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Basil Bliss

The basil crop is ready and lush; planted under row covers, it allows water and sunlight in and bugs out. Beside making pesto and using it fresh in everything from potato salad to desserts (a future post), I like to freeze the leaves, unwashed (because once wet, forget it…

Fruit-full Summer

Strawberry season is almost behind us and in its place blueberries and raspberries and cherries are ours for summer eating. There are so many ways to enjoy the fruits of summer including this wonderful tart; recipe is below with a variation but you can use any summer frui…

Cast Iron Pan Grilled Meat Loaf

I tried something new; cooking a meatloaf in a cast iron pan on my gas grill. Couple of tips; preheat the grill to 400F then cook the meatloaf over indirect heat. Invest in an instant read thermometer to gauge when the meatloaf is cooked and that would be 160F in the thic…

Glorious Asparagus

Fresh asparagus is one of the glories of spring and a nifty way to serve it is to coat the trimmed spears in olive oil and roll them in a mixture of raw sesame seeds, grated cheese and a pinch of salt. Place them on a non stick baking pan and roast them at 350F until the …

Spaghetti with Red Clam Sauce

This is a classic recipe straight from Naples for clams in red sauce. What makes this dish so popular with the Neapolitans is the sweetness of the clams and the fact that Naples is home to those fabulous plum tomatoes called San Marzano. And even though our clams are much…

Sizzlin Seared Scallops

Sweet, velvety and local scallops are a real treat, especially when they are pan seared and to do it right.  You need high heat and a big pan, not a non-stick pan because they will never brown or develop a crust. Be sure to buy dry scallops, not water injected which …

Lemony Linguine with Shrimp and Peas

Here is a delectable and light tasting spring dish with shrimp and peas in a velvety lemon sauce.Serves 4 Lemony Linguine with Shrimp and Peas 2 tablespoons butter2 tablespoons olive oil1 leek minced1 garlic clove mincedJuice of 2 large lemons plus the zest1/2 cup light…

Dried Oregano Is the Way to Go

Oregano is one of those few herbs that has a better flavor when dried so I always buy it when I am in Italy or in Italian specialty stores here. It is usually sold in bunches still on the stem and wrapped in cellophane. It has great flavor and I add it to soups, sauces an…

Getting to the Heart

It's artichoke season and a lot of people miss out on this fabulous vegetable because they do not know how to clean them. Simple. Shave the stem with a vegetable peeler; take off first two bottom layers of leaves and discard; cut off top about 1/4 inch down. Trim remainin…

My 10 Favorite Garden Tools

Maintaining a home garden and growing your own food is exceptionally rewarding, not to mention delicious. That said, as the old adage goes, you're only as good as your tools. That's why I put together this list of my 10 favorite garden tools so you can get your home garde…