Tomato Palooza

My husband LOVES tomatoes! Every year he plants and nurtures heirloom tomato plants from seed. He starts the incubation in the middle of winter, in his greenhouse, and when his toddlers are ready for tomato kindergarten, he gives them protection from squirrels in their custom-built screened enclosures.  All of his care and attention is worth…

Drying Fresh Herbs in the Microwave

Thanks to my gardener husband, I have a bounty of fresh herbs to enjoy all spring and summer.  But when winter sets in, I’m back to buying overpriced, uninspired herbs from the supermarket. No longer! Thanks to one of my favorite magazines, Cooks Illustrated, I picked up one of the best tips (it’s right up…

A Farewell to Garden Fresh Eggplant with Baba Ganoush

As my husband pulls the last of the eggplant from the garden, I’m saying my final farewell to these purple jewels by making this healthy, Middle Eastern eggplant dip called baba ganoush. This dip is so simple to make and calls for just 5 ingredients. Traditional baba ganoush is made by grilling the eggplant for…

Tri-Colored Gazpacho

When the garden is overflowing with sun-kissed, juicy, “eat like an apple” tomatoes, it’s time to make gazpacho. And nature sets the ingredient stage for this summer soup with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and basil, all garden fresh and ready to pick at the same time! Gazpacho can be made lots of different ways but when…

5 Herbs for Every Kitchen

Fresh herbs add that special something to a recipe. They elevate simple dishes. They add brightness and interest, infusing dishes with fresh summer flavors. Simple dishes like peas and onions with freshly snipped dill or roasted potatoes with earthy rosemary become dinner party worthy. Herbs are easy to grow. If you have a small, sunny…

Rhubarb Sauce with Golden Raisins, Ginger and Cinnamon

Here’s round three in the rhubarb recipe series and it just might be my favorite. Rhubarb sauce is so easy to make. I make several batches during the rhubarb season because it freezes well allowing us to have the taste of fresh rhubarb in the middle of winter. Simply cut the stalks into chunks, add…

Rhubarb Shrub for Mocktails or Cocktails

I found this rhubarb shrub recipe from epicurious.com and knew right away I had to make it. My husband’s garden is filled with beautiful rhubarb so I’m making all of my favorite rhubarb recipes and posting them over the next few weeks. This deliciously refreshing, slightly tart and sweet rhubarb cocktail (or mocktail) is the perfect…

Cooking and Eating on the Amalfi Coast

Eating and preparing Mediterranean food on the Mediterranean is this dietitian’s dream. I got my Mediterranean culinary fix on a recent trip to the Amalfi coast with my husband. We both enrolled in a cooking class at the Villa Maria Cooking School high up on the mountain in the beautiful town of Ravello. Talk about…

Elevated Marinara

I’ve made many tomato-based sauces over the years but this is hands down the best marinara I’ve ever made. This recipe, which I adapted from Cookinglight.com, makes a rich, intense killer sauce. The difference is that it’s baked in the oven rather than simmered over the stove. Full disclosure, I did use my husband’s award…

Habanero Hot Sauce

Habanero peppers are HOT. One tiny bite sets your mouth on fire so it’s a challenge to use them in a recipe. My husband’s pepper plant produced a peck of these fiery orange bundles (don’t let their cute, lantern-like looks fool you). With all this heat, hot sauce seemed like the best option. This sauce…

It’s Pesto Time!

If I had to pick a scent that screams summer, it would be the aroma of fresh basil. I use this fragrant summer herb, straight from the garden, as an unexpected pop of flavor in sandwiches and salads, sprinkled on pizza and eggs and of course as the star ingredient in fresh tomato sauce. Needless…

Pickled Summer Vegetable Salad

Refreshingly crunchy, slightly sweet and sour with a hint of salt. What a fabulous way to enjoy the abundance of fresh summer vegetables. Our garden is currently overflowing with cucumbers, cabbage and celery so I find myself making this super easy summer salad frequently. In fact, I just made it last night in only 20…