Olive-Stuffed Italian Bread

My siblings share with me a special love for olives - something that has become a bit of a joke at holidays. We would not dream of a holiday celebration or family party that didn't include a big bowl of olives, and my older sister has a really cool olive-serving bowl shaped like a spiral. Growing up, I only knew of pimiento-stuffed green olives and canned black olives ....more

Bouillabaisse (French Fish Soup)

Bouillabaisse, we have conquered you. Quite a few times we've said, "We should really try bouillabaisse;" then we open Julia Child's cookbook and shake our heads at the 3 pages of directions. But my beloved F ....more

Brazilian-Style Collard Greens

I confess I don't know much at all about Southern Cooking - I'm about as Yankee as you can get. Like most Midwesterners about my age, we ate green leafy things in two ways - as boiled spinach in gloppy slimy wads, and as green salads, mostly full of iceberg lettuce or maybe a shredded cabbage coleslaw. Collard greens definitely looked like the slimy blobs of spinach I never wanted to eat ...more

Pick-A-Filling Pierogi

Pierogi, also called...more

Seared Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Pea Crust

My first sushi experience was around 1990, and I really had to choke it down while distracting my mind screaming, "Oh gah, I'm eating raw meat! Raw meat! My mom told me not to do this!" The saner half of my mind was saying, "Shhh, come on now, people eat this all the time and they like it - don't think about it, don't think about it, you're eating unicorn bubbles and sun rays and it's ...more

Almond-Coconut Macaroons with Dried Cherries

Every spring a group of friends from my church gets together for a Seder meal, to honor our Jewish neighbors' tradition and experience the kind of celebration Jesus would have had every year. Joe's braised leg of lamb is always a big hit, but this year he did a beef brisket and I decided to try a new dessert. These are just about the easiest cookies you can make ....more

Cajun Spice Mix

Joe uses this spice mix in stews, gumbos, side dishes, and as a rub for meat, poultry, or seafood. Ingredients 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika 2 tablespoons chili powder 2 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons dried garlic, finely chopped 1 tablespoon dried onion, finely chopped 1 tablespoon crushed cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed 1 teaspoon dried ...more

Chinese Five-Spice Acorn Squash Soup

This is recipe number 2 from Joe's Valentine's Day dinner. I planned to make a fairly healthy soup full of that beta-carotene goodness, and the acorn squash was looking mighty good at the grocery store. The end result was a super-easy, super-creamy soup without the calories that come from cream ....more

Crispy Polenta Wedges with Olive Tapenade

This recipe is one I came up with while planning a special Valentine's Day dinner for Joe. I was serving the wedges alongside duck a l'orange, a rather heavy and a bit sweet main course. The olive tapenade had just a little tart bite and a lot of flavor ....more

Paprika-Spiced Caramelized Carrots

I fell for these beauties as soon as I saw them - long delicate carrots, brilliant orange with their fuzzy tops bright green. I had to have them. We're in a passion over smoked paprika as well, and when I sprinkled the paprika on the carrots and roasted them slow and tenderly turned them, they were a revelation ....more