simple and easy to make.

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